This been said things are not going any better for the regime. True, the vice president and the communist minister of economy are saying that lines are lesser, that we are turning around a corner, that imports are on the rise since January, etc. The reality is that indeed lines are lesser. See, supplies are lesser so there is no need to stand in line for stuff that will not come in. Shopping on weekends for groceries is great: since there are no deliveries anymore on Saturdays then what is left is for the people that have money enough to buy what the hoi polloi cannot afford. For the first time in years I am hitting again grocery stores on Saturdays (Sundays are, well, empty no matter what). As for the commie minister (he used to be a PCV member before jumping ship to Chavez), someone in his office should point to him that historically January has always been the lowest month for importation since the country is out of business until mid January. No dockers....
Politically the big fight remains the Recall Election before January 10 2017 since after that date a chased Maduro can name his successor, no election needed for the next two years. As I suspected long ago, it is not going to happen no matter what the opposition does. Too much at stake for the regime. Yet the good fight must be done in the off chance that a division inside chavismo allows in the end for the recall election; or, better, we have Maduro resign before January 10 (which I think is what will happen if chavismo decides not to go full metal jacket on repression).
The strategy of the "legal" chavismo (and institutional military?) is to wait as long as possible in the vain hope that oil prices go up just enough to resupply a little bit food shelves and thus make electoral defeat not a fact. Since production is not promoted and that economic repression is getting worse, I do not see how can this happen even if within one year oil were to go back to, say, 80 a barrel. But chavismo is entitled to dream too.
Meanwhile the "illegal" chavismo (and narko military?), the one that does not give a crap about appearances and that wants not only to get rid of the opposition but also of timorate chavistas, is forging ahead. The packed high court (never a dissenting opinion in the TSJ) has annulled anything the National Assembly does. The problem is that we need to vote next year budget and the constitution is quite clear in that it can only be approved through a National Assembly vote. We are sure that the TSJ will write something to annul yet a new sector of the constitution which for all practical purposes is only good enough to replace scarce toilet paper. The final head-on conflict must happen in the next weeks as the to-do list of TSJ before the end of the year is 1) annul the recall election proceeding 2) decide the budget 3) bar the nomination of a new electoral board 4) support legally repression and, why not, 5) disolve parliament without electing a new one.
While chavismo is desperately establishing a dictatorship without any popular support things outside are not improving for them either. The non aligned summit of last week was a fiasco as only a dozen of the 100+ head of state showed up. And we are talking here of Mugabe, Castro and other undesirable ones that have zero credentials on democracy. No luster from the summit except perhaps for some lumpen chavismo, part of it being carried to a refuge like tent city nearby the luxury hotels to provide Maduro with the adoring crowds he needs to prove his alleged popularity. Indeed, since Maduro was pot banged live in Margarita Villa Rosa community the regime takes no chances, from jailing as many as possible to bring its own sycophants along.
And I will pass on MERCOSUR giving an ultimatum to Maduro...
Thus repression keeps apace. What else could the regime do? We learned this early week alone that now Leopoldo Lopez is deprived of any light at night in his jail, that they search him and force him to undress uncounted number of time, etc... all enough to deserve for the regime a boat load of human rights crimes trials against the regime. But the best example of regime fear and desperation came today.
Primero Justicia hired three guys to do a video on the situation and against repression. The army quickly jailed the three producers on treason charges and put the three civilians at the disposition of a military tribunal. So there you are (while the leadership of Primero Justicia is so far untouched by the army...)
.RT | ANTES QUE LO CENSUREN - El vídeo que tiene al Gobierno de Maduro desatando una ola de persecución y arrestos en Venezuela (1/3) pic.twitter.com/AHhN5Eae7V— Alberto Rodríguez (@AlbertoRT51) 20 de septiembre de 2016
A short summary of what happens in the video.
The girl tends to her sick mother. She looks at the empty fridge and texts her father to tell him that she is off to stand in line because she cannot find the medicine for her Mom and that there is no food at home. It just happens that her father is in the army and getting ready to repress a student march. The daughter reminds her father that the people he is about to repress suffer of the same problems that they do.
Too close for comfort?