Thursday, September 01, 2016

The opposition MUD alliance great political victory

There is no way around it. Today the opposition political umbrella alliance MUD scored a brilliant victory. Here is why.

It resisted all sorts of terrible pressures to prevent the meeting in Caracas, from blockade of people going to Caracas (Sometimes even robbed by soldiers) to the jailing of half the leadership of Voluntad Popular  (And some of other parties for good measure).

In spite of all of this pressure it managed to hold at least three major gatherings in Caracas. The safe one where I was in Cafetal/Chiao. The less safe but of expected higher output along the Miranda Avenue. The definitely riskier one from Western ex Chavez-strongholds which gave us the better video of the day when a small group of forlorn red shirted creeps could do nothing against thousands walking in white.
The pictures are clear, a flood of people reaching at least a million walked. Probably more than in 2002 with way more threats than then.

In many places inside Venezuela rallies were held. Even one in New York Saint Patrick.

In spite of all fears the rally/marches run smoothly except for some localized incidents that for all that I know where caused by undercover chavista agents.
But the best evidence is the reaction of the regime. We had all sorts of desperate counter propaganda clearly destined to the remaining lumpen chavismo,  because charitably I cannot find another way to express it.

Of course, the regime called the rally a failure, but claiming that there were at most 30,000 people when the whole world is putting, sometimes in front pages, specific local shots that by themselves show more than that number?  Diosdado  Cabello went one further by posting a possibly altered picture of a Chavez rally at Bolívar Avenue in 2012 as it were today when not even the cameras of state TV could hide the low turnout of Maduro there this afternoon (with a heavy dose of light brown shirted militia to fatten up attendance). What has been more amazing is that in spite of a quick refutal  of the fraudulent picture many governors and chavistas posted it as true, even in far distant Bogota where ex mayor Gustavo Petro made once again a fool of himself talking about Venezuela.

But the most telling moment of the opposition success was when Maduro announced that he was planning to lift parliamentary immunity so as to put straight to jail any opposition member he does not like. As in all one must assume. Assorted with truly vulgar insults that should be censored on TV. The democratic option  is not in chavismo plans.

There is no arguing the success of the MUD today. The question now is what next.
I am not putting links for lack of time tonight but a lot of it can be found in my time line on tweeter 


  1. The LA Times estimated the crowd at 500,000. And they know crowds.

  2. Question is what does the oppisition do now? So they had their turnout but the point of the march by the opposition was clearly communicated as to demand the referendum in a timely mannor. Clearly the march has no effect on this.
    Caprilies has hanged his hat on this democratic solution which will never happen and hence is wasting time.
    I will give the march this that it should help fire up the people as if it failed or was squashed more people would break. I will also give it that the regime failed miseribly to demonstrate to its allies that it is in complete control of the people. I believe Maduro planned to do this. But his tactics failed to stop the rally demonstrating he was not in control to stop it as hard as he tried and that his future is not certain.

  3. Anonymous6:18 AM

    @Ash Skinner:
    "Question is what does the oppisition do now? So they had their turnout but the point of the march by the opposition was clearly communicated as to demand the referendum in a timely mannor(sic). Clearly the march has no effect on this."

    At the closing speech they announced what the moves were going forward:

    1) Bang pots @8pm (yeah, but still).

    2) Starting Sep 7, weekly protests. The 7th at CNE state offices to demand a date for the 20% vote.

    3)The 14th in response to whatever decision the CNE is supposed to hand down on the 13th.

    4) The day after the 20% vote, a 24 hour Toma de Venezuela.

    So the strategy now is street and street and street. The MUD is definitely playing a hardcourt press now.


    1. Well, these marches were a success, but only to some extent.

      Yes, they defied the criminal regime, the guardia and police.
      Yes, they showed people want change, and dislike Maduro.
      Yes, they brought some international attention.

      But what did this march actually accomplish? Did the regime admit its faults, confirm a Referendo date, are the lines shorter and with more food for everyone?

      Nope. Unfortunately the next months will probably be more of the same. March or no march. Sure, there probably will be more street protests, "so what?" Says the Regime... Knowing my Venezuelan cattle, they are probably thinking "que pataleen todo lo que quieran, y entonces?" They know the corrupt military and police are on their side.

      So people can go on street marches every month, but the actual RESULT of such protests may be minimal. The MUD can also talk a lot, but most people don't have internet, and the media is largely controlled by the criminal regime. The international community might say a thing or 2, so what?

      To that extent, no. The march was no success. The objective is a referendum. When is it? Really? Has Tibisay confirmed anything? Nope.

      Sure, the Francisco Miranda avenue, and some other spots were crowded, but most of the country stayed home. And the next public protests will probably be smaller, less people. Will they force the criminal regime to abide by the rules? I doubt it. They are scared to leave office and go to jail.

      Venezuela might have to find a "good" general, a military, to knock these thugs out of power. And then have Capriles or Leopoldo take over. Not sure street protests will do the job.

    2. Congratulations Venezuela! The word is out. The people will not stand for it.

    3. It is always difficult to figure out what the impact of large political protest rallies and marches. This one certainly didn't seem to accomplish much. But appearances can be deceiving. What these type of protest rallies do is three main things:
      1) They energize people. During protest rallies, everyone can look around and see people as angry as they are. This reinforces the beliefs and resolve of those at the protests.
      2) Rallies show those in other countries that the opposition is large, organized and willing to take risks. Without such demonstrations, it is difficult to get much support. Why support someone who is not willing to take risks?
      3) Rallies if they are large enough cause fear and spread dread to those on the other side. People on the fence so to speak such as parts of the judiciary, police and military may start considering what side they should be on.

      The opposition in order to grow needs to continue to find ways for protesters to participate and for the movement to grow. This means planning new peaceful protests and events within a reasonable time frame. If they continue to put pressure on the regime, just with various peaceful events, history indicates that they will find opportunities to get more done. This is simply due to having more people involved and thinking what they can do at the same time forcing the opposition to become more fearful and therefore to take more actions that are not well considered or smart.

  4. Charly7:37 PM

    Hey Sledge, this one is for you.

    1. Do we have a solid date for the referendum? Is Maduro out of office? Do the math.

  5. Thanks for reporting this news and for explaining the process! I'm not seeing this news being reported like you did on the main online newspapers from Venezuela.

  6. Boludo Tejano2:44 PM

    Can the oppo do anything to force a referendum in 2016? Unfortunately, I doubt it. If there is a referendum, Chavismo will be able to delay it as long as possible, resulting in a Chavista replacement for Maduro. Chavismo until 2019 the result.

    All street revolutions follow similar patterns. As resistance to the government increases, these resistance sentiments begin to seep into the minds of the government workers themselves. Civil servants, teachers, the police, and others begin to agree with the resistance.

    No one is made of stone, and humans are very social. We all rely on others for our "subjective norms". That is, what we think is normal and good.

    The dam breaks when the demonstrators make it to the area of the presidential residence. The police will be there, as usual. And the demonstrators will press forward, urgently, as usual.

    AND THEN, at some point, on one day, THE POLICE WILL STAND DOWN. They will just walk away, or stand by while the demonstrators surround the building.

    This happened all over Eastern Europe when the USSR began to collapse. It happened in Serbia, after the Kosovo conflict. The police would not use force, and would not stop the demonstrators.

    As the building is surrounded, the occupants, including the president get the heck out of there. Without police protection, they become very afraid. They leave by tunnels, in cars, change their clothes, and melt into the crowds, whatever. Soon, the building is empty, and the country is in the hands of the demonstrators.

    In the Ukraine a few years ago, the Russian-puppet president held on until he was impeached, and the demonstrators came. Then he took a car to the airport, and that was that.

    When the Maduro regime collapses, it will happen within a few hours. So if you want to know how things are going, watch the cops. You will see their determination melt away, day by day.

    Spread the word. Everyone should know what to look for.

  8. FYI, I cross-posted your story on CNSNEWS.COM


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