Chavismo was unable to put up a counter march worth its name. Apparently a mere couple of blocks sort of filled up, a salsa band and some very dangerous speeches. Today's words of Aristobulo Isturiz, Freddy Bernal and Diosdado Cabello are enough to be added as definitive evidence on their dossier for The Hague. And furthermore, if the opposition had a huge march in Caracas, it also had many significant marches in the provinces. None that I know of from chavismo. And the opposition did all that in 24 hour notice.
The words of Bernal, to name one, where he says that the people will take in hand their kalachnikovs to defend the revolution only reflect fear of a leadership that leads very little now. But also a leadership that realizes that it is too late to negotiate and that now the talk is about surrendering or die with your boots on. That is, if you can find enough people willing to accompany you to that bitter end.
For the opposition it was an exploit!
First, in less than a week the disparaging, downtrodden opposition found its way back to the streets. All gains by the regime over the last 6 months were wiped out this week. And the people that took back to the streets are now much more committed, reckless even, than those of last September. Some compare it to "La Salida" of 2014. But it is not the same, the mood is not the same. Now those that may not agree with these protest will remain silent, will not undercut them as it happened in 2014.
The opposition is sensing this and it has already called for Saturday protests. This is a dare because it is the start of the second biggest holiday of the year, Holy Week, where Caraqueños exit the city en masse. The point is that it is quite possible that out the woodwork may come chavistas, not quite ex chavista but certainly anti Maduro who they accuse of bringing down the World of Chavez. I do not know. Maybe. We'll see.
The opposition got back its leadership, and respect for its leadership. Now they are on the front line, they are gassed, they are hurt, they lead like Freddy Guevara videos of him reining in exalted militants and even avoiding one of them to be taken by the Nazional Guards for a fate unmentionable. I do not mean to glorify him, Capriles and Machado and Ramos Allup and others were there, fighting, but Guevara is the star of the day.
The shame of the failed dialogue of late 2016 is now washed away. We are into a new offensive with renewed spirits but more worrisome for our future, with more desperation as the economic crisis git much worse.
Finally, who are the losers of the day?
Of course Maduro. His relative silence while his lieutenants threaten civil war, started by them if necessary, speaks volumes. There is no way he can mask what is going on in Venezuela. EVERYONE KNOWS THAT IT CAN ALL BE STOPPED BY CALLING ELECTIONS FOR GOVERNOR, ELECTIONS NOW 5 MONTH OVERDUE. Well, maybe because the situation is moving faster than his ability to respond. Simply there is no excuses when we know historically that many countries just out of devastating wars were able to hold elections. More than ever, Maduro is the responsible for the deaths, to which very unfortunately one was added to the count tonight in Carrizales (without forgetting those that were jailed and/or hurt today).
But there two other losers. Lara's Falcon and Zulia's Rosales have been muted this week, One would have though that their silence of Tuesday would have been forgotten today? But no. In three days Falcon's timeline on Twitter had a single tweet condemning repression abuses. The rest of his tweets you would think he does not live in Venezuela. Manuel Rosales time line is even worse, all about his party pseudo feat last week end and one weirdly written tweet that could even be read by chavistas as condemning the determination of the opposition. Whatever their strategy are, they can forget about Caracas vote, and probably about votes outside of Lara or Zulia.
I think it a shame that they were not in the front line of Maracaibo and Barquisimeto today. They'll have to live with that.
In summary what happened today is the first step of the confrontation between the contradictions of the defective 1999 Constitution. Articles 333 and 350 establish that the people have the right to revolt if the Constitution is violated. Articles 337 and 338 are those that allow the executive power to establish reasonable repression in very specific cases, AND WITH THE AGREEMENT of the National Assembly, What should be the umpire, the TSJ, is at the root of that conflict.
If we do not manage better there will be a legality to the ensuing civil war.
See you next Saturday where I hope I will be able to march
Oposición llamó a marchar este sábado en todo el país https://t.co/PDgpzzOFVE pic.twitter.com/T1pydGAeHQ— Contrapunto (@contrapuntovzla) April 7, 2017