Saturday, April 22, 2017

And the next stop is....

OK, a lot has been going on. I cannot catch up with everything. So here follows a summary of sorts mixed with my conclusions. Sort it out if you can, I can't.

The recent crude facts


FACT 1

April 19 was the nail in the coffin for street protest from chavismo. The opposition drew a GIGANTIC crowd from Eastern Caracas. Basically any one that could make it did so. And there were marches starting from Western Caracas which not as large were the largest one ever coming from that area. Some experts put at 3 million those who set foot on the street if anything to wave a flag as marchers went by. I will settle for two million which is A-W-E-S-O-M-E by itself.

But that is not all, there were huge marches in many places of Venezuela, something unheard of in some of these places. See, the provinces suffer more than Caracas and even the provincial apathy is shaken. In Valencia it was huge. Even in San Felipe my people reported to me in awe.

Whatever millions the opposition truly put in the streets is irrelevant, now, because what the regime dragged to the streets the same day, in comparison, was irrelevant. They could not, buses and blackmail included, fill up the Bolivar avenue of Caracas that we all know cannot host much more than a 100 thousand. And the opposition just on the highway, the portion that got gassed in the upper deck, had more people than in Bolivar avenue. And inside the country? Nothing, just some lacking gatherings here and there.

In front of the whole world it is now clear that the regime has lost any popular fervor that it may have had. Blackmail of public workers and all, the world also knows about that. The opposition without means can bring down to the streets whatever it wants, even two days in a row as it happened on April 20.

FACT 2

One would think that holding the street fervor in such a lopsided way would be enough to overthrow an hyper corrupted regime. But it is not so. The reason is the outrageous repression that the regime is willing to do.

The repression of the last two weeks was bad enough as it was. But what happened on April 19 should get to whomever gave the order a one way ticket to The Hague international court. The indictment could be on Crime Against Humanity or even simply War Crimes. The merits are there for any type of indictment the court may wish to use.  Proving that the order may have come from Cuba will not be easy, perhaps, but proving that the Venezuelan Generals in charge gave the order, or did not try to stop it, is, well, vox populi. As of April 19, General Padrino, minister of defense, is passible of indictment at the Hague because either he did, or he did not stop. And he certainly has not resigned in protest.  Whatever it is, it will a tough act for him to clear his name now. The others do not even bother with cleaning their names anymore.

At any rate, the fact here is that the regime has decided to kill as many people as there will be a need to kill. Period.

FACT 3

The popular discontent can only but grow. The tweet below gives a fascinating video, if your Spanish holds, about how the message of chavismno is not going down anymore. The background are popular districts. The "pueblo" is brown skinned. The only pale guy is the chavista official, ironed red shirt, impeccable shave and hair cut (and apparently some type of body guard).  And yet he is booed, he is told that the CLAP food program does not work, that people are tired of getting blackmailed and that the fault is with Maduro and no one else. The chavista poor soul tried desperately the old trite arguments, resorting to "we should not fight among ourselves" to no good avail. He is the enemy now, not the leader. And he does not seem to quite understand what is going on, truly in shock that there is no one taking his side and that everyone that has a cell phone is recording the scene.




FACT 4

We are broke. The regime even acknowledges it when it prosecutes on false charges representative Jose Guerra. See, the guy is the chair of finance committee and he has been saying that there cannot be any loan to the regime if this one is not approved by the National Assembly. In other words, if you lend to Maduro is at your own risk and this Assembly is under no obligation to honor the contract in the future. That and also that Guerra beat the regime in 2015 in a very chavista district where now people speak like the video above. But I digress.

The point here is that the regime seems to think that getting rid of Guerra is enough to have loans flow in again. In their totalitarian mind set the regime probably think that he represents only himself....

The fact here is that the regime still has no understanding of how bad the crisis is and that until oil prices go up again it is enough to shoot messengers. And boy, are there a boatload of messengers to shoot....

FACT 5

Are we witnessing a "nazification" of the regime?

This week, just to name the more outrageous event, Diosdado Cabello has said that the political battle will be won in the streets and that the colectivos have received the address, telephone and associates of opposition leaders to go against them all just in case of...  Well, he did not say colectivos per se, just the party, but we all know who are the final executors of the regime, the paramilitary colectivos.

Last time I saw such a yellow starring with violent promises of stoning was in Germany mid 30ies..... Pol Pot was at least more direct.

So there, Diosdado Cabello recognizes that 1) he will not win in elections, 2) he will use violence to impose his power 3) it is all a for Diosdado or against Diosdado thing.

And thus this fact is that we are in the legitimate right to wonder who is ruling inside chavismo.

More FACTS? Too tired, a CONCLUSION

I need to go to bed.

The whole point about Diosdado is not him being a fascist, commie or nazi. In the end he is a totalitarian, always was. As uncouth as they come. As piggy looking as Orwell could have dreamed of.

No, the point is what truly goes inside chavismo and how far will one group let the other group go.  A picture for you, taken from a tweet from Maduro press office on April 18.

On the left military in charge of operations the 19th, and as such seeking their one way ticket to The Hague.
On the right, Chavez brother, Elias Jaua, Cilia Flores, the Vice, Maduro, Diosdado, PSUV whip at the
National Assembly, foreign minister, Caracas mayor.

The extraordinary thing here is that in a very official act where the army reports and receives orders prior April 19 mega opposition march Diosdado Cabello is sitting on the left of Maduro...  Diosdado has NOTHING to do here, he is a mere representative, he is not even a whip at the National Assembly.  Maybe a case could be made for him to attend at the invitation of Maduro as a witness or advisory, but he should have never sat on his left (nor Cilia Flores two spots on his right who has no right in such an official occasion; but at least she used to bang Maduro). Even his role as leader of PSUV does not give him the right to seat next to Maduro. In this circumstance the one that should have sat on the left was the security minister, strangely absent...  Diosdado and Cilia, if needed, should have sat at the end, AFTER Caracas mayor, after Chavez brother who at least is a minister, an irrelevant one for the moment but a mister nevertheless.

This picture basically illustrates what was the power structure within chavismo, and apparently united army against a civilian power without clear head.

Is that picture still valid today?

5 comments:

  1. Se Va a Caer, Pronto.......

    ReplyDelete
  2. Boludo Tejano2:00 PM

    For an indication how some in the US are, shall we say, clueless regarding Venezuela, consider Rachel Maddow Airs Headline Linking Venezuelan Protests to Trump, Retracts Online.

    A segment of MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show displayed a chyron implying the widespread anti-socialist protests in Venezuela were actually against President Donald Trump.

    The show, which aired on Thursday, implied that a donation to Donald Trump’s inauguration of $500,000 from a subsidiary of a Venezuelan state-run oil company was a cause of recent protests.

    A headline at the bottom of the screen during a segment explaining the donation read: “Unrest in Venezuela Over Trump Donations,” without noting the growing food and medicine shortages that have occurred there as a direct result of nearly two decades of socialist mismanagement.


    Tragedy- the current situation in Venezuela. Comedy: Dr. Rachel Maddow's reaction to it. Payaso sos, Rachel.

    Many outside Venezuela see Venezuela as a place to impose their ideological templates, while knowing very little of Venezuela. The results are often absurd- as shown by Dr. Rachel Maddow. Granted, it could be said that I also impose my ideological template on Venezuela. My reply is that a my ideological template was very much influenced by my time in Venezuela. A substantial contributor to my ideological template was my having read Carlos Rangel's Del Buen Salvaje al Buen Revolucionario when I was working in Venezuela. I was once asked in a job interview what book influenced me the most. I immediately replied "Del Buen Salvaje al Buen Revolucionario" in English, of course.

    Daniel, your on-the-ground comments are, as always, well worth the reading.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't bother, Daniel is as much of a useful idiot for Marxism as your average American (anti-American) college student.

      Delete
    2. Bólido

      Thanks for the support. Contrary to the A hole that replied below you prove that intelligent writing, no matter its ideological bend, can be a source of information.

      I am glad you mentioned the RM incident. I did not write about it though I was very tempted as an excuse to pounce on the Liberals that cannot make it over Trump victory.

      Reading tweeter time lines of some, like the one from respected writers Joyce Carol Oates, one would think that these people are embarked in an epic of resistance such as the US has never experimented. They report in awe that 200 folks protested here, or that defending a sanctuary city is the only way to defend democracy.

      Maybe all worthy undertakings but when I read these people I wonder how many would have had the stamina to hold a blog like mine for 14 years, with coherence and clarity on objectives. Not that it did me any good, but I know that at least YOU understand what I mean.

      At least RM did backtrack on the stupid headline about Venezuelans protesting the 500K gift to Trump, as if 95% of Venezuelans could possibly care about Trumpians. American major TV shows have important staffs and the speakers are simply unable to check everything their staff pass them, or worse, put on the banners. But for all her militancy RM is smart enough to know that arguments cannot be won on faulty alternate reality which existed way before Trump. Heck, Chavismo cannot be beaten on alternate facts......

      By the ways, the occasional replies I put on those tweets suggesting a comparison of their pleas to the ones of Venezuela have never been acknowledged. Proving not that they do not care about Venezuela, but that they probably do not even know where the fuck Venezuela is. As such for them Venezuela is an alternate fact. Or something.

      Delete
  3. The problem in Venezuela is that marches won't change the government if the government does not care about the popular opinion, is willing to be ruthless and controls the military.

    That said, I wonder what Maduro's plan is. Is the plan to hope that oil prices increase and more opposition people leave Venezuela and go somewhere else? If oil prices increase, they can hope to get more money to revive the "Chavistas".

    The problem with an oil price plan is that the Venezuela oil sector needs to be totally revamped. The Venezuela national oil company is corrupt and mostly incompetent because it was used for political purposes instead of being left as a oil company. The oil still exists under the ground but it is mainly heavy oil that requires more money and technology to extract. Money and technology Venezuela no longer has. Which means that over time, oil production in Venezuela will continue to decline.

    Environmental issues such as oil spills will get worse. Most oil spills are caused by aging infrastructure especially aging pipelines. Pipelines can work for many years but they do need to be regularly checked and maintained. If they are regularly checked and maintained, then most leaks will be prevented. In Venezuela that is not done. Some pipelines are left in service despite leaks. So long as the leak appears manageable, they continue to pump oil through it. Anywhere else, the pipeline would be taken out of service temporarily and the leak would be repaired.

    Basically, what I think has happened and the news out of Venezuela has suggested is that for the last 10 years especially, maintenance and repair budgets for the national oil company have declined each year until now they are almost non-existent. Small repairs that would take very little time and cost very little money have been growing into major problems that will be costly to repair. For example, a leak could mean a corrosion problem or it could be a cracked weld or simple damage from some event. The simplest repair is to put some kind of patch on top of the visible leak. But if there is a cracked weld, this won't prevent it from further cracking. A corrosion problem that is not addressed will get worse until the entire pipeline needs to be replaced. Basically, I think Venezuela's oil industry even if it were completely reformed would take years to recover.

    The other problem for Venezuela oil industry is how exactly would they reform it? If a new political party comes to power, they would need to fire a large percentage of the workers in the national oil company and bring in new managers and people. Venezuela used to have a lot of competent oil managers but Chavez fired them and forced them to seek employment in other countries.







    ReplyDelete

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