|The July 16th vote, annulled today|
Today Accion Democratica (AD) secretary Henry Ramos Allup (HRA) decided to have his 4 elected governors swear in front of the unconstitutional constitutional assembly (AC) and thus within a single hour he 1) legitimizes the AC 2) voids years of opposition (MUD) efforts 3) wrecks its unity and 4) creates an image overseas that there is no need to worry about Venezuela anymore, either it is a democracy after all, or the opposition is not worthy of rescue so let them deal with their own mess.
How did we come upon that political horror scene?
Back to early July 2017.
An opposition that had resisted months of protests and repression against the regime decided to hold a paper/pencil vote on July 16th to refuse to recognize the AC to be "elected" July 30th. The result was a resounding 6.5 million, with the discovery that there were, in addition, 700K voting age Venezuelans in exile.
At that time international pressure, spurred by the body count, was heavy on the regime. And yet the regime forged ahead with its election, and a massive election fraud it was where anywhere between 1 to 3 million votes were added to reach 8M, the holy grail of defeating the opposition July 16th ballot. But it came to naught for the regime as no serious country recognized the AC and sanctions started to be applied on Venezuela.
The regime needing to vent the pressure decided to call for regional elections and advance them from their scheduled December vote. That is, the regime needed to take advantage of the disarray of the opposition to maximize the use of its new electoral fraud platform before anyone truly understood its workings. Suddenly on August 2 Ramos Allup announced that he would go to governor's elections, without previous consultation with his "allies" at the MUD. The others could do as they pleased. We should have known much better already. But no, only a few like yours truly seem to have smelled a possible rat.
Meanwhile a new tentative of "dialogue" in Santo Domingo was proposed. It came to naught too. But with alarming rumors that may have been confirmed. Basically in Santo Domingo some in the opposition were open to the idea to let Maduro serve the end of his term unarmed as long as he allowed a progressive transfer of powers through regional and municipal elections. The bait used by the regime was, allegedly, that some in the regime wanted to go into smooth transition so that people would have time to forget about their crimes; the problem being Diosdado Cabello and Tareck El Aissami, unrecoverable, unforgivable.
Under this cloud the MUD primaries took place. With the leadership of Voluntad Popular (VP) beheaded and part of the Orimero Justicia (PJ) one, AD rivals, this last one won most primaries even though with far from the 50% vote mark. I was doubtful already that the primaries of the MUD were harbingers of better days. But heck, as the links of this post will be showing if you read them, Cassandra is my nickname.
The campaign came without much incident. The overconfidence of the opposition after months of protests and a great July 16th made it underestimate the power of the regime electoral-cum-fraud machinery and the result is as you know: egg, lots of egg on MUD faces. Not that it mattered much since there was no possible good outcome. But there was a possible worst outcome and this one happened today.
It all started early last week when the dictatorship announced that all elected governors would have to swear in first in front of the AC, before their own state legislature. This simply was unacceptable since it would mean that the opposition recognized the AC. That was the talk of the week. The problem, see, is that of the only 5 out 23 governors the regime was willing to accept for the opposition, 4 are from AD, under the thumb of HRA. In the end, they decided to break away from the PJ governor elect of Zulia who in spite of serious threats, decided that he would not swear in at the AC.
This crass and vile cave-in resulted in this picture a few hours ago where the four AD swear in front of the AC infamous direction (and believe me, Rodriguez and Amoroso are as disgusting and infamous as it gets, and I have experienced Amoroso myself).
#AHORA | Gobernadores electos de Acción Democracia se juramentaron y subordinaron ante la @ANC_ve @DrodriguezVen pic.twitter.com/oXDFOQF0bE— Constituyente (@ANC_ve) October 23, 2017
Well, at least they did not smile whereas the regime had ear to ear grins.
The tweetstorm this afternoon was nothing like I had ever seen before. Even for my time line where I avoid mega twitterers like the plague.
HRA has been execrated by all, those who voted on October 15, the militant abstention who do not voted with a "I told you", etc, etc... Even some politicians, not knowing what awaits them tomorrow, dared to criticize HRA.
I am not going to speculate about the reasons for HRA to Break Up the MUD alliance, because this is what happened today even though no politico uses the B word yet. I would note that actually the message of OAS secretary Almagro last week was probably directed at HRA, Almagro suspecting who knows what. It is more interesting to see where this whole mess is heading.
I did write on March 21 that the MUD was going toward a division. Then the 4 months of protests happened, slowing down a process that may have arrived finally. What would the realignment be?
On one side we would have those that would never accept the regime. For them, negotiation is a negotiation to establish the conditions and time line for the regime to leave. We already have the abstention party (who should not crow today, but that is another story) which comprises Maria Corina Machado MCM, Antonio Ledezma AL, their followers of course and a significant amount of Miami types and local opinion makers self calling "la resitencia". I can see VP joining them. After all the defense of Leopoldo López and his mayors now in exile has not been something on the top of the list for HRA.
PJ, also a victim of AD and HRA may join them, or go it all alone. I think if forced to chose PJ would go with the above coalition if it is able to show some seriousness. That is, MCM and AL showing that they have a true organization and not only a loudspeaker. Note that as I was proofreading this text I came across a communique from PJ condemning today's swearing in and thus, well, starting the MUD divorce proceedings.
On the other side we could see flock to AD the remnants of Rosales' Un Nuevo Tiempo, what is left of Henry Falcon now that he lost Lara and some other small groups. Maybe even the embers of COPEI, the once strong ruling party. This group would start negotiating with the regime. What? Who knows..... And with no guarantees of course. Barely a couple of hours after the swearing in, a boisterous Maduro announced that he was naming "protectors" of the states he lost and no one else but the losing candidates. They are already establishing a parallel government!!!!! And the corpse is not even cold....
The best case scenario is that each wing procedes to its own choices, more or less prosecuted by the dictatorship. Sometimes middle of next year they'll compite in a a primary to have a unified candidate against Maduro. But by then the world will have forgotten about us. Or a new constitution be drafted and installed. After all HRA gave excuses to the murderer regime today. Wait? Who is the murderer here? Nico or HRA?
Unless.... the economic catastrophe comes first as last week disturbing signs of economic collapse are piling. After all, the regime is only worried about political survival at all cost and as far as they are concerned the welfare of the country can go to hell.
The dollar today gained 25% over the bolivar, in one single week after the governor's vote.... This is the next horror movie unfolding. The real one.
“You were given the choice between war and dishonour.
You chose dishonour and you will have war.” (The W)