Note: I was going to write a brainy post of unrequested advice as to what the opposition should do in the coming weeks. But fortunately I procrastinated some and then there was a whirlwind of events that would have made that projected post nearly useless. The part 1 is still valid. Let's see how long does part 2 stands the test of time.
The events that have shaken the political table these last two weeks are the following:
- a political prisoner was killed in the gaols of the regime by what I presume was a "mistake" during torture sessions. So they threw him from a 10th floor, pretending a suicide. Nobody believes it since Fernando Alban was faithful catholic where suicide is not an option. Never mind that his life did not hint at any suicidal tendency. And add to this that he was arrested at the airport as he was ARRIVING. Truly, if he felt he was in real danger, if he had some form of "conspirator guilt" he would not have come back.
-the explanations of the regime did not fly at all, the more so that they avoided an independent autopsy and the coroner signing it apparently had no experience and followed orders. The international outcry was immediate.
- the regime exasperated decided that there would be actions taken against those that contested the regime narrative. Even ambassadors were summoned to a lecture where they were told that the regime had all the proofs in hand of a conspiracy, yet not showing any of them. To this day we only know that Alban had 2000 plus incriminating videos on his cel phone. 2000! And he traveled with that....
- while this happened foreign players like Chile's president or OAS secretary reminded the opposition that it was getting more and more difficult to help them if there was zero unity among them
- finally Spain foreign secretary, from perhaps the least unfriendly European government to Maduro these days, declared that the legitimacy of Maduro ended on January 10. That is, Maduro is still recognized as legal president per the election of 2013. But since neither his "reelection" on May 20, nor the election in 2017 of the "constitutional" assembly were recognized, then Venezuela will have an illegal government as of January 10 when Maduro's term expires.
- and to end the week we learn that fire brand Maria Corina Machado said in an interview that she has had contacts inside the regime as to a supposed transition (the day when conveniently the other fire brand leader Antonio Ledezma was removed as his two sons in law where ranked as corrupt individuals working for the regime laundering operations).
Consequences of these events are easy to perceive:
- the opposition has been served notice: get serious.
- the opposition has understood that any one of them can be thrown out of a tenth floor window, in the good old ways of LatAm dictatorships of the third quarter of the XX century.
- the leadership has been winnowed, for better or for worse, to the leading roles of Maria Corina Machado, Henry Ramos Allup and Henrique Capriles, with side kicks of Henri Falcon, Leopoldo Lopez and Julio Borges (perhaps others for consulting). Unfairly this ranking happens without any proportion to the real popular strength of each one. For example in the case of Borges (exiled) or Lopez (jail) their influence is obviously hampered.
- the need is now urgent for some kind of opposition internal deal and truly it is easier to reach a deal at three than at half a dozen cantankerous guys.
The opposition guidelines are now:
- decide on a single purpose issue. With the humanitarian disaster we are living through that purpose is a single one: the oust Maduro. With or without a negotiated transition government, but Maduro must go. By January 10 at the latest.
- on election, individuals may or may not participate in the coming municipal council elections, without being demonized. There is no need to spend energy on that.
- at any rate these elections may be rendered absolutely irrelevant if the regime decides to hold a referendum on a new constitution. A united opposition can bring in enough votes to negate the regime and enough help to monitor the results. Based on recent events it would be difficult for the regime to reject foreign observation, amen of opposition observers at any polling station. If they dare then the result of such referendum will not be recognized before it takes place. The regime choice would be to declare itself an outright dictatorship or be forced into a competitive vote.
- needless to say that a NO vote will cause the downfall of the regime. All that has been done since the "election" of the constituent assembly will be rendered automatically voided, and chavismo will break apart. Actually, even accepting a semi competitive referendum would be an unequivocal sign that the regime is breaking down internally.
Again, all of this may, MAY, be made possible if the opposition manages quickly a simple and single minded front. So this is what the opposition has to do know: grow up and take one single decision.
It has reached the deep end, time to swim upward.
Written listening to Mozart's requiem. Not intentionally, it was a left over CD from yesterday.