As I type Biden is about to be sworn in and of course I am planning to watch it if French TV broadcasts it. One of the reasons that motivates me is that in the first hearings for his cabinet positions his nominees without a fault are quite willing to continue some of Trump's policies. Sure, the means and ways will differ here and there but on important questions such as the enmity of China or the Middle East moves, nothing much will change. And best of all Secretary of state nominee Blinken has said in his hearing that the incoming administration will recognize the interim government of Guaido and the remains of the National Assembly elected in 2015, considered the last democratically elected branch of government.
Wednesday, January 20, 2021
Monday, January 11, 2021
So, chavo/madurismo has all in its hands (1). No Venezuelan government in history had so many levers of power in its hands. All the formal state institutions are now controlled by the regime except a handful of state houses and town halls. But those are restricted on their means, heavily supervised and thus almost insignificant in their potential actions. What makes this one more of a dictatorship than any past one is the complete control on press and media, and the economic control that no government in Venezuela ever had. That these controls broke the country is another matter, though it happened because of these controls.
Saturday, January 09, 2021
I was planning to write more negative entries to detail the consequences of the dreadful process that culminated on the December 6 vote. But it would require a few more and I want to move on some more interesting and pressing matters.
These entries did lay down the conditions that will rule now the immediate future. And boy, do they already rule it! We had this first week of January the closing of internet media (the open air media and written press have been closed or censored long ago). The novel assembly seated the chairpersons from hell and hurried to take as first measure create a commission to prosecute the ex representatives of the outgoing assembly. (1) This commission, to add insult to injury, will be presided by Jose Brito, a corrupt traitor from the Primero Justicia party. He was booted out and went over officially to chavismo who through judicial fiat gave him the direction of Primero Justicia. Now from his new position he will be able to take revenge, and at the same time spare chavismo the technical responsibility of yet a new totalitarian act. Totalitarian regimes of the XX century should be envious to see how easy it is for chavismo to recruit folks for their dirty work. (2)
Monday, January 04, 2021
On January 5 the opposition loses its last legal toe. The constitutional mandate of 5 years for the National Assembly elected in 2015 expires and as of that day all the opposition representatives will lose their seat and immunity. Not that it makes much difference, the list of those already in exile or in jail is quite extensive. The difference now is that a ruthless and vengeful regime will have no need to make up charges to arrest those still free.
The regime by itself has stopped worrying about its legality long ago. Maduro and those elected last December have not been recognized by democratic countries for quite a while. They are used to it. But at least the opposition in its quixotic quest could pretend to represent the lone legal and democratic institution left. Now in Venezuela everyone is out of legality. Quite a feat it is.
Sunday, January 03, 2021
Wishing readers the best possible year 2021. It is going tough this time around. And if you are in Venezuela just making it through the year will be quite the achievement. Not that it will be much easier for those of us forced to leave the country but at least most of us will have access to food and running water 24/24.
If you are not Venezuelan and read this blog, do something good this year: help an exiled Venezuelan.
Love to all.