Sunday, February 28, 2021

The sysiphean Venezuelan opposition

 Now that we covered in last post the real problem in Venezuela, the economy, and that we have examined the situation of the opposition since December 2020, we can finally look at what can the Venezuelan opposition do. If you are busy and do not want to read it all, here is the executive summary: precious little.

What is that previous little, which as we shall see is already quite herculean?

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

The economy: road block to transition

Time is running out before Venezuela becomes a failed state. It is true that a failed/war-destroyed state can be rebuilt, but it takes a long time, it takes a powerful political center, it takes outside help, or at the very least no more meddling. Before writing about any possible political solution we need to discuss the distressed economy and how difficult it would be to restart it.

When Maduro was elected in 2013 he could have taken a few token measures that would have avoided the extent of the crisis today. He did not, and took even additional wrong steps. Then this mismanagement was magnified through a nasty political crisis and recently US sanctions.

The root of the economical crisis comes way back. Even before Chavez. In a way we could say that Chavez invented no new deleterious practice: he just magnified them to unsuspected levels. It is too long to review that descent into economical hell, books have already been written about it. Let's just look at today's situation. 

Wednesday, February 03, 2021

The end of the Venezuelan opposition, as we knew it

It is time to write that dreaded post, the funeral eulogy of the Venezuelan opposition as we knew it. Something else will come someday for sure but at this point in my life I wonder whether I should care, to tell you the truth.

Going through the catalogue of all of its failures is rather useless: the political conditions of the country have so changed that there are few lessons we could gain from spreading the blame around. Instead let's focus on the losers (there are no winners, before you ask).

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Chavismo reshifting roles

 Now that we have a novel National Assembly, who is speaking for chavismo? (1)

One "surprise" is that Jorge Rodriguez is the new chair of the nNA. Well, not that much of a surprise since he was sent to run while he was occupying high positions inside the chavista nomenklatura. He has been mentioned enough in this blog so I will not review his extended life serving chavismo. From an alleged impartial electoral umpire in the early 2000 elections he ended up as Vice President of Chavez in the many positions he occupied. He, and his sister currently the vice president (2), are now the main operators of Maduro, sort of representing the civilian side of chavismo.

Friday, January 29, 2021

Carvativir as the symbol of Covid Maduro's failure

It is now common knowledge that Venezuela's dealings with Covid19 have been a failure. The best that can be said is that the regime has bet secretly on herd immunity because, well, there is nothing else the regime can do.

And yet in the midst of this abject failure to preserve the health of Venezuelans, the regime manages to outdo itself in its abjectness. Now Maduro on TV has revealed himself a snake oil promoter. Rarely I have been as angry at the regime than after seeing the clip below.

What is behind all of that charade?

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Biden's administration will have to face Maduro's regime

 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.

Monday, January 11, 2021

Same old, same old for chavismo?

 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.