Monday, August 05, 2013

The pragmatic option, forced on us

After writing yesterday about what seems to be the strategy of the opposition for the next few months I read tweets from Pedro Burelli that made me think and write this follow up to last post, if you will.

Pedro wrote the following (and not directed to me, by the way)

Shit! Legal challenges to the [April] elections forgotten. December elections a formality  Now @hcapriles comes up with a Constituent assembly in 2014. Lost at sea.

The translation is mine as this tweet is for local consumption. Thus I limit myself to convey the gist.

Basically I am in agreement with Pedro in that the strategy since April 14 has been deficient. But where I am coming from and that I tried to put to words yesterday is to be pragmatic, to make lemonade with MUD lemons.

The thing is that as far as I am concerned the regime is simply not going to decide on the validity of the election UNLESS the anti Maduro camp wins the inner battle and decide to get rid of him. Or he has enough of the whole thing and wants to retire in Cuba. The lackluster or rather incomplete response of the opposition to April 14 fraud has basically made the issue moot. We see that in the apathy of the opposition electorate or the unwillingness of foreign leaders to receive Capriles coming a little bit too late to complain. Even the Colombian foreign minster Friday said that Capriles would not be received anymore by Santos. The legal challenges will keep gathering dust.

I suppose that the MUD had its reasons for how they handled things since April 14. And the definitely deficient foreign communication team of the Capriles/MUD camp is only matched by his rather deficient foreign policy. Only the parliamentary initiatives of folks like Maria Corina Machado, more or less coordinated with the MUD I suppose, have managed to save the day.

But those are only details when compared to a much deeper problem at home where questioning is on the rise. And what I wrote yesterday was about the MUD finally coming to grips with its problems. I suppose I am very pragmatic on the subject and decided that proposing a constitutional movement in 2014 only if the opposition wins in December was the only thing left to do. The case sorts of go this way:

- The TSJ is not going to decide anything according to law and even less according to the opposition wishes. Thus, after three months, unless the MUD organizes a series of public demonstrations against the TSJ we may as well forget the issue.

- For better or for worse Capriles is the leader of the opposition. Not because he is that great but simply because none other is emerging and there is no time to create a new one by December. Lopez is still saddled with his endorsement of Capriles. Machado has failed to create a movement. Perez has disappeared and the other ones, well, they do not count except for Falcon but he has enough problems of his own in Lara. thus it is Capriles, warts and all.

- We cannot overthrow the regime because not only the weaponry from the army and the criminals are on its side for the time being, but also because fraud and all chavismo is still 40% of faithful supporters whereas the recent growth of the opposition is too recent to count on them to support massive protests. If there was a chance to go that way it was in April. Now it is too late. We need to wait for a new fuse.

- Thus the only option we have right now is an electoral one. Even with the CNE that did the fraud of last April. We do have an advantage this time is that we may get better coverage of polling stations because the multiple candidates for mayor and council will have plenty of friends and relatives willing to man the stations. It is true that at least in those districts where the opposition already reaches 45% it is going to be more difficult for the CNE to pull its treachery than it was for the presidential election.

- The big problem is the possible abstention due in large part to the MUD and Capriles mistakes since last April. But it is done and we need to find something to excite the voters. Even if Pedro is right at seeing a constitutional initiative as a cope out, it is unfortunately the only recourse the the MUD has to silence its radical critics.

And thus why I support the strategy announced this weekend. It is useless to argue whether it is good, it is the only one unless somebody has a better idea for the current circumstances. Of course, that does not exempt the MUD and Capriles to correct the errors they did inasmuch as possible, such as their communications with foreign press who are going to have a hard time to understand this. But still, a victory in December as the only way to have the means to change things in 2014 is the only pragmatic option at this time.

Note: a constitutional change is not the lone option that depends on winning more than 100 districts in December. A recall election of the chavista representatives can only succeed if we can claim back the city halls of Valencia and win at least the ones of Barquisimeto and Puerto Ordaz as the only way to reverse the current chavista fraudulent majority..


  1. Anonymous4:48 PM

    Should there not be a fear that Chavezimos would agree to a constitutional assembly for the purpose of high jacking it for their own use?

    1. Of course. But there are so many fears that we might as well pick our favorite one.

  2. Anonymous7:02 PM

    I can tell you that in places like Germany, Spain or Italy people would jump for joy if they had half a leader like Capriles, López or Machado. The mettle, the perseverance, the sheer courage that it takes to do what those guys are doing without really having to.

    Venezuelans, as always, have too much of everything and let it go to waste. We deserve EVERYTHING that is happening to us. Everything.


  3. margareth7:30 PM

    The only way is a golpe. Let Enrique be more of a rebel, that much that the Regime can't handle anymore and put him in jail. If putten in jail half or more will go to the streets....I bet you! The Regime is very afraid of that..... to put Enrique behind bars.

  4. Anonymous8:21 PM

    Always enjoy your thoughtful posts. I agree with this analysis, there is no way to win foreign support or regain momentum as long as the opposition lacks real power. Wining elections is only the start, you actually have to get to the point where the Chavistas get renamed Maduristas or "enchufados" or whatever, and are embarrassed to admit their affiliation in public and the opposition is not fearful. How you get there peacefully and honorably is quite the challenge. The world too has to smell a change which if they do not acknowledge, could threaten their interest in Venezuela. But do not expect any more than rhetoric until the Chavistas (oportunistas)retire with their fortunes to the chic capitals of the world.


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