Thursday, February 13, 2014

The regime has decided to strike: is this a mark of strength?

Well, it seems the regime is not satisfied with at least three deaths, dozens of injured, X arrests and a few "disappeared". It has decided to take the opportunity to start removing opposition leaders that are bothersome. Leopoldo Lopez is the first one, accused even of throwing the baby's water today.

Let's consider this a little bit. First, it is a mistake as not only it consecrates Lopez as the main opposition leader, but also it definitively will bring Venezuela under international focus. Let me remind readers that Lopez has defeated the regime in the Inter American Court for Human Rights, a ruling that Venezuela has refused to recognize, a default that can be pinpointed as the official moment of the beginning of its slide as a rogue nation. I think it is will be very difficult for Maduro and co to manage this internationally at a time when Venezuela should be playing nice to get help in solving the terrible economical/financial problems we face.

Second, that will only light further more protests, though arguably a section of the regime is looking forward it. We can already guess that Voluntad Popular activists may start going into hiding, or climb barricades. Let me put it this way: caution, no matter what hurry presides the regime, would have dictated to prepare public opinion for a couple of days before jailing Lopez. Heck, even giving him a chance to escape the country.

So, how can we conjugate the excessive repression of today, the provocation the regime made through some security personnel and storm troopers with the late night arrest order for Lopez?

It is tempting to see all of that as yet more inner fighting of chavismo. Some on tweeter go as far as saying that Cabello planned the provocation to force the army to start acting against the paratroopers that are linked to the radical left of chavismo (namely Jaua who curiously has been rather silent in the past couple of weeks). As such Lopez to jail is just a further push of the ante.

Perhaps there are some inside chavismo that want to create trouble for Maduro by creating an international excuse to criticize Maduro?

Or maybe the Cubans aware of the economic debacle looming in a matter of weeks want to establish a state of siege of sorts to prevent food riots about to start anytime.  We can expect thus Machado to follow soon, or even an impeachment against Capriles to start since, after all, he decided to show up today at the rally.

At any rate there are still some that refuse to call Venezuela a dictatorship, as recently as a little bit over a week ago under the pen of Teodoro Petkoff. How long are these people keep the charade?

Whatever it is, to answer the title question I think that all of this is the mark of a regime scared, really scared. And thus very dangerous.


PS: earlier this evening Lopez, Machado and Ledezma held a press conference, not transmitted on TV of course.  The three pointed out that the provocation of the regime came AFTER the rally event, when students were starting the retreat, They accuse the regime of the provocation and of having announced it already earlier.  It will not simplify the task of Maduro to arrest Lopez and probably will force it to jail soon Machado and Ledezma.

Worse for the regime, it may force Capriles and the MUD to pick up the relay from a Lopez in jail. Is that what the regime truly wants?


  1. Boludo Tejano7:14 AM

    Or maybe the Cubans aware of the economic debacle looming in a matter of weeks want to establish a state of siege of sorts to prevent food riots about to start anytime. We can expect thus Machado to follow soon, or even an impeachment against Capriles to start since, after all, he decided to show up today at the rally.

    That's my call, which I would not have made without your previous posting about looming food supply disasters.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Excellent post Daniel.
    Well there is already an order to arrest Leopoldo for murder en terrorism.


  4. Juan Cristobal11:56 AM

    I think you are ignoring the fact that there are many of us who still don't see this open confrontation as a viable strategy. LL is not the leader of this faction. An important leader, a self-sacrificing leader, yes, but perhaps a reckless one as well.

    1. You could give me a little bit more credit: I wrote in an earlier post that I did not think the timing was right, assuming that confrontation is a necessary evil.

      As for it being a viable strategy, that is your respectable opinion. But being cloy with the regime has failed too. Sure, we got more votes, sure we won in April 2013 and sure enough the regime has been forced to go into thorough dictatorship move.

      So, really, how much further can Capriles/MUD go with that strategy? The more so that they call for a dialogue with people that have zero intention to dialogue. Do you truly think that we can avoid confrontation forever? Heck, we are not even able to do a verbal confrontation. For example the MUD is not defending seriously private property, refusing to go against populist and demagogic measures such as the looting of shops in October or the SUNDEE law decree now, because it could scare away some of the few votes that Capriles has been able to scrap away in April and already lost in December. Or so it seems anyway.

      Maybe Lopez is wrong, but it sure looks to me that the MUD and Capriles have reached their dead end.

    2. Anonymous3:07 PM

      que paso nagel por q defiendes tanto a capriles te ofrecio un puesto cuando "llegara"?
      quedo claro que el pais no va a a calarse 6 anios mas, algo asi nunca paso en cuba por ejemplo, asi que la resistencia sigue viva y sin necesidad de dirigencia politica.

    3. No es que tenga que defender a Juan, que el lo sabe hacer muy bien por su cuenta, pero atacarlo de esa manera y firmando anónimo es deleznable. Esos tipos de respuesta hay que reservarlos a chavistas que es el único estilo que, tal vez, entienden. Pocas personas han demostrado por escrito su talante democrático como lo ha hecho "nagel" (sic).

    4. If the opposition does not rally behind this, then they are fools in my opinion. I think it is perfectly fine to believe the timing, or the course of action is not the right move for the opposition, and we can never be sure as we have no ability to see the future. So these arguments are valid.

      But you would be foolish to believe that failing to stand united with these students, and opposition members right now will serve you better in the long run. It will simply give the government greater authority to lock everyone up, build resentment inside the opposition, and split you in two.

      I am not saying create armed conflict, I am saying march peacefully against unjust laws, and a government set on destroying your country.

    5. Juan Cristobal3:59 PM

      Mialma ano, ubicate, ¿ok? Criticar a Leopoldo no equivale a defender a Capriles. Yo tampoco entiendo mucho su postura, si bien no veo una estrategia de parte de LL y MCM tampoco la veo del lado de HCR. El enemigo es Maduro mijo!

  5. I agree with Juan here but I also think this:

    1) The regime wants to force Capriles into distancing further from López and becoming at the end little bit more than a puppet - in a similar fashion as Tsvangirai (for a time while useful) in Zimbabwe. Tsvangirai could still be oppo and criticize Mugabe - within a framework. Look at where he is now.
    2) The regime wants to force even more "communication control" and this is a good opportunity to repress further some media outlets and get them out of Venezuela

    I also thought the opposition should have focused on carrying out anti-brain washing campaigns organized in a very strict fashion - counter the propaganda - for months until even those who now are fine with queueing up start to get angrier.

  6. Charly1:16 PM

    Daniel, I enjoy more and more your new format.

  7. Bridge1:58 PM

    I always wonder .... the You is not a certain person, but masses of Venezualean people, known and even more unknown ones ...........

    There is somebody from the opposition who is not doing things exactly as you would do it , so lots of criticism, complains ..... and so .... doing nothing yourself ...... there is another opposition leader not doing exactly as you like, so you do nothing ....... and so it goes on and on, it gets worse and worse .... and on election day just 55% goes voting ....

    Who said it ???? The people get the government they deserve ......

  8. Whenever anyone in the opposition tries to take a stand the government pushes back twice as hard .On the other hand those who avoid taking a stand or postpone it,become irrelevant as they don't get any REAL concessions by negotiating with the government. So neither the hard nor the soft approach seem to have a favorable result, at least in the short term.But we have to consider that the only way of getting future benefits is to start a process of resistance, like LL, MCM, and Ledezma are doing.

    Imprisonment, death and great suffering are inevitable when confronting a dictatorship.
    Unfortunately Venezuela does not have a great history when it comes to honoring its heroes.It is part and parcel of the authoritarian mindset to accept repression and see those who stand up to it as being reckless.Always in an authoritarian country, fear is greater than anger.


  9. May this be the beginning of the end. I hope this busdriver has reached his last stop.


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