Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Venezuela's opposition inner trouble

The casual observer may think that the opposition is about to collapse, that it has lost unity, that they are not serious, etc.  So as a public service I would like to remind some stuff and bring some constructive speculation, I hope, on some other stuff.
Capriles. What would be on paper the leader of the opposition is not anymore. Oh, indeed, he is on all accounts the most important one but I question that today he represents the majority of the opposition followers. He certainly can regain that leadership but he needs to 1) come up with new ideas and 2) prove that people still trust him. I, for one, never liked him and followed him as long as he was the true product of the primaries. This was now two years ago, and thus it's time to prove himself again. If he proves his ascendancy again I will rally and support him, but right now I think he is in trouble.

And he has only himself to blame. He failed to turn the December vote into a referendum on Maduro.  I disagree greatly with Mires in a Prodavicnci article that Capriles cites with complaisance, if Capriles failed in December it was because he did not pursue with enough strength and determination his fraud accusation of last April. If people did not get more motivated to go out and vote last December he should start by some form of mea culpa instead of citing disingenuous articles like the one from Mires, or blaming the absentee voter. Not to mention that today he showed himself to be rather tone deaf as to what is happening in the country right now. Quite worrying if you ask me.

Lopez/Machado. The problem here is that they smell blood, they are ambitious, and the next two years before the next election is their opportunity to shine and win the eventual primary. Unfortunately for Machado she still lacks a true political party behind her. And Lopez has a party now but he suffered a lot from endorsing outright Capriles in the 2012 primaries. Both need to support a strong agenda, the more so that their positions have always been more, shall we say, vocal than the rest of the opposition members.

But there is another issue of utmost importance for them: inside the MUD more traditional parties refuse to take seriously both of them. They are seen as undeserving newcomers, or worse, are actually frightening the "established" parties, which now even include Capriles party, Primero Justicia.  The MUD has made a mistake in not creating some form of going-in/going-out system to make sure that only relevant groups do have access to debate and solutions. And that is why now they have them banging at the door, to enter or to destroy the MUD. That Capriles is starting to attack the man that gave him his stunning victory margin in 2012 speaks volumes of the inner tensions in the MUD.

Outlayers. I include there people like Ledezma who strong of his reelection in Caracas thinks he has more power and influence than what he does have. But he has some, the more so that AD and UNT are strangely subdued. There is also Diego Arria, still party less but still a skillful stone thrower forcing Capriles to reply to him. It does help that Arria's 2011 speeches are proving to be right today. Well, it does not help Capriles anyway.

I also need to include people like Henry Falcon who are rather subdued these days, probably to lower some the obscene chavista pressure put on him. But he certainly can wake up again when convenient, if he manages to put together some political grouping.

The MUD. The opposition umbrella strategy coordination has served its purpose. Quite well in fact. But it has reached an end of the road. Not a dead end, but an end of a road and it needs to backtrack a little bit and seek new options. The problem for the MUD is that some of its main players think that the only thing they can get are some small parcels of power from chavismo and they are willing to settle for that. Others think that the regime will fall of its own weight and might as well wait for its demise.

Unfortunately if both options have a grain of truth, they are woefully inadequate to stir a strategy for the hard days to come ahead.  The past MUD strategy worked to unite the opposition and even get some chavista votes. But it has failed to win, it went backward in December and it will not pry away more chavismo voters. I think it is time to demand the regime assumes its responsibilities. "el pueblo" needs to be told, whether they like it being irrelevant, why is it they are in deep shit. Otherwise if the regime crumbles, whoever picks up the pieces will have at best a fleeting support doomed as soon as necessary measures are taken.

In other words, it is time that the MUD becomes more than a temporary electoral alliance.

The stakes. Well, what is truly going on is a classical game of "qui t'a fait roi?". That is, who made you king, combined with a much needed revision of a strategy showing unequivocal signs of exhaustion.

I doubt very much that starting strong protests in Tachira is the way to go right now. But then again I have nothing better to offer, nor is the MUD offering. So if Capriles is the big shot he pretends to be I suggest he does something about his wishywashyness because in the current situation doing nothing is the fastest way to a MUD break up. And Capriles will also be blamed for that. Heck! I already do!


  1. Capriles insisted he won the elections of 14A and he is President. If so he is failing to lead the country. If he won then he is President until 2019 whether he likes it or not. And if we don't like it then we can vote him out in 2019. One thing for sure is that Maduro will not be there much longer. But Capriles silence is not only damaging to his own reputation, which he sees or does not, but he is harming VNZA. The one thing he swears he is not out to do. Governments in exile defend their people more than he does in this moment. I am a Caprilista but do not like what he is doing at all. He does not have to be in Miraflores to act like a President, which he did until December. His handsoff strategy is a turn off and dangerous. He is President,act like it!

    1. Anonymous3:01 PM

      its strange how capriles acts like a national leader by supporting or condemning certain actions-events like the MCM-lopez initiative and other times he claims he is a simple governor like when he met w rodriguez torrez and maduro.

    2. I think Capriles is out of his depth. Period.

  2. Anonymous3:48 AM

    The opposition needs to declare a military coup and ask the country to stand with them.

    1. And how is the modum operandi? Pretty please?

    2. Anonymous11:24 PM

      PDVSA needs to go on strike. That would be a start.

  3. The Regime seems to be doing a good job of self-destructing itself and the economy is going down along with them. In fact, we seem to be imminently tipping into recession! If and when things get painful enough, the people will be demanding a fully involved opposition leader. Right now, is probably too early to press this issue. The writing on the wall is clearly getting the attention of the regime, and they are facing up to the reality that the economy is not going to turn around. The only road left for this regime is absolute repression that can bring the pueblo to its knees.... Cuban Style!! At that time, leaders will become an endangered species, and why are we in a rush to put them into harm's way? Right now, the focus should be in crowd tactics that challenge the regime's ability to impose absolute control with leaders that are below the radar.


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