Sunday, March 02, 2014

Chavismo, according to some, is not protesting. Here is why

On my way out to Caracas yesterday I saw many long lines in San Felipe. Here is one.

And this morning I read the post of Alex that mentions an entry of the NYT with a rather silly title.  I am not going to go into what Neuman writes, though I suspect that if it were not for María Eugenia Díaz who is in Caracas all the time his writing would be more disappointing.

The point here is that there is still not clear understanding of what is going on in Venezuela, and on this I rank people like Neuman as well as disappointing and tone deaf comments from blogs that should know better that find unfortunate echo elsewhereAmen of the NYT "debate" who cannot even find a true Venezuelan to defend the regime, while I am trying to forget hard that these foreigners demand that the opposition recognizes chavismo....  Oh dear.....

Here, again.

The protests come from people who realize that their future has been robbed by a narco-kleptocracy. Almost anyone in Venezuela that has aspirations to a better future through education, hard work, you name it, questions more or less actively the regime.

"el pueblo" is not as active for many reasons. One, it is because many do actually like the regime for religious reasons.  Another reason is that even if they do not like Maduro they are too dependent on him, for a job, for a Mision, for a little bit of food distributed for free or for cheap after a long line like the one on the attached video. They have no time to march or protest because they need to ensure food first. Amen that protesting inside their community would provoke the wrath of the local "colectivos" or "consejo comunal" which are the guardians of the revolution in an iranocuban sense. That is why there are so many upper class marchers, in the hundred of thousands all across the country as many leave the barrio to go and march with the middle class in their safer areas.  The current protests cuts wide across classes. Deal with it.


The video above is the entry line to the fair complex of San Felipe. The local regime representatives use that often for food distribution schemes. If you watch the video that I took as I drive along you will notice some of the people, already out with bags waiting to be picked up by X, some of "services" offereds these people, that the line that goes into the hundred, and the mystery as to what is delivered inside, these people having being most likely notified by word of mouth or by their own consejo comunal. You will notice that all of these people are from humble social origin. Certainly I approve that these people get food help. But food stamps used in the stores of their choice would do the same trick without forcing them to line for hours to stress their dependency on the regime. these food distribution schemes are organized on purpose that way to control people better.


  1. 1979 BP9:43 PM

    Paradise from communism.

  2. Anonymous9:53 PM

    Well I have to agree with this article:

  3. pi3141610:08 PM

    Desproges ressuscité au Vénézuéla? ¡milagro! ;-)

    1. Je le prends comme un compliment? ;-)

  4. Articles in the USA that I read this morning say that the marches are about shortages, inflation, murder rate, and thuggery. One article in bloomberg comparing Venezuela to Ukraine regarding economic damages points out that Venezuelas oil reserves places it in a much better situation except that the regime is so incompetent that it is much more likely to defaul soon. The article says that a regime change will easily turn the economy around. I would post the link, but I can't find the article.

  5. Anonymous10:42 PM

    This reality makes it extremely complicated to fix Venezuela. It will take time and cooperation on all fronts to rebuild a market place for food stuffs that could utilize a voucher program. Am glad that you posted this.

  6. Anonymous11:55 PM

    Hi daniel...That is why you will see more protest as the city get bigger or the people are harder workers like San cristobal. In san felipe or san fernando it will work but not in Catia where it is more difficult and expensive to give 500 thousand handout.
    This is why I think the cubans advisors will fail in the next 2 or 3 months. They are acostume to control a very small population. No acity like Caracas, Maracaibo or Caracas.

  7. Anonymous1:45 AM

    My mother in law has had to resort to wearing a disguise to get past the max items per person limit. She will go shopping buy the max amount. Bring her goods back to her vehicle. Put on her disguise and go back in to buy the same goods again. You might laugh but it works lol.

    1. Anonymous10:03 AM

      Typical Venezuelan, all are cleverer than the system and then it Fcks up, wonder why ?

  8. Anonymous2:19 AM

    There are supposed hacked emails of Diosdado. Have any one else seen them.

    1. Anonymous2:56 AM

      I haven't but my brother-in-law has it it's posted on YouTube.

  9. As I eat my bacon cheese Arepa I wonder how low can it go. To paraphrase: The people have no HarinaPan El presidente, what should we do? Let them eat McDonalds! Issue the order to expropriate them! At some point the answer is...... but, El Presidente we already expropriated them and El Stupido sez, then expropriate them again!!! Take my word, these crooks are going to ride this horse into the ground.

  10. Anonymous7:54 AM

    Let me first say that I have been reading your blog for many years, and I truly appreciate your work.
    As to why "el pueblo" is not so active, I agree with you that the "colectivos" as well as other reasons (e.g. busy finding needed staples, being a hardcore chavista/madurista with not interest in change, etc) play an important role. Now it is the case that some people from poor areas go to the demonstration however they do not demonstrate in their own neighborhood.
    But as you point out many from "el pueblo" don't seem to be interested in openly joining the opposition.
    Is it possible that many people from "el pueblo" can not see themselves having Lopez, Machado o Capriles as their leader? I believe they are all qualified to lead. But if you are someone from let's say Catia, and even if you are completely fed up with the regime, that does not mean you will support Lopez or Capriles or Machado..
    I understand that Voluntad Popular has people that come from "el pueblo" that are educated and can also lead, the same in PJ, can we let some of those guys move to the forefront of the opposition movement? can that make a difference?
    Now ultimately the lack of a functioning economy may bring the regime down, but it is very unclear how a transition will occur.

  11. Anonymous10:15 AM

    Those from "El Pueblo" are unlikely to support Lopez or Machado or whoever. The bottomline is they are not stupid. They do realise that maduro is no Chavez but they know historically the likes of the opposition see them as no more than a problem.
    For the opposition political parties to turn round and support the poor will be like Conquistadores having set up social programmes for displaced Indians.
    Say what you like about the coming together of the Venezuelan classes but it's an illusion, or at least naivety.
    And if the opposition takes power without el pueblo there will be no olive branch.

    1. Anonymous4:52 PM

      "maduro is no Chavez " is an understatement. Maduro is completely incompetent, stupid, and Cuba controls his mouth.

      El Pueblo hates Maduro

    2. First anonymous (one day I am really, really going to get mad and erase ALL anonymous without bothering reading them first; or force registration. Is that what people want?)

      The "el pueblo" is a vast concept. It used to be 80% chavista. It is not anymore. No politician, not even Chavez got "el pueblo" in full. If the opposition gets 40% of them voting for the opposition chavismo is toast.

    3. Please do and force registration. Even if the name is an alias, it would be easier to follow the flow of contributions to the blog. There are too many anonymous.

    4. Agree absolutely with Nora. There are so many comments now it is impossible to distinguish one Anonymous from another. Even a unique alias (if you must) would be better

  12. Anonymous11:07 AM

    Off subject here but I can't help drawing similarities with that which is happening in Ukraine/the Crimea and Cuba a la sixties.
    To cut a longish story short the latter ended up with a missile for missile strategy for a peace solution. Namely the USA to remove Turkish based missiles in exchange for an apparent removal of the missiles in Cuba.
    Step on a few years and today there's a further action of aggression by the Russians in the Crimea, not far from Turkey too.

    So basically the Russians kept the upper hand in Cuba to the cost of SA. And as far as the Ukraine is concerned it is clearish that the Russians will hold on to relatively new territory. That's another win I suppose.

    Now USA is calling for sanctions against theRussians. Where have we heard that before ?
    And maybe there's an indication that they are also asking for freezing of Chavista assets US based at least.

    There was also the story last week before the Crimea invasion of the Russians intending to build strategic airbases in Venezuela. Red rag and bull spring to mind.

    So will the Russians, in their as described game of chess, allow the US a token win ?

  13. Anonymous4:40 PM

    Although an anti-Chavez myself, I find it interesting that an 'anti-Chavez' blog is so intent upon restricting freedom of comment. Perhaps 'I will be ruthless in erasing any comment that do not follow these rules' is not the best foundation for an open and reasoned debate?

    1. Comments that I erase are 90% trolls. There no more than 1 in 50, in tense periods. They usually are written by Anonymous. They often start by something like "I am not chavista, but.....". Do you catch my drift?

    2. Anonymous6:28 PM

      Speaking with a number of elderly and rational individuals Venezuela started to go downhill when Europe's funded peasants post CW and WW2 arrived as financial tourists.
      And a lot of them individually made money and held on to power too. The problem is an open debate would have to put the country first.

    3. Eduardo Belletti8:16 PM

      These "financial tourists" ,as you so crudely put it, arrived in Venezuela with very little. If they now enjoy wealth or success, it's because they worked day and night since arriving in Venezuela. They were grateful to live in a country that offered opportunities, and were happy to live among people who welcomed them with open arms. People like you are too glad to embrace the race baiting used by Chavez, where he tried to portray immigrants as modern colonists who only came to Venezuela to take advantage of others. Incredibly, elderly people in my own family who were born in Italy seem to have a deeper love and patriotism for Venezuela than some people who were born there.

    4. Eduardo B.

      Thank you for replying to such a degrading, racist, insulting, ignorant, idiotic comment. Had I read it I would have erased it but your reply was too good, too descriptive of the mediocrity of chavismo, its resentimiento, to erase. PSUV, partido de fracasados.

    5. Anonymous8:36 PM

      Arrived with very little but left with quite a lot, that about sums up the balance or otherwise.
      I am sure they worked hard, paid taxes, contributed to the social development of the country etc etc. They may be the exception but I suspect the reality is quite different. Many arrived and created the opportunity at someone's expense. And that was passed on to the next generation and so on.
      No doubt they and their dependants visited the "homeland" with many a fine story about Venezuela, all thanks to to the pre-existing Venezuelan petro dollars and latterly subsidised cadivi travel. And of course I am sure neither you or your family took advantage of that immoral practice.

      No one is innocent in Venezuela. Everyone has contributed to the mess this country is in today. Problem is it is always someone else's fault. The sooner we accept the limitations of our grandparent's ambitions maybe only then we can move forward.

    6. Charly9:27 PM

      Anon, from Chavez all the way down, only resentment, resentment, resentment, can't move forward with this frame of mind.

    7. Anonymous1:23 AM

      Monkeys like yourself, Daniel, are about to get the beating you so richly deserve.

      It's my hope that people like you get sent up a labour camp to teach you the error of your ways.

    8. Anonymous2:28 AM

      Anonymous7:53 PM: Martin Espinoza, esbirro de Zamora, soltaba su grito de guerra “mueran todos los blancos y todos los que sepan leer y escribir,” e intento culminar la limpieza etnica iniciada por Boves. Ese era el esbirro Chavez. Ese eres tu tambien. Racista impudico reventando de odio genocida.

    9. The more days go by the more chavismo is a fascist movement, and proud of it.

    10. Anonymous7:53 PM: Thank you for more than adequately demonstrating the nature and substance of that which we oppose. Your hatred and intentions are noted... and remembered.

    11. Anonymous6:49 PM

      "your hatred and intentions are noted....and remembered".
      I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and put it down to having lived, or maybe not, in the world of Chavez hostility, aversion or resentment. The latter being a key word on the subject I think.

      However the issue is how you indicated and suggested the need to remember. I do hope such an attitude will not get in the way of digging ourselves out of this mess but it is a concern.
      I hope we soon find ourselves free of this corrupt regime but this desire to remember suggests we may indeed be creating another chavez entity. I hope your view is of limited appeal.

    12. Thank you anonymous for showing the world what chavista really is.. in fact, Daniel should keep these comments up for those to read and make their own judgements.. my dad came to venezuela with a small bag of clothing and maybe 5 dollars in the late 60s, (he must have been # 800 from china at the time) he had to overcome discrimination, language barrier, and was able to build and acquire a small store front within 8-10 years of living there in venezuela.. due to hard work and sheer necessity to make enough money to send back to the mother land. that means that venezuelans could just as easily with less effort become successful there...

      My dad has a love and hate relationship with venezuela, he loved the opportunities provided to him by venezuela, his son was born there, raised by venezuelans. problems with venezuela he had was the amount of bribery he had to deal with, the sense of insecurities he had when raising me, to the point where he dropped everything and shipped me out to the States..

      so yeah, u know what, most of those foreigners went back to their origin countries not because they wanted to, it was because it was becoming unlivable for a lot of people. Hell I'm only in venezuela like 2 weeks out of a year, and in the last 4 years, I had to bribe 3 police/military guy to make sure they get off my back... i mean, this is ridiculous... i could imagine if I lived there 365 days a year, how many times i have to go that crap...

    13. PS. I'm venezuelan born, and this government refuses to give me my inalienable right to my cedula. I'm born there, i even got the papers to prove everything, and this president couldnt even provide the same as I can.... and they still drag their feet with giving me my cedula, people with less were given cedulas before voting time... so yeah, something is not right... also btw, i had to send a request to the higher ups to get presentation of my birth papers expedited and guess who i had to ask to get it faster, a freaking cuban!!! A FREAKING CUBAN!!

  14. kekazee6:03 PM

    Thanks so much for continuing to post about Venezuela. Your blog is an invaluable resource to many of us living abroad.
    I was curios about the Bloomberg article someone mentioned above. Here's the link in case anyone else happens to be interested as well:

  15. My guess is the chavismo retains support among the lower classes either because they think they would be worse off it chavismo were replaced by the opposition or they are less interested in bettering their own lot than seeing their middle and upper class peers reduced to their level. Chavista apologists like to claim there were many more poor and very poor in the pre-Chavez days and that was the fault of "la burguesia." To the extent that was true and there has since been a reduction of the population that is very poor (which is what chavistas always claim), I suspect it has much more to do with the big run up in oil prices than any particular chavismo magic. The previous Adeco and COPEI government spent a lot on the poor when there was ample petro dollars rolling in. However, people may not know that and may have boughten into the chavista "history." If that is the case, things will have to get worse before these folks finally turn against Maduro.

    1. They largely have turned against Maduro.You need to get more direct information.They are beginning to protest but are directly threatened by their next door neighbors who are Tupamaros and Collectives and don't like them to demonstrate.

      Just use your logic you think the Tupamaros have Quintas en Cerro Verde?

      If you don't have direct knowledge of something with a bit of logic and creative imagination you can put yourself in someone else's place.

      They are Human Beings, just like everyone else and tend to lay low when psychically threatened.

      Tupamaros do not stop people from standing in food lines though.


    2. correction: physically threatened

  16. Anonymous10:21 AM

    I am a researcher from Turkey. I need an analyst who can evaluate what is going on in Venezuela right now. Can someone help me? My email is

  17. Daniel the idea that the general public, opposition, loyalists, protesters and all the above there realizes that Venezuela is a narco-kleptocracy I do not agree with this entirely. I hear all about the different reasons people express about why they are dissatisfied with the current crisis. I am not Venezuelan and obviously people are going to try and prove to me why they agree or disagree with what is the true problem(s) in their opinion, perspective or whatever they've been told to say... Now I usually start by throwing gas on the fire by anyone that uses the word Democracy as I from a country (Canada) where that words definition is actually used the way it is intended and let them know that. Also without being completely bias (which I am) I have been critical of the opposition for being way too peaceful and compliant. All in all there are so many issues that this is my reason that most people have forgotten why Venezuela is in this CRISIS. Follow the dirty $$$ and you'll always find the problem! If you ever get a chance to go up to Cabo San Roman there is newly paved road that leads to absolutely nothing but could land small planes.. I'll leave the rest to conclusion :0

    One more side note is that if you choose to force people to register here then you're are lowering yourself to their standards, just my opinion. Keep up the great blogs brother!



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