Saturday, March 22, 2014

Irrelevant OAS stresses the bejesus out of Venezuela (and Cuba)

Chavez has spent 15 years, under the direction of Cuba who was excluded from the OAS by Venezuela's initiative, in finding ways to render the Organization of American States irrelevant. For this he supported the election of Insulza as its general secretary, a rare case of a president whose main task is to lower the institution it presides. To make sure there was no surprises for when the day to sustain his dictatorship come, Chavez started targeted programs to secure soft votes, that is, though generous money offerings to weak countries. Hence the ALBA and the archipelago of curious poverty that represent most of the anglo Caribbean.  Add to this countries like Argentina or Brazil who see in the OAS an additional tool to edge out the US influence and grab it for themselves. Thus you get a solid majority which today again acted, this time against Maria Corina Machado.  But it is a Pyrrhic victory, one that does not solve whatsoever Venezuela's image problem and actually worsens the image of the now severely discredited "leadership" of chavismo.

Although there is a gigantic amount of hand-wringing in Venezuela today as the opposition expected some miracle from the OAS, I see it as a rather positive moment. See, you need to understand first that the OAS, like the UN, has a glacial system of reaction.  You need a significant amount of blood and tears to start seeing some movement. These organizations are a club to prevent the "executive" power of countries to get at each other throats on any silly arguments. Once this is assured, other elements of countries, such as human rights, free parliaments, independent judicial are, well, negligible. Another way of stating this is that the OAS follows, does not lead, and as a follower the best it can do is be in the way of the aggressor, with the hope that this will be enough to cause its dismissal at some point. I meant be in the way, not stand in the way which is somehow more proactive.

Cuba has always smarted to be excluded from the OAS, one reason being that other dictatorships remained inside without much trouble. Thus the hatred by Fidel, the more so that now that Cuba is the lone dictatorship of the hemisphere. It is also becoming more of a pariah than ever even if  presidents love to run kiss Fidel's ass, if anything to silence a bit their crazy loony left (Venezuela is a somewhat special case of dictatorship in the works). And thus, through Chavez pile of cash he stole from the Venezuelan people, appeared all sorts of initiatives such as the ALBA, Petrocaribe, CELAC, etc, each more useless than the other except for one thing: it created a blackmailing system that slowly but surely ensured that the only hemispheric organization that could have any influence if it ever wanted to would be even more toothless than it was already.

The glory peak was the expulsion of Honduras on the pretense of a coup when it was absolutely clear that the judicial and legislative powers of the country had not been voided, and acted in fact in legitimate defense against the intention of coup that Zelaya had. Even the US fell into that trap, since the still novice Obama administration had not realized what meant 7 years of hemispheric neglect by Bush administration.

Once Honduras was more or less settled, we had Paraguay and there the OAS was not as easily manipulated. In fact, it was Mercosur and UNASUR that eventually did the deed, more reliable in that case than the OAS where after all countries like Canada dare to speak legalese whichever the circumstances are.

Which brings us to these last two weeks events.

Two weeks ago in a previous skirmish, only three countries had the courage to be on record as to express their concern over Venezuela. Canada, as expected, the USofA as implied and courageous Panama who paid the price by having its relationship with Venezuela broken up and a default on the debt of this one towards Panama. Like any fascisto-bully system, Venezuela attacked the weaker link of the three.

Instead of seeing this opportunity as a breather the Venezuelan regime decided to forge ahead and become even more repressive.  Panama, now the aggrieved party, decided to offer a speaking turn to a Venezuelan prominent leader and, well, the one available is Maria Corina Machado. Some other tagged along but I think it was a mistake: with proper protocols which are the norm there, whether we like it, only an elected representative or someone having suffered a universal affront can go there. If Geraldine, one of the repression victims, mother is allowed to speak then gazilions of mothers all across the Americas are going to go and want to speak. It may sound unfair and heartless but if we want to reach results we should keep it simple. But I digress.

Whatever the real intentions of Panama may have been, the regime lurched into the red cloth. Besides maneuvering like crazy to stop Maria Corina from speaking, they tried to disbar her from her representative seat before she left Venezuela. At the end of today they had succeeded in appearance at not letting her talk, but it is a small reprieve and the price the regime pays is heavy, not worth it in my opinion.

Before I detail the price paid let me remind the reader that the real and only reason the regime is doing what it does is that it is talking strictly to its radical base, to keep them motivated. That way it will be easier, in theory, to launch that radical base against the opposition as needed. That strategy is a totalitarian one, finely honed in Cuba from the Committees to defend Revolution to those destined to avenge the honor of the revolution and that, for example, tracked every step of Yoani Sanchez first grand tour, groups filled up with what we can charitably call either mercenaries or useful fanatical alienated idiots. what matters to Raul Castro or to Maduro tonight is that the chavismo brain washed lumpen think that the regime won by insulting Machado. Period.  They know that in Paris or Canberra sensible people are going to look in horror, but those are not going to man the barricades of Caracas any time soon.

So, what did the regime lost internationally? First, the ridiculous and protracted battle to have the discussion "private" without the media attending simply established that Machado words would be damaging to the regime. Right there it did not matter anymore whether Machado would speak, she had won the argument before uttering her first word. Even a portion of the local lumpen is going to wonder why, if the regime is so right, it cannot defend itself at the OAS?

The other thing is that the break up of the OAS started, and it started badly enough that already the Venezuelan ambassador suggested that Venezuela may reconsider its association with the OAS. That is, Venezuela has recognized that in the long run the OAS battle of opinion is going to be lost and that Venezuela should get ready to fall back on CELAC and UNASUR. But can it do so?

The first vote, two weeks ago, was 3 against Venezuela. Today it went up to 11 and showed cruelly the divide between serious countries and those that have no scruples, no coherence.  there is two Americas and revealing that is a mistake. Polarization at home is one thing and may work for a while, but polarization in international stages raise too many alarms and eventually any specter of war will erase difference between countries so they can all gang up on the trouble maker.  Look at Crimea today: Putin may seem the victor but let's talk about that in, say, a year.

The 11 countries besides Panama, Canada and the US are:
- Mexico and Peru which are serious country that hate to be dragged in trouble but who like a certain clarity in proceedings
- Chile who shows that Bachelet is not willing to break up her majority in her first week in office, and that Chile is also a serious country used to public formalities.
- Honduras and Guatemala who besides not liking much Maduro also are in solidarity with Panama, amen of Costa Rica who is probably the most democratic country of the continent today.
- Paraguay who has real grudges against Maduro
- Colombia though there was an hesitation it seems, due to its misguided effort to think peace could be reached with a narco terrorist organization......

Of those that voted for Venezuela's position I am only surprised to see Trinidad in the lot. I do understand that Venezuela is a difficult neighbor, but... All the other country are more or less bought by Venezuela, without exception. A special crap medal for Brazil who behaves less and less like a country aspiring to a permanent seat in the UN security council. I mean, if Brazil cannot impose some sense in its neighborhood how do you expect them to do elsewhere?  Even the Chinese are infinitely more behaved and productive than Brazilians, if you ask me.

If I go into the detail it is to show you that an automatic support of the CELAC for Maduro is to be ruled out now that Mexico and Peru have started to express concerns publicly (Trinidad, Barbados and Dominican Republic will also join them if things get out of hand in Venezuela). UNASUR also, if we add Colombia and Chile and I dare to predict eventually Uruguay if things get worse in Venezuela. The only hopeless countries are the ALBA ones of Ecuador and Bolivia, and together with Argentina and Brazil, well, they cannot make UNASUR by themselves.

In short, what I am trying to say is that far from shoring up support Venezuela today has seen its potential weakness as ONLY the bribed country are still paying lip service.  As tonight reports of violence and injured keep piling up from across the country we can wonder how long does the regime can postpone the consequences? Venezuela is not an island concentration camp, you know.....

I am leaving you with a great picture of today's real winner in front of the OAS and the video she pretended to show at the OAS.


  1. mojopo7:47 AM

    MCM was well-received in DC today, by the people. Journalists inquiring about the initial vote went straight to voicemail at the OAS, including the Wall Street Journal who complained about not getting a call back. When ai spoke to the ale receptionist, he was quite frazzled and said that "you people need to call the press department! I don't know anything!!!" It was awesome. Many wonder where she will be this weekend. This was not her first visit to DC, but she left a mark this time. They can try to silence her, but that silence becomes deafening and impossible to ignore. The OAS 22 were on the wrong side of history today, forever.

    1. Mojopo7:53 AM

      So sorry for the typos - it should say, "when I spoke to their receptionist," at the OAS. Regardless, please know that MCM was very well regarded today and she left a mark. We all have remarked on her bravery.

  2. I agree with Daniel in that the unmasking of Chavismo has been completed. Had the OAS session been made public, it would have drawn more public attention and condemnation, but the vote in the OAS had nearly the same effect, but with the added benefit of demonstrating and highlighting how the OAS has been suborned with Venezuela's oil money.

    I expect a lot of interviews with MCM this weekend, that will get all the more attention because of the censure at the OAS. Question: Does MCM speak English? Hope so... Her interviews in the English language press will have more affect if she does.

    1. She does speak English..I heard an interview which she was speaking in English and then Spanish was dubbed over it.. And agree with the post, the OEA cowardice reveals a big fear that the evidence will show that Crimes against Humanity are indeed the case and the OEA has been silent for the last month and has allowed Maduro to continue his repression with their stamp of approval..With more violence and instability to come, the OEA has severly weakened and Maduro will make fools of the Organisation as a whole. We only have to look so far as to what happened to Chamberlain in WWII after he tried to appease Germany by awarding them Checkoslovakia.. We all know how that turned out.... The OEA showed that politics and ideaology are concepts held above Crimes against Humanity and basic Human Rights..very bad for the OEA ...Muy mal..

    2. Here is a link to a You Tube video of English language interview:
      Her English is excellent, she understands how to respond to questions and did quite well.

    3. Thanks, Dan.

  3. Osvaldo3:26 PM

    The Venezuelan (or Chavist) ambition to create a Bolivarian Empire in Latin America likewise the old USSR failed. It was always a strong menace for countries as Brazil, Argentina and Colombia. Argentina pushed Venezuela into Mercosur in order to counterpoint Brazil although they also see them as a threat also.

    Historically the main ties from Venezuela were towards above all USA and something Spain. Latin America never had important presence in the Venezuelan cosmovision.

    On the other hand I cannot see the support from any Latin American country relevant to Venezuela except for a slightly moral reinforcement.

    IMO there are only two foreign countries relevant to Venezuela today: Cuba and US. They are the single countries that could effectively change the internal politics of the country. Unfortunately it looks for both of them the status quo is convenient. God have mercy of Venezuelan people.

    1. Osvaldo,

      I would add Colombia and Brazil to the list of countries relevant to Venezuela. Neither of them need or want a destabilized Venezuela on their borders, especially Colombia, as an economically collapsed Venezuela, ruled by a tyrant, could put a million refugees on its border. This is something Colombia doesn't want to deal with.

    2. Colombians are actually coming to Venezuela, where they can triple their money.
      Venezuelans are too stubborn and nationalistic to move to Colombia, because patria.

    3. Keeping Chavismo in power is not going to avoid the catastrophe....In fact it will most likely accelerate it..Colombia is going to be drawn in one way or the other. Better to be on the side of Human Rights and Democracy. They already have a destabilized VZLA on their borders...

  4. Great Analysis!

    This division between the 11 who voted for MCM and those who voted against shows 2 Latin Americas, one with a certain freedom to take a more honest stand and those which are weakened in front of the Venezuelan demands.

    One thing that can be said is that after Chavismo falls, just like the US had its " peace dividends " after the Golf War, Venezuela will have a "cut off the leeches dividend ".

    Of course all of this is a lack of foresight on the part of those who play the interest card because life has a way of coming back to make them repent.

    There is a difference in the relevance of Cuba and US in Venezuela.Right now Cuba is deeply entrenched in the country and directly controlling the Venezuelan government.They mostly get a free pass from many Venezuelans for being part of the Latin American brotherhood.The argument is that the dream of Simon Bolivar was to LA and in that sense there can be no talk of foreign intervention.

    On the other hand the US cannot intervene directly in the internal affairs of Venezuela in the moment it would only give credence to the government slogan that all of the opposition are traitors or puppets of the US.

    Where the US action would become essential is at the moment that a new government replaces Chavismo to come out and recognize it and give it diplomatic and economic support, protecting it from efforts to destabilize it.We can be sure there is going to be some issue with the legitimacy of any non Chavista government , as the Chavistas totally control all the levers of power, including elections so by the letter of the law, they will always find a way of staying in power, and will be able to accuse their successors of a " coup" .


  5. Anonymous6:55 PM

    I wonder if the shameful 22 realize that the citizen's of the 11 are free to choose to not vacation (incl. World Cup, Olympics, etc.) in their respective piece of 'paradise',,

    1. Osvaldo9:30 PM

      Yes, it is shameful the cowardice of most governments from Latin America - please note it is not necessary a reflex from their own people opinion... anyway it is almost irrelevant for Venezuela.

      The real thing: the responsible to feed the monster with billions dollars each year is the US despite all rhetoric. Cuba is responsible to feed the monster with the highest (or lowest?) standard of repression "technology". Cut any of those and the monster will change at last to survive physically.

      IMHO to focus the "revenge" at any other country is a great loss of time and resources. All of them are practically irrelevant to Venezuela.

  6. thank you, Daniel, for this meat-on-the-bones review.
    Other than MCM's for-the-win at the OAS, another winner was the revelation of the uselessness, if not shady side of the OAS. Well, I'd say, revelation to a larger audience than those in Latam who are marginally familiar with the nonsense from the Country Club.
    The worms came out, when impediments arose to MCM's appearance. And I'd rather that the worms be visible.

    The only thing I'd ask is some clarity on what you mention at the end of your post ..."the video she pretended to show at the OAS". NT24 did not make clear, whether she presented that video to the OAS, presumably in closed chambers. My interpretation was that MCM was bumped off the agenda, at the end, due to the lack of time. So therefore, the video was never presented to the OAS -- in private, as was the mumbo-jumbo attempts to rearrange the furniture, so to speak. Care to define?

    P.S. I have not found the CNNE presentations by MCM, after the OAS incident. If you have such a link -- I understand it's in 2 parts -- I'd appreciate it.

    1. Pretend to is a synonymy of meant to. But it doe snot imply success. Though I admit meant to would have been clearer.

  7. Anonymous7:42 PM

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