Friday, May 09, 2014

A time of truth for the Venezuelan opposition

According to BBC, those may be the real defenseless victims.
I think that today will mark a watershed in the ability of the Venezuelan opposition to keep a united front against the regime. Two things happened that force us to look dispassionately at what the hell is going on inside.

We will start by how the day started, with the regime dislodging a few tents set in some squares, a little bit like our own version of "Occupy Wall Street".  As expected the regime even "found" dollars inside those tents, as if anyone in Venezuela would be foolish enough to keep dollars with them in the street. Or does the top cop, Rodriguez Torres, ignore the crime curse over our country that he is absolutely unable/unwilling to stem? So, once again, there goes the credibility of the regime, though it is possible that some recreational drugs may have been present. Sue me Coloraddy!

I would like to note, by the way, that foreign press coverage of the day, which of course included violent protests and further repression and the death of a cop, shows that some media are not evolving at all whatsoever. For example, reading the BBC report, unsigned, you would almost feel sorry for Maduro et al, wondering about those poor cops so exposed to deadly fire. Then again the UK is in electoral mood and the BBC journos are probably rehearsing ways to support Labour. On the other hand at the NYT Neuman is making some progress and gets the right title, putting the focus where it belongs, on the 243 uncalled for arrests which certainly were enough provocation to send a trigger happy gun owner into paroxysm.  But I digress.

The protest, if the camping stations removal was not enough, benefited from gas on fire by a new postponement of Leopoldo Lopez hearing. After two months in jail, the guy still does not know exactly what he is charged for, what evidence is there of so heinous a crime that all judicial procedure are violated so he can remain in jail. But that, you do not read as much in the press, and not much from the MUD folks. But then again that brings us to the second item worth of notice today, someone in the MUD asking the US not to put sanctions on members of the regime accused of Human Rights violations.

The occasion came at a US Senate hearing where under secretary Roberta Jacobson was, well, not stellar.  Among an unwillingness by the US to commit to anything, she also blurted, refusing to give names, that some people inside the MUD asked her not to push for sanctions that this may wreck the dialogue between the MUD and the regime. Or something to that effect, I cannot find yet the exact wording or transcript, but the AP account is good enough for now. And there is also that video dubbed in Spanish where after minute 3:30 you hear that Senator Menendez is dubious of Jacobson.
The double agent Ramos Allup? Cozy with some
of the worst trash chavismo has to offer.

Now, I have absolutely no doubts that indeed there are people inside the MUD that are negotiating seriously with the regime, but not necessarily for the benefit of the opposition.  That this is true can be verified by the hurried and not quite coherent reply of Aveledo shortly after. Incoherent because even if he disagrees with the position I am sure he knows who did the betrayal. And he knew that he had to speak fast because editorials much worse than this one from the Post will start falling down his head.

Thus today a few things have been glaringly exposed:

1) the organized political opposition is not able to respond clearly to the aggression from the regime. Oh, sure, there are the supportive tweets, but it is also quite clear that some are only too happy to see those camps, those barricades disappear not for humanitarian reasons but because their own lack of control of the electoral opposition is made only too visible. That is why the MUD keeps repeating that the "students have their own agenda" as a way to abandon them to their fate, to avoid further internal division, to hide their inherent weakness and lack of creativity.

2) that Lopez judicial travesty did not create a reply from the MUD leaders besides the occasional supportive tweet make us remember that Lopez, and now Machado, seem to be pretty much abandoned to their fate. As if that would preserve the other members of the MUD from a similar fate down the road whenever the regime needs new enemies to justify its violence and repression. The fact of the matter is that the MUD has not attempted any significant support action. Correct me if I am wrong, if it goes beyond pious wishes and hashtags....

3) the unfortunate words of Jacobson confirm that indeed inside the MUD there are double agents and the MUD is unwilling, unable to confront them, to clear up the air. Why? Who finances the MUD that they can dictate such a double game that does not seem to match at all the Human Rights needs of the country? Are we to suspect that the MUD has become a mere pawn to be used in deciding within chavismo which side will win the final game?

4) for whatever despicable reasons of real politik, the unfortunate words of Jacobson also tell us that no one wants to intervene or deal with Venezuela, that from DC to BA all want stability in Venezuela even if it should be clear now that this is simply impossible as long as the Cuban masters insist on sucking dry our resources. In other words, from DC to Brasilia, the only care is to find ways to get Venezuela to pay its debts. Fuck its people if needed!

I do not know about you, but that list reads pretty much as the reasons why the MUD is doomed: waning credibility, waning support, waxing corrupt politicos. And they have only themselves to blame, from Capriles to Aveledo, who will pay the the price for these people that they have not been able to control or to lead. Nobody ever said that politics were fair.


PS: to make sure you do not get dispirited, please read the opening statement of Moises Naim at the same hearing where Jacobson opened a Pandora box.  Naim is someone that understands the problem and has ideas on how to confront it. But is anyone listening?


  1. I still have hopes that the US Congress will force the Obama administration to impose sanctions to individuals. Every politician in the US is courting the latino vote and I don't expect many congressmen will vote against such a limited measure. Algo es algo.

  2. Anonymous11:08 AM

    Naim paints the picture perfectly and his proposals should become the playbook for US diplomacy towards Venezuela in the short term.

    As to whether anyone listened, I would submit that most at that hearing, including Jacobsen, probably already believe in that strategy.

    Unfortunately it seems like the MUD is either ignorant, or stupid or purposely torpedoing that strategy.

    Roberto N

  3. I was told by someone who very much involved during the year 2002, that the opposition was bought off and for that reason the opposition would be getting nowhere.I don't have proof of this, but it would not surprise me - Their ideas have been relentlessly 'naive' in my opinion.

    However, I think there is a strong cultural tendency that allows this to happen which I feel important to mention: the tendency of many people to want to be on the winning side." I am not going to vote for a loser, also translates into I am not going to support a loser" This tendency makes it easy for many oppos to accept a lack of real support for LL and MCM. I have heard people call LL a loser for allowing himself to be jailed.They say he is stupid and do not realize the potential power of sacrifice, and of standing up to their own fears.

    This same tendency is a function of authoritarian thinking which not only permeates the regime but flourishes quite nicely among a lot of the opposition as well. firepigette

    1. Just to clarify a point : Cultural authoritarianism breeds political authoritarianism

  4. “Negotiating” or even talking and shaking hands with the Dictators may prove to have been a DEADLY mistake.

    The only way now, while the MUD lo embarra todo, pun intended, is further decay of the economy. More escasez, Please. More discontent, now. More desempleo, hopefully. More people pissed off, now...

    And the retarded MUD now is refusing US economic sanctions, while poor MCM is doing who knows what in Canada.. What a mess.

    BTW, look how far Cuba has gone, how prosperous after 50+ years of rebolucion, after their MUDs started to mess everything up, and after some Gringo economic sanctions. Brilliant!

  5. Anonymous3:57 PM

    How can I read Alek Boyd at It looks like the government here in Venezuela is blocking the site.

    1. Charly6:50 PM

      Navigate anonymously:

      If the thugs in power block this site, find another one on the web, there are plenty of them. This is how the Chinese bypass filtering from their own thugs.

    2. Charly7:09 PM

      Also forgot to tell you, get into Infodio. Alek has got a great open letter to Jacobson accusing the mud of all sorts of shenanigans that are most likely only the tip of their treachery's iceberg.

  6. I think there may be an alternate reason the US is avoiding sanctions. For more than a century, the US has developed a history of interference for its own benefit without regard to the consequences for the local population. With this setting so graciously provided by the US, the US has been demonized by Chavez, and now Maduro, such that any action the US takes is 'interference for its own benefit' and 'part of a coup'. In such a situation sometimes the best thing to do is stay out of the way until a legitimate opposition steps forward and demands assistance.

    1. Will the real opposition member please stand up ?


  7. "... no one wants to intervene or deal with Venezuela, that from DC to BA all want stability in Venezuela..."

    Now you know why the Cubans were sold out decades ago.

    1. ..and to add even more 'insult' to the sold-out Cubans, the U.S. has maintained a base in their own country throughout these past 55 nightmarish years there. Take that and swallow hard my Venezuelan friends.

    2. There 'ya go got in Evil America, Cuba and 55 nightmarish years all in one take. But you forgot Dresden, Hiroshima and Global Warming so points off. I can only give you a 7.4 for derailing.

    3. So what else do you think would have accomplished the stated objective of "unconditional surrender" against two extreme ideological enemies? Maybe a "surge"? Maybe some "talks"?

      It's completely immoral to have a base, reap the 'benefits', and 'look the other way' while people have been murdered, tortured, and terrorized for 5 decades in the same territory which you 'reap' those benefits. I cut not slack on this one

  8. Important reading:

  9. Anonymous4:52 PM

    Hello fellow blogger, I love your blogs. I like how you give a personal connection to all of your blogs, and give great information while making your posts interesting. I am doing a blog for a class project about events, current and historic, on Venezuela, relating it to "The Motorcycle Diaries" by Che Guevara and I was hoping that you would take some time to comment on some of my blog posts! Thanks! Great work on your blog so far keep it up!

    1. I am going to reply here: for me Che was a mass murderer. Whatever good he may have done, whatever romantic endeavor he may have cannot compensate for the heinous crimes he perpetrated. Period.

      From your comment I assume that your class project is not about the crimes of Che Guevara. Do you think you want me to go and comment in your blog?


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