Monday, May 19, 2014

Did the MUD serve an ultimatum to UNASUR?

One should never forget that the crisis in Venezuela is also about Venezuela and its place in the world. All is not played at Caracas alone and the world is wondering what it will do with the ruins of Venezuela that will still be seating over quite a nice pile of oil, hydroelectric power and even some usable agriculture as the world will run out of arable land.

As such, UNASUR, the faulty creation of Brazil's Lula as a lame attempt at excluding the US from its own hemisphere policy making, is facing doom at its first real challenge ever. The more so when idiots like Uruguay president Mujica come out on a CNNE interview implying that only the opposition in Venezuela is violating its constitution when CNNE has been proving it otherwise for months now. Mujica positioning squarely on Maduro's side is simply scandalous: he is either and idiot, either misinformed, unforgivable for a president, or either simply vicious. Not excluding the three together, obviously.

The problem of UNASUR is that even if there is a unanimous interest in preserving the status quo in Venezuela (the only ones that could have expressed a dissenting opinion having being duly neutralized) it is failing at that, and losing face along the way. In short, the South American security organization is demonstrating that not only it cannot influence events in Venezuela, but that it will be unlikely to do so anywhere else in the sub-continent. Heck, even Ecuador's Correa has expressed misgivings on Venezuela economic decisions as the source of all the trouble. That can only mean that UNASUR is more and more reluctant to support what appears to be a loser and that its secret agenda may be in fact to substitute Maduro for a more acceptable chavista. Well, one can always speculate, no?

That is the outlook I chose to comment on what happened today, the closed doors meeting between the UNASUR delegation and the opposition MUD where this one drew the line in the sand. That line is simple: the regime needs to prove that it means a real dialogue, that it means to go back on the road of creating working institutions as the only way to face the economic and political crisis.  The ways to reach that goal may be discussed but not the goal. And this was served to the UNASUR, telling them to go and talk to Maduro and Cabello and if they fail, please, stop wasting our time.

They did not say that in these words of course. But that is what it all meant today. After all, time is running out for the MUD as it failed to include the hard core protest, the visionary politicians, the students in the "negotiation team". You know that the MUD feels cornered when you read the extensive interview Capriles gave today, which in my opinion did not help him much even though he toughened his stance somewhat. He still seems lost at sea, he still seems to fail to understand what is truly going on in Venezuela, he still does not seem to appreciate the extent of the economic tsunami on its way. Or worse, he prefers not to see reality. And he certainly did not read, nor could possibly understand I add, the Aguiar OpEd of today announcing the danger of a decisive split inside the opposition.

But things are not rosy for chavismo either, which should make UNASUR even more reluctant to accompany Maduro until the bitter end. For example, we learn that the July congress of the PSUV, Maduro's party, will "debate" only ideological matters and that there will be no questioning of authority, no change, no nothing. That is, PSUV not only represses democracy outside, but it reveals itself more Leninist than ever.

But it gets better: Maduro announced Saturday that now he will create "communal militia", that is, the unconstitutional system of communes to replace the constitutional system of states and districts, will be supplemented with its very own militia system. Of course, besides creating yet a new network of fascist control and denunciation, it is also an acknowledgement that Maduro, and the regime, fear more and more an outright military intervention.

The question is: will Maduro understand that perhaps, just perhaps, throwing a few real bones to the MUD will do him more good than harm? I am not holding my breath. It is for UNASUR to decide whether it will sink with Maduro or it will wake up and rise above ideology. Let's say that I ain't holding no breath neither.


  1. Boludo Tejano4:04 PM

    This article is a handful. Just going to the links alone will take some time. Two quick comments about Mujica and Correa. Correa, for all his dislike of the Evil Empire for having jailed his father for having smuggled cocaine, has not entirely wasted his University of Illinois Ph.D. in economics. Interesting that while both Evo of Bolivia and Correa of Ecuador are Chavistas, they haven't gone off the deep end and instituted Chavista economics in their own countries.

    Mujica was tortured in prison. As such, you would think he would have antennae for human rights violations. But he doesn't. For Mujica, it's all about on what side of the fence the violations come from.

    V.S. Naipaul, the Nobel Prizewinning author from Trinidad, made some prescient comments on this. In 1972, Naipaul visited Argentina and wrote about his visit in The Corpse at the Iron Gate. This was written four years before the military deposed Isabel Perón and intensified the Dirty War. When Naipaul wrote the article in 1972 the Dirty War- and guerrilla action in Argentina- was just simmering . By 1976 the Dirty War, when Isabel Perón was deposed, the Dirty War was in full boil.

    From Naipaul's article:
    These lawyers had been represented to me as a group working for “civil rights.” They were young, stylishly dressed, and they were meeting that morning to draft a petition against torture. The top-floor flat was scruffy and bare; visitors were scrutinized through the peep-hole; everybody whispered; and there was a lot of cigarette smoke. Intrigue, danger. But one of the lawyers was diverted by my invitation to lunch, and at lunch—he was a hearty and expensive eater—he made it clear that the torture they were protesting against wasn’t to be confused with the torture in Perón’s time.

    He said: “When justice is the justice of the people men sometimes commit excesses. But in the final analysis the important thing is that justice should be done in the name of the people.” ……

    “There are no internal enemies,” the trade union leader said, with a smile. But at the same time he thought that torture would continue in Argentina. “A world without torture is an ideal world.” And there was torture and torture. “Depende de quién sea torturado. It depends on who is tortured. An evildoer, that’s all right. But a man who’s trying to save the country—that’s something else.

    The leftists that Naipaul interviewed had a very plastic attitude towards torture: "Depende de quién sea torturado." According to those two leftists Naipaul interviewed, torture was good if our guys do it, bad if the police do it against us. Which doesn’t sound very different from the military gorilas’ point of view. Sounds to me as if a lot of the guerrillas and guerilla supporters were brothers under the skin to the right wing torturing military gorilas.
    After reading what Naipaul had presciently written, years before the Dirty War peaked, it is not difficult to conclude that one reason why former guerrillas, once in power, did not protest political repression coming from the left is that the repression gene was imbedded as deeply in some guerillas and guerilla supporters as it was in the miltary gorilas the left was fighting against.

    What's that old saying,"There are no enemies on the left?" After all, Maduro is one of us. So how can we protest what he does? Solidarity forever, as the old lefty marching song said. Later on, Solidarity and Lech Walesa in Poland gave a new twist to the old leftist chestnut.

    [At the same time, Naipaul made some comments about Argentina which were utter nonsense- such as claiming that Argentine women were uneducated. As long as Naipaul let his interviewees talk, and drew conclusions from what they said, he did fine. When he made sweeping generalizations not backed by conversations, he often fell flat on his feet.]

    1. Excellent comment and great quote (thanks for link etc).

      "it is not difficult to conclude that one reason why former guerrillas, once in power, did not protest political repression coming from the left is that the repression gene was imbedded as deeply in some guerillas and guerilla supporters as it was in the miltary gorilas the left was fighting against."

      Of course not, this is the very essence of the Left: they know what the people want, they do the will of the people, the people don't like it so the people must be made to like it. It always ends with lots of blood: unavoidable.

  2. "The question is: will Maduro understand that perhaps, just perhaps, throwing a few real bones to the MUD will do him more good than harm? "

    Fortunately, Venezuela's disguised neo-dictatorship is not fully aware of that..

    Besides what they already do through massive corruption, bribing every one and everybody in sight, including the military, all it would take to further consolidate in power is further camouflage with the MUD, or pardon my cheap puns, embarrarse mas con la MUD.

    A few stupid and breakable concessions here and there, a couple of false promises, a few liberated innocuous political prisoners and re-appearing students, you know, more bribes y tigritos pa los panas..

    Just some more media appearances even pretending to fix the economy, something like what even Iran is doing, pretending to "dialogar" with the EU and even the USA, trying to talk to Capriles again on TV.. stuff like that would do for a while.

    So let's hope the economy continues to get even worse, so that the people remain pissed off. Because even the retarded Chavistas, Muduro and Cabello will realize the continuous need to pretend to "blend in" with the stupid MUD.

  3. Anonymous2:20 AM

    Boludo disagree with V.S Naipaul saying that Argentine women were generally uneducated.... what would you say about Venezuelan women? What per cent are educated and by educated,I mean finished their secondary school as in Venezuelan Bachillerato..

    1. Boludo Tejano3:16 AM

      In Maracaibo I knew two sisters, one of whom was a medical student, the other who, shall we say, was not as well educated. I doubt she made it through high school. The medical student looked mulatto; her not as well educated sister looked white to mestiza, which shows the mixing of Venezuela. I also knew the daughter of a Cuban-born entrepreneur, who was high school educated- the Quijote was in her library, I recall.

      Also re education: a guy a year behind me at my high school in the US went to Venezuela in the Peace Corps, and married a Maracucha. I never met her, and he was killed in a motorcycle accident in Venezuela- but I very much doubt he would have married an unintelligent woman. By coincidence I met someone in Maturin, the cousin of the wife of a Gringo workmate, who had known the Maracucha and the Peace Corps worker. The cousin and the co-worker's wife were both gracious and articulate. I didn't quiz them on their educational background, but I'm sure they both were HS grads, at least. In general, college grads do not marry HS dropouts.

      I looked up School enrollment, secondary, female (% gross) for Argentina and Venezuela for the time I was there. Didn't find both for the years I was there, but found both for years before and after I was there. In 1975: 47% and 57% for Venezuela and Argentina respectively. In 1984: 60% and 69% for Venezuela and Argentina respectively. For 2010: 95% and 86%. Moving on up.

      World Bank Development Indicators

    2. Anonymous4:38 AM

      I know many Venezuelans from my travels there, mostly to rural areas and I can safely say most of them never went to high school. They could read and write and knew basic math. Many of the families had old books in their homes but they were not well read. Many were surprised when I told them about winter and ice in the streets. I am not sure about the women in the city, most likely they would be in a better position to go further in their education.

  4. Anonymous5:36 PM

    Do any of these organizations mean ANYTHING? I mean look at what has happened. It's one gigantic WOFT.

  5. When you see how he lives it will be no surprise: chooses austerity and seems to want everyone the same as he is losing the advances of the country because he has no idea.

    1. Anonymous9:17 PM

      Let's all live in dumps and have 3 legged dogs!

    2. Charly5:25 AM

      Well today UNASUR backed up Jaua. The US Government will sure take notice. Notice of what? A toothless, useless regional organization. The OAS was already toothless and useless and now they have first class competition. Anyone knows if any individual sits on both (toothless and useless) organizations? That would be a bummer (and not because he/she would draw double income). Political LatAm is a circus with no master only clowns and animals on display. Enjoy the show, I am certain Obama and Kerry do and they probable wish they could do the same in Siria, Ukraine, Egypt, etc., etc.

  6. Anonymous11:52 PM

    Instead of talking about sanctions, the USA should be talking about providing relief supplies when almost certainly the inevitable collapse of the Venezuelan economy occurs. The stated goal would be to prevent mass migration from spilling over into neighboring countries. Sanctions, too little, too late and easily spun against the USA.

    1. Island Canuck1:25 PM

      That's just a terrible idea.
      You want the USA to talk about rescuing these idiots from their own incompetence.

      My idea is just let them face the music with no help from anyone.

    2. Anonymous, " easily spun against the US?"

      It is ALWAYS easy to criticize the US,'s the most popular scapegoating there is ....the US should absolutely NEVER worry about this factor because it is always a guaranteed result.


    3. Anonymous7:43 PM

      Probably one of the dumbest comments I've read on this blog. Why should the US rescue the shithole these tyrants have created. Let the Cubans do it.

  7. Anonymous1:57 PM

    Let Cuba worry about that.

  8. It's been a week. Here's hoping all is well.
    I don't normally use 'em, but I got a few prayers stashed just in case I'm wrong.


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