Thursday, June 12, 2014

Can we get a grand unified theory of political physics for Venezuela?

There are a lot of interestingly awful things going in Venezuela right now and I may dare offer a grand unified theory. Applicable for no more than 48 hours until a new universe of crap and lies suddenly opens with new laws of political physics.

Since theories are based on facts that will be proven, or not, let's start with facts.

Today there a couple of items that are noteworthy.

The first one is that the latest hearing of Leopoldo Lopez, supposedly secret, has been recorded and has been released in two installments at CÑN. So let's start with this first item: a secret hearing was leaked and not by the Lopez people who probably had their underwear searched. It was leaked by someone inside the regime. Why?

The second item is that in spite of the international ridicule about to suffer, the regime decided to emit arrest orders against Pedro Burelli and Diego Arria (and others but I am simplifying).  OK, let's see.

Pedro Burelli lives outside of Venezuela now, is quietly building up his personal fortune in diverse venture capital and does not need to do anything with Venezuela. In other words, there is no real reason to expect him to be involved in a coup/assassination that could jeopardize his settled life in the US of A. I am not saying he is not involved, I am saying that there are plenty more people that could credibly carry a coup, inside Venezuela that should be investigated before Burelli. Say, a few military inside the regime, like those releasing the Lopez audio? The charges are based on fraudulent e-mails that Burelli simply demanded Jorge Rodriguez to reproduce in full to prove that they were not forgeries (you know, headers, IP, etc...). Jorge Rodriguez is not producing them on the lamest of excuses and thus the Venezuelan attorney general went bonkers, announcing that the investigation was serious and now deciding for the arrest of Burelli.

What is the real problem here? A member of the most radical wing of chavismo, in full fight for control of the succession, has made an ass of himself and will probably be prosecuted for defamation in the US as he had the Venezuelan embassy issue the written material in the US. For all of its internal infighting chavismo cannot afford to have a single one of its pieces fall least the whole thing unravels. And so, as Burelli is seeking with Google the evidence to confound once and for all Rodriguez, the regime needs to attack like crazy first. Typical thug response, shoot first, ask questions later.

As for Arria, it is simply ridiculous to assume he would be in any position to perpetrate an assassination attempt, even if he wanted to. But he has been a constant international pain in the neck for the regime and the time has come to get rid of him.

Let me add, after all, a third item today: the regime decided through yet another bogus high court sentence that contradicts previous ones, and recent at that, that the CNE directors with long expired terms are maintained in place for as long as it takes. There is a clear reason for that, the regime does not have the legal votes to replace Tibisay Lucena by an equally subservient, electoral treachery practitioner, so they just unconstitutionally decided to retain her for life. But there is another reason, I am sure: the regime has plans for a vote anytime soon and they need the controlled election board, CNE, they own now to remain in place.

So, what is my grand unified theory?

The battle rages inside chavismo. But they need to maintain  a semblance of unity. If one piece falls, it may just bring all down together. One way to preserve that unity is to bring regularly to the public altar of sacrifice some opposition figure on any charge. The details are irrelevant, what matters is that the blood thirsty chavista lumpen is satisfied and that all factions share the blame for the innocent victim, and thus find further reasons to stick together.

But that does not stop the internal fights, it just postpones the final outcome. That is where the further jailing of Lopez makes sense, and the leaking of the hearings that is making quite a lot of damage to the regime as it exposes the kangaroo courts we have now.

I propose that Lopez is Diosdado Cabello prisoner, one of his trump cards to use against the regime as well as against the opposition. Hence why someone leaked the audio.

It is a trump card against the regime because if Cabello were to feel threatened he could have Lopez released to create trouble for those inside chavismo attacking him. The Cuban gang for example.

It is a trump card against the opposition because if the opposition players do not rally behind him he could release Lopez that could instantly become the main opposition leader. Thus people like AD and PJ who secretly prefer Lopez in jail than outside campaigning are blackmailed into some sort of compromise with Cabello if needed.

Of course, poor Lopez: his life is in the end irrelevant to Cabello who has long ago passed the point of caring for any human being. His only chance of survival may well be unfortunately to accept to play the game with Cabello... Hence that someone released the audio, to weaken Cabello trump cards.

Which brings the CNE. The regime, cornered by an economic crisis, cornered by an intractable internal war that no one seems to be able to win, may wish for an electoral option to settle something. A referendum on the economy, an amnesty, something? A dismissal of Capriles from Miranda and the need of adequate electoral fraud to make sure the opposition does not get Miranda state? Maybe a bigger event like a sudden resignation of Maduro? Or as simple as preparing an atrocious further gerrymandering for parliamentary elections next year since it is clear that the regime is not going to get the 48% it got three years ago. Only through more gerrymandering can the regime hope to retain a weak majority (assuming we reach that deadline as a pretend democracy still).


So there, my unified theory with an expiration date of days. I may be totally and absolutely wrong, but if anyone has a better idea, please write your own version in the comment section.



  1. Anonymous9:07 AM

    It is more a kind of bid, a forecast, a theory about the volatile Situation don't make sense in my opinion. To the bid, I think the sole fact that the "Magnicidio" sketch adress overused Props (in the sort of the Posada Carriles tale) tells us how desperate the band is. Making use of Digital Communication as "proofs" of a "plan" only point at menace the users of digital media, an empty attempt btw. The other issue, Lopez Audios, can be a typical trap for traitors, it is an internal hunting inside the chavizmo. And I agree it goes against Cabello. Of course they need an Election but the question is wether they will reach the lifesaver before an Tsunami reach them (too explosive economical crisis)...

  2. My one and only theory is that the PSUV owns Venezuela,through Maduro,Cabello,Flores or whoever they put there, the disaster will continue.

    A coup,extreme landslide or massive protests(real protests,not the venezuelan guachafa thats been on since february)

    Oh yeah,the coup and the protests are not happening to chavismo,EVER.
    So yeah,we'll see on year 3158 if we win the elections.

  3. Anonymous10:49 AM

    In about 50 years the enlightened opposition in Colombia will be complaining that about 110,000 Venezuelans are propping up the Colombian dictatorship. By that time Venezuelans will be as hated as Cubans are today. Perhaps by that time people will have forgotten about how sad Cubans were. That's my polytical physics theory. I won't be around to be proven wrong .

    1. Anonymous9:00 PM

      You mean, 100,000 clones of the Castros after Santos steals the election?

  4. What I see is the destruction of civil society in Venezuela. By civil society, I mean political power that is distributed to each citizen as a right regardless of their age or size or strength or wealth. At this time the power is taken by those who can cause physical harm to others, including those who are armed with weapons.and those who can direct soldiers or gangs. Civil society may be very difficult to restore until the thugs are removed.

    1. Anonymous8:59 PM

      It is now a plutocratic autocratic kleptocracy!

    2. Anonymous5:08 AM

      Oligarchic kleptocracy.

    3. Anonymous5:12 AM

      It was an autocratic kleptocracy under Chávez, with Chávez as the sole, omnipotent autocrat.

      But Maduro is so inept, he can't even get the autocracy part right. So it's an oligarchy. And like any oligarchy when the going get tough, the oligarchs fight with each other to figure out who gets the last scraps.

  5. Anonymous12:23 PM

    "Pedro Burelli lives outside of Venezuela now, is quietly building up his personal fortune in diverse venture capital and does not need to do anything with Venezuela."

    And yet, Pedro Burelli dedicates a good part of his time to fighting to re-install democracy in Venezuela.

    As we say in Venezuela, ME CONSTA PERSONALMENTE.

    He lobbies tirelessly to expose how this regime is anything but a democracy.

    He has never, either publicly or privately (in front of me) advocated for anything but a democratic solution to our woes.

    And as far as I have seen with my own eyes, he is extremely ethical as well as passionate about Venezuela.

    Just sayin' (not that I think that you believe otherwise, Daniel. This is for those who don't know him and his work)

    Roberto N

    1. Of course I agree with you. But that is not good enough for the regime. Having corresponded with Pedro I am expecting that at anytime I will be in the published contact list as ALL the coup mongerers of Venezuela. Oh well.....

  6. Dr. Faustus3:35 PM

    "Maybe a bigger event like a sudden resignation of Maduro? " Correct. Were he to resign, and I think based on the current economic plunge it is inevitable, must there be a new election, or can they just shuffle the deck? Yes, I know, they CAN do anything, but even avoiding a Presidential election? The key to your theory is quite simple, Maduro's days are numbered...

    1. Anonymous7:32 PM

      If Maduro resigns now, Arreaza has 30 days to call new elections (if they follow the Constitution, that is)

      More likely, they would apply their "Administrative Continutiy Doctrine" to try to justify Arreaza remaining in power for the rest of the term.

      Or, both Maduro and Arreaza resign, leaving Disodado in the Palace.

      Roberto N

    2. Chavez didn't have to assist ceremony(he was dying),since it was only a formality.
      So i guess presidential elections are a formality since the president is still Chavez.

      They will never resign!None of em!
      They already have a hard time accepting X or Y was their fault.There is barely,if any,record since 1998 of Chavismo taking the blame for something (other than being too soft on fascists). It's not in the script,it's all propaganda. If you never say it's your fault,it will never be your fault.That is why people see them as really strong and powerful people,and that is why people find it really difficult to blame them for any mess we have.Because they've never been wrong,not even when they decided to take arms in 92.

      Please understand, they can't look weak,EVER.

    3. Dr. Faustus4:57 PM

      Might I disagree here? They WILL resign given the right circumstances. Do you recall the look on Hugo Chavez's face back when 100,000 people were standing outside of Miraflores Palace demanding his resignation? With perspiration pouring down his face he looked into the TV camera's and asked for "Calm! ...Calm!" from the general population. He was scared. The situation had gotten out of control. He was terrified for HIS OWN SAFETY! He thought that at any moment that crowd outside would be streaming into the Palace looking for vengeance. Fear was on his face that day. He resigned that very night. Today, 12 years later, with the economy in an absolute free-fall, a similar crises may face Maduro. This thing can turn in a flash, especially as things turn to desperation. Dwindling medical supplies, massive unemployment, incredible violence on the streets, shortages of basic food stuffs, the poor being forced into even deeper poverty, etc, etc. The Chavista's may quickly find themselves facing millions of modern-day 'San Culottes,' willing to sacrifice all for their 'Liberte`.' Don't think it can't happen, and soon.

    4. Dr. Faustus5:00 PM

      Oooh, sorry Daniel. I meant to write Sans Culottes! There is a difference...

    5. In the case of some in the regime, resignation (with exile) is still possible. In the case of Maduro, there exists the possibility that he may overthrown, jailed, executed, or whatever; but if he resigns, the Cubans will surely shoot him dead, dead, dead. He is caught between "the Devil and the deep blue sea."

    6. I disagree Dr.Faustus.This is not 2002! After April 11ths coup they started a grand purge on institutions, specially the FANB and PDVSA,add to this the underestimated cuban intelligence.. They are practically immune to sabotage,coups,assassination attempts, et cetera.

      I still think the only way they're gonna fall is when a vast amount of people take the streets, or if someone goes a bit too far on the war between factions thats taking place inside chavismo,bringing enough instability for whatever to happen.

  7. If Maduro is viewed as the leader of a pro-Cuban faction within the regime, and I say regime as this is clearly a dictatorship, then Cabello is logically the leader of a self-serving Nouveau Riche faction within the regime. Both factions wish to retain power, and both factions are willing to use any means necessary. However, the pro-Cuban faction is only concerned with economics as they impact the flow of money to support Cuba and the regime. The pro-Cuban faction has a vision for the future and would prefer an indoctrinated but docile populace that is totally dependent on the state for food, housing, education and information - much like North Korea. The Nouveau Riche faction is materialistic to the point of myopia and is only concerned with economics as they impact the flow of money to enrich and empower the Nouveau Riche. The Nouveau Riche faction doesn't care about the populace and doesn't look far enough ahead to have a long term plan - deal with problems as they appear and blame everyone else, just retain power at all costs - much like Zimbabwe (although the Chinese may be whispering in someones ear in an effort to protect their investments). There are most likely other factions - facists, communists, etc, but they are all generally related to one of these two main groups.

    So would Maduro resign? No, not unless his Cuban handlers lose the power struggle to Cabello or determine there is an opportunity to consolidate power somehow.

    Is someone really planning a coup? Probably, but most likely not the people being accused. In fact, if I was in the pro-Cuban faction and felt I had enough support in the military, I would 1) arrest the opposition leaders, 2) stage a coup to implicate Cabello, 3) institute emergency military powers in response to the failed coup. If I was in the Nouveau Riche faction and felt I had enough support in the military, I would 1) arrest the opposition leaders, 2) stage an electoral coup with a dirty election, 3) institute emergency powers in response to the electoral "victory", forcing the Cubans out and cutting them off financially.

    Between the two factions, the more likely to collapse and the one that is easier to defeat is the Nouveau Riche - they are criminals, but they are not fanatics. In the end, criminals are simply greedy and self-serving, while fanatics are insanity.

    1. Excellent analysis Blake.

      The fanaticism and blindness that is behind political ideology is far more difficult to defeat.


  8. Anonymous8:58 PM

    The people most likely for the regimen to investigate probably are themselves, since they are all looking for an open back to put the knife in in opposed factions. They all want to be the top dogs with the most accepted views, and the richest jobs/best opportunity to embezzle and graft on the government.

  9. My Unified Theory remains the same:

    More escasez, more inflation, more colas, less harina pan, until the Pueblo, finally really pissed off, unifies and overthrows the regime, in the streets.

  10. Anonymous8:06 PM

    Why would Maduro ever resign? As long as he is being fed he will stay. His job is merely to announce the occasional assisination plot and tell lies each an every day. He doesn't have to do anything or accept any accountability. If you oppose him he will throw you in jail.

    His job is pretty easy as he really does nothing except blow hot air. He is a tyrant and tyrants will stay around as long as they can do so safely. Until Venezuelans choose to make a uninimous stand Maduro and those close to him will be around for decades.


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