Sunday, July 13, 2014

Can the Venezuelan opposition MUD recover?

The question is not idle: two of its "major" directors are forcing us to question thoughtfully not only whether the MUD can renew itself or if it has any strategy against the regime, but if its actually intending to fight the regime, amen of being able to understand what is going on in the country. As for its alleged leader, Capriles Radonski, by now I am afraid I am through with him.

Ramon Jose Medina cynical callousness (redundancy of sorts intended)

This happened:

In this video Ramon Jose Medina says that the MUD has no plans to bring out of jail Leopoldo Lopez, that he put himself into that mess, and we assume from his amused, scornful look, that this is not MUD 's problem. You do not need to understand Spanish, just look at his facial expressions. And now he is trying to back track, but it'aint flying and Voluntad Popular, Lopez's party, has demanded his resignation as second secretary of the MUD, which means second in charge after Aveledo. The communique of VP goes as far as suggesting that Medina is in fact collaborating with the regime (1).

It is too bad for someone who was one of the brightest lights of the opposition and Primero Justicia. But since people like Alek Boyd have brought to light that Medina has business deals with banker Victor Vargas who is in bed with the regime and is strongly rumored to be the or one of the new owners of the media group that publishes Ultimas Noticias, we cannot but link that video to this research. Ramon Jose Medina should resign. There is no way he can regain credibility, even if he were to, say, break up publicly with Vargas and go on his knees to Ramo Verde, Lopez's jail.

I am not saying that Medina is/was a double agent. After all he needs a real job and Vargas, as a good corrupt banker, will betray any government if such betrayal saves his empire and allows him to rake more cash. Having a contact with Vargas through Medina may even be good. No, what is truly worrisome here the evidence of secret political shenanigans that we are all suspecting, that some inside the MUD are willing to negotiate a way for chavismo to remain in power for a little bit longer, at least until they get full control of the MUD and thus can direct the transition. Lopez is thus a mere token. The final price would be to let corrupt chavista go scotch free. Our next one in this list adds more evidence to this.

Ramos Allup is right even when he is wrong, or the bliss of Panglossian ignorance

Ramos Allup is the leader of old Accion Democratica, a party which was the cornerstone of Venezuelan politics from the mid 40ies until 1998. He managed to keep control of AD under chavismo through a series of legal cases judged by chavista judges... Then he directed two major blunders of the opposition in 2004 and 2005.  And since then, linked through his wife to people doing sweet business with the regime, his bark became the louder the weaker his bite was. Until even his bark went down a lot since last year.

But being the leader of AD which still has a handful of town-halls (less than VP) gives him a seat at the MUD from where he thinks he is the holder of the truth.  His latest outing was to say that "la salida" failed, that the only way out was through a dialogue. Maybe, but he is disingenuous.

"La Salida" proposed by Lopez (now in jail), Machado (soon in jail) and Ledezma (his time will come) was to demand the resignation of Maduro and the change of system through active, but peaceful protests. That the script did not happen as expected is another story. And that the regime accepted to sit down for a dialogue, pressured in part by UNASUR, was a success of La Salida not of Ramos Allup. That the dialogue table failed is also another story, but Ramos Allup cannot dismiss the effect of La Salida just because he was not the one in charge, just because he has no more following worth discussing anywhere in the country.

But Ramos Allup faults further. If it is probably true that a majority of the country (but not necessarily a majority within the opposition) wants a dialogue (and a compromise with the regime) he cannot claim that he has international support. After all, since the dialogue was suspended May 13, the UNASUR has been unheard of, only too happy that Maduro got an upper hand of sorts so they could go back to their own internal problems (Santos reelection, Correa constitutional change to be president for life and Dilma worried that the World Cup may not be enough to ensure her reelection which she needs badly to be comfortable) (2).

Tomorrow it will be two months of dialogue suspension and there is ABSOLUTELY NO SIGN that Ramos Allup has contributed anything to restart it, hiding behind the "it is up to the regime to make a gesture" when his role as an opposition leader would be to force the regime into such a gesture. I do not see Ramos Allup neither at a barricade nor at some political initiative of substance, preferring to bury Lopez and Machado. If any one can prove me wrong, please do so.

I am through with Capriles

So, let's assume for the sake of the argument, that La Salida was wrong, that Lopez deserves jail and that his new roomie should be Maria Corina. So what is the opposition figurehead, Capriles, offering to do, besides blaming his own failures on Lopez and MCM? More of the same, forgetting the failures of December 2012, his failure to claim its victory in 2013, the failure of the "plebiscite" on Maduro in December 2013.

One of his latest outings reported in Tal Cual was quite illustrative of his increasing arrogance, his belief that he is the lone one that can take chavismo out, in spite of his repeated failures. I do not mean to besmirch him, and I have quite often recognized his personal effort in campaigns, his taking personal risks all the time. But when you are clearly not going anywhere either you change your strategy or let someone else give it a try.

While he was attending some journalism award he claimed that it it was up to him to "reconnect" with the people. That is a contradiction of sorts, since according to Capriles polls say that 89% reject La Salida and should be already connected with him, no? What polls, is the first question. And how it can be 89%, anyway, since for a few weeks half Venezuela was in an uproar that still has embers? 11% can be that effective? Gimme a break!

But it gets worse. He claims that La Salida did not "connect" because its topics were too abstract; political prisoners, constitutional assembly, etc. while people wanted to talk about inflation and crime. Did he not see the banners on barricades talking of those subjects too? And then he goes on telling us that we need a new CNE, that this is the fight, as if fighting for clean elections was less abstract than, say, political prisoners... Never mind that he does not address the built in cheating of the CNE EVEN IF new directors are appointed, such as the atrocious gerrymandering that will allow the regime to retain a majority of the National Assembly even if they lose by more than half a million votes.

The problem here is that I have decided that Capriles has no clear vision of the situation, no clear vision of what the problems are. It is not recent, there has been a pattern to it for a long time. On may 25 2011 he had an infamous knee jerk tweet defending a corrupt action of PDVSA just because so. I wrote then that this could cost him the primaries. It did not, because in part Lopez supported him decisively, which Capriles seems to have long forgotten. But that did not make that knee jerk reaction any less damaging. There is in my eyes a long established pattern of foot in mouth, of ignorance and maybe some intellectual weakness that I cannot ignore anymore.

I am through with Capriles because I think that if by miracle he were to become president within a year or two he will not be able to face the problems of the country, of dealing with chavismo terrorist remnants. I reserve my right of voting for him for that reason, because it is not enough that he is again, maybe, the opposition candidate. I simply think he does not have what it takes. Not even about ruling, but to understand some of the real problems he will have to face. Depending of the circumstances I may actually prefer chavismo to remain in office and face the disaster because a failed Capriles presidency could bring back chavismo with a vengeance.  I think things are that bad.

Can the MUD recover?

Well, right now I hope to have impressed the need that the MUD has for an overall. By abandoning Lopez and Machado the opposition abandons half of its motivated supporters and the remaining ones are not enough to secure an electoral victory. Unless, of course, the desire of the MUD is NOT TO WIN.  After all, one is allowed to suspect that: what has been the strategy of the MUD on the wide CADIVI corruption even denounced by Girodani? What is the resistance of the MUD against the increased militaristic nature of the regime? Where are the MUD entreaties to get support form overseas when sectors inside the MUD are openly asking the US not to investigate money laundering operations of corrupt chavistas with accounts in the US? Why can't Capriles forcefully denounce the new draft imposed on all that are below 60, and even the nation's business?

Are there principles left inside the MUD?  Because without principles, at least one of them for which they are willing to take a dramatic stand, the MUD is going to go nowhere. As long as the MUD let's its leadership in the hands of Medina and Ramos Allup, the MUD is going to go nowhere, it has served its time. Remember that you read it here today.


1) Fur further information on how Median strives in dark corners read the twitter discussion today between Lopez cousin, Thor Halvorssen and Medina. In Spanish.

2) For a further example on how the MUD is not managing well at all its international "support" you can read a recap of Veneuropa which held a recent meeting in London where Aveledo was the main speaker and where the representative of AD did not even stay until the end. In Spanish. The cacophony between presentations like Aveledo in a bureaucratic tone are in serious contrast with the more articulate, closer to the reality of MCM when she travels abroad.


  1. To be honest, I think that by distancing themselves from the student protests MUD intentionally or not - etc gave the regime legitimacy in its crushing of the protests. This made the students isolated and the focus has dwindled. International media now barely mention Venezuela. Better had the 'middle people come out and blocked all the roads as 'innocent' bystanders.

  2. Anonymous5:16 PM

    I have been reading "Como llego la Noche" (sorry about lack of accents) by Huber Matos and I wonder how Lopez and the others are coping with the abyss in which they find themselves. Human beings are utterly self serving, a good survival instinct for certain, but such hypocrisy in the conduct of "leaders" is nauseating. I am sorry that the MUD has been so corrupted, and is so impotent at a time when they should be most active in their advocacy. Thanks you for this insightful post. Luisa

  3. I understand that MUD is a conglomeration of opposition parties and others. I know very little about its organization. But there is, I think, a universality regarding political groups. Whenever an opposition fails to keep up the momentum and take advantage of openings, it is usually doomed. That could be because off corruption, fatigue, laziness, or the acceptance of failure. Personally, I feel that the oppositon should have come forth much more strongly citing clearly and dramatically, the Chavista corruption and Cuban terror. And making it known that when the Chavitas are out that they will pay a heavy price for ruining Venezuela and its people. And that dialogue, with this Cuban Chavista mafia, is out.

    This might bring Venezuela to the final crisis and showdown.

  4. That MUD is also highly corrupted. This is also discussed at the CCS Chronicles today.

    1. They do discuss a lot of stuff there, too bad I have no time for that. Not that my opinion over there would matter much anyway. Time is a luxury I cannot afford and I must remain focused.

    2. Daniel you've been off the grid for a week..... Is all okay?

    3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. And the basic problem with Caprilito is he's not the sharpest tool in the shed, nor the most well-educated. Too religious too, too "del pueblo". The Elite has to be in power, not just another guy in the crowd.

    Uneducated Pueblo + Oil and Riches = Massive Corruption = Disaster = Venezuela

  6. Anonymous3:05 AM

    Do you think Latin Americans have undergone some sort of genetic mutation which gives them a higher affinity towards absolute stupidity?

  7. I too am so tired of Capriles and his band of dinosaurs. At least the other trio tried something to try and change things. What has Capriles done? Feeling he might be the "enchufado" as suggested by others.


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