Monday, July 21, 2014

Can Venezuelan "ruling" party PSUV avoid division?

Red tide coming?
I suppose that one week ago writing about the opposition MUD trying not to fall in the sinkhole was going to bring karma to hit me with writing a post about the PSUV fate. Indeed one week without writing brought me today in front of the PSUV holding internal "elections" for its political congress starting in a very few days (July 26) (1).

I am not going to go into the diatribe of obvious low electoral participation (the PSUV has only itself to blame for reporting unrealistic high membership numbers, far higher than its actual average voting record). I am not going to go into all the electoral propaganda to make the country believe these elections are meaningful (Globovision looked today like a more behaved state TV propaganda). No, the true meaning of these elections is what it is trying to hide outside of the electoral contest.

To begin with there are about 40% of safe seats in the coming up PSUV congress. That is right, not only the elections are as controlled as possible by the PSUV elite, but that elite made sure that 40% of the seats of the coming congress will be held by if not reliable, at least predictable folks. In short, the Maduro and Cabello and Ramirez wings (and military?) are certain to hold the majority against more radical elements like giordanistas and assorted folks.

I do not need to put links to all the stuff written above, a few tweets from Nicmer Evans, an "intellectual" of chavismo on its left say it all:

Counting team in Caracas reports that 8% of registered PSUV did vote by 5PM

I fulfilled my pledge [I voted] to PSUV and now it is to the party to fulfill its pledge to us. 3R [slogan] and sharp turn to the left now!

Plus a few re-tweets of Marea Socialista, socialist tide and they kid you not.

But what is all of this theater hiding? Let me bring you two telling events this week.

The first one was the stupid declaration of Aristobulo Isturiz, Anzoategui governor. He said aloud what we all knew for years, that currency exchange controls were of a political nature and that removing them would result in a change of regime. Why would the man say such a thing at such a tense moment? The more so that the regime is trying to negotiate new loans and a modicum of economical opening? To sabotage that opening? You are not even close if you thought that.  Well, you are on the right track at least because Aristobulo is an economical ass, a radical of the worse kind, a sectarian and quite possibly a racist. But the real reason that Aristobulo threw that pearl was his counter attack at the right wing within chavismo. Giordani having been thrown out and some of the radicals being tempted by money, he needed to throw this wrench before the PSUV congress had its delegates elected.
Maduro, Falcon and the Catholic church 

Reverse your mirrors in full to look at the second event, Maduro and Henri Falcon starting a joint project to build a gigantic sanctuary to the virgin of La Pastora.  I am going to pass on the "need" to build such a gigantic monument at times like these. I will also pass on the two marxist or marxist-wanna-be or ex-marxist posing as defenders of the Catholic faith (amen of Maduro dabbling in oriental practices...). I will even pass on the need that the regime has to tend bridges to the opposition to avoid a complete collapse-cum-outright-repression down the road. No, what this means is that the regime may be looking to people like Falcon to entrust them with a future transition. After all Falcon is an ex coup monger, and ex military, an ex chavista, and never quite fit inside the opposition, always limiting his links to people (Capriles) rather than actual politics and MUD. Heck, he even recently started to create his very own version of communal councils for Lara state....

Centrifugal forces are at work within chavismo. Note that I did not even mention the army which recently was granted by the high court to behave like a political party, guns and all. But then again we have been in a military regime for quite a few years already, have we not? The point is that convoking a PSUV congress 6 months ago, as a way to distract from economical problems and street rioting may turn out to have been a very bad decision for either Maduro, or Cabello, or maybe both.


1) That delegates are elected so close from opening time is yet an additional tool for control, to rest them from the necessary time to start forming groups, etc... In fact, even though the congress starts next Saturday newly elected candidates are summoned to Caracas next Thursday for Bolivar birthday and Chavez one... Keep them entertained least they start talking among themselves.


Preliminary reports show that less than a million folks voted yesterday to elect PSUV delegates. This is certainly not good but not as bad as some inside the opposition would like us to believe. Certainly, the primaries of the opposition in 2012 drew way more people, but we were electing a presidential candidate. The PSUV base was voting for semi rigged elections to a rigged PSUV congress starting next Saturday. So there is no wonder that excitement was low, the more so that the naked objective was to ratify a regime that is not fulfilling basic needs to the chavista hoi polloi. Never mind that deep inside chavismo also knows that they have ceased to be a true majority for quite a while.

Why 1 million only? Because the 7 + million membership is overly inflated, many people registering to the PSUV in the past, forced to do so when registering for some Mision benefit,. They quickly forgot about it. It also shows that the mandatory broadcasts are not doing their job, people are not mobilized to defend the revolution in spite of a 24/24 propaganda on all state TV networks which in many areas are the only ones available.

And yet, it is low because you need to consider that people had their pinky inked and today public employees that show up without tainted fingers will be seen as not voting. And risk sanctions. Clearly, pressure on PSUV voters failed, and yet number are low.

I am daring to say that a majority of those who voted are from the radical side of chavismo, that the bureaucrats could not be bothered and that the regime knew this would be the case, hence the heavy pre electoral padding of "safe" delegates to make sure a majority will be gained. We, from the outside, will not know for sure how large a share of the vote belongs to the radicals. We will have to guess from the "congress" result. But I can tell you something, if the radicals won as little as 40% it is already a major victory for them and will be the start of chavismo division.


  1. Perhaps there is some symmetry inherent in political ideologies. At the same instant that the Chavistas are having a shake out in their party, Peruvian President Humala's Chavista party, Ganu Peru, is experiencing the same.

  2. Anonymous7:28 PM

    Where are the protesters when you need them? These parties mean nothing now unless the people can back them.

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

    1. By putting incendiary comments like that from your comfort zone of South Florida the one at risk to go to jail is me, who is the last one of the original bloggers still writing in English from Venezuela. If you feel so strongly about it, come over here and show us the way.

  4. Daniel I understand your concern about censorship or worse. I married into mi VZ familia a few years ago and mi amor left in 2000 with her young son. Some of her familia is here, but most remain in VZ. They are all relatively successful mid to upper class with extensive social, political, business and even military connections. While anti-Chavistas they continue to go about their daily lives at work and at the club. I have suggested and volunteered backing them in their efforts and have shipped extensive supplies (everything from diapers to gas masks) back in February. Alas, my espagnol is non-existent and my military experience is nil plus I'm a little old to fight a young mans battle. The frustrating part to me is the apathy. I see them all complain but no one wants to take action. I don't see The bravery of the Ukraines, Egyptians, Syrians, Tunisians or even the American colonies o

    1. Or even your beloved French revolutionaries of 1795. And your people should be fighting for the same basic freedoms of life and liberty. Ah, if you do not have arepas you can eat pastelitos.

      I am frustrated and sad.


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