Wednesday, December 03, 2014

When dictatorships have nothing left to lose: Machado on the spike

What is more surprising today is in fact that the regime did not jail Maria Corina Machado, when it could have done it exactly as it did with Leopoldo Lopez.  Why?

That tweet shows her leaving the prosecutor office after having been charged with conspiracy, which means that if she were to be found guilty after a trial she would get at the very least 8 years in jail. So, why is she, apparently, going to be tried "in liberty" while the same trial for Leopoldo Lopez is going nowhere, leaving him to languish in jail since February 18 in rather abject conditions? After all, there is no doubt about her being guilty by association with Lopez, as you can see by yourself next as she accompanied closely Leopoldo Lopez the day he was taken by the regime.

True courage, holding strong under fear.

Let's look first, to better understand the situation, at the folly in jailing Maria Corina Machado, a true act of fascist desperation. Maria Corina Machado has even sat down at the OAS to explain the Venezuelan situation. Never mind that she is a duly elected representative, with the highest number of votes by far from any of the 2010 crop. Never mind that she has been received in many parliaments of South America. Never mind the wide array of activities here and abroad that she has participated in. Never mind that she ALWAYS spoke her mind which makes one wonder why now? After all, she was equally "guilty" as Lopez and thus there is absolutely no reason for the regime to wait for 10 months more.

I suppose that the true reason is that the regime has nothing left to lose. Its international reputation is now down the trash hatch. The recent failure of Ramirez trip at the OPEC summit is plain proof of it. Venezuela is confronted to the prospect of an oil barrel below 70 when it needs above 100 USD to keep its expenses and international subsidies to pimps like Cuba. Thus the regime has been served notice that its credibility with serious countries is zero, that these countries are simply waiting for the whole thing to collapse and/or become a brutal dictatorship. At this point, noting that opposition has not stopped in Venezuela, noting that polls seem to agree that close to 70% of the Venezuelans want the exit of Maduro (thus 70% of conspirators in Venezuela?), it has also become clear for the regime that repression is its only hope. Having nothing left to lose, the regime has decided to deal with the opposition biggest, arguably, international star. Jailing and torturing Lopez and two other mayors and a few dozens of students have not helped. So it is time to jail Machado, as a warning to lesser figures of the opposition that they are next in line if they do not shut up.

But then again, her jailing has been postponed.

One could argue that since she is a woman in a machista revolution (yes, machista, as all women with "power" are only there to do the maids dirty jobs) it would not look good to jail a woman. But then again there is the case of judge Afiuni awful treatment that has raised world wide rejection. For Maduro et al, Machado's sex is not a problem (remember that Diosdado Cabello sent his goons to beat her up publicly at the Nazional Assembly).

One could argue there is a certain fear of international opinion, that perhaps having Machado in jail may not help when the regime gets to ask for help, hat in hand. I do not think so. The regime is by now too far gone, to Cuba like to care about rejection. This is all about blackmail, blackmailing for help in exchange for not interfering with other countries' business like it is the case right now with the FARC/Santos negotiations over Colombia's future, held in Havana of all "trustworthy" joints!

One could even argue that the objectives of the regime are a slower, longer and meaner torture than the one inflicted upon Leopoldo Lopez. After all, the impression is that the opposition MUD is still crying over that abuse but is not doing much anymore about it. Lopez is "passé" and the regime would need a newer scapegoat. Although I agree more with this one than the two above, there is still something missing.

Thus I am left, bereft of further theories, to assume that Machado is actually a pawn inside chavista inner struggles, just as I posited that Lopez is one of the trump cards of Diosdado Cabello. Unfortunately if the Lopez case was relatively easy for me to speculate on, in the case of Maria Corina Machado it is more difficult to speculate who is benefited by it inside chavismo. Not that they are not going to jail her eventually, this is a certainty, but the time is still not quite decided.

See, there is something different between Machado and Capriles or Lopez or any other one. For example, even if Voluntad Popular is a more law and order party, Lopez's vehicle is trying to join the "international socialist" group. That is the tradition of political Venezuela since 1958: nobody wants to be center, all want to be from left of center to extreme left (which goes a long way in explaining the failure of democracy in Venezuela but that is another story). Maria Corina Machado is the first credible politician that embraces openly private property, the laws of market, law an order, and a human approach to things without caving in to populist excuses for mediocrity. She was the lucky one able to challenge Chavez on prime time.

One would think that the obvious and novel right of center approach of Maria Corina Machado would reassure all current actors who assume that she is neutralizing herself by not following populist principles. But she is not, even with the failure to grow her own party she is still a force to reckon with. In spite of her upper class upbringing she still can reach across the lines to alleged chavista voters. And the MUD has trouble working closely with her (is she their bad conscience?). Thus I offer the idea that she is a pawn, just like Lopez, but to a more "right wing" sector inside chavismo. After all, there are many inside chavismo that understand that the leftist populist orgy is over, that they need to put to work, to launder somehow, all the money they stole. And thus Maria Corina Machado could be part of a plan to bring the country back to a more kosher way of dealing with the economy.

It is too early to even think about what that plan maybe. We may at best speculate on what sector of chavismo is open to the idea of Machado's ideas and potential. A sector of the army and the bolibourgeois nouveau riche could be interested in a more pro business agenda. Whatever it is, we can bet that the fate of Machado is not quite settled inside chavismo and that actually the perversion may be pushed to the point of a chavista sector wanting to grab on to her to counter Cabello's hold on Lopez.


  1. Anonymous2:25 AM

    If everyone in Venezuela had balls as big as Machado's I highly doubt the country would be in the current state that it is in. It's too bad she doesn't have a larger following who shares the same qualities as her.

    1. Anonymous8:33 PM

      Machado could give one of balls to Capriles so that both will have two.

  2. She is the last political figurehead that the regime hopes to convince the poor is the leadership they will have if Maduro is ousted. She is the closest thing after Lopez to being an Aristocrat. Jailing her likely will give the regime the coverage they desire, they likely think putting a spot light on her will yield better results. Either way I think the vast majority of the population is tired of Maduro flushing the economy down the toilet and not even having paper to wipe. Likely her actions stepped on a nerve of the gov't as of late and hence they want to scare her, which does not seem to be working.

  3. Charly9:54 PM

    Looks like the cucuteño has got other worries than MCM. This lady in the link is generally well informed. The big bad wolf is about to swallow el caperucito rojo rojito or maybe el pajarito. Never a dull moment in this place.

  4. Daniel you have been correclty assessing for years that it would all end in repression. Are you willing to speculate what comes after repression?

    1. Island Canuck1:06 AM

      More repression. Look at Cuba for your game plan.

    2. The ability for Cuba to cut its people off from the rest of the world is a big part as to how its repression controlled the populous. Limiting communications and access to the rest of the world as Venezuela has done may not result in the ongoing repression that was successful in Cuba. I am not sure the gov't in Venezuela has got enough control over the army, weapons and ability for revolting people to communicate in the Venezuela model for the repression to end as Cuba has.

  5. charly4:34 PM

    Maduro just lost a friend up North. Mary Landrieu bit the dust last night, good riddance.


Comments policy:

1) Comments are moderated after the sixth day of publication. It may take up to a day or two for your note to appear then.

2) Your post will appear if you follow the basic polite rules of discourse. I will be ruthless in erasing, as well as those who replied to any off rule comment.