Tuesday, June 23, 2015

In victory we eat

This morning finally Leopoldo Lopez, reported not being able to stand up anymore, has let it be known that he ended his hunger strike and asked that others end their own as well. Too many are heralding the calling for elections a great victory for Lopez, but I beg to differ. A victory it is but it lays elsewhere, associated to Leopoldo Lopez, make no mistake.

Let's look at the "electoral victory" first.

One of the petitions of the hunger strike was for the regime to set once and for all an election date. This should have been done long ago and it was clear that the regime was delaying it. The reasons were many, from picking the date that would favor its interest best, to give them time to organize an internationally palatable electoral fraud, to find an excuse not to call an election. That a date is set is a set back for the regime. But again, make no mistake, in the next 5 months many things may still happen to sabotage the election, the more negative polls are.

Another important aspect of the election is that they require a close international monitoring considering that the regime will do the impossible to cheat. That observation cannot be only a "accompaniment" on election day, that is, electoral tourists that come for the election day to see that all takes place in some sort of order, unable to check for possible fraud and forbidden to make any comments until the final results are proclaimed. In short, worth repeating, electoral tourism.

What we need is a real observation of all aspects of the process and that requires that in the coming weeks specialists from the OAS, UN and EU start visiting and have access to the different mechanisms and be allowed to talk to the different parties. Yesterday Venezuela seems to have accepted only UNASUR, the partial South American association that has time and again taken the side of the regime refusing to look at electoral fraud. We are not even sure if they will come as observers or tourists. Same difference I suppose for them.

Hence that Lopez "victory" on elections is far from being complete. Or even partial if you ask me, But it has been the least damaging way the regime found to end the hunger strike. And for this we should celebrate.

The victory of Leopoldo Lopez is elsewhere. Since he has been arrested over a year ago his actions and his resistance have clearly established that the regime is a dictatorship controlled from the radicals from Cuba. Apparently there is talk of a division between the radical, Fidelistas, and the ones who want to negotiate with the US, Raulistas (?). The Fidelistas would want Leopoldo dead.

Lopez courageous victories come from demonstrating that his trial is a political trial through a kangaroo court; that his detention conditions are abysmal (compared to those that Chaevz had, for example); on how his political allies have been hunted down without mercy without even a fake excuse; on the deeply calumnious nature of the regime; on how this one flouts any international norm, and basic human rights. The victory of Leopoldo Lopez has made it impossible for democratic leaders to have their picture taken with the regime, except for those corrupt enough like Lula or Rousseff. That Maduro claimed an ear infection not to go an visit the Pope is due to Lopez actions and hunger strike.

Dealings with the Venezuelan regime are now left to underlings or operators like Shannon meeting with impossible characters like Cabello because there is no other option. Venezuela is a pariah state and Lopez victory has been to force the world to recognize that fact. That does not mean the world soon will do something effective about it, but as long as all the people that count do not agree on that qualification for the Venezuelan regime, nothing substantive can be done.

For this, in my book, the sacrifice of Lopez was phenomenal and he deserves our gratitude.


  1. Partial or total or whatever the Hunger Strikes, led by LL and Ceballos, plus about 80 more who joined in were effective in many ways, nationally and internationally. In the specific ways I'm tired of enumerating in diverse posts and blogs. An important part of the protests that are only just about to begin, after the next "elections" fraud.

    1. Maybe the protests should start now asking for UN and other observers.

    2. Absolutely. There are too many ways to cheat:

      - Gerrymandering (Done)
      - Cuadernos de votacion (Gone)
      - Bribes, threads etc: guaranteed.
      - Smartmatic : preguntale al Mago Rodriguez o a Alec Boyd, o a los Brasileros facilito.

  2. But here lies the issues, election fraud will happen, everyone in the world will know it but the regime will tot to all how the democracy of the people won as all dictators with mock elections do and the people will do nothing. The corrupt politicians in the rest of Latin America will distant themselves from Maduro until oil prices rise again and he can buy their support blindly as he has done. End result nothing has changed, the people will not rise up and the gov't makes just enough to pay the military to be as corrupt as them. From the poor who sank their country for a hand out, to all authority, to Latin leaders, they are all corrupt and too few with the spine and character to make the necessary changes. This coming election and Lopez hunger strike unfortunately will not change anything. Only the greed of the parts of the regime that are not left enough to steel will change the regime and for no better.

    1. I think the elections fraud this time could be too obvious, and a social detonator, if they are as stupid as they can be:

      - If they cheat to the extent of turning 80% against Chavismo into any % win, that's way too obvious, people will get really pissed off and hit the streets (remember the inflacion, escasez, colas, inseguridad will be even worse next year.)

      - But if they are not THAT stupid, and fake a "small defeat", less obvious, say 55% "win" for the opposition, nothing will change.. the disguised Dictatorship could last longer then..

    2. Anonymous4:53 PM

      it is always obvious for those with eyes to see and ears to hear, but that will not matter...straight away the government will declare something else and people will start to adapt.It will make no difference...this is not a viable strategy.


  3. Anonymous2:30 AM

    Would there even be a Vote if there was some sort of declaration of War, or state of War in the next 3 or 4 months. The boarder situations with Guyana and now Colombia are being hyped up for a reason. And even if Venezuela pronounced a state of war and mobilised some troops towards its boarders would Colombia or Guyana really retaliate? Would the World support Venezuela- No! Would so called South Ameican socall allies support VeneZuela ? There could be a peaceful standoff for many, many years with guess who still in power. Beware of the desperate.

    1. I think they are more distractions to talk about versus talking about the economy. To further push that USA is surrounding them in this economic war and all that crap then actual war. Most of the world dictators are talking war all the time as a distraction.

    2. However, the talk of war allows the gov't to justify more military spending to appease the generals and in the event that the opposition wins the vote and calls an election the gov't will be well positioned then to go to a state of war holding off any such election.

  4. Anonymous2:38 AM


  5. Boludo Tejano4:47 AM

    Yesterday Venezuela seems to have accepted only UNASUR, the partial South American association that has time and again taken the side of the regime refusing to look at electoral fraud. We are not even sure if they will come as observers or tourists. Same difference I suppose for them.

    From my previous comment at CC: Congreso de Brasil exige a Rousseff protesta formal a Venezuela por ataque a senadores.
    La Cámara de Diputados de Brasil aprobó el jueves un comunicado de condena contra el gobierno venezolano por el ataque orquestado por piquetes contra una delegación de Senadores que pretendía visitar a prisioneros políticos en dicho país, y exigieron al presidenta Dilma Rousseff que presenté una protesta formal ante el presidente Nicolás Maduro.

    The Brazilian Chamber of Deputies approved Thursday a communique of condemnation against the Venezuelan government for the attack orchestrated by demonstrators against a delegation of Brazilian Senators that tried to visit political prisoners in Venezuela, and ordered President Dilma Rousseff to present a formal protest to President Maduro.

    From Marc's comment at June 23, 2015 at 1:26 pm we have a link which shows that the resolution passed unanimously. This suggests that a delegation of Brazilians would not necessarily act as a bunch of Chavista toadies- provided that Dilma doesn't hand pick them.

    It appears that Dilma is having herself a 19th Political Nervous Breakdown. On Friday, her government sent a note of protest to the GOV which pretty much was in support of what the Brazilian legislature said on Thursday [see my comment at end of thread.] Then on Saturday Dilma says that “the intention of the senators to visit the imprisoned opposition figures put the [Venezuelan] government in a type of trap, and represents a shame for Brazil; this is meddling in the internal affairs of Venezuela.” [see my comment at end of thread.] Can't make up her mind, that woman. Not a very politic thing to say, given that her own legislature UNANIMOUSLY condemned the GOV.

    UNASUR observers may not necessarily represent a slam-dunk for Maduro, given the current attitudes in Brazil.


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