Friday, September 04, 2015

Is the sentence on Leopoldo Lopez relevant?

No, this is no bait title. Whether Leopoldo Lopez is freed or condemned today has become almost irrelevant for the coming history. As I type this a small crowd of opposition leaders (small on purpose, by the way) is barred from the court building where the final sentence on Leopoldo Lopez is supposedly to be pronounced at any minute. And whatever the result is, even if I learn it as I type, it does not change much the coming text.

I think the regime will condemn Leopoldo Lopez. They are crazy enough to do that and make Lopez the "great" leader of the opposition. Capriles has been fading steadily and even went into ridiculous having to fight a silly battle on Tweeter to pretend that he did not say what he said on some of the fallout of the Colombian border crisis. Maria Corina Machado seems to have realized that Primero Justicia and AD, and others, prefer to keep chavismo at Miraflores before giving her a chance at anything. Thus she seems to have decided to support Lopez until better days come for her. Henri Falcon is now fatally flawed as he is trying to position himself as a transition figure that would allegedly draw in a chavismo dissidence. And there is no one else, really, that can even pretend at disputing the leadership to Lopez.

Whether the leadership of Lopez is what the country needs is now irrelevant.  The regime not only has made this to happen, but it is speeding up the final outcome by its inability to face to the economic and political crisis of Venezuela. Recent polls are lapidary and even "pro Chavez" pollsters give a double digit advantage for the opposition, big enough that one can hardly see a way for the regime to reduce it. Somewhat it will shrink some as the campaign goes on but 2 years of mismanagement and long lines for a little bit of food and toilet paper cannot be forgotten easily.

The regime has tried all sorts of tricks to distract public opinion and try to create excuses that would allow it to at the very least postpone elections. The latest attempt, by manufacturing a crisis with Colombia is going nowhere. The alleged victory at the OAS  was notable not by its narrowness but by the fast shrinking influence of Venezuela there. Next crisis vote and the regime will lose at the OAS. After a weak to dismal initial reaction of Colombia's president Santos, this one has taken successfully the initiative. The "defeat" at the OAS has allowed it to criticize Brazil for its lack of leadership and to wave away the UNASUR empty shell, an humiliation for it considering that an Colombian ex-president is at its helm. Then he went to the border with lots of international guests to hold a cabinet meeting with the victims of Venezuela's abuse. Then the foreign minster Holguin described with details the duplicity and web of lies weaved by the regime in its failed propaganda.

In contrast not only Maduro has failed to call an equivalent meeting on the Venezuelan side, knowing full well that he would be booed loudly, but the wannabe conquering hero went to China to ask for survival cash for the elections of December. In short, the border crisis seems to have brought him zero benefit on the Venezuelan side.

What is left to do for the regime? This one cannot afford to lose elections because a real government will send a few of its members to jail. So a new crisis has to be created and what better than giving Leopoldo Lopez a maximum sentence. Heck! Why not have him murdered in jail to see if the opposition rise in protest so it can be brutally crushed and elections outright cancelled.

That would be a terrible mistake for the regime, the last straw internationally to force many into recognizing its rogue nature, and speed up the economic downfall: the easiest way to undo the regime, fast, without military intervention. The writing is on the wall. US Secretary of State has posed a few days ago with the wife of Lopez. Thomas Shannon, the political operator that posed with Diosdado Cabello a few weeks ago posed a few days ago with a second fiddle at Lopez party, thus equating him to Cabello in importance, a terrible insult for a narcissistic rogue like Cabello, The Spanish Senate has had a nearly unanimous vote to demand that the Spanish government do more for Venezuelan political prisoners. Last but not least, under internal pressure the weakening Roussef government has had to admit (accept?) that there is a need for international supervision for the December vote in Venezuela.

Truly, can the Venezuelan regime be so blind? It is, because it is a rogue regime, because Maduro obeys Cuban orders, because Cuba cannot give up under any pretense whatever alimony it still cashes from Venezuela. Because, very simply, it has run out of ideas and has only violence left in its belt.

In the end it does not matter. If Lopez is not condemned, and freed, the opposition gets a boost. If Lopez is kept in jail, the injustice will be too flagrant and the opposition not only will also get a boost, but it will get another one from overseas. My guess is that the regime will go ahead and condemn Lopez anyway in the belief that it will radicalize its base and bring out the vote. Or the violence.


  1. What is the relevance of the disappearance of Marco Coello to the government case against Leopold Lopez? Was he an important prosecution witness? If so, why did the government not ensure his availability to testify? Reports are he fled to Miami, but does anyone know if this is true? What happens next?

  2. Anonymous12:55 AM

    I think Coello is rather another accused party here.

    Now, Daniel i would like to ask you about some other alternatives.

    I agree, I think that no justice will be made, since I tend to give the cuban puppetmasters a lot of credit in their moves, they have managed to survive 50 + years in power and now are even having the US /obama defeated.... (Harina de otro costal)

    What are your thoughts on the alternative: LL is released and allowed to help the oppo in preparing for the elections which they have rigged and could use as another massive frustration win come december, in any case the asamblea will remain an empty shell and an potamkin fachade for the regime.

    They could let LL " quemarse como politico" when all the overinflated expectations that the elecciones come to no good end , again.

    Your thought?


  3. Charly8:10 AM

    "... but 2 years of mismanagement...", really? Masburro was an accident waiting to happen and it did. The real culprit was elected in 1998 and lets just hope his eyes painted on every building of Mission Vivienda can see from the bottom of hell the fuck up he made of this ex-country, a rogue state indeed.

  4. Anonymous8:11 AM

    Don't agree with this: "And whatever the result is, even if I learn it as I type, it does not change much the coming"

    It actually means a lot as he has got balls unlike the rest of the country. It's easy to blame the regimes mess on the Cubans isn't it? it really doesn't help anything.

    Whether or not the Cubans still have a strong hand means nothing. What means something is that whoever is still left is ok with letting scumbags continue to run the country into the ground. It's actually quite interesting to watch from abroad as you wonder how far does a nation have to be pushed before they wake up one day and say to No.

    If Venezuela went another 100 years like it is today I wouldn't be surprised your way of life would eventually become normal.

    The next time you decide to blame the Cubans perhaps you should take a good look into the mirror and ask yourself what you can do to help.

  5. Good post but you must correct this: "2 years of mismanagement ". It has been 16 years of very bad mismanagement, just different oil price levels. This government is a continuation of what the caudillo did...without the fascist charisma of the military man from Sabaneta.

  6. Agree.. It doesn't matter much. Even if Leopoldo was free, (without restrictions, highly unlikely) he would quickly be framed, re-arrested, blocked at every street corner, even re-arrested at the slightest guarimba..

    Only if the USA promised some deal to Capo Cabello.. Another possibility is they free a couple students, and give Casa por Prision, Home Prison to Lopez, which would be the smart move. Then again, these are mentally retarded, blind Chavistas, so who knows.

    Sorry to say, sorry for him and his family, but the best thing that could happen for Vzla would probably be that they kept him in prison. His popularity as a martyr would grow even more.

    Especially after the next fraudulent elections, which also do not matter much. Regardless of the fabricated 55% result, when people realized its still rigged and nothing changes but gets worse. When they feel they can't wait until the next Presidential Election Fraud in 2019, that's when an incarcerated, martyred Lopez would be at his strongest position.

  7. Anonymous5:28 PM

    Correct me if I am wrong, but in all similar dictatorships with Mach elections, whether Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia etc, does not the fraud happen every election and obvious to the population and it carries onot with nothing changing? Political prisoners like Lopez are easy targets for the regimes because the majority of the population does not like him. Only way to topple a dictatorship is for the military to turn on it.


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