Thursday, November 12, 2015

Flowers and letters: no romance for the revolutionary corpse

It is hard to underestimate the weigh of this week's events on an agonizing Maduro's headed regime. Even your prudent blogger is cautiously allowing himself to believe that yes, indeed, the regime's life should be counted in weeks... Or that at the very least a major change is just around the corner.

The week started with the reply sent to Tibisay Lucena by OAS Secretary Luis Almagro. See, Almagro got really upset about the flippancy of Tibisay Lucena, head of the CNE, Venezuela's electoral board. The woman, on orders from the regime that she is only too happy to oblige, is refusing ANY supervision to the crucial electoral process coming on December 6.

As it turns out the international community has been sending lots of hints as to the validity and fairness of the coming election. These hints have not been duly responded. Thus these hints became more and more direct, asking formally the CNE to allow real international observation, not the mere tourist tour on election day by "friendly" countries which in addition are barred from direct comment on elections. Lucena (and so many others in the regime) have become ruder and ruder, going as far as saying that people like Almagro were interfering on sovereign matters (injerencia). In short: butt off.

The latest curt and undiplomatic reply of Tibisay to Luis was just too much for him and he replied in a long 18 pages letter (PDF in Spanish here). He needed that much space because the letter reads like the longest most comprehensive indictment on Tibisay Lucena's work. Nothing was missed, from the cheapest electoral treacheries, to the lack of access by the opposition to TV, through all the material abuses of the regime, without forgetting political prisoners. Almagro even shows his clear understanding of gerrymandering as done in Venezuela. All, ALL is there. Asking for an observation is in fact a courtesy of sorts, to offer a chance for the regime to state its case.

This letter is of utmost importance because he lays at the feet of Lucena all the guilt for any negative consequence that the fraudulent elections may have. Almagro's team (and allies as he cannot have sent such a letter without the acquiescence of a few OAS members) is absolutely clear on that guilt: either Lucena has been promoting that treachery or she has remained silent in front of it. In the end all will be her direct responsibility. In short, the letter is, well, an ultimatum.

But any rational answer that the regime may have considered to Almagro's letter was taking a back seat when we learned today that two close relatives of Cilia Flores, Maduro's wife and probably the real power behind the throne, were arrested in Haiti as 800 kilos deal of cocaine traffic was busted. As the amateurs that these kids were they blurted immediately their status and their diplomatic passport. To no avail of course for the DEA personnel. Within hours all major papers in the world have been carrying the news that Maduro's close step-relatives were busted, and busted bad.

No link needed, just pick up WSJ, NYT, El Pais, Veja, etc...  for details. In short, the two kids fell like amateurs trusting what seemed a rather casual contact from Honduras who was in fact a DEA undercover agent.  Cilia Flores nepotism has defrayed the chronicles so there is no surprise in seeing these kids with a high sense of entitlement showing their diplomatic passport (though being nobodies), and promptly saying that they were Maduro's family, and then stating that the drug belonged to Diosdado and Tarek El Aissami (Aragua's governor, on the DEA list). These kids are going to chirp as much as asked.

One can only wonder if they were not set up from the start by a rival Venezuelan drug cartel to sink another one.

Now, this is a big problem. The only way for Cilia and Nicolas out of that mess is to condemn the kids and ask for justice to apply firmly. But we all know that this is not going to happen. So, what? We may have all sorts of invective against the US. Even a final break with closing embassies. Perhaps even a formal notification of Venezuela leaving the OAS (remember the letter at the beginning).  The regime may even go as far as cancelling the election for "national security reasons since diplomatic passports are not respected".

But nobody outside of Venezuela will follow. Diplomatic immunity is no blanket immunity to begin with. And it applies only in the country where your mission is. Unless the Flores kids were attached to the Venezuelan embassy in Port au Prince there is little Venezuela can do. A crime is a crime and drug traffic is a crime everywhere in the world except in Venezuela, it seems. Though we can be sure that Haiti will stop receiving its allowances (and may have stopped to do so for a while which means they turned to the US where the bucks are).

I really do not see how the regime can wiggle out of this one. Someone will have to pay, if anything for allowing such a mess to happen, for being such a careless operator. The facts are clear. The world has served notice to the regime that its elections are rigged. The world has announced to the regime that its narco state character is not acceptable. The DEA has learned its lesson form the Carvajal fiasco in Aruba and now they are ready to pick up regime narco officials one by one, as soon as they set foot outside of Venezuela. There must be feverish meetings tonight at Miraflores Palace and major military camps.

I do not know what is going to happen, but something is going to. Since the odds of Cilia abandoning her brood are nil (never mind that they implicated Maduro's own son) we must look elsewhere.  Since this is an irrational thug system anything crazy can happen.  I would dare to suggest that the only way the regime can try to limit damage from this, and maybe even gain some leverage, is by forcing Maduro to resign in the coming days.

Maduro and Cilia are now beyond "damaged goods", even for their Cuban puppet masters. Forcing them to resign would have one immediate effect: suspend legislative elections where the spread is now reaching 20% against the regime in polls. In a presidential system presidential elections come first and the regime can hope that a presidential election may favor an opposition division while the anti Maduro chavista base may decide to come back to the regime once Maduro is out.  Legislative elections can be held later. If the regime loses the presidency it will not matter much for chavismo in the Assembly; if it retains the presidency then it will be easier to retain a legislative majority. Or so would the strategy go.  It would be easy to play around electoral agenda using primaries, etc, to postpone presidential elections all the way until February/March and legislative ones all the way until May or June.

That is what I would do if I were the regime, try to gain a few months in the hope oil prices go up again, or that opposition leadership is all in jail.

At any rate, tonight I truly feel for the first time that something has been set into motion, for better or for worse.

PS: note that 800 seem to be a magic kabalistic number for chavismo, like in the Antonini cash bag for Kirchner reelection or the 800 kilos of cocaine in Haiti.


  1. IslandCanuck1:06 PM

    It's noteworthy that none of the national news media is covering this except El National & websites like La Patilla & Reporte Confidencial.

    Here in Margarita both Sol de Margarita & Diario Caribazo, which I consider if not neutral at least leaning on the side of anti Chavismo, had nothing on their front pages today.

    Also note that there has been nothing from the mouth pieces of the government. They usually take 2 or 3 days to organize their propaganda approach.

    I also feel that the change is coming one way or another and that my prediction of no election on Dec. 6 is fast approaching reality.

  2. Almagro's letter did not mention the 1.5 million votes that the "best electronic voting system in the world" has to inject when needed. He also could not point out that Capriles should be president based on the last presidential election. Neither could he point out that when the political, legal and media doors are all shut against a collective clamor for change anything can happen. At some point the desperation of the chavista masses will converge with the indignation of the middle classes and that will cut the head of the hydra.

  3. He needed that much space because the letter reads like the longest most comprehensive indictment on Tibisay Lucena's work. Nothing was missed, from the cheapest electoral treacheries, to the lack of access by the opposition to TV, through all the material abuses of the regime, without forgetting political prisoners. Almagro even shows his clear understanding of gerrymandering as done in Venezuela. All, ALL is there."

    Did Almagro say anything about Chavez's dubious Smartmatic Machines? Perhaps he needs to visit Brazil or the Philippines for his next vacation.

  4. Anonymous4:47 PM

    What a backdrop of Maduro's "Human Rights" speech at the UN today. How does he ignore this? Will he even acknowledge the fact that he has turned his country into a narco state? I wonder what the hell that little bird is saying to him right now.

    1. Anonymous11:03 PM

      He didn't turn his country into a narco state. It was already well established in the military and other high officials by the time he took office, it's just gotten way worse.

  5. The news showed up in Newspapers in Ecuador and on Facebook late afternoon yesterday!

  6. Anonymous6:33 PM

    Who's the lawyer of the idiot Flowers going to be? Eva Golinger? Squire Patton Boggs? One thing is for sure, all their legal bills will be paid 100% by el pubelo.
    Caracas Canadian

    1. Anonymous5:54 AM

      Most criminal defense attorney can do this but the guys that really know this are in Miami. There are many known names but I would go with Michael Diaz in this case for reasons I dont care to mention.

  7. Boludo Tejano12:09 AM

    The thread's title of "Flowers and letters: no romance for the revolutionary corpse" reminded me of a Rolling Stones song about a druggie, here covered by Townes Van Zandt.

    A novelist- or the screenwriter for a telenovela- couldn't dream this stuff up. Chavezuela, where reality is stranger than fiction.

    How long will it take for the Flores family to show up in a Narco Corrido song? I found a Corrido norteño dedicado al presidente Hugo Chávez. from Mexico. The song is from 2009, when Chavismo still had an abundant supply of petrodollars. The lyrics are interesting. Here is an excerpt:

    Nacido allá in Venezuela
    Y por su patria él siempre luchó
    Para acabar la corrupción
    Que en los años su pueblo sufrió

    Born in Venezuela
    And he always fought for his country
    To stop the corruption
    That his country suffered in those years

    [I am certain that someone with a more poetic bent could come up with a better translation, but it will do.]

    I don't know whether to laugh or to cry over such lyrics.

    Norteño music- not surprisingly the name of music of northern Mexico- has borrowed much from north of the Rio Grande. The Germans and Czechs who immigrated to central Texas in the mid-19th century brought their music to Texas- waltzes, polkas, and accordions. The waltzes, polkas, and accordions became part of Tejano music. Then northern Mexico.

  8. Heard through familia that troops are on the move into Caracas.

    1. Not troops. GNB riot control vehicles

  9. re: "800"

    The site that cannot be named has been indicating a real value of more than 800 Bs - 1 American dollar for a few days now...

    The Saudi's are sticking with their plan to pump as much as they can, Iran is exporting and ramping up production to the 5 million barrels/day as quick as they can... nothing on the horizon to bail out the oil price collapse for the next year.

    1. Iran isn't about to ramp up to 5 mmbopd. They simply lack the logistics, the cash, or the reason to do so. We are also seeing a bit more prudent approach by the crazies drilling tight rocks in Texas and North Dakota.

      Oil prices will rebound because nobody can take this grind for much longer. But it's going to be too late for pdvsa. They are gutting the Orinoco, they haven't got cash, and nobody will risk investing big bucks with Maduro around.

    2. 5.7 million per day within 5 years is the plan... I suppose the Financial Times is generally respectable enough. Plenty of companies around the world will supply Iran with the logistics (at a price) The Iranians will have plenty of cash after the sanctions are actually lifted, and plenty of reason to do so, as they don't really have anything else of value to sell to the world. I'm not on Iran's side for any reason here...

    3. Fernando many of the big oil companies are pushing the low crude prices. During the rise and height of the crude many smaller companies got into business. The big fully integrated companies are making more then ever on the fuel retail side and are buying up all these little going broke guys who found and developed many oil wells/fields. As for the Saudi's they are mad at Venezuela as that cheap oil for debt they are pumping into China has taken market share from the Saudi's.

  10. Boludo Tejano1:54 AM

    Heard through familia that troops are on the move into Caracas.

    Kepler received a similar report.
    Today a couple of our readers saw these APCs on the road from Valencia to Caracas. The National Guard uses these vehicles to contain protests.

    APVs? [all-purpose vehicles]

    I wonder if the orjejas/neighborhood watch people are reporting something which is prompting this movement to Caracas.

    Recall that when FARC comandante Raul Reyes was killed at his camp in Ecuador, and Chavez ordered tanks to the Colombian border. Very few tanks made it to the border.

  11. Anonymous3:36 AM

    Great analysis Daniel (as always) just a minor point...the term is ' butt out' when asking someone to mind their own business. ..cheers

  12. Anonymous5:21 AM

    Couple of details. The boys did not rat out Tarek and Godgiven as claimed by Emili from ABC. That is embellished. The boys are not going to rat anyone out. Trust me. They are facing 25 to life. This wll not be politically negotiated. This is going to trial and they will be convicted. Heard the prosecutor is seeking life. Once the kids are locked up for good is when BRV may begin its overtures to free them but the window will be limited if at all. The price will be high and they will only have one chance if at all. OTOH, nobody may come to their rescue. Their legal bills will be paid but that's it. So the kids will not talk taking their chances and hoping for a future negotiation that may never come.


  13. Anonymous6:15 PM

    República Dominicana.- Fue allanada la madrugada de este viernes la casa se campo de Francisco Flores de Freites, sobrino de la primera dama de Venezuela, Cilia Flores.

    En la propiedad, ubicada en Casa de Campo, La Romana, se encontraron 80 kilogramos de clorhidrato de cocaína (al 99%). También fue decomisado un yate “The Kingdom” registrado en Bahamas (Y0016), propiedad de Francisco Flores Suarez.

    Dentro del Yate, de 135 pies con pista de aterrizaje para helicópteros, estaban 53 kilogramos de clorhidrato de cocaína y 10 kilogramos de heroína de alta pureza.

    El capitán es venezolano y está siendo protegido por autoridades de la Administración para el Control de Drogas (DEA), está colaborando y es ahora testigo protegido.

    La casa de Flores, es vecina a la casa del fallecido modisto dominicano Oscar de La Renta.

    Las informaciones fueron suministradas por una fuente de entero crédito a NCDN.

    Ya se informó de que están por salir las citaciones y órdenes de arresto para personas involucradas en el hecho, en Miami, Florida.

    La información que se maneja que el fiscal de New York, donde están los detenidos los sobrinos, quiere la cabeza de Tarek el Salami (militante del Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela y radicalmente CHAVISTA.) junto a la de los hermanos Cabello.

    También se les decomiso una jeepeta Ford Explorer un carro Toyota Yaris, color Azul, así como 43 mil 450 pesos y 500 dólares a uno y al otro 64, 000 pesos en efectivo.

  14. Anonymous6:44 PM

    the yacht:

  15. I went to Princeton University, live in Europe, and truly LOVE Smartmatic Chavez machines. They are impenetrable and so, sooooo cute!!

  16. Anonymous11:47 PM

    more yacht pics and pics of the coke and heroin haul

  17. OT: Attacks on Paris


    I am deeply saddened and outraged by the attacks on Paris yesterday. I want you and all the French people to know that I will support WHATEVER actions France decides are needed to defend itself and to bring justice to the perpetrators, both direct and intellectual, of these heinous acts. France is not alone. Today, I am French.

  18. Daniel, My heart goes out to you and to all the French people for such an unspeakable act of cowardice. I hope your love ones and family are well.

  19. Charly4:03 PM

    Naky Soto, always with her great sense of humor had the perfect expression to qualify this mess: "Mission Perico".


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