Thursday, December 31, 2015

The inevitable confrontation: let's begin by unseating a few representatives

As I have been writing through December in any possible way that I could come up with, the confrontation between the regime and the opposition new National Assembly is inevitable. And started in all earnest today. By demanding that almost a dozen MUD representative election is to be questioned, the regime has deprived the new majority of its supernumerary majority of 2/3 which would have allowed it to change some of the worst and more repressive and manipulative laws approved under Chavez. Namely the laws that ensure the regime's near dictatorial nature such as freedom of expression and control of the judiciary by the regime (absolute, 100% control by the way as nobody remembers the last time the regime lost a case in the high court TSJ).

True, the Assembly still preserves the 3/5 super-majority that it needs to control fiscal aspects of the regime, but the ones that matter, the ones that can bring back democracy to Venezuela, are, for the time being, lost.  Let's look at some details.

Monday, December 28, 2015

The priorities ahead

And thus I am on December 28 in a hurry to write something as events keep going on in Venezuela. There is no time for a holiday pause. What, with the regime's shenanigans and the opposition division and only 7 days left for the new National Assembly to be sworn in!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

A sweet and sour Christmas

It is time for the annual exercice to wish the readers a happy Christmas. At least to those outside of Venezuela who have nice odds at it being happy; unless you are Venezuelans with a split family between those who stayed (had to?) behind and those who emigrated to freer skies.

Here, for the first time since December 1998, I have listened to my Christmas music collection with real feeling. Chavismo has always made its duty to spoil Christmas for all of us, including its followers who were constantly summoned for the defense of the banana republic (1).  This year is no exception as the Maduro/Cabello combo has managed to force through the nomination of political judges on December 23. And we know they are planning further moves of the judicial coup under way for next week. There is no rest for the wicked. Christmas eve for them cannot be much more than getting plastered with 18 year old Scotch that they are the lone ones to be able to afford these days.

But for the rest of us Christmas will be a tad better this year, even if food shortages and prices make hallacas difficult to come by and presents for kids will be very limited. The election result of December 6 has opened ajar the door towards better days. The road to complete freedom is still long and the road to enough prosperity to be able to reunite families is probably longer. But for the first time in years we can perceive a road.

Thus my best wishes for Christmas to the readers that have followed this blog for so long. As a gift of sorts, the lone ones that can be brought through Internet, two videos from what may be my favorite Venezuelan Christmas tunes, so different and unique from the packaged music that seems to have become the rule elsewhere.  A guitar with "Niño Lindo" and Guanaguanare with the original folk composer.

And a version with words, not necessarily the best one but there are is none on YouTube that truly satisfies me.

This Guanaguanare has a deficient sound track, sorry

1) The 1999 Christmas was spoiled by the natural disaster of Vargas, but that year the regime did what it take to ruin Christmas absolutely by not only refusing help for the disaster but by performing its first judicial coup in between Christmas and New Year just as the country was picking pup the death toll. From there we all knew that the welfare of the people would never be the major concern of the regime: politics and power first. Always.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The now you see, now you don't see the constitutional coup {UPDATED URGENT}

Guys, this is it, the real thing. The regime cannot accept the electoral result of December 6 and has started this week to pull real moves to make sure that it keeps firmly in control of the country, or at least the essential, namely that its leadership does not go to jail (not even keep looting, there is not much left to loot...).

In short the regime is holding a coup d’état except that instead of having tanks rolling down the avenues it is packing the courts and removing representatives recently elected through that packed court. Il suffisait d'y penser (1)

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Left press review

On a slow Saturday night I decided to do what I have stopped doing long, long ago, to examine the misinforming to plain idiotic articles supporting the bolivarian farce. But two upset readers sent me these pieces and by sheer courtesy I read them and went ahead to comment below.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Chavismo these days illustrates very well the difference between fascism and communism

The behavior of the regime since December 6 allows us to illustrate some of the differences between fascism and communism. NOTE: they are both equally evil, just different ways to reach the final goal of a small group to control a totalitarian state.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Somebody home?

I wonder if anyone is aware of the chasm ahead. From what I can see it would seem like no, nobody is taking notice. But then again I may be wrong. Hopefully.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The hysteria of Diosdado and Tarek

The stupendous defeat of the regime two Sundays ago is just starting to unleash all demons within chavismo.  There are two little items that are worth noting.

Monday, December 14, 2015

The 2015 election: final review

The good thing about landslides is that detailed study of vote movement is not necessary nor possible since the anger vote is difficult to assess and predict for the future. In democratic countries this is not really an issue: Mauritius had once a 100% district parliament win fort a single party and it never stopped being a democracy. Thus after reviewing the highlights we may try to summarize the whole thing.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

The 2015 results: polarization, when thou hold us enthralled!

This entry is for the anecdotal part. There were some "independents/dissenter" candidates. What was their fate?

The polarization of the country rolled over them without pity.

Starting Advent a tad late but...

This morning I dusted off my Christmas music. For the first time in over a decade I can enjoy it truly even though the feast will be meager this year.

I suppose I am late to start Advent but heck, I found this in Facebook so there you go, Christmas is all about sharing!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

The last days of Maduro. Or is it of Cabello?

I will try to be short. The actions that Maduro and Cabello are taking are playing against them. One could almost call them suicidal.

The 2015 results: Caucaguita (and Caracas) sweetest moment for the MUD

No need to go in where the opposition did its best score, the 112 new 2/3 majority speaks of itself, the blog entry to cover it all would be too long. Instead let's go where the opposition victory may have been the sweetest: Caracas and greater Caracas.

The title of a recent blog entry was "As Caucaguita goes so will the election". I did not know I would be proven so right. Unbelievably the opposition took Caucaguita, going a long way to explain how the MUD took the double seat district of Guarenas and Guatire (and the rest of the country). I was expecting at best, from the graph of that entry, an even score. Well, in Caucaguita the opposition list won with 50.21% against the PSUV list at 46.95%. The closest result for the opposition in Caucaguita were 5 years ago when the opposition list got 80% of what chavismo got. This time it got 110% of the chavista vote....

But if Caucaguita remains justifiably for this blog the bellwether district, the smashing win in Caucaguita was the reflection of the smashing win across the country, none as sweet that the conquest of Caracas and almost all of the greater Caracas. If a popular, urban, low income district like Caucaguita went MUD, how could similar districts of Vargas, Libertador, Petare do otherwise?

Friday, December 11, 2015

The 2015 results: stable majority, where art thou?

I am talking of course of who holds the majority inside the 112 elected representatives. This is of utmost importance because there will be the need for a common front to resist the assaults of the regime, from incarceration to plain bribery. Amen of the required speed to pass urgent laws and go above Maduro's sabotage. The stable majority is also required to agree on a more than likely constitutional reform.

Data gathered from Tal Cual who has assigned party labels to the 112 elected folks.
I have roughly distributed them according to suspected ideology.
Note that in Venezuela EVERYONE claims to be at the very least left of Center.
VENTE (Maria Corina Machado) is the only one openly right of center.
Colors assigned are inasmuch as possible, through Excel, those of the political parties.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

The 2015 results: chavismo worst losses

Considering how upset chavismo is and how discombobulated Maduro and Cabello are I thought that I would start the result analysis by selecting some of chavimso worst results, losses that are truly troubling for the future of chavismo as a national movement. Namely Omar Prieto in Zulia, the Aragua case and Parequeima in Anzoategui.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

100 days of MUD

I suppose that the tradition of the cabalistic "first hundred days/measures/laws" comes from the first famous 100 days, the ones of Napoleon return to Elba which ended in Waterloo. The regime may want to ponder about that history tidbit, the more so that Waterloo bicentennial was celebrated earlier this year.

The 2015 results: general

Now that the CNE has finally announced the final result we can start more detailed analysis. They will be interesting and I will have a few posts on that through the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned. But first an evaluation of my own predictions.

The CNE does not publish vote count as too embarrassing for the regime, You could be sure that had the PSUV won the election, the vote count would be posted. Never mind, there are people that do so and there is a tweet on this matter:

When consoling the troops makes you certifiable political ass

It is always necessary for the leader of a political party to try to comfort a little bit the troops by promises of keeping up the good fight. If this cannot be done by the harshness of the score or the temperament of the leader then there is always resigning your position. What Maduro did tonight was resigning his subordinates and through Cabello announce open season on the new Assembly.

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Musings on the 0,6666666666.... An Irrational or Transcendental number?

As I type, the opposition claims it got 2/3 of the Assembly and the CNE still tries to find ways to deny that number. But in a way it does not matter much, the psychological effect is there, and what matters more is that the vote against the current regime is 2 million+ votes. That is right, the MUD got more than 2 million votes that the PSUV alliance (GPP). The other candidates, I think , did not go much more than 1%, making this election the most polarized in our history (Chavez presidential victories aside but they were of a different nature, outright plebiscites on a charismatic leader).

Chavismo is not taking it well

True, even Nicolas Maduro preferred to concede defeat rather than taking to the streets. But his concession was like the Chavez one of 2007, "victoria de mierda" but more banal in its content, "defeated by the economic war" that nobody but chavistas seem to understand what it is about. Which allows us to think that the economic war is just a myth a la Cuban embargo.

Monday, December 07, 2015

A vote for the times

What happened today in Venezuela is truly momentous, better than the wildest hopes the opposition could have ever had a year ago. In the last 3-4 months the objective of a nice victory was getting clearer, but tonight the preliminary result announcing a 2 to 1 victory in seats? No way, Jose!

As I type this I am half drunk with the bottle I drowned on my own over the excruciating long wait of the night. No, I am no lush, I did the pilgrimage for a last vote to San Felipe now that I live mostly in Caracas. I have not gotten around to change my district (next in Petare to help Ocariz). But I had kept that semi cheap Chilean champagne that I did not drink in 2009 keeping it for when chavismo would be ousted. It had to wait 5 years in my fridge and me alone but willing. My stupor is accompanied by the streets which are suddenly awake with caravans of opposition supporters in this very chavista state which may be getting back to old former governor Lapi days.

They are right to celebrate as this election marks the end of an era, at last. Chavismo cannot recover from such as stunning disaster that not even Cuban "expertise" could avoid. There are still 17 seats to be decided, too close to call, but the opposition already has secured the 3/5 supernumerary majority and by getting a few of the 17 it may not reach the fabled 2/3 majority needed for certain laws but it will be strong enough to offer a credible resistance against a desperate regime. The future of chavismo is bleak, and it certainly does not pass through its current structure and mood. Implosion is in the future and speedy internal reform is a must if it does not want to disappear, if it wants to remain a leftist option in Venezuela. Appealing crassly to Chavez memory was a mistake, they killed the idol. Now they are on their own.

There is no need to inquire deeply in the causes of the rout. Empty shelves and 200% inflation say it all. As I wrote often, in the last two years the regime has had the chance to take some economic measures that would not have avoided the crisis but made it less politically damaging. But it did not. The regime was hostage to utmost currency exchange arbitration abuse and drug trafficking, all protected by the upper army cadres. What happened in the end was that the populist government lost contact with the populi. And that was that.

What comes next is an exciting page in our history and renewed blogging fervor from yours truly. Only one thing can be more interesting to blog about than the downfall of a regime: the birth of a new order.

Make no mistake, the road is still flush with ambushes. A narco regime was stunned by a defeat they truly never believed could happen. But as the international penal law starts closing in there is no telling what desperate measures they could be willing to risk. Keep in mind that in spite of the disaster, a 40% still voted for the regime. A quick renewal could mean a quick return.

Yet, the economic disaster will kill political support for whatever system comes next and even that 2/3 potential victory will require for the opposition to reach out to chavismo to avoid the worst, something that could even include an increased civil war. Yes, the daily number of violent death in the country are already the signs of a civil war waged between drug and corrupt gangs for their turf, both against the common citizen.

But how to deal with that is best left for the coming days. Tonight we must celebrate one thing: el pueblo spoke and proved that freebies and promises of freebies are not enough. In the end maybe democratic values are not the decisive factors when voting, but accounting is. And demanding accounting for the rulers is where democracy starts. Let's savor that moment when Venezuelans put aside political polarization, artificially created class and race divides and went all together, from negritos to catires, from tierruos to sifrinos, to say that enough is enough, that equality is not standing all together in line for a little bit of milk.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Election day 2015 post


Tibisay spoketh. It ain't pretty for the regime, a 2 to 1 victory for the opposition. Still 17 seats in play that will decide whether a 2/3 supernumerary majority is reached (and the end of the regime as we knew it). Maduro bitched but accepted with lame references.

Meanwhile suddenly San Felipe is awakening.

And this concludes our election day post. Next? Governor elections December 2016 or... earlier presidential.


In two minutes we are "the day after"

The decalogue of a new opposition (eventually?) led National Assembly

A thought exercise first. If the MUD opposition alliance gains a majority in the new National Assembly, who is the opposition? Maduro or the MUD?

The truth on the weeks after (elections YV-11)

So tomorrow we vote. And what will happen next?

Saturday, December 05, 2015

Final prediction for this blog (election YV-10)

Before this blog makes it final prediction I need to repeat again a few things:

The campaign that reached new lows (YV-9)

The electoral campaign of 2015 in Venezuela will make it to the text books of electoral infamy. To find worst campaigning conditions you need to look into outright dictatorships of the communist type. These try to pretend that everybody gets along while folks are forced to vote for the one party state. In fascism they do not even bother with appearances which, in a way, is a tad more honest.

This silly banner says "either you agree or
I will not vote". With all colors from alleged
opposition parties. That are not, only fake
vote robbers. It started appearing 2 days
ago, a timing for distress.
But the bolivarian farce came to power through honest elections and it must retain power through elections, no matter how rigged those are. There must be an appearance that there is an electoral contest. That is why opposition public meetings are still authorized, even though shot down as necessary least they become too large.

Recapping all the electoral treachery is too long for this blog. Besides, the OAS General Secretary has done a magnificent job out of it, through an 18 pages letter to the Venezuelan Electoral board, CNE. Let's just say that you can find it all, from gerrymandering, to funding abuse and even false electoral propaganda of political parties using opposition candidates to promote their own ones, going as far as finding perfectly unknown assholes that happen to have the same name as the opposition candidate. In other places the amount of political posters of unknown parties dwarfs the posters of the PSUV or opposition candidates in numbers and size (see below). We all know of course that the regime itself is financing these efforts trying to pry away vote by vote from the opposition electorate. They have no sense of ridicule.

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Electoral paranoia (YV-8)

The regime is not helping its cause (albeit hopeless, but that is another story).

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

A certifiable "revolution" (election YV-7)

The bolivarian farce is reaching true levels of madness. Not only Maduro is certifiable, but for his supporters to go along with his latest "boutades" is a sign of the general dysfunctionality of a large spectrum of the populace.

Yesterday Maduro scored big on the levels of arbitrary and vile cruelty. Campaigning in a district were the regime is losing bad (Petare) and where the regime is in trouble (Guarenas-Guatire) he resorted to an undeserved arrest and to a humiliating moral abuse.