Something strange happened to me over the holiday: I did not see the new year coming. At least not politically. Until December 31 the regime has been busy at trying to find ways to sabotage the swearing in of January 5, taking away even the cameras from the National Assembly so that presumably there will be no way to record the ceremony (and whatever vulgarity the regime plans to do then; or to hide that Cabello will not be the chair anymore?).
Thus it felt a little bit empty to write a "Happy New Year" entry for a political blog whose readers are aware that there was no holiday break this year, not even for this blogger with, to boot, a delicate family situation over the holidays. Whatever holiday optimism I may have had was expressed at the Christmas post. Then we were back to business as usual. So, happy holiday new year wishes here and that is that.
On Tuesday 5 the new National Assembly will be sworn in. The MUD opposition victorious alliance has already called for a mass rally at "La Hoyada" which is a couple of blocks from the National Assembly (and conveniently empty from all the buhoneros stalls there as these go on vacation the first two weeks of January, until people receive their first paycheck of the year, all previous income having been wasted away in December).
The regime? We do not know for sure yet. "spontaneously" some colectivos (armed thug gangs cum storm troopers of the regime) are making hot air about defending the revolution. Too bad that one of the most famous colectivo, La Piedrita, has lost its district of 23 de Enero on December 6. Maybe no one told them?
We are expecting the MUD to announce who will be the new chair of the Assembly (and the two vice presidencies which will be equally important at least for the first months of its tenure). We may even know who the chairs of the main committee will be, and whether the MUD will offer as a peace gesture a couple of these chairs to the PSUV (which should reject them on any excuse to accuse the MUD of undemocratic attitude or something).
Then, if the newly elected representatives make it to the National Assembly safely (still not a certainty as the army is responsible for that and probably upset at the regime forcing it into an unnecessary awkward to dangerous situation) we need to see if they will seat the 4 representatives barred by the unconstitutional 3 days ago. Unfortunately I am afraid that the MUD has no choice but challenge the court and seat these 4 representatives since, no matter what, a constitutional clash is sought by the regime and we might as well get it over with.
If eventually the New Assembly is installed, before it can even face a "normal" legislative agenda it will need to face the following issues: secure the Assembly perimeter so that people can come and go for the sessions; deal with the problem of live TV coverage of the sessions which means tackling down the control of ANTV (already under work); confront the judicial power which I doubt very much will take it kindly a refusal to abide of its illegal ruling. That last one is a must because we can be pretty confident that if the Assembly decides to vote that during the day time the sun shines the court will overrule it as unconstitutional. The firing of 4 seats was merely the first shot.
And then it will be January 10 and I would not dare to make further forecasts.
On the negative side we have a regime that is fighting for its political survival as it is questioned more and more inside chavismo. So they will take all the risks that they need to take, make all the provocations that are required to justify the fuite en avant that they have undertaken.
On the positive side the world is not fooled and in spite of the holiday season many voices have risen to warn the regime that tampering with the results and not seating the new assembly is not an option.
We will see. Meanwhile you can pass the culinary abuses of the holidays watching Caracas extreme sports events in the coming days. I think that we have the pseudo-Chinese curse on us. "may you live in interesting times".