Sunday, January 03, 2016

2015-2016 continuum

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".


  1. I still wish someone would explain Venezuelan law as to the 2/3rd of parliament as if the court suspended 4 seats leaving 163 then is not 2/3rd now 109 which the opposition still has. Will they not still have 2/3rds of the seated parliamentary people on Jan 5 whether or not their 3 suspended sit?
    Regardless I am sure parliament can make all the laws it wants the regime has broken 100s including constitutional ones since getting into power. Hence all that matters is who does the military support or do they sit on the fence and let the people decide who to support and who to toss out.

    1. As you mention, Unity has 2/3 even if they don't seat the 3+1. But if they accept an illegal Supreme Court ruling nothing stops the court from taking down as many Unity deputies as needed.

      I would also expect two or more deputies to be Chavista moles, or bought, or blackmailed into voting w/ the PSUV. Thus it's more important to focus on Maduro's actions to install himself as a dictator.

      I still see a reluctance for Venezuelans to articulate (or accept) that Maduro is controlled by the Cubans to a large extent. The only influential Venezuelan who has discussed this point is Leopoldo Castillo, el Ciudadano, in a tv interview, I taped a small segment and loaded it on YouTube to have it for posterity.

      As you say, the eventual arbiter may be the military. But the Cubans are working extremely hard to neutralize them. And it's important not to underestimate their presence.

      To give you an idea of how it works with the Cubans, several years ago I went to visit a supervisor in the Barrio Adentro program. My visit was a family obligation, a cousin who lived in Cuba had come over, and wanted to visit this guy (who was a third cousin of mine). We went by car looking for the center where he worked, and ran into a national guard post. My driver asked the national guardsmen directions to the barrio Adentro office and the guardsmen gave directions, but added a few bad words referring to the Cubans as so and sos. I knew Cuban intelligence tracked me, so I spoke in my Cuban accent merely confirming directions, and those national guardsmen went pale, and got really nervous. My driver, who knew I like to joke, told them not to worry, that I was a high level Cuban (true, but not exactly what they thought), and that it stayed between us anyway.

      This type of reaction was common for me. Whenever a government type or Chavista found out I was Cuban, I was treated as if I were royalty. Even that imbecile Freddy Bernal bowed to me when he met me. That sucker was so confused he had a Chavista parade stopped to allow me to cross the street.

      I didn't tell this story until recently, but poor Freddy is toast, and I'm not going back. It just shows that Chavistas were brainwashed or trained into subservience towards Cubans, which is to be expected seeing that they are a fifth column for a Cuban takeover.

    2. Thankyou Fernando for the reply and the unique insight into the Cuban relationship. I fully believe and know of much of the Cuban involvement. I still believe it was the Cuban masters who negotiated with the USA that stopped the PSUV outright cheat on election day allowing the MUD to win the 2/3rds. Cubans will be happy to take from the USA if it deems the regime is soon to die and they will lose all from Venezuela and I believe they see that light. Likely pure slim will keep stolen wealth in such a USA Cuban deal while Maduro and such get thrown under Maduros bus.
      However if the opposition after the 4 suspended seats still has 2/3rds super majority what confuses me is all the world Media saying the regime and the courts have done a coup and stolen the super majority??? Yes if not they will but this suggests the suspension of the 4 seats has already stolen it.

    3. Fernando further to what I have said in that I believe Cuba has turned against the Maduro regime. I believe and correct me if I am wrong that it was a Cuban general who allowed MUD to win the majority by letting go the election results be known such that they were announced before CNE could change them. I do not believe Maduro understands that his Cuban masters have turned on him. However, I do not believe Chavez hand picked Maduro I think Chavez was already dead and Castro made that all up as Cabello was not capable of being a puppet as had bigger ambitions. However Cabello and Maduro have made a complete mess of the Cuban narco trade bringing it a lot of unwanted attention. That Castro used Venezuela for free oil income and for drug money. With oil income likely to soon vanish and drug empire under Cabello under pressure that Castro has made some type of deal with USA. Not as rosey as the last 16 years but better then the writing on the wall.

    4. Anonymous6:15 PM

      Ash, Cuba did not negotiate with us. We don't talk about that. We barely broach Venezuela. The U.S. government does not need to do this when already holds all the cards. Have you not realized that General Padrino is still DEFMIN? Reverol should be DEFMIN today. You should factor the narcotics investigations abroad (it's not only the U.S.) because they influence everything they do.

    5. Anonymous6:18 PM

      Ash, HCh's choose his brother Adan to suceed him but the Cubans (Raul&Fidel) said No. At the time, Adan was the top drug thug meaning he controlled the narcotic flights and the airspace and Barinas was the epicenter. We knew this the. Why Maduro? I don't know. Maduro's involvement in narcotics not thoroughly known? It has increased since he came into power.

    6. Anonymous6:20 PM

      Ash, that General is Vladimir Padrino and though he's not Cuban, there is a picture of him kneeling before Fidel.

  2. I wonder how many of the 112 new MUD deputies will be Bribed. One way or another, by one group of interests or another. By Chavismo, NarcoCabello's group, by Maduros' group, by member of the the corrupt TSJ or by the putrid Military thugs. Either way, 90%, bribed, sooner than later? That's my guess.

    People seem to have a rosy view of the MUD new politicians as impeccable Saviors, incorruptible Heroes who will arrive in shiny white suits to save the destroyed Nation. That with perfect Unity, Hard Work, and solid moral values they will reverse all the evils of 17 years of the Dark Ages: Chavismo. The Mud "Renaissance", if you will.

    Sorry to rain on the early parade, but have we forgotten what Kleptozuela is made of, and has always been made of? Did we forget how corrupt, amoral and adept choros were the Ad/Copey Thieves during 40 years? Guys like Ramos Allup, btw, a Derwick Associates family member, next AN President.

    And many are dreaming these 112 new politicians will fight a noble, selfless, impeccable fight for Venezuela.. ah.. douce et allegre naivete..

    With very few exceptions, 95% of all Venezuelan politicians are HIGHLY Corruptible. Easy to buy. Even Cheap. They are avaricious, egomaniacal, over-ambitious, money-thirsty bureaucrats. Politicians in Vzla, almost by definition, equal embezzlement, Guiso, Tigre, "cuanto-hay-pa-eso", and "como quedo yo ahi?"

    And that's not about to change by some Maria Lionza Miracle in 2016. Very soon there will be shady alliances formed, within the MUD (inexplicably..) or between certain MUD deputies and certain Chavista thugs, votes being purchased by the bundle on certain Legilative Areas of Interest, or purchased individually, by voting session. Heck, that even happens in civilized, developed countries like the USA or in Europe. (I worked at City Hall in Miami, bidding for contracts, and active politically, and saw first-hand how special interests and lobbyists operate, even here).

    But in Kleptozuela the Bribes will be massive. Most new deputies will be bribed, by someone, early next year. They will buy and sell favors, votes, silences, complicity, allegiances. They will slowly blend with the Chavistas, the pardon each other, cheat against each other, and soon betray their former comrades. For Money. And Power. As Always. But worse, because in Vzla there is no accountability, Zero Justice, Zero Police or FBI. The new politicians know the country is sinking fast, that the economy is going to get even worse, that they may have very little time and only few opportunities to get rich. (Crooked Public Contracts, Juicy Political favors..)

    It's gonna be a veritable MUD-MESS, make no mistake about it. Corruption on Steroids. Unfortunately Vzla is not Switzerland or Norway, not even Chile or Costa Rica. Real Funky stuff is gonna start happening very soon at this new, explosive, corrupt "Parliament".

    1. I agree fully Sledge as most maybe all politicians believe they are above the people and not there to serve the will of the people.

    2. La 4ta república regresa. Bájate de la mula.

  3. Oh, and many of the Bribes will come directly from the PDVSA, Corpoelec, Derwick Associates and other Billionaire Bolichicos. As in every country, except much more aggressively, they will make incredible Cash offers to the shiny 112 new MUD deputies. To earn legislative favors, and to remain untouchable, avoid accusations, jail time and/or frozen assets. Combine all those irresistible offers, coming from everywhere, public and private sectors, from the 32 corrupt ministries and their 4 million Enchufados, everyone trying to bribe the new MUD politicians. To that, add the usual Death threats, intimidation, bullying, extorsion.. No wonder thay don't want cameras in that Parliament Cave of Corruption.

  4. So, the AN won't help to feed the population?

  5. Anonymous11:56 PM

    Here is how the suspended legislatures will work. The suspended new Chavista deputy will be approved immediately when a key vote comes up. The suspended opposition candidates will never get a trial and will spend 4 years waiting for a verdict.

    Get real my friends.


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