Sunday, January 10, 2016

A confusing but clarifying week

With the National Assembly swearing-in show and the collateral that came next Venezuela has experienced one of its most confusing weeks - but maybe one of its best ones-

The thread at the N.A. is simple. Chavismo could not find a way to stop its coming Götterdämmerung. So they came, saw and left. They could not avoid their first encounter with a free press in about a decade. Some of the questions were truly embarrassing like when a journalist was finally able to stand on the way of Cilia Flores and ask her about her narco-nephews. Not her nephews in jail in the US awaiting trial, but her NARCO-nephews, straight. This is what happens when you ignore and insult the press for so many years: they get so frustrated that they lose any sense of measure or respect. And poor Cilia, the "first fighter", the wife of president Maduro, had to pick up her pace to escape.

But this bringing down of Cilia was just the beginning of an iconoclastic binge. In the early morning next day the new chair of the N.A. Ramos Allup brought down all the portraits of Chavez that overwhelmed the decor. For good measure he also had brought down the computer created image of Bolivar out of his 200 year old remains. This necrophiliac endeavor from Chavez had become the new official portrait of Bolivar although there is a an existing portrait which was approved by Bolivar himself.

This carefully orchestrated act of Ramos Allup had the desired effect, an overreaction of chavismo which will cost it dearly. It included a lengthy military show in cadena (forced simultaneous broadcast on ALL networks and radios) to "desagravio"  redress/repair the insult made to Bolivar even though the bulk of the actions was in defense of Chavez who is, apparently, more insulted than Bolivar.

It is hard to imagine that the totalitarian mentality of these people could be exposed so well in such short notice. General Padrino wanted to impress on us that the computer Bolivar was now encrusted deep into the heart of all of us. How could it be otherwise, he implied. And this meant that Bolivar was insulted through insults to Chavez as the favorite "insigne" son of Bolivar (even if he never got 50% of the electorate to vote for him, even with his higher scores in votes cast). That there is no food or medicine after Chavez is not making a dent in these people who keep their idols up.  Hence the brilliant move of Ramos Allup, starting to tear down that mental construct that is blocking any progress for the country.

More details emerged to confirm that need. The mayor of Caracas announced that the whole city will be papered over with copies of the discarded portraits. Funds for that will apparently not be a problem. As to where will he find the paper and ink for that endeavour remains to be explained. Other chavistas suggested that all chavista households should have well displayed Bolivar and Chavez, a new version of the yellow star I suppose for those who do not harbor the "insigne" badge.

Meanwhile Ramos Allup forges ahead and went alone to Quinta Crespo market for his week's groceries, to the great wonderment of el pueblo not used to see chavista nomenklatura shop on their own (even if he had to leave in a hurry after red storm troopers arrived). Whatever criticism people throw at Ramos, and many are from the opposition itslef, we must thank him for breaking a taboo. The idolization of Chavez will never be the same.

The government thread is briefer: they have lost the capacity to set the political agenda and their race is to keep up with what the MUD and R.A. do. I am not going into the expected Greek chorus that want already to nullify the N.A. and jail R.A. I am just going to look at what happened at Miraflores. There Maduro named a new cabinet which kept military in the main positions, and the ones that move the most money. Some cryptic moderates under the guise of people with experience in the private sector were appointed. And to balance it all a social sciences major with nebulous ideas on economy and zero experience is the alleged new star.

But the new cabinet is more interesting through what is missing: some of Cabello heavy weights even though he still has his wife as tourism minister. Some see in that a real weakening of Cabello who, stripped of his power base at the N.A. and the refusal by the army to follow him in a coup on December 6, may be just on his way out. Perhaps even as a token offering to the DEA in a near future? All is possible but I also concur that Cabello's day are counted unless he finds new support that these days could only come from forgiveness of an opposition that he has brutalized for too long. In a way Cabello aura of invincibility is another icon that was brought down this week. After all since December 6 he was threatening and threatening and yet in the end he had to surrender the N.A. seat and could not stop its first measures, ridiculing himself by threatening the N.A. to leave it without funding.

As the first true week of the Assembly looms we may expect more surprises, the more so that it seems resolved in promoting first an amnesty law which could be the final showdown into forcing the regime to compromise,or to surrender. The final release of Leopoldo Lopez in the streets maybe too much for the regime to endure without breaking down. We will see.


  1. Man I sure like your outlook on the week Daniel. I hope it is the reality a good week. How can you ignore that the Supreme Court is nullify ing all Assembly laws and actions and that all parts of the civic, law, everything department that could carry out an Assembly action is controlled by the regime. I still do not see how anything short of the people revolting to the point of military not being willing to stand in their way gets a positive result for positive change for Venezuela. This last week may or may not assist in that happening.

    1. Boludo Tejano9:43 PM

      How can you ignore that the Supreme Court is nullifying all Assembly laws and actions and that all parts of the civic, law, everything department that could carry out an Assembly action is controlled by the regime.

      If the Supreme Court nullifies all Assembly laws, then the Assembly has no responsibility for the ensuing economic collapse. Economic collapse will come, courtesy of the ensuing hyperinflation courtesy of Chavismo commanding the Central Bank to print money on command. While "Economist" Salas may not believe in the laws of "bourgeois" economics, his beliefs will not be able to stem the hyperinflation ensuing from Chavista economic policy. Think of King Canute commanding the tide to stop coming in.

      Chavismo is between a rock and a hard place. Chavismo wants to maintain absolute control over the governance of Venezuela. It doesn't want to cede any power at all to the Oppo-controlled Assembly.

      At the same time, Chavismo wants to blame the ensuing economic collapse on the Oppo. If Chavismo consented to power-sharing with the Oppo-controlled Assembly, it might be able to get at least some of the public believe that at least part of the responsibility for the economic collapse lies with the Oppo.

      Chavismo cannot conceive of a world in which it doesn't have absolute power. Absolute power results in absolute responsibility and thus in absolute blame.

    2. Cnut didn't command the tide to stop coming in, he showed - intentionally - that he COULDN'T stop the tide coming in to stop his 'pueblo' thinking him a God. If anyone from Chavez downwards since 1998 were as humble as Cnut then Venezuela wouldn't be in the state it is in.

  2. Anonymous8:38 AM

    One very strong leverage tool that I think many are overlooking is that it is highly improbable that any foreign loans, such as Chinese or IMF aid can be obtained without the approval of the A.N.

    1. Nobody is going to lend money to Venezuela if there is not a legal document approved by those controlling the purse. Only in naked dictatorships such contracts exist and they are always speculative in nature with high returns. High returns where in Venezuela today?

  3. It was certainly a horrible week for the Criminal Chavista Regime. But Daniel seems too optimistic here. They will fight back. Several reasons:

    - They know they risk Jail and/or frozen stolen assets if dethroned.

    - They still control everything but the AN: The Executive and Judicial branches, the corrupt military, police, sebin and guardia nazional, about 37 "Ministries" with putrid tentacles all over Vzla, employing over 4 Million leeches, thieves, or at least somewhat corrupt, dependent, complicit Chavistas.

    - They also control all the Money: PDVSA, Corpoelec, Banco Corrupto de Vzla, all industries, all contractors, all union leaders. They control the Drug Money too.

    - People forget that yes, "el pueblo" voted against Mauduro. But they don't like the MUD either. At all. They still Love, Adore, praise Chavez. A sizable majority do. Today. Believe it or not. They still have Chavez pictures inside their own ranchitos, casitas and apartments. Right next to Maria Lionza or el Burguesito pelucon Bolivar. They still have deep resentments against ad/copey 4ta republica that alienated them for years.

    As the Economy continues to get even worse this year, the Chavista thugs will blame everything on the MUD "derechistas que controlan el parlamento y no nos dejan gobernar". And our beloved "pueblo", as wise, alfabetized, honest, infallible and righteous they always are.. they will soon turn against the MUD, remembering the Chavez oil-fueled bonanza. Yes, they are not very well-informed, educated or smart, but no one will say that in public, of course.

    When you weigh all of that in, Ramos Allup is not really in a position of power. Add it up and compare the strength of each side. Plus the MUD is internally divided, make no mistake: Capriles hates Leopoldo and MCM and Ledezma, etc.

    2016-2017 will be even more explosive, tumultuous and bloody. Millions of Chavista criminal thugs won't go away, we are # 1 in the world, past Honduras, in crime. Drugs and Gangs are everywhere. Mostly Chavistas too.

    To think that the tables have turned, and that Chavismo is doomed on the short run is way too optimistic.

    1. Boludo Tejano7:11 PM

      As the Economy continues to get even worse this year, the Chavista thugs will blame everything on the MUD "derechistas que controlan el parlamento y no nos dejan gobernar."

      If the Assembly is unable to wrest control of the Central Bank from Chavismo- which I consider the more likely result- hyperinflation will result from the Central Bank's printing money at Maduro's command. Will the pueblo still believe that the MUD-controlled Assembly will be responsible for the ensuing hyperinflation, when Chavismo is commanding the printing of money that causes the hyperinflation? Is the pueblo THAT stupid?

  4. And besides all that, they still control the Media. So they control Everything, Todo, even the majority of a still Chavista population. Except the AN, where they still have 50 corrupt Chavista thugs who will be as disruptive as possible, where most of the 109 MUD new deputies with be Bribed with PDVSA money.

    Besides ALL that, plius death threat, extortion, violence, more false imprisonments and Judicial Coups, here's a taste of some of the filthy boycott tactics they will use:

  5. Sledge I agree with all you said except the people blaming MUD. Mass starvation will happen this year. People will blame government but I still am not convinced they have the balls in mass to run them out of town any time soon.

  6. Even with complete control of the media the opposition won the mayoria calificada in the AN.. People, El Pueblo aren't going to turn of the MUD in 2 weeks time. I am sure they considered long and hard their vote..And they voted for change, and change will not come easy and the people know it. They know the govt will use every dirty trick in the book. They can blame the new AN but I don't think the people will fall for it. The escasez, colas, inflation were all there before the new AN. And with every govt Cadena y rueda de prensa against the MUD the people know that the new AN is not even being given the chance to work. The people inside VZLA know what what is going on. On the outside it is easy to think they might flip flop. But they are the ones standing on food lines. And they know who created it and have voted accordingly to change that. They will not abandon their Lucha for change....

  7. Anonymous12:11 AM

    Maybe it's time for an AN appropriations vote...more food and medicine and a delay in new military jets.

  8. A los pesimistas les digo, "despues de ojo sacao no vale Santa Lucia", se equivocaron los que le recomendaron ir a unas elecciones imperdibles para la oposicion,Jorge Rodriguez tiene buena parte de la culpa asi que "relax and enjoy your fly" it may be bumpy but is headed in the right direction.

  9. "El Pueblo aren't going to turn of the MUD in 2 weeks time. I am sure they considered long and hard their vote..And they voted for change, and change will not come easy and the people know it. They know the govt will use every dirty trick in the book".

    Insisting that "el pueblo" is knowledgeable, wise, honest, always righteous is sad, blind and or dishonest with ourselves. Not only are they are blatantly under-educated (save the alfabetizados for someone else, I'm talking about real, half-decent Education, not brain-wash). They are also grossly misinformed. Clueless about world history, basic economics or even geography, let alone moral values, ethics or philosophy. They are beyong gullible and naive, and they are highly corruptible, if not utterly currupt, enchufados and palanqueados already. (37 ministerios, over 5 million Enchufados..)

    Can't say the pueblo are the hardest-working folks on the planet either, can we? They do seem to love "el manguito bajito", "la segunda", "el tigrito".. I mean, the Chinese may be still be poor in the country areas, but they grow a lot of rice themselves! They work their asses off in factories.. The Norwegians may be very rich, but it's because they studied hard in school, worked hard all their lives, in rough winter weather. They Earned it.

    Our "pueblo" now blames Maduro/Cabello only (30% - over 6 mill still approves them, though..) but they still idolize, praise, adore Chavez. How "wise" is that?! They rapidly forgot that Chavez was the one who created this disaster, 12 years in absolute power, responsible for all the stupid "socialist" ideology that doesn't work, as corrupt and evil as human beings can get. But no, our astute, smart, alphabetized "pueblo" can't even comprehend that Cuba sucks, that Maduro is the same crap as Chavez.

    That's the same "pueblo" that will soon start blaming the "capitalistas, derechistas, sifrinos from the MUD". But they are oh so perfect, all of them, visionaries indeed! El "bravo pueblo", always right, always innocent, always the victim, entitled to be given everything for free by "el gobielno nasional".. Well they still LOVE Chavez. Go figure..

  10. "Cabello's day are counted..." Optimistic, indeed.

  11. Why does the AN not pass a law that the election of those 4 seat be immediately held with proper foreign observers and resolve the seats leaving the court hopeless on this topic?


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