Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The plot sickens thickens (add some OAS salt to correct taste)

In brief. The National Assembly today did not hold its scheduled session for lack of quorum: nobody showed up. This is strange because opposition MUD representatives hold a majority large enough to seat on their own, quorum assured.
Maduro's gauntlet?

The thing is that the constitutional crisis/coup is in full swing and all sides needed to take stock and prepare the next move. So, as to not add more oil on the fire, nobody showed up and there was no legal battle on whether the N.A. session was duly cancelled.

What is going on is very simple and comes from many previous posts: the regime is hell bent on annulling the new assembly. To begin with it needs to fire enough MUD representatives so that the opposition loses its 2/3 supernumerary which could jeopardize the number 1 asset of the regime: 100% control over the judiciary branch directed through the high court, TSJ.  This TSJ is composed of assorted goons with a less than stellar career when not implied in previous crimes. This detail is important as we will see later.

Thus the regime is in a battle for survival implying that justice will not looking into their criminal deeds and ministers are not subjected to hearings, and the money sent to Cuba is not audited, etc. etc.

The fight between the TSJ and the N.A. has,apparently,according to some folks, another component: a battle between Maduro and Cabello.

President Maduro would be under Cuban orders to find a provisional modus vivendi with the opposition. In Havana they know about maths and they probably realize that a new electoral option is not a good idea. While they come up with something they need Maduro to sing and dance, legally, so not only Venezuela keeps sending some cash to Cuba but long enough for the Castro to speed up any arrangement they need to complete with the West.

On the other hand former N.A. head Cabello, leader of the nouveau corrupt rich group "bolibourgeois" and the army portion doing sweet business and assorted narco traffic has on December 6 lost a lot of his "political base" (for lack of a better word to describe mafia groups active in politics). Since it is more than likely that Cabello may not be able to leave ever again Venezuela since there is too real a risk to be arrested by Interpol at some airport, he needs to feel safe at home. Thus any agreement between Cuba, and Maduro, and the army, and whatever, needs to go through his approval, an approval that can only be granted if Cabello preserves a more than significant power quota.

Unfortunately for Cabello some of his rivals have smelled blood in December and think that the time to get rid of him has come. So Cabello has to rely on the only sector where he has immediate strong support: the TSJ. Cabello certainly does not control all of the TSJ but all of its members have potential problems with real justice. That is, when real justice comes again to Venezuela it is fair to say that at the very least 80% of the current members will have to account for their actions. Already we have had two justices that preferred to leave the country in a hurry with a one way ticket. And other whose silence is growing.

It is thus easy for Cabello to use his blackmailing power on some of the judges to emit favorable rulings to HIS cause, and force the acquiescence of the other judges, even if silent. That such rulings also favor many inside chavismo that are not in the Cabello faction is a mere bonus point for Cabello.

How is that alleged battle playing out? For one thing it is not that visible even though Maduro has given signs that he may compose with the new N.A. Oh, ever so slightly, but to acknowledge that he would go to the N.A. for his State of the Union speech next Friday was already amazing! What Cabello does is the reverse, bring down to justice as many MUD representatives as possible, make the N.A. either irrelevant or illegal. And that would be that. Besides criminalizing some of the representatives let's not forget that there are still going on attempts at forming parallel communal assembly structures and just plain naked violence. For Cabello it is very simple, if he loses, he loses it all. You can understand that dialogue and mercy for him are not an option.

This is all fine but I do not subscribe in full. For one thing sinking Cabello could capsize all of the regime anyway. This is why the country has remained paralyzed for the last two years as no reform or mere initiative could be taken to solve our problems least a chavista faction got hurt in its interests. More importantly for me is the high fascist content of the regime. No matter what, in the end the temptation to kick the board may be too strong to resist regardless of public or international opinion. Fascists tend to be gamblers, you know. Or if you prefer another way to look at chavismo think about the story of the scorpion hitching a ride with the frog to cross the stream.

And that is why today's second letter of OAS Almagro to Venezuela is, well, a bomb in the pond.

If you recall OAS secretary Almagro wrote a lengthy 18 pages letter to Venezuelan electoral board decrying with perfect accurateness all the biased and unfair conditions for the electoral campaign of last year. That letter proximity to the election date had a clear role and compensated in large part the blockade of international observation enforced by the regime. It is fair to say that it helped the real result to be published.

Today Almagro published a 7 pages letter directly to Maduro, equally accurate, to show him that the world knows exactly what is going on in Venezuela. And later today Almagro noted the self sacrifice of the Amazonas state representatives accepting to remain on the side lines for a while as a major concession of the MUD, implying that it is about time the regime tames its crazies.

In that letter Almagro states that on his own volition he will need to call for the application of the Democratic Charter of the Americas if the regime persists in its attempt at voiding the expression of popular will. This is important because in the chavista mind such an initiative must come from a given country and all American countries are too scared to take the first step or too unsure as to who would follow. But times have changed (Macri in Buenos Aires, Dilma in the dumpster) and if Almagro takes the first step it will be much easier for the other countries to follow and a 2/3 votes for sanction to happen as Venezuela cannot pay off countries anymore.

The letter is too long to analyze in this already long enough entry. Suffice to say that it contains a careful legal analysis of the judicial power of Venezuela and its partiality towards the regime. And it writes, among other gems, that the TSJ ruling against the Assembly yesterday was a jump back to practices of the XIX century in Latin America (page 4). And Almagro goes as far as implying that the meager evidence used by the TSJ may have been a plain forgery (page 5).

Needless to insist that Almagro would have never written and sent and made public such a letter were he not to feel the clear support of a majority of OAS members. Chavistas do not understand that but that is how serious organizations function.

What will be the effect of Almagro's letter on the current crisis is not clear. After all the OAS is not going to send land troops. However one thing is certain, without the approval of a legal AND legitimate N.A. Venezuela's ability to borrow will be near null. And the severing of relations with many countries as a consequence of the application of the Democratic Chart would have further damaging effects on our tragedy. The beauty of it all is that the leaders of the fascist regime that would dare to go against the OAS would not be able anymore to leave Venezuela under threat of immediate arrestation at any airport where they land.

The question here is whether the people that have stolen less than Cabello, made minor crimes compared to those of Cabello, will accept to go down with him. After all many of the judges talking the talk these days could get away with only a couple of years in jail and then be able to enjoy a large chunk of what they have stolen. Why would they get life sentences like Cabello and a few narco generals demanding their protection?

That is where the real question in Venezuela is even though joints like the NYT would never dare publish such. But that is why you read blogs this far.


  1. Charly1:01 PM

    Where do you find popcorn in town so we can watch the show with full convenience? This post is great and Almagro's letter astounding in its transparency and accuracy.

  2. Raul Castro isn't about to tell Maduro to abandon the program laid out during Maduro's visit to Cuba in December 2015. The Cubans simply lack options to the cash they get from Venezuela. I realize the fact that Maduro is a Cuban mole is really hard to accept, but that's the terrible truth.

  3. We'll probably never know a lot of what's going on behind the scenes, deals under the table. Here are some of my suspicions:

    - The USA asking Cuba to cut ties with Vzla. With new revenue from tourism, and future deals worldwide, Castro and his nephew might be persuaded to drop Maduro. Part of the end of the embargo deal. The USA still has oil interests in Vzla, and they want Leopoldo in power to resume investments, stabilize Latin America, and with Macri, vanquish Castro-Chavismo. Brazil is next, since Dilma is about to fall.

    - The 109 MUD deputies are receiving fresh Bribe offers as we speak. PDVSA is very generous, and Chavismo wants to purchase as many muddy souls as possible. Offer them cash, a couple of apartments or a big vote, and suddenly they start having coffee or whiskey with the 50 Chavista deputies.. Knowing the history of Kleptozuela, the majority of MUD deputies will accept bribes, favors, tigres, dirty contract deals, new bank accounts in the name of family members.. A lot of that will be going on, tons of Bribes, late-night encounters with Cabello's thugs.

    - Conversely, the MUD will try to convince the Chavista bandits to let'em rule, let'em have their own little Guisos (mision vivienda, corpoelec contracts, pdvsa back-kicks..) , to let them rule a little bit. Let them have a piece of the Coroto. You know, the profits could be split 30-70%, or 40/60%.. between new Chavista and Muddy buddies at the AN.. As a reward, the Chavista criminals will be offered certain "amnesty", not to be prosecuted or investigated to much, "se nos olvida esa vaina, chico.."

    That's probably how the balance of power is shaping up now, with the abominable Military behind the scenes as well, conducting their own dirty negotiations, pa' salvarse su propio pellejo.


      I rest my case..

  4. I would say regardless of the threat of the OAS no real punishing law will come out of the AN that the regime and the court will not shoot done. They are a defunct body whether they are kept by the regime or outright done away with. The heads of the regime are happy for Venezuela to stand alone in S America. They will always have Russia, North Korea, Cuba etc. The regime does not care about the future or present of the country's well being and care nothing about the people. People's revolt is the only real change left at this point.

  5. Milonga9:56 PM

    Apparently the no show was necessary in order to transfer the session to today. Well, that´s what I read in Twitter. It sounds logical... I don´t think it was a good move to accept stepping down of the 3 Amazon representatives. One thing Ramos Allup has is experience. It´s kind of a game of chess now. Love...

    1. Charly10:40 PM

      Game of chess? All these freaking Bolivarianos know how to play is "chapita", starting with the galactic corpse. You don't believe me? Ask Alejandro Andrade.


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