Monday, January 04, 2016

In extremely reluctant praise of Ramos Allup

Today the MUD coalition voted on who would be the chair for the first year tenure of the National Assembly elected on 6D (NA). The winner is Henri Ramos Allup (1). I am very far from overjoyed but I also must make a great effort to understand the historic moment.
The new troika: majority whip (Borges) MUD secretary
(Torrealba) and NA chair (Ramos)

The negative first.

Henri Ramos Allup is the secretary of Accion Democratica, AD, the old grand party of the pre Chavez years. From the wreckage he did save some of the furniture but at the cost of being a kind of little tyrant, happily purging a few, in a very chavista way. But the reader should keep in mind that chavismo is mostly coming from the AD low rung hacks that were kept in check for their hardheadedness, incompetence and the like. Once unleashed we saw the dramatic results over these last 15 years of looting and incompetence. I am not pinning on these transfuges the narco state: that one comes straight from Fidel Castro and the FARC who had no problem recruiting into the diverse lumpen that joined Chavez.

But what is perhaps the greatest fault of Ramos Allup is his unwillingness to clean up a little bit around himself. Namely, he has many direct and indirect relatives involved with or working for companies that have got sweet and questionable deals from the regime. This does not mean at all that Ramos Allup himself benefited on any of these deals (I think he married rich or something anyway, and I am certainly not in a position to address that issue). The problem is that such relations have been pointed out routinely by many people. Investigative blogs have been written about companies like Derwick or suspicious contractors, and Ramos Allup response has been to block you on Twitter, avoid answers, etc. Dodge the ball, defended on that by people like Rafael Poleo who should have known better.

It is thus with great concern that some of us watch the election of Ramos Allup at the NA chair. We are sure that during his one year tenure little progress will be made on certain type of urgently needed investigations (amen of other issues dear to this blogger).

The positive, if I must.

We need to understand the political moment of the country. The chair of the new National Assembly will be the punching ball of the regime in desperate need to create an enemy. Since Ramos Allup is already a despicable entity for the regime, the opposition has nothing to lose promoting him. Ramos has thick skin, he can take anything the regime sends his way.

Ramos Allup has what we call in Venezuela pico de plata, silver tongue. So, not only he can take what the regime sends his way, but he can reply on the spot, on the mark, knowing how to dose carefully how outrageous he needs to be to make a point. That much I need to grant him: he may be the best around for that quality, the one needed to begin that difficult and dangerous transition process we are facing.

Ramos Allup is elected NA chair because the majority inside the MUD is center left. No other party besides AD has a national figure in that group. The other "national" candidate, Julio Borges leads a more to the center group. Even though he has the largest party, Primero Justicia, inside the MUD his natural allies are missing because either he shooed them away or they did not get enough seats. So Borges will need to seat this one out, paying for some of his political mistakes like alienating Leopoldo Lopez people who should have never been voting for Ramos Allup. In short, whether we like it being irrelevant, Ramos Allup is one of the two lone national figures seating in the new parliament. And we cannot do without a national figure for at least 2016.

Ramos Allup has abundant experience in Parliament work. That is the only thing he has done all of his life. Dealing with the regime's PSUV bent on sabotaging ANYTHING we need a wily fox at the helm until the newcomers learn how to manage things. That is the way politics work, sorry.

It does not hurt that Ramos Allup has had time to make many friends over seas to the point of being an important voice of the Socialist International (currently one of its many vice presidents).  Let me remind the reader that some of the strongest support for the MUD against the regime has come from many luminaries of the SI like ex Spain premier Felipe Gonzalez.

Finally I would not worry too much about his mark on the National Assembly direction: he is put there to face the required theater/play against the regime. The legislative work will be done by the rest of Assembly board. In particular it seems that Julio Borges will be the majority whip which means he will be the one setting the true priorities of the incoming assembly, as well as herding a majority that soon will show strain in holding its unity, a role Borges may be suited for.

So there you are, whether we like it we must recognize that Ramos Allup is a better fit for the political moment. But worry not, that political moment will vary very, very fast.


1) Ramos Allup blocks me on his twitter account, as he blocks A LOT of people according to my Twitter account. In short any one that seems to disagree strongly with Ramos is blocked. Not as very good sign for someone presiding a Parliament, and who needs not to read or answer to tweets. So, if you have a twitter account pass that info to @hramosallup before he gets into international ridicule for blocking his account. NOTE: I have NEVER insulted him, just questioned his familial dubious links.

For witness this tweet from someone blocked by Ramos Allup wishing he could read the message of conciliation and harmony that the new chair is supposed to have sent. (Sigh!)


  1. Charly2:43 AM

    The fact that he is a VP of the Fourth Socialist International is another reason to pinch your nose while praising him.

    1. Well, we need all the help we can get. It has been quite a while since I started typing blog entries with one hand while holding a handkerchief on my nose with the other. In disgust or crying, same difference.....

  2. Anonymous3:47 AM

    The number one thing that Julio and PJ did to alienate Leopoldo and VP was to simply exist. VP views the prominence of PJ as a threat. That they voted FOR Ramos shows how short-sighted and selfish they are. If it's not going to be our young guy out there, they said to themselves, then we'd prefer the dinosaur nobody believes is presidential material.
    There isn't anything Borges or Capriles could have done to prevent this dynamic.
    It is a shame -- I think of all those years without opposition access to national media -- and the first oppo pol many Venezuelans will have seen for years is this...hack. Depressing.

    1. I would be careful not to see things in such a simple way.

    2. Most of the opposition wanted Allup for AN President, specially people on foot, the regular folk. Only the nomenklatura opositora would prefer Borges, and even on Caracas Chronicles the vote was almost 50-50.

      On the other Capriles is dead politically around half of the opposition consider him a traitor, anyone who wants to grow politically should stay away from him and PJ.

      While PJ thinks that their stance would grant them the chavista light, it will be AD and VP whom will get those votes, disillusioned chavistas don't like weakness and Capriles and PJ seem extremely weak.

    3. Imnus

      I hope it was clear that I did not support Borges either. Just in case, I state it here, neither one was of my liking.

      Unfortunately there was no other heavy weight to pick from.

      Fortunately there is enough material to hope that within three years we will have more options.

      PS: never, ever, insinuate that me or this blog is opposition nomenklatura. EVER! :-)

  3. Daniel, I don't understand why you think Allup should concern himself with bloggers, the truth is that Alek Boyd and the likes are nobodies, maybe they're doing great work and maybe someday they'll prove they were in the right, but you can't certainly expect people to take what they say for granted, specially when the connections they attribute to Allup and other politicians are loose as fuck.

    Anyways have you read this:

    That's the only time Allup have refered to the issue, as far as I know.

    1. The problem is that in Internet 2.0 you cannot ignore bloggerS with a plural S. US presidential candidates are aware of this, to give you an example.

      The thing about Ramos Allup is that he does not like it when he is questioned himself so he poopoos bloggers who actually present legitimate questions, or blocks from his Twitter them (as well as many others including bona fide journalists). Whether he is guilty as cited, the more important issue here is his understanding of XXI century media and the damage it does to his credibility to block people from his twitter account when he could just silence them without anyone being aware of it.

      Unfortunately he is not alone inside the opposition to only stick to "traditional" media style. Only Lopez has had significant success with 2.0 and up to a point MCM; they do understand it at least.

      As for Allup reply he has an extensive exchange with Thor Halvorssen from where he did not come out with flying colors.

  4. The guy could use a voice coach. He speaks too loud, doesn't watch his air flow very well.

  5. Ramos Allup is nothing but a corrupt weasel, a twisted scoundrel. Classic AD politician, he's a venomous snake who knows how to form alliances, and undermine his enemies. He loves his brother in law's private jet, and will do absolutely nothing to combat corruption. Quite the contrary, the juicy guisos, bribes and filthy deals will thrive under his watch at the AN.

    Daniel says he's got "thick skin", but he can't stand anyone attacking him, including bloggers and activists. Some praise his fighting skills against Chavismo, but he also attacks his own MUD people, whomever is against him (or his corrupt bolichico family). This will create further internal divisions and animosity within the MUD. Ramos Allup loves Money and Power. He will do anything to get more of both.

    As I wrote on the previous post here, it's going to be a despicable MUD-MESS. The "Parliament" will be a violent Circus, full of Bribes coming from everywhere and everyone. Ramos Allup, as president, will hardly do anything to contain illegal activities and soul-purchasing in the AN, or in the country. He will certainly even align himself even with Chavista players, and especially with mayor PDVSA, Corpoelec Mega-Thieves. Clearly, he's already in bed with Derwick, his family is already Enchufada in PDVSA and elsewhere. Kleptozuela is Kleptozuela thanks to crooks like Ramos Allup. You can Google him up, or just read this:

    Lee Kuan Yew.

  6. Question for you guys. I will admit I understand politics in Canada and North America very well but get confused when it comes to Venezuela.
    If Allup family members made less then above the board deals to not only survive Chavistas but thrive then this seems like intelligent business in such a corrupt business environment??? What was their options, does this mean they really support Chavez?
    It seems to me the most dangerous people to the regime are the fake supporters. The ones who used the regime system but will turn on it first good chance. Now if they did crooked deals that politically benefited the regime and punished Venezuelanso that is a different story. But if they gave kick backs and did the work to get the work, we'll that seems the way business is done in Venezuela. Until from top down they stop this then your choices are play the game or stop business.
    Again I point out I know little of Venezuela business other then I tried once to trade grains I to the country but couldn't stomach the way business was done there and gave up.

  7. Here's fresh info about the Weasel, Derwick Allup:

  8. He did a good job as the MUD liaison with the Electoral Board on Dec 6. The biggest task for the Assembly is to be respected by the voters, the military, the international community and finally the government - which is a huge stretch. Allup has seen it all in a lifetime of political work. Say what you may, he is a survivor. And I hate to say this but I wish that the Opposition was meaner at times. I know they feel they have to represent decency in the face of so much shit, but they also make a lot of legalistic arguments that go nowhere in the face of a bunch of thugs that enjoy laughing at their victim's pain. Chuo was an unknown entity for me and I didn't get his contribution until I read that he took the MUD campaign on the "door to door" path. But more to the point, he also has more "street cred" than the typical MUD rep "from a good family." Now lets see how Padrino protects the Assembly from those lovely armed cooperativas. BTW- where are the famous militias? Have not heard from them in a while. Also: Has the propaganda machinery finally lost all credibility? Where is the average Joe Venezuelan getting their news?


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