Wednesday, November 02, 2016

48 hours of dialogue and it ain´t looking good. Unless...

I am not opposed to political dialogue. It has proven its worth through history. It could, on paper, be a good thing for Venezuela. I do not think it is because in historical dialogues either side had something to lose and did not want to lose it all. Here chavismo is of the scorched earth orthodoxy and they prefer to bring everything down before surrendering any piece of power. Reasons are multiple, from the knowledge of many of them ending up in jail were the regime to collapse to simply the castroite brain washing of a particularly virulent totalitarian nature, of tyrants long used to living out of thin air in a island cum concentration camp system.

In short, I believe in dialogue when there is the knowledge that both sides have something to lose or win, and when there is a dutiful respect on the symbols attached to such difficult endeavor. Visibly the first criteria is not met here, and the second criteria, on symbolism, was f....d up from the start as I reported Sunday night. Thus let's see what the first 48 hours have brought.

First, the division of the opposition that existed all along became quite obvious. Clearly the fear of the regime was a thin glue that is meting fast as the regime pretends to dole out some goodies to those behaving nice (I am looking at you, UNT, who had the chutzpah to send totally discredited Timoteo Zambrano to the dialogue table!). Certainly Maduro wasted no time in exploiting the opening and tonight went on attacking and demanding jail against the remaining leadership of Voluntad Polar. For good measure he also called Capriles a drug addict. I suppose it takes one to know one, but I digress. I have put the infamous video of Maduro tonight at the end of this entry if someone has the stomach for it. We must note that Chuo Torrealba came strongly to defend the opposition union and Voluntad Popular, but I am waiting for UNT to do the same.

More worrisome is the reaction of the opposition followers where we find a HUUGGEE chunk so outraged by sitting down for a dialogue, any dialogue that it has sent into frenzy the keyboard warriors insulting Capriles, Torrealba et all in ways that remind me of chavista bots. But again I digress. The point is that the clumsy management of the dialogue, to qualify it generously as clumsy, is exacting quite a toll inside the opposition ranks. Note: a lot of those twitter/key board warriors are not going to lead open shirted, chest upfront, the march on Miraflores. But again, I digress, apologies.

Even though that negative mood was detectable already Monday the opposition today in the National Assembly called away two of its top anti regime agenda points: the trial against Maduro and the said march on Miraflores. There are merits for that: after all why would you march to overthrow a regime if you are sitting down talking to them? But maybe you could have prepared public opinion as early as yesterday. No?

So the regime can score so far the following: no recall election this year; the apparent blow out of the opposition; no trial for Maduro; no march on Miraflores; great photo ops for Maduro; a hapless if not outwardly complicit Vatican, US et al. Note that Thomas Shannon from State made a surprise visit today, as usual with no comments, and probably as usual with a bad outcome in the following days. When Shannon deals with Venezuela I start shivering in fear even if it is not Halloween. True, technically all the opposition initiatives are on the freeze until November 12 when it could all start again. But does anyone think that the unity of purpose will be recovered by then? Not me.

Since this is a dialogue surely the regime made a concession somewhere. A few political prisoners were released. 5 I think, it is not clear. And not the most notorious ones, And a few dozens were incarcerated in the preceding days anyway. So, Castro style, any release is always compensated for a new jailing, a constant prison population being a healthy tool to impress the populace. Note two interesting details: no Voluntad Popular prisoner released, while all the releases were done without judicial action proving that those unfortunate souls were mere hostages to the regime, jailed because I said so, released because I got bored with them (and quite frankly in the XXI century I cannot get away as easily with murder as any dictator could in the past century).

So far so bad.  Unless, my wild hope, it is all because the opposition inner sanctum knows something we do not know, something that it cannot say.  Maybe Maduro is about to resign?  Maybe his military are going to depose him? Maybe the inner sanctum was told to wait a couple of weeks more and all would be fine and dandy? Maybe they were told that as soon as the US election is settled Obama will send a gazillion marines, the exact number depending on the number of votes Hillary gets?

This late in the game outside UNT I do not think that any opposition leader could have been bought. There are in for the fight even though differences exist. So clearly there must be a reason, a positive reason why reasonable folks like Ramos Allup, Borges, Torrealba have swallowed hard in the past two days to sit down and call a two weeks truce. Heck, one can even hope that the "division" with Voluntad is a show to distract chavismo.

But I doubt it. I hope to be proven wrong. Give me some sign MUD!



  1. Charly1:46 PM

    Shannon? He might have to play a different tune pretty soon, because it looks like Trump is trumping Grandma, for better or for worse.

    1. Not even going to be close. Except for the Chavista thinking gringos, enough Americans will not pull the lever for a dictator.

    2. Dream on. Der Herr will be in Dannamora for a stretch in State Prison within a year. He's a proven fraud, liar, a con man, a misogynist and racist who will never be President of the United States.

    3. Charly3:07 PM

      What were you saying? Not that this result makes me any happier.

  2. Replies
    1. Boludo Tejano10:58 PM


      Au contraire: Poder Popular. And expertise: everybody knows that "the Bolivian Baseball Association, the Cuban Federation of Canine Sports" are the final word when it comes to human rights.

      Dialogue with these people? Dialogue, schmaialogue. Compromise?

    2. Compromise? Rape!

  3. Milonga6:56 PM

    So, so disappointed! Every time I feel a little bit of hope, things begin crumbling all over again. Sour feelings. Big hug, have strength

  4. The opposition as the leaders against Maduro and the regime have been a complete joke from the beginning. With all the hate toward the regime and Maduro that exists, if only 50% of the population they should have lead a revolt by now. No one would stand in the way of 15 million people coming out to displace Maduro. And I am not talking about opposition calling for street protests that yield no result and are boring the hell out of the Maduro haters. I am talking about calling for a March to kick the bastard out of power. Claim it will be non violent but that the people are taking back their country and proper elections and justice system will be restored. Stop the talks and stop the stupid referendum.

  5. Anonymous7:50 PM

    Por que tienen que esperar 10 dias al desgraciado de Maduro? por que no siguieron con las marchas o exigir que el unico resultado que se espera del dialogo es la renuncia de Maduro y la liberacion de todos los presoso politicos. Esta negociacion solo tiene un final... Maduro va a seguir en el poder, aunque como marioneta, pero el seguira en el poder.

    tenemos el gobierno que merecemos!


  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. When you write those idiotic things the one that gets to jail is me, not you.

  7. I realise we who live abroad cannot say "oh, just go to the streets" (keyboard fighters)
    But I am amazed there is no bigger uproar against the MUD leaders there. I wrote about this early on: they didn't even have the cojones to openly ask the Church and Unasur that if there was going to be a dialogue, it could not be the FARCE we had in 2014. And yet
    it is all over the same thing.

  8. Charly2:27 PM

    Lots of flack against the MUD, so today's Boccaranda's Runrunes are worth a read.

  9. Small consolation...the Opposition has demonstrated that they can stop a march on Miraflores as well as they can start one. There was a lot of interest in going on the 3rd and yet they could postpone it. This is no small thing. Mauduro certainly can't call on a million people to do anything. If there is an end-game for ousting Maduro, I think the motivation will return on the 11th. The Pope has been mistaken with the political landscape in his own country, but I don't think he's going to be as muddled when it comes to Venezuela. He at least has clear avenue of elections to work with which entails changing the Electoral Board. A set date for general elections in two months with OAS oversight and a new CNE would be a good result.

  10. The corrupt Vatican, the laughable "pope" who loves the Castro Dictators and every other crook, and then Unasur.

    Yep, Venezuela's problems will soon be solved, rest assured.

  11. The Vatican is so easily bought off. They even touting the "there will be bloodshed" line for the regime.

  12. Boludo Tejano2:18 AM

    Added to our repository of knowledge, a doctoral dissertation by former Democrat Congressperson Cynthia McKinney:“El No Murio, El Se Multiplico!” Hugo Chávez : The Leadership and the Legacy on Race. Dr. McKinney was a member of the US House of Representatives for 12 years, as a Democrat from Georgia.

    Partial abstract:
    “Chávez, Chávez, Chávez: Chávez no murio, se multiplico!” was the chant outside the National Assembly building after several days of mourning the death of the first President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. This study investigates the leadership of Hugo Chávez and his legacy on race as seen through the eyes and experiences of selected interviewees and his legacy on race. The interviewees were selected based on familiarity with the person and policies of the leadership of Hugo Chávez and his legacy on race. Unfortunately, not much has been written about this aspect of Hugo Chávez despite the myriad attempts to explain his popularity with the Venezuelan people up to the time of his death. It is expected that, as a result of this research, a clearer picture of Hugo Chávez will emerge. The resulting profile of Hugo Chávez focuses on him as a person of power as well as of color—of African and Indigenous descent—who was able to free himself from a colonial mindset (and its oftentimes accompanying internalized racism) and thereby gain the attention of oppressed peoples across the planet who sided with him as he used his power to challenge neoliberalism, the U.S. government, and those who wield power on neoliberalism’s behalf inside Venezuela. This research serves as important infrastructure for understanding Hugo’s race-conscious leadership in resistance to internalized racism and European domination.
    The complete dissertation is free for the downloading.


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