Sunday, July 09, 2017

Leopoldo and Occam

The stunning news this morning is that we woke up learning that in the middle of the night Leopoldo Lopez had been freed from his military prison jail cell at Ramo Verde.  Well, not quite free, as for "medical reasons" that are yet totally unexplained a rather buff Lopez has to remain at his home in Caracas. With the implied threat that if he does not behave well he will get back to the slammer.  But that is more braggadocio of an agonizing regime than any show of strength.
He is baaaack.........
with grey hair........

We also got a deluge of conspiracy theories. So many that I refused to keep reading my Tweets during my normal travails of Saturday.  The one that made me stop early was that the high court, TSJ, was doing that to screw the nations general attorney, Luisa Ortega, by blaming her with bad admisnitrative moves during Lopez trial.

As if the regime needed any excuse to send to jail Luisa Ortega when it choses so....

I suggest that we merely concentrate on  the cold facts we know before going into wild speculation. Then the truth, if there is such a thing in today's Venezuela, may be less of an incantation. So let's list them:

Lopez was moved in the very wee hours of the night when he could have been released with a big show at any time.

He was at Ramo Verde, a military jail, where no one leaves without some military big wig consent rather than any judicial note. It is just so.

He was released in the weakest of times in Venezuela, between Friday and Saturday.

The TSJ decision is so weak....  Bad management and medical reasons simply do not hold.  The bad management we have known that since the day Lopez surrendered to the regime (and Diosdado Cabello).This was a hot potato issue suddenly dealt with.

The regime is in deep crisis. Chavismo inner divisions are visible. The Constitutional Assembly project is not catching up. The international opinion is squarely against the regime. And the assault to the National Assembly last Wednesday, well, I need not expand on that one.

I am going to go on a dare here and state that Cuba is realizing that Venezuela will not be able to sustain it for long.  So why not deal with the opposition in exchange of at least enough oil to sustain Cuba's real needs?

So here is my conclusion, simple yet elegant. Occamish.

One side of chavismo has decided to negotiate its way out of the mess it is in. So they made a coup against the side that does not want to negotiate and used the weakest moment of repressive control, Friday night, when likely the commander of Ramo Verde is switched by another for the week end, where all tribunals are closed  so no counter action can be taken, and at a time when someone high enough could sign the papers and speed thing fast enough before there is a reaction.

As a matter of fact the chavista reactions today are witness of the disarray and surprise among some of them.....

It is of course too early to say who wins and who loses inside chavismo. We can just say that the Diosdado/Tareck side lost its major trump card. We do not know who scores a point with that release, even though this late in the game chavismo has little room to negotiate.

A last comment before I sign off for the night (speculations need a few more hours and data in a coming next post).

The regime needs to negotiate something fast. There is clearly a group within that has no qualms in bringing the country down with them if necessary. That group seems to be in the upswing in the control of the constitutional assembly to come, and I have in mind Diosdado Cabello who already is telling us some of the first measures that assembly will take (like putting a boatload of people into jail). But there is also a group whose crimes are not as awful, or at least can be negotiated into a reasonable jail sentence. Why would that group, as I pointed out before, would sacrifice itself for people like Diosdado who is a drug cartel lord, or Tareck who in addition of drug traffic has been linked to terrorist support through the sale of passports?

Last Wednesday National Assembly assault was just too much for that group (who we know include at least Luisa Ortega and, maybe, believe it or not, the Rodriguez psycho brothers). Not that they necessarily felt any sympathy for the opposition assaulted at parliament, but because they realized that August 1 they would be the next to be assaulted. So they had to make their move.

Here is my lone speculation.

While the ultra group was rejoicing at their attack to the assembly and trying to create more trouble for Maduro and their other rivals, they got distracted. With some key complicity inside the army the other group managed to pull out Leopoldo who I heard may have been quite surprised himself. At 3 AM he was home.

What will be the effect on the MUD, the regime, the voting events to come, etc is right now mere speculation.


  1. Boludo Tejano6:59 AM

    I am going to go on a dare here and state that Cuba is realizing that Venezuela will not be able to sustain it for long. So why not deal with the opposition in exchange of at least enough oil to sustain Cuba's real needs?

    In support of your hypothesis that the Cubans are behind this, Prensa Latina-English has reported on the release. Venezuelan Justice Takes Humanitarian Measure in Favor of Opponent. If the Cubans were against the release, would they have reported on it? I doubt it.

    Regarding sending Cuba oil after the fall, my guess is that a greater concern than sending Cuba some oil would be all the Cuban intelligence agents embedded into the Venezuelan power structure.

  2. Daniel,

    Here in the USA and around the world mainstream media reporting on Venezuela seems biased in favor of the regime which is repeatedly described as "socialist" which is the way Moscow and Havana always described their Communist systems when I listened to their propaganda broadcasts in my youth.

    The media reports say that there were calls internationally for the release of Leopoldo Lopez but the one that stands out for me was the tweet of Donald Trump on February 15th when he met Lillian Tintori at the White House accompanied by Marco Rubio and VP Pence.

    A "willingness to negotiate", a "willingness to deal" may indeed be there for some in this regime.

    1. Sorry York Report the media in North America is not biased for the regime. They may be ignorant to what truly is going on but certainly do not favor the regime. Only the crap writers out of Cuba and Venezuela favor the regime. Mainstrean media around the world ha e called the dictatorship on many of its evils.

  3. York, you can't be serious. While the Trump tweet was welcome, it's sincerity was dubious and more importantly, it happened almost five months ago. The meeting was clearly arranged by Rubio who, for all his many flaws, does sincerely seek to confront the Venezuelan regime. Trump, on the other hand, is more comfortable with autocrats than democratically elected leaders. If Venezuela was a priority for him, Tillerson would not have blown off the OAS meeting.

    In any case, don't be U.S.-centric, what is happening in Venezuela is determined by the protests within the country, not months old tweets by foreign leaders.

    1. ConsDemo wrote: "If Venezuela was a priority for him, Tillerson would not have blown off the OAS meeting."

      The US priority in South America is Brazil. Of concern is a naval build up that would be capable of projecting power in the south Atlantic & exerting influence in South America & west Africa. Venezuela seems to be returning to what it was in the 19th century, a poor, unimportant place.

    2. LOL @ worrying about the brazilian Navy.

  4. Daniel, just thanks again for your perceptive reporting. It's great to have something happy to report from you country. We can all hope that Leopoldo's semi-release is at least "the end of the beginning".

  5. My feeling is the release order came from either the US, Russia or China. A more pragmatic division within Chavismo was given a strong suggestion and acquiesced. China may be looking at billions of unpaid loans so they would be wise to cover their bets by aiding the opposition. Same with Russia for a little less money. The US could supply immediate food relief if needed. The Venezuela military understands realpolitik.

    1. China and Russian loans are minor in comparison to the operating capital the rich Americans have provided in the form of bonds. Plus the Chinese and Russia have oil production held as collateral and recognized by the world abd have massive stakes in Venezuelan's oil fields. Almost all prior to the assembly rejecting such moves.

    2. Boludo Tejano7:33 PM

      China and Russian loans are minor in comparison to the operating capital the rich Americans have provided in the form of bonds.

      Document it. For one part of your documentation: ~$55 billion to Russia and China. You would also need to document who is purchasing those bonds, not just who is issuing them. Perhaps some rich Canadians, in addition to rich Americans, purchased some of them. Perhaps some not-so-rich Americans or Canadians or Europeans purchased Venny bonds for retirement accounts. I recall a lot of retirement accounts shared in the haircut from Argentina's default earlier in the century.

      Miguel Octavio has a lot of bond information in DevilsExcrement.

    3. Point is who is running those funds? Whether an individual or entity and when I say American you can substitute Western World. As for document it that is like saying document smoking is bad. Dont ask me to do your research. Believe what I say or don't I really do not mind either way. Not sure you have documented anything you speak on here or that anyone would want anyone too as would require pages of research or annoying links.

    4. Boludo Tejano4:55 AM

      Point is who is running those funds?
      More important: who is purchasing those bonds?

      Not sure you have documented anything you speak on here..
      As I provided a LINK in my comment above, your statement provides unintentional comedy. Your powers of observation match your ability to back up what you claim.

      Dont ask me to do your research.
      Don't ask me to believe your undocumented claims. If you make a claim and don't back it up- and POINT BLANK refuse to provide documentation when asked to do so- a logical conclusion to make is that you don't know what you are talking about.

    5. Anonymous10:16 PM

      Boludo I do not know what you are going on about. I did not ask you to believe a word I say or to even read my comments. You can link two sides to any story and is way too easy to google the estimated break down of ownership of Venezuelan bonds. Or try just keeping up with the news and seeing who negotiated the extended terms on expiring bonds. You seem determined to get into some type of a childish argument. Most on here post their thoughts you just try and post obscure links to diss their thoughts. Get a life! Ash Skinner using Anonymous on different device.

  6. The conclusion is "simple, yet elegant". If you may say so yourself. Only someone who is a legend in its own mind would talk that way.

    1. There is nothing elegant about chavismo. I am just been as ironic as possible, the only tolerable way to discuss chavismo savagery.

    2. Boludo Tejano7:37 PM

      Daniel ironic? Surely you jest!


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