I will try to cover what I can in the next crucial days from twitter and instagram and try to post whatever I can post. But to keep you abreast of the situation, here in brief:
- general strike has worked in opposition areas. It did not work so well in regime areas becasue, at least in Caracas, colectivos acted to force stores to remain open. But they could not hide that most bus transport system was out. Thus the strike was a regime defeat.
- repression is getting worse, now it is not just one killed a day. Pictures have shown and established clearly that the regime is lending nazional guard uniforms to colectivos and criminals to perpetrate those murders since in theory the guard is not allowed to use lethal weapons. A prohibition that has been violated several times anyway, and proven.
- it seems that the upcoming constituent assembly will be controlled by Diosdado Cabello who has been called by Senator Marco Rubio the Pablo Escobar of Venezuela. As such there are serious rumors that chavismo has second thoughts about the assembly because Diosdado could use it (and would if he wins) to eliminate all structures that are not in the hands of chavismo, but could also start large purges within chavismo to get rid of any potential future opposition. Let me remind you that Diosdado is on the criminal lists of the US and a such he cannot leave the country unless willing to risk arrest and deportation to the US.
- becasue of his criminal connections Diosdado Cabello has no other choice than to make this move as the only hope for him to avoid trial and jail for, among other things, narco-corruption. Dictatorship rule in Venezuela is about his only option. And along his "plight" he drags other notorious figure of the regime like many generals who have been named, and mostly the vice president Tareck el Aissami who the US treasury department says that they underestimated his unexplained holdings in the US and that those may go above 500 million dollars. Not bad for a "simple" politician bureaucrat....
- the US keeps expanding its list of violators of human rights, corrupt pols and narco folks. This week 13 new names were added. It is to be noted that Tibisay Lucena, the head of the electoral board CNE, is in that list. It is kind of a problem because, well, organizing controversial elections who are sternly opposed by way more than half of the country is bad enough without adding that the chair is now declared to have enough evidence against her for human rights violations....
- meanwhile international rejection is far from limited to the US. If Europe is not taking yet legal actions against Venezuelan pols, it has all but officially announced that it would not recognize any government issue from that constitutional assembly. Condemnations come from all parts, as Mercosur is getting ready to expel Venezuela if that election takes place. Meanwhile embassies have started evacuating nonessential personnel and all relatives of its personnel. Travel advisory are issued and even ambassadors are leaving. Two major airlines have stopped service, Avianca and Delta. It is becoming more and more difficult to leave Venezuela as the remaining few international carriers have no more than 3-4 flights a week out of Caracas (except American Airline to Miami).
- The Colombian border, on the other hand, is now reporting tens of thousands of people leaving Venezuela. The refugee humanitarian crisis has started.
Conclusion: it is all getting fast out of hand. The deadlock is Diosdado Cabello who somehow in the past two months has managed to hijack the constitutional assembly. Thus it has become a trap for Maduro who instead of leading the process risks to be thrown away by Diosdado "legally". If still two weeks ago it would have been possible to stop the election, or at least postpone it, now it seems that postponing it has become impossible for the regime becasue it would mean either a coup or its downfall, unless it manages to negotiate a way out with the opposition.
There are centrifugal tendencies inside the opposition because, well, they are aware that we are on the brink of total disaster. Some do not have the stomach for what is coming. But the opposition is united enough in refusing to bail out the regime as they know that at the slightest opportunity this one would get rid of it. It is not a matter of negotiating a truce that the Cuban controlled regime would use to recoup, it is a matter that the regime recognizes real portions of power to the opposition so that this one would feel safe enough to establish a transitional government until real elections are possible.
Those are the drawn lines. At this writing I do not foresee a way out unless part of chavismo has the nerve to confront Diosdado and the portion of the army he controls.
And thus my title for this post, not only I cannot communicate but apparently there is no communication elsewhere to avoid disaster......