Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Nothing like throwing in a little presidential election to distract folks

Today, without much a surprise besides the chutzpah temporary effect, the regime decided to call for presidential election by April 30.

I am not to go into the illegality of it all. At this point "legal" has probably been erased from the Venezuelan dictionary.  Just a comment: in Venezuela, like in the US, there is such a thing as fixed term mandate. That is, whoever is elected by April 30 (surprise, it will be Maduro!), cannot be sworn in until January 2019.

So why go into such a farce? That is what is interesting to discuss.

Because of spite

Yesterday Europe officially announced the list of the first 7 Venezuelan officials to be sanctioned. Their belongings in Europe (the 28 countries) will be frozen (pending legal analysis as to these not needing some laundry treatment) and they will not be allowed to travel to Europe (a problem for some of them who do not want to be treated in Venezuela and cannot go to the US already).

Of the many aggravated "victims" was Diosdado Cabello who has somehow escaped sanctions in the US, so far. But then there is that figure of sealed indictment to be revealed when the time comes, and often reserved to the biggest fish of the corruption narko ring. So we all know that Cabello´s fate is sealed in the US but maybe he does not know that.  Whatever it is, just when he should be preparing himself as a possible presidential candidate to replace a thoroughly discredited Maduro, there is that European blast that carries among chavistas a much greater weight than anything from the empire.  Diosdado knows that and the first reaction was to claim that Europe (the 28 countries in unison, from Tzipras to Orban) bowed to imperial design and pressure (yeah , they love and admire Trump). For good measure he also added that Venezuela should take equivalente sanction on Europe. What? Freeze Macron accounts in Caracas? Expropriate Theresa May apartment in Margarita Island? Ban Merkel from traveling to Venezuela? Stop financing undercover PODEMOS or Tzipras? That one would be a good one actually....

But Diosdado had an evil plan he wasted no time in putting into practice. He suggested that Venezuela should have presidential elections by April 30. It did not take 24 hours for the illegal constituent assembly to write a decree on it, showing who the boss is inside the regime.  Ah! It was, of course, voted upon unanimously.

Because Diosdado does not want to be president

Well, I am misleading you. Diosdado wants very much to be the next president for life of Venezuela. After all he will remain for the rest of his life inside of Venezuela if he does not want to end up in some foreign jail. Might as well have something to entertain himself at home.

But the situation in Venezuela is so catastrophic that there is an off side chance that the opposition may win. Not that it matters much as the constituents will make sure the swearing in does not take place and thus the election will be voided sitting a new chavista president until January 2019. Or something.

The point here is that bloodshed and true misery are already here and Diosdado much prefers that Maduro pay the price for it until better days for come. A lot of instability is on the way and fishing in troubled water is a much better for narko corrupt military like himself.

Because time is running fast for chavismo

The obvious first: chavismo would not survive a primary process. From the scandal of Ramirez in hiding for all the money his cronies stole to the various ambitious characters within, a snap election is the best way to rally all around a single candidate. Maduro will do because if it fails he will wear all the blame. And if he wins, well, we'll deal with that.

There is also the hyperinflation. It is safe to say that everyday support for Maduro may be dropping by 0.1%.  In 90 days that 9%. One may survive that, but not when you start somewhere below 40%. All the successes of the stolen elections of last year will be of no help in a matter of weeks.

Because the opposition is in disarray

And it will remain so. But that is quite a text by itself. Suffice to say that as the crisis deepens and days pass the chances of the opposition to find its MoJo improve.

Because totalitarian regimes need to change the narrative constantly

Hyperinflation and the public execution of  Oscar Perez is just too much.  Only a presidential election has a chance to distract the crowds.

Because X

You get the point, the list is long enough.

Addenda. At least the European Union sanctions have done something good: the dialogue in Dominican Republic is dead. It was a zombie at the very best but at least the sanctions got the regime to remove its mask of hypocrisy by blaming the EU for the end of the dialogue.

Unfortunately for the regime already Mexico forged ahead by announcing their final departure of its chaperon role since the date of election was in discussion. That the regime decided suddenly on a date proved that it had no intention to reach any agreement whatsoever. No point wasting time anymore.

And that, my friends is the true key of the show narrated above: it all dies if the EU, US and group of Lima decide NOT to recognize whomever is elected under such conditions.  The positions of these countries in the day to come are key as to whether these elections will be truly held.

We'll see.


  1. Tom in Oklahoma5:31 AM

    I don't think it matters at this point whether the election is held or not. The outcome of any "election" will be pre-determined no matter how low Maduro's ratings may be. This regime will never give up power through the election process.

  2. Charly7:30 AM

    Daniel, you can laugh all you want at Cabello's sanction reciprocity, I think it is a good idea and I fully support it. I propose that Venezuela embargoes all Coquy export to the EU. That should hurt them pretty solid.

    On a more serious note, reading your piece, I cannot avoid thinking that the next step may be the military stepping in to clean up the stables and their own virtue. After all, only a minority of them has been finger pointed by the USA and the EU. The FANB has such a high sense of morality that it can could turn on a dime. Not much left to steal and time to graft a new hymen. I would not bet my bottom bitcoin on it but umpteen times this has been a Latino classic.

    1. I love it when you dab in classical litterature.

  3. You can't eat an election!

  4. Island Canuck12:11 PM

    Tom: "This regime will never give up power through the election process."


  5. Even if the opposition won the election the president has already signed over authority to the new assembly hence would be powerless without the courts, military and every other branch of government. However, every dictatorship has elections in a country they have next to zero popularity and win them. All the opposition can do is tell voters to outright show who they are voting for by wearing say white and campaign hard to do that.

  6. Tom in Oklahoma2:17 AM

    So....Maduro is demanding a written statement from all public employees swearing that they will vote for him. I am sure that anyone who received any kind of public assistance will receive the same demand. Let the circus begin!

  7. Charly11:10 AM

    On the subject of elections, this coming from Aporrea? Can you believe? I though good old Santana was the only one.


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