Sunday, December 27, 2020

Defeated, and so far away from Ithaka

These last few months have been hard on the soul. You may have noticed if you were a regular reader: writing was scarce.  Perhaps it was my subconscious dealing with the reality of exile.  I had written that discussing Venezuela from afar was somewhat a hypocrite exercice. It is up to journalists to visit Venezuela for a few days and then bomb us back with supposedly knowledgeable articles from their safe desks at home. But a blogger who made his name writing in situ, from some Podunk like place in Venezuela?

There was something else at work, the grief of having lost home and memories. I suppose that grieving in a span of 6 months the loss of my life partner, the loss of my father and the loss of my health distracted me from grieving the loss of my country. Oh! I knew Venezuela was lost for a while, but as long as I was there it did not hit home the way it does now that I have left and start realizing there may be no return.

Two recent articles, unfortunately in Spanish and too long to translate, helped in my efforts to come to terms with my new reality.

Saturday, December 26, 2020

The 2020 Xmas post

 It is late, like everything in this year.

But I hope that in spite of all those reading this will have the best possible Xmas they could have.

Here in exile a Tweet posted a few weeks ago will have to do.

Despues de 3 años de duelos, enfermedad y exilio es hora de recomponer un poquito la vida. La Navidad más nunca será normal pero haremos algo de ella.
Empezaremos con algo que no podía hacer en Venezuela, un arbolito en matero que sembraré en enero.

— daniel duquenal (@danielduquenal) December 7, 2020 

Although it does not look too happy I think it may survive. We'll plant it on New Year's day. Let's take it as a good omen if it grows.

Friday, December 18, 2020

No negotiation, never

 So Maduro/regime/Cuba have everything: total control of the executive, legislative and judiciary; decisive support of the army; they count the votes; no private sector able to finance an opposition; decided support of all sorts of tyrants/strong men here and there; the acquiescent silence of a few; semi free propaganda from lefties a.k.a tankies.  Just a few democracies against and a few damning reports on human rights violations.  But who cares: any insubordination at home will be quickly snuffed now that new repressive laws will be easily enacted.

But there is one thing that the regime has that is a problem: international sanctions. I am not talking about the sanctions against PDVSA which is seen as diminishing the income on corruption schemes (the income for el pueblo is sill enough to fudge elections, and if they want more they can emigrate least they die from Covid before_1_&_2_).  The sanctions that the regime fears are those that are an hindrance to enjoy the loot in glamorous parts of the world. That is, it is becoming more difficult to hide the money or buy nice manses in the US or Spain. Never mind the risk of being arrested in doing so.

Sunday, December 13, 2020

No results, just data

 The opposition held this week its parallel election called "consulta popular". Whatever its result their weigh will be limited because the regime has embarked in a new course which includes not only  elimination of a real opposition but even of normal elements of civil society it cannot control (1).  This is Cuba in waiting for you. You doubt me? Let's look at the "result" of Sunday 6.

You were the one who count the votes?
You got this.

With almost 70% of the vote the regime gets around 92% of the seats (the undecided in the graph next have mostly gone PSUV).

Nobody with a minimum of knowledge on electoral system, and how "elections" take place in Venezuela was surprised. The only ones surprised were the collection of pseudo-opposition parties who as "Mesa de Negociacion" were the caution used by the regime to change the electoral system and call for the illegal elections. That MdN did not expect to be so laminated. They "thought" that what had been agreed with the regime would improve the proportional representation. It made it worse, with close to zero minority representation! And note that the regime twisted some of the counting "electoral coalitions" post election to give them two more seats since not all major "leaders" were elected (2). That added more illegality but who's counting?

Monday, December 07, 2020

Not a victory

The first "results" have fallen but I did not follow. It was nice to spend an evening without worrying about elections results, for a change.  Instead we did the Christmas tree at home, with a live tree to be planted in the yard in January. After 3 years of grief, sickness and exile it was nice to set a small christmas decoration....

Sunday, December 06, 2020

Not at a cross roads

The election that is held today in Venezuela is not bringing the country at a crossroads, it is the end of a long and painful involution. 

Saturday, December 05, 2020

The 2020 election post: the vote funeral

For those still aware of the existence of this blog you may remember that I had a post or posts about Venezuelan elections since 2003. Sometimes with quite a good prediction success.  This time I can guarantee you that tomorrow the Maduro regime will get a landslide.

In fact, the only question is how far the regime will go into tweaking the results to make sure that the"opposition" gets a credible number of seats.....