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Venezuela News And Views

A blog about life under, and resisting, a dictatorship


A few comments on governor's primaries

Thu, 14 Sep 2017 21:51:13 PDT

The good thing is that the opposition held primaries whereas the dictatorship named its candidates outright.  Using dictatorship and election in the same sentence may appear weird to the reader but this is Venezuela, a dictatorship of a new type, adapted to the XXI century international realities.The bad thing is that these primaries may not benefit the opposition as much as they would like to pretend.  Follows a quick blow by blow, trying to demythify the opposition MUD brouhaha.The MUD malaise. A lot of people are very unhappy that the MUD decided to go to the governor election. It was, indeed, a terrible choice deftly manipulated by those rather willing to sit down with the regime to negotiate a way out. Nothing wrong with that, better to negotiate than to go to a civil war. But the problem is that the whole thing was seriously mishandled, starting by Ramos Allup who announced out of his hat that his party, AD, would go the the elections, breaking the fragile MUD unity. His timing could not have been worse: the dictatorship had managed to force the election of the illegal constituent assembly, ANC, two weeks after the opposition held a NO vote on it with a participation of 7+ million votes, and just as the electoral fraud of at the very least 1 million votes was announced for the ANC even though the opposition did not run candidates.This was like a gelid shower on the people mood. Despondency set in, protests stopped, divison soared.  As a consequence the primary had barely a 1 million participation. Normally I would term this a relative success since in primary elections it is the core base that tends to vote. But after all the tensions of the past few months, well, 1 million is not enough.  AS far as I can see it, three months ago the opposition was bound to sweep 90% of the governorships and now if it gets 66% it will be lucky. And going down.The electoral fraud. OF course, these elections held under a dictatorship are bound to show massive fraud and manipulation, going so far as to annul winning running candidates when it is too late to replace them. The problem is here is that the opposition, as it is becoming usual, has no plan B. And is covered in ridicule since it decided to apply article 350 of the constitution to allow organized civil disobedience, just to jump into an electoral contest controlled by the regime it is supposed to protest against.  Failure to address that by election date will only contribute to low participation.Weak candidates.  The big surprise of the vote was that half the winners come from AD.  Well, surprise for many but not really for yours truly.  See, the dictatorship has been very busy attacking and jailing and exiling the best candidates available to VP and PJ parties, the one of Leopoldo Lopez and Henrique Capriles.  When primary time came they could only line up second line, with a compromised electoral machinery. AD, who mostly had crocodile tears for the fate of these jailed politicians managed to have its second rate politicians elected; and even worse, some are survivors of the pre Chavez area, fossiles if you wish, definitely unappetizing for people like me who already feel like voting out of sheer obligation.Some interesting surprises.  Still, elections were held and it is worth to look at some of its results.The "dialoguers" lost big. In particular Manuel Rosales in Zulia who could not get his wife past the post. PJ won there.  Even though Zulia is its bastion, Rosales reputation has been killed by his weakness during the four months of protests, to the constantly murmured behind the scenes dealing with the regime, to the point of his people being seen as double agents.  Another surprise is that the heavily merchandised Henri Falcon of Lara, the one promoted as best equipped to attrack saddened chavistas, barely managed to win with 55% against a candidate that nobody thought would get past the 30% mark. In short, the electorate did punish those who lacked in empathy during the hard months of struggle.But the radica[...]

Fortunately for Lilian Tintori, her enemies are mean but stupid

Sat, 02 Sep 2017 21:50:36 PDT

As a follow up of Friday's entry.

Saturday Lilian Tintori, wife of jailed opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, tried to leave the country on a well announced and scheduled tour that included meetings with Macron, May, Merkel, and Rajoy, that I know of. So, instead of letting her go and within the hour announce that she fled the country, they confiscated her passport and forbade her to leave the country.

That is right, a Lilian Tintori unable to come back to Venezuela unless she was disposed to be jailed upon landing, pregnant and all, would have been less trouble for the regime. All its propaganda guns could have been shot at her without her voice being heard at home. And overseas we would have seen the relay of the Russian propaganda of RT, amen of the Iglesias and Melanchon of the world. Were she to return anyway by the time she would land the regime propaganda would have had plenty of time to kill her politically as a money launderer, wealthy brat and what not. You know, what castro-communism is so expert at, character assassination.

But no, by stopping her from meeting these head of states the regime actually committed a blunder that at the very least compensates part of her very own blunder with "Tintori's cashgate".  See, even if what was found in Tintori's car was to be used for an electoral campaign, it is peanuts. People that run real electoral campaigns in Europe, campaigns closely supervised by regulatory agencies, know that very well.  In fact they probably suspected from the very first moment of the scandal that there was at least a set up of sorts, somewhere. Just too convenient for the regime no matter how foolish Lilian was (and lord was she!).

So we get this

The opposition really has no choice but to confront once and for all the regime.

The denial of chavismo today is spectacular. Then again what else could you expect from people that face jail terms any time soon, people that have stolen much, much more than Lula or Humala who are now ex presidents getting acquainted with jail cells even though they have stolen a fraction of what any asshole minister under chavismo has stolen.  The latest example, last week, is the Swiss tax folks blocking 42 million dollars from the account of Haiman El Troudi mother in law.  Apparently the wife accounts may be next.

Then again you must understand that yesterday event was no mere peanuts. It was, arguably, one of the biggest acts of civil disobedience in history. To find bigger you need to look at Gandhi in India, for example. In the Americas it is possible that the 7 million votes of yesterday are the biggest civilian act ever. The magnitude of the result, the visual images of huge lines in Barcelona, Madrid, Miami, Bogota etc have convinced the world that yesterday was indeed A VOTE, not a consultation anymore. Period.

So we will see what the opposition announces in the coming hours. Get ready, the ride is about to get rougher as the regime is pushed to either compromise or repress as never before, meaning not 100 deaths, but thousands. There is no other way for the regime that yesterday lost any legitimacy it may still had.

And note that the crisis would have been solved easily long ago had the regime wanted to solve it. A mere vote for governors in December 2016 could have done the trick and allow Maduro to serve his full term. Had even 100% of governors been elected for the opposition.