The #1 Defender of Diosdado Cabello’s Rights

Not quite BFFs
Not quite BFFs

Opposition Twitter celebrity Diego Arria is mad as MUD, and he’s not gonna take it anymore.

He is frustrated that the opposition umbrella group (following its leader, Henrique Capriles) has decided to forego claims that Maduro is illegitimate. In his eyes, the fact that the B.I.C.H.O. Maduro, appointed by Chávez himself, and his cronies are the same government that was in power before and that won an election … is a mere formality!

What matters is the Constitution, and the Constitution clearly says Diosdado Cabello should be president. Therefore, we should all denounce any President other than Cabello as illegitimate.

Call it the Society for the Defense of Diosdado Cabello’s Rights to the Throne.

Recently, Capriles and Arria have gotten into a bit of a tiff. After Arria criticized Capriles for backing down from this obviously winning fight (I mean, who ISN’T riled up about Cabello not being in Miraflores?? The nation demands ACTION), Capriles criticized Arria for sitting in his computer tweeting all day and not going out to, you know, talk to Venezuelans. That seemed to be the last straw for Arria, and he is taking his many, many followers and setting up shop somewhere else.

Now, some (like my friend Daniel) see this as a bad thing, as Capriles making a bad situation worse. They are wrong.

To me, this only helps Capriles. Throwing Arria and his MANY MANY followers (this is snark, in case you haven’t caught on yet) under the bus only reinforces the message Capriles so desperately tried to get across in the last campaign: I am different from the old-style politicians. I am not a repeat of what you knew from before.

Arria wants to break away? More power to him. Arria wants to defend the April 11th coup? Go right ahead, buddy. In the future, Capriles will point to Arria and say “we broke with the past too.”

The fewer golpistas we have in the coalition, the better.

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  1. Errrhhh…. Your ever defensive posture of Capriles is wrong, at least this time around. I do not know if you understood I was defending Arria, I was not. I was condemning Capriles because he certainly has no fishing to do among the “many, many” people with Arria because, well, there is no fish there. Even Chavez knows better than Capriles when he says “Aguila no caza moscas”. That is a page he could lift from Chavez book instead some of the others he ill picked.

    The problem with Capriles is his disconcerting sense of timing. That is worrisome.

    • Daniel,

      You have a habit of writing one thing and then saying “no, no, that is not what I meant.” Not gonna fly. You have been writing post after post praising Arria and his preposterous stance, and now you bash Capriles for what, to me, is a smart move.

      I think Capriles saw a chance to differentiate himself from the more radical wing of the opposition (you included) knowing full well the government would make something out of nothing and say “son un saco de gatos,” and he took it. You, on the other hand, blast him for being bland, and then blast him for being bold. ¿Quién te entiende?

      • So I am a radical now? And “praising” for consistency one of the few Venezuelan politicians that at least show some consistency is a crime? It is not my fault that the wishy washiness of Capriles is making him wash out slowly but surely to the point that Borges is reviving.

        I am sorry but using Panorama for this “sortie” was a mistake because for one, the radicals that support Arria certainly do not pay attention to Panorama. Capriles looked like a brat and if anyone has won anything here is Arria who will rally even more cuckoos around him.

        • ¿Cuál es la estrategia detrás de lo que propone Arria? ¿Cómo eso nos acerca al triunfo más que la estrategia de Capriles? I eagerly await the tweet that explains this all.

          • you wrote it yourself. We are ineligible. We are only elegible after things collapse (including misiones). Even with Maduro, we are uneligible. Maybe that is what you can’t see, yet.

          • No no, I qualified that – barring anything dramatic happening, we are unelectable. But against Maduro, with Chávez six feet under … well, that’s a game changer.

          • “But against Maduro, with Chávez six feet under … well, that’s a game changer.”

            Do you want me to revive the debate about polls giving Capriles an even clear advantage before Presidential elections? You guys were wrong, and on this one you are wrong again. There is no way we can win to Maduro either.

            Make no mistake about that.

        • Daniel I am with you on this one, and I also have been called a radical by many. Even though I don’t agree with everything Arria says, the love and peace message by Capriles, is just impossible for me to swallow. Venezuela is in such an immoral state right now, that asking the government to follow the constitution makes you a radical.
          I have read many times that Capriles has an strategy. Well, we saw the great results such strategy gave us 7O and 16D.
          Now Juan, you are saying that Capriles by playing the Maquiavelo card is trying to break away from the old style politics Arrias represents? Well, I guess then I don’t want to know crap about this new(?) “el fin justifica los medios” style.

  2. Yep, this was a good move, the problem is a huge chunk of the radical-type opposition won’t see it this way. Actually, more than a good move it’s pretty much the only one left.

  3. As I see it, part of the problem seems to be that many of the so called radical fears —that this is a dictatorship in disguise & Chávez is only in it for the power trip, that citizens’ right to life is suspended in practice, that private property (especially of non-Chávez supporters) is forfeitable, that the contry’s income belongs to the autocrat to do with what he wishes, that the country is being handed over piecemeal to the Cubans, that the CNE is nothing more that an electoral ministry in Chávez’s hands & the “elections” it organizes are really nothing more than a pantomime designed to keep him in power for ever, etc, et.— have all been coming true one by one with not much being done by Capriles & crew to sideways glace at them, let alone address them head on. Capriles should be doing everything possible to keep the opposition together and that should include tackling thorny aspects of today’s Venezuela as well instead of the sorry pussyfooting we’ve seen so far.

    • Really? And what, do tell, can Capriles do about all those issues? These are all problems, we agree, but what exactly is Arria’s strategy? Is his strategy to break up the MUD conducive to solving those issues?

      • Capriles, as the leader of what is hardly arguable as at least half of Venezuela, whose elements encompass every variety of political thought, from one end of the spectrum to the other, might find it surprising that many his supporters are disappointed that he continually avoids the truly difficult issues bogging down Venezuela but instead finds the time to scuffle with those whose aid he should be marshalling in this “phony war” style struggle against Castro-Chavismo.

        I’m not privy to Arria’s strategies, but I really haven’t seen any evidence that he’s trying to break up the MUD. Neither am I privy to Capriles’ strategies, but if he wants Venezuela to truly move forward, he must consider, at some point, contentiously facing Chavismo on these very difficult issues as a necessary first step,

        • Whenever I read this type of thing I want to ask, what exactly do Capriles and the MUD have to do different? But please be concrete, face the issues, HOW?

          If it was for Arria and that radical minority we would be on the streets marching to try to get Diosdado as president and putting venezuelans to die for no change whatsoever. Because how is Diosdado going to be better or different than Maduro?

          Please, enlighten us as to what needs to be done, because I know that from my desk behind wordpress I have no freaking clue how could they change the game…

          • Cabello becoming President can only happen if the TSJ declares the absence of Chavez or his incapacity to become President again. There lies the HUGE difference between Maduro and Cabello: Cabello would have to call for elections within 30 days. Maduro can fool around and pretend Chavez is still on charge.

            The first thing the MUD needs to do is get its s#!t together. They just look like a bunch of toddlers learning the rules of the game. That’s sad. Mr. Aveledo presented yesterday a 13-point agenda, but I am not that impressed. It’s just a list. I was expecting some coherent guidelines or positions.

            MUD’s speech is lacking something. A voice, for instance…

          • In trying to express an opinion in a nutshell —a distressing exercise, in this case— of the Venezuelan situation, it would seem that the MUD is holding back, seemingly waiting for Chavismo to run its course, if ever, perhaps with the sometimes stated aim of not contributing to the degeneration of society into worse violence than that which we currently endure. Allowing Chavismo to paint itself into a corner really is a strategy, by all means. How effective? Time will tell. How much time then?

            Another take on this “strategy”, if we can call it that, is that it looks from afar a bit like a policy of appeasement. All we seem to be missing is a signed document to wave around in the air. Appeasement as one in the know would say, is where one feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.

            There are no magical, simple or cheap solutions to the immense problems facing Venezuela, but please, tell me how not facing problems can contribute to their solution?

  4. Capriles´ behavior as of lately, both towards chavistas AND opposition with whom he disagrees, is, dare I say… kind of bully-ish. Oh allright I´ll just come out and say it: he´s acting like a total dick.
    What was the point of yesterday´s UNIDAD rebranding and relaunching if he´s just going to alienate anyone who is not in PJ (oops, I meant to say “everyone who is not in a party”)? What ever happened to LISTENING to other points of view, other sectors of society, and reaching consensus in order to be a truly representative opposition? For a man who represents the anti-Chavez, Capriles is sure displaying arrogant and despotic tendencies.

    • Hmmm … as far as I could tell, yesterday’s event included Aveledo (not PJ), Pablo Perez (not PJ), Henri Falcon (not PJ), Leopoldo Lopez (not PJ), Maria Corina Machado (not PJ), and Pablo Pérez (not PJ, who was actually sitting next to Capriles). How exactly did this amount to “alienating” these people?

      • Right, now compare the picture you just painted of yesterday´s proceedings with comments like these, which are transcribed from the interview HCR gave Panorama and from where the Arria comments are taken:
        “hay personas que no están dentro de la unidad, se acercan a la unidad por un interés absolutamente electoral, o por conveniencia, pero no están en la unidad. Por eso digo que hay que ser muy cuidadosos de dónde vienen los lineamientos porque hace casi un año hubo primarias para elegir al candidato presidencial y quedó claro que entre Pablo y yo sumamos alrededor del 94% de los votos. Yo estuve por el 64%. Los otros que estaban allí, el Gobierno por supuesto encantado les pone un amplificador, pero eso no representa la inmensa mayoría de los venezolanos. Esas voces tienen el derecho de expresarse pero no les doy importancia”

        Thats not alienating?

        heres the link to the whole thing:

  5. This post is as useless as HRC’s interview on Panorama. Duquenal is right: Arria and the vocal, radical opposition is a minority. The best way to deal with them is dismiss the subject quickly and move on.

    I think your utter dislike (hatred?) of Arria is blinding you to some of the arguments he correctly makes. When he talks about April 11, he praised the civic courageoous attitude of the citizens that risked their lives that day, but he also criticized what Carmona and friends did April 12. Furthermore, it should be obvious to anyone that the idea of Cabello becoming president is simply awful, but we are just asking them to follow the rules of the game, i.e. the Constitution. I HATE the idea, but those are the rules.

    So, don’t waste your time with this silly polemic. Nobody is gonna pay ANY attention to Arria but the gossipy chavista media and lowlife websites. We should be more critical about the non-entity the MUD has become and their most recent lack of game. What’s going on inside the MUD? Why all this recent, unconfortable silence?

  6. I liked the comment about the difference of doing politics from your desk (it used to be in front of a microphone, now that we don’t have free press, don’t count globo because of geographical coverage, Twitter is the method of choice) vs really working to connect with the people. The day I see Diego Arria trying to convince a Chavista to vote for us then I will start following him on twitter.
    It can be hard to swallow but PJ is one of the few still doing ground work, so I don’t see why we should be worried that Capriles called a spade a spade. He gives an interview to a pro-chavez audience and that’s bad? Capriles is in campaign and he knows he has to get to the people on the other side. He might or not might be the candidate, but he is playing as if he will. But I am sure he is a team player and if another person gets the job he would throw his support behind him/her. Can we say the same about Arria? He is the male version of Maria Alejandra Lopez and frankly, we don’t need him, good ridancce I say, what damage can he really inflict?

  7. “It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.” Roosevelt.

    Funny thing is that last time I saw this quote was from the Naftali Bennett, the guy that Arria is probably trying to impersonate.

  8. “Call it the Society for the Defense of Diosdado Cabello’s Rights to the Throne.” It’s a hard one, Diosdado Cabello or Fernando VII de Borbon. Who was less treasonous, again?

    Is there a third option, for example NOT EVEN WRONG? THIS IS BEYOND F***ED UP? REDO FROM START?

    Because the President is on “medical” leave, has been granted permission to go outside of the country several times with all expenses paid by the Venezuelan State for therapy, has been ruled NOT to be absent nor incapable of taking decisions… on a complete absence of any real information about his health, condition, treatment, name of treating doctors, and is now missing altogether.

    Though this it would leave many opposition politicians, specially those in the Asamblea Nacional as not the brightest bulbs in the batch…

  9. Capriles, Arria, blah blah blah. THE ARMED FORCES are the ones that will decide who runs the country. If the MUD offer them a better deal, they will turn, if not they will continue to dance the Chavista song.

    So that is my strategy for Capriles, say whatever you want to say to the public but find a way to talk to generals, coronels, captains and the troops and offer them the world. Then go to elections, to keep the democratic illusion going and cry fraud if you lose and they will say you won and that is it.

      • Capriles will need to give amnesty and some cash to much of the military leadership if he expects their support. I hope that some of the lower level soldiers take initiative and support Capriles in spite of the top generals orders.

      • No, this sort of thing goes back much further. Late Roman Empire Syndrome. Even has pan et circenses as mentioned in the previous posting here..

        Africa doesn’t have large swathes of the populace appeased with governmental gimmes and, literally, the hope of striking it big in the sweepstakes a la GMV.

        • Well its right, though I was making reference specifically to the degree of militarization. The armed forces having its dirty and corrupt grip over what happens or what doesn’t happens. (That could be perfectly reflected as you said on late roman empire, but I actually have some degree of admiration for them. However I hold nothing but contempt to all the numerous “democratic” forces in África, hence my words)

  10. Rule # one .Never act guilty unless you are, because people will believe the lies they say about you.

    The opposition is acting like the guilty party.They kowtow to all of Chavez’s insults just as a guilty party would submissively do.

    Rule # 2 Never label people.

    Slanderous and manipulative politicians call people names( radicales, 4 to Republicanos, reacionarios, etc etc) in order to win without using arguments and discredit those who think differently, which by the way assaults the freedom of thought and speech.

    When we fall into that trap we are guilty of the same,

    and people can smell our guilty feelings from miles away, thus creating the self- fulfilling prophecy that we look like the people who they accuse us of being.

  11. Well the author of this post sounds like he is out of touch with the Venezuela of today. Nobody -except the most avid Capriles and Arria fans – gives a damn about their feud, their press conferences or twittcam sessions. The MUD is irrelevant and invisible at this point, and so are the numerous frivolous twitter political personalities pretending to be leaders on the Internet.

    • The difference between them is that Arria will never be elected and Capriles will do and say anything to get elected.

      So it seems Arria is the misguided one, because clearly this is not an important issue in the grand scheme of things.

      The opposition have only ever really been concerned about their privileges, properties and investments in Venezuela.

      • The opposition have only ever really been concerned about their privileges, properties and investments in Venezuela.

        You mean, the bolibourgeoisie and members of the chavista government have only ever really been concerned about their privileges, properties and investments in Venezuela.

  12. Several commenters have made a valid point here. Though the tune should always be conciliatory, the lyrics should defy and denounce abuse…

    Opposition politicians SHOULD never back down from

    STATING THE TRUTH. No way a President (or any other elected charge) should stay in power for life. We don’t even know who is legitimate or illegitimate in this game of successions, given that we lack even the information as to WHY there should be a substitution of the President (presumably medical motives).

    ASKING A SERIOUS QUESTION AND DEMANDING ANSWERS. Where is the President now? What is his condition? When are the Venezuelan excuses for institutions going to inquire, seriously on this matter, and demand public, opportune and truthful information on it? Why is a Republic hanging on the health of any one person?

    You win over people from a party, system of belief or political formation when you make a serious case amicably that they have not been told the truth, and that you have a better version. But you HAVE to make the case. If you renounce the right to state that 2+2=4 because some bastard stating 2+2=5 is going to make you feel guilty, you lose before you start.

    The opposition has dropped the ball grievously on this. If compassion and comprehension for the sick or dying translates into dropping your brains on the floor, f*** “compassion” and “comprehension” for the dying and the sick. At least they have to show that they are sick to get compassion and comprehension. No opposition deputy should ever have voted a leave for treatment for the President absent a published prognosis and a blueprint for treatment. Now this idiocy is biting back, enabling Maduro and Cabello, and unscrupulous “jurists” to do what they want to Venezuela.

  13. What I see is a game of poker. Cuba is a tactic to hold the PSUVs cards “close”, while the last election has revealed strengths in PSUV’s hand. Other strengths in PSUV’s hand include control of public media, control of judicial process, control of oil revenues, military etc. However, these strengths are limited. They cannot counter the failures of basic government services, i.e. shortages, inflation, disintegration of public infrastructure, floods, unreliable electricity, crime, etc.

    MUD also has strengths in its hand, too, as with any large opposition. There are many.


    The government has already been quick to accuse various people and entities of the crime “contributing to instability”. I think that is their greatest fear now.

      • Then he must be the most vain man in the whole universe, for he is willing to let the country stew and his own party collapse rather than be photographed!

  14. Estamos jod (pardon my french)… El pais esta en un political limbo, un status poco conocido en los ultimos 50 anios de democracia occidental, donde todas las instituciones de el gobierno anterior elegido democraticamente time and again, avalan una situacion Kafkeana donde no tenemos presidente, ni prueba de su vida o sus ordenes. Si hubiesen declarado los 180 dias de ausencia temporal, los chavistas tendrian su mantra legal y tiempo para “gobernar” no obstante no hay figura legal que le de sosten al actual limbo state de “formalismos”. LA REALIDAD es que los pendejos somos TODOS nosotros aqui el 45 por ciento mas los que no esten de acuerdo del otro lado con que se esconda el paradero del Presidente, todavi estamos a tiempo los ciudadanos poara convocar a una gran mMARCHA DE LA VERDAD Y LEGALIDAD donde se pida sl gobierno pronunciarce con respecto al status politico y sobre el estado del Presidentr escogido por la mayoria de la poblacion. Con todo el respeto pero SI somos escualidos, hay que salir a la calle y protestar de forma violenta o no, y masiva contra el gobierno improvisado y no juramentado que tenemos, el mismo limbo legal nos da una razon de guerra ciudadana y de protesta masiva, ambos votantes pro y anti chavistas se pueden unir bajo el lema “donde conio esta el Presidente?” en un pais como ecuador, bolivia, argentina, egipto ya habrian protestas masivas, y lastimisamente muertos (politicos) que es lo unico que bajaria a los chavistas de su posicion inconstitucional y forzarlos a presentar opciones a venezuela ya sea 180 dias o elecciones, nuesto pueblo es generoso, sumiso y pasivo, en otros lados del mundo esta situacion hubiese tenido corta vida. Arrias o no Arrias esta situacion no tiene parangon, realismo magico del puro y una oportunidad para bajarlos del caballo por la via dela protesta masiva de ambios bandos. Muchos votantes Chavistas van a empezar a reclamar por el paradero de a su lider. Hay que jugarsela por completo, dada la torpeza de los actores actuales.

  15. I agree with 90% of your post, however my only criticism here is that Capriles seems to have more energy to criticize the “radicales” and the Arrias of this world than those who have destroyed Venezuela’s institutional and moral framework. Capriles shoots from the belt when it comes to “radicales” but is extremely cautious and “calculador” to say the least when it comes to government attacks, political prisoners, corruption and other evils. Far from Churchillian leadership no doubt.

    • I’m with you. I think its a calculated risk by Capriles to let others keep fighting about the fact that Cabello should be president and not Maduro. I also know that to make Maduro president he had to be relieved of the VP position (as per the constitution). The not-so-funny thing is that in order to make one part of the constitution work they messed up another. Either way, the problem we have in front of us is not who’s in office now but who will be next month.


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