Panic is thine enemy

Smoking gun or hot air?
Smoking gun or hot air?

Recent shenanigans at the National Assembly have created a sense of panic in certain opposition circles.

To recap: following the defection (which sounds curiously like defecation) of two opposition deputies, William Ojeda and Hernán Núñez, chavismo is aiming at two more deputies: Primero Justicia’s Richard Mardo and Gustavo Marcano (who is actually a substitute deputy, not a main one).Their ploy is to link them to purported corruption schemes involving checks or something, none of it illegal mind you. As it happens, the Ley Antitalanquera works only one way.

The prevailing theory is that chavismo is going all out to ensure a 2/3 majority in the National Assembly. Presumably, they have already “talked” to whoever would replace deputies Marcano and Mardo, and once they are installed, they will immediately jump ship.

This is all a show. Apparently, the strategy is to ensure the 3/5 majority to get an Enabling Law, or to name a new, or a 2/3 majority to name an even more partisan CNE. But do we really think they need a 3/5 or 2/3 majority to do anything anymore?

It’s worth remembering that the point where chavismo had any constraints in terms of what it could and could not do was passed a long time ago. With the Supreme Tribunal rubber stamping any harebrained scheme they can think of, it’s really just a matter of form more than content at this point.

Therefore, I refuse to get worked up about these latest happenings. They can do whatever they please – that was true a few months ago, true yesterday, true today, and true in the near future.

Back to my vacation

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  1. For me, the real significance is that they’re now targetting people for raising funds legally, something that will cow the more zanahoria supporters out of funding them and limit them to fundraising from supporters willing to give money…well, illegally!

    The 2/3rds majority may mean nothing, but their newfound willingness to use authoritarian means to jail/marginalize political opponents does. Granted, they always had the ability, but now they have the willingness too…

    • Before you go on a rant, let me be clear: I get the big picture here. It’s about scaring away potential donors of the opposition parties and what not, but still… doesn’t the whole thing look a bit weird?

      I am not buying any B.S. coming from Diosdado Cabello, a guy who’s probably the most corrupt guy in that cesspool called chavismo, but Mr. Mardo during the press conference confirmed that he got the money and allegedly used it to help people i.e. potential voters – what may be considered somehow as campaigning.

      Beyond the mitigating circumstances – the crooked political financing system, the unfair rulings by the CNE and what not – that we may so eagerly use to exonerate Mr. Mardo, how are we supposed to consider this from a moral standpoint?

      How kosher would you consider this scenario in regular circumstances. Would you endorse a politician that get checks from private companies for undisclosure reasons?

      • What’s really funny is how you all automatically discount anything coming out of Diosdado’s mouth by simply saying “he’s corrupt”. FT wrote a whole post in which his whole argument could be summed up like this: “Well, Diosdado’s corrupt, so its all obviously false.”

        Nevermind the fact that this is about as classic an ad hominem argument as they come, but there actually was…. you know…. evidence…. evidence which even Mardo and gang had to acknowledge.

        But here’s the kicker. Toro bases many of his claims about how the Venezuelan justice system works on the testimony of a former Venezuelan judge that everyone knows is corrupt!! Not only does everyone know Aponte Aponte was corrupt, but the guy didn’t provide even an ounce of evidence to back anything he was saying!!

        But, hey, in THAT case Toro just gobbles it all up… even bases his larger conclusions on it. In THIS case, however, todo lo contrario!! Could you make your lack of objectivity any more obvious??

        • and there goes any hope of a serious discussion…

          Chavismo has no authority whatsoever to talk about corruption. Where should I start? Probably with the oldest corruption case? That would be Plan Bolivar 2000. What happened to Cruz Weffer? Did he go to jail? Nop. And that happened 12 years ago. Let’s see others: Pudreval, CAAEZ, Antonini Wlson, Makled, Aponte Aponte, Aban Pearl… should I continue?

          And don’t get me started on Diosdado “King of the Crooks” Cabello. Do you really wanna play the ad hominem card for him? The guy that used his influence to get money from Fundabarrios – Fundabarrios for Christ’s sake! – to remodel his mistress’ appartment. And I’m quite sure that nothing will ever happen with the money he stoled in Miranda. There’s no straw man there, just a bunch of chavista hypocrites that can see the speck in the opponent’s eye but fail to notice the beam in their own…

          • Barreda,

            Thing is I never said a thing about Diosdado not being corrupt. Apparently you’re completely unfamiliar with what ad hominem means, and why it makes everything you just said completely irrelevant.

          • Diosdado accusing his opponents of corruption reminds me of the South Park episode where Rob Reiner goes around insulting people who smoke

          • Let’s rehash this discussion:

            I say calling someone corrupt is doesn’t mean whatever they say is false… that it’s a classic ad hominem. (Even Quico recognizes this, since he believes every word of Aponte Aponte’s)

            You all respond with “Whatever! Chavistas are so corrupt!!”

            Oh, and apparently it’s my fault that no serious discussion can be had around here…

          • I don’t get whats so hard to understand that If the rule of law was applied in Venezuela, Diosdado would be one of the many politicians who would be in prison, the fact that he calls everyone else corrupt when hes one of the most corrupt members of the government (And Venezuela’s government being one of the most corrupt in the world, that’s saying something) Only goes to show just how much of a hypocrite he is and you seem to be ok with it.

          • I say: “You don’t understand ad hominem.”

            Hal9000 responds with: “I DON’T UNDERSTAND AD HOMINEM!!!”

          • The discussion I would like to have is not about what ad hominem means, but about moral standing. What Mr. Mardo did may or may not be kosher. I don’t know. But what I do know is that Diosdado Cabello or – for that matter any chavista – does not have the moral standing to point the finger at ANYBODY when it comes down to corruption.

            When Diosdado Cabello or Pedro Carreño or Luisa Ortega accuse people of being corrupt the whole thing just turns into a farce. The very same guys that turn a blind eye to Pudreval, Plan Bolivar 2000, Aban Pearl, Makled, Antonini’s suitcase among many, many other corruption cases – or their very own misdeeds – all of a sudden call for swift justice against their enemies for a thing that we are not even sure it’s a crime!

            Yes, I’d love to see a serious discussion about the whole PJ’s affair on financing, but first and foremost I’d love to see some actual justice done against the guys that are robbing us blind while you and the rest of the chavista hypocrites cry heaven for PJ’s dubious financing.

          • Actually, I never said anything about PJ’s financing. I’m simply pointing out the hypocrisy in not believing one person because “they are corrupt” but championing the statements other people who don’t even PRETEND to not be corrupt!!

          • I’m guessing that in your super fair and balanced understanding of Venezuelan politics if Julio Borges or any other oppo member was the one making these accusations against members of the PSUV, you would go on a jihad on chavista blogs telling people that just because he is corrupt doesn’t make what hes saying is false.

            Its the hypocrisy part you don’t seem (Or want) to get GAC, that one of the most corrupt figureheads of the government its doing the finger-pointing when its been verified that hes committed the same crimes hes pointing fingers for. I mean, this is like talking to a wall.

          • Please, explain to me in layman terms what was the actual crime Mr. Mardo committed. Because it’s no clear to me. Was it an electoral crime? Was it bribery? Was it trade in influence? Was it embezzlement or kickbacks?

            Why are the allegedly crimes from Mr. Mardo worser from your point than those I mentioned above, i.e. Plan Bolivar 2000, Pudreval and so forth? Aren’t those case more important than the one that you’re so obsessed with? Don’t they predate Mr. Mardo’s financing case?

            And the character of the accuser is obviously of importance here. To me, this chavista farce is nothing but a thief pointing at a bystander to divert attention from himself and escape the crime scene…

          • Funny thing is, if you could provide solid EVIDENCE for your corruption claims, then people would take you a lot more seriously. But most of your claims are pure hearsay, based on what you ASSUME happened, with zero solid evidence.

            PDVAL: where was the corruption? Mismanagement, yes. But corruption? Where?

            Antonini: Case in point. There is no solid evidence of where the money came from. It is all hearsay, based on what a couple people SAY happened. Not solid evidence.

            And on and on and on. You have all worked yourselves up thinking there is all this evidence of corruption (I’m not saying there isn’t corruption), when the reality is your evidence is quite slim.

            Diosdado’s evidence, on the other hand, is there for all to see, and even Mardo had to acknowledge it. What was illegal was that he had received all of these funds without declaring them, either to the CNE or as taxes.

          • The evidence you so desperately try to deny is in the hands of the authorities that do nothing about it. For example, Cruz Weffer went to trial for Plan Bolivar 2000 and nothing happened to him, in spite of the mountains of evidence against him. The same goes for Antonio Albarran – involved in CAAEZ – who got away with it because of their links to Chavez’ family. As for Pudreval, NOBODY knows what happened there, because like with so many other cases (Antonini’ suitcase, Aban Pearl, Makled, etc.) the authorities and Chavez himself sweep any discussion under the carpet ASAP.

            You eagerly dismiss Pudreval as mismanagement but when it comes to opposition figures you automatically assume that it’s indeed corruption because Diosdado “King ofd Crooks” Cabello says so. No joda, you couldn’t have chosen your nom de guerre better. You DO need to get a clue!

  2. A couple of days ago, Padre Palmar an (in)famous priest and former Chávez supporter from the (soon to be Bolivarian) State (Republic) of Zulia, reported on twitter that Chavistas had another 3 oppo deputies on the rack, about to be broken. According to Mardo they’re offering anything & everything to change sides. We’ll probably find out sooner than later how many will actually break. Eyes peeled!

  3. Onerous politics in an economic meltdown? Using trump cards to sustain power without accountability? It’s the low road to the bottom…and at what point will there be nothing left to manage? Who wants to be in charge of the crash? Are they that stupid? I think there will be a time for negotiation when Chavismo has nothing to hide behind… and they will need an escape rout.

    • I predict that each scapegoat put in prison will become a “hero”! They will accomplish more being in prison than where they are now.

  4. I am clueless on how they are doing all this to get the 2/3 of the NA…We should check all articles that have the 2/3 requirement

    Or, it is just bullying for the sake of it. Preventive strike.

  5. Small quibble: 99 diputados (which is what they’re on the point of getting) is a 3/5 majority, not a 2/3 majority. It is not enough to do most of the things (like appointing CNE rectores or a contralor for instance). for which a ‘qualified majority’ is required. A 2/3 majority is 110, and they’re 12 away from that. 99 will get you an enabling law though.

    Incidentally (OT) has anyone else noticed that the Washington embassy of the Bolivarian Republic thinks Cilia Flores is the Contralora? (

    Even smaller quibble: the possessive form of ‘thy’ is ‘thine’.

      • Actually I mis-stated the ‘thy/thine’ issue: ‘thy’ is also possessive. ‘Thine’ is correct in this case because it comes before a vowel.

    • The whole page is a mess, Iw as looking to see who they put as Procurador and they don’t even have it, they confuse Attorney General and Prosecutor. Luisa Ortega is really only the Prosecutor while Cilia Flores is more like the Attorney General.

  6. Panic is thine enemy… for the collapse of this charade is around the corner. The difference now is that the producer-director-star of it is collapsing himself.


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