Public blackmail as State policy

The toilet paper of choice for people in the government
The toilet paper of choice for people in the government

The President of the National Assembly, Diosdado Cabello, is a man who doesn’t beat around the bush. Case in point: his recent announcement that opposition legislators who refuse to recognize Nicolás Maduro as President will not get to talk in the Assembly … and will not get paid.

It’s refreshing to see chavistas violate the law and any pretense of basic human decency so openly. It makes our work here at CC so much easier. But what we have here is not an isolated incident, but a pattern. With a chavista Minister publicly saying he is going to persecute any opposition people employed by the government, labor laws be damned, and with the government now apparently persecuting people for their political beliefs by inspecting their Facebook pages (!), it’s clear that Maduro will not be a more moderate version of Chávez.

He will be a dumber, cheaper copy of Chávez.

(HT: Kepler)

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    • Carajo, tú no tienes ni la más mínima idea de lo que son cosas como Estado de derecho, democracia, pluralismo o “rectificar”.

      You so very much live in your tiny wee world of pseudo-revolution that you don’t realise your statement is completely senseless.

      This guy did NOT recant. You talk about “context”. Context my foot. In absolutely no democratic country with freedom of speech and pluralism (not show, Potemkin village-kind of pluralism) this guy would have been sacked and would have never had the possibility to become a politician ever again.

    • Funny how that fascist Maduro has arrested a US documentary filmmaker on “terrorism” charges. Maybe they can scare away all the filmmakers with this tactic, just like they used Afiuni’s persecution to destroy the independence of the judiciary.

      • Yes and he just happens to be filming oppo supporters planning violent (and in consequence illegal) protests. Yeah, just a random guy who just happens to know violent oppo supporters and a former general telling them how to most effectively engage in violence. Keep the delusions coming.

        • Wow, you sure are a died-in-the-wool apologist for everything the fascists do! In the real world, everyone knows there is no case, just as everyone knows there is no judicial system in Venezuela to try this guy.

        • The “evidence” that Rodriguez presented to the public is a joke.

          A video of a bunch of seemingly high dudes (a few of them Colombian?) saying they want some money and one of them offering to provide condoms and a dead battery in support of their cause is evidence of an international conspiracy against the government? Please. The saddest part is this is the best video they could come up with, out the “over 500” ones they’ve gotten their hands on.

          And where’s the link to Tracy?

          Lastly, the video of the general is ambiguous. It could just as easily be interpreted as the general telling the guys how to defend themselves against others’ aggression, and to never engage in such violence.

          • Lol yea, that video is laughable. How that man could stand up there in front of cameras with a straight face and present it as legitimate evidence of an attempt to foster violence is beyond me.

            I have not seen the video of the general, mind posting a link?

            Here’s a link to the condom-toting rabble-rousers! Be scared they could be coming to a neighborhood near you next!!

          • Sorry for the delay. Here’s the full video of Rodriguez’s declaration. General video starts at ~11:00:

            The guy in the video has now been arrested…

        • Listen Viva Maduro, pack your bags, this government is about to fall out of its own stupidity, it does not need an opposition, a Capriles for that, the famous pueblo will see to it. You know why I am saying that? Recently, it was one month since Chavez died. The event did not even register a blip on the radar. Come on, the Jesus Christ of twenty first century? No commemoration? What the fuck?. People have a really short memory in this place and Maduro has absolutely no clue how to lie convincingly like Chavez used to do to keep them patient and submissive. That is a lethal combination. Bye bye assholes.

          • Sure, you managed to troll one, typical Madurista, where are the arguments? Mine are that, from direct observations, both Chavez sanctity and Maduro popularity are in free fall

          • It’s always amusing to see how chavistas typically qualify any person of the opposition as one of the “extreme right”…

          • yes, this is something that shows how limited their minds are, and how deeply they got lost in delusions, naivity and their simple, ideological patterns. No matter what, they won’t wake up.

          • Hey, guy.

            Tell me: who is in Venezuela “the extreme left”?
            Who is the moderate left?
            Who is the moderate right?
            Who is the centre?
            Your brains will explode right NOW!

  1. And here is the likelihood that the audit of 54% of ballot boxes missed fraud that was substantial enough to allow a Capriles victory.

    “if Venezuelan opposition claims that Nicolás Maduro’s victory was obtained by fraud were true, it is practically impossible to have obtained the result that was found in an audit of 53% of electronic voting machines that took place on the evening of Venezuela’s April 14 elections. The odds of this occurring would be far less than one in 25 thousand trillion.”

    And let us repeat this fact once again since a large number of people who regularly comment on this blog continue to demonstrate a reality defying ability to ignore it.

    “There were no reports from witnesses or election officials on site of discrepancies between the machine totals and the hand count.”

    In other words, not one, zero, (0) opposition witnesses reported a single instance of fraud in a single vote center anywhere in Venezuela. Funny how that is just ignored by those who believe that Capriles has magically conjured up evidence of 1,000s of instances of fraud which for some mysterious reason he cannot reveal to the Venezuelan people he wants to represent as President.

    • Could you provide the source for your statement that 53% of electronic machines produced the same result as proclaimed by CNE?

      • Part of the electoral process in Venezuela involves a same day audit of 53% of the printed voting receipts to determine if they match the electronic vote. During that audit opposition witnesses observe the process and have an opportunity to object if the results do not match or they detect any kind of fraud. They can also withhold their signature if the results of the audit do not match the electronic vote. No opposition witnesses did either of those things.

        • VM, In the kind of fraud where people vote in name of dead or other live persons would present no mismatch between the receipts and the electronic vote. So your insinuation that determining a mismatch between receipts and electronic votes would “detect any kind of fraud” is outright false, which leads us to suspect your bias and your intentions.

      • every dumbass knows CC is a tool of u.s. imperialism. the point, if you disagree, is to contend with the content of the arguments, not attack the sources providing them

        • Where dit it say that the percent of votes for Maduro and Capriles were the same as the ones announced by CNE? I am not talking about the total votes in the boxes matching the votes on the actas but about the percentages obtained by each Maduro and Capriles!

        • CEPR’s Weisbrot? The same rabid Chavez-propaganda “independent” analyst Weisbrot? What a joke, man…the shameless guy who claims Venezuela has improved its inflation situation because now inflation is lower than during Caldera II.

          He, supposedly an economist, does not tell people how inflation compared back then and now in the context of Latin America.

          Here a selection. This is in logarithmic scale (to understand logarithmic, you have to go to a public school of pre-Chavez Venezuela, but apparently one where Chávez didn’t go, you learn that in 6th or 7th year)

          • In other words, someone who has not made wild claims of fraud, vote rigging, etc without evidence.

      • The point is presenting actual proof of the fraud Capriles and many on this blog claim. So far this has not occurred.

        • The point is that to present the proof that is behind the curtain, we must get the CNE open the curtain. So far this has not occurred. What is occurring, however, is that more and more people are wondering why the CNE refuses to open the curtain.

    • VM, it depends on how you limit the definition of fraud. You seem to limit fraud exclusively to that which can be detected by finding a lack of match between any of the following:

      number machine printed ballots
      totals reported by the machine of ballots printed
      sums of totals transmitted by the machines of ballots printed.

      Do you really think anyone in the oppostion is expecting to find the machine computing incorrectly? You must really think we’re dumb.

      Let’s do the math differently: Given that Procter & Gamble sells a lot of product because it does a lot of advertising, we must assume that the government got a lot of votes because it did a lot of propaganda. Let’s say its advertising advantage gave maduro a mere 2% advantage over Capriles. That represents 300k votes. Right there, we can deduce that maduro won by fraud. Want to add other fraudulent effects?

      Before you sidestep the propaganda advantage, remember you were the one to bring up “reality defying ablity to ignore”…

        • And here we have another opposition red herring. It is perfectly legal in Venezuela for a person to ask another person for assistance in voting if they, for example, are a first time voter and do not understand the process, need help understanding how to use the voting machines, etc.

          The claim that the opposition has made and you are repeating is that people requesting assistance are voting differently than they would have as a result. Of course, once again, no one from the opposition has presented any proof that (1.) This has occurred and (2.) If it did occur the number of votes that were cast differently than they otherwise would have been is enough to change the result.

          • VM, a person is legally allowed a single assistance. The proof that has been provided is regarding a single person assisting multiple people, which breaks electoral code.

            The spirit of the assistence rule is to help those in need fulfill their right to vote in sacrifice of their right to secrecy of vote. The spirit of the single assistence rule is to prevent systematic trampling of the right to abstain and of the secrecy of vote. Do you support investigating any reported case where these rights may have been jeopardized, or do you support ignoring the reported cases?

      • Great point. Question is was Maduro even legit when he was running and using all the peoples money to pay for his campaign? Yes, everyone paid for his shady campaign even Capriles.

        • No I am afraid that is not the question. This charge has been made by the opposition for as long as they have been defeated in elections by Chavez and now Maduro and the opposition has never presented any evidence of its truth.

          • VM, any use of public systems for his campaign above what has been allowed for Capriles is evidence of the people paying for maduro’s campaign. Not only has evidence to this effect been presented locally, the international “acompañantes” reported as such to UNASUR and others.

      • I am still awaiting the actual proof that, on election day, a majority of voters voted for Capriles and the result was changed to show a majority vote for Maduro, which has not yet been provided. Your hypothetical claims about advertising, etc. are groundless. I could make a similar point about the 85%+ of radio stations that are controlled by private broadcasters friendly to Capriles. The effort to persuade voters to vote one way or another is part of a normal campaign and not fraud. Unless you can show, with actual evidence, that voters entering a voting center voted one way and the results of the vote do not reflect that your claims fail.

        • VM, what it is fraudulent and illegal is to make advantageous use of public media for one candidate over another. That public advantage is the one maduro has exceeded.

          Thank you for exemplifying your own “reality defying ablity to ignore”…

    • There is, however, ample evidence, including video, that opposition witnesses were locked out for some time. There are also reports of opposition witnesses recieving death threats, as well as other violations.

      Each of these alone is enough to persume fraud in the voting center where it occured. It’s up to CNE to either demonstrate it couldn’t have happened, or rerun the elections in that center. Punishing those responsible is another necessary thing. Without all of these, the elections were not democratic.

      • Really, where is that “ample evidence” including a list of the voting centers where that occurred, a list of the opposition witnesses that were “locked out”, and the video that shows that they were? And your second paragraph is wrong. When someone claims something occurred whether fraud or anything else, they need to provide initial proof that their claim is true. If they cannot, they are demanding someone else prove a negative, which is very rarely possible.

        • A witness report is considered testimonial evidence. The onus is on CNE to at least investigate. Your assumption of falsehood of the testimonial evidence is shows your bias.

  2. I’ve got to say, none of Mr. Cabello’s actions bother me one bit. This sort of treatment is precisely what the opposition deserve. It’s pleasant to see the government starting to impose some standards of morality and virtue in the public square.

  3. In the first year of Napoleon’s rise to power he was accused of not being sufficiently revolutionary , so he took a series of drastic measures to probe his revolutionary credentials , for instance he ordered the execution of the Duc d’ Engien ( a famous royalist) on frivolous charges, what he actually wanted was total rule for himself but he knew that he could not do that if people saw him as soft on monarchists , so he became the toughest persecuter of royalists . I sense that Cuteyes acting as a thug in the National Assembly is meant to assure the more radical chavistas that he is really one of them , so once he has amassed enough power it will be easier for him to surprise them and take the reins of power for himself .His is a calculating mind , and he is loyal to the revolution only inso far as it helps him achieve his ambitions , Napoleon ultimately tried to represent both the revolutionary and the monarchist elements of French society with himself as head emperor of both frances. I more conjecture . time will tell.

    • Bill(l) bass

      I would love to sit and drink a few cold ones with you someday. Just about everything you write is thought-provoking as hell and usually I come away having learned something new.

    • If only the Revolution had someone half as intelligent and capable as Napoleon! Instead we are stuck with these tin pot crew who couldn’t manage a grocery store.

        • Napoleon was also lucky. His African campaign was a feast of miss planning, over optimism, and sheer incompetence on his part as a military leader. He left others in charge soon enough and left back for France to continue his scheming into power.

          I am with BB on this.

          Also kind of “silbando en la noche para espantar lo s espiritus, these nomenklatur and regime’s leaders are outwitting each other to be perceived and the most radical among them, and running these bravados in an attempt to feel stronger that they really are.

        • In the words of the awesome Roman Hrusaka (Rethuglican Nebraka)
          Even if he were mediocre, there are a lot of mediocre judges and people and lawyers. They are entitled to a little representation, aren’t they, and a little chance?

  4. He will be a dumber, cheaper copy of Chávez.

    He will be a more brutal and authoritarian copy of Chávez. Is there any evidence that Chávez had more than trivial ability to actually administer the state? In that respect Maduro is no worse.

    The difference is that he lacks (and knows he lacks) genuine political appeal to the population. Chávez relied on his political appeal to keep him in power (along with his abuse of state resources.

    Maduro has to substitute force for persuasion, intimidation for charm.

  5. The only reason they arrested this hapless gringo is because Maduro wants to pressure the US into recognizing his crappy government. Where is his spy network? And what kind of spy is stupid enough to videotape and carry around the very evidence that would be used against him? Mark my words, Maduro won’t make it through his sexenio, he’s already off to a bad start. This eagerness to use force reveals his weak position.

    • The US American had been detained TWICE before between October and now, the last time while openly filming at a Chavista rally in Puerto Cabello.

      Now I ask: what US operative gets detained TWICE by a foreign intelligence agency and then decides to leave the country through the main exit using his normal passport and all?
      Venezuela is not precisely like Liechtenstein. In fact: Venezuela has a long, Caribbean coast where people can come and go as easily as mosquitoes cross the Casiquiare.

      • When this guy is finally released and returns to the US the first thing he does is find some slick NYC lawyer to sue the Ripened Venezuelan Regime for millions of dollars in damages. Between the press generated and the likely judgment he’ll receive it’ll be just one more stupid and costly mistake by the Chavistas

      • This is basically another Afiuni case, in terms of it being a huge blow to Venezuela’s international credibility. When you do arbitrary arrests, DON’T make it a documentary filmmaker, stupid! His friends make documentaries!

      • Precisely. This is just bread and circus Maduro-style. It’s obvious the man is a documentary filmmaker who happened to find himself in a country run by paranoid lunatics. The spies that enter and leave through the airport have diplomatic credentials. They’re going to turn it into another Alan Gross case.

  6. Ah, I love the stink of Cabello-fascism in the morning. It’s just the kind of aroma that totally has to reach other parliaments around the world.

    You would think they would keep the charade and the threats more or less private and under wraps, keep some deniability, man!.

    But it’s obvious they don’t bother anymore in making anyone believe that their scam is a republic where officials are elected by popular vote. The OAS will love that.

    I don’t know if cha-duristas realize the magnitude of the fail here.

  7. Please watch this:

    Casto Ocando ‏@cocando:
    Jorge Rodriguez explica de manera ilustrativa cómo se hace el fraude electoral (ver minuto 7:20):

  8. Excellent! Pilar. This should be seen by everyone on this Blog/MUD, and is exactly how: Chavismo fraud is executed (min. 7.20-8.00); Maduro gets 90-100% in the outback; and how Maduro got more votes than Chavez in different areas. By J. Rodriguez, the man who brought Smartmatic to Venezuela, and who, as head of the CNE, brought massive electoral fraud to Venezuela. It illustrates WHY it is necessary to open the cuadernos electorales, as Capriles demands, and why the crooked CNE/Chavismo won’t allow it, because it will prove not only that Capriles beat Maduro, but it will call into question at least the margins of Chavez’s previous “victories.”

  9. For those who need “proof”, the simplest way is to do the recount! So far, Capriles is supporting it… why not the government, CHE, etc.? Furthermore, legitimacy requires support of the people which is evidenced by the vote. If there is suspicion, a recount should certainly counter all suspicion… refusal only makes it worse! What is the purpose, then?

  10. While comparing Maduro to Chavez, one might wonder what his reason is for going off to Cuba now. Chavez did it for health reasons… how about Maduro?

  11. On Blackmail as State Policy: U. S. citizen Tracy is being held for 45 days in a crude attempt by the Regime to trade for no U. S. sanctions against, U. S. eventual recognition of, the fraudulent Maduro “election.” Meanwhile, Minister of the Interior Torres (the same who Feb. 4 commanded the infamous failed attack on CAP’s family La Casona residence), and secret police Sebin head Carvajal, both of whom are on the U. S. narco sanctions list, have arrested, on trumped-up charges, innocent Gen. Rivero, former Chavista head of Defensa Civil for some 5 years, who quit to denounce the Cuban infiltration of the Venezuelan Armed Forces/Cedulization/etc. If they get away with this latter arrest, they will escalate to higher/higher members of the MUD, ending, perhaps, with Capriles himself, all with unpredictable consequences….

  12. Huge off topic, but you all gotta see this interview with the argentinean minister of economy not answering the question of a reporter about the inflation:

  13. I once knew a smart person , one of the highest managers in a large company , who whenever he faced a real problem , one that couldnt be solved in a straight forward manner , that involved dealing with many uncertainties , with no clear way out, would start giving rapid fire instructions to his subordinates , generating a lot of disorderly actions, none of which really addressed the heart of the problem he was facing . He reacted to the challenge not by meeting it head on, but by creating for himself the feeling that something was being done . This frenzied but futile response to a threat is very human !! Students of pre modern China discovered a pattern typical of rulers in times of crisis , if they had lost control of something that mattered to them , they would start dictating new laws , many new laws which really did nothing to allow them to regain the control they had lost. but gave them the false sensation that they were somehow regaining it. Before Chavez death and the april elections , the Regime had two solid supports and one which involved a continous struggle . It controlled all government institutions and its resources to use as it saw fit , it could point towards always counting with a solid mayority support of the common people (which gave it self confidence credibility and legitimacy) and it battled with varying degrees of success, for control of public discourse and agenda through heavy communicational manipulation (including threats and insults) and wily doctoring of collective appearances . Now they ve clearly lost the second support , are facing many problems that unmask their incapacity to manage the countries resources and are being challenged by a well organized effort on the part of the opposition for control of the forum of public discourse ( the vote recount attack) . This represents an existential threat to their rule and despotic ambitions, they feel panicky and start taking frenzied actions , stepping acts of violent coercion and threats against the opposition and concocting a narrative to distract attention from the fact that they’re becoming more vulnerable as time passes, This narrative has to do with making the world believe that there is a seditious plot to violently overthrow the government (yet another one!!) and to destroy the revolutions most proud accomplishments ( the cdi’s) , with two purposes , to galvanize their core supporters hatred and use it to them motivated and energized and to justify those violent coercive measures that in their desperation they would like to take to silence and suppress the challenging voice of the opposition. If they go too far they run the risk of further alienating the people whose trust theyve lost making them more emotionally identified with the opposition and leave an impression in the minds of the outside world that they are really an ordinary despotic regime bent of violating all rules to secure their control of a rapidly deteriorating situation.!! The regime is in a quandary as is reacting with panicky excess!!

    • ¿Alguno de ustedes pisó, en la infancia y a propósito, un hormiguero? Eso es lo que se siente que le está pasando al PUS, Mr. Bill…

      Y la gente en la calle está arrecha, bien arrecha. Se nota caminando y oyendo lo que se dice… La mayoría quiere la auditoría, CON CUADERNOS.

      El gobierno, en manos de un iletrado (otro más) no sabe leer… lo que está pasando.

      Pero la rabia es notable, señores.

      • Tenemos 14 anos con rabia y ellos siguen ahi y seguiran ahi. No veo en que situacion se les va a derrumbar eso. Entre rabos de paja, amenazas, represiones y enchufados eso se va a mantener. La lucha de pacifica Capriles es noble, pero creo que este gobierno esta montado de una forma que no se va a caer a menos que corra mucha sangre, la gente no arrugue a pesar de los muertos, y los de arriba esten tan asustados que salgan corriendo para que no los cuelguen en una plaza (y tal vez hagan falta algunos de ejemplo). Obviamente, los venezolanos no estan pa eso, somos un pueblo que protesta pero tambien somos sumisos y los Castro lo saben, por eso conquistaron al pais con Chavez y sus sequaces seguiran dominando al pais por cuanto tiempo les de la gana.

        Y olvidense que las instancias internacionales vayan a resolver nada. Esos clubs de presidentes lo que hacen es cubrirse los unos a los otros.


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