Dragged Kicking-and-Screaming Into Clandestinity


417871_558432680853761_862764326_nThe events in the Assembly today were deeply shocking. With dissident congresspeople now not merely barred from speaking, not merely deprived of their salaries but repeatedly physically assaulted,  just for showing up, Venezuela’s parliament is as good as dissolved.

Venezuela’s democratic movement is being violently shoved into the kind of underground resistance it never envisioned for itself, never sought, isn’t well prepared to take on, and never actually wanted. The contrast with the now-in-power far-left’s gleeful embrace of clandestine subversion against a new, liberal, indubitably democratically elected regime in 1961-1962 is vast and telling.

Even as I write that, I have only the foggiest notion of what the 21st century version of “going to the mountains” might actually look like. Discovering that, it seems to me, is the task that this generation faces.

But the strategy we’ve pursued so far – contesting the regime’s power through the regime’s institutions, acting as if we believed them to be minimally independent and fair – has clearly run its course. It only flatters the institutional apparatus of what’s now clearly an old-school dictatorship. We need to think up something different. And if tonight’s mass beating doesn’t convince you, probably the arrests coming in the next few weeks will

This I know: We didn’t choose this path. We’ve spent over 14 years resisting it, working night and day to think up ways to fight an undemocratic regime through democratic means. Even today, even now, with a mountain of evidence making it patently obvious that there’s no room left at all in the regular  channels for institutional contestation, some of our leaders hope against hope that there’s some sense left in filing one last amparo in the Supreme Tribunal.

It grieves me to say it, because I have steadfastly resisted this conclusion over the years, but there isn’t. We didn’t choose clandestine opposition. The government chose it for us. And that’s where we are.

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  1. I understand the concern and how delicate the situation is, but, with any means necessary, Venezuelan opposition can be anything but clandestine. There truly is no room left for institutional contestation, but modern media has to be the way to fight this totalitarian regime from inside and outside the country. We are not prepared to “go to the mountains”, so our fight will have to be different, even though today there is no easy answer for it

    • Bueno, figuring out what the 21st century version of “going to the mountains” actually looks like is the task at hand. At least, from today, I don’t think that can reasonably be in doubt any longer.

      • I find it funny how Toro is so outraged by a few diputados that got beat up, but we sure didn’t hear a peep from him when 9 Chavistas were killed and dozens more wounded in the days after the election. Its so much easier when you can just blame it all on the Chavistas, right?

        • No man, we love chavistas.

          It’s chavista government officials we blame.

          You might not believe it, being on the defensive and all, but Quico would be railing against the opposition if it was it being fascist; yet you can’t be fascist without control of the government.

          It would be an insult to the very useful term that is “fascism” to suggest extra-governmental forces constitute fascism. Chavista government officials, on the other hand…

        • “when you can just blame it all on the Chavistas”…. oh, the now signature double-standard of the madurismo/chavismo….. “oh no! look, the opposition is sabotaging and that’s why there’s no electricity!!” ; “oh no! the opposition is blocking food supplies and that’s why there’s food shortages!!” PLEASE. 14 years and you still think you can blame things on others?? hah. I would laugh harder if I wasn’t completely depressed and terrified for the future of a once prolific, diverse, and beautiful nation. I just hope that one day we will rise from the ashes that you leave after you burn it all down.

        • Except one of them was an opposition supporter, his father vouched to this.

          So all of them probably were, and your leaders are liars.

        • It was clear that those 9 Chavistas killed were only a sample of the whole criminal activities of murderers that have emerged from Nicolas govertmrnt in only 100 days that he has been in the power there have been more than 5000 people killed in the country. Only 6 were killed during his closing campaing in Caracas and nobody mention those. The goverment have promoted a a publicity to blame Capriles and the opposition of those acts but it has been showed that they are lying, they accussed the opposition of burning health clinics which where clearly showed intact hours later. Only a criminal regimen is using the lie as its support. They commited a fraud in the election and do not want to audit the results showing the notebooks and doing re-count because the fraud will be put in evidence.

        • Get a clue……..like your name says you MUST get a clue of what is happening before been able to submit your modest and irracional opinion. You must see, hear and read before. Those innocent people that died regardless of their political thoughts were killed and wounded by “Chavistas” . Let me just clearify one of the victims; this young fellow “Chavista” was runover by the truck where the “Ilegittimate Presidetn” was when approaching one or the meetings. No one did anything to help him. If you need i can send you the pictures by inbox. They are to strong to place here. Before talking you must obtain the right information.

        • Get a clue, Chavistas cobardes love to incite to violence, and you know, you think this that happened to Julio and Maria C only people from the opposition, and you are sitting at home probably laughing because you think it never will get to you or your family… but soon you will find out that the time will come when they will also come for you “decent” Chavistas, if there is any who haven’t woke up from their kool aid romantic dream to this point of the game. Remember Martin Niemoller’s words. WHO killed those Chavistas? Other violent Chavistas.

          • Maybe if it was his mother or his sister that got the shit kicked out of them it would be a different response from him.

        • You forgot to mention the hundreds murdered every week, Venezuelans in general. But of course you are the typical who love the “cut and paste” the real news

        • Can you imagine the gigantic tantrum GAC would throw if it were the PSUVIANS who got their heads smashed? Also, no word on the 5 chavistas killed in the government CAMPAIGN CLOSING ACT, oh wait, what am I doing, feeding the troll, Jijiji

          • Those who were killed in Maduro’s campaign closing were Chavistas. Do you really think the government is killing its own supporters? Who do you think killed these people?

          • Well lets see, here we have documented where Chavistas burned their own campaign quarters, http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=2vbEJrqCHIY so the answer is if Chavistas are willing to destroy their own property in the hopes of pinning the act on the Opposition, why wouldn’t they sacrifice a few of their own in order to bring ludicrous charges of murder? In fact, that is precisely what has occurred. So, you better get a clue Get A Clue.

          • Sorry chiguire, but you haven’t “documented” anything. This video shows Chavistas pouring WATER on a fire, not gasoline. If you think that is gasoline, then you have no idea what pouring gasoline on a fire actually looks like.

            In the video it is obvious that this fire is fairly advanced… e.g. it was not just started. In other words, the Chavistas would have to be incredibly stupid to light their own place on fire and then stand around for a long time so everyone can see them.

            The more likely scenario is that these Chavistas are responding to a fire started at their headquarters by opposition forces. But no, that would make too much sense wouldn’t it?

          • And who would be stupid enough to think they would burn their own headquarters anyway?

            They win the elections and they celebrate by burning their own headquarters? En que cabeza cabe esa ridiculez?

        • IT DOESNT RIGHT!!! HOW COULD FIND FUNNY SOME DISASTER LIKE THIS? Maybe someone who don’t know the real thing. The real thing is there are a thousands of killed people everyday in venezuela…tha’s the great disaster, Otherwise, all the world knows that the 9chavistas weren’t chavistas at all. it is just a trick of the illegal government to hide their false victory on april14th. THAT’S THE TRUE EVERY MINUTE DISCOVERED AND CONFIRMED WITH GOVERMENT VIOLENCE.

        • Get a Clue,

          Yeah, these creeps would be happy to beat up Chavistas if they were in charge. I’m glad the tables are being turned on them. No one can say they didn’t ask for exactly this.

          • See, this is actually the kind of honest chavismo I can respect. ¡Coño, a veces lo que hace falta es caerse a coñazos!

            You give me hope that we might never reach the depths of autocracies with less soul.

            In a big way, we did ask for this. I have to say, though, that not in a million years would the factors that make up the oposición actually beat anyone up during a formal process. It’s just different ways of looking at the world. We opress you with near-African poverty, you beat us up, depressive kids kill themselves… It’s all part of the cycle of Fascism-Communism.

        • Your concern about those that died is legitimate and I share it. But sadly, other than blaming Capriles for the intellectual authorship of those deaths, I haven’t seen any investigation put forward to actually find the material authors of those crimes. That, makes me think that the government’s concern for those deaths, is merely political and not moral.

          • Gimme a break Rodrigo. You know very well that justice is not served on the majority of crimes in Venezuela for various reasons. This has been the reality in Venezuela, and most of Latin America, for decades. It doesn’t mean people don’t care about the deaths. It means the institutions are disfunctional and not capable of carrying out the task.

          • Who says they aren’t trying? As far as I know they are investigating. Apparently there are already people detained for the violence that occurred, not sure if those people are related to any of the deaths.

            Either way, if they do detain people then you all will cry about them repressing protests and other nonsense. What you don’t seem to understand is that no matter what the government does, the opposition is going to do everything they can to discredit it and criticize it until they can get rid of this government and take power for themselves.

          • Yes, and the government does the same but with far more media access and resources.

            The fact that violence has reached even the AN tells us that there is something wrong here. Very wrong.

          • Far more media access? What planet are you on Rodrigo? All the state channels combined control only 6 percent of the Venezuelan audience. Do you honestly think Venezuelans are watching VTV, ViveTV, Tves, etc?? You must not have much connection to ordinary Venezuelans. Almost no one watches those channels, as research has demonstrated.

          • And that’s not even to mention internet media, which is becoming more influential than TV news. In that arena the government is completely outmatched. Who gets their news from VTV? Most people get it from private media, which are almost unanimously opposed to this government.

          • Radio has way more access in Venezuela than TV. And when government goes in cadena, it doesn’t really matter as it forces your content on everyone. Like they did last night with the AN trifulca refrito.

          • So, that’s why the murder rate went from 19 murders per 100 000 inhabitants in 1998 (the rate during Gómez times, by the way, there was a drop in the oil boom of the sixties and seventies to rise and stabilize around 19 around 1996)
            to…what’s it now? 65 murders or 70 murders per 100 thousand inhabitants?

            Venezuela became the main importer of weapons in South America, vastly surpassing Argentina and Brazil in the last few years…hablando de prioridades

          • You think the murder rate skyrocketed because Chavistas don’t care about violent deaths? That’s a brilliant theory Kepler. That must have taken a lot of hard serious thought.

          • We can discuss about that, send me an email as this is already OT…Oh, no, you only want to troll here. OK, never mind.

          • Yes, I am REALLY interested in discussing your brilliant theory Kepler. You have shown over the years to have a wealth of brilliant analysis on Venezuelan politics.

          • you long ago lost your credibility, GAC, in your sincerity and your sources. no one’s buying your “interest”. REALLY.

      • “Bueno, figuring out what the 21st century version of “going to the mountains” actually looks like is the task at hand.”

        IMO it looks a lot like the 20th century version of the alternative: see Burma and, for that matter, the American south in the 60s. You go to the mountains when you’re in the fringe, when you’re unelectable. And JC may have been right about this, with Papaito dead, this is not the case any more.

        • What I mean is that the strategy we’ve pursued so far: contest the regime’s power by going through the regime’s institutions, acting as if we believed those institutions to be minimally fair, has clearly run its course. We need to think up something different. And if tonight’s mass beating doesn’t convince you, probably the arrests coming in the next few weeks will

          • My bad on using the word ‘unelectable’ as shorthand. I don’t mean that we wait for the next election. Coger pa’l monte in 2013 has to mean coger pa’ la calle (sin quemar caucho, etc). HCR et al managed to get enough people out of the ninism and abstencionism to make the election close. Can they get them going so that it is not just four cat-peelers chaining themselves to a fence? And assuming their mobilization power doesn’t fade precipitously, can they keep it from going the Zimbawe or Egypt route?

          • I disagree, Quico…although I am grateful you’re back.

            A (the?) fundamental difference between the leaders on the two sides are that Capriles et al believe deeply in the rule of law and democracy, and Maduro et al do not.

            Capriles must continue to pursue all legal avenues, insisting that the laws matter.

            It’s not enough…por ahora. But it still has to be at the core of the strategy.

          • Yes, Capriles et al believe deeply in democracy, that’s why they orchestrated a coup against a democratically elected government in 2002, and then supported another coup in Honduras in 2009. These guys just LOVE democracy.

          • Remember it did not end there. They tried to destroy the economy in 2003, which caused a depression. Funny how the oppo constantly screams about the fact Chavistas are supposedly destroying the economy when it had already been ruined by oppo implemented neo liberalism in the 1980-90s and than when it was recovering rapidly under Chavez tried to destroy it again because of their mindless hate for him. And than of course you have the constant claims of fraud in every single election they lost (except for October 2012 strangely enough). And there’s also the constant violent “protests” and harassment committed by violent fascist groups like JAVU.

          • They love W.E.I.R.D., more than democracy.


            It can’t just be people voting other people to tell people what to do. It has to be within a very specific frame: distribution of powers among independent organisms, defined legal procedures for the use of such power, and, of course, a fascist police force to shove it all down our throats.

            What’s a bummer about chavismo is that they keep the fascist policing in their ideals.

          • It certainly convinces me that Maduro’s finally man enough to take off the gloves and treat the opposition like they deserve. It’s incredibly amusing to hear you folks whining about ‘civil rights’ like a bunch of wussified crybabies.

            The men of 1961-1962 were actually tough enough and courageous enough to actually take to the mountains and engage in armed struggles. Capriles and his boys would prefer to run crying to the U.S. Embassy.

            If you don’t want stuff like this to happen, then stop resisting the Revolution.

          • Venezuelans are ready for them if they try anything. Any resort to violence would destroy their legitimacy in the eyes 80% of Venezuelans for decades. The only question is the oppo so delusional that they can convince themselves otherwise. Based on their delusions about the lies told by Capriles some of the more extreme oppo may be.

          • That’s true, but I don’t think these people are thoughtful enough to realise that. They hate Chavez and Maduro more than they want to maximize their own advantage. The kind of nihilist rhetoric on this blog in the last few days frightens me. These people are openly calling for assasination of PSUV politicians.

          • One guy called for that. Most of us are not loosing our heads.

            Listen, if you want us to stop resisting the revolution, you’re going to have to do a lot better than the barrage of insults that usually accompany such an “invitation.”

          • Faust,

            Most of you folks are all pretty similar to one another, so I don’t really distinguish between one oppositionist and another. And I’m not under the delusion you can be convinced by arguments, that’s why we need to convince you by force. The opposition will only stop resisting the Revolution, when they are sufficiently harrassed and intimidated.

          • Revolución? De qué revolución estás hablando, chamo? Lo que tenemos es la típica autocracia bananera con un montón de milicos cleptócratas en el poder y un montón similar de boliburgueses ladrones que dejan a los adecos como suecos…tipos que probablemente leyeron Marx for Dummies y ni eso comprendieron.

          • Kepler,

            How does it feel now that Maduro is meeting your whining about ‘civil rights’ with a fist in the face? It’s quite exhilarating to see all your wussified babbling about political liberalism and Habermas go up in smoke.

          • Los comentarios de los trolls en este blog ya están llegando a niveles surrealistas, parece que los escribiera el chigüire bipolar.

          • The problem is that most of the best commenters of the blogs are busy engaging with them and I think that is diverting the attention from the very grave things real that are happening and now we are discussing the imaginary CDI attacks or 8 people killed violently out of the hundreds that die in the same manner every week, and its getting repetitive and shallow

          • Dude, dude…


            These people represent a serious chunk of our national psyche. We either remain schizophrenic or try to reconcile the voices in our collective head. You can also try medicating them away, but then you are in an insulated, fake reality.

          • They don’t represent a chunk or the average psyche in Venezuela. Most of them are foreigners who don’t even live in Venezuela and some of them even get paid to come here to troll and many of you just make their job easier.

      • Francisco the 1st step: ban the Maduro Trolls fro having any space in this blog. Starting w/ Get a Clue -they are a waste of time, add nothing to the debate- enough is enough. I am sick and tired of this guy

        • IMO, if you ban people like Get a Clue, you’re seriously going to damage your credibility. To tell you the truth, I don’t see his comments as trollish whatsoever, specially as of late. He’s got a point regarding how ridiculously biased Capriles fanatics have rationalized their idol’s disgusting lies. Any minimally rational observer of the whole VEnezuelan political circus understands that while chavistas might have the lead in terms of insanity and thugishness, the opposition is not trigo limpio whatsoever… Keeping the comments section open to radically opposed opinions is essential!

          • Actually, that’s right. But still, even *trying* to block them in any way would damage CC’s credibility badly… I think you guys are doing the right thing by letting it flow the way it has to flow…

          • Alan,

            Does it damage their credibility that they regularly try to ban us, and delete our comments all the time?

          • Now who is whining they don’t play fair. These little homos should stop smoking pot and get a life not a clue. They are so strung out on drugs they think they are posting on hands off Venezuela lol.

      • Friends, recall the U.S. election in 2000, when the subsequently inaugurated President (Bush) actually lost by .05% of the popular vote. That is, Al Gore actually won the popular election but lost the Presidency. And this amid controversy about not only the results but also the process itself in some parts of the country. A favorable (and controversial) Supreme Court ruling in favor of Bush sealed the deal, and the country (including the opposition) accepted the fait accompli and moved on. Bush was re-elected in 2004 but the opposition (President Obama and the Democrats) won the next two elections.

        My point: In the interest of the greater good, let Mr. (now President) Maduro take over the reins of this battered and sinking ship…He needs, but doesn’t have, a mandate to right the national course, but, (let us be honest), neither does the opposition. Let the President and his party own this mess for now. Obstructionism now will not lead to an electoral mandate later, which is what is necessary. Your time (our time–I was pulling for Capriles too) will come, and Capriles will then be seen not as the “opposition,” but as the solution.

        Yes, perhaps “going to the mountains” means letting the (continued) poor performance of the party of Chavez make the (current) opposition seem like the opción clara–which now, even if it had those 300,000 or so votes in its favor–it is not. But neither is President Maduro. El tiempo obra a nuestra favor!

        • Fine, let’s do as you say. But doing so doesn’t mean that he gets to go easy on Maduro.

          I applaud the CSB strategy as they have played it so far. No free pass to Maduro and his cronies, denouncing all abuses in every court, whether of law or public opinion here and abroad.

          And Civil Disobedience all over the country will also help

  2. In the months to come things will get worse, The PSUV is not made to coexist with opposition, Chavez have a degree of “tolerance” because he feel we post no danger to his regime.
    Current PSUV cant do that, for them we are a thread and an important one.


  3. Clandestinidad??? Quico, what is happening to you? You may be distracted with your personal life, but your take is way off el perol.

    • Like I said, there is a deeply ingrained resistance to this conclusion in the opposition: we’re just not made that way. But this government is not going to allow us to oppose them openly. If tonight doesn’t make that clear, the arrests over the next few weeks will.

      • On the contrary. Chavistas are undoing with their feet what took them years and lots of petro dollars to build: an international image of being the democratic side, while the opposition was viewed as non-democratic. You think that the government can silence us? Hahaha

        • While they may be showing their true colors no one is going to do anything about it. UNASUR won’t do anything, the US won’t do anything. As an outsider I can guarantee that the Chavistas have looked bad for years. However, it will be up to Venezuelans to undo the current dictatorship. Quico is right, the AN is as good as disbanded at this point, it’s time to do something new.

      • Oh, sweetie, don´t hold your breath, Gen. Antonio Rivero was already arrested this week on bogus charges as a big example to any other rebellious military personnel who might *gasp* consider speaking out about government abuses.

      • You go underground when you choose to oppose the government with illegal means, because you are convinced that using legal means will (a) land you in jail or get you killed or (b) not bring you victory. Are you convinced?

        • Keeping in mind that “illegal” is what ever the government defines it to be.

          It is clear that these types of actions do not bring victory by themselves, but the do act as means of harassment. Clandestine actions do not have to be a violent, running a blog like this one or taking a photograph showing anything the government does not want public are far more effective and are clandestine activities that can be performed by Joe Public with little risk to themselves. Open flow of information is more dangerous to PSUV’s of this world than any armed movement organized against them.

  4. Again, where are the protestations from the other governments in South America? Where? The savagery here is simply unbelievable.

  5. The government is presently controlled by a faction of the left that grew up in the 60s and 70s, fed on the myth of armed struggle as an instrument of political change. You may win elections but you will not be able to vote this guys out. While the Maduros and Cabellos are around not much will change. They will go after the leadership of the opposition by all means possible, I hope they are ready for that,

    • No they are not, this is what worries me. Our stubborness of fake pacifism has left us unprepared in the wake of attacks on the civil opposition leaders. As many people as possible need to form attack groups and choose PSUV targets, in order to retaliate prompty when the attacks begin, which they’ll soon enough

      • You better assume that any existing organization on the opposition side has been penetrated. When the Chilean army gave to coup against Allende and the UP government their agents inside the different organizations effectively neutralized any reaction by pro-government groups. My guess is that the Castro brothers learned this lesson and are ready this time around. You can bet they are waiting for you.

  6. My brother’s and sister’s, what do you expect from a Mafia-like cult. These people have stolen billions and intend to keep them. They have gotten away with it so long and have spread their thievery so wide as to make it now the norm among those who hold power.

    We should have realized this when the AN Chavista members stood individually and made pledges of life and death to Chavez at the beginning of the new year, screaming and reciting slogans like Brownshirts to Hitler. They made me sick to my stomach.

    They will not be moved by re-votes, by recounts, by pots and pans or by protestations. They do not respect or even recognize over half of the Venezuelan people, because they have demonized us. To them, we are vermin that don’t deserve life itself.

    They are telling us that they will not give in, surrender or even discuss what can be done to find a middle. They are taking their middle, because of the 1% “victory” in the fraudulent vote, out of our share, and preparing to institute martial law.

    Do you smell the Cuban influence all over this? The Cuban masters want violence, any violence, to justify letting Molina and his crew to make their move.

    There is desperation at large in the Chavistas tonight, tomorrow and from now on. Raul, Maduro, et al are betting that the Venezuelan oil supply to the world will nullify any outside protestations and eventually let them silently crush the opposition. We must decide that our country, our families, our children and their children, and our future generations will not live under these mafiosos any longer.

    We can not give up our freeedom and patria to these criminals. No. We need to clip this in the bud now, or forever regret losing what could have been the jewel of all South America, and our beautiful homeland, to this mob forever. Unfortunately, we need to make this choice, however regretfully, but we need to make it now. They are expecting the wonderful, good-natured Venezuelan character to prevail and let them win. Not this time. Not this way. Not ever again.

    • it is time we start organizing into attack groups against PSUV relevant members and targets. They are doing the same at this moment, so we better get our shit together before the final crush comes in…

      • NOOOOO remember Ghandi and MLK and how valid their fought was only because it was non violent, because they were RIGHT. The Chavistas cobardes are itching for the oppo to become violent and low to their level. Please don’t give them the taste of it.

        • Feathers, Ghandi was successful because he was fighting against the (democratic) British Empire in the aftermath of WWII – Ghandi would have had zero success in Cuba for example -the Ghandi analogy is a flawed one

          • Been reading this blog more-or-less daily since ’06, haven’t posted since December ’08. 🙂

            I think things are now reaching an important turning-point, and the decisions you have to make now are critical for you, your country, and possibly a large chunk of the world beyond your borders. There have been several huge and exhaustive studies of the effectiveness of violent versus non-violent resistance movements under a wide variety of regime types. The non-violent movements win out, even if they’re fighting hardline autocrats.

            Here’s a link to one such study: http://ncronline.org/blogs/road-peace/facts-are-nonviolent-resistance-works

          • Yes, People often commit the error of believing that when something is successful at one time, and in another culture, that they can apply it anywhere.We have to always open our eyes and see what is in front of us, and customize our strategies.

          • Absolutely agreed! People tend to generalise from the incorrect historical examples and draw conclusions that violent retaliation can always be avoided and still obtain acceptable results, even when there are many examples where peaceful opposition didn’t give one inch of progress.

            You want examples? think of Tibet. Tibet is now not only occupied by the chinese, but the chinese government have slowly but steadly erased all cultural memory of tibetan customs. Tibetan natives are today mendicant and hobos in their own country

          • Indeed. Non violent struggle was successful in the US and in India because the ‘oppressors” were a minority and the ‘oppressed’ were a sizable, impossible to eradicate chunk of society. Tibet (a tiny tiny country) had no chance of dealing with China peacefully or violently.

            What situation do you think better applies to Venezuela?

          • “Tibet (a tiny tiny country) had no chance of dealing with China peacefully or violently. ”

            Exactly. Ni dispararle tiros a una pared de acero, ni poner el otro cachete. What we have over the Tibetans: Scientifically geared thinking unencumbered by serious religiocity.

  7. The example of Zimbabwe may be relevant here.

    Massive corruption, abuse of the political process, and frequent violence against political opposition. But no explicit suppression of the opposition. Elections were actually held with actual vote counts. (I recall one election where the question was whether the Mugabists would win enough seats to push through the constitutional amendments they wanted.)

    So there was some constraint on the regime – yet it was free to commit lots of crimes. This condition has persisted for decades.

    Venezuela could very easily go the same route.

    • “But no explicit suppression of the opposition.”

      I think Susan Tsvangirai would beg to differ, if she could.

      Zimbabwe is relevant but I’m afraid you have a very rosy picture of the scenario.

      • The death of a single opposition figure in suspicious circumstances is not “explicit suppression of the opposition”. There have been many murders of opposition figures in Zimbabwe; also beatings and arrests.

        But at the same time, thousands of other oppositionists have remained free to carry on political activity, including sitting as members of the national legislature. Morgan Tsvangirai. the actual leader of the opposition, has been arrested several times – but always released within a few days. He was able to contest the presidential election in 2008.

        In an overt dictatorship, such as Castroite Cuba, fascist Italy, Francoite Spain, the USSR and its satellites, the Vargas “Estado Novo” in Brazil, or Saddamist Iraq, political opposition to the regime is made a crime, and all overt opponents are imprisoned, executed, or exiled.

        This has never happened in Zimbabwe. The Mugabe regime has allowed the political system to function, while grossly abusing it and committing many crimes. Despite this abuse and the crimes, the regime has retained enough popular support to make at least a plausible claim to winning elections.

        I think the parallel to Venezuela is clear. And the sad example of Zimbabwe shows that this state can persist indefinitely. in a country where law and constitutional democracy are pre-eminent values, a regime which openly tramples on them will be repudiated by everyone and lose elections or be forced out by popular revulsion. This may come through a guerrilla revolution (Somoza in Nicaragua, Batista in Cuba). through mass demonstrations (Marcos in the Philippines), or a coup by disaffected military (Perez Jimenez in Venezuela).

        But in other countries, these values are trumped by other values, such as tribal affiliation, race or religion, ideology, or class hostility. The history of such countries is generally unhappy. And that is what I fear for Venezuela.

  8. The Oppo is in the majority, and becoming more so as each day passes. The showdown will probably be decided , sooner rather than later, by the Military, who historically have come down on the side of the majority, where the bozal de arepas is most-assured for the long run….

    • stop that thought right now. Forget the military. the military is and has always been a tool of the government. This is a civil fight. retired officials or civils with knowledge about asymmetric warfare. We need to start thinking in terms of war, and we better hurry before we are crushed into oblivion

      • Bueno, explícanme por qué piensan así? Yo pienso que Quico está jugando el papel de “devil’s advocate” aquí, pero no estoy segura. What’s going on in VZ seems to be, as Marisa Tomei so eloquently expressed in My Cousin Vinny, “…a fucking nightmare!!!”

  9. Most of you will resist this, but i welcome it, and i hope others do as well. The thin charade of legalism that Chavismo had dressed itself in for 14 years was too resource-consuming for us, and it is was ultimately engineered to produce zero net progress. This is really a blessing for us the democrats, because we’ll have our consciences clean when we put explosive or throw molotov into PSUV diputees cars. We will know with certainty that we are doing the right thing for our country every time we have to shot down a PSUV member of the government elite when it arrives at night to his house and family. At least, now that the invasion forces have taken away their masks, not only of fake democrats, but that of fake nationalism, we will feel united against them, venezuelan civil army against the cuban allies.

    These are the terms of this fight. For those that believe in (a) God, pray, but don’t look back

    • Don’t make molotovs, make alternatives to living off of the government.

      If we can beat them by doing things ourselves instead of replacing them with someone else, there may never be a thought of molotovs again in our region, or a need.

      Consider this a chance to try out all the democratic schemes you ever wanted that were never practical when Representative Democracy had all the cards. The “going to the mountains” of today is “doing the government’s work for them.”

      It’ll still get plenty of us killed.

      Now put the gasoline back in your car.

      • If that approach was workable in any case of oppresion and invasion, then, why bother at all with armies? if tweeting and cacerolas are just as effective.

        The rest of your strategy, when you said ‘make alternatives to living off the government’ would require that the government would not obstruct any such alternatives. If you think that is a viable outcome, then you don’t know anything of what has happen in the last 14 years in Venezuela.

        You are welcome to sit back and keep thinking that some ‘dialogue’ or an aknowledgment of the adversary is possible, but i’ve learn my lesson very well.

      • No, read my post again. Our weapon will be similar to Ghandi’s, just as powerful, and just as non-murderous.

        Btw, the honest real point of still having armies in this day and age is that war is more fun than building, especially from a distance.

        • can’t we at least agree to be prepared to fight back? i don’t like this attitude, i mean i get it, but i don’t like it: is the same attitude our fathers and literally everyone has teach us to adopt when a malandro is assaulting us: don’t fight back, give them what they want, keep your life to fight another day.

          This is the same attitude we are doing as a country; don’t fight back, give them what they want, the only problem is that it is up to dumb luck if we’ll see that other day to fight

          • I agree that fighting back malandros is the right thing to do. Our goal is to get to the malandro before that, and trick him into beginning a relationship of cooperation.

            Watch King of New York, be Christopher Walken instead of Horacio Cane.

            We don’t give them anything, we cooperate on nothing. If anything, they will be forced to cooperate with us, in 5 years or something, when trying to wipe us off doesn’t work and we inexplicably grow our clandestine influence.

            Like I said, we will get killed for this. Isn’t there something exciting about inspiring murderous rage without throwing a single punch?

            Use TOR, not WAR!

          • Felix

            Are you an agent provocateur? What you say is dangerous.

            Doing what you suggest is completely counterproductive at this stage and will lead to massive bloodshed. We need to keep what we are doing, more and more of the remaining government supporters will come over to us (or at least stop any support for the govt) until we reach critical mass. The idiotic management of the regime is doing half the battle for us.

            If there is a time for what you say, it is not now. Anyway, going violent against these thugs will allow them to unleash the hounds, full stop. Quite frankly, we don’t stand a chance. We need more than the 60% that support us now.

    • Let the record show that “Felix” and the rest of you folks are now calling for the assassinations of PSUV officials.

      At this point, the government would be well within its rights to send all you folks to cool your heels in a labour camp for a few years. Which would have the side effect, of course, of cleaning up the public discourse quite a bit.

      • For all we know, you are ‘felix’.

        In any event, notice how every other commenter did not agree with Felix?

        • De Selby,

          Who cares? Felix was just saying what I’m sure a lot of you folks secretly think. At least he has the courage of his convictions to actually call for armed struggle, instead of babbling about Habermas and running like a crybaby to the United States Embassy.

          • Anonymously talking about violence on the internet hardly takes courage. Either does roving around with your red shirted buddies, armed to the teeth, attempting to terrorize people into submission…at least when you’re not robbing and killing them.

  10. I’m still betting on Maduro’s goverment collapsing due to his inability to deal with matters. What goes next I just don’t know but I’d love to see the people that voted for these jokers to face the huge disappointment of their revolution not delivering to them but only towards these gigantic cunts international bank accounts with billions of dollars stolen from the country.

    • there is no ‘collapse’ happening. They are in this til the end. They know there is no coming back for them, and besides cuba (which they hate as a place to live) there are not many places in the world where they’ll be off the reach of some extradition treaty

      • They may be “in it till the end”, but that doesn’t prevent a collapse, as “they” become a smaller and smaller percentage of the population, as has been occurring for ten years now.

  11. Valientes asambleistas de la oposision, Kudos.

    going to work into a guarida de criminales, with armed thugs inside the congreso, and hordas de lumpen afuera, without protection from any rule of law, at the mercy of Diosdado, Maduro, and the cubans.

    Damm cowardice in the military (with honorable exceptions).

    Un pais que sigue sonando con una salida pacifica….

    Tiempo de ponerse los pantalones largos.

  12. You are, although sad to admit, right. The strategy we’ve been following for 14 years its not valid; this struggle is too big to beat on the legal grounds.

    • Maybe so, but military grounds doesn’t make sense, it hurts public opinion (unless the injustice is utterly transparent) and plays to our weaknesses rather than our strengths.

      Whenever fighting a battle, you always try to do it where you are at a natural advantage. Where does the opposition have the advantage?
      1). Public opinion, as Capriles came out of the election looking much better than Maduro and is the most charasmatic politician right now (ahead by 10% in the last datanalisis poll just after the election)
      2). Educated people. The opposition people are much smarter than everyday Chavistas
      3). Economic power. Despite the money that is at the government disposal, the economy would crash without the opposition.
      4). Connection with the western world, especially the US where both Dems and Repubs are natural allies and can exert enormous pressure on Venezuela if it ever chooses to do so (Remember Panama’s Noriega)
      5). The moral high ground. Which is probably the most important thing and rapidly fades away when things turn violent

      When you put it in that light, there are lots of options, but in all reality it is much easier when there is a clear leader which is why the government will go after Capriles in the coming days…he will need to be the guide in all of this and we need clear “succession” in case he is incarcerated…

      • There is no Noriega gambit here.

        The US hasn’t done anything material in Syria, where there is evidence of chemical weapons use, except to send night vision goggles and such. How anybody thinks the US will go beyond politics I cannot understand.

        This is something we fix ourselves, by ourselves and for ourselves.

        Violent solutions would be the easy way, and perhaps the more satisfying in the short term, but medium term it means at a minimum severe repression and death, lots of death.

        Working within the institutions has proven to be useless for the most part, as the last 10 years have shown.

        Civil disobedience on a massive scale, choreographed to bring to the fore how repressive and totalitarian this illegitimate regime is probably the best way.

        It will be bloody, it will hurt and it will be ugly, but may be the only way to get the divided military to finally act.

        • Civil protests *with* some milicia support, otherwise we risk people being dispersed and heated down like they always do. This time, we need to fight back their milicias, anticipate their moves. Is not like they don’t do always the same old choreography; GN with tear gas, protecting the rock-throwing lumpen, and some snipers on high ground

  13. The fight is a marketing campaign a la Obama teaching and preaching everything that is happening in Venezuela because of the Chavistas. Make it cool for college teens to watch. That’s the fight right there. Let’s unite and make it happen.

  14. What a sad, shameful day.

    “We need to think up something different.” I can tell you from experience, people have a hard time accepting different thoughts.

  15. Governments like that of Ecuador declare debts issued by dictatorial Governments in the past of their countries as illegitimate odious debt.
    Couldn’t the MUD warn investors, that a post-“bolivarian” Government might consider to treat any debt issued after the april elections as illegitimate odious debt?
    If something like this were happening in one of the EU member states, there would be a lot of of pressure on the violations against basic principles of representative democracy, like denying the right to talk for parliamentarian or now beating up parliamentarians in parliament. For sure UNASUR won’t even try to clarify the validity of those principles. They just don’t care.
    Those parliamentarians denied to speak and now beaten up do represent the will of round about 50% of the people. In view of those atrocities, it simply doesn’t matter if its 49.07% or 52.0%

  16. The fact that the Chavez succession struggle has taken such a dramatic turn would seem to have important implications for the U.S. Have any U.S. media been covering this story?

  17. So where does this leave us as far as the audit is concerned ?

    I expect the population of Venezuela to take to the streets today. To show force in numbers demanding respect for their right to live in freedom. Every city and town to unify and stand up for their Venezuela.

    And when that happens hell will have frozen over too. Accept the fact nearly all Venezuelans have no feeling of patriotism. It’s always about someone else sorting out our problems. If not the USA what about UNASUR. (as an aside when I type in UNASUR my iPad spell checker suggests the word “unsure”).

    Some may think we are adrenaline junkies addicted to a life of chaos. Others may think we are the not too bright lesser products of Portuguese/Spanish/Italian peasants challenged by any process that requires more than a thought as to where we should graze our sheep. Still today we demonstrate that peasant culture as shown in the video.

    Help from outside will not happen. The world has moved on to greater international concerns. So do as we’ve always done. Open a Polar, head to the beach turn up the music and dream of a life in our second passport country. And in a few years time when this “situation” we now live in has run its course we’ll create something equally stupid.

    • I agree so much with this post, and not expecting any international help, they are not interested. Obviously they prefer to deal with the Colombo-Cuban malandro with no education or brains so it seems handling the family fortune than somebody who is smart and is gonna take care of it for the sake of preserving the family inheritance. So important not to lose the north and focus on claiming the audits like a m-f**** broken record. In my opinion., the cne knows that time is on their side, the oppo all of us should become one single voice non stop 24-7 about the audits and the whole irregularities of the election process for what it’s worth, including irregularities on the embassies etc, if they exist. If they don’t have anything to lose shouldn’t be a problem.

  18. This regime staged violence might be a provocation so that the indignant opposition takes up violence and the regime can then justify going one final stage into a policy of open repression of all forms of dissent on the grounds of ‘having to defend the institutions’ ( estado de emergencia) . The regime may like this because it can then bring the struggle to an arena where it has all the advantages , Of course there is a political image cost to be paid which they will attempt to minimize through communicational manipulation . If the perception is that this cost is too great then they may back down and have Maduro appear as the good hearted appeaser who reins in his more militant correligionists to restore order. In any event they gain from taking attention away from the vote impugnation process and the embarrasing things that will get revealed there. This is a time for caution and calculation . The Peaceful approach has not yet run its course . but it may be wise to prepare for a paralell clandestine opposition approach if ultimately it becomes necessary because the regime closes all public forms of expression to the half of the country that opposes it.

    • Bill is right. Diosdao can stage an atack like this whenever he likes, but the more fundamental truth, the growth of the Opposition and the stolen election, must not be obscured. Don’t let them justify repression by resorting to violence.

      • But many oppo could be disenfranchised Chavistas who are malandros too. Concerned Venezolanos, but malandros. I think the ones against violence should take the stand, including Chavistas… is that too much of a wishful thinking let the violents kill themselves if possible? Maybe that should be the edge for the oppo to take and invite the Chavistas who are not too happy with what’s going on… maybe I am dreaming with unicorns and stuff

  19. The most important thing to remember right now is that clandestine does not = violent.

    Clandestine does not = violent.

    Clandestine = doing shit on your own terms while avoiding the government forces.

    You will hurt Venezuelan Fascism a lot more by establishing non-monetized trade agreements with fellow clandestine rebels than by shooting a guy in the face, whose friends will find out who you are and make your family eat your balls before you are all executed.

    Don’t let the fear make you loose your nerves. Use it to sharpen your focus.

  20. Instead of buying a gun, look into where you get your food and things and how. Can you do it in some way that the government simply doesn’t get a cut?

    Instead of forming an anti-government militia, look into how your neighborhood is organized. Again, can you make it so that the government doesn’t get a cut?

    All of this with the henceforth superfluous addendum that you have to do it smart, so that you reduce your chances of getting targeted and killed.

    Now *that* is the terrorism of tomorr- ehem – today!

    One of the downfalls of Anarchist organization in Spain was the vendetta killings that people suddenly felt free to effectuate. Will we use this clandestineness to help them kill more people, or to blow their minds and anybody else’s looking?

    ¡Viva Caracas libre! ¡Viva la resistencia anti-facista!

    • It is simply not possible, as the government always will take a cut. That is the whole point of destroying our national industry and manufacturing, so we have to rely entirely on importations for even the most basic needs.

  21. The way out of this is Capriles! He has the vision and the balls. The first step today for those that are in Venezuela is to go out to the marchs!!!
    Capriles, and the millions that voted for him, has the government against the ropes!

    • This is the ticket. Capriles has the momentum and represents the strongest glue for a united front. Right now, momentum and unity, together, are the strongest option.

    • And he has the voice to make it happen. So agree with your comment Pilar. God bless him and Julio, Maria Corina and all who have to go to work day to day facing the Chavistas cobardes in the AN.

  22. Vaclav Havel, one of the leaders of the opposition to the Czheck soviet controlled communist regime once pointed out “Even a purely moral act that has no hope of any immediate and visible political effect can gradually and indirectly, over time, gain in political significance. “, The regime is now getting pounded on the political front as hard as some opposition deputies were pounded at the floor of the Asamblea , they are increasingly losing popular support and international credibility , their bullying actions are inflicting as much political damage to their cause as the opposition might hope for if it had planned it itself. Preparing for a clandestine approach does not mean dropping the policy of answering regime violence with non violent but steadfast and affirmative resistance .

    • You said “they are increasingly losing popular support and international credibility”.

      You know this? How? Do you know of anyone who voted for Mature that now feels like he made a mistake? I don’t! And I think chavistas supporters will be delighted with Godgiven’s dictatorial rule of the AN and the “golpes to the golpistas”. They do not believe in democracy and in their minds there are no venezuelans, there are only “revolucionarios” and “anti-revolucionarios”.

      Also, who gives a damn about international credibility? That is not going to helps us. They have petro-dolares! That’s all that counts

  23. What does it mean, “clandestine resistance”, from Montreal? It sounds kind of cool from Northern Europe, I tell you. I don’t think relatives and friends in poor to middle-class areas of Venezuela know what you mean by that.

    I think in Spanish, sorry…I tried to find out what you meant in RAE:
    “clandestino: secreto, oculto, y especialmente hecho o dicho secretamente por temor a la ley o para eludirla.”

    What the extreme left did in the seventies and up to the eighties is absolutely pointless and didn’t achieve anything politically, just a lot of deaths.

    More intelligent approaches are needed.

  24. Good News: it’s on Drudge so 25 – 30 Million will read about it and watch the video
    Bad news: most Americans will have a good laugh and shrug it off as typical Banana Republic behavior

  25. Does anyone know a person that voted for Maduro that now feels regret about it? I’ve heard opposition supporters say that these things “make Matures lose popularity” but I don’t know how. All the chavistas I know that voted for maduro back 100% the “golpes to the golpistas”, the cadenas, and God-givens dictatorial rule of the AN

  26. Clandestine doesn’t have to be violent. And a violent struggle will lead the opposition to its ruin. It will become a terrorist organization like ETA that in spite of having righteous claims, its methods invalidate their goals.

    The struggle must be non-violent. Should also be out in the open, but it should be organized and well funded.

    • Cozy feel good comment, except that finally even FT concludes that democratic means will NOT erradicate this pest. We all know how to get rid of pests. Otherwise we can only hope that the pest of Chavismo / Madurismo will self-destruct, but hope is not a strategy. Look at Cuba.

      • Non violence has been able to deal with non democratic regimes and with institutions that were against its people. Madela’s efforts were totally fruitless while he fought violently, but its movement took true force when it became non-violent.

        Non-violent doesn’t mean that it relies on established institutions. It is a method that allows society’s awakening. When you achieve a critical mass, it is unstoppable.

        Violent struggle has only been successful when facing weak states and it was only possible because the armed opposition had enough funding to fight such a State. Think on how much funding would you need to actually face, full on the Venezuelan petro state.

        Do you perceive me as naive for opting for non violence? I perceive those that seek violence, not only as naive but as fools.

        • Why don’t you look at the extreme left’s method around the world? They use any and all means to get to power and have been pretty successful in history, incl. modern. Maybe we should study their playbook, in the spirit of “know thine enemy”.
          Otherwise, keep on dreaming. See you in 10 years and we’ll have the same discussion when the regime has brutally implemented a one party communist system in Venezuela, unless they self-destruct, which communism does more often than not. But it may take a looooong time.

          • If you study their playbook included armed subversion financed by the soviet union.

            Fidel Castro was an excellent fundraiser. I don’t know if you are Venezuelan, but of those that are, should ask if their parent contributed financially to the cuban revolution. You would be surprised on how many people chipped in.

  27. The point in Havels phrase is that sometimes you do things that dont appear to have any results but which really start working inside peoples mind until given the right circumstances they produce amazing consequences , Almost no one in this blog believed just a few months ago that Capriles was going to get the vote he got and yet slowly he started building a campaign that lead to the results we now celebrate , I think it likely that this process hasnt stopped , that there are still people inside the Chavismo who deep down inside are not comfortable with the regimes performance nor with the kind of savagery they are witnessing . Success feeds its own momentum, The consensus view is that Capriles electoral result would have been even higher if the election had been held a month later which implies that there are still some chavistas that can be convinced to either become passive or to joint the opposition . If you read the press carefully you see more and more people in Lat America say they dont want their government to be anythiing like the Chavez regime, Humala is supposed to have gotten into hot water internally for having shown himself too sympathetic to Maduro , The governments credibility abroad among common people is eroding even if governments for reasons of their own turn a blind eye to its happening , In boxing you dont go for KO blows if your face a strong adversary , you debilitate him with dozens of small moves and punches , slowly ebbing its strenght until you have a better chance for the KO blow. A year ago most US public opinion was opposed to gay marriage , just a few months later the idea has slowly gained increased support and now its much closer to being an accepted thing . There are dozens of examples from history and experience where a deliberate non drastic but well focused strategy yields effective albeit delayed results. Now I do think my prior post was too categorical and cocksure of the damage which the govts behaviour is causing to its domestic popularity , that more tentative language was warranted for which I apologize . The phrase ‘clandestine resistance’ is deliberately vague so that each reader can fill in its precise meaning using his own judgment and imagination !!

    • Claro que si, I agree with your post, great comment. Besides, remember not long ago we all call ourselves Venezolanos. Not african-Venezuelans, not caucasian-Venezuelans, not this not that. We even accept our immigrants as Venezuelans no problem since day one, and embrace their culture as ours. We all share our idiosyncrasy and something good about us as country is that we are not violent. Regardless of crime that is different, but us as a culture we don’t like violence. Maybe that has change but I don’t think so. We can take a lot of notes from former Czechoslovakia, the Ukraine, and also the way democrats-liberals who I don’t like but admire the way they use propaganda-advertising-social media-you name it for their benefit. We are all Venezuelans, living abroad or inside the country so what, that’s not important. I am kind of tired of some people in this forum making those divisions. Everyone can contribute their way, I wish we can make it as a single voice. One goal and work for it. Maybe we need an ad wiz mad men type to help Capriles and we follow. No need to go back to the 70s make it contemporary. Hey, we can even make history ourselves and set example, just like Dr. MLK did.

  28. “Bueno, figuring out what the 21st century version of “going to the mountains” actually looks like is the task at hand. At least, from today, I don’t think that can reasonably be in doubt any longer.”

    That’s exactly what we are doing. We do what we can. There are no mountains. Battling for the truth and searching people’s real needs.


    I think there are several years left of these. They will fall. Let’s keep working.

  29. Time to counter some more lies from Globovision that many oppos believe without any question or thought.

    “not merely deprived of their salaries but repeatedly physically assaulted, just for showing up”
    Here we have an introduction to oppo speak. Here “showing up” means trying to violently disrupt the National Assembly, and than violently attacking people who tried to stop them. In no democracy in the world does any party have a right to disrupt proceedings of a legislature when they are angry their candidate lost a free and fair election. In fact in every case of this sort the response is removal of whatever element is disrupting proceedings, whether lawmakers or not.

    “contesting the regime’s power through the regime’s institutions, acting as if we believed them to be minimally independent and fair – has clearly run its course”
    Meaning trying a coup in 2002, trying to destroy the economy through mass sabotage in 2003, constantly engaging in propaganda and lies specifically designed to demonize Venezuela and destroy its democracy, constantly refusing to recognize the results of free and fair elections and engaging in violent protests and attacks that most recently left 9 dead has failed. Well, I don’t disagree.

    “We’ve spent over 14 years resisting it, working night and day to think up ways to fight an undemocratic regime through democratic means.”
    Meaning thee coup they tried first which they tried to justify by murdering people and lying about it to ignite public anger against Chavez completely failed because the Venezuelan people refused to accept their lies.

    “Even today, even now, with a mountain of evidence making it patently obvious that there’s no room left at all in the regular channels for institutional contestation”
    Meaning that the Venezuelan government does not accept Capriles absurd lies without question, and refuses to submit to his absurd and arrogant demands without providing some proof that they are true.

    So, after that time for some truth.
    Notice the footage of the female NA member being thrown down the stairs and kicked by those “peaceful” opposition “lawmakers”. Also notice the “peacful” oppo that threw two chairs. And the interesting choice of attire by one oppo. Yes, deciding to show up in a motorcycle helmet totally proves that you are not planning a violent, disruptive attack doesn’t it?

    • You are indeed trying to counter something. I wonder why it took 24 hours for “raw footage” to appear. Specially how it jumps on 10:01. Also why ANTV went offline in the middle of all this?

      Could one access the full footage somewhere? My guess is that only one side will have access to such footage.

      • You mean you don’t go to Aporrea for actual truth??? That in and of itself gives you vast insight into the psyche of this VM character.

        Marquina wore a helmet as a fricking joke, in response to another one of the Unidad diputados (William Davila) being struck in the face by a thrown microphone less than a month ago.

        Have any brilliant arguments as to how Davila deserved that, VM?

        As ErneX stated earlier to your buddy GAC, “what a maroon.”

  30. Come on guys… It was always going to come to this. However, now the Opposition has the moral authority it didn’t have before. Everyone knows that, but for fraud, they won the election hands down. This farce of a government can be ended at any moment that Capriles orders it. However, limit bloodshed and in order to govern effectively, he needs to wait for the regime to be discredited even further than it already is.

    Have a little bit of patience. They know what they are doing.


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