Faced with old-style dictatorship, your only real choice is old-style resistance

What we need now from Capriles is coherence between discourse and action.

Because, at the moment, he’s caught in the same incoherent stance Miguel Henrique Otero’s sophomoric Comando Nacional de la Resistencia was caught in back in 2006: spending all morning denouncing the regime as illegitimate, then all afternoon honouring the same. regime’s institutions by filing suits and complaints with them.

This schizophrenic stance by reference to the need to “show the world” the regime’s unfairness. But it doesn’t strike me as a serious posture, because this imagined audience – an honest outside observers still working to make up their minds whether the regime’s institutions are minimally fair or not on the basis of the evidence -seems entirely phantasmagoric to me at this point.

There isn’t anyone like that left, at home or abroad.

“Tutti sanno tutto su Berlusconi” is how Nanni Moretti used to put it. In Venezuela too, everybody already knows everything about the regime.

The truth is that we’ve seen more than our fair share of prematured (and therefore cheapened and unserious) discourses of resistance over the last few years, but virtually none of the real thing.

The rhetoric of non-recognition will always ring false when it comes hand-in-hand with continued de facto recognition in the form of appealing to the same authorities you claim not to recognize, filing suits with the same tribunals you call illegitimate, and trying to prove a point by acting as if you believed things you – and everyone else – know are not true (e.g., that the TSJ can rule impartially).

I’m painfully aware that the Venezuelan opposition is, by its mode of life, of thought, by its supporters’ education and by our ideology, painfully ill-suited to the task at hand. I think we made the right choice by avoiding this path for as long as it was possible – arguably longer.

But it’s really not up to us.

That fast fading speck in our collective rear-view mirror? That’s the Rubicon.

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