Samsara Chronicles

67

samsaraIn Buddhism, Samsara is the eternal wheel of human existence, linked to human suffering. The inability to learn from our mistakes is what keeps us on this eternal cycle. So here we are, ending a cycle, at a breaking point in these 15 years of Revolution, a morally and economically bankrupt country.

This was the golden opportunity to rise, to learn, to grow as citizens. To expect more from our leaders and to become mature and responsible Venezuelans. I fear we have been stuck in a sort of adolescent anarquic and selfish behaviour. “Quitate tu pa’ ponerme yo” should be the Country’s official slogan. Government changes, more often than not, are based on murder and coup d’état than votes on the ballots.We have had over 10 constitutions in less than 100 years (that’s one every decade) and I wouldn’t be surprised if a new one didn’t pop up soon.

But as I watch some in the opposition criticize Capriles for not burning the country to ashes in his quest for power, I can only assert that we have not changed. We are not ready. We want the fast and “easy” way out. We don’t want to convince the other side, we want to impose our ideas on them.

The student movement had a clear intention on what they wanted to achieve this February 12th. A rape attempt in Universidad de Los Andes ignited the protests. The students, fed up with the crime in their almae matres, took to the streets. When some of them were incarcerated in Tachira, the nationwide protest followed.

They were within their rights. It was “justo y necesario” (just and necessary). Leopoldo and Maria Corina and other oppo leaders tried to make this into something else, constructing this  “plan” to remove Maduro from office.

Shame on them.

Today, seeing Capriles in his press conference, I was ever so glad to have voted for him. I may not agree with all that he has done, but he has been true to his word, being a leader, and governing for opposition and chavistas alike. But it seems as if many think the opposite.

As the curtain closes on one more farce, I had hoped that by this time we had reached a Moksha, a liberation. But standing at the edge, I can only see the endless Samsara up ahead.

67 COMMENTS

  1. I applaud Capriles for finally taking a firm stance, since he’s had some difficulty doing so in recent weeks. I am now aware of what he doesn’t stand for . Now, here’s what I would ask him, if I could: ¿What is you concrete proposal, in non-abstract terms? What, when, how, and for how long? I’m genuinely, honestly curious.

    • Actually, I have that same question for all the three major politicians involved here:
      What’s their proposal?
      If López and Machado have as proposal to protest now until Maduro resigns, I think they are out of touch with people. On one side there is growing rejection towards the government. On the other side, we still haven’t reached the critical mass: only when the absolutely clear majority are fed up will we have a change. We can only go for the Constituyente at this point. Do they want that?

    • I think this is the problem with La Salida. There’s nothing firm to take its place even were Maduro to do so.

      Not having something concrete, say a fully detailed gameplan for the first 100 days in office with measureable and, most importantly, realistic goals only compounds the problems that already exist. As it is, even were someone(anyone) from the opposition to become president, they’d face paralysis for the first months if not years in office without the buy-in of the Chavista, or at least ChINOs in the governmental bureaucracy.

      Changing governments at this point, is only opening the doorway to anarchy, even were it possible.

      HCR (or is successors, as it were) should be focused on developing a platform when the country hits bottom and they can then get traction with the majority.

      Besides, do MCM and LL see Venezuela as being at the bottom yet? If they don’t, why are they agitating for change now? The last thing the opposition could need or want is being in power when Venezuela craters. As I see it, the bottom is still a ways off.

      • The “first 100 days of Goverment” seem to have been drawn a while ago since Capriles went against Chavez. In fact, I remember rough sketchs of those plans talked on the Primaries.

        That said, Leopoldo, MCM and a lot of people decided that the oppo can’t afford to wait until things go to bottom because:

        1)They could be on jail, exiled or dead by then.
        2)The Cuban example (that Maduro tries his very best to implement) says that the country could simply stay at the bottom. Forever.

        I don’t believe for a second that this is the “easy” way out. But, let’s be honest here, is the only way out. Or do you think that a Castro-esque regime, leaded by a Castro servant is going to simply recognize the ballots and leave?

        What are the choices then? The people on rural towns? Yeah, with gangs being the only authority on those, as seen on Ocumare, not happening. The military? Hah! That’s a joke that only desilusional old fools like Alberto Franceschi believe.

        And quite frankly, the idea of making peace with the “CiNO” means making deals with the likes of Jose Vicente Rangel. Now that’s an endless cycle that won’t bring anything.

        • OPUno,
          You have a misconception here, one that is haunting the opposition over and over again.

          Ocumare del Tuy is neither rural nor small. There are 145 thousand inhabitants there.
          Heidelberg is smaller and Osnabrück is about the same size and no one in Germany would consider those “rural towns”. Same in the USA, in Canada. Sherbrook, Quebec, is about the same size and it is a city, it is urban. It is not big but it is NOT small.

          One of the big big failures of people in the Caracas region is to consider everything else as “rural” or “villae”. Most Venezuelans in an urban place…an urban place of between 100000 and 900000 inhabitants. Not in Caracas or Valencia or Maracaibo, even if those are the largest cities.

          Secondly: not everything is like Ocumare. Ocumare has particular problems because of the social mess it has been since always – it is one of the places with the largest amount of people who have felt embittered for centuries out of the fact they were slaves, uprooted and so on. It is also a place close to the capital, drugs and traffic. The situation is not nice but a little bit different in El Tigre, in Carora, in Boconó, in Valera, etc.

          And what we need is a long term propaganda strategy, guerrilla-style, for those places (and also for the big cities – but not in Altamira, rather in or at least around 23 Enero, Coche, etc)

          • Ocumare in specific may not be small, but the point is that the same tyrannic rule of gangs happens on rural towns.

    • It’s political. He’s playing the middle, as he has always done. If the students keep it up LL and MCM can keep calling for more rioting if they so choose, he can distance himself from them quite easily. Capriles had to say something, and this is the most logical political position to take.

      Now a week from now? A month from now? The protest movement still lives? Students die en mass? Well, Capriles can come out and call for resignation or new elections, and it would be legit, no coup, nothing like that. Then Diosdado Cabello will be tasked with what to do as (again, if this escalates, gets worse) Maduro will have lost all legitimacy. This will be especially true if Capriles calls for a mass Cacerolazo after said escalation / deaths.

      In other words, Capriles proposes nothing be done as he is in no position of power for it to be done, and if it gets worse his position is more like “put me in power and things will get done.” It’s clear in his statements how he referred to “his” vision.

  2. You make a fair criticism of #LaSalida, and its leaders, prominently MCM and LL. You also summarize very well our political culture of quítate tú pa’ ponerme yo

    But two wrongs don’t make a right. Not supporting #LaSalida, doesn’t make HCR a great leader. I also think “some in the opposition criticize Capriles for not burning the country to ashes in his quest for power” is an unfair assertion. There’s been plenty of valid criticism against HCR:

    – Winning an election at the ballot box and then uneffectively denouncing fraud by demobilizing supporters before a proper audit was carried out. What’s the point of participating in unfair elections if, when cheated, one will refrain from civil disobedience to avoid government goons from repressing demonstrators.

    – Advocating an economic platform that doesn’t differ from current policies too much, and is, in fact, less open to economic reform than the government (in his discourse): not ending cadivi, not privatizing public companies, not reducing the number of public employees, not devaluing the VEF, increasing the numbers of misiones, not raising gas prices and no chip, not scraping price controls schemes. Novel proposals in this area are just stopping the sale of oil on credit with low interest rates to Petrocaribe (specially Cuba) and no more big purchases for the military. Which isn’t exactly a big policy change.

    – Having a nebulous platform on other subjects.

    While it is true that nobody else in the opposition has a clearer platform than that, the one person who really HAS to have a clear stance on things is the presidential candidate. He didn’t and still doesn’t.

      • LL and MCM approach is also non-violent: demonstrations.

        That approach just happen to attract violent crackdowns from the government and paramilitary organizations, which can not be blamed on LL, MCM, AL or the students.

        Let’s remember what ARE violent approaches: coup d’etat (like 4F 1992 and 27N 1992), armed resistance (like communist guerrilla groups in the 60s), or terrorist attacks (like Al Qaeda, ETA).

        HCR seems to be advocating a different non-violent approach. Reaching out to communities. But he hasn’t defined his strategy.

        If he were to make his strategy more explicit (a requisite to convince others to follow that strategy instead of LL and MCM’s), and start proposing things that weren’t a knee-jerk reaction to government economic measures, I’d be willing to reconsider supporting him.

        Holding back extreme elements is a big part of being a leader, I’ll agree with you on that. But it’s not the only part, and not even the most important part. We know a lot of what HCR stands against, but I barely know what he stands FOR.

  3. Pendejo, sigue pensando en pajaritos preñados. There is no peaceful exit with those animals. Been there done that. Wake up and smell the coffee already.

  4. There is this illusion that mass protests or actions are always the resut of careful calculation , that they arise out of the blue from some leader or another calling on them to happen , that leaders actually have the capacity to determine how masses of people in the throes of strong emotions will behave .
    More often than not its the other way arround , there is this collective effervescence ( Weber??) pushing and pressuring a mass of people to act , which entices their leaders to take the lead and lend a voice to masses of people who listening to the crying rally of their inner unleashed passions want to do, i.e. take their anger and rage and indignation to the streets . Maybe the leaders feel the call themselves , in contagion to the passions which people surrounding them feel . They want to ride the beast but the beast ends up by riding them .
    People think that the oil strike was the result of a group of Pdvsa leaders deciding to go on strike , that was not the case ( as told by a friend who was in the thick of it ) , they were wary of taking such drastic political step, but the mass of the employees were passionate about starting the strike and struck on their own and the leaders had no choice but to put themselves at the head of the strike . Once that happened the then heads of Fedecamaras said they might join the strike but only for two days ( a longer strike would be economically unsustainable) , but when the strike started they couldnt control their memberships excitement .and had to continue the strike for much longer than they wanted.
    There is in Venezuela , at least among many of the 50% that oppose the regime ( forget about the absentiism ) a sense of indignation , of being ravaged , of being persecuted and tyranyzed , of being constantly insulted , humiliated , scorned, harrrased by the regime , of having their lives shattered by a sectarian corrupt and inept regime which is bent on taking the country to the abyss and then closing the door trapping everyone insiude.. They are angry and hungry for expressing their passionate hatred of the regime and its farsical manipulations . This effervescence was not created by LL or MCM, they just feel the vibes from these many people contaminating them , prompting them to take a more direct action than Capriles cooly considers politically profitable under current conditions . I rather feel that its not just a question of ‘quitate tu para ponerme yo’, that there is much more to the street actions than might appear.
    In venezuela there are no buddist , not is the national temperament one which lends itself to buddist devotions , Lets remember that !! .

    • Street protest may start on their own, but they need to be quickly directed by the leaders of the protest group. There needs to be an objective, a clear objective. For the students, the street calls for the liberation of the incarcerated (that’s clear enough). I think that if I were a leader calling for protest on inflation and shortages i would go to the street with the clear objective to demand the resignation of Merentes and Giordani, for example.
      Smart and effective protests are what we need. Let’s think with our heads and not with our hormones.

  5. My first post here.
    I am from Trinidad, but watching closely what is going on in Venezuela.
    When it comes to bringing about political change in the extreme, there are two leaders
    I look at, 1. Gandhi, and 2. Mandela.
    What is the common theme running thru both?
    Non-violent protest, and for both, change didn’t happen overnight, they were long
    hard struggles, in which both men believed in their core they were on the right path.
    Mandela should be fresh in everyone’s minds, his struggle, in my humble estimation,
    was incredulous.
    For me, I hope all Venezuelans can look to Mandela, and learn from his struggles,
    how he conducted himself, both while incarcerated, after he won his freedom, his
    leadership style, his post-Presidential work, and retirement life.

    Lastly, to the writer’s of this blog, you are the best.

  6. Well lets see how “Mandela” like you would feel if what´s happening in Venezuela was happening in Trinidad. Easy for you to call for peace and bullshit from the santuary of Common Law in Port Spain. Would you feel the same if democracy was manipulated and your freedom and civil rights were stolen from you? Today´s Venezuela is not 1990 South Africa nor India in 1947, Even then one could negociate with the regime in SA and the Brits back then. Try that with the Castro- Chavistas oil funded hordes, When has a communist dictator ship ever relinquished power peacefully?

    • – “Today´s Venezuela is not 1990 South Africa nor India in 1947”

      Are you saying Chavismo is less democratic and more oppressive than Apartheid??? WTF.

      That’s the kind of crap that turns off the undecided from political participation, and nudges foreign observers from dismissing the conflict in Venezuela as a hard left government dealing with a hard right opposition.

      – “When has a communist dictator ship ever relinquished power peacefully?”

      Sandinista Nicaragua, Eastern Europe, USSR. Where I interpret peacefully as either the governing collapsing (USSR), opening up (Eastern Europe) or losing an election and handing power over(Nicaragua).

      • Hi J,

        I´m simply saying that the context of what was done by Ghandi and Mandela in their respective nations is not applicable to Venezuela. Chavizmo practices its own kind of political apartheid last time I heard, or are you not aware of the lista Tascon, etc. As far as repression, their record speaks for itself or do they promulgate an open and free society?.

        The USSR collapsed because it could not go on, the US simply sent them broke (outspend them). Ronald Reagan put the nail in those suckers coffin. The ruskies were pretty savage though in placating internal dissent. On Nicaragua I´ll concede they handed over so the Sandinistas could manipulate democracy to re-install themselves. Last time I check Ortega was still the president and is changing the constitution a la Chavez to suit himself. Like Chavez in Venezuela, Daniel fancies himself the only one that can govern Nicaragua but him.

        Obviously you are one of them, so I won´t waste time in convincing you, else why are you defending them?

        • Fco. F., Let’s stay with Trinidad. In the local dialect, there is a wonderful expression that as a Venezuelan you will understand: Don’t mamagay me! (no me mames el gallo). Your simplistic post shows that you are trying to mamagay us. Do you truly believe that the principal cause of the collapse of the Soviet Union was due to the U.S. spending them broke? Piensa en lo que estás diciendo, mijo.

        • I’m one of whom???

          Have you even read my comments before accusing of being in the same basket as Chavistas, Sandinistas, Soviet Communists, Eastern Europe Communists, Afrikaners and British Imperialism?

          My point is that you lack perspective.

          The British Empire imposed a non democratic rule on India that furthered Britain’s interest instead of India.

          The USSR and other communist countries in the Warsaw Pact, outlawed the existence of parties other than the ruling Communist Party. The also sentenced to death dissenters, opponents and rival party members.

          Afrikaners denied political participation to non-whites, and even denied them the South African nationality and citizenship through the bantustan, and also kept them from public jobs, some trades, profession, schooling, etc. They killed and imprisoned lots of black leaders.

          Chavismo is not more powerful than the British Empire, not harsher on dissidents than Communist regimes, and not as sectarian as the Africaners. And yes, I’m aware of the Lista Tascón.

          Sandinismo on the other hand, does resemble Chavismo a lot: Locally flovoured marxist, closely advised by Cuba, sectarian, economically incompetent, constantly picking fights with non leftist neighbors, took over the State, allowed opposition parties, but harassed them.

          There’s no reason for civil desobedience to harder in Venezuela than it was in India, South Afrika, the USSR, Poland or the US South.

          There’s no reason a campaign with the right message wouldn’t be able to sway voters like it happened in Sandinista Nicaragua.

          The one thing holding us back is political incompetence. Our leaders need to step up their game big time.

          I think Ortega’s comeback to in Nicaragua has more to do with Arnoldo Aleman’s corruption and incompetence in governement dissapointed voters, and the failure of anti-sandinista parties to dismantle the Sandinista State after the Chamorro election. Maybe someone has more specific information on Nicaragua.

          I do agree, that Nicaragua serve’s a a writing on the wall for us. It’s not enough to win the presidential election, we need to stand together until the TSJ, Prosecutor General, CNE, Ombusman, Comptroller General and every other branch of government becomes independent from Chavismo.

    • Fco F., In Venezuela we have a tradition of being kind to our neighbours and I would like to call you out for your naughty response to our Trinidadian neighbour, who clearly has a brotherly interest in a country that he can probably see from his backyard. In case that you did not know, Puerto España is not a sanctuary – lots of violence in certain neighbourhoods due to drug trafficking, not unlike Caracas. In any case, recently thousands of our countrymen and women have migrated to T&T and have been well received there.

      As for your comparison of South Africa and apartheid in the 1990s to Venezuela today, you have much learning to do – do some reading, and come back to tell us if the situation is comparable.

  7. IMHO, whoever still thinks that this regime will end by means different from violence deserves a straightjacket and a healthy dose of sympathy. YMMV, and I respect it, but that’s the way I see it.

  8. You could say Venezuela still is an immature country and hasn’t leaned that Chavez was a very bad consequence of problems way before him and not the cause, therefore the cause of the problem is still beneath Venezuelan politics; we still have a lot to grow and evolve. I also agree that the politicians will try to use peoples outrage to their benefit. But I think the only way of getting out of the problem is going out, taking the country with chaos and responsability all at the same time…I don’t believe is the end, this could be viewed by goverment supporters as another “pataleta” of privileged class children that go to the university.

    We are still unable to devide chavistas like a country, we are still two halfs that speak totally different languages, some are able to understand both but still we cant build a bridge between them. I believe outrage is the way out and it will get darker before the dawn, but isn’t always like this?

    I also ask myself: will really forgiveness and peace be the way out? It is a long term solution, somewhat idealistic and it doesn’t respond the the natural ways human interact at all times. We have flaws, we resist change, we impose our beliefs, we are impatient, we either fight this natural instinct or we go with it. I can choose to better myself and be beyond good and evil, but to think that a country will…that’s another level. People in a bunch act differently. I believe outrage is the way out…not leadership, public outrage and protest will make the collective experience wothy, every man and woman will have the time to react, act and think their jurney…I don’t know…Brasil, Occupy Wall Street, Cairo…leadership comes after the outrage, after the streets are burned, the lider comes after the understandingn of the people and the outrage…

    The only thing I could tell Maria Corina, Leopoldo and even soft Capriles…and Maduro…is that eventually the time of the political -hopefully near- story of Venezuela (and not history) will not reflect or depend on them…the time of the people…

  9. Cute title, but quite close to reality actually, in my opinion.

    There is some misunderstanding of what it is to be stuck in Samsara, and what it means to liberate oneself.

    Basically undoing Karma is knowing that one can liberate it instantaneously, the instant one is able to completely observe how one creates the reality one lives in.

    The dialogue in Venezuela has at times been self defensive.Other times superficial and centered on political intrigue, price of oil, inflation etc …mostly outer descriptions of reality.

    But it is when we understand the inner causes that we can change our destiny or Karma.

    But when are are on the inside it is hard to look at it objectively I think.

    As for those who complain that the opposition has no proposal for the future I say:

    We can only have a basic direction where we would like to go, but in reality the future will depend on changes that we cannot predict.Wasting time on the details of future planning, take away the energy required for understanding where we are, where we came from , and how to change ourselves.Let’s confront the inner monster we have created before we plan the future.We cannot plan anything real that comes from such a complete lack of understanding of the reality we are living in NOW.

  10. Chamo, I was all for Capriles and convincing the other side. But all that was already accomplished in April, and the problem is Capriles acts as if he didn’t win in the ballots… And really, didn’t he? And if he didn’t, shouldn’t his followers get closure from him on that episode before he chimes in on new scenarios ignited by students and LL/MCM?

    To make it worse, that effect Capriles had in April has just watered down. ‘The other side’ you speak of considers us worms, wants us jailed, mocks our disgrace with ostentatious cynicism and overlook the ultimate collapse we’re headed towards for the joy of calling us “fascistas” and taking what they can get from the government.

    • “[…] the problem is Capriles acts as if he didn’t win in the ballots[…]And if he didn’t, shouldn’t his followers get closure from him on that episode[…]”

      Abso-fucking-lutely

    • “I was all for Capriles and convincing the other side. But all that was already accomplished in April”
      A 50.01% is hardly convincing the other side. That is not a significant majority, it’s a tie.

      “convincing the other side” Still an “asignatura pendiente”

  11. Very interesting comments. I don’t believe that Maduro or his clan feel any threat with the marches and other activities to unseat him when around 50% of the population support the chavismo movement. The problem is that Maduro will provide crumbles to that 50% (cadakaso, misiones, etc) at expense of the other 50% in order to maintain his base of support.

    The long game needs to be to erode his base of support. I’m sure crime rates, inflation, shortages, corruption, etc can have a toll if the story is told. Without mass media is going to have to be almost at canvasing level.

    • His 50% won’t stand much longer once he has nothing left to squeeze out of the other 50%, though. And importing everything with income from renta petrolera seems unsustainable considering the country only gets paid for around half of the barriles it exports.

      The only alibi that I can see on the horizon for the government is “Sicad 2,” which to my understanding is the return of Dolar Permuta. But then again, my econ knowledge is so basic, I’d love CC to post something on if Sicad 2 would really oxygenate the economy and what the implications are.

      • SICAD II will probably be a rate so controlled by the Govt.: it will be not a lot higher than the SICAD 1 rate; the paperwork/requisites will scare most non-Govt. economic actors away; the bribes/commissions for non-Govt. actors may take the final effective rate much higher; and, the real possible beneficiary, PDVSA, may not be allowed to dedicate many dollars to it, hamstrung as it is to supply both the CADIVI and SICAD 1 rates.

  12. The road to Nirvana is never easy, and none of us, especially Venezuela, will probably ever attain it. The best that can be said for the current Venezuelan situation is that: we are near a tipping/breaking point; this point will require at least 60/+% of public conviction/support to result in Regime change; there is no clear single path at this point to achieve that change, but, in my opinion, all efforts currently being made will contribute; time is not necessarily on the side of change, as we have seen from the examples of Cuba/Zimbabwe/et. al. ; and, to achieve said change, it may be necessary, as being done by Capriles, to offer some/more of the same economic benefits to the Chavista base, to eventually be substituted by pragmatic rational economic solutions from the top.

  13. Political passions when they flare, not from one grievance but from a cascade of many different intertwined grievances dont neatly organize themselves into niftily differentiated slots , they flow as an unstoppable raging force.
    The leader might attempt to put a tag on the protests born of such unleashed passions in order to provide them with a phocus , but in actuality what drives people is hatred of those who have heaped those grievances on them wholesale and without thinking of one isolated grievance in particular .
    This is not say that this is the way wholly rational beings such as humans are purported to be , should act , this is to describe how actual human beings behave when hurt by someones brutal attacks.
    The smart leader tries to channel these raw current of collective furore in a politically productive way, but sometimes the flow is so strong that the leader feels tempted to share in the rage, put himself at the head of those forces which sentiments he cant help but share , make up a discourse to justify its expression in political terms .
    A leader may even hope that the protests migh help effect a regime change by putting pressure on a regime which is already overloaded with huge problems and challenges . He may be wrong on the timing of his strategy but thats always difficult to tell .
    The thing is that these kind of situations develop from complex difficult to phantom causes and from honest conviction , not always because of a primitive need to unseat the incumbent man up front .!!

  14. Juan, why am I thinking that there was a post similar to this, about reaching the end of the cycle, about 1 or 2 years ago? Am I losing it?

  15. This has all happened before: The economy is tanking, crime is out of control, people are tired of this incompetent and corrupt government, devaluation is making everybody poorer and more frustrated with what type of future they and their kids can have in the country. So (mostly those who voted for the opposition, but I am sure others also) get fed up with the situation (rightly so) and take to the streets to protest. Some opposition leaders, instead of letting protests happen organically, and, who knows, maybe wait for Chavistas and people of el Barrio and government workers (all of whom are feeling the same pain everybody else) to actually join in, jump the gun and try to become the voice of the protest because they see it as their chance for political gain and to position themselves as the opposition leaders.

    So now, the protest becomes about overthrowing the government, things get out of control, innocent people get killed, the government (who was becoming weak from within) re-unites and gains strength in adversity, and any Chavistas or ni-nis become disenchanted with the protest and it either fizzles out or results in military fiasco.

    I want this to end, and to be honest, don’t know if the electoral way is the right path. But I don’t think that this is the right path either.

  16. I believe there are a couple of things people are failing to see:

    1) What is going to happen if somehow “the salida” succeeds and Maduro steps down? Sure, we got rid of him but what about the rest? Who’s supposed to get the coroto, Diosdado? (good luck with THAT one in there) What about the National Assembly with PSUV majority? What about the military, rodilla en tierra-drug cartels-best privileges? And most importantly, 50% of the population that still believe and support the revolution? We are NOT the majority, we are only half, and we don’t have the institutions on our side.

    That won’t be sustainable in any way. We’ll get screwed and they will be back and that time will be forever.

    2) Capriles is, and always have been, a transition. He’s not here as the mesiah, the saviour of us, all poor souls. He’s not even a “leader”, that is a inherited term of this stupid revolution, caudillo term. For years Chavez said that the opposition didn’t have a leader and we believed him, so we gave him one.

    His role is the one of a mediator between parts. He’s the only one trying to gain the chavistas that are not happy with the current situation to join this “side of the force” to call it somehow. If he gets to govern, he needs to do it with at least 60% of support, otherwise it will backfire as I said before.

    3) So I ask: how are we going to convince those chavistas that we are the solution, by throwing stones at them, by yelling at them calling them names? I’m very preocupied becase by reading comments in other pages, newspapers and such, and twitter of course, the hatred has taken over. I read somebody saying that the daughter of Cabello “studied in such school and the should go kill her”. I read with concern people saying that these thugs won’t leave without a fight. I fear that there is a lot of people that really wanting a civil war?

    • This is by far the strongest and most valid argument in favor of Capriles’ strategy. I had never looked at it quite like this, and it’s aligned with most of his views: “We have to be a sufficient majority to avoid fraud and change the government,” “My path may be the slowest, but it’s the right one.”

      Then again. What is the true indicative that we are only 50%? An organic, collective perception? Tibisay’s CNE?

      • That’s a fairly good question. I simply do not see the “two halves” on this protest. I see an entire population demanding a change. I mean, the protesters outnumber the chavistas, the pictures show that easily.

        • “I simply do not see the “two halves” on this protest. I see an entire population demanding a change. I mean, the protesters outnumber the chavistas, the pictures show that easily.”

          Hysterical blindness. We’re *definitively* not ready.

      • In a country where everything is faked, forged, photoshoped, tricked, statistics are not to be trusted.
        I base my comment on the results of the past presidential election. The difference between one side and the other was roughly 2% (300k votes or so?). Note that I’m not saying who got the advantage, whoever did is irrelevant.
        I’m not sure of there are any numbers out there reading the present but it looks like Capriles has lost a lot of support that might have go back to the ni-ni’s, and so has Maduro, so It’s difficult to say how much it has changed.

  17. Eventually, if a grievous infection cannot be healed, a gangrenous limb must be removed to prevent the infection from poisoning and killing the patient. Amputation is a violent act, but it is required to save the life of the patient. HCR thinks the infection can still be healed. LL and MCM do not. My analysis coincides with the latter.

  18. The problem with waiting is that chavistas can consolidate their power even further. What makes you think we won’t lose seats in 2015? Or even worse, to have any elections after (or before) that? If we stick to the plan of denouncing the government at every step (which we have already done for the past decade), we are certain to lose because the government and a lot of the population don’t care about those claims.

  19. Navel-gazing is exactly what’s not called for.

    What about Baduel? He has bona fides with the Loyalists, as he restored the cochino de Barinas to power.

    And he also has dissident credibility, calling out Chavez as tyrant, and being made a political prisoner for it.

    If you want a constitutionalist, not seeking to restore the guanabana, but rejecting turning Venezuela into a repressive Cuban colony, that’s your Mandela.

    Because, as toxic as caudillismo and cult of personality are, Lpez, Machado and Capriles are too rasoly dismissed as sifrinos. Not so Baduel

  20. Audrey’s quitate tu pa poneme yo (borrowed from Ruben Blades) is at the core here. Historian Tomas Polanco Alcantara had the 30 years old cycle theory, Venezuelan political cycles are of 30 years…Paez, Monagas……..Gomecismo, …..Puntofijismo, Chavismo …The interesting point is his description of the mechanics…The in-coming elite replaces the old one on the wave of legitimacy given by the need to sustitute a self-serving elite that always ends up capturing/ monopolising the privileges ( mostly generated by oil rents) for the few. Think of Venezuela in late 1980s, Chavez (Caracazo prompted) and many saw the Puntofijo elite in that light…the overthrew it, and, in Polanco fashion, has now end up in the elite that need replacement.
    By the way, Polanco’s logic runs more or less Puntofijo= caida Perez Jimenez to Caracazo in 1989, then Chavismo should be 1989-2019 ( next election?). Perhaps these 5 years to that allows for the opposition to get their act together…Not easy, as the current affairs clearly reveal.
    As for breaking the “curse” of the 30 years…the lesson is clear (some here in CC say it, Juan is trying to make this the message running through al commentary) we need to be able to have fair rules for all. Stop …just to drop one example… public bureacracy to be the award for those with carnet adeco o copeyano or with red berets, only when we have moderate decent people dealing with running the State, we will be a tat better. This is only an example. Unfortunately, the understandable bitterness with most in the opposition live makes it harder to conceive a Venezuela that could break the quitate tu pa poneme yo curse. Needless to say that in the Chavistas ranks this is even harder. All in all, it will take a while…

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