Just win an election

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CeballosDaniel Ceballos, the mayor of San Cristóbal, was arrested in Caracas tonight. The person confirming this was the Interior Minister.

I suggest we allow a few moments to let this sink in…

The Interior Minister is not in charge of the Prosecutor’s Office. In theory he doesn’t control the courts. But he puts people in jail, for “facilitating and supporting irrational violence” in the city that he rules (ruled?). Supporting violence is a made-up crime, something that simply does not exist in Venezuela’s legislation.

Ceballos, a prominent member of Leopoldo López’s practically-illegal political party, won the election with 67% of the vote. He was arrested without a court warrant, according to El Universal. However, even if he had been presented with one, it still doesn’t give the Interior Minister the authority to be speaking about legal procedures. It’s simply not something the Executive Power should be doing. Then again, we already know the separation of powers is a bourgeois construct only wusses can support.

The government continues doing its best to heighten the political tension. Ceballo’s surprise detention comes when Maria Corina Machado is also coming under siege, and when another opposition mayor, Enzo Scarano, is also imprisoned.

Everything the government does … makes people on the streets angrier. Escalation is the only game in town.

Ceballos’ fate is worth pondering. Next time some PSF says “just win an election” when arguing against the protests, you can say that Ceballos won his election resoundingly, and it’s landed him in the Helicoide.

1 COMMENT

  1. I’m sorry to dissapoint anyone who thought that we could get out of this mess by winning elections, but since the Chavismo got control of all state powers and basically said f* you to the separation of powers it’s been clear that just winning elections doesn’t cut it.

    • Well my friend, many people in this blog think they still can win elections, convince communist , and win the 2019 election. No wonder my country is in the state it is. Very sad, now my daughter will come to this world away from my country and she will probably never live there. Only because some people think we are facing a normal political party in the government. They participate in elections just because they win it. If they don’t, it doesn’t matter, they just do whatever they want…

      But don’t worry, we can try again in 2019

  2. But…but.. but… sir, you err! You see, he was jailed for ““facilitating and supporting irrational violence””. Had he facilitated and supported rational violence as demonstrated by endorsing beatings courtesy of colectivos and the GNB thereby repressing legally demonstrating and constitutionally protected individuals, well… that’s an entirely different story

    What is it called when a democratically elected official (by wide or small margin) is forcibly overthrown from his seat of power? What’s that term? I know I’ve heard it a lot lately. Flu? Poo? Gnu?. Ooooh, yeah. coup .

    • Well, no one could rationally act against Supreme Happiness, could they? On the other hand, violence calculated to bring about Supreme Happiness certainly makes sense. So, if you were the Minister of Supreme Happiness, your task would be clear: kill the irrational people who are rejecting what you offer.

  3. Juan, it seems they’re deliberately trying to provoke one political crisis after another so they won’t have to deal with the economic chaos in the media for now.

    Sadly for all of us, the economic problems aren’t going anywhere!

  4. Cuban decision, cuban action, cuban arrests, cuban , everything cuban. Now we know without any shadow of doubt that we are cuban controlled.
    Collectively we sold our country to a bunch of ……
    Will maria return from washington ? Will radonski naively insist on defeating Havana at the elections in Venezuela? Will Lopez be free, ever be freed ?
    And our glorious ejercito, have they been totally corrupted too ?
    In various articles there have been veiled suggestions our military is unhappy taking orders from Cuba. So what’s holding them back ? A line has been crossed and still not a murmur from them.
    Oh shit.

    • In various articles there have been veiled suggestions our military is unhappy taking orders from Cuba. So what’s holding them back ?
      Narco-dollars. 1) The money is as addictive as the product. 2) Any upsetting of the status quo could mean jail time for those benefiting from narco-dollars. Once you are on the train, you can’t jump off. And you know that Cuban intelligence has the goods on all of them.

      Recall what happened to General Arnaldo Ochoa.

      A further reason why the military will not act is that in the last 15 years, oppo officers have been retired and Chavista officers have been promoted. The military of 2014 is different from the military of 2002.

      A line has been crossed and still not a murmur from them.Oh shit.
      Indeed.

      • Honestamente, mi esperanza está en los mandos militares medios y bajos cuyas manos no estén más manchadas que las de Ramos Allup, los que al menos podrían sentir cierto miedo ante la idea de ser juzgados en La Haya por el asesinato de miles de personas -por que vamos a ser sinceros, tarde o temprano llegaremos a ese punto, lamentablemnte- o alguna consideración moral. De los narcogenerales yo no espero nada. Hasta Diosdado tiene más motivos para pasarse a la oposición que ellos. Diosdado al menos sería capaz de negociar su exilio llevándose parte de la plata que se robó, pues a fin de cuentas, y que yo sepa, ese no ha andado metido en negocios de drogas.

        A fin de cuentas, acá una revuelta de mandos medios y bajos triunfó en 1945 con el apoyo popular e igual pasó en 1974 con la revolución de los Claveles en Portugal. Ahí puede estar nuestra oportunidad de evitar un Tiananmen venezolano.

        • Do not put your hopes in the military. Nothing good can come from them. Even if one of them succeeded in a coup, they would have just replaced one regime with another. And we do not know which one would be better or worse.

          Then the next one will feel they should have a go at it, too.

          That is how all this mess started: with military angels wanting to save the country.

        • No confío en darle al Ejército el liderazgo de la nación ni nada por el estilo. Solo de que tengan algo de humanidad. Si realmente TODAS las Fuerzas Armadas están dispuestas a hacer una masacre a gran escala para acabar de una vez por todas con la resistencia democrática, estamos jodidos. RE-JODIDOS. O acaso es posible vencer a un enemigo dispuesto a matar a todo aquel que se le oponga? Y con informantes por todos lados, emulando al G2 o la Stasi? Sería una tarea casi imposible.

  5. The principles of natural justice exist but do not seem to have been given practical effect in Venezuela. The various elements, tests and applications of a denial of justice (whether in Venezuela’s civil or criminal law) appear to have become a new domestic norm. Without the region exerting useful influence, might this now become a regional norm?

  6. This post makes me even more pessimistic.

    By the extension of this logic, since winning elections will never translate into regime change in Venezuela Chavista, the opposition would feel no need to compete for political power peacefully at the ballot box.

    Instead, people who oppose chavismo and the ruling PSUV would be driven to use non-electoral means to change the status quo, including violence.

    Is a conflict in Venezuela looming? If so, the chavistas have (ironically) made a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    • This is healthy Javier. Squash any sort of hope you have, that way any positive news, no matter how meaningless, will be welcome and overblown.

  7. Mayor Enzo Scarano was arrested too, and he won with an even bigger margin than that of Ceballos. Oh well, villains create their biggest enemies.

  8. Next time some PSF says “just win an election” when arguing against the protests, you can say that Ceballos won his election resoundingly, and it’s landed him in the Helicoide.

    That is one masterful closing statement.
    Appropriate that the link [just win..] featured Evita III.

  9. What’s more ironic about these arrests is that the goverment is the one who is actively fueling and supporting the guarimbas, how else can it be explained that they jailed the most popular and succesful mayor in the history of Carabobo.

    Everything was normal again since monday in Valencia before the arrest of Ezcarano, obviusly they want the Guarimbas to continue a bit more and couldn’t care less about the stability of the city.

    And please I don’t want to see any chavista angel telling me that this was a decision taken independently by the court, I won’t even try to explain how unfounded the charges against Ezcarano are, the fact that this was the quickest sentency in the history of the country, delivered in less than a day, while AlcaParra (who was caught in fraganti for more serious crimes) is still waiting for a sentence after months of jailing should be enough to discourage any of you of making your idiotic claims.

      • I don’t think I did, in fact I agree with your initial analysis tough it hurts to admit the possibility that the goverment benefits from protests, what I believe is that the goverment is playing with fire with all of this though.
        it seems like we are in a quicksand, the more people fight back, the more we sink, it’s depressing, … maybe that’s what they want us to believe anyway.

  10. Of course, the wrong conclusion to derive from this situation is that we should not participate in elections.
    The right conclusion is we should not participate in violence.

    Think about it. Like many now recognize it, the government is the one fueling the guarimbas. Why? to have an easy excuse to arrest the opposition leaders. Specially the elected ones. The opposition leaders holding public offices are a stone in their shoe. So the terrain gained through elections is lost due to the violence.

    I’m not saying that wouldn’t arrest elected leaders in time of peace, they have done in the past. But it becomes so much easier when there is an excuse.

    Also, I’m not saying “just win an election”. I’ve said before: You cannot defeat chavismo with an election, you have to defeat chavismo first to get a fair election. But elections are important milestones and cannot be ignored. They are battles in the larger conflict and every victory however small it’s important in the long road. Having those 75% and 67% mayors means we are winning the battle of hearts in minds on those locations and should continue in that path in other areas of the country.

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