Pax Chavista

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 Senātus Populusque Chavistus
Senātus Populusque Chavista

The government has been pushing hard the idea that they want peace. I don’t doubt it. But it’s a very particular type of peace. It’s peace through domination. It’s the peace that comes after war. It is the subjugation of its opponents.

Let’s recap last month’s “peace offensive.” A series of peace conferences were launched on a nation-wide cadena simul-broadcast, beginning with The Economic Peace Conferences (I kid you not).

On that occasion most of the air time went to Maduro, though he did allow brief speeches by Lorenzo Mendoza (CEO of Polar) and Jorge Roig (President of Fedecamaras, Venezuela’s largest umbrella business group). What was the outcome? More meetings. What else? Well, Mendoza got some greenbacks the government owed him. Relaxation of the currency exchange controls (some doubts persist) … and that’s it.

But are these really the outcomes of the meeting? In other words, would thesenot have happened had it not been for the meetings? Or were merely things the government intended to do anyway to deal with empty shelves and solve a balance of payments problem, and why not, get some political capital while they were at it.

The talks then hit the road, going on just about all over the country. The set up is always the same. Some government rep blasts away, usually led by Arreaza on a stage talking, but no one really talking back. None of the key stakeholders present.

Then, UNASUR came. A delegation filled with foreign ministers, ambassadors and other lesser bureaucrats, they came, stayed for a whopping 48 hours, and then left. They met once with the MUD’s Secretary General, Ramón Guillermo Aveledo. In the end they promised a report (don’t hold your breath) and said they were really satisfied. This is code for “Maduro may be a son of a bitch, but he is our son of a bitch.”

While all this talk about “peace” and “dialogue” was happening, the death toll kept rising. The number of detainees kept rising. Two mayors from the opposition were detained on charges that roughly translate into “not doing enough to fight the protests,” regardless of the fact that constitutionally it’s not the municipal’s authorities role. Opposition congresswoman Maria Corina Machado tried to present the Venezuelan case to the OAS, and failed to do so. She was welcomed back with the news that she wouldn’t be in congress anymore since Diosdado Cabello, President of the National Assembly, decided he didn’t want her there. Since he can’t actually do that, a kangaroo court took care of the paperwork in a closed doors trial, in which the defendant wasn’t there to defend herself. Unsurprisingly, she was found guilty.

Just two nights ago a bunch of kids camping on the side of the Francisco de Miranda avenue were heavily repressed and 13 of them were detained. I can personally vouch that there was no provocation at all from the kids’ side. A few hours prior MCM in Plaza Brión was bombarded with tear gas – and again, no act of aggression took place against the authorities. Many more peaceful demonstrations have occurred, and all have been put down using tear gas, armored vehicles, and brute force.

The cherry on the top was the way Maduro, in the same speech in which he talked about peace, pivoted to launching his Workers Militia.

The working class will be respected ever more. They will be more respected if the worker’s militia have three hundred thousand, five hundred thousand or two million workers in uniform, armed [and] prepared for the fatherland’s defense.

For those who want a true dialogue, who would be the appropriate counterpart? Aveledo? MCM?

The opposition is increasingly riven by intrigues. Leopoldo López has set forth unrealistic demands as pre-conditions. Primero Justicia made some public statements supporting Machado, but didn’t show their mugs at the National Assembly, the Plaza Brión, nor at the Prosecution Office.

Maybe the issue at hand is semantics.

Dialogue to us means to have an exchange of ideas and form a consensus. But that’s not what the government wants. From their military mindset, what they pursue is domination. The government wants peace built on unconditional surrender.

1 COMMENT

    • There will be peace if you do what I want from now on. This apply to either side.
      There is no dialogue or consensus, it is just imposing what I think is true.

      I would say for us Venezuelans, there is no other point of view than my point of view.

      We listen only to respond back, not to understand.

      • It applies to the radicals in the opposition but on the WHOLE government. Remember, in Venezuela the government sets the agenda and has all the cards in the deck.

      • Partly, that is why I ask who would the right counterpart be. Both for opposition and government.

        I think the dialogue process is possible. It will take a long time. The outcome will be that a more stable country will be reached, but to achieve this the government needs to concede.

        Who in the opposition can articulate this? I don’t know. Who in chavism believes this and can actually influence PSUV from within? I don’t know. But it is direly needed.

        • At this point, I don’t think there is a chance to seat on a table and talk. Too many nasty actions from each side that cant not be forgotten easily. I think the right question is who can control the radicals on each side? Who can control and then seat and talk?
          As a nation, we need a shocking event, an earthquake for example, to make us realize that both tendencies will exist no matter what you do, on the same land lot. We need to understand that Venezuela is not a country, it is a big lot full of people. The only way to create a country is to make people work together, with their differences but working together aiming to the same goal.
          Right now we just want to impose and gain control ONLY as a selfish move. We leave in a very egocentric society that doesn’t respect any other person. that’s is why we use the freeway shoulder, that’s why we cut in front on any single line, that’s why we got so many permuteros. No vision for how my actions impact the rest, I don’t care about anyone else.

          • And by the way, I am not saying we cant do it. I am just saying I will like to know who can control the people on each side.
            It would be lame and mediocre to think that we just cant, I want to believe there is still people who think like us and will like to create a better country. If not, I would not be talking here, I would be packing and leave this place.

          • If Spanish could do it after Franco, we can do it.
            But you had better hope that Venezuela doesn’t do it in the same time frame as Spain. Somewhere I read a quote from a Loyalist from some time during the years that Franco ruled Spain. The Loyalist said that because there was so much bitterness on both sides, two generations had to pass so that the bitter people could die off. Lo and behold, Franco died after ruling nearly two generations, and the path was fairly smooth.

          • Yes, but Franco’s appointed Prime Minister turned out to be very pro democratic. Maduro or Cabello, not so much.

      • The problem is that they have all the poitical power in addition to weapons and death squads, we don’t.
        People won’t just sit down until 2019 while their savings vanish due to inflation or they are killed by the regime-protected thugs.
        The chavism is acting like a cartoon villain since many years ago, their motto being “Obey or die.”

    • Took the words out of my mouth. “And when in their wake nothing remains but a desert, they call that peace.” Tacitus.
      I am also reminded of the Soviet use of the word. From memory: “And Socialism means peace.”
      As in, “Do it my way, see.”[ from a gangster movie] = Chavista dialogue= Chavista peace

  1. How can there be true dialogue when the government has shown that they are unwilling to yield unless they get cornered? It’ll just be done so they can save their skins, and for no other reasons.

    • This information, today, is still incubating, in terms of a more extensive paper trail that is sure to corner:
      Casto Ocando @cocando
      Crisis en la familia del difunto: le inmovilizan cuentas en Panamá a dos miembros prominentes de los Chávez.

  2. We are all for dialogue, as long as the government sends credible signals of good will.

    Credible signals are liberating students and political prisoners that are in jail only for dissenting, it’s stopping the persecution of leaders of the opposition that are in hiding, it’s allowing for opposition mayors and congressmen to exercise the positions they were voted in for, it’s disarming the paramilitary gangs that operate in tandem with the police and the military in attacking protestors, it’s stopping the human rights’ violations –both in repressing protests and in torturing detainees-, it’s transparently investigating each of the murders that have occurred through a plural and representative “truth commission”, it’s renewing the leadership of the judiciary, electoral council, and other key institutions whose tenure has expired and need to be accorded with the opposition, it’s allowing for free and open media coverage of what’s happening – we get better information than people in Venezuela.

    They can do all of this immediately, and set the basis of a working democracy where dialogue is the norm. The government should lower the guns, so that we can talk.

  3. The 2 illustrations above this post say it all. No dialogue is possibly effective if the Govt. is not (and, they are NOT) willing to change their Castro-Communistic plans for Venezuela. Even mediation by the Church will demand, going in, freedom of political prisoners, cessation of Govt. use of force against civilian demonstrators/residences, disarming of Govt.-armed paramilitaries, and this followed by true Govt. institutional independence/separation of powers/political sharing with the Opposition–all of which mean the demise of Chavismo as a dominating political force in Venezuela.

  4. Fidel Castro’s definition of peace: opposition is all dead, jailed or in exile, and the only thing disturbing the peaceful night are the muffled screams echoing from the heavy guarded dungeons.

  5. Gibbon’s Pax Romana was based largely on the strength of the Empire to keep its foreign enemies at bay and pacify the population with stable economic conditions. The strength was real, as the Empire expanded territorially and experienced vast growth in trade and better living conditions through reasonable commercial policies and huge infrastructure projects that created real returns on investment.

    Can the same be said of the Pax Chavismo?

    In the end for the Romans though, after two centuries or so, it still devolved into a century or so of civil war and invasions with small oases of temporary peace. In the end, the economy was ruined, trade destroyed, and the military strength of the Empire was vastly depleted. Even so, the relative development from the previous centuries, after peace was somewhat re-established, allowed the Empire to totter on for another century or so before Alaric more or less put a stake in the heart of it.

    Does anyone think that Venezuela has the ability to go through a period of significant and extended turmoil and return to a somewhat normal state based on the “strengths” it has now? How long after the fall of chavismo will Venezuela totter on until someone else comes along and sacks Caracas for their own ends?

  6. *sigh*

    The only way for one side not to end up in the mud in a tug-of-war is, either both sides agreeing to stop pulling –not going to happen–, or having the center of the rope pulled to the side, towards a third location…

      • Well, given that one side has most of the weapons and lack the scruples in using them, I don’t think both sides will end up in the mud. It behooves our side to be pulling to the side. I am amazed at how the educated expect the uneducated to change their minds when they themselves refuse to change their own minds, even when everything points to that necessity.

  7. Peace is simply the cessation of violence ,of all forms of violence phisical: violence against other people , violence against their dignity , violence against their right to be informed , to express themselves , to be appointed and serve in public office , to protection from the attacks of criminals , of rethorical violence, of economic violence against the legitimate interests of business people and the personal property of ordinary people , the violence involved in denying universities and other bodies the budget they need to operate .violence against the right of people to have access to what they need to live a normal life . As I see if peace is the cessation of violence then it is 95% the responsability of the govt and its supporters.

    On the side of the oppo there is violence by neighbors who set up guarimbas, in part because they feel that the forces of order will not only not protect them from the attacks of govt goons in motorcycles but will instead joint them in injuring them and destroying their property .!!

    The regime is wed to violence , it uses it sistemically and deliberately , and with great sadistic relish , the violence of the opposition is to a large extent reactive violence the violence of those who feel attacked and threatened by a violent regime which imposes on them every form of injustice.!!

    the peace process which the govt proposes is like a tiger asking a tiny deer to cease in its deperate struggles as it is eaten alive.!!

  8. The brave people of Venezuela who know who they are dealing with and make no silly pretensions realize that the unwilling have been led by the unknowing but are now doing the impossible for the ungrateful. They have done so much for so long with so little that they are now qualified to do anything with nothing.

    Which is why they have the wisdom to deal in the proper way with people who cannot be trusted for anything.They are using their gut instinct which is the only way you can win or save your life, when confronting dangerous psychopaths.Psychopaths will make mush of those who insist on pretending they are dealing with something else.

  9. kudos to the monjita, well said, from the heart with love and wit.
    However, the castrista forces will only retreat when fired upon and neutralized.

    Or where there in nothing else to pillage worth the while.
    i fear for a Venezuela that avoids the realization of the necessity to stand up and put on the fight, and keeps trying to find subterfuges to avoid the inevitable.

    This is the bullied kids dilemma, try to stay low and play along to the bully, or one day , come back and be beaten up, or not.

    if you don’t put up that fight, bullying will continue its course.

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