Should protests end? Polls suggest so (Updated)

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Wires? Really?
Wires in Prados del Este…? Really?

Two recent polls from opposing pollsters (one leans chavista, the other leans opposition) suggest patience with the protests is wearing thin.

IVAD, a local pollster that has long leaned towards the government, says that roughly half of Venezuelans want the protests to stop, and this figure is slightly higher than those that agree with the protests. On the other side, Datanálisis claims that 63% of Venezuelans disagree with the way the protests have developed so far. The two polls did not ask the exact same questions, so make of it what you will.

(Side note of caution: the Puzkas article published by El Universal mentions an IVAD poll with a field date ending March 30th. The slides I have say the field dates ended on March 25th)

However, there is broad-based sympathy with the motives guiding the protests. While Datanálisis puts the government’s popularity in the low 40s, IVAD’s March 30th poll puts it at 36%, with the opposition at 48%. Regardless, both pollsters put the government’s popularity at a ceiling in the low 40s. There is also broad support for a different solution, such as a Constitutional Assembly.

Finally, for what it’s worth, neither poll suggests Henrique Capriles has lost the leadership of the opposition to Leopoldo López or Maria Corina Machado.

Here are some of the more significant slides from the IVAD poll – not the one mentioned in El Universal ,but the one whose field date ended on March 25th:

Ivad 1

Ivad 2Ivad 3

Ivad 4

 

Ivad 5

Ivad 6 Ivad 7

85 COMMENTS

  1. A more nuanced term than “protest” needs to be used. It seems like nearly all Venezuelans recognize and respect the right to protest (peacefully, marches, cacerolazos, etc). What a majority may be against is barricades or “las guarimbas.”

      • Is anybody making the connection? If you are to believe these results, the protests coincide with a dramatic decline in the acceptance for the government. Even if they aren’t necessarily causing it, the protests apparently are neither ultimately helping the chavistas, as some have suggested.

        • exactly, for me is all about how the pollster phrased the questions, that’s all.

          Here is an hypothetical interview with either pollster, which for practical purposes they are exactly alike, and there is no different whatsoever with their ultimate goal, which is to discourage the protests.

          1) Do you agree that the protests should end??
          duh!? Of course. Thanks for making the obvious question genius!… do you have any more retarded questions on the way???

          2) Do you think that the economical situation is bad?
          Oh gosh another retarded question, of course is bad, don’t you see this bloody queue we are standing on? we are three blocks away from the fu… supermarket just to get a toilet paper! does this looks normal to you?

          3) Do you think that Capriles is still leader of the opposition?
          really!? you are going there? Ok, how you do call someone who does absolutely nothing but posting cheesy comments on twitter, and his only bold move is to like Leopoldo’s fb posts.

          there is clearly an intention with these polls, and is to defuse the movement that could potentially overthrow the current regime. Now there are clearly people in both sides who are really interested in the survival of the chavista regime because they are so invested into it, or because they were bought.

      • Nicely put Ralph, nicely put. Reality in our country is tragic, in a sense it is the same cynical attitude that brought Chávez as the savior of the country 15 years ago; minimum individual effort if it is related to “me”. I wonder how the students movement, which has put on most of the detainees, injured, and murdered victims, will react to this. Adding insult to injury, the MUD announced today their willingness to sit down with Maburro with no specific role for the Students Patriotic and Popular Assembly.

  2. Well, el Dakazo was very popular among the illuminated Venezuelan people… was it a good thing? Of course not. If the protest stop: then what? Wait until the next elections with a (most surely) chavista CNE again? Catch 22 situation, I think English speakers say in this cases….

  3. Hey kudos to them. I for once thought they will stop in Carnaval.
    Anyway, removing chavistas from power needs for everyone to be pushing.
    Since the lower classes seem to be absent in the protest, with few exceptions, the only hope is for government to crumble and that affecting them somehow.
    Until the cerros don’t come down, it looks like protest/guarimba alone will not do it.

    • Minutes ago I was at the tent camp outside the UN offices, and to say that I was quite surprised would be the understatement of the year. Most of the boys and girls I saw there are clearly working class. So, they are at a sifrino location for some other reason (safety), not because they are sifrinos. And I must add they seem to be very well organized.

      • Santiago, there is no doubt there are lots of lower class people in the protests. The reason why guarimbas tend – tend – to be in the better off sectors is because for less than that you can be shot at very easily elsewhere.

        But again: wouldn’t you say there is a difference between those tents in front of an international organisation and the blockades with guayas and burning tyres in better-off sectors with mostly nationals who anyway vote 80% for the opposition?

        There are guarimbas with all those burning things and fighting back the cops and then there is a wide range of other things. I hope the guys at the UN area manage to distance themselves from the Cafetal blockades;

  4. I agree with Oscar: there are lots of things that can be considered “protests”. There are simply a lot of peaceful but effective actions that can be undertaken. The fact our leaders hardly speak about those actions seems to point at two possibilities: either they are too sophisticated or just the very opposite.
    I am afraid it tends to be the latter.

    Yeah, flyer distribution is needed. But: a much more serious effort needs to be placed into what kind of information is spread and how to express it.

    A really well-design war on information needs to be carried out. Give Venezuelans who don’t read newspapers – the majority – enough concrete information about very specific corruption cases in the government. Tell Venezuelans how the country stands compared to the rest of Latin America.
    Don’t take Venezuelans for idiots. Use proper charts, proper explanations of things that matter.

    Don’t do that in the areas where we have the ample majority but elsewhere.

    Prepare a commission with a middle-term goal of asking the international community to monitor the
    call for a future referendum in Venezuela (because of the Lista experience we might want to demand
    that the call be done with some anonimized procedure, explain clearly why to the outside world, etc)

    Establish networks all around Venezuela that teach people the basics of economics.

    Set up programmes to infiltrate Chavista circles

    Target Cubans in Venezuela with specific information that might annoy Castro’s regime

    Perform a well-organised campaign abroad to show in an efficient way how completely absent the rule of law is in Venezuela – organise the information in such a way that deputies, media, etc abroad can peruse it easily, fast and be forced to put pressure on Madurismo

    And keep doing all that and more until the economy deteriorate further.
    And then re-assess: perhaps it’s then time for the National Assembly elections or the referendum.

    • These ideas are great, but very difficult to implement:
      1) Need a very well organized body. Hard to achieve in our country, specially under the current climate. We have been trying to get an opposition organized the last 15 years and the results are not stellar.
      2) Need a well funded and controlled campaign. Apart from the obvious question (where is the support coming from?) , it would be viewed by the government as subversive and easily blamed as international interference.
      3) It would take a long time (years), for these campaigns to change hearts and take root.
      4) While the majority of the poor class and chavistas receive freebies from the government they will not change bands; even if it they have to do long lines to get them.
      5) Even if by some miracle the campaign succeeds and we go to a referendum in 2016/2017, do you think the gov will not control those election results as well?

      Venezuela is a guagmire!

      • Kepler,

        Agree 100%!

        Fidelio,

        Difficulty is no excuse for not doing something. Most things that are worthwhile are difficult. If it were easy, it would have already been done.

      • It is not easy, I admit.
        1) Organisation is not something Venezuelans tend to do well. They are the biggest improvisers. This is the main problem.
        2) Funding is needed but things can be carried out more cheaply than you think. The commies were carrying out a lot of propaganda work for years with much less money and above all with much less proper education than we did. They did get good teachers with a lot of training on mass penetration.
        Still, they could only prepare things for a given moment – 1989, 1992 –
        3) I have been proposing these ideas for over 10 years now and every time I talk about them people tell me we need to focus on elections. I have always been for taking part in elections but I have always known they won’t ever be enough, willy-nilly, even if we didn’t have the CNE we have. This kind of preparation would have been needed even if we had won in April – because the extreme left will always try to use violence once it loses power
        4) Remember even now it’s not like they have the majority. The country is divided into two halves. It is always the case that power changes take place when people have less money or see their money threatened. We are not that far from getting the majority we need.
        5) The referendum needs to be a possibility only if we can be sure we have get at least 60% of the vote. If we do, the government can cheat – there will be an uprising. There are the other possibilities.
        In any case: in the next few months we still don’t have the critical mass even if we are majority. We need ample majority.

        • Elections have been the opium we have been smoking for all these years.

          ….Incumbent political parties raise a lot of money that greases their internal machines every time an election cycle is executed. In my experience, this money is spent is stupid traditional things (t-shirts) and a lot is just kept at the different operators levels….

          One of the master strokes the cuban puppet master did, WAY BACK was to change the public financing rules and to make campaign and party financing become almost criminal to the private sector and individuals.

          Mean while government holding strong men use their office’s budgets to run party elections coffers. chavismo and opposition alike.

          Where there is no culture of accountability and of productivity (how well was the money I helped fund used? what bang was achieved for the buck? etc.) specially for the almost secret spending in electioneering.

          IMO it is candid to think of more complex organizational drives. Values based mobilization is a chimera.

          In Venezuela most activists’s incentives are non-audited mobilization funds, and the promise of a carguito… (with salient exceptions! you all know who you are)

          With no scheduled elections (or recall referendum ) cycles in the short term, most maquinarias have become sclerotic.

    • Can’t you see in one of the figures above that 75% of the country ALREADY think that the current situation of the country is bad? The people already know how f-up they are! Stop with the flyers bullshit, you don’t need a flyer to tell a person waiting in a line for 3 hours to buy milk that people in Venezula must wait 3 hours in a line to buy milk!!! Jesus Christ! You need flyers calling people to PROTEST and PROTEST and PROTEST!

      • Marc, tudo bem em Leblon?
        The fact that X% of people in my country think things are going badly doesn’t mean X% are going to vote for the opposition. That is not only so in Venezuela but also in the country for which you should be writing comments.

        • Kind of cloudy today in Leblon, but it’s fine. And how are things in Scandinavia?

          It’s kind of depressing that you still think about “elections” in Venezuela and that Venezuela has a democracy similar to Brazil’s. Again, it’s just depressing.

      • Exactly Marc.

        People already know what they are willing to know…those who pretend not to know…are doing just that…………… ” pretending.

  5. History teaches us that when all posibility for effective institutionalized political action is suppressed in the face of offensive and despotic government action then frustrations and resentments build up which ultimately find expression through street protests and in some cases through violence . This is not to justify these protests or violence but merely to explain why they happen.

    Certainly the guarimbas have become increasingly unpopular except for the most angry , they have become the ugly side effect of the protest movement and although I doubt that they will make already committed people change their loyalties they have no other purpose than to make people enjoy how they entice the frustrated anger of the regime. (which may be one of the main inducers to building them) .

    There are better ways of using the now released oppo energies than running guarimbas, theyve run their course and should be replaced with other more civil forms of protests , maybe the leadership should say this while pointing at another protest strategy to replace the guarimbas.

  6. Polls also suggested that Chavez would win all past elections. Stupid ideas backed by a lot of people are still stupid ideas. Specially those of “mayoria” venezuelans, who have the crisis assessment and resolution ability of a toddler.

    History has demonstrated that in this country, “mayorias” have always been wrong.

    “Poheblo” is just shocked from not being able to enjoy carnaval and they don’t like the prospect of not going to playita this Semana Zangana. They only want their lives to return to “normal”, normal murder rates, normal inflation, normal economic havoc, normal failure states.

    Those polls reflect the couch mentality of this “poheblo”

  7. I would not give 2 hoots about any data coming from Venezuela, and if I did,
    I would not give 2 hoots about what the notoriously wrong ” majority” thinks in this matter either.Last time I heard Venezuela is not a Democracy.

    When peaceful protests are not allowed, violent ones will always be inevitable unless repression is total.

    The people who really think that educating the people will help at this point, have either lived a very sheltered life and simple never had to deal with psychopaths in a life threatening way, or just simply do not realize the kinds of people Venezuela is dealing with.

    • And we will give 1 hoot to the opinion of people from North Carolina who think they know better than Venezuelans just because.

      • Gee since when does coming from Brussels makes you any more Venezuelan?

        Most Venezuelans have been wrong about everything from day one.Time to open up the dialogue to include some of the minority opinions….that is called Democracy.

        • Firepigette,
          Vengo de Venezuela y crecí en Venezuela y a diferencia de ti no veo la evolución de mi país a través de los ojos de algún canal gringo de derechas o Facebook, sino a través de conversaciones frecuentes con personas de toda clase social y región que viven y trabajan en Venezuela, aparte de mis visitas a mi país.
          Estas experiencias, creo, son más creíbles que tus contactos con tus mil “parientes” imaginarios que tienes en Facebook.

          Una y otra vez hablas aquí usando tus mantras de ser diferente a lo que consideras “mainstream”, “too PC”, “tyranny”. Ni siquiera eres venezolana y cada vez que nos hablas de tu experiencia en Venezuela no haces sino repetir ad nauseam el tipo de opiniones que representan personas como los Poleo o el grupillo de venezolanos que vive en El Cafetal y que preferiría ser gringo a cualquier otra cosa.

          Date cuenta: lo que se ha intentado hacer vez tras vez es precisamente lo que tú representas. Realmente deberías dar opiniones sobre Carolina del Norte…máximo sobre Virginia o Carolina del Sur.

          • “Date cuenta: lo que se ha intentado hacer vez tras vez es precisamente lo que tú representas. Realmente deberías dar opiniones sobre Carolina del Norte…máximo sobre Virginia o Carolina del Sur.”

            Diosdado wannabe, I would like to ask you a question: why is this blog written in godamn ENGLISH if it’s a blog made by Venezuelans for Venezuelans ONLY? I mean, ask JCN to only allow comments in Spanish and I believe many of us “gringos” will lose interest in writing anything here. You could also ask JCN about some sort of firewall blocking people from countries which you have prejudice against.

      • Many of my foreign friends feel that they understand my country better than me. Most don’t, but hey, a few do.That’s probably because their investigation is better than mine, and some times, I can be just too close to the issue to unearth the truth. The same can be true here. Sometimes, those without local prejudices have a keener understanding, and we wouldn’t want to miss the opportunity to enhance our knowledge when they are on to something.

        • Stuart,

          I am a Venezuelan and a US citizen.One of my daughters is still in the country and many other family members as well..I lived in Venezuela from 1968 to 2002, longer than some of these youngins living in Europe have had life.

          • Hi Firepigette. Yes, I know from my many years that valuable experiences can be earned for some through aging. And I see, by your many interesting comments, that you have learned well from them. Venezuela I feel will reach a tipping point quite soon. Then we will learn whether what we hope for, in this case of Venezuela, comes about. And though we might argrue with each on this blog, along the way, the end wish for all of us is the same.

          • Stuart

            Yes, Most of us are hoping for some positive result.I hope lessons will be learned, and that as Werner Erhardt used to say back in the 70’s : ” The problems we have been dealing with will just clear up in the process of life itself ”
            But a great deal of damage has been done to the fabric of Venezuelan society.The sweet country we all knew and loved, seems almost impossible to recapture.

            What I do hope for is a more mature society that can form a lasting peace.

          • “I lived in Venezuela from 1968 to 2002, longer than some of these youngins living in Europe have had life.”

            Yes, yes, firepigette. We know you are something on a stick. It’s just too bad that you were caught a few years ago blatantly lying about your 1,000 family members, mostly living in the barrios. Or, “misspoke, as you tried to weave a euphemism to cover up what spelled fantasist to me. Not saying that you don’t have family members in the barrio. Just saying that you love to embellish quite poetically. As for your slanderous charge against Kepler, we look forward to the Firepigette vs. Kepler case, going through the courts. (sigh)

  8. I think this also has to do with the consistently negative coverage that the protests have been getting in Venezuela. This is but another arm of the communicational hegemony going on. My mother, who is a kind of impressionable and doesn’t have cable, recently posted a video from VTV online that only shows how the guarimbas have been violent. There is of course no mention whatsoever of the GNB abusing or torturing citizens. So, if this is the only thing you see day in and day out, then yes, of course you’re going to be against the “violent” protests.

    I agree with Bill Bass, the opposition leaders need to come out strongly against the guarimbas, but then propose a more civil and effective way to continue the protests. I’m fairly sure that another reason why the guarimbas have become as violent and dangerous as they have is because the people from the opposition are frustrated by the lack of initiative, organization and strength displayed by the opposition leaders. They feel like since, Capriles et al. are not going to get it done, they have to do it themselves. I believe (hope) that if the opposition leadership can take a true “leading” role in the affairs and pull together all of that angry energy in a way that is effective politically not just to “pasar la arrechera,” then we will see a reduction of the violence and guarimbas.

  9. If you continue to insult the other side – the “resolution ability of a toddler” – you will never get anywhere with the other side. Yes, it all depends on the cerros and until there is genuine empathy and understanding with their day-to-day struggles (and it’s not always economic), then the opposition will never achieve any sustainable inroads.

  10. It is easy to talk about eliminating barricades in Prados Del Este or Altamira. In places like Merida ( in particular places like La Humboldt and Ejido from where I have first hand accounts) is a matter of neighborhood defense. They are protecting themselves from motorcycle gangs who have raided them or their neighbors every few days for the past month, so who are we or the opposition leadership for that matter to tell them to stop? Who in their right mind would lower the defenses if there is no sign of recognition from the side that this madness should stop. I really don’t think that Juan you or others here are getting the sense of civil war that is being felt in the Andes. San Cristobal is worse, my aunt passed away this weekend and none of her family from San cristobal could make it to the funeral in Merida. So yeah it’s is easy to pontificate that it’s time to stop the protests or the barricades or the guarimbas but that’s because you are not seeing that some of what has happened makes it impossible to go back without a very serious dialogue/peace process and not something half assed as the government has attempted.

  11. Last time I read the definition of protest in the dictionary it had to do with rejection. The polls quoted in this article all show clearly that the majority of Venezuelans reject the regime. They are protesters,whether they mumble to themselves or they march openly in the streets. To conclude that a “slight majority” of Venezuelans “reject” the protests from these polls is pretty far-fetched.
    Protesting can take infinite forms. Some write, some march, others throw a Molotov Cocktail when confronting an armored car. They are all protesting and, in current Venezuela, all forms of protesting are required and the mode of protesting is not a matter that polls can decide on the basis of one point here or there.
    Empty streets is the sure way to slavery . And we should subtle resist psychological pressures designed to put Venezuelans back into the slave mode.

  12. Probably has to do a lot more due to the guarimbas, not the overall protests. Some guarimbas are poorly placed and serve no purpose. But thank God for the low approval of the government, about time it happened.

  13. You can’t blame a portion of the opposition for not having the guts to try and educate people who are indifferent towards so much reckless death. You don’t need to educate someone for them to understand how Adriana Urquiola or Bassil Dacosta got murdered, even a good chunk of well-educated, more rational chavistas understand how murder works, understand the government could care less and yet continue to support it. I know people like this first-hand.

    Dissidents taking to the street and engaging in vandalism and “guarimbas” should be condemned, but in a much smarter way. Oppos who want to publicly oppose guarimbas often forget to stress it’s not the why of the guarimbas that’s wrong, but the how. It’s not lunatic for someone to be convinced that no amount of good will is going to make any difference with many chavistas. Henrique Capriles has been at that for around two years now and he’s still made fun of and insulted.

    Students have been jailed for the bare act of holding up a sign in protest. Think of what the government’s capable of if opposition groups try to install education programs. With every day that goes by, those chavistas of good heart who realize they can’t support the government any longer will face the same kind of prosecution and oppression as the opposition. Heck, didn’t Maduro threaten the million or so who voted for Capriles on 14A?

    I’m not supporting vandalism nor violence here, but I can’t condemn the reasoning behind taking to the streets enraged and tired of those who step on you and your dreams, laugh at your misery, and count on supporters who are getting their carpetas for Cadivi together while a mother cries her passed child, and the murderer is on the hunt for their next victim.

  14. Lots of people forcing normality down our throats!
    Beginning by ourselves…. everyone would like to continue day to day with their adecuation strategies of avoidance. everyone looks forward to SS with playita y cervecita, hoping they are not the next ones mugged, kidnapped or killed.

    I was watching some fiends posting pic of downhill mountain bike trips these last few weeks (EL volcan, ec) , so nice, so business as usual, so life goes on despite all, and this weekend two riders got shot in el avila to get their bikes stolen (going hypothesis).

    i wonder how my friends are gong to take this! i had restrained form commenting on their nice pics, with political comments, give, I am not “in” and I am none to tell them how to avoid reality or not.

    Protests, by non violent and violent ways, are the only way to keep the regime in check at this time. The minute a new false “mesa de dialogo” is set up, the country will be into full slavery for long.

    Also sad, I watched 12 years a salve over the weekend. All my revulsion and disgust to the film’s hard scenes and themes came back to me thinking how cubans must feel, and how Venezuelans must be beginning to feel realizing they are becoming de facto slaves….

    • “Protests, by non violent and violent ways, are the only way to keep the regime in check at this time. The minute a new false “mesa de dialogo” is set up, the country will be into full slavery for long.”

      Exactly.

  15. Ending the protest without negotiating anything in return would be really sad. I hope they don’t that route. It would mean that all those lives were lost for nothing! And it also means that we are accepting that the government can continue with its reckless abuse of power.

    The majority of the population is unhappy with the situation of the country. The government is the one that needs to change some policies,

  16. Quesion: Since when Datanálisis, with the super ni-ni Vicente León leans oppo?

    I still find insulting that the bastard still tries to paint the conflict as just another election.

  17. Considering that the regime probably only has unpopular choices ahead, things don’t look good for it. There is no more “carrot”; all it has is “stick”.

  18. There is absolutely no possibility of constructive dialogue with the Chavistas. If the protests stop, the outside world, and more importantly the Venezuelan people will begin to loose interest. Then, the final crackdown on the opposition will commence.

    Presently, there exists a window (but not for long) to dismantle this regime. The Chavistas can still be attacked and routed, but by indirect means.

    The key to this victory is through Brazil. Yes, “the Brazilians will not alter their support for Chavism,” is something that I always hear. Bull! Self-interest is always the determining factor, and when it is proven to the Brazilians that their World Cup effort will be wasted, by their support of a criminal regime, they will desert their companions.

    Strong protests, aimed at disrupting the World Cup, should be organized. How well constructed the protests are will determine how Brazil answers them. And how Brazil answers them, will determine Venezuela’s future.

    For this attack against Chavism to succeed, there must be constant protests at Brazilian embassies around the world, during the run-up to the WC. Fear must be inflicted into the heart of Dilma. It can be done. It should be done.

    • There will be a 1:30 hour long interview with MCM broadcasted to the entire country (Brazil) today, 8:30 PM Caracas time. I repeat: for will 1:30 MCM will be speaking to the Brazilian people.

      MCM might not have convinced the Brazilian government, but she sure is convincing the Brazilian people, the same people who will vote in the presidential elections in October.

      • Marc, Brazilians who will vote in the presidential elections in October are reading and hearing, day after day, about what PT and their associates PMDB, etc have done to this country during the last many years and are still supporting Dilma (at least so far), if not for other reason because none of the existing alternatives have reached their hearts & souls till now, despite the fact that the process has only started. The majority of those who will vote in the presidential elections have never heard about MCM, think that Chavez is only that character from the TV series and will vote thinking only if their “father”, ie., the government, will keep on giving out all those lovely perks, all the “bolsas” – família, gas, minha casa minha vida, etc. Did MCM interview hit the newspapers front pages? No. Was it ever mentioned in the popular newspapers or media? No. Those who are aware are yourself, myself and a few thousand more who live in Leblon, Ipanema, Vila Nova Conceição, Itaim, etc and are interested in international affairs. Am I happy with that? Definitively not. But unfortunately that is the reality in the field today.
        Can Brazil change its standing towards what is happening in Venezuela? Yeah. Stop paying Odebrecht, Camargo Correa,Braskem, etc, replace brazilian food suppliers by their competitors elsewhere and then the mood will change in Brasilia. Like Delfim Neto always says: “O bolso é a parte mais sensível do corpo humano”. Hit Lula’s paymasters and then you will get a policy shift. Or else wait for a “miracle” in October. Although still difficult, it is becoming less and less impossible. Unless Lula himself decides to jump over in the last minute.

  19. To be fair, IVAD show’s a slight edge for LL over HCR (about 3% of general preferences), and MCM is not counted in said poll.

    Moreover, Maduro’s popularity among chavistas has increased.

    I won’t venture as to why.

  20. Gustavo Coronel’s comment above is, I believe, excellent. The Government , Castro-Comunasitic (sic), will NOT give up anything substantive, in their march to FURTHER enslave Venezuela’s people (thanks again, Gustavo, and kudos for your wonderful hard-hitting Blog). I only believe DATOS polls, knowing them from the beginning, their methodology, and how impartial they are. Of course, a certain number of people would like to live their lives “as usual”, with no inconvenience, and so did a good number of Germans and other Europeans, including citizens of the U. S., during Hitler’s rise to increasing power. In the Ukraine recently, for example, I believe the Opposition talked some 6 times with the Govt., but to no avail. Communist totalitarian states generally understand one thing–raw power of resistance, particularly regimes like the current Venezuelan state, where elections are fraudulent, all institutions/public funds/most public media are sequestered for use by the State, and a good number of woefully-undereducated citizens owe their economic existence to Govt. miserably meager handouts/employment.

    • Communism justifies all means to attain their end of imposing communism on non communists. Their unspoken mantra is that all is fair in war. Make no mistake, to them, any opposition is an enemy and they are at war with us, unless we’re willing to be submissive.

      That said, they manipulate supporters by way of mind and handout games. The key for the opposition is not to look to sway the manipulators, but to win over their supporters.

      Some suggest we do this via education. There are a few problems with this suggestion. Firstly, the implementation is encumbered by the lack of media and money for any educational communication. Secondly, the manipulators are well aware of the power of communication and will counter educate with all available media and almost unlimited resources. More importantly, however is that *even if the educational campaign is successful*, the people will still have to choose between, “do I support the one who is better for the nation, in the long run” or “do I support the one who is better for me, today”.

      Some suggest we fight. The problem with the one sided access to weapons is compounded by that one side having fewer scruples.

      Some suggest we wait until things get so bad that their supporters will choose our side by process of elimination. The problem with this is that those ex-supporters would be ripe for the picking by another chavez wannabe.

      So how do we win over their supporters? We need to propose something that is not only better for the nation, in the long run, but *also* better for the needy, TODAY. All I see is efforts toward finding the leader that will represent the opposition, hoping that their supporters will accept that leader. Yet, I am still not even clear what any of the opposition candidates propose, at all. All their messages are vague intangibles, or promises without outlining implementation. Forget the packaging; where’s the beef?

  21. The innocent beef is being slaughtered in the streets by the Govt. carniceros. The protests aren’t being led by/don’t need a single leader. The entire Venezuelan economy is in shambles, there is no future for educated youth, the political system is corrupt and non-viable– the only message is the system and its perpetraitors (sic) must go, and a constitutional impartial functioning democracy restored. The Ukraine is the example in recent history, which, if followed, as appears to being done intentionally or not, hopefully will bring a successful conclusion to Venezuela’s predicament.

    • Given the Ukraine path, what gets set up after the chaos? Don’t we still need to propose something that is acceptable to the other side?

      • First things first….A real junta patriotico/militar, the traditional Venezuelan solution, would precede truly democratic free elections, where the best proposal wins, but where the loser is respected proportionally to the popular vote.

        • The problem in Venezuela, however, is that what one side wants isn’t merely something the other side doesn’t like; it’s something against which the other side is willing to go to war. We *need* a different proposal, not just to win an election in favor of our current proposal.

  22. Not noted is that the guarimbas have hurt the govt not only in the credibility of its intermational image but in forcing it to pospone measures which it desperately needs to take as soon as possible to keep the financial ball rolling , just to mention two of them , the gasoline price hike and the tax hike which of course they cannot take while the country is still engulfed in protests , this must be hurting their pocket really bad . also because they’re in the limelight of the worlds attention they have had to mute some excesses which probably would have made their international image even worse than it is now . Im surprised at the ease with which CNN has picked up on NTN24 role as giving the oppo a window in which to appear with its messages , and expanded it . I also expect that the Petrocaribe countries and other allies were getting ready for a really serious oil supply hair cut which now has been posponed to give the regime a chance to collect on it international gifties in regional forums , further hurting the regimes finances. !!

    Still think guarimbas should be shrunk to minimal expression but no doubt they ve provided the oppo with some benefits and opportunities which are not often talked about . I wonder if without them we would have Unasur intervene to prodd the govt to some recognition of the oppositions existence as an legitimate correspondent in a political discussion regarding the future of the country.

  23. I can only said that after +15 years of Chavismo destruction of Venezuela and the shameful role the opposition have played in the process, there have never been a worst time for Chavismo and Maduro internally and externally that right now after almost 3 months of protest.

    Guarimbas and Barricadas are defense mechanism you or anyone in a place with the rule of law or in a very comfortable chair and AC cannot understand unless yourself or your older relatives or small son or daughter experience from the way Chavismo regime control and use violence against these protest. You can ask the “Gochos” or the guys at the UCV or anyone who has been the victims of these atrocities you have been also documenting.

    Do not come out now and ask if this is time to stop protesting based on polls! come on CC: there is not other effective way in the Venezuela of today than protesting, protesting, protesting and more protesting… I agree on checking the way the protest is being carried out on the middle class neighborhoods of Caracas but in my opinion; Everything that create damage to Chavismo is a victory to democracy and if they are complaining about it is because we are going on the right direction.

    We will not get Chavismo out of power by playing their game and I thought CC was clear on that… I read charts and plots every day, if I did not know what’s going on in Venezuela and someone present this poll charts to me (specially 1, 2 & 5) I will immediately conclude; The guy in-charge of the strategy put in place from February 2014 on is a genius! These are our glorious students and they got there by going against what the “opposition leaders” or even this blog suggested to do so please stop anything that can demobilize them.

    “You cannot solve problems at the same level they where created” and the only time we have been successful in history (check who overthrow PJ or Gomez) and specially on the last 15 years is when Students took control! Only after we put Chavismo out of power them we can talk about the dreams of freedom for Venezuela but now is war time, Only for some I guess…. But you can still hope in UnaSur…

    just my 2 or 3 cents

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