Dialogue, actually.

66

quino1Happy Dialogue Day, everyone!

Time to put aside all your petty personal opinions and curb your oft-misguided emotions – today is a day for serious, rational discussion on the objective topic of the greater good.

After two months of protests, dozens dead, hundreds wounded, three imprisoned opposition leaders (two of them acting mayors), one congress-woman stripped of her post, one university and several public transport vehicles set on fire, and what seems like hundreds of thousands of hurled tear gas canisters, Nicolás Maduro’s government and members of the opposition coalition Mesa de Unidad Democrática (MUD) will sit down in a televised exchange. The debate, mediated by UNASUR and the Papal Nuncio, will be to talk about the Venezuelan crisis, and will supposedly be broadcast live.

The government (you know, the one that everyone was protesting against and being repressed by for doing so) is as happy as can be. They are now the true and only seekers of a peaceful resolution.

Meanwhile, the opposition is ferociously divided. Those who see this government as dictatorial, as evidenced by its gross human rights violations and blatant absence of separation of powers, criticize the MUD for legitimizing Maduro’s sheep-in-wolf’s-clothing charade. MUD backers, meanwhile, belittle the former camp as radicals, and espouse Capriles’s stance of “winning hearts and minds in order to build a majority coalition” as the proper path, one that, inevitably, implies dialogue.

The lead-up to dialogue was just as turbulent as the reactions were to its arrival: amid the violent repression that government forces unleashed against protests, Henrique Capriles, surprisingly enough, was the first to go on record with regards to dialogue in February, stating: “Maduro, you will not use me to wash your face.” He refused any notion of dialogue unless his signed list of 10 demands was met.

After Maduro convened, and the MUD rebuffed, a “Conference for Peace” in early March, the MUD released an official, if scatterbrained, statement detailing the 5 “fundamental elements” necessary for dialogue. These included (but were not limited to) freedom for political prisoners, justice for all victims of repression, disarmament of paramilitary groups, halting corruption, immediate reactivation of national production, repealing the laws that hinder production, fighting crime, fighting inefficiency, fighting long lines, a live broadcast through all public and private media of this dialogue, equal conditions, and transparency.

The MUD later clarified that all but the last bit about the live broadcast and transparency were “not preconditions, but items for the agenda” for eventual talks. Maduro followed by thundering on national TV that he wouldn’t accept any conditions from anyone, and that the MUD had been “kidnapped by a fascist minority.”*

(*more on fascism later)

In late March, a delegation of UNASUR foreign secretaries arrived in Venezuela to engage in preliminary conversations with Maduro over possible mediation, and left behind a scant set of recommendations, which included a “toning-down of the language.” They met with the Magistrates of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice, the Ombuds(wo)man, members of the Church, HHRR NGOs, opposition and pro-government students, businessowners, and, finally, with MUD reps, who assured UNASUR that they would be open to dialogue with the Government if a “third party of good faith” was present. Maduro quickly criticized the MUD’s precondition of a mediator.

“Está bien, ustedes convoquen a su garante, su mediador y si quieren convocan a su jefe de verdad, que venga, no me importa, yo les voy a poner un garante mayor, que se llame a un notario público para que firmen, y se comprometan.”

Once UNASUR announced its follow-up visit for a second round of talks in April, the MUD eventually set forth another list of conditions for dialogue, this time fourfold: amnesty for political prisoners, the establishment of a “commission of truth,” reappointment of government officials with expired mandates (electoral council and TSJ magistrates), and internationally sanctioned disarmament of paramilitary groups.

Finally, on Tuesday, in a rare broadcast by State TV, Ramón Guillermo Aveledo, flanked by Un Nuevo Tiempo leader Omar Barboza, and Governor of Lara Henri Falcón, announced to the country that the MUD had “agreed to a dialogue,” so long as it was held “in equal terms and in front of the whole country.” In addition to the UNASUR delegation of Brasil, Ecuador and Colombia foreign secretaries, the Papal Nuncio would be present as a “third witness” to the proceedings.

So, there you have it: in order to solve this crisis, or to prevent more deaths, or to “save face,” as Juan put it, the MUD agreed to enter into dialogue with a government it recognizes as unjust, after being forced by idleness or inertia into reducing its preconditions from an initial and legitimate 10, to a questionable 1 1/2. It is a a game that presupposes equal conditions for both players but begins with one player being stripped by default of all its bargaining chips.

What will be the outcome of said negotiation, provided all parts – the abusive father that put on his Sunday best (the Govt.) to impress the fancy foreign neighbors whose membership at the Country Club he endorsed for the sake of remaining on their good side (UNASUR), who secretly hates but gazes fondly at the clip-on-tie-wearing child with the soiled napkin (that’d be our side) who must smile and nod and remain seen but not heard and cute for the guests just so he can enjoy his meal at the grown-up table – behave properly?

Well, precisely the outcome the government will allow the opposition to have, so that they shut up, give thanks, and go back to their daily business of not mattering. They will probably change around some TSJ magistrates, definitely some CNE members, create an umpteenth entity for “promoting national production,” and name some member of Cilia Flores’s family the head of it. They’ll probably make an example out of some GNB schmuck who kicked a student in the head, and hopefully, hopefully release Simonovis.

And then the UNASUR delegation will leave. Venezuela will remain a corrupt, non-democratic state, and if the opposition starts bitching and moaning after all this effort was made to appease them … well, that’s just rude! Except the opposition will celebrate this, just like it did the 2007 referendum (with all respects to the student movement), in which we didn’t really win anything, but rather avoided getting even more screwed than we already were (temporarily, anyways).

There is no such thing as a cuasi-revolution. Authoritarian presidents don’t negotiate. You know, the MUD knows, the government knows, hell, even UNASUR knows … this government is playing a zero sum game.  If someone really thinks that, in the bigger scope of things, dialogue will be anything other than a stalling static/escape valve/waste of time, by all means, drop me a line.

*Oh, and as for the fascists? Well, Jorge Arreaza got a head start on this generous spirit of giving, and admitted that calling the opposition fascist was too strong a word. He will  look into retiring this insult from the government repertoire in the near future. Maybe they’ll fall back on mariconcitos. See?

¡Que viva el diálogo!

66 COMMENTS

  1. Bravo Emiliana. The zero sum game is key here. Any concession to the MUD will be something that the PSUV will have to give away and anything they give away threatens their status quo. They will only give something away when there is no other option. Not out of goodwill, not out of nations well being.

    Does anyone honestly think that because people trashed streets and neighborhoods the government is cornered?

    I can see Jorge Rodriguez laughing his ass off when he sees how opposition loonies have sabotaged Muchacho’s efforts for a clean and progressive municipality.

    Should the government and the MUD have talks? Absolutely. But why make a show? Why would the MUD ask for stage they can’t control?

    • Rodrigo,,

      Does anyone honestly think that without the guarimbas and continuous protests the government would have had the slightest interest in having false negotiations with the opposition? All these years before when conciliatory tactics used they never wanted peace talks and when they did…they never gave up anything at all.

      If it is not the guarimbas then what is it? Sudden generosity of the Dictatorship in giving concessions to the opposition and lessening its hold over the country out of the goodness of their heart ? hehe

      Concessions made at this point can EASILY be taken away by the government as long as they have total control, there is nothing to stop them.The real goal of the government here is to demotivate the ones who are actually doing the guarimbas and protests and make them feel betrayed by the opposition leadership.

      They give concessions and then go back on them.That is the pattern of all these years of Chavismo. Meanwhile with the opposition split on the guarimbas, the guarimbas lose impetus to continue,

        • Unless the peaceful marches are 4/11 truly massive, the Govt. will simply shake them off, as they have done so far, and limit them to the wealthier “fascist” neighborhoods, with no national publicity/visibility, but with massive national TV coverage with plenty of close-up shots of puny amounts of paid red-shirted counter-marchers trucked in from the hinterlands to major cities when needed. The guarimbas have been effective because they have: forced the Govt. to violently repress them with illegal force, violating human rights, and attracting world attention; made daily economic life even more difficult for Venezuela in general and Boligarcas in particular; and are even starting to infect some barrios (Catia/Petare), in spite of armed Colectivos threats/intimidation.

        • I have nothing against any kind of protests as long as they work.

          But guarimbas are undoubtedly more powerful, and that is why the government is trying to negotiate.

          Totally peaceful demonstrations can be ignored from now to doomsday which is arriving very soon.

          The government decided to repress the guarimbas because they were afraid.Why in the world would anyone be afraid of a few naked people and folks drinking beers , wearing silly hats,and doing bailoterapia on the streets?

          We live in a much harsher reality than that one I am afraid, and the longer it takes to wake up,the harder it gets.

          • “guarimbas are undoubtedly more powerful, and that is why the government is trying to negotiate.”

            Yes, if you need something very specific and if it doesn’t has to do with asking the authorities to remove themselves.

        • It happened in the reverse order.

          First people were marching, banging pots, and holding rallies (pre 4F)

          Then came arrests (4F) and police brutality, but people were still mainly marching, banging pots and holding rallies, with more intensity after 8F, when the students were transferred to Coro.

          Then SEBIN killed three people (12F), including a chavista paramilitary.

          Then came chavista paramilitary groups attacking and killing people (around 18F onwards), in cooperation with police forces and intimidating middle-class residential neighborhoods

          Semi-permanent barricades caught on around 18F, and became entrenched a few days later.

          Barricades became a defensive measure as much as a statement of rejection of State Brutality.

          • “Barricades became a defensive measure as much as a statement of rejection of State Brutality.”

            I would refute that argument in the sense that it is not the first time they occur. When they have occurred, did so for different causes, and they are highly ineffective as a defensive measure because they are mainly trash. Those that actually became defensive, became violent.

          • I’m not saying barricades are peaceful.

            But in Tachira, they were a clear scalation to the militarization, not the other way around.

            In Valencia, they were a response to the shootings of Genesis and Geraldine, and not the other way around.

            In Chacao, pre 19F barricades where a cat-and -mouse-game. It was after the 19F paramilitary/gnb agression that Chacao became incensed.

            El cafetal and other softcore barricades, are more of a statement than a defensive measure.

      • Has anyone of you talked with the youngsters doing la guarimba? They do not give a hoopla about the MUD (that should be renamed the DUD). And no respect either for Maduro and his peasants. This is not a zero sum game because there is a new player in town, a new kid on the block who will in time become older, wiser (bolder?) and by that time people will ask: Chavez, who’s that?. Maduro, Jaua, Capriles, JVR, Alvarado, Borge, Cabello, etc , etc, are a bunch of has-been, they simply have not figured it yet. Those negotiations are good entertainment, enjoy them while you can.

  2. “Well, precisely the outcome the government will allow the opposition to have, so that they shut up, give thanks, and go back to their daily business of not mattering. They will probably change around some TSJ magistrates, definitely some CNE members, create an umpteenth entity for “promoting national production,” and name some member of Cilia Flores’s family the head of it.”

    Yes, that’s right, but…that is the hoped-for outcome for the government. What they’ve failed to recognize, however, is that the ‘game’ has changed, …dramatically. The days where the opposition can be thrust into the “daily business of not mattering” are over. The economy is in an absolute shambles. It will be tomorrow as well,….and the day after that. There’s no more money to spread around, the very foundation on which Chavismo is based. The game is over. I think the debates will be very positive for the opposition. It was a good decision, no matter what happens in front of the camera.

  3. So, after “dialogue’, Simonovis gets released (I’m not sure), while LL rots in jail (he, as terrorist, caused the barricades/deaths–“the law is the law” (Maduro, dixit), and a jail cell is prepared for MCM?? As for “zero sum” game, the giving away of anything by the Govt. will only be if they gain something bigger=+ game for them. The problem here is that the only solution to solving Venezuela’s crisis is the abandonment of the Govt. of its Castro-Communistic goals, and the restoration of a functioning democracy–anathema to the PSUV/Castros, and the beginning of the end of Chavismo as a dominating political force. The students wont roll over with a MUD collaborationist “victory”, and hopefully, for their continued viability, neither will the MUD. The only solution short-term is the continuation of street protests, until something breaks, and the military (90+% not participating in the upper echelon military corruption, and whose numerous family members are suffering the same economic distress as are the barrios) steps in to form a democratic civico-militar (the Oppo’s fatal error on 4/11 was not including the military and Chavistas) transitional government, succeeded by free democratic elections and Government proportional representation.

  4. I think the dialogue team is placing too much value on the idea that they will finally be able to reach, via cadena, a group of hard to reach chavismo supporters.

    I would suggest that the team request a single item: one that couldn’t be taken back, that would show the opposition in good light, and that would accelerate the regime’s demise. All other requests would follow.

  5. “They will probably change around some TSJ magistrates, definitely some CNE members, create an umpteenth entity for “promoting national production,” and name some member of Cilia Flores’s family the head of it. They’ll probably make an example out of some GNB schmuck who kicked a student in the head, and hopefully, hopefully release Simonovis.”

    Well, that would be a nice bargain, because the MUD has exactly zero to offer in compensation.

    Or do you think the protests will cease on Aveledo’s clue?

    • Yeah, the sad part is we’re acting like the CNE and the TSJ appointments are some sort of victory, when it’s actually something the government was SUPPOSED to do years ago, in compliance with the constitution…..

      • Even if the appointments aren’t some sort of victory… I think that Chavismo screwed up! They could have appointed another henchman to “legally” keep control of the CNE and TSJ. Now we can pressure them to get somebody from the oppo appointed. I don’t know if that will help or what is going to happen but at least it seems like a better outcome than the status quo.

        • I don’t know… they might just force on us, with UNASUR blessing, some Hernan Scarra as a respectable and independant TSJ magistrate… And someone from a Very-Governmental-Organization (think Reporteros por la Verdad) as an independent CNE member.

          Remember that Jorge Rodriguez and Carrasquero?

          • One or 2 independent or even pro-Oppo members on the CNE/TSJ can do nothing–think lone voice Vicente Diaz on the CNE, or the mauled popular vote majority turned into a voting minority via electoral re-districting tricks in the useless Asamblea Nacional.

  6. Language matters: its not violence its crime.

    This regime has been criminal for a while now, and it is recently that its charade has began to fail and been exposed to all to see. Not that anyone interested did not know it from before, but in the game of politics, appearances sometimes matter more than facts.

    El rey esta desnudo, but many interests keep it in power.

    …So much from Caribbean island stares votes in the OAS recently or the Brazilian senate politely hearing out MCM but clear on the commercial an political implications of giving the Venezuelan people democracy any support.

    The way to tip the unstable balance is to make these interests supporting the regime realize their political costs for continuing to do so.

    on topic, I think it is necesary to have someone sit down and talk iwth the regime, but i keep my fingers crossed and give Aveledo et al the benefit of the doubt once more. We will see tomorrow how it turned up.

  7. Off the top of my head, the dialogue should be between the student movement and the Goverment. En tal caso, the MUD should act as a mediator. No?
    I don’t think the student protest will end with this televised shenanigan.

    • Exactly. I have the opposite read as Emiliana on this – the government is willing to dialogue with an actor that has no say on the current protests! We should take the money and run, even if it is “just” the freedom of Simonovis. (Which is kind of a big deal to his family)

      • I’m kind of thinking about this approach scenario as well. What happens if soft-MUD and Maduro strike a deal, some CNE and TSJ minimum rebalancig (more than 1/5th of rectores in the case of CNE, maybe 2/5ths? )…

        And then the student movement and hard-MUD refuse to acknowledge any negotiation took place?

        • If they wanted to get anything substantial done, they would’ve opted for a private meeting. Since this will be in live TV, I think it considerably lessens the scope of what the govt would be willing to “cede.” the have a reputation to maintain, after all.

          • True in a sense but I’m sure they’re meeting in private with some frequency anyway. If the rules are fair, I think that this will be a great opportunity for the opposition to have access to the public airwaves for basically the first time ever. If only Maria Corina were at the table, she’s the only one that wasn’t even afraid of Chavez.

          • Breaking news–Oscar Schemel of Hinterlaces, after .earlier today reporting that 80% of the Ven. public is against the guarimbas (contrary to Datanalisis, et. al.), with well over 50% wanting those responsible punished (move over LL, here come MCM and her VP cohorts), has just given an advance of tonight’s post-Dialogue poll: the popularity of Maduro-up 20%, that of the MUD-down 20%.

  8. Actually, Arreaza didn’t admit that the word “fascist” was too strong. He asked for another word to describe the opposition, since he knows no other that fits.

    “Ayer se nos pedía que el término fascista que era muy fuerte, que se dejara de usar. Pero yo quisiera preguntarle a ustedes si nos dan otro término que lo sustituya lo cambiamos, pero no lo conozco”, exclamó al referirse a los ataques sufridos por módulos de salud de Barrio Adentro.

  9. A few questions Emiliana. What would you do? Isn’t Simonovis’ freedom worth the dialogue? Isn’t an amnesty law worth it? Do you really think there is NOTHING to be gained from Dialogue? What are our options? Do you really think that Guarimbas in our own neighborhoods actually accomplish something? How many of other people’s kids and families are you willing to sacrifice? I think this Dialogue has a chance to change things, and if not, we don’t really have anything to lose. Who says you are legitimizing the government by dialoguing? It is two opponents trying to get something out of the other, hopefully a few of these things will make us better off. Just because you sit down and talk with your enemy, it doesn’t make you his friend, it just means the MUD knows that mutually assured destruction is not a option for people who believe in peace and democracy. And nobody ever said that just because you dialogue, you can’t continue to protest? We just need to touch all bases for the greater good of the Venezuelan people, especially since the majority of Venezuelans think dialogue is necessary and are actually not protesting, yet.

    • Exactly. Evaluating costs and benefits of one option makes no sense if you don’t analyze costs and benefits of the other option.

    • I know, Fabiana, that you asked Emiliana, so, forgive me for butting in.

      I agree that the things you mention are worth having a dialogue about, even though a negotiation would be better, if they could result from it. But what can the MUD offer in return, and, more importantly, what can they deliver? Whom do they represent but the old discredited political structure that created the conditions that made it possible for Chavez to come to power?

      The only people who could negotiate effectively would be the ones able the bring peace in the streets, but for that they must have credibility with the folks who are out there doing the heavy lifting. To earn that credibility they would have to do more than address the current grievances against Maduro and his gang: they would have to sell them on a new vision for the nation, one that’s not only different from the Chavistas’, but also from what we had before Chavez.

      Maybe MCM, AL, and LL could do the job, but, for the moment, they seems to be strictly focused
      on the here and now. Perhaps one, or more, of them will find the time and energy to look farther ahead and tell us what they see.

      Anyway, if all that results from the tragedy the country has been put through is relief from the current pain followed by a reprise of the same old same-old, it will only prove that we haven’t learned a damned thing from the last decade-and-a-half, and that would be a great pity.

  10. This government was legitimized the day that Capriles called off the march on Miraflores last April.

    So the “don’t legitimize this government” card has no value at all.

    As I stated in an earlier blog entry comment, we have not much to lose by sitting down with the government.

    1) If actual, verifiable, decent results are had for the more important (IMHO) bullet points, to wit: Disarming Collectives, Freeing Political Prisoners and re-composing the TSJ and CNE & punishment for Violations of Human Rights and Murders, then I think it’s a win for the MUD. Anything else from the 10 point Capriles list is gravy. Keywords: Verifiable and Decent.

    2) If this turns out to be paja (BS), then the option to continue protesting and guarimbeando (guarimbating, in English!) is not only still on the table, but it becomes even more justified. Perhaps this regime will need a second or even third go-round before it realizes it can only lose if it continues to insist on not changing. Which, by the way, is one major difference between this nincompoop and Chavez. Chavez knew when to take his foot off the pedal and how to rope a dope like Muhammad Ali himself. Maduro is woefully incompetent in this regard (and many others).

    3) Any way you slice it, the key for the MUD is to come out of this still united, no matter the outcome. Today’s disagreements with MCM, Leopoldo, Ledezma et al can be overcome easier than we may think. Who knows? They may have chosen to be outliers on purpose, just in case! There is no “talanquera jumping” available here. Anyone that decides to separate from the herd for good is just going to be swallowed easier, and I’m sure every member of the MUD knows it.

    Going from 10 pre-conditions to 4 is just gamesmanship. Maneuvering before the match. Whatever. he missing 6 items can well become points for debate/negotiation once sitting at the table.

  11. Emiliana,

    As I mentioned in another post, in all human conflicts, diplomacy continues before, during, and after hostilities. We do not need to view dialogue as a form of recognition of the government’s legitimacy (other than the legitimate fact that they are the ones with all the guns). Do I expect that the government is going have their minds changed by discussion? Of course not! But, dialogue provides opportunities to probe your opponent for weaknesses, to discover their strategy, and simply to “know” them better (in the sense of “Know your enemy.”). This is also an opportunity to expose, in public, some of the lies of the Regime. The fact that the Regime has been forced to talk to the Opposition is a victory in itself. I know it may not feel like it, but we are winning this war.

    • I think there are far wiser and more honest ways of probing gov weaknesses…..we just found one” guarimbas”

      yess, the oppo victory was that the government could not extend its power beyond the guarimbas..the guarimbas made them look bad, so now it is looking to negotiate them out of existence.

      It is naive to think these things expose the gov to the public….the public who calls the shots already knows and did not feel moved to empathize until the opposition made a real ruckus.The squeaky wheel always catches the grease.

      If the opposition does not know their enemy by now, I see little hope.

    • Right, because you think the Regime will let the MUD have free reign over the live airwaves? Maduro will probably talk for 90 minutes and by the time he lets Ramon Guillermo speak, everyone will probably be asleep. (Here’s hoping you’re right, though.)

      • “Maduro will probably talk for 90 minutes and by the time he lets Ramon Guillermo speak, everyone will probably be asleep.”

        And how would that harm the opposition? It would be yet another reason to take the streets tomorrow!

        • Good point. I’m hopeful that no matter the outcome the protests will continue. This dialogue will not fill the grocery store shelves, temper inflation or crime. Ending protests is not something that the MUD can deliver. “Artículo 350. El pueblo de Venezuela, fiel a su tradición republicana, a su lucha por la independencia, la paz y la libertad, desconocerá cualquier régimen, legislación o autoridad que contraríe los valores, principios y garantías democráticos o menoscabe los derechos humanos.”

      • No one is interested in what Maduro has to say. He hasn’t said anything interesting yet. However, people are interested in what the Oppo says and how Maduro responds to it. And this will get dissected and repeated continuously in the days that follow. Maduro can be made to look like a fool, because… well… he is.

    • After all the lengths they have gone to to eliminate access to the population from the other side I bet something will happen to prevent the MUD from stating their case in public.

      Maybe an iguana will chew through the transmission cables just as they start to speak.

      In my opinion this is a complete waste of time.
      They will not give away any of the powers that they’ve spent 15 years accumulating.
      They will not give the oppos a floor to spread any bad press.

      More harm then good will come of this.
      I support the guarimbas.
      They wouldn’t even be sitting down without them.
      The MUD no longer represents the resistance &, as such, should not be representing themselves as spokespeople for the resistance.
      Just look at the surveys run by various news media that show 80% rejection of these talks.

  12. I wonder what will come of this.

    The guarimbas are likely starting to take a life of their own. If the government comes across as magnanimous and grants certain points contingent on the cessation of the barricades and related protests in the interest of “civil peace” and the MUD is unable to dissuade continued protests at all guarimbas, then we see a scenario where the government complains that the MUD failed to negotiate in good faith. The result? The government revokes the agreement due to breach on the MUDs part and trots out a handful of small continued protests in various cities even if 95% of them have stood down.

    The government will give just enough to appease the political side of things, but not to sufficiently placate the civil aspect. Not all of the protesters will stop, whatever is decided. This places the MUD at a real disadvantage since they will appear powerless after agreeing to something they cannot in actuality guarantee in front of the nation.

    The guarimbas, at this point, are hurting, not helping.

    The MUD delegation needs to tread very carefully here lest they be flanked, yet again, by the government. Chavismo may not be terribly good managers, horrible at finance, piss-poor with economic policy, and a host of other incompetencies, but they are bloody good political operators.

  13. Sorry, Emi, but I´m can not be with you in this one.

    Analyzing the worthiness of the negotiation process –based on an ex-ante speculation of the potential result- without proper analyses of the best/worst alternatives to an agreement is just plainly not useful.

  14. Sitting around the table is worth the effort. Forget the debate element as that will be as worthless as trying to convert your wayward chavista family member. (We all have them). In fact 95% of Venezuelans would have no idea how to gauge or analyse a debate.
    If this is a public meeting of two opposites it`s about who lands the knockout blow. And the more physical that headbutt the more favourable will be the perception where it matters. This is not about appealing to the anti chavistas. It` about appealing to the wayward Venezuelan as I previously mentioned.
    In fact the more I think about it the only thing that may assist my sister in law in seeing what is in front of her very large nose is a short sharp punch to the head. However I am unfortunately too much of a gentleman for that. I hope our mud lot are not.

  15. “Y la verdad es que nosotros no podemos pensar, en estos momentos precisos, en organizar una acción violenta que venga de los cuarteles a la calle, porque la inmensa mayoría de los oficiales afectos a las ideas democráticas han sido dados de baja, o no tienen mando de tropas, o están en la cárcel o el destierro, o traicionados por el tirano. Si no es posible organizar una acción de este tipo, no nos queda como posible sino la acción popular de masas, constante, valiente, perseverante. Esa acción debe ser conducida hacia una encrucijada en que ya no sea tolerable por el país la existencia de un régimen de usurpación, y la cólera popular se exprese en forma tan avasallante que ya no puedan detenerla las bayonetas”.
    ROMULO BETANCOURT, 1954

  16. This is a very well made piece, even if I don’t entirely agree with it. However, I seem to have a problem grasping your conclusion on this. I’m ashamed to say this, but I don’t “get” your opinion on the dialogue. Can you please explain it a bit?

  17. I’m kind of in the same camp as Emiliana in this one… except I think we have to call Maduro’s bluff on dialogue. If MUD nevers call that bluff, the opposition risks being portrayed as the intransigent party.

    • I think there is no bluff at all to be called…Maduro was quite explicit yesterday about not negotiating or making pacts with anyone outside his camp because it would be treason, plain and simple. He said this responding to Lula Da Silva’s remarks, no less.
      So, what are we looking at tonight? A waste of time, is all.
      We’re sitting down to talk with someone who will not acknowledge us or our proposals; they’re just going to say their peace, listen to ours and then say that their solutions are the ones that count and that we can take it or leave it. Some dialogue.
      I will say that it’s better to show up for the sake of our international image, but the fact remains that the MUD is going in there with no chance of effecting any real change.
      We’re only borrowing more time to postpone the inevitable disastrous clusterfuck that is yet to come.

      • The “clusterfuck” is inevitable in any case. Nothing the government or the opposition does, or can do, will avoid it. What the opposition can do is make sure that the blame for the clusterfuck gets pointed in the right direction: “We tried to tell you…”

  18. Dialog as proposed is all fine. We all know they wont be sincere. But it is going to be televised, the opposition doesn’t have to convince the government of anything. They just need to present their case to the people. And that is a plus. I hope they don’t wing it.

    Regarding guarimbas I have said time after time they are there because the government wants them there. The moment they cease to be useful they wont attack them anymore and they will dwindle and disappear except for some token mementos left. They are ineffective as a protest because they are too intense and they promote violence.

    Too intense? What does that mean? It means it requires too much effort, it disrupts your own people too much too be sustainable in time. It is a battle of self attrition. The only result is the people get tired. Everyone, those putting them up, those having to go around them.

    With this dialog the government may throw a couple of bones as concessions to the opposition, will stop attacking the guarimbas and the resulting peace will make it seem as if the dialog kind of worked.

  19. Aveledo’s finest hour tonight on prime time TV.
    Lets hope he get’s his wit in line and delivers a powerfull bloWWWWWW!

    Manana la lucha sigue….

    El peor enemigo de la resistencia es que todos anhelan “normalidad” y no quieren entronparse con la realidad.

    El regimen tiene dinero pero no autoridad, El pueblo esta casi neutralizado a punta de desabastecimineto, devaluacion, y represion. El tiempo favorece al regimen….

    Make your own bets!!!.

    • Por cierto, todos estan al dia ya con la declaracion y pago del impuesto sobre la renta del 2013?

      DESCONOCIMIENTO MASIVO DE LA AUTORIDAD ES LO UNICO QUE TUMBA A ESTE REGIMEN, PACIFICO, MASIVO, SOSTENIDO.

  20. Am watching the show right now. I thought it was supposed to be a DIALOGUE not a MONOLOGUE! Nothing will change with this monologue.

  21. I don’t want to the radical guy, but I find the MUD delegates underwhelming

    It’s PJ meets Jurassic Park, grosso modo.

    Ramón Guillermo Aveledo, Andrés Velásquez (La Causa R), Roberto Enríquez (Copei), Henry Ramos Allup (Acción Democrática), Juan José Molina (Avanzada Progresista), Omar Barboza (Un Nuevo Tiempo), Simón Calzadilla (Movimiento Progresista de Venezuela), Julio Borges (Primero Justicia) y los gobernadores Liborio Guarulla (Amazonas), Henri Falcón (Lara) y Henrique Capriles Radonski (Miranda).

    http://www.eluniversal.com/nacional-y-politica/protestas-en-venezuela/140410/a-las-808-pm-se-inicio-primera-jornada-de-dialogo

    The only guys on that list with a shot of getting a non-list vote from me are HF and HCR… And that’s a stretch

    • I would have insisted on allowing Leopoldo Lopez to be brought from his cell to participate as part of the discussion, even if they returned him later. He has a bigger stake in this than almost any of the others and it would force the government to consider whether showing that they were inclusive and serious about discussions as well as demonstrating LL in good health and that he is in good care versus bringing in someone who serves as a potential rally point for the demonstrators.

      • I would definitely have agreed to LL, Ceballos and Scarano being designated as spokespeople. It is unclear if they would have accepted the appointment, though.

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