First I'll take your lunch money, then we'll chat.

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    Schoolyard politics dictate that when a bully beats up on the nerd, the nerd has to fight back.

    The nerd might be smarter, or have the moral high ground, hell, he will probably go on to invent the next amazing social network and sell it for billions and marry the hot chick.

    But for now, he’s scrawny and weak. If he doesn’t fight back, the bully wins. It’s a matter of legitimizing humiliation, or wrestling your way to respect.

    This week marks three months since February 12, the day three Venezuelans were shot and killed after the opposition marched to the Prosecutor General’s offices to demand freedom for jailed students. That day marked the start of the nationwide protests that, to this day, have been savagely repressed by government forces.

    This week also marks one month since April 10th, the night when (some) opposition and government leaders sat down on national television and began the Dialogue, to “find a solution to the political crisis in Venezuela.”

    Finally, today marks the day when dialogue was suspended – not cancelled, mind you, “suspended” – following a statement by MUD Secretary General, Ramón Guillermo Aveledo, saying that “concrete results instead of promises must happen in order for conversations to continue.”

    Let’s go back to our schoolyard scenario. Imagine the weakling approaching the bully, and nicely asking if they can sit down for a chat, so that they can calmly discuss their differences and perhaps eventually get along. Nevermind the clueless nerd really has nothing to offer the bully, other than the benefit of the doubt.

    “Fine,“ the bully says, “let’s have a heartfelt discussion,” all while he continues to beat up on this poor loser’s friends, taking their lunch money, copying off their homework, and blaming them for cheating, to boot.

    Now imagine if, instead, all the nerds, geeks and outcasts in school had banded together to expose the bully for what he is: a mean-spirited, insecure and insufferable asshole with daddy-issues who just wants to make the world a living hell for those he can’t agree with. What if all these underdogs, who suffer daily from the bully’s torment, stood up to his authority and defied it, slowly chipping away at his only claim to power?

    When the MUD sat down to dialogue with the government, they legitimized the bully’s position. Parents reading this will know what this does to your victim’s self esteem.

    How can you keep morale up amongst your nerd base when you’re ceding dignity to your oppressor? How can you struggle to get you buddy out from the locker he was shut inside when the bully’s henchmen are busy kicking the shit out of your younger pals in the bathroom? How can you lobby for fairer play in the dodge-ball field when the bullies threaten teachers into letting them win, and other students into keeping quiet about it?

    Some claim that Venezuelans don’t want regime change, that they want a solution to their social woes instead. But shortages are worse, inflation sees no end, and crime keeps claiming lives everyday, Dialogue notwithstanding.

    And now, Aveledo pouts to his mommy that the mean bully is being extra-mean this week, but instead of saying the Dialogue is over, he plays convoluted diplomat’s semantics with this meek dribble about “freezing” and “suspending.” Presumably the MUD will go back to the table if the government agrees to steal just half our lunch money or to beat us every other day instead of all the time?

    At least the protesters are fighting back.

    I used to think that the MUD’s greatest weakness was that they showed no real will to govern, that they recognized the government for the bully that it is, but just didn’t have the balls to stand up to it. But maybe I had it wrong.  Perhaps the MUD just wants to wait until graduation.

    1 COMMENT

    1. Great post, Emiliana.

      I think we are starting to go through just the same motions Tsvangirai has followed in the last decade or so:
      http://www.newzimbabwe.com/news-14051-Tsvangirai+urges+Mugabe+dialogue/news.aspx
      It would be funny (or bloody sad) to have a conference on CNN or something between Tsvangirai and one of our leaders to discuss how their kind of dialogues have led them to a better society in Zimbabwe:
      “Tell us, Mr Tsvangirai, how good was the first round of dialogue and what have you achieved in all these years? How is Mugabe doing?”

      You talked about exposure. And that is the key: when one is dealing with a bully there is no way one can hold any meeting behind closed doors. It’s either meet at an intellectual boxing ring for the public to judge
      or go back to no contact at all.

      In the last few days this is what happened: both the nerd and the bully were seen talk at the playground, they even got the whole thing televised by forced through all channels although only one national one was necessary and then they proceeded to disappear to discuss things in the changing rooms’ area where the thug proceeded to beat the hell out of the nerd.

      Now the bully is back in the playground and he is telling everyone he is more than ready to talk but the nerd doesn’t want to. And I am sure Ms Coy from the Carter Centre will be jumping all around the playground and telling teachers and students and parents and neighbours alike: “look, look, Maduro is again ready to talk but the nerd doesn’t want to go to the changing room to discuss things further!”

      • Actually, bully and nerd can meet behind closed doors. Happens all the time when arbitration measures have been entered into, following agreement by both sides. HOWEVER, the closed-door scenario requires an impartial judge to: moderate the heightened emotions or lack of reasoning during discovery; allow for cross-examining bully and nerd alike, without their buddies present; keep “dialogue” on track; and produce findings that are backed by a system with “teeth” to enforce. It’s all these latter conditions that are so underwhelming in present-day Venezuela.

        • But we know the judges get free alcohol from the thug and they drive to the beach together.

          So: there is no other way than to let the real judges be the whole community. We don’t need to force the whole town to see the whole discussion (cadena) but we do need to guarantee anyone of them can freely and at ease come to the playground to see us interacting. Either that or no meeting.

          • Yes, you’re right. I was responding to your first premise (“when one is dealing with a bully there is no way one can hold any meeting behind closed doors.”)

        • Key word: arbitration. What you say about arbitration is true.

          But what we got wasn’t arbitration, it was mediation. There’s no cross-examining and no judging in mediation, there’s only helping both parties reach a negotiated agreement and then serving as a witness of the agreements reached and optionally assisting both parties in keeping a netral assesment of their compliance with the agreement.

      • It’s all about the scenario: The Oppo had something to win, but because they didn’t win it, they lost hard. It was the government’s plan since the begining “Look, it’s THEM who don’t want this to happen! I’m sitting here and they left, they never wanted a dialogue!”. Had the government been in a better position than it is right now, it would have had disastrous. Well, it is disastrous right now, but it would have been worse.

    2. I like your post.

      Appeasing bullies only makes them worse.It is power they look for and being nice to them only gives them more of it. If you ignore them they gain control while your back is turned.Bullies have to be pressured.If they were reasonable people who could perfectly well be convinced by the truth or by reason, they would not be bullies in the first place.

      In my opinion anyone who does not defend those who are bullied are vicarious bullies themselves.Vicarious bullies(often fearful and lazy types) feed the bully by basically doing nothing to remedy the situation.

      Ironically people who do this often get to feel morally superior. ” I am above anger, revenge, stooping to their levels by involving myself in any kind of aggression, so on and so forth. ” I would call this false pride.

      I would ask bully enablers this question:

      Is anger wrong or is anger for the wrong reason wrong? And then I would hope they would take a moment to reflect.

      Instead we see people who are angry with those who are angry instead of being angry with those who are truly hurting others.

      • ” I am above anger, revenge, stooping to their levels by involving myself in any kind of aggression, so on and so forth. ”

        “No caigamos en provocaciones”, “Es un trapo rojo”, “No pisen el peine”, “El tiempo de Dios es perfecto”.

    3. Giving the benefit of doubt to someone who is currently killing people (and denying it did so) and who has shown no remorse or will to change? I think these results are to be expected. I remember Henri Falcón saying “O dialogamos, o nos matamos”. Guess what, they continued to kill people while you were at the dialogue.

    4. Except that for many government supporters, it’s the bully that’s trying to make a comeback so that he can start bullying again because he’s sick of the nerds having taken over and fighting back for 15+yrs…

      • Right about now, cue in easy-to-follow pictographs, showing the comparative rates of crime and homicides, housing deliveries, inflation, oil incomes, population growth — assuming a televised dialogue. Eeek! No wonder the “nerd” said “nyet” to public hearings!

        • There is also a problem here. It’s not necessarily the nerd who is dealing with the thug, but another child who is just average and weak.

          We need someone with brains and who can use rhetorical skills at best. A nerd can do that even if he is not a natural rhetorical beast. He can learn. Instead, it’s the plump, unimaginative friend of the nerd who is interacting with the thug. That’s a problem.

      • “Except that for many government supporters, it’s the bully that’s trying to make a comeback so that he can start bullying again because he’s sick of the nerds having taken over and fighting back for 15+yrs…”
        No, for them, it’s the same reasons that propel the bully, he’s just an insufferable asshole who does as he pleases because there’re no consequences for his actions, using just some stupid lame-ass excuse.
        It’s the culture of the “viveza” that has kept our country and our society down in the gutter for so long, the best depction of that glitch was given by El Chigüire Bipolar (http://www.elchiguirebipolar.net/22-10-2013/descubren-que-el-gen-de-la-viveza-criolla-en-realidad-es-el-gen-de-ser-un-mamaguevo/), that’s where the phrase “la ley es para los pendejos” comes from, this country got used to celebrate cheating and being a piece of shit, and the maximum expression of the “vivo” is the criminal, like the thousands of murderous muggers that kill and steal everyday or the rotten dome that currently destroys Venezuela.

    5. Never dialogue with bullies.The only thing that works is stopping them cold ( the best tactic) or pressuring them ( when stopping them cold is not possible).

      Dialogue with bullies ( on an equal level) is giving them power by acknowledging that they have equal legitimacy.

      Bullies are not equal, they are below the acceptable standard of conduct.

    6. As my late mother would advise, first you need to start with “El latigo de la indiferencia” Nothing hurts the bully more than our total refusal to acknowledge, talk to, or pretend the bastards even exist. As we go through life, and we come upon any beast, whose intentions are evil, it is best to walk around it, than to provoke it. In my defenseless, my strength is found.

      It is counter intuitive but I know that the teachings if the great masters was right on this one.

      • This conventional wisdom that is not always true Julien.Not everyone is equally motivated by other people’s attention or the lack of them – Either for the good or for the bad.People who want power and money are a good example of that.They care not for your attention, they want the power.

        The teachings of the great masters? Are you referring to spiritual teachers? To whom are you referring here?

      • “Nothing hurts the bully more than our total refusal to acknowledge, talk to, or pretend the bastards even exist.”
        Except that the bully will still go and punch you anyway, because not paying attention to him won’t make him vanish in the thin air.
        The only thing that works against a bully is the certainty of a retaliation way worse than what they could do, it’s called “no impunity”, if a bully punches you, you go and kick him, then kick him again while he’s down and make sure it hurts, because he’s got to learn that his violence won’t lead him anywhere to accomplish anything but being beaten.

        And sadly that solution I just wrote won’t be 100% effective, mostly because there are bullied people that can’t fight back at all.

    7. Correction.

      As my later mother would advise, first you need to start with “El latigo de la indiferencia” nothing hurts the bully more than our total refusal to acknowledge, talk to, or pretend that the bastards even exists. As we go through life, and we come upon any beast, whose intentions are evil, it is best to walk around it than to provoke it.

      In my defenselessness, my strength is found.

      It is counter intuitive, I know. I also know that the teachings of the Great Masters were right on this one.

      • No Julien, It is normal when people are afraid , it is not counter intuitive at all.

        What Masters? Please elaborate?

        • Julien,

          However, I do agree with you that it is best not to deal with them on an equal level as in dialogue.

          But if we totally ignore them they will keep the power.We have to have a strategy.

    8. As somebody else said, accepting a dialogue was necessary. Not doing so would give a point to Maduro to use in the internal & exterior propaganda.

      The problem is how it was handled. They should have stuck to “yes, we want a dialogue, but either you show it is for real by doing this and this and that, or there is no point”. Then walk away when they reject you.

      And keep it simple, like “free all prisoners”

      Instead it became just another session of habladera de paja for too long and now the time of the rupture looks like the MUD scrambling to keep itself together after “sanctions” stuff, instead of a clear show of strength and unity.

    9. “I used to think that the MUD’s greatest weakness was that they showed no real will to govern, that they recognized the government for the bully that it is, but just didn’t have the balls to stand up to it. But maybe I had it wrong. Perhaps the MUD just wants to wait until graduation.”

      Brilliant.

    10. The idea that the republic will be restored with any means that do not imply consensus among major factions, GPP being one, is nonsense. More nonsense is the idea that we are playing an endurance match (el que se cansa pierde mentality) given that the state is willing to do any sacrifice possible as long as there is a decent inventory of tear gas. We are witnessing the decent to stalinism.

      The MUD is doing the right thing by having conversations (different from a tv show). The only reproachable thing may be that they are having a dialogue with the wrong people. Cabello is definitely not the appropriate counterpart. But others among chavismo are suitable.

      • Who among Chavismo, Rodrigo? This is not about a show, but what civilised societies since Greek time call a political debate.
        Do you think the powers that be will tolerate us talking behind their backs to some of theirs? To whom I ask? If anyone of them were to talk to us on their own either the Diosdado or the Nicolás faction would crucify them.

        • I differ. And conversations do happen on the back. Not every one shares the fascist approach that Cabello has.

          Villegas comes to mind, but there may be others such as Arreaza. Think of civilians within the GPP. Even members of the PCV have publicly condemned “stalisnist” attitudes.

          • Villegas seems like he has read a book or two. He wears glasses and he surely would prefer not to beat the hell out of you. Most talks behind the backs are about each others’ personal relationships, as we have seen they actually intermarry quite a lot and the like. But when it comes to power sharing: nothing. And even if Villegas wanted: first, he has no real clout. Secondly: if he tried even to lobby for a more humane view: he would be neutralised by them. In fact, he could end up like Danilo Anderson.

      • Rodrigo,

        I see a contradiction in your argument.

        You said and I quote:

        “(el que se cansa pierde mentality) given that the state is willing to do any sacrifice possible as long as there is a decent inventory of tear gas.”

        People who live under the law of the jungle( that which is Venezuela today and that which is the regime mentality) will go by the laws of the jungle.They will not be influenced by dialogue.Dialogue can only work when certain basic laws that regulate conduct are honored .

        • a) the government will suppress any protest, for as long as they exist. This fact doesn’t imply that protest must stop. They must continue to exert pressure.
          b) while protest pressure exists, consensus must be pursued. It is not saying “I am right, you are wrong”. It is recognizing that both sides will need to pact, and that each side is going to need to keep controls over its radical factions to achieve the ultimate goal of restoring democracy.
          c) The consensus may be that Maduro is still president, but we should accept that the MUD and some of it members may cooperate and may be part of its government. No consensus is possible under the idea that they all must remove themselves so we can take their places.

          • Rodrigo,

            There is no concensus possible, absolutely none other than getting fairer election/referendum conditions. That will only happen if they feel more people could join us if they don’t accept those basic things as a balanced CNE, the possibility of organising a referendum without La Lista and a fairer Supreme Court.

            We do not want a power share as the case in Zimbabwe and that is the one they are offering us.

            • No, they aren’t, but we should have explained in a very detailed way on live TV during the “dialogue” why those items are a must and non-negotiable and how the division of powers and a balanced CNE is required. That is required not for Venezuela but for any country. If they don’t accept that, we can say in front of the cameras, there is no point in meeting because there cannot be dialogue when elections and law enforcement is a farce.
              But we should have explained that clearly and in front of the cameras so that people in Venezuela and, as Yoanni or Yoanna or that Cuban blogger said, in Cuba, would hear.
              We didn’t do it.

            • If we can show very clearly to the outside world how there is no division of powers in Venezuela and how the Supreme Court and all the judges fear to be sacked by the executive, if we show that the CNE has been loaded with people who are basically PSUV employees, we can tell the world there is no democracy in Venezuela if the government does not correct this in a way it is customary in democratic countries.

              If the government wants legitimacy, it would need to comply with the basics of division of powers. It is not by saying “judges are independent” that that is done.

              This is not rocket science but it seems our politicos have difficulty expressing this. I have talked a zillion times with foreigners who are rather want to be seen as “neutral” and keep defending Chavismo but when
              I challenge them to explain how there is independence of powers in Venezuela they always conceded. But I have never seen this discussion in public…not as it should be done: with a full exposition of arguments.

    11. Maybe some of you won’t like this… but as a bullied nerd, back then overweighed and with an stammer starting high school in El Cafetal the only thing that worked was fighting back. The more violent my reaction was, the better it worked to convince the (dozens) of bullies that studied with me; but of course, we are talking about playground politics here….

        • Yes, Venelondoner…

          I am sure that was true.Why do you think that fathers often teach their boys to stand up for themselves ?They know this to be true

          Ignore a bully at your own risk.Sometimes however there are strategies that are not violent but quite clever that can work….but dialoging is not one of them.That just honors their false status and gives them even more power.

        • Correct… that would apply. But I think it is clear we don’t really have a way to react with real violence against the state. Confrontation on the other hand is feasible Quite different from the “bajarle dos” we get from some oppo sector

          • Venelondoner,

            True. The opposition has little direct force.It can protest and call attention to itself and perhaps in this way attract outside pressure.

            I am thinking of something that once happened to me.I had a friend whose son had no father and was always bullied at school because of it and shockingly mostly by another parent.The bully lady used to tell the boy” oh you must feel horrible on fathers day”, and make him cry.His mother who was a close friend of mine once approached me and asked me to help her.She wanted me to go to the principal and report the mother.She didn’t want to do it herself because she thought the principal would hate her for it, and the bully mother was a major monetary contributor to this private school.She knew I wouldn’t care if the principal hated me or not( and to this day she does).

            I complained and took the rap….but it wasn’t until I confronted the bully lady did she really stop.
            I don’t hold this against my friend because she had legitimate reasons to be more sensitive at the time.Her son was weak from being bullied, and my friend couldn’t risk anymore negativity against him.

            But we all knew that this woman would never stop unless confronted.She loved to hate, and to taunt others weaker than herself.

            She pays for this dearly with 2 very sad children, to whom my heart goes out.

    12. I like Emilianas imaginative treatment of the subject by comparing it to what happens to kids who get bullied but maybe feel that to be more exact the scenario needs some more detail .

      The bully and its victims are in a dialogue because the teachers and the parents of the victim want them to settle their little boy differences by talking like adults rather than by fighting ( even if its only the bully doing the attacking ) . the bully goes along because he is in trouble with the school and wants to be seen as being a nice boy who is willing to seek accomodation with the other kid ( which he describe as a snivelling brat) but he doesnt really think that the brat needs to be given anything except a good whipping .The weaker kid is attempting to resist and protest the bullies aggression but knows that he has no chance to get the bully of his back the bully being who he is , and hopes that the dialogue maybe can be him some respite !!

      There is no simmetry in both kids capacity for violence ( the only language the bully understands) , the bully is much stronger than his victim and in a fight the bully can always clover him any time he wants .The only thing going for the kid is the bullies desire to need some points with the school authorities, absent that the bully would just beat the crap out of the kid. …and enjoy it. !!

      The bully while the dialogue is going uses sweet words whenever the teacher is near but the rest of the time just keeps bullying the kid even worse than before . His victim doesnt stop resisting the bullies aggression but there is nothing he can do on his own to strike the bully flat .

      Meantime the dialogue allows the bully before the teacher to keep on pretending that he is nice kid trying hard to get along with this other kid that has it for him . Until a time come when the kid just gest tired of the whole charade , stops hoping to get a respite of any kind and just takes the position that if the bully doent improve his behaviour hes dropping from the dialogue.

      Going back to reality , the MUD sitting down with the Govt is a gesture of good faith that honours him but does not legitimize the regime whose behaviour is in no way improving things , just making them worse , meantime the student protests are continuing as before and the situation is worsening by the day . Its wishful thinking when your are being whipped and lack the force to defend your self in any substantive way to ask for your tormenters unconditional surrender , very brave , but very unrealistic , the smart thing is to keep on resisisting your tormentors aggressions as much as you can through protests etc and explore the chance that the international pressure will force the regime to become better behaved . Perhaps giving the oppo a chance of using the improvement in conditions to grow in size and acquire the capacity to beat the regime next time arround.

      The time has come to unmask the govts dishonest behaviour and reveal it for the sham it is. Thats what the MUD is now doing !!

      • BB
        I am with you on most of this.I only differ in that i see dialogue as negative because honoring is a way of legitimizing in my book( when we honor we recognize the value in something…we make it a real and legitimate voice) and because I know the nature of the beast is such that they will never give real concessions, only false ones that will benefit the regime in the end.These are masters of manipulation for power, nothing they offer can be trusted.No sweet words, no promises,nothing.If that is radical then I am quite happy to be one.

        “The bully while the dialogue is going uses sweet words whenever the teacher is near but the rest of the time just keeps bullying the kid even worse than before . ”

        This is so true, and if we take a look at bullies, we will also see a full fledged sycophant, a coward at heart.It disgusts me to see how bullies act like worms when they cuddle up to others in power.

      • Let’s go with your extended analogy. Turns out the bully is filthy rich. And the teachers are making off like bandits on gifts the bully gives them. Plus the bully had bought a bunch of swag from the teachers, but hasn’t paid them yet. He keeps promising to pay them, but hasn’t.

        Long story short: the teachers have a clear financial incentive to keep the bully happy on multiple levels. When the kid and the bully sit down to talk, the bully knows that in the end he gets away with shit because the sponsors of the dialogue have too much $$$ to lose if the bully somehow loses his bully perch. All the kids on the playground can see the teachers hold this dialogue with a nod-and-a-wink, purely to be “seen to do something” and as a way to forestall stronger action that would imperil the bully’s position.

        So the teachers smile beatifically while the bully talks in front of the camera, keeps beating up the nerdy kid just outside the camera shot, and intone gravely about the nerdy kids’ responsibilities to seek a negotiated solution.

        It’s a giant farce, chamo.

        • Or to extend it a bit further. The “bully” was elected by his peers to represent them, whereas the nerd has no legitimate right to make demands on behalf of his peers. The “bully” grants the nerd the right to be heard, because otherwise he’ll continue to burn things in the hallway, block access to the classrooms, and kill innocent bystanders in an attempt to create an atmosphere in which the “bully” can be removed from his position undemocratically. But the “bully” does not actually have to do anything the “nerd” says, because the “nerd” has no legitimate claim to power. The “nerd” realizes this, and knows that his only hope is to continue to sabotage any attempts at peace, because violence is the only way he might have a chance of beating the “bully” in the short term.

          Some of the kids, however, mostly the rich spoiled brats who don’t even go to that school (their parents sent them to private school abroad), continue to portray events as if the “bully” is the usurper, and the “nerd” is the the legitimate holder of power, despite never having gotten the support of the student body.

            • Funny thing about democracy. The people (or students) are the ones that get to decide that. Regardless if Emiliana thinks he’s a bully, most students might think otherwise.

              Indeed, most students might have this crazy idea that the real bully is the one who wants to impose his will upon their school without having actually been elected by them!

            • Betty,

              Should I believe you understand what you think we said? – I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what we meant. LOL

            • Funny thing about a democracy is that if its used to abuse the rights or opress the freedoms of others or to perversely ruin the economy on which all depend or to establish a despotic regime then it becomes illegitimate and it becomes justified to condem and fight those who misuse and pervert it every way possible .

              Otherwise legitimate democratic leader Adolf Hitler voted Chancellor with 90% popular approval would be given a medal for democratically deciding to start a war that killed 20 million people and fried 5 million innocent jews in his incineration ovens . Persecution in the name of ideological purity is as much an aberrant form of behaviour as persecution in the name of racist purity .

              Democracy is the rule of all the people for ALL of the people , not the instrument for an oligarchy to use the resources of all to reward with trinckets its own partisan followers and ruin and oppress the life of every one else .

            • Unless of course that is just your opinion, which isn’t shared by the majority of Venezuelans. If only there was a way that we could find out…….. hmmmm…….. like a poll in which the Venezuelan public can say whether they want to change government……. hmmmmm…… oh wait, we had two of those last year and both said they didn’t want to change government.

              BTW, check your basic history my friend. Hitler was never elected into power with a majority. Once in power he murdered his principle opposition leaders and made opposition parties illegal. But nice comparison anyway!

            • Awwwwwww! That’s adorable, Emiliana. You have no argument and you know it. Super cute! BTW, in order to make an argument you actually have to address what the other person says, and then attempt to refute it with evidence. All my best to you, XOXO, Betty.

            • Don’t even bother Emiliana… talking to apologist of la peste roja is like talking to a block of granite.

            • Why is it wrong for ULA-tachira students to protest demanding more security after one of their classmates was almost raped? Should only chavistas be allowed to ask the government not to be raped in school?

              Why is it wrong for them to ask the government to release the students at a national level to express their solidarity to ULA-tachira students after the government sent them to jail in Coro for demanding more campus security?

            • “Why is it wrong for ULA-tachira students to protest demanding more security after one of their classmates was almost raped?”

              That’s not wrong. What is wrong is when they attack the governor’s residence, vandalize public property, block streets, throw rocks at the police, etc. etc. etc.

              Is this really that hard to understand?

              “Why is it wrong for them to ask the government to release the students at a national level ”

              Because those students broke the law. Do you think people who break the law should be allowed to go free? Oh, wait, bad question…..

            • – “What is wrong is when they attack the governor’s residence, vandalize public property, block streets, throw rocks at the police, etc. etc. etc.”

              The people who vandalized the governor’s residence were using masks. How can the government incriminate son confidently the students?

              – “Because those students broke the law”

              According to whom? There’s been major casis of railroading, like Massiel; of made up charges like Marvinia, of students being found not-guilty but being subject to parole anyway, planted evidence, etc.

              Do you think people who break the law should be allowed to go free?

              Well if military soldiers, like Jesse Chacon, who rebel against a democratically elected government and killed innocent watchmen at VTV in cold blood (disarmed, on their knees and beggin for their life), can be pardoned; surely even the students who dared throw rocks at tanquetas can be pardoned as well.

            • Betty the troll, why even bother? Sorry but most of you guys fall right into her lap. El látigo de la indiferencia con l@s trolls…why get sidetracked? That is their mission. They are completely blinded by their brainwashed stalinistic cubanoid gringolas.
              If Bleached Blonde Attorney General threatens the US Gvmnt with returning sanctions, and she thinks they really care, just shows how absolutely devoid of any logical/critical thinking their impunity mindset is. Sociopaths…that why I don’t even see how they can sit and dialogue at all.
              It’s like talking dzongka to the maories.

            • I used to hear this kind of bullshit from Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew. The students who wanted to stop the war in Vietnam were “the real bullies”, Yadda, Yadda. And Nixon and Agnew were elected, so they could commit whatever crimes they wanted.

              It still makes me want to vomit.

              With Venezuela, apologists for state power tightly close their eyes to regime crimes. Leopoldo Lopez, unlawfully not allowed to run for President, sits in jail for nothing–when’s his bail hearing, again? Maria Afiuni, raped in jail for doing her duty, never found guilty of anything, even by the corrupt joke known as the judicial system, yet still facing charges five years later because the Great Leader decreed it. And the destruction of the National Assembly by violence and fraud, followed by Rule by Decree.

              It is amazi g tat there are people too stupid to recognize fascism when it is right before their eyes.

            • “It is amazi g tat there are people too stupid to recognize fascism when it is right before their eyes.”

              Indeed, that is amazing. You posted this directly below a news article about opposition protesters that recently tried to burn an old couple alive in their vehicle.

            • GAC, that looked to me like a minivan that drove straight through a confrontation between the GN, who were shooting from a tank at protesters, and some protesters that evidently were throwing molotov cocktails back, while being shot at from a tank. The minivan got hit, and some bystanders, notably not the GN, helped put out the fire. Everyone walked away from that particular event. What was happening down the street we can only guess. You embellished a story that was posted on a government website that was a selective version of another story printed in the private media. Have you forgotten your Noam Chomsky???

            • Hahahaha! Yes, it was just a mistake! The accidentally threw a molotov cocktail through this van window!!! Hahahahaha!!! After all, those innocent peaceful “protesters” were just throwing fire bombs! Come on, they weren’t meaning any harm!

            • By the way, even if it were just a mistake, you don’t just throw fire bombs and then say “whoops, my mistake!” when innocent people get hit.

              It the same violent shit that has killed over 40 people since these “protests” started. But you celebrate that, and hope it continues.

            • You are trying to explain away the fire bombing of an old couple and their livelihood. Instead of condemning it and those responsible for this reprehensible violence that has killed dozens of people, you say “well, it was just a mistake”.

              It doesn’t matter if they intended to burn the old people. They intended to burn someone. That’s fascist, and so are you.

            • Betty, I deal with people involved in protest on a pretty regular basis. At some of those protests, violence occurs. It is often the mistaken view of the authorities that the violence and the protest is inseparable, and that there is collective responsibility for the violence. In which case, stuff happens and it is necessary to look at the evidence. You are precisely the same kind of asshole who puts innocent people in jail at things like, say, G20 or WTO demonstrations, or directs brutality as a form of standard operating procedure, because fundamentally, what offends you is the protest, not the violence. Hypocrite.

            • Except that to many voters, that leader is the one that managed to stand up to the 40yr oppressors…

              I really find it hard to believe that after 15+yrs of chavismo so few in the opposition can even see the most basic aspects of what props up chavismo: We are the ones who for so many decades kept them in poverty and with no voice. They may still be in poverty, though less, but they at least feel that they have a voice. In short, to them, we are the bullies.

          • I won’t concede to your view, but for discussion sake let’s say I did. Do you think bad behavior legitimizes bad behavior? Do you not think that the security forces have systematically violated human rights? (if you have doubts, go to the videos floating around the net).

            I’ve been watching your arguments for the past few days, you seem to believe that once the government gets voted in they have the right to run the place as a plantation, with its duly amount of whipping. I think the point that is being made is twofold. First the legitimacy of the government is questionable given the voting problems and the denial to a full recount. Secondly, NO GOVERNMENT has the right to torture its people, even those YOU dislike and YOU and regard as criminal.

            If you have a properly formed conscious you should be censure the way the government has handled itself. We would go a step farther, we think this government is criminal, and I personally think that if you cannot openly denounce the brutality YOU ARE A STOOGE.

            • “First the legitimacy of the government is questionable given the voting problems and the denial to a full recount.”

              Wrong. The “voting problems” were manipulations on the part of the opposition. Venezuela’s electoral system makes fraud nearly impossible, and there were numerous audits throughout the entire process, all of them signed by opposition witnesses. The electoral law does not allow the type of recount demanded by Capriles, and he knows that, but a full audit was carried out, and showed no change in the results (as was expected by anyone who knows how the system works).

              “Secondly, NO GOVERNMENT has the right to torture its people, even those YOU dislike and YOU and regard as criminal.”

              There is no evidence that systematic torture has taken place. There are ALLEGATIONS that people have been tortured, but little solid evidence of it.

              Yes there have been clear abuses by security forces, as there would be in any country in which this kind of violent protest movement takes place (ask UC Davis protesters in the US, or Europeans at the G8 protests). Does that mean that the government should be overthrown? Should Obama be overthrown because the security forces abused protesters in California?

              “If you have a properly formed conscious you should be censure the way the government has handled itself.”

              And if you have properly formed conscious [sic] you should censure the way the violent opposition protesters have handled themselves. Do you?

            • I do censure violent opposition protesters.

              Will you now censure the abuses made by the government forces? Do you not support a full investigation to these actions?

            • Of course I censure it. And many of the people responsible for those abuses have already been taken into custody.

              So why is the opposition continuing with the violence?

            • Betty et al sums up everything that has been said in the protest debate without actually adding anything:

              “why is the opposition doing this? why is the government doing that? State violence, civilian violence, urban guerrilla violence. I am right! You are wrong! You have the right to protest, but we have the right to free transit. The right to housing, the right to education, the right to free speech, the right to any political belief. The right to everything is the right to nothing. ”

              So, instead of focusing on both the poorly executed protest and the poorly executed government reactions, one must ask:

              Is a modern republic just about elections? Or is it about fair elections? Or is it about fair elections and the rule of law and check and balances?

              The better question is why half the country doesn’t feel represented in the central government? What makes the PSUV think that with a fraction of the country’s support can push 100% of its agenda?

            • Rodrigo Linares,

              Allow me to use an analogy. Imagine slaves taking over the government at a time when slavers still thought they had the right to enslave others. That is what makes some government supporters think that they have the right to at least ignore the requests of the opposition, therefore push 100% of their agenda; they see us as the slavers.

            • Its not just about elections, but at the very least elections must be respected. The Venezuelan opposition hasn’t even gotten that far yet. As for fair elections, the opposition will always claim that the elections are not fair whenever they lose. When they win an election we don’t hear much about that.

              “The better question is why half the country doesn’t feel represented in the central government?”

              For the same reasons half the country didn’t feel represented in the 1980s and 90s. But it was the other half. Venezuela is a very divided society, as are most societies with high inequality. The constant media attacks on the government have also created a “bubble” of popular opinion that is simply false, much like Fox News has in the United States.

              Most of the opposition thinks 2002 was not a coup, they think Maduro committed fraud, they think food production has decreased, they think Cubans control everything, etc. etc. etc. Its all nonsense. Just like right wingers in the US think Obama was born in Kenya, that he’s a socialist, that he wants to take away their guns, etc. etc. etc.

              And guess what, half the population in the US does not feel represented by Obama. Does that mean he should be overthrown? You all need a very very basic lesson in democracy.

            • HCR asked for voter’s attendance records and the logs of the fingerprint scanner to discard double voting. This information was refused.

              Said audit had no way to detect double voting, since that can only be checked using voter’s attendance records and the logs of the fingerprint scanner.

              HCR presented evidence of witness’ intimidation and forceful removal, thus making those voting centers suspects. This evidence was ignored.

            • “HCR asked for voter’s attendance records and the logs of the fingerprint scanner to discard double voting. This information was refused.”

              And the release of that information is not permitted in the electoral law. HCR knows that. That’s why he requested it, so he could claim the government was not complying.

              “Said audit had no way to detect double voting, since that can only be checked using voter’s attendance records and the logs of the fingerprint scanner.”

              These things were audited before the election, so that none of this could take place. The opposition signed off on these audits.

              “HCR presented evidence of witness’ intimidation and forceful removal, thus making those voting centers suspects. This evidence was ignored.”

              No he didn’t. He showed a video of a “voto asistido” which is perfectly legal, and no evidence was given that ANYONE was forced to vote contrary to their preference.

              And no evidence was given of witness intimidation. The allegations were unfounded.

            • – “These things [double voting] were audited before the election, so that none of this could take place. The opposition signed off on these audits.”

              Let me explain to you what double voting means.

              Double voting is when one human being votes more than once. It may happen because said human being has two differently numbered ID cards (at least one of those identities being fake or an alias), it may also happen because someone is usurping the identity of another human being with a fake ID card or with the help of an accomplice in the voting center.

              To detect this one has to:

              * compare the number of votes cast in that center and the number of voters who attended (signed the attendence record). If they don’t match, that’s an irregularity.

              * use the fingerprint scanner logs to determine when it failed to recognize a voter’s fingerprint or it detected a voter as having already voted. If a fingerprint isn’t recognized it may mean usuarpation, if it is detected as already voting it may be doble cedulado or usurpation.

              There’s no way to detect this a priori, it can only be detected a posteriori.

              – “No he didn’t. He showed a video of a “voto asistido” which is perfectly legal, and no evidence was given that ANYONE was forced to vote contrary to their preference.”

              The person being assisted didn’t fit into the assistance demographic. Assistance was regulated to allow people with diminished capacities or disabilities to vote with the help of someone else. It was never meant for able bodied people.

              HCR also submitted the testimonies of the removed witnesses.

            • “There’s no way to detect this a priori, it can only be detected a posteriori.”

              That’s why there are witnesses from both sides, and independent witnesses in each voting center. So that these things cannot happen.

              “The person being assisted didn’t fit into the assistance demographic. ”

              Anyone who wants a “voto asistido” can request this, in case one does not understand how the machine works, etc.

              Besides, one video was presented. Gimme a break man. You’ve got nothing.

              “HCR also submitted the testimonies of the removed witnesses.”

              Yes, he submitted ALLEGATIONS. But they were unfounded.

            • “Double voting is when one human being votes more than once.”

              By the way Navarro, I should add that for the election to have been affected by “double voting” as you imply, it would have required about 300,000 people doing this, at literally hundreds of voting centers all over the country, with hundreds of accomplices inside the voting centers, without any witnesses noticing.

              Yet you have literally ZERO examples or allegations or witnesses or testimony that anything of the sort happened.

              But hey, when you WANT to believe something, you’ll cling to all kinds of nonsense right?

            • It’s not really about a modern republic.
              This Betty character doesn’t understand what the Ancient Greeks explained very clearly: elections are required but by far not enough to call something a democracy. For a democracy to exist there needs to be, among other things, rule of law and the division of powers.
              Even Morales, the former head of the Supreme Court (but the current does the same), very frankly said what she thought about the division of power: she rejected it.
              If the heads of the Supreme Court show such a brutal contempt for the most basic things they should defend, they must be removed. Now.

            • Betty, it stopped being about whether maduro cheated numerically in the last election when the government refused to allow proper investigation as to whether he had cheated or not. As to non numerical cheating, no one doubts that maduro had an unprecedented propagandist advantage.

            • Actually, the government carried out the audit as far as the electoral law will allow. Capriles’ demands to go further went against the electoral law. But keep pushing that line to justify violence and undemocratic efforts to overthrow a government.

            • Betty, no. The law does not limit the amount of investigation. What was being asked was beyond what the law *required*, but the discussion regarding whether it was over the top or not ended when the government accepted to comply with the requests, with the international community as witness. Failure to comply was enough to demonstrate the ill faith that you now demonstrate with your false claims, as well as the lack of dependability of the international community as an overseer.

            • Nonsense. This whole business of wanting to see the cuadernos because of potential “double voting” is utterly idiotic. The only way the election could have been stolen that way is if there were literally hundreds of thousands of people who had “double voted” at thousands of voting centers all across the country, with accomplices inside the voting centers, without any witnesses having seen anything at all.

              Its so utterly stupid and impossible and you all know it. Capriles just continued to demand more and more and more so he could claim the government was not complying. Even Quico has admitted that if there was any fraud it would have shown up in the actas….. and it didn’t.

            • Don’t even bother she supports a bunch a criminals who actually bombarded government buildings back in 92…. As usual with apologists of la peste roja, she only sees what el castro chavismo running my ex-country tells her.

              It’s like talking to a robot, something programed….

            • That;s exactly right…a robot….which is what makes her so evil.When a person is robotized and ceases to exist as a real human, it becomes frightfully evil….

            • Betty, so you’ve gone from stating that the law didn’t allow it to that the request is idiotic?! May I remind you that maduro accepted the request, so the idiocy becomes a moot point. It is the breech of agreement that is now at issue.

          • – “The “bully” was elected by his peers to represent them, whereas the nerd has no legitimate right to make demands on behalf of his peers.”

            The bully was allegedly elected.

            The nerds weren’t allowed to audit the results, re-voting in voting centers rife with irregularities was rejected, and the electoral commission refused to provide the information required to dismiss suspicions of double voting.

            – “The “bully” grants the nerd the right to be heard”

            The constitution guarantees the right to free speech, to assemble, to participate in peaceful demonstrations, to petition public officials, a free and fair trial, etc. for everyone (nerds, bullies, cheerleaders, etc.). That’s not a concession from the bully, it’s an inalienable right.

            – “because otherwise [the nerd will] continue to burn things in the hallway, block access to the classrooms, and kill innocent bystanders in an attempt to create an atmosphere in which the “bully” can be removed from his position undemocratically”

            It was SEBIN officers and Interior Minister’s bodyguards who shot and kill all three people on 12F.

            Guarimbas started AFTER the chavista paramilitary groupsknown as colectivos, police offiers and guards began shooting at people’s home while they banged pots and chanted slogans peacefully, or were engaging in peaceful demonstrations. That’s how Geraldine Moreno and Genesis Carmona were killed (one at the hands of a National Guard in front of her house, the other after Ameliach order a fulminating strike against the peaceful protesters).

            Marvinia Jimenez was brutally beaten by a national guard, for sport, because she represented no threat and wasn’t even demonstrating.

            – “But the “bully” does not actually have to do anything the “nerd” says, because the “nerd” has no legitimate claim to power.”

            The government ALWAYS has to listen to the people regarless of whether petitions come from supporters or detractors. A supposedly “participative” democracy has to allow everyone to participate.

            – “Some of the kids, however, mostly the rich spoiled brats who don’t even go to that school (their parents sent them to private school abroad), continue to portray events as if the “bully” is the usurper, and the “nerd” is the the legitimate holder of power, despite never having gotten the support of the student body.”

            It would all have been settled if a proper audit had been conducted on the elections. The government chose not to carry it out, so any legitimacy doubts are their own damn fault.

            • “The nerds weren’t allowed to audit the results,”

              Wrong, the results were audited to the fullest extent allowed by electoral law.

              “The constitution guarantees the right to free speech, to assemble, to participate in peaceful demonstrations”

              But they aren’t peaceful. And I’m referring to the right to enter Miraflores and participate in a debate. They don’t have to give them this.

              “It was SEBIN officers and Interior Minister’s bodyguards who shot and kill all three people on 12F.”

              And they were arrested for their actions, as should happen. And the other 40 people who have been killed since then? I guess you don’t care about who killed them?

              “Guarimbas started AFTER the chavista paramilitary groupsknown as colectivos, police offiers and guards began shooting at people’s home ”

              False. The first violent guarimbas were in San Cristobal, before 12F. Try again.

              “The government ALWAYS has to listen to the people regarless of whether petitions come from supporters or detractors. ”

              But they don’t have to engage in an extensive dialog with them. They aren’t elected representatives.

              “It would all have been settled if a proper audit had been conducted on the elections.”

              Good. Then I’m glad its all settled. Because the audit was conducted per the electoral law.

            • – “Wrong, the results were audited to the fullest extent allowed by electoral law.”

              The law allows revoting when there are irregularities in voting centers. When this was invoked, TSJ considered it unadmissible.

              – “But they aren’t peaceful. And I’m referring to the right to enter Miraflores and participate in a debate. They don’t have to give them this”

              Genesis Carmona and Geraldine Moreno were engaging in peaceful demonstrations.
              Marvinia Jimenez simply walked up to the guards to ask them to not be so violent.

              The government ALWAYS has to listen to the oppostion, in EVERY democratic state.

              – “And they were arrested for their actions, as should happen. And the other 40 people who have been killed since then? I guess you don’t care about who killed them?”

              We know it was SEBIN officers and the Interior Minister’s bodyguards, yet LL is still in jail for a crime he clearly didn’t commit.

              There hasn’t been any justice for Marvinia, Geraldine, Genesis, Alejandro and several other victims of the National Guard and the colectivos. In fact, the government has repeatedly praised the GNB and the colectivos.

              – “False. The first violent guarimbas were in San Cristobal, before 12F. Try again.”

              In San Cristobal the government had already repressed the students and them to jail in Coro, so the situation got out of control. It was also militarized, and heavily repressed by the military, which brough about guarimbas AFTER the repression the peaceful protests suffered.

              – “But they don’t have to engage in an extensive dialog with them. They aren’t elected representatives.”

              What are you talking about? MCM is the congress person who got the most votes in the parliamentary elections, HCR is governor of Miranda, Ramos Allup is a Latinamerican congress person, Henri Falcón is governor of Lara, Ledezma is Metropolitan Mayor of Caracas, Enzo Scarano won San Diego with over 75% and so did Ceballos in San Cristóbal.

              – “Good. Then I’m glad its all settled. Because the audit was conducted per the electoral law.”

              Again… HCR’s recourse was dismissed without consideration. It was considered inadmissible.

              It was a satisfying audit for Maduro, I’ll grant you that. The thing is, the 49% who -according to the official tally- voted for HCR were the one questioning the results, and they weren’t satisfied by the audit that didn’t take into account voters attendence records, fingerprint scanners’ logs and the list of other irregularities.

            • “The law allows revoting when there are irregularities in voting centers. When this was invoked, TSJ considered it unadmissible.”

              That’s because there was no evidence of any irregularities. The 3 examples given by Capriles were shown to be unfounded, which you could see yourself if you just checked the CNE website.

              “Genesis Carmona and Geraldine Moreno were engaging in peaceful demonstrations.”

              Yes, apparently the protesters never engage in violence according to you guys. And the Guardia are just all a bunch of bad violent people. If you can convince yourself of that, then go ahead.

              “The government ALWAYS has to listen to the oppostion, in EVERY democratic state.”

              But they don’t have to have an extended dialog. Show me where it says in the constitution that the president must do this. Otherwise stop making baseless claims.

              “We know it was SEBIN officers and the Interior Minister’s bodyguards, yet LL is still in jail for a crime he clearly didn’t commit.”

              LL instigated the violent protests and called for the overthrow of the government.

              “In San Cristobal the government had already repressed the students and them to jail in Coro, so the situation got out of control.”

              Again, wrong. Get your story straight. The governor’s residence was attacked on the 6th:

              http://panorama.com.ve/portal/app/push/noticia98692.php

              Protests about the students in Coro didn’t take place until two days later:

              http://www.ultimasnoticias.com.ve/noticias/actualidad/regiones/protestas-en-san-cristobal-por-traslado-de-estudia.aspx

              “MCM is the congress person who got the most votes in the parliamentary elections, HCR is governor of Miranda, Ramos Allup is a Latinamerican congress person, Henri Falcón is governor of Lara,”

              Yes, they were elected to represent their constituency. They have absolutely NO legitimacy to demand anything from the president, or from the other representatives that were elected by other constituencies. You see, this is how democracy works. They are representatives, and they vote in the Asamblea. If they do not have a majority, they cannot force their demands upon anyone.

              “HCR’s recourse was dismissed without consideration. It was considered inadmissible.”

              Wrong. It was taken into consideration, and found to have no evidence to support the claims. And I notice you also have no evidence to support his claims. Coincidence?

            • – “That’s because there was no evidence of any irregularities. The 3 examples given by Capriles were shown to be unfounded, which you could see yourself if you just checked the CNE website.”

              Capriles didn’t denounce just three cases. His impeachment of the election included:

              * Testigos opositores retirados “por la fuerza” e incluso “con armas de fuego” en 286 centros.

              * Más de “600.000 personas que están en el registro electoral y ya fallecieron”.

              * Violencia y amedrentamiento en los alrededores en 397 centros de votación.

              * Voto asistido, en el que se acompañaba hasta la máquina de votación a “empleados públicos” o personas favorecidas por un programa social para “obligarlos” a sufragar por el oficialismo, en 564 centros.

              * Proselitismo del partido de gobierno en 421 centros de votación.

              * 535 máquinas dañadas, de las 39.000 repartidas por todo el territorio nacional.

              * Inusual crecimiento de votos, de hasta un 943%, para Nicolás Maduro en algunos centros de votación respecto a los resultados que obtuvo el fallecido Hugo Chávez en las elecciones del 7 de octubre.

              http://globovision.com/articulo/principales-irregularidades-denunciadas-por-capriles-en-las-elecciones-del-14a

              – “Yes, apparently the protesters never engage in violence according to you guys. And the Guardia are just all a bunch of bad violent people. If you can convince yourself of that, then go ahead”

              Surely some of the thousands of detained protestors dared burn some tires or throw stones at tanquetas, but those instances stand next to the widely documented cases of security forces or chavista paramilitary forces using violence unduly, like those of Geraldine, Genesis, Marvinia, Alejandro, the UCV chavista paramilitary agressions against students, the documented cases of prisoners being beaten, sexually abused, held for ransom, bathed in gasoline, humiliated, etc.

              Human Rights NGOs have reported quite extensively on this.

              – “But they don’t have to have an extended dialog. Show me where it says in the constitution that the president must do this. Otherwise stop making baseless claims”

              First off… What extended dialogue was that? All I saw was one meeting. Maduro didn’t participate in the rest of the meetings, it was delegated to Arreaza.

              Article 51 says everyonce has a right to petition and get a response from any public official for actions within their jurisdiction, so petitioning the president for a presidential pardon or an amnesty law withing the already enacted enabling law is a right and giving an answer is his duty.

              Article 62 says that all citizens have a RIGHT to participate on public matters (like escarcity, crime, inflation) directly (as could be the case of RGA or Henriquez) or indirectly through national parlamentarians like Velasquez, latinamerican parlamentarians like Ramos Allup, governors like HCR, etc. It also says that the State HAS TO facilitate the most favourable conditions for this participation (whcich i this case was determined to be a cadena televised dialogue).

              Artículo 51. Toda persona tiene el derecho de representar o dirigir peticiones ante cualquier autoridad, funcionario público o funcionaria pública sobre los asuntos que sean de la competencia de éstos o éstas, y de obtener oportuna y adecuada respuesta. Quienes violen este derecho serán sancionados o sancionadas conforme a la ley, pudiendo ser destituidos o destituidas del cargo respectivo.

              Artículo 62. Todos los ciudadanos y ciudadanas tienen el derecho de participar libremente en los asuntos públicos, directamente o por medio de sus representantes elegidos o elegidas.

              La participación del pueblo en la formación, ejecución y control de la gestión pública es el medio necesario para lograr el protagonismo que garantice su completo desarrollo, tanto individual como colectivo. Es obligación del Estado y deber de la sociedad facilitar la generación de las condiciones más favorables para su práctica.

              – “LL instigated the violent protests and called for the overthrow of the government”

              NO. LL instigated peaceful demonstrations. The peaceful demonstration ended, then came riots and public security officers shot and killed 3 people.

              – “Again, wrong. Get your story straight. The governor’s residence was attacked on the 6th”

              His residence was attacked by masked thugs. Nobody knows if those were students, chavista infiltrados, colombian paramilitaries, regular criminal gangs, etc.

              – “Yes, they were elected to represent their constituency. They have absolutely NO legitimacy to demand anything from the president, or from the other representatives that were elected by other constituencies”

              So accrding to you, only the president can demand something from the president and only MCM can demand something from MCM, and only Diosdado can demand something from Diosdado? That makes no sense. They have to answer to the people no tto themselves.

              I already quoted article 51. And MCM, LL, Ledezma, HCR, etc. have as much right as any venezuelan to petition the president, the national assembly, governors, mayors, city councils, state assemblies, etc.

              I also quoted article 62. So the people have a right to participate in public matters either directly or through them, who are their elected representatives.

              – “You see, this is how democracy works. They are representatives, and they vote in the Asamblea. If they do not have a majority, they cannot force their demands upon anyone.”

              They’re not forcing anything, they’re petiotining the governemnt thought peaceful protests. And they have a right to express their inconformity with government policies, demand the resignation of public officials, etc.

              Democracy requires respect for the minorities, otherwise it’s ochlocracy or “tyranny of the majorities”.

              – “Wrong. It was taken into consideration, and found to have no evidence to support the claims. And I notice you also have no evidence to support his claims. Coincidence?”

              How were they taken into consideration? The suit wasn’t admitted, the witnesses weren’t allowed to testify before court (witness testimony is evidence), no process of discovery was allowed to examine the evidence requested by HCR on voters lists and firgerprint scanner logs, or on the malfunctions of voting machines.

            • Zzzzzzzz…. dude, if you think that link you provided constitutes “evidence” of anything, then there’s no wonder you think Capriles had “evidence” of fraud.

              You can’t just put up a photo with a caption, or a video of a “voto asistido” and then claim a whole election was fraudulent. For heaven’s sake, no wonder Capriles is able to fool so many people. You all are a bunch of raving idiots.

              Capriles evidence WAS admitted to the Supreme Court, but it was determined that there was no way to actually VERIFY any of the “evidence” that he gave. You see, one can claim all kinds of things happened, but unless it can be VERIFIED that those things happened, they aren’t evidence of anything.

              So I could find (pay) dozens of people that say they saw something happen on election day. They saw fraud take place. But unless it can be verified that what those people SAY happened actually DID happen, then that isn’t evidence. It is a baseless allegation.

              All of the things you listed are baseless. You have ZERO actual evidence that there is any basis to them.

            • – For the sake of argument, let’s say a witness is forcefully removed from the voting station, and that nobody filmed the incident, because Plan República enforced the now-usual rule of forbidding people from taking out their cellphones inside a voting center.

              What is a proper evidence of this event, besides the sworn testimony of the witness, the sworn testimony of other people who witnessed the event, the credential given out by CNE that authorized that person to be a witness, the lack of the that witness signature in any acta, and the lack of any opposition witness’ signature in the acta of that voting booth.

              – Let’s also say, for the sake of argument, the public employees used PDVSA trucks to transport voters to voting centers.

              What is proper evidence of this, besides a dated photo of a truck with a PDVSA logo, full of people that aren’t PDVSA employees, getting off in front of a voting center?

              – Let’s also say that at some table, without opposition witnesses, the table members conspired to stuff the ballot box, signing in place of voters that didn’t show up, and activating the voting machine by overriding the fingerprint scanner after it either refused to recognize their fingerprint, or without even scanning one.

              What mechanism, besides the fingerprint scanner logs and the attendance records can be used in the absence of a witness’ testimony?

            • Just to be extremely clear here Navarro:

              “* Testigos opositores retirados “por la fuerza” e incluso “con armas de fuego” en 286 centros.”

              Where is the EVIDENCE that this happened? Anyone can CLAIM it happened, but you have to actually SHOW that it happened. There’s no evidence that it did.

              “* Más de “600.000 personas que están en el registro electoral y ya fallecieron”

              Where is the EVIDENCE that this is true? Capriles SAYS it is true. That’s not evidence.

              “* Violencia y amedrentamiento en los alrededores en 397 centros de votación.”

              Again, it is really easy to say this. Where’s the evidence?

              * Voto asistido, en el que se acompañaba hasta la máquina de votación a “empleados públicos” o personas favorecidas por un programa social para “obligarlos” a sufragar por el oficialismo, en 564 centros.

              Again, this isn’t EVIDENCE. This is an empty allegation. Show me the evidence that this occurred. You’ll need more than a single video of a “voto asistido”.

              * Proselitismo del partido de gobierno en 421 centros de votación.

              This one is funny. Why would this change anyone’s vote? But, again, I’ll need to see 421 photos proving this happened.

              * 535 máquinas dañadas, de las 39.000 repartidas por todo el territorio nacional.

              This isn’t proof of anything. Machines malfunction all the time.

              * Inusual crecimiento de votos, de hasta un 943%, para Nicolás Maduro en algunos centros de votación respecto a los resultados que obtuvo el fallecido Hugo Chávez en las elecciones del 7 de octubre.

              You obviously didn’t check the results from these voting centers. Capriles distorted the truth by selecting voting centers which had VERY low turnout in 2012. They had a normal turnout in 2013. Votes increased by an even LARGER percentage for Capriles at these centers.

            • You say there’s no evidence there, but obviously, HCR didn’t submit that small text.

              He submitted sworn testimonies, pictures, videos, etc.

              They summarily dismissed the evidence, by declaring all recourses indmissible (inadmisible) instead of admitting them, weighting each conunsel’s arguments and ruling on each one of them, thus denying each claim in court (ruling them improcedente or something of the sort) and not before reaching court.

            • How do you know what Capriles submitted? Have you seen it? If he really had any solid evidence he would have made it public. The only “evidence” he made public were baseless allegations.

              “What is a proper evidence of this event, besides the sworn testimony of the witness, the sworn testimony of other people who witnessed the event, the credential given out by CNE that authorized that person to be a witness, the lack of the that witness signature in any acta, and the lack of any opposition witness’ signature in the acta of that voting booth.”

              If you had all of that, that would be good evidence that a witness was removed. It wouldn’t be evidence that fraud took place. But you don’t even have that. Because it didn’t happen.

              “What is proper evidence of this, besides a dated photo of a truck with a PDVSA logo, full of people that aren’t PDVSA employees, getting off in front of a voting center?”

              You don’t have that. You have a photo. There’s no way to identify who, what, when, or anything else about that photo. Your “evidence” makes any reasonable person laugh out loud.

              “- Let’s also say that at some table, without opposition witnesses, the table members conspired to stuff the ballot box, signing in place of voters that didn’t show up, and activating the voting machine by overriding the fingerprint scanner after it either refused to recognize their fingerprint, or without even scanning one.”

              Do you have that? No, you don’t. So why are we discussing it? Besides, in order to account for FRAUD, you would need to have this kind of thing happen on a VERY LARGE SCALE in order for it to not show up in the actas, and auditoria, etc.

              Seriously, just give it up. You’ve made it clear that you have ZERO evidence. Capriles is a lying piece of shit, and you are his sheep.

            • I should also say Navarro, the fact that all of you have believed all of Capriles claims without ANY actual evidence to back them up says a lot about you. I wonder how many other complete lies you’ve taken at face value? Surely a lot.

        • If the teachers are acting from dishonest motives the dialogue its clearly a fraud that no bullied kid should collaborate with !!

          In the instant case however Im not convinced that the regime holds all the cards . For one , no one is getting paid because the country is for all practical purposes bankrupt and likely to remain so unless there are changes that help bring it back to financial health , Brazil is now a ‘has been’ in the govt books replaced by the munificent and much more sagacious chinese with their securitized future oil deliveries ( Brazil knows this ) , They also badly need to get somethings from the US and might go along with its designs if thats the price for getting them . Colombia is giving quiet notice (no more gas supplies) that it isnt going to play along with the regimes interests except to the extent necessary until they get their peace process settled , then they will show their true colours which strategically will reveal that they want an ideologically friendlier nation as a neighbor . One which can once again become the good trade partner it once was. The Vatican (not the local Church) I suspect has had all along a quiet long term strategy for making Venezuela once again what we all want but being very subtle about it . Not sure about the rest but every one has his own fish to fry in this kettle of masked plans and ambitions .

          If I wanted to create conditions for a regime change the way I would do it is to feign great friendship with it , get as many advantages from the relationship while the going was good and then after having gained the regimes confidence doing what might help turn things to where I really want them to go.

          Still all these are conjectures in my part and the most credible scenario on the surface is that the regime will not be embarrassed by these countries if its doesnt play a fair game .

    13. Gandhi, MLK, Christ, & Buddha. They all changed the world with their pacifism. The power and money the bully clings to is illusory and temporary at best.

      • Julien,

        The laws in the spiritual world are not always the same as in the material world .
        Even so I leave you with an inconvenient Gandhi quote:

        “I have been repeating over and over again that he who cannot protect himself or his nearest and dearest or their honour by non-violently facing death may and ought to do so by violently dealing with the oppressor. He who can do neither of the two is a burden. He has no business to be the head of a family. He must either hide himself, or must rest content to live for ever in helplessness and be prepared to crawl like a worm at the bidding of a bully”

        Franklin Brito tried to set an example of self starvation ( which is a very violent thing to do by the way)…others , like the young people would do a grave disservice to themselves and others with their whole future head of them to do so,but they can shine their talents through protest.

    14. Rodrigo,

      A couple of years ago someone from the pro-Chávez party Die Linke said something about their desire to bring communism to Germany. Germany is a very pluralistic society. There was a huge discussion about what they meant and they were forced to say they recognised the state of law, the constitution and – listen – the division of powers.

      This is not a minor thing. Morales, the previous head of the Supreme Court, said basically she shat on said division of powers. Her successor is no better. At the same time Diosdado Cynical Cabello has said a couple of times the government is completely for the division of powers.

      Now imagine a dialogue behind closed doors. We ask to make this concrete. Do you know what anyone of them, including Villegas, will say?
      “Tú crees que somos pendejos?”

      We must say during an open debate we firmly believe the division of powers is a farce today and we must say why exactly and we must challenge the government to reply to that and let us have a right to reply to their answer.

      Forget about discussing those issues during a sancocho in a reclusive spot in Caracas or elsewhere.

    15. Dialogue was super helpful. It divided the opposition even more. The “freezing” of the dialogue will keep doing the job of dividing even more.

      El comandante eterno lo sabia, divide and conquer.

    16. The real bullies are those who engage in violent protests, block off streets, shoot and kill policemen, throw molotov cocktails at the national guard, deface public buildings, set trucks carrying food on fire, decapitate motorcyclists with barbed wire, etc. etc…… all because they think they should be in power despite not having won a majority of the votes.

      Nice job trying to reframe it though Emiliana. You all are pros at taking reality and distorting it beyond all recognition. 2002 wasn’t a coup… it was a “power vacuum”!! Leopoldo wasn’t calling for the overthrow of the government…. he was just asking the president to resign!! heee heee!!

      • and that would be … ? Lemme see. Voters? Nah, not needed with all the mechanisms controlled by the bully. International legitimacy? Yeah, closer. Delay tactics against the roll-out of individual sanctions? I smell burning from Diosdado’s behind (though he isn’t yet named as a target) …

    17. Betty’s comment above is rather interesting. This is exactly how most chavistas see Venezuela’s present situation. This is why, for me, it is very important that if the “dialogues” continue, that they’re televised. This would give the opposition a chance to explain to the country that violent protests are a reaction to the government’s and colectivos’ violent response, that blocking off streets is to protect themselves from violent repression by government and colectivos (if this is the case), that the shooting and killing of policemen have been in its majority committed by PNB, GNB and colectivos, that throwing molotov cocktails at the national guard has been in self defense, that defacing public buildings and setting trucks on fire have been committed in general by pro-government groups. This would have to be done by showing actual proof and not by just saying that we do have proof.

      • HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAA!!! Yes, let me see if I can sum up Charlie’s view of what is happening in Venezuela.

        All things good = opposition All things bad = government

        Done!

    18. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAA!!! Yes, let me see if I can sum up Betty’s view of what is happening in Venezuela.

      All things good = government All things bad = opposition

      Done!

      This is why proof must be presented not just blah, blah, blah. This applies to both sides.

      • Actually, no, I admit that the government has committed many abuses, and done many things wrong. I just don’t think that means they should be overthrown undemocratically.

        Nice try though Charlie. BTW, do you really think the opposition protesters are just doing everything in “self defense”? I find it fascinating that anyone could convince themselves of that.

        • I can see how you would think that redress for these many abuses would be tantamount to calling for an overthrow of the government. It is not, but I can understand the confusion on your part.

        • Now we have dialog Betty. You admit here that the government has abused the people.

          I would posit that the abuse is systemic. I read from a previous post that you deny this, but I would point to neutral international observers that would agree with me and would disagree with you.

          If the abuse is systemic in the government then the government is responsible. And abuse as we see in the videos is criminal, therefore the government is criminal.

          If you support a criminal you are at best a stooge if not a criminal yourself.

          So if you have a properly formed conscious you would now be with the opposition denouncing a criminal government 🙂

          But I guess that will be too much for you.

          However, Betty, will you concede that the abuser of Marvinia should be in jail alongside Leopoldo Lopez?

        • ………… BTW, do you really think the opposition protesters are just doing everything in “self defense”? No I don’t. That’s why I want proofs presented during televised discussion, which can then be refuted by government using valid arguments and proofs otherwise, not just it’s so because we say so, and that applies to all sides.

        • This year a former military and coup monger will be released from prison in Venezuela, after being in jail for his actions. He won’t be able to run for president ever. His name is Hugo Chávez. Wait! Although he was 2 years in prison, he was pardoned and was not even condemned even if he was responsible of the murder of a lot of innocent people. He got thus a blank record in spite of his crimes! And he became the president of Venezuela!

    19. On an issue of historical accuracy : after Hindenburgs death Hitler joined the offices of President and Reichschancellor into a single all powerful office which he assummed , after which ” Hitler had a plebiscite held on 19 August 1934, in which the German people were asked if they approved of Hitler merging the two offices. The Ja (Yes) vote amounted to 90% of the vote.”.

      It appears as if some people historical memory isnt so great after all .

      I of course am not shy of considering my opinions on what makes a democracy a democracy absolutely correct , I have a long list of reputed authors and thinkers sharing it 100% .

      Others of course are entitled to their own sorry superstitions .!!

      • Wrong. Hitler was already in power at that time, and had already banned other parties. Germany was already a one-party state by this time.

        Try again. And learn basic history for heaven’s sake.

        • He was in power all right but the 90% vote wasnt faked, it was a plesbicite and it was for real !, the German people could have voted for not allowing him to assumme both offices , but they overwhelmingly voted for his assumming the combined office of Reichscancellor and Fuhrer , giving him absolute power !! Nothing more democratic than that !!

          There was another later plesbicite which resulted in a 99% favourable vote , but Ill let you find out which it was !! hitler was much more popular than Maduro with his measly contested 1% mayority .

          Your command of history is as poor as your understanding of political conepts is primitive ! but hey !! if thats what you like to believe …every one is entitled to wallow in his own delusion !!

          • Yes, Hitler’s plebiscite on his rule was “democratic”, after he has banned all other political parties and created a one-party state.

            It is baffling how anyone can be so idiotic.

            • Hitlers popularity when he rose as leader of a strong unified germany was uncontested . no one at the time doubted that the 90% vote was genuine , not even his opponents .Even today no historian has claimed that the plesbicite was fraudulent . Your cute assumption that popularity only favours the kind of leaders you happen to like is idiotic in the extreme and has time and again been refuted by history. e.g. Senator McCarthy was enourmously popular in the US when he launched his anti red conspiracy campaign .

              Another example of a malignant leader achieving a sordid kind of popularity of course is Chavez , all his megalomanical idiocies and buffoonish pomposities might even have helped make him more popular than he deserved to be. There is no accounting for peoples fickle tastes . Now the ruined country he bequeathed to his succesors is facing the reality of his failed and broken brand of leadership. Goes to show popularity, isnt everything .!!

            • http://youtu.be/bCewIOgIzYQ

              Betty

              Here is a video that shows more than all these lying nitty pickin comments of yours.Look at the real cowardly bullies :” strong men dressed in protective gear, armed and dangerous picking on one girl,dressing in jeans and a flimsy top.

              I am sick to death of your kind of people.

              I see your bad intentions and I see your lies.People like youwill pay in the end, believe me.

            • Uh, they are just searching her bag. This is quite normal activity for security forces, especially in the presence of violent protesters.

              There is no evidence that anything was planted. Shit, even people from the opposition can see that:

              “coño mis panas, yo solo veo a un GN colocando una botella de vinagre o agua y una toalla, nose que le estará sempbrando. Y por lo visto el bolso estaba vacío porque (como ya me ha tocado) te sacan todo lo que tienes en el bolso para ver que tienes y luego te lo vuelven a colocar. Maldita sea la GN y su falta de valor, pero tampoco caigamos en amarillismo chimbo. #resistencia”

              Even your own supporters can see that this is nonsense. And you claim that I’m lying??? What a joke.

        • Carlson,

          That’s right: Chavismo is much more similar to Putin’s new Russia…except that Putin is much more popular than even Chávez in his best times…whereas Maduro is not popular at all.
          There are some differences between Russia and Venezuela, like Venezuelans can elect certain local representatives like governors in ways it is no possible in Russia, but the effect is basically the same: the Madurista Supreme Court and the whole apparatus just diverts money from opposition representatives and that’s all. Media is not quite the same but what gets “compensated” in one place, gets compensated in somethng else in the other place. For instance: we have slightly more reach with a couple of newspapers whereas Russia has basically Novaja Gazeta…but then most Venezuelans don’t read much and Venezuela’s Internet speed is the slowest in the American continent with the exception of Cuba and Bolivia, which are slightly slower.

          In Russia like in Venezuela there is no division of powers.
          In Russia like in Venezuela there is no rule of law.
          Elections are a requirement but not enough to call a system “democracy”.

    20. Another good comment section derailed by a troll. Replying to a troll is like having negotiations with the bully in the story.

      One good thing came out of this dialogue with the government. There seems to be consensus on the futility and danger of negotiating with an oppressive regime. I’m glad because before the dialogue started few people were speaking up against it and mostly those in favor were commenting, now is the other way around.

      Notice I use the word “negotiation” instead of “dialogue” because to me there is nothing wrong with having a dialogue and some positive things may even come out of it but generally nothing concrete should be expected from it. Negotiating with a regime is dangerous and counterproductive. No concessions should be given to a regime just demands (and a dialogue is good for that) and no promises should be accepted. There should be no conditions to placate the protests or tit for tat, much less quid pro quo.

      Having made that distinction, this particular case to me is clearly more a dialogue than a negotiation. The people in the table are not making concessions to the government nor can they, and that is fine. They are letting them know what they think needs to happen in Venezuela, that is all. Nothing concrete should be expected from the government, at least I did not have any expectations in that sense so I do not feel like the dialogue was a failure.

      As the image of the MUD is being affected for sustaining the dialogue with the government, and having said what needed to be said, it is time to end it for now.

    21. I think this post is written more to feel smart than to really analyze the situation. Dialogue is a necessity, not a game. The alternative is appalling, and gloating in schadenfraude is, ultimately, simply stupid.

      Half of the country has been ridiculing the MUD for agreeing to talk. When the MUD calls it off (or suspends it, okay), then they mock the MUD for calling it off. And they further mock it for calling it off instead of knocking down the table. What are they thinking? Is there a single reason to feel happy if the possibility of dialogue is eradicated altogether? What? Do we have the power to win any other kind of confrontation? Would we rather escalate the body count and feel victorious because it appears on the evening news on some country that doesn’t really care? Do we have the guns to confront the escalation of violence from the government? Why do we act as if we had?

      I don’t think this is remotely a symmetrical war. It’s not even a war, but we seem to rally for it to be one. This is not a matter of street protests versus dialogue: one should feed the other, and the asymmetrical war should be fought in both fields. Wether or not we like Aveledo o Ramos Allup, closing the door to dialogue is a tragedy. This reminds me of the situation in Spain prior to the Civil War, when Republicans, oblivious to the coming fire, threw more gasoline into it and ultimately allowed the war to happen. And no, the alternative there was not only communism; the Republicans blew it and paved the way to Franco with their blood.

    22. Funny, betty the little guerrilla comunicacional tarifado strikes again.
      Come on, little fascist SoB, I know you want to say it as you have it between chest and back:
      “The girl student on the ULA deserved to be raped because I hate her for being a escuaca.”
      That’s what he says by using all those useless excuses, he shows the chavismo at its very essence, chavistas are just school bullies who would use every excuse imaginable to justify their sickening viveza (aka being a mamag****o by the Chigüire Bipolar), it’ll use any slander and lie to make the targets of their abuses aceptable (Remember the “si lo metieron preso POR ALGO SERÁ”)
      For chavistas, everything they do is right, and everything the others do is wrong, they see themselves as the mighty slavers with the birthright to step above anybody and take anything they want just because they are “los vivos” and the others are “los pendejos” and for them, “los pendejos” only exist to satisfy every single whim of “los vivos”.

      • Funny, Ralph the oppo moron strikes again.
        Come on, little fascist SoB, I know you want to say it as you have it between chest and back:
        “The girl student on the ULA deserved to be shot in the face because she was removing a barricade.”
        That’s what he says by using all those useless excuses, he shows the opposition at its very essence, oppos are just school bullies who would use every excuse imaginable to justify their violent hatred for the poor majority, it’ll use any slander and lie to make the targets of their abuses aceptable (Remember the “Uh ah, Chavistas van a morir” that they chanted at the UCV?)
        For oppo morons, everything they do is right, and everything the others do is wrong, they see themselves as the mighty slavers with the birthright to step above anybody and take anything they want just because they are “los vivos” and the others are “los pendejos” and for them, “los pendejos” only exist to satisfy every single whim of “los vivos”.

        • Honestly betty, I hope you’re enjoying the benefits of planned central control of every aspect of Venezuelan society. They don’t even allow you to have your own thinking process. They fuck you up…. As they usually do with everything they dare to touch.
          As the stupid left did in Chile with Allende
          As the stupid left did (and do) in Cuba
          As the stupid left did in the URSS
          As the stupid left did Peru back in the 80
          As the stupid left did In Nicaragua
          As the stupid left did in Eastern Europe

          I really don’t want to go through all this examples of inefficiency and lack of skills when running countries, but they always have something in common: they were led by commies and lefties loonies with similar ideas as you.

          And of course, they always blame others for their inefficiency and their lack of common sense in government: the CIA, the judeo-masonic conspiration, the Japanese, ET, el nino, la nina, the church, the atheists, the sun and the moon, UK, France, the EU, my mum and dad…everyone but themselves.

          Exhausting honestly, after so many examples to continue with this.

          Your type simply doesn’t have a cure for their lack of grasp of simple things

          • Venelondoner, as I’ve stated before: “Betty” the troll, why even bother? Sorry but most of you guys fall right into her lap. El látigo de la indiferencia con l@s trolls…why get sidetracked? That is their mission. They are completely blinded by their brainwashed stalinistic cubanoid gringolas.
            If Bleached Blonde Attorney General threatens the US Gvmnt with returning sanctions, and she thinks they really care, just shows how absolutely devoid of any logical/critical thinking their impunity mindset is. Sociopaths…that why I don’t even see how they can sit and dialogue at all.
            It’s like talking dzongka to the Maories. Two very different, distant pages. That’s why I despair.

            • True, apologies…. es que a veces estos carajos… en serio. Pana son 15 annos escuchando idioteces!

          • venelondoner, you sound really intelligent. I don’t think I could possibly respond to such a brilliant comment.

            • Te entiendo y siento lastima por ti. La peste roja destruyo todo vestigio de razon en tu persona.
              Lamentablemente, conozco a varios iluminados como tu…

            • El pobre hipócrita es el ejemplo perfecto del chaburro, ahora salió inventando que a la chica que casi violaron unos choros en la ULA, a la cual ese enfermo está culpando (porque tiene que justificar como sea a los choros), disque le iban a meter unos tiros por “remover una barricada”.
              Estaré cansado de quitar barricadas cuando voy de mi trabajo a mi casa y nadie me sale a amenazar ni nada, simplemente al ver que soy un ciudadano común y termino de pasar, ellos cierran de nuevo sin ningún peo.
              Pero el tarifado en su pobre hipocresía siempre buscará la excusa, justo como el matón, todo lo que dice y hace es para convencerse a sí mismo de que está haciendo algo bueno.
              Eso se llama disociación, y los chavistas lo tienen por montón en sus cabezas, y es así desde que se criaron como unos matones resentidos de carajitos.

        • I wonder what would happen to Betty if she went out and started filming the national guard and police when they are breaking up one of the violent protest. She could explain to them that she is on the governments side and she wants to show how violent the students are and how well mannered the guard is.

    23. “There is something about Betty” which is quite enlightening to understand Chavismo. They are in power and they have no reason to be reasonable. Say what you may, but in the televised dialog a few weeks back Chavismo brought their A-team to bear to the debate/talk and showed this much.Their rhetoric is based on a tit-for-tat / top-this argumentation, or put differently “I do this because you did worse”.

      So Betty will spew the talking points impassive to any reason. I imagine her plum job and her self esteem depends on Chavismo so she will doggedly defend the hand that feeds her.

      I am now certain that there is no ‘chavismo inteligente’, so the driving principle is ‘might makes right’.

      And Betty, if you decide to reply to this and argue for ‘chavismo inteligente’, I will only consider it valid if you can show me some Chavismo self criticism, even some in Aporrea will do this much. I must acknowledge that you did denounce violence at my request and after I had done the same. So tell me what should Chavismo do different now?

    24. Emiliana, good post, as usual. A nit: “dribble”=”drivel”. The Mud tactically had to “dialogue” to answer to international norms. They foolishly expected to at least get the release of Simonovich on “humanitarian” grounds, in exchange for recognizing the Oppo as instigators of the April. 11 “coup”/massacre (big mistake). Little else was to have been gained negotiating with the Bully, who, being “on top”, foolishly thinks he doesn’t have to give in to any Oppo demands. I firmly believe that “Robertagate” was based on a real MUD request to not rock the boat in their Quixotic quest to gain something from tilting at the Windmill Bully.

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