Resign…? More like resigned

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Que no es no, vale
Que no es no, vale

Yesterday Henrique Capriles also shut the door on the idea of a Constitutional Assembly, or even the resignation of Nicolás Maduro, a man he used to claim “stole an election.” Basically, he said that without a new CNE, the Constituyente was a no-go, and that Maduro wasn’t going to resign anyway, so there was no point in asking for it.

In other words, Capriles’ position is “we need to learn to put up with this.” He offers no clear path, no answers to the pickle the country is in. He didn’t say it outright, but he has become the leader of the “let’s wait until 2018” party. Because, let’s face it, changing one group of chavistas at the CNE for another group is not going to change anything. It may even make things worse.

When did “hay un camino” (“there is a way,” Capriles’ slogan for the 2012 campaign) become “no hay una vía que te lleve rápido” (“there is no easy way out”)? Capriles is the leader of the opposition alright – the opposition to Leopoldo and Maria Corina. He seems broken, like a man who has been defeated at the polls one too many times. And the opposition? Well, the division within our ranks has never been more stark.

Oh, and while we were busy navel-gazing, chaos is exploding in Iraq, and it is driving oil prices higher.

But hey, let’s all enjoy the World Cup or whatever.

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1 COMMENT

    • he’s probably the most sane and realistic leader, the “salida” has proven to be useless and costly at this point.

      The only easy way would be that miraculously out of nowhere reasonable military people would pop up and fix the country for us and they’re nowhere in sight. I have already come to terms with the fact that we may have to wait at least 2 more years until the recall referendum and that even then they may get a new dakazo out of their asses and win again and again and again.

      As long as chavistas keep swallowing wathever vtv throws at them, managing to survive with the leftovers of wathever oil revenue the goverment won’t have stolen, there is very little to do. The goverment seems to be in a slow and steady popularity decline tho.

  1. Yes, we will enjoy the world cup. I think it is unfair to restrict ourselves to a life of suffering and depression. Some of us are already fed up after 15 years of this bullshit and consequences start to notice with decreased health, low productivity, mood swings and the like.

    I have no moral grounds to tell people not to enjoy things like the World Cup, they’ve already spent a hundred days getting shot, killed, tortured, jailed and denied of basic rights to no avail. Maduro only grew stronger (the guy is certainly invincible and i see him 20 or more years there). Capriles simply dissapeared so glaringly that even Maduro doesn’t mention him. Leopoldo waits for 10 years behind bars and MCM’s head is next to roll.

    The solution for a military problem is a military coup. And that won’t happen ever because oppo never devoted the time and resources to infiltrate armed forces just like the wax doll did for all these years.

    They did not understand venezuela’s “cuartel” dynamics laying hope on building a “mayoria” out of a 40% bunch of monkeys whose only goal in life is to get a “casita digna” for free. Even Capriles, once a statesman, yielded to these demands and started to offer the very same “casita digna” to try and catch the hordes. It didn’t work out as expected and now he’s sin chivo y sin mecate.

    Stop salivating about a Pinochet like scenario, where a ruthless dictator simply steps down due to unfavorable results. These guys are Castro’s heirs and there is no possibility whatsoever to bring them down peacefully.

    Lacking coup?, enjoy the cup.

    • Amen to that… I can’t stop being annoyed by all this though. These “people” destroyed my country: Venezuela is no longer Venezuela. I’ve got literally no friends or acquaintances living in Caracas anymore (apart from my parents)

      I now have a daughter who was born 20 days ago in a little island of the North Sea and who doesn’t have the prospect of meeting her grandparents in the foreseeable future (my dad is very ill and mum is looking after him)

      Do I hate chavistas? Have a guess….. funny thing, my beloved and much admired dad is a chavista duro.

      I will certainly enjoy the WC; at least it will be something different than the usual moaning about being citizen of a no-country full of people who just don’t care what Venezuela has become. Starting by the “leader” of the opposition.

    • Pinochet didn’t just “step down” because he lost one election.
      Chileans spent more than 10 straight years with the country covered in war-like protests before the fabled referendum.
      Capriles and the other wimps in the mud embody the “easy way out” of chavismo: “Just wait until the next election, wet the pinky, and let us do the rest, YOU DO NOT HAVE TO WORK FOR ANYTHING. And if we don’t win, don’t worry! Just go hide in a hole so they won’t notice you another 6 years more, problem solved!”
      Too many people still want some “magic way out” that just makes chavistas to change their mind, guess what, folks? The chavistas just want us dead so they can steal whatever stuff we’ve worked for.

  2. This is a terrible thing to post, but perhaps Henrique Capriles and a large majority of the opposition movement have failed to understand the lessons of human history and how most political power is achieved, the threat of violence. Sorry, I’m not advocating violence here, but posturing in front of the world camera’s with massive political demonstrations might not cut it. History tells you that. Sorry. Recall the evil look on Cabello’s face in parliament as he watched Machado being punched in front of him. He was not afraid. There was no threat of retaliation. Human dignity was lost at that moment. Next week Machado may be forced into a jail cell and face the very same thing Afiuni did. Despicable. The counter weight to that is the threat of personal, physical violence. The only real threat to the regime today is the military. Sorry for posting this.

    From the book, “Why Violence Works,”
    “But there is an alternative view, one that assigns violence a primary role in politics. This outlook is implied by Mao Zedong’s well-known aphorism that political power “grows out of the barrel of a gun.” Violence, in other words, is the driving force of politics, while peaceful forms of political engagement fill in the details or, perhaps, merely offer post-hoc justifications for the outcomes of violent struggles. Mao corrected Clausewitz by characterizing politics as a sequel to or even an epiphenomenon of violence—a continuation of violence by other means.”

    http://chronicle.com/article/Why-Violence-Works/140951/

  3. Chavistas may be lumpenproletariat (as Bocaranda Sardi called them today in Runrunes) but they play power politics instinctively with no moral restraints to speak of, let us not forget that boycotting the elections 10 years ago instead of giving them pause, just gave them the opportunity of locking up the congress.

    Then, let us not forget that 30% of voters still back Chavismo out of need or conviction, 40% don’t have the guts or are too scared to move away from the Ninis bucket (I actually think that nini is quite an appropriate term for them), finally 30% oppo. If on top of that you put an untrustworthy CNE, what is the point of going to elections? If the elections are even close, they will fix it to their favor as they did last year and give them a dull patina of legitimacy.

    So it’s a slow boil process here. I hope their incompetence will erode their 30% somewhat in time (don’t fire Giordani, he is a useful idiot!), and the 40% will stiffen their spine and take a position. But my real concern is that the 30% opposition will just leave Venezuela to Miami as the Cubans did in their time. At the end Fidel won, it is HIS country with his feckless servants.

  4. The Venezuela Political Conundrum; how to get rid of the government if?

    1) The arms/weapons are in the government hands
    2) The CNE (Electoral Council) is completely controlled by the government
    3) The military forces are backing the government and greatly weaponized mainly by Russia
    4) The Supreme Court is controlled by the government
    5) The National Assembly is completely controlled and supporting the government blindly
    6) The impoverished oil sector is simply funneling all their revenue to support the “beautiful revolution”
    7) There is no auditing or accountability in the treasuries of the Central Bank, PDVSA, Fonden, Chinese Fund, etc…
    8) The Attorney General is subdued and blindly following orders by the government, UNCONDITIONALLY
    9) The private media is simply disappearing under the government control or ownership and censorship is flagrant.
    10) There is NO accountability to the thousands of documented and systematic human rights violations carried the government. Sources: Foro Penal ONG & Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
    11) Inflation for 2014 is expected to reach almost a three digit figure. Source: UBS Capital, Barclays Bank.
    12) Cuba’s inherence in our political day-to-day is simply growing extensively and invasively.
    13) Venezuela’s liquid/expendable foreign reserves are simply nonexistent. Where is the money?
    14) Hemisphere and neighboring governments are simply “allowing” the social/economic and political chaos to continue in Venezuela without any kind of effective “intervention”.
    15) The systematic destruction of the industrial private sector has been carried out efficiently by the government (60% of the private sector has simply disappeared) Source: Fedecamaras
    16) Income per Capita, using SICAD2 exchange rate, will reach the level of $ 1560. This means about $130/month, $30/week or $4.30/day. Source: World Bank & BCV
    17) Venezuela political opposition group MUD is completely fractioned and politically questioned.
    18) Opposition leaders are behind bars or aggresively persecuted.
    19) Government controls over 60% of the food supply-chain. Source: Fedeagro
    20) Venezuela owns a record $25 billion in arrears to importers, but by the same token presents a current account of minus 5 billions. Their ability to pay short and medium term debt is NILL. (Source: economy watch.com)

    Is there a way out? A Constitutional way seems unrealistic and unviable. Then what?

    • CISARO,
      That is a depressing overview of Venezuela today. Great list.
      A couple of dead Castros and a return to democracy in Cuba would be a start.

      Alcoholics must hit bottom before improving. Venezuelan is going deeper and deeper with no sight of improvements.

    • You’re looking at it: Popular misery, except it needs to get worse. The people won’t OVERTHROW this disguised neo-dictatorship you well describe until they are really, really pissed off, and even HUNGRY. We need more escasez, more colas, more inflacion, less harina pan, and it will blow.

      Remember when the French hit La Bastille? It wasn’t the ideals of the Enlightment era,, bread, my friend BREAD is what they craved, Or, more recently, ask the Egyptians.

        • techkampfer, no. I think you do not understand my suggestion.

          Firstly, note that my comment is in reply to a question regarding how to get a change of government when the incumbent is such a populist. My answer is that to garner support from poor people one needs to have a proposal that appeals to the poor, though not necessarily “populist” in the sense that you seem to mean. If you disagree, please explain how you would get support from a group of voters without a platform that is in their interest.

          Secondly, my suggestion of UBI:

          A) would not be “populist” in the sense of promising detrimental policy just because it gains votes; it would be *popular*, especially with the poor, but it is based on sound socio-economic principles, so it would not be “populist” in the detrimental sense, nor close to what social democrats tout.

          B) would be a historic change of tremendous magnitude. Implemented correctly, it would eliminate the petrostate model, thus killing most of its related corruption and mismanagement, eliminate poverty, eliminate the need to work for survival, help decongestion of cities, reactivate the banking system and the consumer market, incorporate, on and on.

  5. Caprilito is no leader. Just a little politician de pueblo, a populist, way too idealistic and religious too. That’s why Leopoldo is the one in jail. He should become Maria Corina’s Gobernador de Barinas, or something.

    • Carlos,

      Do you remember Simon Bar Kokhba’s and his revolt? Probably not, but it had devastating results for first centrury Jews. Do you remember Jesus of Nazareth? Of course you do, his movement finally conquered the Roman empire.

      Thinking of power in a “Game of thrones” mentality is exactly what we should not do, unless you have an army behind you and you don’t mind blood shed. Think of Mao’s communist savagery or Stalin’s “how many divisions does the Pope have?” quip. The fruits of violence can be very dangerous and are often short lived.

      I am not advocating pacifism and surrender, not at all, but responding with violence and hate only begets more violence and hate. I think Capriles has this much clear.

      These are hard times, and you cannot jump the gun and ‘pisar el peine’, but you have to have realistic expectations. “la salida” is no exit, and it will rest in the dustbin of “Paro Petrolero” and “Elections boycots”. What if Chavistas brought up a constitutional reform right now and they did win by trickery or popular vote?

      Chavistas hold all the cards and their proven incompetence will do them in.

      • “la salida” is no exit, and it will rest in the dustbin of “Paro Petrolero” and “Elections boycots”.

        Except just after #LaSalida came two resounding electoral victories…

        • I really don’t get the conception that if the country does worse, we have a better chance of making a shift. Is the opposition so lacking of ideas?

          Countries don’t hit rock bottom. Countries can always do worse.

          • Rodrigo, I couldn’t agree more with you. Those who think a social implosion might occur because an economic catastrophe are simply dreaming. History and humanity have showed us that for centuries dictatorial regimes can endure social collapses and economic hardships. The word “Stoic” comes from this phenomenon; whereas people simply endures and even finds “relative” satisfaction in order to cope with endless dire straits situations. It’s sad, but it’s simply a reality.

          • Countries can always do worse, of course (Haiti, Afghanistan, and yes Venezuela) but governments popular support follow the downward trend, this is particularly true when the population can see the contrast between what seemed like ‘good times’ and ‘bad times’ as Venezuelans are seeing between 2012 and 2013-2014.

            Is the opposition lacking ideas? Maybe. They certainly lack appeal to most of Chavismo. But I am not sure it is a matter of ideas anymore, when I read Aporrea, I see more of a tribalism or identity politics.

            Likewise, the opposition has severe restrictions in promoting their ideas given the restrictions on the press.

            I see Chavistas as addicts. They will not reason with you, no can only let them reach rock bottom, then they may come around, maybe then we will move from identity politics to ideas.

          • Rodrigo,

            It is true that things can always get worse.There are alcoholics who never hit bottom till they die…but still they have to hit bottom( their bottom before they quit).

            People simply do not make radical changes based on reason alone.That is not human nature for most of us.Most of us have a bottom, but that bottom is a lot lower for some people than for others.How sick o you have to be before you react and make radical changes in your life?

          • I am not arguing that people will be fed up by bad management (although North Korea comes to mind). But that alone is not sufficient nor a reasonable strategy for progress. Much less should be a political strategy for an opposition to desire that the country does worse.

      • Mistakes of one side doesn’t mean the other will capitalize them, more if the MUD doesn’t really want to handle power.

        Also, there’s a clear difference between free violence and localized violence

  6. Right now capriles is playing the perfect opposition person to the regime: The one that claims that the one and only way out of chavismo is to wait until the next election, and, if they steal the elections again, well, shrug and wait until the next one.

    The slaughter of april 2002 was the most powerful political move of chavismo, because it engraved in the minds of people the idea that “if you don’t want elections, then the chavistas will KILL you and steal everything you have, so be quiet and wait for the next election.”

  7. Do you remember “el cuento del gallo pelon”? Or maybe the game “si la ensartas pierdes y si no tambien!”
    Those seem to be Capriles games……at the same time Cisaro list tells the whole conundrum Venezuela’s in.

  8. People are enjoying the World Cup, sure:

    https://twitter.com/Watcher_Ven/status/477141472752730112/photo/1

    Heh.

    Capriles was made irrelevant since Leopoldo delivered himself, that was almost the whole point of it. Overall, the options are:

    1)Protesting, which people are still doing.
    2)Airplane tickets to anywere/buses to Cucuta.

    I see the chavista support base eroding every day, long lines, high crime and repression do that. Or you believe that people on Caracas are happy with water rationing, as an example? And there’s the other thing, LL and MCM are also trying to get people to cross the bridge, by focusing on the scarcity and high crime rates. Which does work BTW, the protests wouldn’t be so massive if it didn’t.

    One good thing would be if Santos gets out, Zuluaga would shake things on the international front.

    • I don’t get you. I would say Leopoldo made himself irrelevant since he delivered himself. Utterly amateurish delivery, and since then he’s been studying Venezuela history and assorted random subjects with the occasional letter and quietly accepted denial of visiting rights. OK….

      What about Simonovis? “I’ll go on hunger strike… not a bite more until I get a response to my appeal”. “Oh, the response is no… ok, that’s fine, I guess I can stop my hunger strike then”. Utterly amateurish again.

      I’m not convinced that the Maduro regime needs to be toppled by military force, since it seems very likely to collapse of its own internal contradictions (something I imagine forms part of Capriles’ strategy). But any opposition needs to muster more than the amateur stream of consciousness that comes from LL, MCM and company.

      • “Quietly accepted”. You have a strange definition of that, since it said denial have mean more press declarations, including the latest interview.

        Simonovis is not a politician. He’s only trying to not rot on jail, so any mistakes that he does only affect him. (It was evident that the regime was going to let him die like Franklin Brito, so he shouldn’t have done a hunger strike on the first place).

        Also, apparently your definition of amateur implies anybody that isn’t on the “wait until 2019” team. And here’s a question for the audience, for all the talk of peeling off chavista votes: Who would vote for someone that doesn’t stick to his convictions? Capriles has no credibility whatsoever, as a direct consequence of the huge difference between his pre-election and post-election messages and the botched dialogue efforts. A pre-requisite to swap teams is a minimal of respect for the other side.

        • I see nothing of substance coming from LL at the moment. He’s obviously not communicating with the other major figures in the MUD, considering their response to his constitutional assembly proposal. The whole organization of the marches leading up to his surrender was, as I say amateurish and even bumbling. These “leaders” weren’t even able to effectively marshal and protect their supporters, leaving stragglers to be picked off by collectivo thugs.

          About Simonovis, is “secretario de Seguridad de la Alcaldía Metropolitana de Caracas” not a political position? It’s pretty clear that the regime will let him rot and die in jail, whether he wants it or not. His only option at the moment is to choose when to die.

          And don’t bother yourself trying to decide for me what my definition of amateur is. I agree that Capriles’ post-election behaviour was supine, and I don’t think it was a good idea to go back to being governor of Miranda, given that Jaua’s CorpoMiranda was going to be set up as a state within a state, but with funding. Capriles, for all his faults, knows that the D and E classes have to be on board, and he has to establish a connection with them, understand and reflect their concerns, before any democratic change can come about.

          You seem to think I’m being harsh on LL and MCM but these people aspire to be leaders of a coalition and they don’t even talk among themselves. I’ll repeat what I said: “opposition needs to muster more than the amateur stream of consciousness that comes from LL, MCM and company”.

  9. Wow, I can’t believe how unreasonable Capriles is. I mean, to think that Maduro should actually, you know, serve out his term like most elected leaders do in most countries. That’s so unreasonable! To think that the constitution should actually be respected and the opposition should actually have to win an election to take power! That’s so loony!

    • Betty, it seems you really are not aware how democracy functions in countries other than the Soviet Union or Cuba or North Korea. It is not a coup or a crime to ask for the resignation of a president or head of state before his mandate finishes…not in the US, not in Sweden, not anywhere like that.

      In fact: Nixon resigned for crimes that, albeit sufficient to demand his resignation, were less serious than Maduro’s.

      Unfortunately, in Venezuela there is no division of powers and there is no rule of law, two concepts that your wee brain does not seem to grasp.

    • The ones disrespecting elections are the chavistas.

      Ledezma won his election and chavistas neutered the Greater Caracas Mayor office, Scarano won his election with overwhelming support and was stripped from office arbitrarily, Daniel Ceballos won his election with overwhelming support and was stripped from office arbitrarily, and Maria Corina was the most voted parliamentarian in the National Assembly and her immunity was pierced unconstitutionally.

  10. Betty forgets that Term limits apply not only to presidents , they also apply to other gubernamental apppointees suchs as the CNE , The TSJ and other Officials whose time has run out but which are kept by the regime in office to avoid having the oppo representation in the Asamblea Nacional have a say in their selection . Also its not uncommon for presidents who grossly breach their constitutional duties to resign their offices before their term period is over. Example Nixon and in our case maduro.

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