Ad Wars: A video for the Constitutional Assembly

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What does the peanut gallery think?

Put aside your feelings about a Constitutional Assembly, and admit … that’s one rockin’ video.

1 COMMENT

  1. Sorry, but I find it incoherent. Both CNE and TSJ are rigged, ergo we need a constitutional assembly, but to achieve that we need an unrigged CNE (and TSJ, even if not mentioned in the video). Not to mention the heinous “poder originario”.
    Visually, it is very good.

    • Ah, I see. So we can’t try anything that is rigged. Ergo, no National Assembly either. No elections whatsoever. Got it.

      • I don’t think you do get it JC.Santiago is correct.The system is rigged so that there is no legal way out…only moral ways.Legality and morality are not the same thing.

        It is immoral to keep on playing into their hands, ….y punto.

    • I think it should be done just the same because any way you spin it, we’re screwed.
      We can say that the quicker alternative is removing them by force, or that the moral alternative is to wait it out, but the former means going up against the military -the only happy bunch- and if this year’s protests proved one thing, it’s that we’re not willing to be cannon fodder for so many thugs. Other countries have endured far worse for much longer than we have, so we shouldn’t expect this to crumble as long as there’s oil beneath our feet. Ergo, if we’re not ready to do the former and it’s pretty much useless to do the latter, we might as well play legal moves that’ll force the gov’t to get its hands dirty.

    • Speaking about the (obviously rigged) CNE, forgive my ignorance but isn’t there a way to get a guest institution, whether from another country or an international org to, run our elections parallel to the CNE, to draw both results and let the international comunity and the people here see if there is truly (definitely) a corrupt system in place.
      I mean, there has been more than a fair bit of scandal surrounding Smartmatic, the company that makes the machines for the CNE voting logistic, also the governments credibility has been at an all time low this year thanks to everything that’s happened, HRW openly critized Venezuela’s UN Security Council bid.
      That being said, I know plenty of people are going to say that the whole thing is going to get rigged with petro dollars, or that they can just get a country that’s a friend to the regime to run the election.
      All I’m asking is is its possible, and if it is, we demand to have the entire cohort of international orgs supervising the shit of the election, and in getting another country to run the elections parallel the opposition get to choose, and I don’t mean get the USA, that would give chavismo endless amount of rant ammo, we have to get a country as far and unrelated to us as possible, say United Kingdom, say New Zealand, Say Switzerland, or Germany, even Spain (even doe the regime might still find some colonialist bullshit justification here as well). The requirements are a trustworthy electoral system and few, if no, economical/political interest in Venezuela.

      • Normally, international observers need an invitation from the elections authority to even look over its shoulder. In the past, even getting those has been tough. A government that’s spent heavily on an election system it can mess with is just obviously never going to willingly hand over control over the whole thing to those it can’t control.

        Running a whole parallel election?! I don’t think you’re quite grasping how very, very far we are from having the kind of money, geographic reach, organizational chops and quality of leadership that it would take to pull something like this up. We’re really, *really* far from having any of those. We can’t even get enough properly trained witnesses in voting centers we *know* are problematic to even document the irregularities we already do know about.

        • “We can’t even get enough properly trained witnesses in voting centers we *know* are problematic to even document the irregularities we already do know about.”
          So: you no longer believe what deputy Caldera told you in that interview? Thy name shall no longer be Saul but Paul.

          🙂

  2. Constituyente no arregla el país:

    Ya el astuto Oscar Yánez lo sabía.
    Además que la constituyente no era legal en la constitución del 61.

  3. When the voice over is not well modulated with a reasonable tempo that would make everyone understand, the video becomes a lost exercise. Would someone, anyone in political parties that wish to promote a line, realize that both audio and visuals need to excel in order to be successful.

      • ¿Otra constituyente?
        ELÍAS PINO ITURRIETA
        5 DE OCTUBRE 2014 – 12:01 AM
        Las constituyentes no le han hecho mayores servicios a la sociedad venezolana, si juzgamos por los resultados. No es cierto que los progresos de la vida y el establecimiento de la democracia dependan de la redacción de un manual en cuyas reglas se encierre la clave para la edificación de una república hecha y derecha. La sociedad da tumbos mientras un grupo de legisladores de buena fe, o de aprovechadores de su representación en los congresos, o de taimados manejadores de un interés partidista se encierran a escribir las reglas de la convivencia. La convivencia pocas veces se entera del trabajo de esos sabios señores que pretenden escribir el evangelio de la felicidad colectiva, no en balde ella se forja progresivamente debido a los tropiezos y a los aciertos de la gente sencilla, sin conexiones con la pedagogía o con la pedantería de los legisladores.
        ¿Cuántas constituyentes se han llevado a cabo, desde el comienzo de la república? ¿Cuántas se recuerdan por su efecto en la sociedad, por la capacidad que tuvieron de transformar los hábitos de los venezolanos? ¿Cuántas dejaron un proyecto duradero de república, capaz de establecer formas respetables de cohabitación que permanecen a través del tiempo y por las cuales conviene jugarse el pellejo? Apenas un par de esas congregaciones exageradamente veneradas, porque el resto bien merece el olvido por lo que tuvo de manipulación y de ejercicio estéril, a menos que le concedamos provecho a los mamotretos que se faenaron para el servicio de las autocracias o para complacer a unos tutores que guardaban en la cabeza la pretensión de hacernos mejores y más útiles como pueblo. La aplastante mayoría de las constituyentes sucedidas a partir de la creación del Estado nacional apenas han sido ejercicios de retórica o burla de las necesidades del pueblo, es decir, testimonios de lo que no se debe hacer para que la sociedad encuentre el rumbo que merece partiendo de sus anhelos fundacionales de libertad y cívica decencia. Han sido, en términos abrumadores, un trabajo sin conexión con las urgencias de la sociedad, es decir, tiempo desperdiciado al cual se vuelve como si de veras hubiera sido provechoso, u horas infructuosas que se quieren repetir para pescar en río revuelto.
        Hay que ser enfático sobre el asunto, cuando vuelven a sonar los clarines de un nuevo aire constituyente que promete la apertura de un ciclo diverso para la sociedad. Apenas la reunión de representantes que tuvo la lucidez de separar a Venezuela de Colombia en 1830, de reclamar los fueros de una nación postergada por el beneficio de un gigante con pies de barro; y la extraordinaria asamblea del trienio adeco, en cuyas discusiones se formó la república democrática y popular que luchaba por su establecimiento desde la época de la Independencia, fueron capaces de llevar a la práctica un designio de colectividad que echó raíces para el bien de las mayorías. No solo por su duración temporal, sino especialmente por el vínculo que establecieron con la necesidad popular de modificar las formas de la existencia, cumplieron cometidos excepcionales.
        Debido a una publicidad interesada de Chávez, quien insistió en la trascendencia de la nueva Constitución hasta convertirla en adorno habitual de los líderes que salen en televisión, tanto “revolucionarios” como opositores, se ha magnificado el papel del manual redactado por la nueva generación de padres conscriptos. De allí que el trabajo de los constituyentes se haya convertido en un librito harto popular, tan cómodo que se puede llevar en el bolsillo, tan barato y socorrido que se regala en las calles de las ciudades, sin que se pueda saber a ciencia cierta para qué sirve, ni si estamos enterados a cabalidad de sus disposiciones, ni cómo se viola con el auxilio de la impunidad. Contra ese fetiche trata de levantarse el nuevo llamado a una constituyente, un desafío que no parece sencillo, pero también contra el sentido común. ¿Cómo convocar de manera solvente una nueva convención de hacedores de constituciones, cuando la vigente no ha dejado de tener popularidad y cuando las críticas de las mayorías no se han orientado contra su contenido, sino contra los dislates del gobierno? Por supuesto que los convocantes se pueden presentar como unos gigantes capaces de hacer lo que apenas han logrado dos congresos a través de una historia larga en decepciones generales y en triquiñuelas fraguadas en las curules, pero no parece que por sus luces calcen en esa horma. De allí la obligación de enmendarles la plana.

  4. My point is: anyone who believes the solution to Venezuela’s problems is a new constitution is either bone-headed, stupid or both.

  5. Whoa, you sound very commanding. I guess this is your blog then.

    I would give you my take on aspiring authority figures, but please refer to my answer to your Thatcher love letter.

    If you are, or not, the owner, I will give you a piece of advice anyway: be polite. Because being impolite and wrong at the same time is quite distasteful.

    Another: your points of view are not original, not good and most important of all, not backed by evidence.

    If you think objectivism and supply-side economics offer a solution to anything… you are deluded. Free-marketeers didn’t learn from 2008, the same way communists didn’t from 1989.

    Concerning the constitutions… Well, if 23 constitutions have solved nothing, why a 24th would?

    The very definition of madness is to repeat the same action and expect a different result.

    • I,

      Of course this is my blog. I am the editor.

      In case you haven’t figured it out yet (you must not speak Spanish), the video says the Constitutional Assembly would be to undo chavista grips on power, a topic you completely ignore in your ad-hominem comment. (Then again, my previous post wasn’t about Thatcher’s economics ideas at all either, so I think English is not your native language either – perhaps Finnish?)

      This post is about the video, not about the idea of the ANC. Of course, you don’t care to comment on the video, because you would like to deviate the conversation. That … is trolling.

      Since you dislike our points of view so much, I’m glad we won’t be seeing you again around here. Have a good day.

  6. My question is: who has the votes for a NAC? Really, does VP have more than the 15% of the electoral population to even collect the signatures *on its own*? Can it unite the entire opposition behind the idea? I don’t think so. And, honestly, if clean and fair elections were to be held, which political parties are the most likely winners? Mhm. So, isn’t the whole #2016 and #2019 strategy a let’s freaking build a solid majority?

    • “…does VP have more than the 15% of the electoral population to even collect the signatures *on its own*?”

      Well, they are the most popular oppo party at the moment, and they got 100k signatures already:

      http://www.noticierodigital.com/2014/10/vp-van-mas-de-100-mil-firmas-por-la-constituyente/

      So, let’s wait and see. An important point that Torrealba did is that is not Parlamentry elections vs. NAC anymore, both strategies can follow their own paths. So let’s relax a little.

      I mean, if VP is such an small party that will not be able to raise enough signatures on it’s own, why do you care?

  7. Ok, chevere todo, el video esta muy bien hecho y congrats a VP, la cosa es discutir

    a) como asegurar un CNE imparcial? el mismo video lo dice: sin eso no hacemos nada

    b) como asegurar que aun si hay un CNE imparcial no hayan sorpresitas planrepubliqueras / mision votoadentro?

    c) como asegurar que la recoleccion de firmas no se va a volver tascon 2.0?

    A diferencia de otros, esto no es una queja de “no hagamos nada” sino que antes de hacer algo debe haber al menos una idea plausible de como lidiar con esos nada despreciables inconvenientes…

    • It’s a well made cartoon (sound is terrible though) but a little infantile. Whoever made it evidently took time off from a regular job animating children cartoons, but whatever. I guess it mainly targets Venezuela’s ~7 million voters under 34 and this is the group most likely to take to the streets, and demand a referendum? Maybe the cool evil robot should look more like the “Ebola” virus for even greater effect. But jokes aside it is well made, no question.

      Regarding the general strategy of calling for a constitutional assembly, seems like there is nothing to lose, or?? I suppose it’s a question of timing but the situation for the chavernment probably won’t be getting rosier anytime soon.

      OT Can’t wait until Chavez junior starts work at the UN security council, that is gonna be fun (can you say “debacle”).

      OT anyone following what’s happening in Hong Kong?

      • “Regarding the general strategy of calling for a constitutional assembly, seems like there is nothing to lose”

        Repeat after me: lista tascon. Anything in venezuela that has to do with collecting signatures for something against the government will be forever haunted with the phantom of the infamous tascon list and its consequences… Its gonna take A LOT to convince people to overcome that detail :p

          • I also thought of that, but I seriously wish that, nationwide, things are not like with people I know: ALL of the people (I know) on that list are either dead or out of the country…

          • I thought of that too. In my case though, every single person in my family (that signed or otherwise) is still alive and in the country. Either way, protesting a dictatorial government is risky and this is a part of that.

  8. A ver, en la oposición somos expertos en exagerar las cosas, en serio creen que tienen 100 mil firmas? como movida política esta muy bien, pero nadie va a auditar ni siquiera considerar esas firmas, mas bien parece una acción para armar una base de datos del propio partido. Deberían ser un poco más sinceros y no vacilar a la gente.

    • Heh, la antipolítica ataca de nuevo.
      “No importa lo que hagan, como son políticos, es una mierda, y que se jodan, me tapo los oidos y meto la cabeza en el suelo.”

  9. El video está bueno pero posee gran candidez, cuando chávez impulsó la constituyente tenía a todos los poderes a favor, y el TSJ (Corte Suprema) y el CNE (Concejo Supremo Electoral) para ese momento convalidaron todas las bases comiciales. De verdad creen que estamos en la misma situación. Es cierto que la ANC es borrón y cuenta nueva, pero como es tan evidente para nosotros, lo es para ellos, así que habría que ser bien pendejo para creer que aceptarían. La única ventana de oportunidad es que el gobierno muerda el anzuelo y crea que puede arrasar en la ANC, pero juego ganado no se tranca. En fin, deseos no preñan-

    • “La única ventana de oportunidad es que el gobierno muerda el anzuelo y crea que puede arrasar en la ANC, pero juego ganado no se tranca.”

      Y seguimos esperando una auditoria completa de los resultados, tal como ofreciera el que ocupa miraflores… diran que juego ganado no se tranca, pero ahi se tranco y capriles y compania se sentaron a tomar el te en lamentaciones, mas nada y el que salio ganando fue el nico.

      Dicen que juego ganado no se tranca, pero precisamente, a veces las derrotas mas duras en el domino se dan cuando se tranca el juego y empiezan a llover pintas por doquier… no soy muy bueno en eso, pero he logrado ganar con mas de 60 pintas asi… imaginen a un experto jugandolo y sera aun mejor (o peor, como lo quieran ver)

  10. Los primeros adecos deben estar suicidandose de nuevo en sus tumbas al ver la clase de idiotas a los que les tocó la mision de tumbar al gobierno hoy. Y eso que VP es del grupo mas sano, al menos logran -timidamente- llamarle dictadura a esto.

    Yo no creo que Betancourt haya hablado de “constitucionalismo” mientras mandaba MPJ. Hablaba de conspiración, sabotaje y otras cosas no amistosas. Y todo clandestino.

    Pero como esto es el siglo XXI, todos son politicamente correctos y publicos. A todo el mundo le da cosita lucir como un “salvaje”. Todos son niños bonitos y educaditos.

    La solucion para el problema chavista es la misma de 1958: Infiltrar a las FAN por años y luego destrozarlo todo desde adentro. Las armas son la unica receta, pero no con guerrillitas estupidas, sino desde el centro del monstruo.

    Sorry for not being in english. Couldn´t replicate such levels of sarcasm confortably right now.

  11. The voice-over and images create a fairly coherent narrative of how a Constitutional Assembly will bring about the desired change. It present a fairly complex process in a straightforward and even simplistic manner – A kind of low tech video game-like solution for getting rid of the mechanical ‘red’ spider that now runs the show. Getting back to reality though…. Collecting signatures will be a tough one in a country where the current gov’t has sown the seeds of mistrust among Venezuelans, where there’s open censorship, and, even worse, self-censorship. Another consideration is that the gov’t will simply declare the collection of signatures illegal, as they have already hinted at. On the other hand, the VP initiative may get some momentum going for the opposition, and coupled with the MUD’s plan to take to the streets it could ignite something, hopefully non-violent.

  12. Está genial, a mi me convenció de la efectividad de la receta y todo. Lamentablemente, pienso que la calle como ingrediente en este país, está piche y no va a lograr nada bueno.

    Lucha, sacrificio, son dos conceptos muy limitados en la gran mayoría de los que salen “a la calle”. Lucha no pasa de decirles cuatro al Guardia, sacrificio no pasa de un par de días sin ir al trabajo. Mientras tanto, cientos de chavistas están dispuestos a ofrecer su vida (y sus armas) por mantener esta vaina.

    Se fue a la calle en Febrero, y no se logró absolutamente nada – y no es que esté en contra de las protestas que surgieron, son el derecho de un sector de la población que se sabe frustrada – pero en ningún momento se llegó a doblegar al poder lo suficiente como para lograr algo. No veo cómo la calle ahora sí va a hacer cambiar la opinión del Poder Electoral para que garantice elecciones realmente limpias.

    • “… cientos de chavistas están dispuestos a ofrecer su vida (y sus armas)”
      Quítale el arma al chavista, y lo reduces a lo que es, un miserable cobarde llorón, igual que cualquier choro.

      “…pero en ningún momento se llegó a doblegar al poder lo suficiente como para lograr algo”
      Las dictaduras no caen en un día, la censura ayudó al régimen para contener el efecto de las protestas, y eso es lo que más actuó en su beneficio.

  13. All this got me to thinking about actors and roles. If ever a satirical film is made of Chavistas, Nick Offerman has to play the role of Maduro.

  14. To me watching that video reminds me of …1998…Wasn’t the Constituyente there going to change everything and save the country?

    I don’t believe in Constituyentes, they have been the instruments of dictators since the beginning of our country: change the form of the State so that we can easily take over the State. It looks good when you are in the opposition but not so the other way around, and it creates precedent.

    I like Leopoldo Lopez and MCM, but their call for the Constituyente is to me very wrong. We have to build a stable country, with stable institutions, and that is built with tough work, smart politics, lack of personalism, and a good opposition. The Constituyente is an easy way out and history has proven that what seemed to be an easy way out ends up being the longest route.

    • Whatever the problems there are with the current Constitution, the main problem today with Venezuela is not bad law emanating from a given Constitution, but with the lack of rule of law. Chavismo doesn’t follow the Constitution that Chavismo created. “For my friends, everything; for my enemies, the law:” that is the problem with Venezuela.

      That being said, it appears that many Constitutions in Latin America – Venezuela is by no means the only country in the area with an affinity for Constitution of the Decade- are overly detailed, reading more like law than as principles for creating laws. Which only increases the desire to change Constitutions. Laws can be readily changed, usually with a majority vote of the legislature. Keep the Constitutions confined to principles, not laws, and you will have less desire to change Constitutions.
      Recall when Evo rewrote the Constitution in Bolivia. He broke a deadlock with an easy solution. He effectively locked the oppo out of the building where the Constitutional Convention was meeting.

      I am similarly skeptical of another Constitution. Same old, same old.

  15. The video is good, even if the audio has much to be desired. I would snip it in smaller segments. Most won’t last through half of it especially in venezuela with the snail like internet.

    Getting a new impartial CNE in place before is a MUST, otherwise, it seems pretty unlikely anything will start to happen.

    I love the part where the red robot monster empties the Chavistas inside the walls of the penitentiary… Soñar es gratis…

  16. the video IS good and surprisingly coherent. I still don’t understand how people can believe that we can get out of this mess by *not* playing the game. If we want to “salir” and have any kind of broader domestic support or credibility, WE HAVE TO PLAY THE GAME and we have to beat them at it.

  17. Regardless of whether or not a new constitution is the answer, avoiding a Tascon list situation is key.

    Saying that someone who is on the first list won’t mind a second time is a bit disingenuous.

    If however 15% of the electorate does not mind the consequences, then that bit is moot.

    However, who can affirm that a new constitution will ensure that Chavismo leaves power?

    I mean, we have come close to, but not won elections when they really counted…………Never mind the dubious impartiality of the CNE.

    And to top it off, since the opposition congressmen have not been able to agree with Chavismo about the renewal of the CNE, Chavismo will let the TSJ decide who gets to be in the new CNE.

    So, good luck with that!

  18. It is a good video but the logic is flawed. Specifically when it says “La lucha por la constituyente incluye la lucha por condiciones justas y un árbitro imparcial. Lo contrario sería inaceptable…”

    Before they even invoke a Constitutional Assembly they need to solve the issue with the CNE & TSJ. To do it backwards is just inviting the CA to be rigged. Because it may be unacceptable “inaceptable” but whether they accept it or not, if they get the CA ball rolling before the CNE & TSJ are cleaned then there won’t be any fair election and the opportunity would be lost.
    So first prove that elections can be fair then call for a CA.

    Also he says: “Pero no tengamos dudas en elecciones limpias ganaremos la Asamblea Nacional Constituyente”. He sounds very sure, just like they were sure of #LaSalida, but what are the basis of that affirmation? Polls, the latest elections? and what percentage is he expecting on votes and constituents?

  19. There’s a basic confusion in VP’s proposal, built on a misreading of what happened in 1999, of why the 1958 regime collapsed when it did.

    Entrenched regimes collapse when the people who would be called on to kill for them no longer believe in them enough to keep pulling triggers. When the authority of the powerful to order violence breaks down, or where the powerful are unsure whether their orders would be followed, and so refrain from emitting them.

    In Venezuela in 1999, the puntofijo regime’s prestige had withered to such an extent that the institutions called upon to defend it just shirked the task. Cecilia Sosa’s famous phrase about the CSJ’s suicide encapsulates that dynamic beautifully. The regime shot itself in the head, to avoid being murdered. The regime shot itself in the head, because it didn’t believe the people it would need to call on to defend it would really do so.

    The Constituyente didn’t cause the regime’s collapse in 1999. It was just the bureaucratic mechanism chosen to officialize the fact of the regime’s collapse, which was previous to it. Chávez fetishized it, talked about it in epic terms, and so now it’s become part of the political culture to fetishize it. But at bottom, it was an administrative footnote: the bureaucratic hassle it takes to officialize facts-on-the-ground that had come before.

    The real question is: will the people who would need to issue the orders to use violence to protect the regime give those orders? And will the people who will receive those orders carry them out? Until you can answer either of those questions in the negative, this proposal will remain pie-in-the-sky.

    I don’t think it’s reasonable to answer no to either of those questions now, or in the foreseeable future.

    The regime seems much clearer than the opposition about these dynamics. Which is one reason I’m unabashedly pessimistic about this.

    • My take on this is that the Opposition keeps looking for a constitutional manner to overthrow a regime that discarded the constitution a long time ago. No one seems to want to admit that “democracy” is broken and the institutions of state are no longer functioning independently. The sooner the Opposition understands and accepts this, the sooner they will be able to formulate rational strategies.

      Secondly, I think the Opposition underestimates the current levels of dissatisfaction in the country at all socioeconomic levels. Just about anything could ignite the fire, such as what occurred in February and March. Yet, the Opposition seems averse to the use of “people power”. In fact, they seem to have a deep-seated distrust of the Venezuelan public. I truly do not understand why, since it is the only way possible to dislodge the regime on their terms.

      Of course, if they just wait long enough, there is a good chance that the economy will simply implode from lack of foreign income and local production, causing the regime leaders to flee the country, having nothing left to steal. The risk of this strategy is that the current government could be replaced by a military junta that could use the remaining oil income to dig in and perpetuate themselves in power (like in Burma).

    • You need to add a third question to your list.

      And will the people who will receive those orders be materially and organizationally capable of carrying them out?

      No one should have any illusion about the current regime and its members from the top down, their utter depravity and complete disregard for moral norms of any kind. The answer to the first two questions are yes and yes, and it will remain yes and yes ’till the bitter end.

      But for the third question, not so sure.

      An army with one general for every 34 servicemen, an army for which corruption, extortion and trafficking are the main activities is not a very capable one. And it’s only getting more corrupt, more disorganized, more incompetent and more rotten from the inside everyday. Add the economic context, and large scale repression can quickly become very difficult to pull off.

      My take is this is where it will break, not the other two questions.

      • I would not take for granted the first two questions. The generals may give the orders, but those orders need to be carried out by the junior officers and enlisted men. All of them have families and are well aware of the levels of discontent in the country.

        • Do you know what happens to a subaltern who refuses to follow orders?

          They would all have to agree not follow those orders for it to work the way you think it would work, and that ain’t gonna happen. As soon as junior officer Pedro suggest to junior officer Juan that he might not follow those orders, and officer Juan comunicates this to his superior, officer Pedro is toast.

          Besides, the government has enough money to keep happy even the lower ranked members of the military. There are only about 100.000 servicemen. That’s not so many for a country that still produces a lot of oil.

          Read this: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-09-29/venezuelan-army-enjoys-meat-to-cars-denied-most-citizens.html

      • “And will the people who will receive those orders be materially and organizationally capable of carrying them out?”

        It’s not that hard to do what they (would) have to do. Heck, look at the “colectivos”, they didn’t even need to kill anyone to wreak havoc during the protests. Just going around armed with guns in motorcycles and shooting at the buildings was enough. And they don’t even have any particular military training…

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