MUD Primaries Are Just The Beginning

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Last week MUD Secretary General Jesus Torrealba announced that opposition primaries for the National Assembly elections will be held on May 3rd. A scant few hours earlier Ledezma had been snatched by SEBIN. The timing of Torrealba’s announcement made some opposition supporters furious: people went cuckoo denouncing how insulting it was to be talking about primaries when the Mayor of Caracas had just been arrested merely for having signed a letter. What we should do, they argued, is take the streets.

Others dismissed those complaints as radicalism. As senseless emotional reactions to something that is important. Something that is fundamental. “Just what the government wants!”

The episode threatened to become just the latest episode in the never-ending radicals vs. moderates battle within the opposition. Capriles, as usual, headed up the moderate camp:

In criollo, partida ganada no se tranca.

Who’s right? I think they both are.

The opposition must have primaries. Primaries are a key source of legitimacy. Not only do they provide legitimacy but they also resolve conflicts in a civil way.

The parliamentary elections will be a significant source of legitimacy. Like it or not, Chavismo has been legitimized over and over again via elections. We can’t afford to keep gifting that to them.

But only focusing on this is having a too narrow scope and taking it that route alone will be plagued with dangers.

Hegemon corp needs to be fought relentlessly. Nothing will be enough here. It’s not either/or, it’s both-and: Pirate radio, pamphlets, 2.0, word of mouth, international outreach and lobbying. All will be a crucial element if the MUD is to establish its narrative, and to dismantle the governments.

But none of that helps if your own house isn’t in order. Primaries do help: people coalesce around elected candidates. Those candidates must condemn any violent spark immediately but understand protest and civil movements. MUD must be prepared to bring people out onto the streets, not for road blocks, but to gather publicly and denounce all the abuses we’re now facing.

This means keeping your own crazies at bay.

In the coming months, we can expect any number of strange twists and turns. Maybe elections get cancelled, maybe a big victory is at risk due to a faulty election, maybe we win big and the opposition takes its seats at the AN but the executive branch ignores the legislative. In any such case, the capacity to act constructively and responsibly on the street will be a key test of MUD’s credibility. The idea that any street action is inherently violent just buys into Hegemon Corp’s narrative. Hay que hilar más finito. 

We need primaries, because we need a cohesive, legitimate, nation-wide opposition leadership to guide us through whatever craziness may lie ahead in the coming months. If anything, Ledezma’s imprisonment should make that even clearer.

1 COMMENT

  1. Well, they are not “both right” if one group “went cuckoo denouncing how insulting it was to be talking about primaries.” There is little doubt that Oppo has to win election, even if the dictatorship doesn’t want to recognize them. Legitimacy is a necessary first step.

    • Except that we already had primaries before, and it didn’t cause a bit of a change. And while we were waiting for recognition from the communist dictatorship, the country continues to hit rock bottom digging the hole to hell even further.

      seriously these are the most laziest politicians ever existed on earth, they expect the dictatorship to concedes them any sort of legitimacy via elections, without moving a finger.

      The communist regime jailed one notorious opposition leader, (what passes for a leader nowadays mind you, nevertheless let’s call him a leader) and all what the MUD agrees to do is to call for primaries?

      I’m just going to sit here and facepalm on you Linares, and all these fuc**s of the MUD.

      • “Except that we already had primaries before, and it didn’t cause a bit of a change”

        to make such a statement you would have to compare it to the times in which no primaries were held. The truth is that Capriles, thanks to the primaries was legitimated as the leader of the opposition.

        Something that here at CC have argued that shouldn’t be forever. I think a lot of progress was made thanks to those primaries. For the first time in my adult life I felt I was voting based on debates, proposals and a vision. I really enjoyed that political process.

        I can’t think of an alternative to the primaries that would yield better results.

        But again, the primaries can’t be the only thing.

        • The problem is not the primaries per se… the problem is the timing for the MUD to be proposing this.
          Is like wanting to throw a party in the middle of a funeral, or wanting to have sex with your pregnant wife while on labor! it just CAN’T be, is such a bad timing and off putting. Such as a having a primaries while the regime is in full beast mode, jailing and killing people whenever they please.

          I agree that primaries are a powerful tool in a Democratic society. The problem is that you are selling primaries in a context of dictatorship. You can’t have your primaries cake and eat it too!

          I don’t see the point of the primaries, and I tell you why, if people on the MUD can’t put aside their political ambitions and still want to race for primaries in moments like this, then this is signal that we are totally screwed.

          • The primaries are a tool for legitimacy. That’s regardless of the context in which you are at. That means that your organization is democratic.

            The funeral argument I have heard before. But other than hurting sensitivities, as you said, there is really nothing wrong. The only wrong thing, is the incompleteness of the plan. Has they waited for a week we would be in the midst of a mourning for a child that was murdered by authorities. Next week I bet there will be something else. Primaries are just the beginning.

          • beginning of what? well forgive my skepticism, because we already tried that back in 2012 & 2013, and it DIDN’T worked.

            People are just not buying into this whole “primaries are necessary” argument, because is just more of the same. Is just people trying to race for who gets to be deputy on the National Assembly, an election that historically has the lowest turnout rate of any election cycle.

            And you know what will happen? because the futility of having primaries, people simply will not show up to cast their vote. And that will be worst than not having primaries at all.

            The only problem that the MUD has is the lack of coherent plan, and they expect to sort it out with primaries?? it will simply not happen.

  2. Calling the other side of the opposition ” radical” is a clearly damaging manipulation.Radical is the government NOT the opposition.I wonder what the motive is here?

    Sad situation.

    I don’t see how anyone can believe that Capriles knows what the government wants, when he has made that mistake before.My heart goes out to him, but I disagree with his premises.

    • I have to agree. I hate the term ‘radicals’. How radical is it be outraged at the dictatorial, shameless, disgusting acts of an in increasingly fascist regime, and to think that sitting around and relying on elections run by thoroughly corrupted institutions is not the response the nightmare calls for?

      • Radicals are those burning trash on Francisco de Miranda Avenue and denouncing that the MUD works for the government.

        For example, Ledezma and MCM I consider them moderates.

        Adjectives are indeed dangerous.

        • “Ledezma and MCM I consider them moderates.”

          The way you use a certain measure -carrying out unwieldy protests and accusations of MUD-PSUV collaborationism- to separate between opposition currents can be generalized.

          Do you see a difference between the posture of {HCR, Falcon} and that of {LL, Ledezma, MCM} regarding La Salida? (Consult Falcon’s latest interview in “Vladimir a la 1” where he implies that Salidistas are “atorados”).

          What about specifically protesting for Baduel Jr.’s liberation? {Ledezma, MCM} engaged in just that but I don’t fathom {HCR, Falcon} risking the association between UNO and their name.

          What about asking for Maduro’s resignation?

          What about signing the transition document?

          It is an incongruence to group them all under ‘moderates’.

          • I think asking for Maduro’s resignation peacefully or signing any sort of documents that makes peaceful calls for transition are moderate measures. I think they are in order. After all, in a democracy it should be any secret that the party that opposes you wants your job, right. That’s not being a radical. That’s just the game. The thing here is that government is really sensitive and elections and opposition are cool only when they have a 20 point lead.

            Radicals are willing to use violence.

          • “Radicals are willing to use violence.”

            But this is an arbitrary definition of Radical that doesn’t coincide with the Venezuelan public. I take it that you’re implicitly proposing that the term be re-appropriated, but for what purpose?

            The difference explained between camps {HCR,Falcon} and {MCM,Ledezma} regarding their public stance on political issues is notorious and controversial inside the opposition, regardless of the label you feel most comfortable with.

            What is your reservation with the word Radical? You think it’s counter-productive (or counter-transitory, in Bizarro-Marxist-Jr.-Socialist-International-Member speech?).

          • Well, I’m glad we sorted that semantic conflict, Linares.

            Makes me recall your last piece, where the meaning of ‘socialism’ and ‘petro-state’ shadowed FRod’s policy suggestions.

          • “What about specifically protesting for Baduel Jr.’s liberation? {Ledezma, MCM} engaged in just that but I don’t fathom {HCR, Falcon} risking the association between UNO and their name.”

            Umm, pardon my obtuseness, but what do you mean by UNO?

        • “Radicals are those burning trash on Francisco de Miranda Avenue and denouncing that the MUD works for the government.”

          Good point.

    • I have to agree with firepigette on the issue of the label “radical”. We should not fall into the regime’s trap by accepting their vocabulary and definitions.

  3. No one really knows if there are going to be elections or not. No one knows that in the event they are actually held, if they will matter, or if results will make Mugabe blush and Castro proud. But that is somewhat out of our hands for now, so the best we can do is be ready. Picasso said that when luck knocked on your door, it should find you working. That is what we should do. Work on what we actually can change, which is us.

    But that does not prevent us from hitting the streets, at least the ones we still have available, and in the manner that they now permit us, which is practically as buddhists meditating. In any case, large numbers of us, decrying all of the injustices would do us good, and would send a message to anyone listening (anyone with real power to change the situation), that we are now a clear majority, that this is simply intolerable, and that we either defuse this bomb now or we will all perish when the thing explodes….

      • Actually, I thought you really meant resuscitation, which seems what MUD is in need of much of the time. But, I also thought you might be obliquely referencing Maduro’s joke about Capriles/gorilla/jungle, made several times on TV during the last Presidentials, which wasn’t really mouth-to-mouth, but turned out as per the joke, with Capriles on the receiving end (although, I presume the joke originated with JR’s personal experience–you know, the same JR who originated the Smartmatic voting machine scam,tried out with the Referendum, when in some 5-machine voting centers, sometimes 3 machines, after fulfilling their Govt. quota of random “Yes’s”, would then spit out HUNDREDS of consecutive “No’s”, which anomaly was not caught on Carter’s machine audit, since he accepted the Govt.’s machine audit program (Carter’s audit program was supposedly incompatible with the Smartmatic voting machine programming)–and there are those on this Blog who have stated that machine fraud is “impossible”. Finally, I thought you might be obliquely referencing Maduro’s very recent Cadena TV comment that it was time that the Oppo decided if they were “moluscos o mariscos’–and, we all know which of the two this Govt. prefers….

  4. I can’t believe that no one here is commenting on the fact that Copei signed the “Documento de la Transición” yesterday and declared themselves in “rebeldía cívica” (civil rebellion). Am I the only one who finds this highly significant? Will AD follow suit? Nuevo Tiempo?

  5. I know you dislike any criticism of your writing, but please read this sentence again:

    “But only focusing on this is having a too narrow scope and taking it that route alone will be plagued with dangers.”

    Come on, you do better… I think you are just being sloppy.

      • So let me understand, because this blog is for free, you have the right to hit people in the face with bad English and then foist an obscene little video on them?

        Is that your idea of decent behaviour?

        Have you ever heard the sentence “lead by example”?

        And you wonder why is Venezuela mired in mediocrity…

        • You may be under the impression that this is a place where gipsies congrate to out-gipsy one another in the realm of grammar and engage almost entirely semantic discussions because the reader base isn’t nearly educated enough as they like to think they are, and because of that, lazy Token vs. Token politics is viable, but you would be mistaken.

          • Dspur,

            a few questions: What is “congrate”?

            What is an out-gipsy?

            And, what the hell are you talking about?

          • My personal definition of Congrate is synonymous with Congregate. I will insist on this definition because it is a Campaign Point of my Political Party, but I won’t actually tell you that because this campaign is for Retarded People that won’t question my adherence to Token vs. Token.

          • Your personal definition is indeed very personal, to the point only you can understand it.

            Let us read this pearl:

            “but I won’t actually tell you that because this campaign is for Retarded People that won’t question my adherence to Token vs. Token.”

            What? you are funny man. I imagine you talking to your own head in front of the screen. It’s like a stream of conciousness here. You are the new James Joyce.

          • Dspur once again returned to the Govt. fold, I’m afraid, “…people inside the tower of babel can’t communicate. Why is it a good idea to let them vote?”–i. e., just what the Govt. wants, and is attempting. And, I had such high hopes for you being a “born-again Democrat”, Dspur.

          • Please look up the definition of the word gipsy in the Oxford dictionary nearest you so that you can know when to properly use it.

          • In recent weeks I had to look up in the dictionary the words ‘socialism’, ‘petro-state’, ‘radical’ and ‘gipsy’. All because of CC! Thank you for trusting me with these Tokens. I feel politicized.

            Proposal for next article, Linares: “WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE WORD? WE WILL DISCUSS WHAT IT MEANS”.

          • void
            CaracasChronicles.TokenCenteredPoliticalComment(char *subject, char *adjective)
            {
            printf(“%s IS AN %s.n”);
            }

            […]

            CaracasChronicles.TokenCenteredPoliticalComment(“Gipsy”, “unseemly and racist comment”);

            […]

            stdout: “Gipsy IS AN unseemly and racist comment.”

        • Alejandro,

          For free or free of charge ?….’free’ is the truncated version of’ free of charge’, not ‘for free’.

          It is grammatically incorrect because “free” is not a noun. It would be correct to say, “They got in free” (used as an adverb) but not “They got in for free.”

          • Oh! I made a mistake.

            It’s ok, I acknowledge it, and go on with my life. No need to send dirty videos to anyone… oh wait: from the Oxford Dictionary:

            Free: …
            …PHRASES
            “for free” : (informal) without cost or payment. “these professionals were giving their time for free”.

            🙂

        • When you call me mediocre, would you think it would be resolved if I spent more hours at being a volunteer writer for this blog or by being more talented?

          The problem is that I don’t have more hours. I am also not that talented.

          I think it is still better that I bring these discussions to the table since no one seems to be doing it. I am more interested to hear what do you have to say about the MUD strategy than how I construct sentences.

          • Rodrigo,

            I think you are intelligent, thoughtful and (my guess) a good person. You even remind me of a friend I had in UCAB, so you can’t really say I have anything against you.

            BUT, you do take criticism very badly.

            I didn’t say you were mediocre, I said (read again) “And you wonder why is Venezuela mired in mediocrity”

            Why? in part because people are impermeable to feedback, man. My criticism is right, I think, that sentence was not good, it was barely comprehensible, and that because I speak Spanish.

            I mean, talk to your average chavista, any criticism of the government will trigger an aggressive response.

            I made a very mild criticism and you sent me an aggressive video.

            What is the difference?

          • The strategy is good.

            I was talking about transitions the other day, calling forward the examples of Chile, Spain, Poland, etc. All very different but with a common characteristic: there was in all cases a fatigue of the old regime that I am not sure we see in Venezuela yet.

            While it is a good strategy to impose internal democracy and ignore cruel provocations like the kidnapping of AL, I am afraid anything the MUD does will be harmless (to the government) until that fatigue clearly appears among the government’s base.

            Other thing: for a regime to be superseded by a transitional government there has to be an unwillingness (on the part of the old) to repress. I don’t see that in Venezuela. The regime is very much aiming to kill.

          • Alejandro, Differences of opinion should be accepted but we have to have the wisdom to know what matters and what does not…The below story illustrates this well I think:

            The Grammarian.

            Mullah Nasrudin is a boatman. One day, he’s transporting a grammarian in his boat. Along the way the latter asks him: “Do you know grammar?”

            “Not at all,” replies Mullah.

            “Well, allow me to tell you that you’ve lost half your life!” disdainfully replies the scholar.

            A little later, the wind begins to blow and the boat is swallowed by waves. As the boat is about to sink, Mullah asks his passenger: “Do you know how to swim?”

            “No!” answers the grammarian, terrified.

            “Well, allow me to tell you that you’ve lost all your life!”

          • we think is obvious your a grammar party lobbyist that was payed to carry out this deed.

            you were payed to divert important discussion here about our future of venezuela.

          • Alejandro, qué pesado eres! Dices que Rodrigo toma mal la crítica y lo tildas de mediocre…a él? Supongo que tienes con qué compararte. Realmente de introspección no tienes ni el más mínimo dominio.
            Cuando presentes un blog mejor elaborado que este, podrás hablar. Mientras, cállate.

          • Tomé la libertad de traducir tu comentario a Lisp:


            (AND
            (IS-A "Alejandro" "Pesado")
            (IS-A "Alejandro" "incomparable")
            (NOT (IS-A "Alejandro" "introspectivo"))
            (NOT(IS-A "Alejandro" "autor de blog mejor elaborado que CC")))

          • Estas diciendo que mi Abuela es Fácilmente Impresionable?

            Osea, estas diciendo que Token es Token?!

            Te voy a decir unos Token al respecto de los Token que dijiste sobre mi tatara-Token!

            Rolitranco de Token, NOJOSE CHICO.

          • “cállate”…

            ¿Se nos sale el maracucho, Kepler? que el anonimato no es excusa para perder la clase…

            Yo no dije que fuese mediocre, sino que una sociedad en la que se acepta mal la crítica tiende a la mediocridad, ¿Es mentira eso?

            Blogs excelentes hay, recomiendo el de “Beyond BRICS” en ft.com. Allí escriben algunos de los que lo hacen en este.

            Otro que me gusta, el de Paul Krugman en nytimes.com.

            Este blog es muy bueno, pero no veo que hay de malo en señalar algo. Especialmente si criticamos la “falta de narrativa” de la oposición. Narrativa es lenguaje.

    • There is an old saying in Ingles- “people who live in glass houses don’t through rocks.”

      Sometimes when I read your English, the first thing that comes to mind is some of the bad translation apps we see many Asians use with English and Spanish. En otras palabras, are you kidding ?

  6. Mientras tanto, unos discutimos con el troll Dspur y otros planifican primarias para las parlamentarias.
    Otros mas siguen muriendo en las caales de toda Venezuela ajusticiados por el regimen Chavista.

    Ultimo caso de estudiante de Bachillerato en Tachira. Van mas de 5 Estudiantes ajusticiados este ano en protestas…..

    Primarias! si vale, fundamentales!

    • Sugiera usted una alternativa.

      Guerras sucias han habido muchas, en America Latina. Dígame usted cual pudo ser detenida.

      Ninguna.

      De bolas que da arrechera y frustración que se mate a la gente como animales, y se les torture.

      La realidad es esta: cuando en este continente un gobierno decide asesinar a sus ciudadanos, y tiene el apoyo de las fuerzas armadas…

      Hasta que los militares no se le volteen (y eso no va a pasar nunca) al chavismo, poco se puede hacer.

      Mandela estuvo preso 27 años. Pepe Mujica 13. En Argentina hubo 25000 desaparecidos. En cuba 12000 fusilados.

      ¿Alguien dijo algo?

        • Cada quien tiene que hacer su trabajo!

          Si aun que de una arrechera del carajo los politicos deben hacer su trabajo organizativo y buscar salidas electorales SIEMPRE Y CUANDO puedan garantizar mínimas condiciones de equidad y confiabilidad en los mismos. No se trata de ir al matadero de nuevo, sin haber resuelto las series deficiencias que se acumulan ciclo tras ciclo por mas de al menos 10 años .

          Luego, los ciudadanos deben salir masivamente a protestar y exigir gobierno?

          Los militares también tienen que definirse y justificar su existencia como garantes de la soberanía. Si no pueden garantizar los debe de los ciudadanos que protestan, y la masacre de la ocupación continua, deben resistirla.

          Los abogados a lo suyo, los médicos a lo suyo, el magisterio a lo suyo, cada quien a lo suyo PERO TODOS A LA VEZ para que colapse la capacitada de respuesta del régimen.

          Pasa que cada quien sige en su anomia y no entiende o no se activa a enfrenar al invasor. Todo lo anterior no tiene que ser violento ni criminal, simplemente contundente y masivo y sostenido.

          Los periodistas el exilio haciendo presión en los medios y en la comunidad internacional, de nuevo, UNIDAD DE PROPÓSITOS y simultaneidad. Cada día que pasa el régimen se fortalece al pauperrimizar y destruir a la nación.

          No se le puede dar aire, ni tregua.

    • The broke, moro clad, decadent, and “multicultural” Europe that we, european kin overseas are ashamed of.

      Europe (Bar Germany and Scandinavia) has no business in leading by example in political affairs.

      • What?

        Yeah, because Germany and Scandinavia are not multicultural…

        “Racism is cured by travelling”

        And you haven’t traveled much.

  7. Rodrigo, I sincerely congratulate you on your/others’ contributions to this Blog, and do not find your English (non-native tongue) difficult to understand. My comment on “mouth-to-mouth” was mainly in jest, to play on words/their meaning, as explained above. Once again, congratulations, and, please keep up the good work.

  8. Primaries are part of the electoral strategy, not secret there.
    I prefer to at least vote the chinese pots that are trying to do something in the assembly, but that doesn’t mean every other single method to overthrow this regime might be discarded, the bastards must be attacked from every possible angle at the same time.

  9. With that dude DSPUR taking over the comment section and spurting out gibberish, expect readers like me to migrate to more interesting venues (and I have been an assiduous reader for years).

  10. Si Capriles ahora recomienda que cada quien se organice en su barrio, por qué es ahora que lo dice? (Vaya liderazgo.)
    Y si todos se organizaran independientemente de un líder, para qué carrizo hacen falta los politicos, tales como Capriles?

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