Your signature or your life

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LISTA few years ago, Hugo Chávez enacted one of his most vile yet brutally effective political strategies: the Lista Tascón.

When the opposition began collecting signatures to recall his mandate in 2003, Chávez demanded that each and every signature be counted and verified by the Electoral Council, the CNE. They proceeded to do just that, with the CNE even asking people whose signature was in doubt to come and verify it was actually theirs.

The whole process took months of political and bureaucratic wrangling, and it was a brutally efffective stalling tactic. But the biggest effect of this move was to allow the government to make a digital version of the list, one that Chávez subsequently used to punish his opponents.

Appearing in the Lista Tascón, named for the legislator who came up with the idea, became a mantra. “Como yo firmé…” became the explanation for many of life’s misfortunes.

Some people claimed you couldn’t get a passport or a simple permit if your name appeared on the list. Many were fired for signing. Members of my own family were denied employment in private companies that did business with the government just because they had signed. Why, there were even academic papers written about the economic impact of appearing in Chavez’s list – appearing on the list meant, on average, a 5 percentage drop in earnings, and a 1.3 percentage drop in employment rates.

It is no exaggeration to say that the list destroyed some people’s lives. The whole thing was so traumatic that even the government saw it, and they decided to put the list away after a certain point. Their goal had been reached: people were now terrified of ever signing anything against the government.

Years have passed, as have Chávez and Tascón, but their ideas are alive and well.

A few days ago, Diosdado Cabello brought up the idea that anyone who refused to sign the petition drive demanding Obama repeal his Executive Order … would be put in a list. And just to underscore his point, he said that no, that this would be nothing like the Lista Tascón. Today, we learn that the Electoral Council will be asked to verify the signatures on the list, certifying who has been naughty and who has been nice. Because they have nothing better to do

Venezuelans may be brave, but they are not idiots. Refusing to sign this petition will bring terrible consequences, and we all know it. We’ve all heard the stories of public servants being forced to sign, of school children being asked to sign, of chavistas petitioning outside supermarket lines or at Metro stations or when people are paying their taxes. Spanish daily ABC claims people are being asked to sign in exchange for poultry. Why, even some of Caracas Chronicles’ bloggers have been “convinced” into signing the list!

Nicolás Maduro has vowed to bring ten million signatures to the Summit of the Americas next week and hand them over to Obama personally. I really hope he does – the whole charade promises to be a spectacle unlike any other (Will they be digitalized? Will he bring a wheelbarrow? How much space do ten million signatures occupy? Oh, the possibilities for satire are endless…).

I truly hope Maduro monopolizes the Summit with his antics. Our spineless Presidents deserve Maduro ruining their precious Summit by (metaphorically) taking a dump right there on stage. Chavismo has already destroyed the hemisphere’s circumstances, he might as well do the same with its pomp.

But when he does it, let’s not fool ourselves: this is just bad theater. The only goal here is to increase the fear in Venezuela’s population, and heighten the repression of the majority of the country who now loathes Maduro.

Ten million. Twenty million. Thirty million signatures. Whatever Maduro – we still want you to leave. Now, where do I sign?

1 COMMENT

  1. My brother-in-law and a number of of other relatives also sign the “Lista Tascón”. None of them have been able to get a job since that point. Many of them have since left the country! These are not politicians they are just drug dealers, gangsters, and brutes!

  2. They are thugs , they are gangsters , they are into a massive methodical system of extortion rackets that seek to coerce people into acting in total submission to their wishes..,

    • fascism
      noun fas·cism ˈfa-ˌshi-zəm also ˈfa-ˌsi-
      : a way of organizing a society in which a government ruled by a dictator controls the lives of the people and in which people are not allowed to disagree with the government

      : very harsh control or authority

  3. The Lista Tascón was never abandoned. It is alive and well. Applicants for public-sector jobs are routinely asked questions about their political affiliation. And if they get through the application process their names and cédulas are checked against the list (which of course was subsequently made more sophisticated by adding data from the misiones and so on). Those who don’t come up rojo-rojito are generally turned down, however good their qualifications and employment record. Which is one reason why Venezuela has a largely dysfunctional public administration.

    • Sorry, but reading the above is depressing. Frightening. Has humanity come to this? Not even Orwell could have imagined this kind of evil in the computer age.

      • In Venezuela it has!! Venezuelan’s by nature area are passive people and when thugs like Maduro and especially Cabello are running the “La Cosa Nostra” there is nothing BUT depression for those that do not bow of the alter of power whose body guards are greed and corruption. Until the people that are left figure out they are going to die anyway, and they might as well rise up against these thugs the situation will not change or until the criminals run out of money and then when they stop paying their bills to the world powers that is when they will be removed for a more compliant group of corrupt and obedient thugs. However, the people will still rise up if they do not improve the situation. It is a very depressing outlook but nonetheless it is the truth. Venezuela would have been much better off without any oil.

      • The checking system isnt that comprehensive or efficient ,not just from sheer neglect and indifference but sometimes because they just prefer to look the other way , know quite a few former Pdvsa engineers who work for Pdvsa contractors and provided they take some precautions no one in Pdvsa even takes notice.

        The signing system may be tight in certain govt offices but in others you can just ‘forget’ and not be bothered , my wives relatives had to sign some official papers and where met at the enthrance by some psuv asking them to sign the protest against Obama , her relatives simply shooed them away , dont bother us , we are busy !! or they will just say ‘we already signed’ and since there are millons and millions who are never even asked to sign , its difficult to check who has signed and who hasnt .

        I dont believe enforment of the signature dictact is all that universal or effective. depend on who you work with in govt. lets not forget quite a few people in govt are just people who are protecting their work or income and couldnt care less about Chavismo and yet many others who keep quiet but inwardly hate all that Chavismo stands for.

      • They’re certainly always trying to refine it. But lists of all kinds have proliferated since 2004. Remember the Gran Misión Vivienda Venezuela? How many names on that? Two million? How many of those who are still waiting for a house would dare not to sign the Obama list? Presumably they make “good” public employees because they rarely express dissenting views.

      • The misiones are nice and all for collecting targeted segments of the market, of which a sizeable percentage would be favorable to the government in most instances.

        A real consideration since Tascon, is that there is a whole new generation of voters, most of whom that will be young and less inclined towards the government, that have come of age and wouldn’t be on any list or have any reason to be on the list. That is likely the “update” they are looking for, since it will provide a more complete table of individuals as the parliamentary elections approach. Basically this captures anyone under what, 29?

        After all, isn’t the narrative that a large percentage of the protesters in the past year, demographically, have been younger/college age? Wouldn’t it be nice for the government to have, rather than a conciliatory olive branch, a stick to hit people over the head with at election time?

    • Yes, this was confirmed by a Chavista official talking to Rory Carroll as late as 2011, as relayed in his book (I can’t remember which official). Chavez once said it was no longer needed/used, but in reality it is absolutely being used.

      Chavistas are incompetent at everything except intimidation, bullying, and using their complete control of state power/money to coerce and control.

      • I think Chavez was referring to the Lista Tascón because by then they already had the Lista Maisanta which was more up to date.

  4. Not that we could expect to see this but it would be awesome if Obama spread some 93 octane gasoline (and tell Maduro it came from shale oil) on those signatures and lit them up right then and there.

    He could then invite Maduro for “una parrilita y unas birras, panita”.

  5. “The only goal here is to increase the fear in Venezuela’s population, and heighten the repression of the majority of the country who now loathes Maduro.”

    An Alert blogger elsewhere observed that this new Barbaric list can also serve an additional loftier goal:

    To mask Masburrismo popular aproval. A brilliant idea.

    You see, as you noted, the majority of Venezuelans, even enchufados and free-loaders, now loathe Masburro, to the tune of 80%.

    But we are so dumb and/or uneducated, that the Regime will use this fictitious, forced 10 Million+ list as proof of popular support. To justify the Huge Fraud that is coming up with the “Fraudmatic” electronic “elections”.

    It will be tough to sell the Lie that Masburro won now, say by 55% as predicted by yours truly, with such a massive, overwhelming 80% opposition, right?

    Well, you now use the list to say, hey, over 12 Million people signed, supporting Chavismo.. blah, blah, blah.

    And out poor, naive people, plus international opinion will buy it, for the most part.

    So, in my view, this new infamous list serves FOUR purposes, in this order:

    1/ Fake popular support to justify the humongous electoral fraud to come.

    2/ Heighten the repression, as you say, instill fear and terror, classic totalitarian strategy.

    3/ Identify your opponents, and eliminate them. Same Chavez did with the his infamous, previous list, or worse now. The retaliations for refusing to sign will probably be even more draconian. Our new Lords, the Chinese, have taught us well, it seems. In the ” Art of War” the 2 cardinals rule of “Knowing your opponent”, then destroy him with Deception.

    4/ Distract and divert public opinion, nationally and internationally to the “US Imperialism aggression”, instead of the huge economic and social problems in the country. No food, no papel toile, no more Chinese money, low oil prices, 25000 killed every year, no problem: the Yankees are coming, The Imperio and the World is against us: prepare, (and take the abuse, everyday, silently, of course).

    This list is classic Castrismo, almost as Machiavellian and effective as Nazi propaganda was.

    • I think you are absolutely right!

      Concerning the third purpose of the list that you mention, I only hope that the “elimination of their opponents” doesn’t end up meaning the physical elimination of their opponents. Because you know, it would be all too easy to tell the people of the colectivos, “hey guys, in this apartment of this building in Catia there is a guy who didn’t sign. So, please go and eliminate one vote for the opposition in the coming elections”.

    • I agree with a lot of what you said, except I think that more & more folks see the Emperor Has No Clothes.

      Only the dimmest bulbs will swallow that 10 million signed meaningfully, or 3-4-5-6 or whatever million signatures they claim to have

      • The same dumb of dumbest which is the Chavismo popular base, living in lines trying to purchase basic necessities, believing in the 300m/year new Mision Vivienda houses built, believing that the fingerprint machines can identify them at election time, happy to make lines in banks to collect their miserable Pension/Mision monthly handouts (“the highest in LA (at 6.30)”), and intimidated enough not to complain at the risk of losing “all”=the Venezuelan Petro-State Peons.

    • The government has tolerated you folks for too long, [Comment edited out. Reason: calling for mass murder.]

        • Then nobody would have food nor anything.

          Chaburros have no problem into starving 4/5s of the whole country, in fact, they don’t have any problem gunning down that much people if that helps them to keep power.

          • Sorry but, that isn’t true. No government can go against its base.

            This signing thing highlights one fact: the regime is a fiction that goes on because people want it so.

            Again: what if no one signed?

          • “No government can go against its base.”

            That’s what bullets, shotguns and choros are for, pal, if the base doesn’t obey, they won’t eat, if they get angry, they get a bullet in the forehead, as more than 200k murders in these 16 lost years prove.

            On the other hand, you might be right on claiming that “no government goes against its base”, then that would aply to all the mafias and criminals that support the regime, from the cadiveros that went filthy rich buying at 6,3 and selling at 250, going to those who get gasoline for free and resell it at 3,6$ the litre, to those who get diapers at 100Bs the pack and resell them at 4.000Bs each one, ending in the mass of rapists, muggers and murderers who are doing whatever they please with the most disgusting impunity in the history of the freakin’ world.

            If those are “the base” you’re referring to, then I agree with your statement, no regime goes against its base.

            “…the regime is a fiction that goes on because people want it so.”

            The regime goes on because people are afraid of getting a bullet to the face, that’s why there’re so many folks who desperately need to believe that the only exit from this disaster goes through a peaceful “wet the pinky and then go to your house to dance salsa” day.

        • No way the4 hardcore chavistas would say no.

          Remember there’s some people who have drunk the kool aid. They think those targeted sanctions are indeed a prelude for an imminent US invasion

  6. It would be legendary if O were to check the list for signatures of government officials with similar ranks to the 7 idiots he sanctioned and announce that they in turn will be investigated and deprived of Disneyworld privileges.
    If you think about it, it could evolve into the exact same technique: “We’ll put you on a blacklist of our own to make you afraid of supporting Maduro’s every stupidity.”
    And it would be beautiful.

  7. OT but I see today that that fat piece of jelly Wills Rangel is complaining that Chinese and Russian oil companies operating in Venezuela are not following local labour practices and he is demanding that PDV force these companies to respect Venezuelan labour law. Doesn’t he realize that he and his workers have been sold to the Chinese. In the future they had better learn to respect their Chinese masters or whole swaths of the oil industry will be like Chinese work camps in Africa where, if they are lucky, the locals get to clean the toilets of their Chinese masters.

    • Heheheh, yeah, and they were whining so much about people “cleaning toilets in the mean empire”, not knowing that said “slave labor” gave more profits than many high paid jobs here in Venezuela.

  8. With people signing multiple times, Maduro should aim for 50 million signatures. Fifty million signatures would show solid support in a country of 29 million people. China could help out with another billion signatures.

    I wonder how many times Don Duck, Mique Mouse, Anne Teak, Bud Light, Dick Tator, Kerry Oki, Luke Warm, or Pepe Roni signed the petition.

    • Once I thought in not signing at all, pride and all that stuff, you know, but then I thought that it would be better to outright sabotage their stupid new list, just smearing a false signature there, claiming that “I changed my signature a few years after I got my ID” if they want to ask for that one xDDD

        • I haven’t sign yet, but the possibility might be there, as the regime is claiming as their latest fear mongering propaganda that they’ll go door-to-door to ask people for their signature.

          I live in a fixed place, and work in another fixed place, so the chance to be asked for my signature might be there.

          • Don’t worry, Ralph, you will be signed for, as well as in the coming (if) Parliamentary election, if necessary–the Obama signing tables, as for the CNE new voter sign-up tables, where my in-laws live, have few, if any, people signing when my extended family pass by–but, yes, 3 million+ Govt. employees + family members, 200m+ armed forces/milicianos + family members, 1 million+Misiones/Pensiones recipients+family members,150m PDVSA/Subsidiaries employees + family members, etc., will be forced to sign, and the remaining millions left to make 10 million will be signed for by JR and his minions, as in the elections.

  9. And because of tha list is that I believe that turd-ascón had his colon cancer coming.

    Sometimes, I might feel a bit of pity about the fate of chavistas in the post-chavista era, but then I remember stuff like this, and the pity goes away.

      • Don’t worry, there’ll be plenty of people waiting for those to slip and fall.

        There’s an expression that said “Careful whose head you step on when you’re climbing to the top, because you might find them when you’re going down.”

  10. There is a crucial and important difference between this “List” and the infamous Tascón List that needs to be highlighted. The persons on the Tascón List were or are discriminated against for an act of VOLITION. That is to say that they DID something that they were then punished for. This new list is of people who will be persecuted for an act of OMISSION, or something they DID NOT DO.

    I could make a fairly sound legal argument for this being tantamount to slavery.

    • It’s nothing short of Mass Extortion, typical totalitarian oppression, terror tactics.

      The sad part is that many people sign in exchange for a Chicken. Yes, a soul for a Chicken.

    • Adding to my comment above, a part of the distinction I am making is that this is a new escalation in the coercion applied by the regime which makes neutrality impossible. Before, it was possible for an individual simply sit on the sidelines and support neither the regime, nor the opposition (formerly known as “Ni-nis”). They are now forcing the neutral segments of the population to declare themselves by submitting to the extortion, or by refusing and thus risk being labeled a traitor. They are saying, in essence, “You are with us or against us. And if you are not with us, we will make your lives a living hell.”

      • Well, according to El Nacional there have never been so many street protests in history.

        A normal opposition could take advantage of the situation and turn it on its head.

        But you see what happens: Henri Falcon goes and signs.

        The problem isn’t the regime, it is the opposition.

        • “The problem isn’t the regime, it is the opposition.”

          I agree with this one, after all, the so-called opposition was the first to missile and try to discredit as much as possible the #LaSalida movement, claiming they were a bunch of whiny radical extremists who were scaring the chavista voters away.

          • That would include me, too. I thought that the economic collapse would eventually discredit the regime and that anything the opposition could do would only distract attention. It’s not over yet!

  11. What if….What if….With education and honesty Vzla. would not be the banana republic third world country it is with people scrambling for toilet paper and chicken. Sadly, creating fear in the population has been a successful tactic of the current and past regime. Not only with the poor population but also with the more educated professional. I have friends that are fearful to discuss the situation there on the phone or e-mail as they believe they may be monitored. Christ, what a way to live.

      • Some are government employees (PDVSA) and others work in the private sector. Those in the government, of course, must profess to support “socialism”. In reality, they oppose the current administration but are fearful of losing their job if their true “orientation” is expressed.

  12. “A normal opposition could take advantage of the situation and turn it on its head.”

    You have to agree that our “Opposition” leaders are a piece of shyt. There. Period.

    THIS is exactly the time to unite, and attack Masburrismo with everything they’ve got.

    Oil at a record low, the bank is broke, no food, people are pissed, 80% against the Dictatorship.

    And what have we heard lately from the MUD crap, Caprilito doing his laughable door-to-door campaign, MCM silenced, and nothing else. NADA.

    they must be scared to death, or what?!

    • I find you have a bit of a temper.

      MCM is a brave, even fearless, person. I don’t personally think she is a good leader, or even a good politician, but she is extremely brave. She is not silenced, I am sure.

      The person you call “Caprilito” defeated Cabello once and got seven million votes in a presidential election. Curiously, most attacks against him come from the opposition. I find this masochistic.

      The “door-to-door campaign”, or retail politics, you seem to despise are a powerful resource. Specially when the candidates on the other side are perceived as an impersonal, closed elite of inbreeding families.

      When the media are closed to a candidate, the candidate goes to the streets meet the voters. It’s the logical step.

      The thing is, these sanctions are not against the country. Venezuela sells oil to, and buys everything from, America. Surely a moderately competent opposition could explain how ridiculous this signing campaign against your main commercial partner is.

      Surely the opposition could make people see how the regime suffers from losing their visas and properties in the country they call The Enemy.

      That’s the problem. This lack of vision, this inability to articulate.

      • ” Surely a moderately competent opposition could explain how ridiculous this signing campaign against your main commercial partner is.
        Surely the opposition could make people see how the regime suffers from losing their visas and properties in the country they call The Enemy.”

        There, you gave yourself the answer to the question “why the opposition supporters throw so many turds to their leaders?”

        It’s because the so-called opposition, instead of doing the logical thing and use its “door-to-door” method to spread the message tha the sanctions are against a bunch of corrupt officers and not against the people, they go and latch themselves from the same idiotic patrioterismo that the regime uses to deceive people, thus leaving THEIR base righfully furious for such display of blatant stupidity.

  13. As an upside to all of this from the Datanalsis poll:

    Crime is no longer the #1 concern! See? The government is doing something right!

    If you can’t fix the problem, fix the numerator/denominator.

  14. It would be the kiss of death for the opposition to appear to side with the sanctions , remember our national average IQ is 84 , national education levels are very poor and there are few people who can think analytically and critically or are well read and informed , so many of them go for the cheap faux patriotic crap thats so easy to get all fired about . The best tactic is not honesty , but passing with your head low , if you fight the government on this issue you give it fuel , let it play with its scarecrow tactics (which not as exciting now as it was years ago) and very shortly the whole thing dies off ( just like the contraband and magnicidio stuff) .

    The crisis is hitting the regime hard , because it phocuses on Maduros regimes corruption and failure , not on their fading but still glowing love of the dearly departed . If the oppo keeps its head low there may be enough disentchantment with Maduro that it makes the opposition the beneficiary of what is now an almost general loss of trust . Its not a question of who you love now but who is hated the most , and definitely the answer is that Maduro and its regime is now close to being more hated by traditional Chavistas than the low key opposition .

    The hard nosed opposition are not going to abandon the opposition cause even if they are not always delighted witht the people who represent them , their hatred of chavismo is too strong .!! With chavismo its different , they are now divided among those who hate the regimes gut for robbing all the money and making them suffer (while retaining some sweet feelings for Chavez ) and those who support Maduro come what may , The more of the former the weaker the regime becomes .!!

    • Yep. That is a strategy.

      I do think a good communicator could turn this thing on the government’s head, but, as there appears to be no one to do it, better to focus on actual problems and let the government stew.

    • “The best tactic is not honesty….”

      Which is why the MUD is having all these troubles to movilize their bases.

      Look, people that aren’t buying what Maduro is selling aren’t going to buy BS from the MUD. Nobody except paid goverment advertisers and caviar socialists buy the “economic war” nonsense. Also:

      “The hard nosed opposition are not going to abandon the opposition…”.

      In that you are wrong. The hard nosed opposition can and likely will stay at their homes instead of voting for a party dinasaur picked for the MUD that has lost elections for years. And they will move on their own political activism, as we have seen.

      The “strategy” is coming under fire because is a losing strategy:

      http://www.notiminuto.com/noticia/activistas-politicos-exigen-a-la-mud-ampliar-la-consulta-popular/#

      Overall, people that want unquestionable Messiah figures that spout chovinistic nonsense already have a party: The PSUV. The MUD has to be an actual alternative, not try to play the same game as the chavistas, that lets them control the frame of the discussion.

      “Keeping their heads low” while there’s a massive economic crisis that should be THE center focus of anybody that wants to lead the opposition, and that is going to get worse on the next few months, is wasting an opportunity. The right answer for all the “sign against Obama” propaganda is “Where do I sign for making toilet paper appear?”.

      • Op , as usual I didnt explain my self well , the keep low strategy refers to the strategy concerning the obama decree , not to other subject matters , I think the house to house strategy is not bad , people appreciate personal contact more than artificial media contact specially in this country where all relationships have to have a personal touch to count . This is the equivalent to Trumans train stop strategy .

        Perhaps my view of the hard nosed position is influenced by my own and my families posture which is that we will support whatever opposition candidate is proposed if thats the way of getting rid of the regime ANYTIME . I dont expect perfect candidates , all will be tarred with some defect or another and in our country we relish political canibalism , eating each other out , so UNITY is essential within the oppo and not being overly finicky with expecting ideal candidates who bat 1000 average , you deal with the cards your are dealt and play as best as you can !! A war is won not by the party making no mistakes but by the party making the less mistakes …..for realistic pragmatic people mistakes are inevitable ….you have to deal with it if you want get anything done.!!

        I also think the oppo should try and articulate a better message of what specifically it stands for , one which will consolidate the oppo groups and perhaps attract dissapointed people from the dissapointed Chavista camp , but this must be done very carefully and cautiously because if you speak more than you have to it can all backfire. Specially because if your are absolutely honest and minutely state what you think will be needed to rescue the country half the audience will not follow you and the other half will see thing in much simpler epic good bad guys fashion whatever you say. Sometimes its best to not talk to much but choose well what to say that you are sure is going to be effective.

        Im not very sanguine of the capacity of most ordinary people with very low educational levels and no experience handling complex public policy issues to judge things with the balance and realism that they should, it would take the talents of greatly talented communicator and those arent easy to come by . .

  15. You think someone who says this is in control of anything, sure of anything?:

    “Ni guerra económica, ni psicológica, ni decretos imperiales, han impedido que el Pueblo disfrute”

    That’s our VP, Arreaza.

    I mean, these guys ran out of things to say. They are just praying for holidays to come and people to evade so they can relax a bit.

  16. Question: how much erosion of the regime’s popular support will it take before enough people realize they have all the power?

  17. A tiny footnote to the Lista Tascón: my niece walked into an ICE office in Miami with a copy of the Lista burned onto a CD. Seeing as her name appeared on the list, she asked for and received political asylum. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade…

    • Well, the list fits perfectly in the same category of political persecution where the south african apartheid was, meaning that you could even be killed because of your thinking, which also fits quite nicely in the same crime space than genocide.

        • The US officials told her that they had heard rumors of the existence of such a list but had never actually seen it. She walked in with the CD and requested asylum from political persecution. Received a work permit, social security number and all the other papers needed to remain legally in the US. The only restriction is that she can’t travel to Venezuela while the actual regime remains in power. As if she would want to. BTW, this happened quite a few years ago–maybe 2005? Not sure if the US would grant asylum today based on the list.

  18. OT: Did anyone see the Vice episode last Friday on cocaine trafficking done between Venezuela and North Africa? Pretty grim stuff…..Apparently Venezuela is selling cocaine to all kinds of jihadists.

    • Yeah, hezbolah being just a big drug cartel is old news, bunch of hipocrytes that deserve to be carpet-bombed into oblivion.

  19. Fair points from OpUno and Bill Bass above. I still think the Opposition is being too quiet and “low profile” wasting a golden opportunity right now to gain a final, decisive momentum:

    I agree that perhaps criticizing straight on Masburrismo and siding with the USA about the decree, etc is probably wrong, saying the truth that it was just a formality to incriminate 7 thugs, not the country, and that there’s no Imperio, etc.. our pueblo is just too uneducated and naive to comprehend and subtleties..

    But at least DO say, left and right, “donde firmo para conseguit papel toale, y pollo..” or some popular ironic jokes like that, and make lots of noise about the inseguridad, escasez, more guarimbas, more marchas populares de protesta..

    The opposition should really step it up after Semana Santa. Now that the oil prices are at their lowest, the economic/financial crisis at its worst. Oil will go back up to $100 in 2020. The Chinese will lend $ again.

    Now is the time to strike: The up-coming elections are going to be a tough pill to swallow:

    After the Panama laughable meeting, where Obama is basically gonna ignore Masburro’s stupid list, shake Raul’s hand and all will be forgotten in a few weeks, we’ll have those elections..

    That’s, in my opinion, the whole focus and point of this infamous List.. to be used as justification the a Huge Fraud with Smartmatic again.

    But this time they will have to make-up Millions of fake votes, the Dead, the Chinese, intimidation won’t be enough to win, with 80% against the regime. They will really need to manipulate the results in blatant, grotesque manner, electronically, plus the Voting Dead, triple cedulas, threats, regalitos, etc..

    Even our uneducated, naive population will suspect elections FRAUD. And they will still be pissed off, no pollo, no leche, no papel toile.. as the economic/financial situation gets even worse in the next few months.

    The Regime, of course, will tighten the Repression a lot more. And they will use this stupid Obama list list for that, and to claim support for Masburrismo, since 12 Million or whatever people signed..

    That’s when the opposition must strike, hopefully with some international support now that Gonzalez and others are waking up, be ready when the iron is hot.

    If the oppositon waits, languid, inactive, divided, playing possum, the elections are stolen, the repression gets a lot tighter, no Twitters or FB, time goes by and oil prices go back to $100 in 5 years..

    Say hello to the never-ending nightmare: Cuba 2.

  20. I aplogize , I thought I had clarified that the Obama decree does allow the US govt to go much further than simply sanction 7 Venezuelan officials guilty of human rights violation via the seizure or freezing of their US assets , it allows the US to sanction not only individuals but public and private institutions for aiding and abbetting drugtrafficking , arms smuggling , terrorist activities and even ( one last addition) corruption . It can be used to cause real financial damage to the regime , Its reach doesnt stop in US territory but affects any company outside the US which is based in the US or is subject to US jurisdiction . It can affect trade , it can affect any monetary transaction by any sanctioned invididual or body . It broadens the scope of the original congressional resolution many different ways . It doenst allow for the US marines to invade Venezuela or take any kind of military action but short of that it a very potentially tough instrument to make trouble for the regime and its officials . The assertion that currently all it does is sanction 7 people for human rights violation by affecting their US affects is correct , but if your read the legislation and norms that the decree invokes it can be used very aggresively specially on the financial and commercial front to sanction the regime if for instace it chooses to kick the table and totally elliminate free elections and go for communal meetings or acclamations as the countrys future system for electing the countries authorities ..

    Of course the govt is exagerating about the decree allowing the marines to land or venezuelan soil to be bombarded , but its not a so innoent instrument as many in this blog have stated. I repeat the decree legally broadens quite a bit the kind of actions the US govt can take than was the case with the congressional sanctions . !! Maybe most oppo figures dont understand this . Venezuelans for the most part dont read stuff that carefully .!!

  21. My concern is looking ahead, how is there to be reconciliation and forgiveness when everyone with a cedula de identidad and a smart phone can be reviewed for both omission and volition in each signature drive.

    This is akin to bar code and other inking at WWII concentrations camps, star of david in garmets, forced head shavings and other public display antics, but un-coverable and with out an expiration.

    That unless all Venezuelans are given new names , new cedulas and new identities, or many years will have to pass to purge these “marked” generation from the record….

    scary stuff1
    distribution of the databased for tascon and maisanta was done by quemaditos at the time….
    Orwell is here!

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