Game over, Maduro


imageNicolas Maduro’s ridiculous attempts to grab hold of the Panama Summit’s agenda have been thwarted by the historic handshake between Barack Obama and Raul Castro. Because whatever happens from now on, this is the image people will remember from Panama.

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  1. I’m here on behalf of my moniker. 😉

    Game over in Panama, most certainly. Game over in Venezuela? As a projection of power, doubtful. Seeing that this is a dry run for further coercive measures in future elections, it went as well as it did.

  2. Really game over for Maduro!

    No milk! No coffee!

    Non-Opec oil production will keep increasing for decades to come!

    Neighbouring countries (including Cuba!!!) are distancing themselves from this politically and economic impossible bolivarianism! What is isolating Venezuela even further. No one wants to be seen with Maduro anymore. It’s not cool anymore, as he has got the charisma of Stalin. And this trend will get worse every day as the country will keep deteriorating in every possible way.

    How can Maduro survive this?

    3 ways:

    (1) Vast economic reforms, and in such a vast array of areas that would prompt comparisons between Maduro and Deng Xiaoping – not happening, as Maduro just doesn’t have the magnanimity needed.
    (2) Recognizing his mistakes and allowing the opposition to form a coalition with him, really giving chunks of the state for the opposition to handle with total autonomy, what is very unlikely. See at (1) the reason why.

    He obviously could use homeopatic doses of (1) or/and a little of (2). But that wouldn’t be enough to solve Venezuelan problems. And the country would keep bleeding for years. It’s game over indeed. The Titanic is sinking with 30 million aboard. He’d better start building the gulags.

    • “(1) Vast economic reforms, and in such a vast array of areas that would prompt comparisons between Maduro and Deng Xiaoping – not happening, as Maduro just doesn’t have the magnanimity needed.”

      Not gonna happen, because two reasons: Mafias and *BOOOOO* caracazo *BBOOOOOO*, also, chaburros in power have the magnanimity of choros, Cobra Commander showed more magnanimity when he obliterated that city in GiJoe with his killsat.

      “(2) Recognizing his mistakes and allowing the opposition to form a coalition with him, really giving chunks of the state for the opposition to handle with total autonomy, what is very unlikely. See at (1) the reason why.”

      Neither, again, the sole reason driving chaburrismo is mafias armed to the teeth, who’ll instantly pump with lead anybody who dares to cross them.

      • Yeah, I think he will opt for that third route too: genocide, gulags etc. But I think he won’t outlive that stage of the revolution. South America is not Africa, neither is Venezuela that Soviet Union powered 1960’s isolated Cuba.

        I totally agree with what The Other Raph has said below. Obama is just anticipating a situation that can’t be reverted anymore. The Pentagon and CIA have already played all possible outcomes for Venezuela, they know what’s coming.

  3. Juan,

    What do you say now when Obama declares this ?

    A few weeks ago you declared in vulgar terms (something about talking through their ass, if I recall well) people didn’t know what they were talking about when they said the US decision to declare Venezuela a threat would play badly at home.

    You apparently need reports from some Eastern Caracas specialist or, better still, from some foreign one.
    I just prefer to call several of my relatives and friends who live in poor areas in Venezuela…an action Francisco Toro will declare “annecdotal information”.

    I believe the US declarations on Venezuela were carried out in an incredibly clumsy way. On one had I do support their actions again the specific mafiosi and criminals of the Venezuelan regime. On the other hand, the US government did the whole thing, including the declaration of the threat, without the slightest preparation, without any proper public campaign to inform what the thing was really about. As usual, it didn’t think things through. And a lot of good will was lost.

    It seems to me whoever is carrying out US policies towards Cuba is not in coordination with those having to give information or react upon it when it comes to Venezuela.

    • It seems to me the most coherent explanation is that the approach to Cuba had to be offset. Obama is going to get a lot of flak from the usual quarters, so a counterweight is useful.

      And Venezuela is very convenient for that. One, because the situation is getting as worse as we know. Two, because in the end what are they going to do, not sell the US oil and collapse faster?

      In the end, and as it is only logical, the main preocupation of the US president is the US and his presidency. An approach to Cuba makes sense, the Cuban leadership is more pragmatic.Venezuela is farther away, irrelevant enough, and conflictive enough to pick up the slack. Not 100% (his succesor is not going to get many votes out of Florida now. Wait… no problem also, thats Tea Party Land now) but enough to not be said it is a shameful claudication of the US role as… nah, see, we are talking with the ones that want to talk and scolding the ones that are moving away from democracy.

      The only side that, as usual, doesnt have a clue what is happening and how to react is the chavistas. Thats why they are useful idiots for both Castro and Obama.

      • Jesus,

        Most people (as in 50+%) in Venezuela are just trying to survive and don’t care a fig.
        But every % counts. There is more to it than the <30% Chavistas. There is a wobbly group of people who, although no longer Chavistas, we do not need to alinate more than necessary.

        The wobbly people in Venezuela did get a bit less closer to us once the US declared Venezuela a threat.
        First the US government declares Venezuela is a threat and now it declares it isn't. That is not really professional. No, it does not matter the one event was from the Congress.

        The first sanctions that were hanged upon Russian functionaries didn't require the US to call Russia a threat.
        It could have done something similar towards Venezuela, prepare a much better wording. Instead, it did something that would predictably make a lot of Latin American countries carry out the usual motions of "don't mess with one of ours" and it made the wobbly people in Venezuela think: what's this about?

        The silly Henry Falcón is one example of those wobbly people. There are a couple of millions.

        The wording, the communication framework are important. The US doesn't seem to do it very well when it comes to Venezuela.

        • “The wobbly people in Venezuela did get a bit less closer to us once the US declared Venezuela a threat.”
          Because they wanted to believe a fabricated bullshit from hegemon corp, US never said that Venezuela as a country was a threat.

          “First the US government declares Venezuela is a threat and now it declares it isn’t.”
          Except that there was never such a contradiction, only in the hatred-filled heads of chavistas.

          “The silly Henry Falcón is one example of those wobbly people. There are a couple of millions.”
          Like the other traitorous backstabbers, Falcón didn’t exactly show too much of a moral fiber, jumping so eagerly into the idiotic bullshit chavista speech about “invasion and interference”, from now on, the guy’s gonna get remembered as arias cárdenas mk2.

          “The wording, the communication framework are important. The US doesn’t seem to do it very well when it comes to Venezuela.”
          It doesn’t matter how they would have said it, chaburros were always going to blame everything on the US rather than accept they have responsibility in something, and the zealous, brainwashed idiotic base has reached north korea levels of stupidity where they believe in airstrikes and in the god wax doll buried in the museum, the image of infallibility that chavismo has built over a decade and half is the only thing that prevents their so-called base to go full Fuente Ovejuna mode on them.

        • Again, Kepler, I’m not denying your point, except I’m not classifying them as “blunders”

          That would be to assume the Obama admin actually did them with the foremost objective of helping Venezuela. I dont think thats the case, at all. As it goes, I think that is well behind the motives, with “Give me something to show that the Cuban approach is not us going soft” first and foremost.

          Venezuela is, sadly, mostly irrelevant to anybody, except when they can use it for their own stuff.

    • Agree. It was, without question, a major blunder from the USA, sloppy diplomacy for sure. The thing is the USA doesn’t really care anymore about Corruptzuela, they still care about the Latin American Region, of course, but fock Vzla now they have Oil and it’s cheap. Look at what they just did with Caricom..

      • “Major blunder”

        Let’s not get carried away. It was a mistake, certainly, but hardly ‘major’ or a close to the level of a blunder.
        It doesn’t really change anything.

  4. I suspect that there is not much of a long term plan for getting themselves and the country out of the hole its in , that there is no long term strategy , that problems are dealt with desperately from day to day and that feeling overwhelmed the most they feel they can attempt to do is put down those fires that threaten their survival on an case by case basis . Big Aggresive bombastic talk is one of their weapons , their ability at propagandistic manipulation of peoples ignorance and socially morbid passions . The other the ruthless use of a methodical system of coercion to prevent the oppo from gaining power institutionally .

    Economically two goals dominate their actions on a short term basis : one keep the flow of essential stapples going to the barrios and to those that in the past have made up their traditional constituency ( also to avoid a social explosion) and avoid the embarrassment and loss of face and dire economic consequences that would follow from falling into a situation of financial default by maintaining the service of the international debt at all costs.

    To them the loss of power is such a psychologically traumatic and painful event that they will do anything to prevent it even while they try to create a curtain of farsical justifications for protecting their strangle hold on the institutions of power.

    • Loss of power would mean way more than “trama” and hurt feelings… BB. It would entail probable Jail for many of the Regime’s leaders, certain accusations of corruption and violation of human rights. And there’s nowhere they could run with the DEA, Interpol and FBI chasing them, particularly monsters like Cabello.

      So they will stay in power no matter what it takes, continur to tighten the repression, Terror Tactics, everything, not just to continue their stealing rampage og billions per week, but to stay out of prison.

      And now, equipped with the “List”, Chavez’s Smartmatic and more repression, they will surely steal the Presidential elections with the largest Fraud in modern History.

      • There are quite a few corrupt people from all over the world who in an ideal world should be in jail but who manage to scape the hand of justice because they dont figure in the radar of those who were most prominent in the corrupt regime which they served or because the legal requirements of building a case where so much is carefully hidden and masked arent that easy to sattisfy , there are dozens of country all over the world ( among them most in latin america) who dont bother too much about the corrupt migrant who lays low and has a loadful of money to buy influence and expert legal advise . The US and the most developed countries in Europe might go after them but the rest will not bother. The ones truly in danger are the big bosses but even many of them sometimes scape the web of justice because they seek asylum in places which they known will look at them with indifference or sympathy. Think of Baby Duvalier for example.

        Remember the case of MPJ whose extradition to Venezuela took the full efforts of a dedicated official some 2 full years with expert legal advise and an open purse . Things might not be that difficult now but they are far from easy . Of course scaping prosecution for corruption is one important motive , but I do think that many in the world of officialdom are much influenced by the humiliation to their pride that the loss of power would represent .Reducing every thing to the venality of the people we loathe as the driver of their conduct is one way we underscore our loathing of their motives and personality but sometimes other factors weight in heavily too.

        • Yes, but I don’t think Cabello, “Obama’s 7”, and others could stay in Vzla, or avoid International Criminal prosecution. That’s a pain in the neck, to say the least. Ask Noriega.

  5. Quite the opposite. Game is far from over for Masburrismo.

    They couldn’t care less about Obama or Panama.
    Actually the USA messed up with their declarations, which Corruptzuela utilized for the infamous “list”, which helped gain time, distract the public from the real, huge problems in the country, and which will be used to fake popular support for the autoritarian Regime, and to perpetrate Major Fraud in the subsequent elections, if not entirely stealing the upcoming, useless “parliament” elections, for sure to steal the Presidential ones.

    To that effect, Masburrismo is wining. Get ready for Cuba 2.

    • Declarations or not, the regime would have done the list anyway, and would have moved to commit fraud again at the elections, like they have done since 2004.

      chaburrismo has won in Venezuela from 15 years until now because they have guns, nothing more, anybody who dares to stand up is shot in the face.

      • Disagree. I think Obama’s stupid declaration surprised everyone, and was the perfect excuse for Masburrismo, at the best possible time. Just what the doctor ordered. It would have been impossible for the regime to fabricate such a great excuse.

        Yes, they would have stolen the elections, regardless. But thanks to Obama’s Huge diplomatic blunder, Corruptzuela might have to endure an additional decade or 2 of this neo-dictatorship.

        Anyway, with the level of corruption our entire populace seems to enjoy, I’m starting to think what the heck, Sarna con gusto no pica.

        • This is just an episode in a complicated long drawn struggle , Maduro won somethings and lost others , dont think that the campaign against Obama changed peoples opinion in Venezuela except on a very minor scale and then only temporarily . The fraud will be attempted but it will have more obstacles than it used to because the irritation and dissapointment with Maduros govt is so much higher than it ever was before thanks to the crisis which affects peoples life so directly. Economically things are going from bad to worse and no sign that they will improve one bit . The US is squarely on the side of the oppo now and has gotten started in winning people from other countries , Caricom is just a starter , things are stirring in Lat Am and old allies are becoming weaker and are exiting to the door of oblivion , Brazil is changing sides , Argentina is doing so in a years time , Correa and Evo are starting to see chinks in the size of their usual political support.

          • Correct. But I think the balance of power is gonna tilt over to the USA faster than you suggest here. Fracking is going fast. Oil will be cheap for the foreseeable future, meaning Vzla won’t be able to bribe its neighbors anymore. USA will be exporting oil soon, “earning” the sweet heats&souls of the Caribbean, and South American leeches.

        • lol
          “But thanks to Obama’s Huge diplomatic blunder, Corruptzuela might have to endure an additional decade or 2 of this neo-dictatorship.”
          C’mon. be reasonable. that’s the silliest thing i’ve ever heard.

    • Similarly,
      The threat declaration was bad PR in the short term, but what will it look like when the economic slide turns into social chaos driven by empty stomachs and suppressed by rifle butts? I think that the US has foreseen that diplomatic parlay for the purposes of press releases is less important than positioning properly for the aftermath. When armed collectives, criminal gangs, and corrupt military units scavenge the streets for the residual spoils no one will be talking up Latin American solidarity and sovereignty.

      • Disagree. Methinks even the gringos now realize the enormity and carelessness of their obvious diplomatic faux-pas. And they regret it, to the extent they’ll have to put up with Corruptzuelita’s laughable public insolence for a few more years,,, until they dominate Caricom and become Oil exporters pretty soon.

        • The US may realize/regret coarseness of the declaration. Still, the more substantial, enduring aspect of the declaration is the diplomatic positioning: the US is stating clearly that it will not turn a blind eye to narcostate drug trafficking, wanton corruption with wholesale looting of the public coffers, and political persecution/purging. Venezuela’s accelerating economic deterioration, destruction of social institutions, and rising discontent portends increasing political authoritarianism within an effectively failed state. When the anarchy arrives, the Mercosur countries will be viewed as an accomplice to the tragedy, and the US will be politically distanced.

          • To be quite honest, even granted your argument that sanctioning 7 shitheads was a mortal blow to Venezuelan civil society, I find it difficult to give much of a damn about such a shallow view.

            Inthe words of the great American Philosopher Wednesday Adams, “LOL, get a nation”.

          • Oh, the USA do turn a “blind eye” to corruption and unfairness worldwide ALL the time, as does Europe and everyone else. It’s all about $$$, oil.


  6. As I had noted previously, Obama’s overtures toward Cuba are partly a ‘legacy’ issue for the U.S. prez. Having said that, it’s no less ironic that improved US-Cuba relations may become a significant factor in Venezuela. What and how that will impact is yet to be played out, but if Havana has the ear of Maduro then some sort of influence is expected. Oil prices are no doubt also a factor, as well as the downturn in Latin American’s economy.

    • Cuba is gonna be Americanized in a hurry, as the USA starts gaining complete control of the Caricom first, and then Brasil and the rest of Latin America: it’s called FRACKING.

      That alone is already changing the entire Continental scenario. Russia no longer supports Cuba, Corruptzuela is screwed until oil prices climb back, and both Castros will be 6 feet under in a couple years,

      Just watch as the entire balance of power shifts in a few years: Leeches and hala-bolas like Ecuador, Bolivia, Nicuaragua, Argentina and even Brasil will have no choice but to start chupandole las medias al “Imperio”.

      • I don’t think the only option being ‘chupa medias del imperio’ but rather different North-South dynamics in the Americas. As early as Bolivar’s Letter from Jamaica (1815) there has been a concern about US-Latin America relations. The U.S. has been our traditional ally/enemy and that history cannot be dissolved or overlooked entirely. Part of the reaction against the latest US sanctions on Venezuela manifests that history. For Cuba, relations with the U.S. are fraught with even more historical complexity. The radical Cuban-American lobbyist complicate matters, I believe, while in Cuba not everyone is ready to embrace the Americans whole heartedly. In Venezuela, Chavismo arrived almost 50 years too late, and, at present, it’s just in time to see the rusted remnants of the Cold War in the Caribbean begin to drift off into the sea.
        For Raul Castro, Obama’s ‘goodwill’ may also represent a chance to leave his own legacy as well as an opportunity to move Cuba out of it’s 50+ years of solitude. Venezuela’s own ‘solitude’ is not long lasting nor sustainable, and is perhaps in reality part fiction anyway.

        • oh well, you’ll see how quickly “tradition” and “history” fade away when Cuba needs the USA, and when Vzla can’t bribe its neighbors anymore, while the USA now has the oil, soon to be exported to the Caricom, etc.

          Very quick.

          • I’d like to think that the issue goes beyond simply who has the shiniest toy car, with the biggest gas tank in the playground. A part of me also prevents me from joning the rah, rah all American crowd.

          • It’s not that. Why do you think Ecuador, Nicaragua, Bolivia, even Argentina and Brasil all of a sudden started liking Vzla so much? OIL.

  7. In a normal country, it would have been “game over” for Maduro/group long ago. But, Venezuela, with its 84 average IQ, many millions intimidated/dependent on Petro-State meager handouts, fixed elections, non-independent institutions, and international “puto” allies, will, I’m afraid, continue as is for the foreseeable future, sinking deeper and deeper into its Communist quagmire.

  8. Everyone presumes the use is eager for an overthrow in vzla…here’s a wild thought…From an economic perspective they are quite happy with what’s going on…

    1) they don’t have to worry about footing the bill for economic assistance to pet rock ribbed countries
    2) Under current conditions, plus a oil will stay in the ground…imagine a capitalist paisa adding another 2 million barrels a day of supply to the north American market…

    Putting aside the people suffering in Venezuela, what’s not too like fro a USA perspective with the current situation? Everyone needs a bogeyman and maduro is a harmless but maybe useful one in the greater scheme…just a wild ass thought.

    • You know what, I’m not so sure “people are suffering” that much in Corruptzuea. The “clase media” was simply destroyed, wiped out. Either left the country, or became ultra-rich by stealing. A small minority had no choice but stay, and do suffer with insecurity/excasez, but they also seem to enjoy all the freebies and subsidios, fake jobs, etc. They’re also selling their souls, corrupted too.

      And the majority, poor, uneducated, say they aren’t happy, but they seem to have plenty of cash to spend, huh?! The corruption is so widespread that they have more than they used too, working less. They still love “Chavez”, 3 million work for the government, plus another, say, 10 million enchufados one way or another, heck 25% even support Masburro!

      To some extent, we are getting what we deserve.

      • “To some extent, we are getting what we deserve.”
        Talking about bullshit excuses to justify the current situation of the country…

  9. While I agree that Maduro has failed to highjack the Summit, I cannot see that they have lost anything, so far. I do not yet see any “big picture” emerging from this.

  10. This Regime is in a deep hole and keeps digging! There needs to be a coalition between liberal opposition and disaffected Chavismos, to develop a third-way movement.

  11. Shake hands, feel a momentary surge of moral approbation, listen to too long speeches by corrupt, conceited nut jobs and pick up the tab: welcome to Improved Relations in the Hemisphere Mr Obama…

  12. Well put Canuck. Plenty of backslapping and high fives I’m sure by the pathetic Latin countries that don’t dare utter anything negative about the Venezuelan situation.

  13. three years ago the US would have thought very carefully about issuing the decree it did , The regime would have easily tied up all of latin america in an openly anti american position. Now things are very different , the consensus view is that the Maduro regime is in deep trouble and its opponents are growing and seeing opportunities that didnt exist before . Its weaker than its ever been before both inside Venezuela and abroad . People in lat am which used to be its allies are now getting in deep trouble themselves or changing sides . We must look at what is happening in Panama in perspective and not get distracted by the simian shrieks of Maduro and the hollering of all those traditional american haters.

    The obama decree does mark a change in US policy towards Venezuela , its regime is fast becoming a target of opportunity , they will make some soothing noises now but they are determined and will come back with the new weapons that the decree gives them to use it as conditions make it more suitable . This is a moment of great vulnerability for the regime and will remain so until they do something about the deteriorating economic situation . A regime that must rely fundamentally on lies and propaganda and fraud and naked coercion to sustain itself is not a very strong one but one which faces ultimate extinction .

    • While I generally believe that the U.S. is better at diplomacy than is commonly thought, I think that they are struggling to find their correct role in the case of Venezuela. In any case, they clearly decided that engaging with Cuba was their priority. They kept their eye on the ball, and didn’t let Maduro’s antics distract them.

    • I think the (budget) dupes were in response to the allergies from Nicky and Cilita, as a result of the ‘cacerolas’ that were sounding loudly in the appropriate venues during their visit.

  14. I disagree that the sanctions mark a change in U S policy toward Venezuela. Obama issued the sanctions to silence critics that he is too weak, criticism that has increased in light of the Iranian negotiations and his diplomatic overtures to Cuba that followed his inability to stop Putin from taking Crimea from Ukraine and his disastrous weakness in Syria.. Here in the U S there were no leaks to the press before sanctions were announced and little attention has been paid to them since. He is focused on Iran and Cuba and nowhere else.

    Even if Venezuela were to default Obama will do very little because the left wing of his party is anti Wall Street and will oppose any efforts to help out American investors. Venezuela’s fate will be determined by Venezuelans who I am guessing really wants a populist government that can straighten out the food and medicine shortage and nothing else. No one here has convinced me that a majority of Venezuelans want a democratic and honest government enough to fight for it. I think reformers have a long wait in Venezuela.

    • The original congressional sanction could have been enough , but Obama in issuing the decree legally broadened the scope of the original measures it could take much further than necessary , the sanctions already taken dont mean that much but the legal basis for acting in the future as conditions allow it is much more aggresive , few people have noticed the change , If the US Executive wants to really hurt the regime financially and economically it can do so in a way that the congressional sanctions originally did not foresaw . The language is much more curt and clear and the ultimate goal much more impacting . The decree is a damocles sword hanging over the head of the regime . Tactically they kept the long steak and made their speech a bit softer to have a conference where they met all their goals while neutralizing Maduros atttempt at making it a propaganda ocassion . Meantime they have the time to start working on each country to bring them to where they want them . This is a campaign which has just started , we havent seen much yet , just the opening salvo , the shot across the bow , the real cannonade may come later. !!

  15. First of all, very interesting points.. In fact, so many logical points from what it would seem lile (intelligent) people whom probably have a higher IQ of 80? Which is apparently the average IQ of a Venezuelan as already pointed out, yet such a big fundamentally logical point left out; Leopoldo Lopez turned himself in to fight for “freedom” for not only opposing Venezuelans, but for ALL, including I’m sure his own young family.. Another failed to be mentioned point as to why the US is sticking its nose up Vzlas ass so much lately is because Leopoldo’s wife, Lillian is campaigning… Around all of the America’s. Now call me crazy but there would be only 2 speculative outcomes based on recent patterns of events; 1) more Venezuelans take respect and note to what Leopoldo is doing thus forcing change in power., 2) Leopoldo is kept in prison even longer and not much change occurs for… Years? –#2 highly unlikely considering increasing number of countries are rallying support for the opposition and condeming the corrupt Gov’t for its human rights abuses. Do the math, look at history, (Nelson Mandela ring a bell?) And realize their struggle is coming to an end, please. In conclusion: I agree wholeheartedly with the title… The game is over, Maduro!


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