Winning small


It’s hard to overstate just how massive last night’s opposition win was. If you’re like me, you’ve been walking around in a daze, trying to internalize this strange, overwhelming mix of victory and hope.

But a few minor players cannot fully comprehend what happened. Through their words and actions, they are putting the focus on petty little issues and fights, hopelessly trying to make us care about the imperfect trees instead of the magnificent forest.

Take, for example, the hapless reporters of ANTV. One of the assets the National Assembly has (for now) is a TV station. As you can imagine, its coverage is wall-to-wall chavismo.

But with a new sheriff in town, there’s a lot of red, very red anxiety in their newsroom. Their fears were confirmed when MUD leader Henry Ramos Allup basically read them their Miranda rights, using language only he can get away with using.

So in comes a representative of the workers of the station, Merly Garaicoa, saying that Henry Ramos Allup is a threat to freedom of expression. That all they have done is be professional and give their lives to communicating the laws of the Republic. That they are now the targets of violence. Oh, and that they demand their right to continue manipulating information and censoring violent incidents inside the legislature at the public’s expense. (OK, she didn’t say that, but she should have – she should put it on her resume!)

Yes, the government has just been handed their asses to them, but all Merly cares about … is the impossible task of preserving her puny little job. Worse even, she thinks she can lecture the new majority about, ahem, the defense of freedom of expression!

So sad.

Then there is my friend Tomás Guanipa. Instead of taking pride in the fact that a maracucho rajao won a seat in Caracas of all places, Tomás would rather throw his darts … at Maria Corina Machado. This morning he fired off a few tweets (some of which he later deleted) blasting Machado for supporting a few candidates outside of the MUD alliance.

Tomás, loco, nobody cares. History was made last night. Your little tiff with Maria Corina is pathetic.

Try and enjoy a little. Finger pointing is only cool the day after an election in which we lose. When we win, we’re supposed to be happy and united. Okey?

Finally, the award for pettiness goes to the CNE. In a remarkable show of sheer disregard for what is going down in Venezuela, our electoral body simply cannot be bothered to publish the results everybody knows already: that the opposition has won more than 2/3 of the seats in the National Assembly.

So tell us Tibisay – what are you expecting to gain with your little psycho games, huh? Does delaying the inevitable somehow give you pleasure? Does it make your knobs turn? ‘Cause this whole ordeal definitely has an S&M component to it – and we’re not digging it. In fact, we’re over it. We know the opposition won big, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

Yesterday was magnificent or, if you’re chavista, absolutely horrifying. My thoughts turn to the thousands who braved threats, guns, and bribes to vote for change and defend the votes. What they did, what we all did, was pretty damn heroic.

Let’s give the event its proper place. But most of all, let’s ignore the few people trying to make something small out of something big.

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  1. Though to be fair, MCM’s division did cost the MUD a seat in Táchira, which could have made the difference. At least we know now that won’t be the case 🙂

    • There is a place and time for that type of conversation. Twitter, the morning after history was made … is not it.

      • Hummmm… I can agree on the point that the timing was not the best. But we DO need to have a conversation about those who supported candidates outside of the MUD and, with that, effectively made us loose a congressional seat (y pusieron en riesgo la posibilidad de obtener la mayoria). This has to say something about their capacity (or lack thereof) to understand the seriousness of our political crisis. There should be some (political) accountability for that. We need to find the time and place to talk about that. Pushing it under the rug doesnt seem to be a good tactic.

    • Ahem, you can’t say that MCM divided when she supported candidates that had previously won primaries, which, in my book takes precedent over anything else.

      So, if Guanipa needs to blame someone for that loss, he should look at the MUD. He is fully aware of this. But he is a small, small man.

      But again, at this point, who cares?

    • I think this discussion would have been only relevant had the division cost us something expensive in the AN. I understand there’s a matter of principle here, but come on. Seriously? We were just announced as overwhelming victors, and Guanipa goes on CNNE to dish out a fellow MUDista?

      This guy is by far one of the worst speakers MUD and PJ have. The guy’s just full of it.

  2. Funny thing is that me and my friend were mugged last night at around 9:30 pm by some motorized malandros.Other than feeling like shit, I’m feeling a strange mixture of hope and anxiety.

  3. The delay is because some people are cooking, official seats are 99 to opp and 46 to govt, if they split the remaining 22 the opp will not reach 2/3,

    regarding the ANTV, again apply the same conclusion, it´s in the oven ¨not to give up ANTV¨ somebody needs to make a case for it, remember Avila TV belonged to the Caracas Major until the opp won in 2008 and few days later it was under control of the national govt,

  4. Okay. Okay. I know I’m sounding like a stuck record or a Chicken Little, but until the super-majority is confirmed by the CNE, it’s still in doubt. Rumors out of Ven from some friends of ours who have contacts within the military is that the delay last night was due to a confrontation inside Milaflores between Chavista hard-liners led by Cabello demanding that the military back a rejection of the results and nullify the election (like the Burmese military). The military said “not only no, but Hell No!” and I guess things took a while (several hours) to get everybody calmed down. My point here is that the continued delay in a second bulletin may well be Chavismo setting things up to deny the MUD their rightful 113 seats. Call me paranoid. Fine. But until it’s official…

    • Everybody says that the results for the rest (i.e. those required to get from 99 to 112) were posted in the CNE website. Venevision stated that. Later MUD did say that the 13 are a done deal (they got the paper trail, I guess).

      I have not checked that, but it would be interesting to get some confirmation on that, though…

    • Venezuela really needs a Myanmar option right now.

      It’s really a pity Venezuela never went the labor camp route. Ten years of forced labour would have taught you people some lessons.

  5. When do we get to release innocent prisoners, put those who are corrupt in jail, shut down state television, lock the doors at telesur, revoke Eva Golinger’s citizenship and send someone to the United States to make sure George Ciccariello-Maher disappears!

  6. Dear Juan,
    Yes, we do have to enjoy this moment, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t admit our mistakes, be it today or tomorrow (the sooner the better), for our lack of self-criticism is in part what got us here in the first place. MCM got it wrong, and it could’ve been fatal for our chances of obtaining a meaningful victory. This is yet another time when personal agendas are imposed over the country’s interests by “leaders” like MCM. Repeatedly, this kind of behavior has contributed to our defeat, hopelessness, helplessness. It’s only responsible to point it out, so that as we enjoy our victory we don’t forget how difficult the road has been.

  7. Agree with the post. The bootlicking parasites on public media have their days counted, and seriously, Guanipa, who cares?

    There’s a very, very, very long list of things to do, but this is the death of the 5th Republic, and a new beggining. And a lot of stuff that chavistas can do meanwhile to screw all of us again, so better keep your guards up.

  8. This is one of the best things I’ve read in Caracas Chronicles in a while. Just a jewel.

    Juan and I have quite a few disagreements. But I think what I like about this post is that it just shows his incredible, down to the bone decency. (Así mismo, con el término mariacorinista y todo.) It takes real intellectual courage to upbraid a friend of yours who’s just become powerful. But it takes a deep decency to do it in a way that’s so warm and chill it leaves you in no doubt as to what matters.

    Juan’s warmth in this post is so palpable, I dunno. It just totally won me over. Magnificent.

  9. Hear hear! Great post. Maybe we have all just gotten out of practice at being happy and content with election results. It has been a long time since we had reason to be.

  10. DJK wrote: “Rumors out of Ven from some friends of ours who have contacts within the military is that the delay last night was due to a confrontation inside Milaflores between Chavista hard-liners led by Cabello demanding that the military back a rejection of the results and nullify the election…”

    Rumors are dangerous to take at face value but equally dangerous to ignore.

    Perhaps a question worth asking is: What now for Godgiven? What, exactly, is his job? If he’s on the US Attorney General’s list of sanctioned criminals and he no longer has diplomatic immunity, then were does he stand with Interpol? Where does he stand within the new government? Only guessing here but he seems like someone MUD will have to deal with sooner than later, along with the Cuban problem, etc.

    Much joy, but much work lies ahead. And nice post, Juan.

    • God given is still a diputado, he was first in Monagas list and got his ticket. I just want to see him talked down by Ramos or Borges.

  11. Aplausos @JuanNagel! Agree 100% with Quico above. You are a true gentelman at hart and it shows on this post.

    Regarding #6D can someone please explain this—>
    “CNE afirma que la oposición ha asegurado 106 curules, 6 menos que las anunciadas por la MUD”

    Everybody knows they will not hand the power without a good fight. That’s why the rumors about the rif raf between Cabello and Padrino Lope are very believable. Plus they will not accept to make official the huge difference in numbers.

    My point is why is the MUD waiting??? They should step up and demand the official results!!

  12. “Yes, the government has just been handed their asses to them, but all Merly cares about … is the impossible task of preserving her puny little job. ”

    Yes, how disgraceful that someone in an underdeveloped country in which good jobs are hard to come by would actually want to preserve their “puny little job”. I mean, I’m sure its not what allows her to feed her family or anything.

    So pathetic that she can’t just, you know, not have to worry about feeding her family and just spend massive amounts of time writing idiocies on some blog somewhere…

    • Poor lady. What’s disgraceful is her job as shameless propagandist for a regime that has stolen billions and destroyed the country. She is just worried about losing her privileges and now having to stand in lines for hours for parcels of food like the rest of the country.

      • Yes, let’s blame this lady for what the regime did, because if she hadn’t been covering the Assembly on TV none of that would have happened. How shameful this stupid lady, she deserves to stand in lines for hours for food, even though we voted against this government because we don’t think people should have to wait in lines for food, but screw this lady and her family!

    MUD = 107 + 3 Indigena = 110
    PSUV= 55
    2 yet to be determined.

    Puzkas said the result would be 112/55 in accordance with the rumors of the ‘segundo boletin’ of the CNE saying 106MUD/55PSUV with 6 yet to be determined. Also in accordance with the earlier results surfaced by the venevision video (see comment above) with 112/51 with 4 yet to be determined.

    There is a rumor that PSUV is trying to get Pollo Carvajal in Monagas in.. so the final tally could be 111/56. 2/3 majority stands a 111 MPs.

  14. So pathetic that she can’t just, you know, not have to worry about feeding her family and just spend massive amounts of time writing idiocies on some blog somewhere…

    This is silly and transparently the work of a paid Yanque who apparently got hired to – that’s right – pen “idiocies on some blog somewhere.” As if “feeding her family” justifies promoting a government of narcos and wankers who left the country in ashes.

    • In other words, all these Chavista people who supported the government should now lose their jobs. Hmmm, seems like that’s exactly what the Chavistas said would happen if the opposition came to power.

      • Actually no. You can support the government or whomever you want as a civil servant. If you are a rank propagandist on the government payroll your job should very much be in jeopardy.

        • Ah yes, and I suppose its you who gets to decide who the propagandists are, and who are “objective journalists” are. Seems like we were all crying when the propagandists at RCTV were losing their jobs. But no tears when the opposition shut down VTV in April of 2002.

          Either way, screw this lady for worrying about losing her job. Its not like decent jobs are hard to find in Venezuela.

  15. “It’s hard to overstate just how massive last night’s opposition win was…” No kidding. David vs Goliath if you think about it, with the opposition’s total banishment from the media landscape, all the shenanigans from the government, the whole playing field rigged. Wow.

  16. “Tomás, loco, nobody cares. History was made last night. Your little tiff with Maria Corina is pathetic.”

    I do care :), because unity matters not only after, but before the election as well. Don’t tell Tomás that we should be united today, we are! He’s just reminding MCM that yesterday we should have been as united as we are today.


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