These few days have seen the government showing its dictatorial claws like never before. With the kidnapping (yes, kidnapping) of opposition leaders and designed-to-intimidate propaganda on overdrive, we can all feel how this conflict is quickly escalating into something bigger than the march/concentration/protest/etc. that MUD announced some weeks ago.

 
It all sounds like the Caracazo to me. Except nothing’s even started and Caracas is militarized already.

The government is on the offensive here. They’re already talking about planned coups and murders. On 29th, a documentary about the government’s version of 11 de abril was shown in cadena nacional, they showed another one yesterday. At one point Diosdado said that the opposition is planning to disguise troublemakers in military uniforms, or have others dress as chavista militants and then start shooting people, to record videos and stain Venezuela’s name in international public opinion.

There’s something very wrong with that man.

It all sounds like the Caracazo to me. Except nothing’s even started and Caracas is militarized already. Clearly, they’re expecting something big.

 
Watching Chuo Torrealba’s press conference yesterday, I was expecting a new course from the opposition leadership. The original goal —pressing CNE to announce the schedules for the referendum recall— feels oddly beside the point now.

The expectation that “something” is going to happen has become pervasive. People are heading to Caracas from all around the country to take part the big march. That includes father Lenin from Anzoátegui state with his pilgrimage, a large group of Indigenous people from Amazonas State, and even a group of people in wheelchairs from Barquisimeto. Not to mention groups of private citizens renting buses and traveling on their own dime to Caracas. As the GNB tries limply shut down the access points to the capital to stop the demonstrators from entering, more and more join the walk.

Everybody’s noticed this, except MUD. Watching Chuo Torrealba’s press conference yesterday, I was expecting a new course from the opposition leadership. The original goal —pressing CNE to announce the schedules for the referendum recall— feels oddly beside the point now. The MUD doesn’t seem to realize how big of a majority they are, they shouldn’t beg for a schedule, they should impose the schedule.

“Tibisay, cut the crap: the referendum recall starts this Monday. ¡Muévelo!

That’s what I was expecting. But no. Chuo was more interested in talking about the logistical details of where the marchers would be marching to.

About political prisoners…nothing.

Really?

Again, they don’t seem to realize how big they are. They should demand, not ask, demand: the immediate release of all political prisoners, including Leopoldo Lopez. This is no longer a country of two halves: MUD represents the aspiration of a crushing majority of Venezuelan people. Why won’t they act like it?

People on the street are desperate to put an end to the dystopian nightmare that the Maduro administration has devolved into. Listening to Chuo Torrealba, it’s hard to shake the feeling that everybody in the country gets that except MUD’s leaders.

By calling for a march weeks ahead of time, MUD has unleashed the kraken. Now it’s time to give that kraken some direction so things don’t get too ugly, particularly since the government’s best idea for facing up to it is to go on all-out dictatorial mode.

The game has changed MUD, the stakes are rising fast. This is no time for bailoterapias.

 

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