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.

 

23 COMMENTS

  1. Como ciudadano común, dos cosas hay que temer el 1 de Septiembre.
    A la repression del regimen y a la tarima de la oposición.
    Cual será mas dañina?

  2. OK, so you suggest the MUD speaks in a slightly harsher tone. They will DEMAND, not ask. And then the government will continue to ignore them. Then what? What exactly are the MUD’s bargaining chips here?

    It seems like this post comes more from frustration that things aren’t happening faster, than from any realistic analysis. MUD has to be careful not to play posición adelantada. Avoid mistakes like, say, sending the March to Miraflores.

    On social media a lot of people are frustrated with the MUD’s plan, but I see no one suggesting realistic, smart alternatives.

    • There is a middle ground between not jumping the gun and not providing people with leadership. I think the article points to the second aspect as a failure, but of course I didnt write it.

      The MUD has a bit of a problem actually showing people they have some leadership quality … and that can be a problem. Strong leadership that sets the tempo can also inspire obedience, weak leadership may not be able to control the forces unleashed…

  3. The regime appears to be preparing the ground to ‘sell’ a warped ‘narrative’ about what will happen on Sept 1st which can be used to justify the extremest of repressive measures against the opposition , they are cornered in that there is no future for them if they allow normal institutional processes to operate , no matter how much they try to sabotage these processes sooner than later there are going to be elections where they will be soundly beaten , be revealed to have lost all democratic legitimacy and face great pressure to give up power or be seen as a nakedly oppressive dictatorship.

    By setting up a dramatically touched up scenario to paint the protests and marches as a direct coup attempt they may be trying to use that as an excuse to throttle the opposition by force and proclaim an emergency situation which warrants the institution of a dictatorship to ‘save the revolution’ from its violent enemies .

    In such situation the MUD has to be careful to ensure it doenst inadvertently help the regime make its phantom narrative more believable , this involves a difficult balance in the language it uses to be assertive in making the 1st of September serve as a proxy demonstration of its democratic legitimacy and strenght , but not give the regime any alibi to let loose the beasts of apocalypse and destroy by force a movement which is becoming sronger and stronger every day (inside and outside Venezuela) .

    The revocatorio fight is just one step in a long elaborate process which goal is to destroy the regimes credibility and popular support by enticing it to show its fraudulent nature and harsh authoritarian bent , the revocatorio may not itself have the happy conclusion we want it to have and yet the regime be deeply wounded by what that fight reveals about its political bankruptcy and dictatorial ways.

  4. My daughter in Caracas says the place is militarized to the hilt and that people on both “sides” are jumpy as grillos. What happens if the sheer numbers are more than the security forces can handle? What happens if they respond with overwhelming force? What if that doesn’t halt the tide, or if soldiers in the rank and file simply can’t join in on the carnage?

    Hope all these doomsday scenarios never come to pass, but a day of reckoning was inevitable, and it’s only a day away.

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

    It has to be big, or nothing will happen. The criminal thugs in power are scared to leave, want to steal more, have have nowhere to go, anyway. So they will put up a fight. That’s what Dictators do.

    The biggest shame is that the military, police, guardia nazional, they’re all corrupt and crooked too. Why is the Military in the streets of Caracas? Are the Colombians or Russians invading any day soon? The Military should not be involved in social issues, and much less political issues. Only to protect a country in case of war. But hey, the thing is they are corrupt as hell, too. And they want more money. As simple as that. Plus they fear jail, and loss of their stolen properties. As simple as that.

    The guardia? the police? same thing. They want to continue stealing, that’s all.

    They have no morals, they are prepared to hit the streets and repress, and abuse common, good people in the protest. That’s how rotten and corrupt our country has become.

    It is a disguised dictatorship, of course. And the filthy Military are the main force behind it.

  6. I can’t shake this feeling that the MUD is as scared as the government, the MUD called the march, now they realize that the result of having thousand or hundreds of thousands of persons on the streets cannot be controlled, what are they going to do if one of those columns takes its own route downtown?

  7. Bobositors are expecting MUD to say “Let’s go everyone to Miraflores and kill Maduro”. If that were the case, four cat peelers will go and get killed, all MUD get arrested, the army would finally take the country, while bobositors are in their safety houses tweeting “let’s take the street!”.

  8. I have been emailing my friend in Venezuela…about the march and her opinion..this is her
    . have heard people talking about how tired they are of arguments between Government and Oposition… of course, they are shit and live in Guatire, which is still “chavista at heart” (Mfrs) (…)
    I dont have impressions or thoughts of people in other places or territories. I think chavistas know they are lost, in accordance with Constitution. So… They want some masks to put on in order to find out excuses to suspend the referendum this time.
    They are predictable, they always do the same and this time they know the majority of people are not agrre with them, however people are tired, fed up and actually dont care about anything but searching for food. Same story or at sort related with dictators everywhere.

  9. Every time I see Vladamir interview a Chavista, like today, I scream at the TV; Just ask them one question. What is more important to a Chavista, democracy or the revolution? Yeah, I know the answer. You know the answer. But it would still be nice to watch them answer like they were trying to swallow a bad clam.

  10. “By setting up a dramatically touched up scenario to paint the protests and marches as a direct coup attempt they may be trying to use that as an excuse to throttle the opposition by force and proclaim an emergency situation which warrants the institution of a dictatorship to ‘save the revolution’ from its violent enemies .”

    Bill, I have been convinced for some time that this is exactly the plan. The national cadenas of the last few nights have only reinforced my viewpoint.

    Chavismo has finally reached that inevitable point where free elections can no longer be held. What better “gift” than another 11 Abril-type coup attempt to go all-out dictatorship on the country?

    The news on the morning of 2nd September should be interesting.

  11. While the pace has been slower than I would like, the MUD has a strategy and they are pursuing that strategy. Only three weeks ago, I (and others here) were questioning why the MUD called for a protest so far in the future. Now we can see the reason and the results. For obvious reasons, they cannot explain the details of their plans with us. Why share your playbook with the other team? But, for me, on balance, the MUD does seem to know what it is doing. I think that they know exactly what their position is and I think we have to give them the opportunity to execute their plan.

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