Seriously, isn’t Timoteo Zambrano going to resign?


timoteoThis is the real question we need to be asking in the wake of Timoteo Zambrano’s enraging statement about Mercosur yesterday. Zambrano, you’ll recall (or perhaps you’re drinking heavily to try to forget) attacked Mercosur after the trade block threatened to suspend Venezuela in response to the regime’s increasingly dictatorial style.

For once, Zambrano managed to unify the opposition as a whole, with everyone from Chúo Torrealba to María Corina Machado racing to distance MUD from this catastrophic brain fart, including this world historic burn from El Hatillo mayor David Smolansky:

But the question here isn’t whether Zambrano did or did not put his foot in his mouth in attacking the one clear foreign policy success the opposition has had these last few weeks.

The meta-question hanging over all of this is about accountability.

The question is how he can possibly stay on as MUD’s Coordinator for International Affairs after a blunder on this scale.

And the answer is he can’t: Timoteo Zambrano has to resign. And if he won’t, he has to be fired.

The meta-question hanging over all of this is about accountability. The question is whether any mistake at all is considered resignation-worthy within MUDistan, or whether MUD really thinks its leadership posts are covered by  inamovilidad laboral. 

MUD is in a strange situation in the Venezuelan public sphere. Having cornered the market on anti-chavismo, everyone understands — and many resent — that its word is basically sacrosanct: it’s their way or the highway. With institutional mechanisms inside the alliance murky at the best of times, accountability is pretty lax: it’s hard sometimes to figure out what sanction its leaders face even for mistakes that ought to be career-ending.

Which is why Timoteo Zambrano’s blunder is really much more a test of MUD than a test of Timoteo Zambrano. We know what to think of him. MUD, in contrast, is a bit more ambiguous. We’re labouring mightily to keep the faith here. But you gotta throw us a bone now and then, give us some sign that you hold your own bigwigs to minimal standards.

And it’s a test of Chúo Torrealba’s leadership personally. The guy’s never been known for ruthlessness, but if he can’t impose a minimum of order on the alliance then it’s hard to figure out what he’s doing there. Chúo, de pana,  show Zambrano the door. For your own sake.

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  1. Timoteo Zambrano embodies why primaries are important. The “list vote” is a blank check for parties to put whoever they want as a near certain deputy.

    • Lol, I don’t know if you’ve noticed but UNT are seeking the liberty of Rosales at practically any cost (who told that fool that it was a good idea to hand himself in in the first place?). Timoteo’s remark comes a few days after Enrique Marquez’s comments praising the dialogue with the government.

      However, the thing is that UNT are the second or third largest party in the MUD, and it is by far, the largest party in Zulia. That is, the opposition needs their presence, despite their selfish politics.

      • UNT is easily the second worst party after PSUV. Sadly, they’ll stay alive for as long as they have a chokehold on Zulia politics

      • “UNT are seeking the liberty of Rosales at practically any cost (who told that fool that it was a good idea to hand himself in in the first place?).”

        He miscalculated and thought Leopoldo was going to be released and he wanted to be in the same picture.

        • Roberto, thing is that out of all of the opposition leader, Rosales has real corruption charges to face. So not only was his blunder highly miscalculated, it has real implications for the rest of the opposition.

          • I watched the whole impeachment against Rosales, and I can tell you that the only thing the chavistas managed to pull against him was that he “disposed” of a piece of garbage truck that was just taking space in some courtyard in the Zulia’s governor house.

            The other “charges” were just nebulous and useless babbling from Mario Isea aka “Inspector Ardilla” who after a couple of hours lost his head and started accussing Rosales of being a “burgueoise coupster” just because his parents had some properties.

            The real thing about Rosales is that he committed political suicide in 2006, when he meekly accepted that Chávez had won those elections, THAT is the reason only his own partisans and his family give a rat’s ass about him.

    • List vote has been always a fraud to sneak the worst people on the posts, just take any example such as Iris Varela, Luis Reyes, Pedro Carroña and all the other guys that couldn’t secure even the vote from their own families.

  2. These type of people have hindered the MUD’s (Coordinadora Democrática o whatever you call it) for decades. It’s great to finally see people distancing from these statements, as before there was always an effort to try to correr la arruga.
    Really, these type of guys just need to go.

  3. The Spanish word “dimitir” sounds nicely but it is so seldom used in first person.
    I hear all the time X or Y resigned in the English or German world. I very seldom hear that among the Spanish and Latin American people.
    Venezuela is the absolute extreme of where people find it so hard to resign.
    It’s an absolutely feudal country where social pressure is so weak that it is not enough to get rid of these irresponsible blokes.

  4. Now Quico, not that fast.
    Zambrano spoke of the difficulty for complying with the request of adopting Mercosur’s legislation in such a short notice because Mecosur’s legislation would have to be adopted by the AN; he said that the AN was not recognized by Maduro; Zambrano spoke of contacting Delcy to see how this could be work out.
    So the door is being open for Maduro to recognize the AN. If Maduro refuses to compromise, which he will, he will confirm what he is.
    So, might it be a trap for Maduro? Just a possibility!

      • Note that MUD’s reaction has being so far measured: “Zambrano acted on his own”.
        When you add this to Marquez’s disclosure of the dialogue the message to the international community all along has been: we are offering Maduro ways to compromise and he has refused.

  5. You guys are being played and you sugar coat your words. Aristobulo runs SEBIN, Zambrano is with the regime, Zapatero is an arms merchant. Wake up! Zapatero has Navantia 2019 Armada VLS integration on his mind. Why do you think Delcy went to India last month to invite Modi? Why are they bending over backwards for India? They have long term plans in action.

    • Some of those rats are sitting in jail fighting for a better tomorrow. Others living in hiding, moving from safehouse to safehouse to stay one step ahead of the dictatorship’s thugs.

      And you, Lazarus, what have you sacrificed?

      • EPÉ, in short, yes. Family, health, wealth, past opprtunities and future, and more than once at the wrong end of a gun, in country. Even now out of Venezuela, and as a non Venezuelan, my family and friends in country, and supporting others out of country, we all live it every day, from sun up to last prayers at night. Your question is offensive. For only stating my opinion? Ok.. Some of your best leaders, the bravest are in prision, while “a few” ratas pull this shit.. rather than fighting for their liberation. Yes, I find it disgusting and demoralizing.. exactly what th regime wants.

        • You’ve suffered. We’ve all suffered. But you haven’t SACRIFICED anything. Instead you havee balls to casually slander people who do take risks, ego do sacrifice, day in and day out, for the country. And when you get called out for your cowardice, you get offended. Pathetic.

          • Some of those ratas took a bet and lost. Their failure doesn´t make them heroes, it just reveals their incompetence.
            Please don´t kid yourself. The ultimate sacrifice has been made by those who died of hunger for no reason than being born, not the ones taking hits as part of a political manouver.

          • called out for my cowardice? when, where? You do not know me. You have no idea what I do, or have done, for friends, family, living in and out of country, and around the world. Yes, I’ve sacrificed.. no blood, yet.

            You’re just a prick, because I think some of Venezuela’s “opposition leaders” are ratas.

            If we were to meet in public I would be happy to have a civil debate on any of this issues or my credentials, to justify my stance. But my Venezuelan wife would kick your ass for you questiong me.. just saying.


  6. I never comment anymore. Not in this site, not ever. But I would like to point out that the problem with Timoteo Zambrano did not start with what he said about Mercosur, that was only the end of it. He announced Gabriel San Miguel’s liberation without consulting with MUD leaders, without even allowing for there to be a press conference or an official MUD stance on how to approach this liberation. No, instead he simply announced it, almost like if it was his own accomplishment. So the thing about being MUD’s “Secretary of State” is that you do not accomplish personal goals, but institutional ones, and he has shown way too many times that he is using his post as MUD International Affairs Coordinator for personal gain, to get closer to being Canciller. And that’s definitely allowed in politics, but not in this blunt, obvious, unapolegetic and stupid way que nos hace quedar a todos como sendos pendejos. NO.

  7. Basically every month I find an interview/article/tweet/facebook post in which a MUD high-profile figure is seen supplicating for international attention and more pressure on Maduro. Just google interviews with the big guys in the MUD in the last 12 months and see it. And when they finally start getting what they’ve asked for, they then say that this was not really what they had asked for.

    And then MUD, by not replacing the guy, is giving a very clear message for all the politicians abroad willing to burn political capital for the sake of saving Venezuela: “We think that this is just a big joke. Don’t take us at face value. We are not serious.”

    Toro is absolutely right, to replace the man is imperative if they ever want to be trusted again.

  8. Stupid is as stupid does. No excuses possible here. MUD’s one big real tangible international “victory” snatched from the spotlight of success by the jaws of defeat, so long as Zambrano stands.

  9. I know Kiko at least has a Japanese passport and maybe an old Canadian residence to support himself living outside Venezuela, and probably this is why he used such a blind sinded, almost obnoxious choice of words against Timoteo Zambrano this time. You could tell that he does not knows about the flow of things in Venezuela because he hasnt lived there for at least 10 years. But that is still not what I am going to rant about, but here it goes: I agree its bad timing for Timoteo Zambrano to say this, and probably one reader is right when he explains that Zambrano has used his “secretary of state” of the MUD position for his own objectives, but these concerns ARE LEGITIMATE. Zmbrano is right: Being EXPELLED FROM MERCOSUR would be a NIGHTMARE for THOUSANDS OF VENEZUELANS that EVERY DAY are ESCAPING the regime. And he is right to have Delcy explain him how this is going to turn out, BECAUSE COULD BE CATASTROPHIC BY 2017. Probably you all guys have green cards or are descendants of Europeans or even fellow Latin Americans, and that is why I havent seen a comment like mine, but the case that Mercosur countries are one of the few places that “Venezolanitos de pura cepa” like me would be able to go legally. I have no other passport than the Venezuelan and therefore no other country to escape. The certainty of being able to fly away through the Mercosur visa served as a escape, as a way to LIVE and WORK outside Venezuela LEGALLY. That is visa Mercosur, and I am sure I am not the only one that thinks this.

    I will explain better what this Mercosur Visa represents: I have two graduate degrees from schools in the USA, and even with that I couldn’t stay there, even with the two degrees, and without even a speeding ticket. I am still not American, and there to stay legal, you need to find a big company that sponsors you first, and then go through a 50,000 head cap visa lottery. Of course is hard to get a visa, and you usually do on unfavorable conditions. I also did not wanted to have a fake marriage in order to stay. I had to came back to Venezuela in 2012 and once here I found a position in a multinational company, while I saw my buying power become dog shit. I quitted in 2015, and been in Ecuador since then with a Visa Mercosur. The good thing of the VISA MERCOSUR is that you only needed the passport and very few documents to get the visa and that throughout the region, it has a reasonable price (approx $200 per year, all in reciprocity terms). It it an automatic visa, not capped, not subject to conditional approvals, it was as easy as it could get. The Mercosur visa allows Venezuelans to have a legal status before you get a job, and therefore you could look for jobs in “theoretical” equal conditions with locals. I got my visa last december and I was able to find a decent job in Quito and send money to my parents in Caracas. What I am going to do if Mercosur cancels those visas? Colombia did already, and thousands of Venezuelan were screwed. I remember the month that I got my visa in Quito, I was the #3000 in the month list, with 70% of that list being Venezuelans, according to one of the immigration officers, with whom I befriended. That means that only in Ecuador, in December of 2015, approximately 2000 Venezuelans entered the country and applied for the visa. We are fucked without that visa, at least in Ecuador there are other, much more expensive ways to stay legal, but the rest of the countries might not and would have to force thousands of Venezuelans to either stay illegally in foreign lands or go back.This applies to the maybe hundred thousand Venezuelans between Colombia, Ecuador, Argentina and Uruguay. Timoteo has a legit concern, come on guys! Kiko get some neighbors “getas” and show some emotional intelligence when you write again about this topic, because it seems that the fact that Zambrano is from UNT, makes you and all sifrinos that have commented this article to eek without even realizing that the guy is right to show this concern.

    • Thanks for the enlightening post about Mercosur visas, I had no idea such a thing was part of Mercosur!

      It does help explain Zambrano’s position.

      Still, one wonders if he wasn’t “playing offsides” (jugando adelantado) given the tweets that followed!

    • You are right, most people with some kind of passport different from the venezuelan one probably don’t care about mercosur. You know who else doesn’t care at all about that? Millions of Venezuelans that can’t even afford the plane ticket to leave the country, lack a second language like you or a proper education and can’t even begin to thing about migrating because they have to search the trash for food.

      You know that, of course, since you are much more aware of our situation than Kiko like you claim, yet you are totally comfortable sacrificing the lives of millions in order to make your situation more comfortable. The irony of you calling other people unaware of their privilege and sifrinos because they fail to see the advantage of their european passport while you are sitting comfortably at your new country not suffering the consequences of a situation that you don’t want to upset much in order to avoid going for the more “expensive” route in order to stay there.

      I hope they kick you out and you are forced to come back, I really do, that’s what you deserve.

      By the way, any country worth its salt always offers possibilities for exceptional talent to stay and work, if your only option if this visa, you are probably shit, so, good riddance.

      • I would like to see you in the street to kick your ass. You dont seem to understand that for Venezuelans, Mercosur is our only regional option and its insulting that you say that I am shit because no country wants to give me a visa. That is so far from reality. Probably you are in a foreign country, but I really hope you die with syphilis or with a shot to your head

      • Secondly, being part of Mercosur or will not change the situation of the millions of Venezuelans you claim are searching the trash for food (neither the ones wearing guayucos, and everything else that is not true you think about your country)… Ecuador does offer a much more expensive way to stay, and I guess I will have to work to be able to pay that visa when my Mercosur expires, but thats not the case with Venezuelans in Argentina and Uruguay. And why do you think I am not suffering the consequences of all of this. Come to my house. see how I live, and again let me kick your ass. because thats what you deserve.

      • “I hope they kick you out and you are forced to come back, I really do, that’s what you deserve.”

        Dirac, tampoco así, viejo, ni que el Fernando fuera un enchufado o un chavista de esos que emigran a predicar el chavismo en otros países.

    • Thanks for the highly emotional post (lol), but it is worth mentioning that Venezuela is not a signatory to the specific Mercosur treaty that allows for legal residence, because of the PSUV’s lack of interest in giving Venezuelans a legal form to migrate. Argentina and Uruguay do allow for Venezuelans to opt for the Mercosur visa, but it is because of the special relationship between them (in Argentina’s case, the special relationship with the previous government). Try asking the Policia Federal do Brasil for the Mercosur visa and you will get a unanimous answer: “According to our lists, Venezuela is not part of Mercosur.” And it’s true.

      So, if Zambrano’s gaffe was actually an attempt to defend non-existent right, then the guy needs to learn how to express himself better. If it’s not -and I believe it is not- then his removal from his post was more than justified.

    • There’s a hole in your logic, Fernando.

      Venezuela has never been part of Mercosur, because the chavista regime never fulfilled the conditions to enter, one of the most important ones being the “free access to foreign currency” aka “ZERO cadivi, cencoex or any forex-based-corruption”.

      You wanna blame somebody for this blunder? Go ahead, Giordani, the one who invented the “bank accounts in foreign currency that actually doesn’t let you access said currency but served anyway as an excuse to cover that point” is still here in Venezuela, also, there are Lula, Kirchner and the others who using their posts at Mercosur cheated Venezuela into becoming part of it without having fulfilled the requirements.

      You should have gone looking for another method of Visa once you set foot in the other country, dude, you’re in the same situation that afflicts those who went to live in other countries using the cadivi quotas.

      • Not exactly using the cadivi quotas, as this is a work visa, not an economic benefit. Venezuelan was being granted Mercosur visas, I am not that clear under which conditions, but truth is that we were getting Mercosur visas. If we get kicked out, Maduro is still going to be in power, there is still going to be poverty, NO problem will be solved, and thousands of Venezuelans are going to be deported. Probably no one in this blog cares about it, probably some of you will be even happy that happens (Venezuelans have a special taste to see their countrymen eating shit) so there is no hole in the logic.

        • I mentioned the cadivi quotas because just to make a comparison, a pseudo-benefit granted by the chavista regime that many people took advantage of, and that they thought it would last forever.

          The cadivi-quota-living people were facing trouble after the whole remittances part of the system was offed, leaving lots of people with no “income”, many of those who had spent years in other country and never tried to find another source of income to be able to sustain themselves there due to a variety of reasons.

          I recommend you to “cover your ass” and start inquiring about how to get to stay in the country you’re living now without having to depend in the Mercosur visa.

  10. la tolerancia política debe empezar por casa, pienso yo. No todo los de la MUD comparten las mismas ideas y opiniones. Debemos aceptarlo y aprender a respetarnos mutuamente. Por una opinion, que no compartimos muchos, no es justo que se le ‘condene’ de esa manera.


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