Venezuela’s opposition coalition, MUD, is in a tight spot today. For months they’ve been working mightily to force a recall vote before the end of 2016. Last night, the government controlled National Elections Council, CNE, imposed conditions on the next stage of the recall process that are illegal, unconstitutional, and virtually impossible to meet: a signature collection drive in too few voting centers running for too few hours in too few places where too few people live, plus a purely arbitrary and unconstitutional requirement to collect 20% of the signatures in every state.

MUD can’t pretend that what CNE declared last night is anywhere near ok.

MUD can’t pretend that what CNE declared last night is anywhere near ok: doing so would break faith with an opposition base that is already deeply suspicious about its leadership. But MUD understands that its strength is in numbers: with likely voters now breaking 8-to-1 in favor of recalling Maduro, simply ditching the Ruta Electoral and calling for street protests alone is a non-starter.

That’s the Dilemma they face. Here’s how they should solve it:

The Creative 20%

Faced with CNE’s tricks, MUD should announce that it will participate, but on its terms.

First, MUD should say explicitly that there is no legal or constitutional basis for imposing a state-by-state 20% requirement, and that it therefore will not recognize it.

It should then denounce that the conditions are designed con premeditación y alevosía to disenfranchise millions of people who want to request a recall but will not be able to in these conditions.

It should create parallel mechanisms for its supporters who are disenfranchised by the CNE rules to register their demand for a recall.

On the same day as the CNE recall drive, MUD can:

  • Create parallel stations, run by its own activists, where its supporters can formally record that they wanted to sign but were unable to do so.
  • Hold a presidential primary out of those same parallel signing stations to finally settle the question of its leadership.
  • On the final day of CNE’s drive, call for people nationwide to procede from their parallel signing stations to protest rallies all over the country to denounce CNE’s unconstitutional power grab.
  • Stage some other idea you’ve thought of, and I haven’t.

September 1st already showed how invaluable una fecha en el calendario can be when the time comes to concentrate minds.

MUD needs to leverage the dates for the 20% Drive into a National Protest Event, and the effective launch of its campaign of civil disobedience, which will inevitably follow soon after, when CNE announces its impossible conditions have not been met.

The one positive thing MUD got out of yesterday’s announcement is the certainty that there will be an event. A date.

September 1st already showed how invaluable una fecha en el calendario can be when the time comes to concentrate minds.

MUD needs to extract maximum political mileage out of that moment, and use it to bring the conversation back to the one arena where it has a clear advantage: not violence, not guarimbas, none of that. Its crushing electoral majority, mobilized around the acute awareness of the desperate need for a change of government this year.

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  1. En Cataluña hicieron algo parecido a lo que propone aquí para la oposición venezolana cuando el gobierno español no autorizó el referendum de independencia para Cataluña. El resultado para los independentistas catalanes fue una mamarrachada de referendum que nadie reconoció y quedó en nada (y por la que ahora algunos de los dirigentes tienen que enfrentarse a la justicia) Dado el nulo respeto por la ley del chavismo, su propuesta implica tan solo alargar la agonía y seguir sin querer reconocer que lo único que conseguirán los venezolanos del chavismo será lo que se gane a través de las huelgas, la desobediencia civil y la protesta constante.

    • Muy de acuerdo Rafael. Como lo pone Gene Sharp en su libro “De la dictadura a la Democracia”:
      “El principio es sencillo. Los dictadores requieren la ayuda de los
      gobernados, sin la cual no pueden ni disponer de las fuentes de poder
      ni conservarlas. …
      …Si, a pesar de la represión, se pueden restringir o recortar
      durante un tiempo suficiente los recursos de los que depende el
      poder, los resultados pueden ser la incertidumbre y la confusión
      dentro de la dictadura. Es probable que sobrevenga entonces un
      notable debilitamiento de su poder. Con el tiempo, el quitarle los
      recursos al poder producirá la parálisis y la impotencia del régimen y,
      en casos muy severos, su desintegración. El poder de los dictadores
      se ira muriendo, lenta o rápidamente, de inanición política”

    • Con esto no quiero decir que la propuesta de Toro no es válida. Pero por si misma no es muy contundente. Tampoco me gusta la fecha. Pienso que no hay que esperar a Noviembre, Octubre es gran mes con muchos días no hay que dejarlos pasar.

  2. The Good: I like the nuance and subtlety. It stays with the principled script of following the Constitution and seeking an orderly transition.

    The Bad: Much of what I like about it will be lost on the average citizen and much of the international community. It is not a dramatic stand that will garner sympathy and support.

    The Ugly: The regime could counter by declaring that since the MUD openly disrespects the institutions of government, they are therefore illegal, and use the opportunity to dissolve the AN, declare the MUD and all of the constituent parties illegal, and then detain all the MUD leadership, taking them out of play.

    • I agree with your good, and mostly with “the bad” as well. But with “the ugly”, there really is no difference between what is happening now and with the more direct actions you list there. And the more radical they become, the angrier and more resolute people become.

  3. Question:

    Let’s assume everything plays exactly as it’s described on this post. You yourself state:

    ” launch of its campaign of civil disobedience, which will inevitably follow soon after, when CNE announces its impossible conditions have not been met.”

    This is the issue. You yourself state that the RR is a no go because of the completely unfair and illegal conditions. This is the question we ought to ask (if participating in the RR is the way to go, of course, which seems it will be). What to do when Tibisay goes on cadena to say that this fiesta democratica ended with 18% of the nationwide/deltaamacuro so there will not be an RR. You said it yourself: it’s inevitable.

    Also, the “On the final day of CNER’s drive, call for people nationwide to procede from their parallel signing stations to protest rallies all over the country to denounce CNE’s unconstitutional power grab.” So, diverting people away from signing (those who havnt done it by then) or making those who signed wait for the others or, in conclusion, creating an even more hostile environment for collecting las manifestaciones de voluntad will help us how? I think this has the potential to hurt us more than help us (at least, doing this that day)

    Finally, the “presidential primaries” thing… thats taking a leak on a perol that exists not just in a galaxy far far away but in another dimension and time. I agree the question of leadership must be solved, but, would that *REALLY* be the best moment to do so?

    I think this article nails two subjects: how can the MUD use its obvious majority as leverage and what will be done when the no-go is announced. These are the questions that we need to answer ASAP.

    O.T.: I think that it would have been FAR easier for chavismo to allow the RR on january 15th and be done with it, if the worse comes to happen, no biggie, put someone else as VP and it’s done. Now, if the problem for them with that is “who will be the next president? cuz Maduro is there cuz Chavez himself said so”, then what will happen on hypothetical 2019 elections?

    • The presidential primaries runs the risk of fragmenting more the already fragmented MUD. Not a good moment to do it. On the other hand I think that instead of signing the MUD should call a drive to not to sign on a muddled process. I mean, create the lanes, create the lot of people but allow only a 1% of signatures. This way you would turn the process into a huge protest instead of following the script by the government. No one signing while you see the lot of people on TV would be a bigger coup for the government and would not run the risk of not achieving the 20% because of the muddled conditions.

  4. Dude. I’m with you, but let’s be honest: those “parallel signing stations” are going to be taken down in minutes by the military under the excuse that no proselytizing is allowed on election day or something similar. And having a primary on the same day (and a primary campaign before that) will be pure chaos.

    If there’s going to be an organized effort on that day, I say we take advantage of the old “the voting center is open as long as there are voters in line” rule. Have everybody be physically there all the time and try to force the process to go on continuously over three days. When the military inevitably forces a shutdown, at least we will be able to formally show we tried to do it but were physically prevented from carrying on.

  5. Quico,

    At what point are you going to realize that these ways of outsmarting the government will not (I say WILL NOT) get you anywhere???
    If in fact the opposition outnumbers the government 8 to 1, they should shut down the country until Maduro resigns. Take the streets and shut down the country, that is the only way to make a change without using guns.

  6. I think it would be a mistake to go into the challenge of the 20% before demanding a change of the rules and protesting for it. We cant pretend to play soccer following baseball rules.

  7. I’m just an outsider looking in but I’d think you’d want to do one thing and do it well. Trying to accomplish several different things on the same day seems it’ll spread your organizers thin.

  8. With one caveat:

    Ask people if they are willing to sign for the real 2016 Maduro’s recall and you get the 8 to 1 number.

    Ask for a mud organized symbolic signature drive and you’ll get a radically different number.

    And that’s a critical difference. Low participation can end up doing more harm than good.

    It’s a risky move, the important thing would be for the mud to be able to communicate why it’s worth it.

    Who is it that we want to show we are an electoral majority and why it matters.

  9. The point for me is that it’s not realistic to just sit this out, and it’s not realistic to participate as though things were “normal.” We’re going to participate, so we better participate parando peo.

    • Parando peo sin aceptar las condiciones, Parando peo sin jugar a perder. Parando peo en union, no regados por todos los centros y centros paralelos.

      Tu optimismo en los dos posts de hoy me dejó loco, no entiendo de dónde lo sacas. El gobierno ha demostrado una y otra vez que no le importa nada.

      La única forma de sacar a narcos del gobierno es con militares que forcen la renuncia, qué militares? los que tienen casas en miami y les gusta disney y no se quieren hundir con el barco.

      Cómo forzas la barra? con protestas masivas, forzando represión, paralizando al país. Ese gordo militar ladrón tendrá dos opciones, enfrentarse y posiblemente caer con el gobierno, reprimir y ser buscado internacionalmente por violacion de los DDHH, o simplemente dar la vuelta, quedar como un héroe y volver a Disney cuando le de la gana.

    • I think that we need to call a spade a spade. Either the CNE is a neutral arbiter of our electoral system or it has been unconstitutionally and illegally usurped by the PSUV. I think everyone clearly agrees it is the latter. By participating we send a confusing mixed message as to weather the CNE is or is not legitimate in its actions. We need to clearly state that we no longer recognize the legitimacy of the CNE, and that there is, as the facts clearly show, a grave dissolution of the constitutional order and I think it hurts us in continuing to pretend that the Constitution even means anything anymore.
      I believe we can then gather the necessary 20% on our own in an open and transparent way at an earlier date without giving the CNE and its unconstitutional actions any more legitimacy. Where we go from there? Well….. it’s clearly a dictatorship we need to break down and we have to buckle up and prepare for that.

      • The more we force the CNE to go through with their inconstitutional shit, the more it becomes clear to the people, the international community, and even some of the government’s supporters, that they are abusing their power. So participate, but in protest. Refuse to acknowledge their decisions, just like they do with AN. And they can do it cause they control the guns, but we can do it because we control the numbers.

        • We are past the point where the unconstitutional shit IS clear. It is about as clear as it is going to get and trying to continue to “clarify” the situation does not bear more fruit than it already has. NOW that it’s clear, we gotta figure out what to do.

      • Best post so far. If awareness by the international community is an issue, then MUD should invite them to watch and certificate their own and self-organized RR. Sort of 2 birds with a single stone: acceptance by international actors to come implies they agree with the argument that CNE is not playing by the rules, if the regimen does not allow them in, then their fraud is exposed. If results come as expected, then we are as far as we could: it demonstrate Maduro (and its regimen) are repelled by the majority of Venezuelans; whether he leaves or not after that is still an scenario that plays if the RR is carried out via CNE or not.

  10. I would use the AN to go for the money and announce that the bond swap is unconstitutional and the AN does not approve it, therefore anybody that does the exchange will not be paid.

    I would use the AN and announce that we have 40-50-200 whatever new judges for the supreme court and start approving laws at the AN and confirming then through the new TSJ.

    I would call everybody to the streets and play chicken with the government.

    • I agree with taking advantage of the AN. Say fuck it and do everything you wanted to do, force a struggle of power between the brances. What happens when the 13 new judges show up at the TSJ?

    • Agree, I have the feeling that the way out might be through AN pressure. But not directly, as they will just use the Supreme Tribunal to declare them unconstitutional, and not by trying to change the composition of the Supreme Court (let’s face it, they are just going to put in jail the new judges), but applying pressure to their economic partners: the blocking of the bond swap is a good start, but the AN could also, for example, pass a “Green Conservation Act”, making exporting ore from Venezuela subject to a a 60% export tariff, or a law making a requirement for any government contract over, lets say 20 million million should have the approval of the AN.

      Of course, the government wont care, but that is not the target: the MUD should get some fine international lawyers, who would visit the companies involved and explain that the new Supreme Tribunal was designated in an completely illegal way, so there is a good chance that the next government can declare all its actions null and void, in effect making the laws of the AN valid retroactively (since the moment they were passed). This coupled with a strong international campaign making clear that Maduro’s government is illegal, might make a transnational company think twice before making deal with Maduro (unless they think that Chavismo is going to be in power for 10 or 15 years more).

      Of course, IANAL (I’m Not A Lawyer), so my reading of international law might be way, way off.

  11. Let’s analyze some bad options:

    – Arab spring popular peaceful march on the palace.
    They will shoot you and make the murderers heroes of the revolution, Puente Llaguno.

    -Popular peaceful marches anywhere else.
    They will sit it out as they have since they got into power.

    – Massive strike.
    They shut down the country for a few weeks due to the electrical problems a few months ago. In 2002 they sat out PDVSA’s strike, gutted the company after that and did not even blink. Besides it will demonstrate in their twisted thinking that indeed, ‘guerra economica’ is real.

    – Play along the democratic shell game.
    There is no winning here as they demonstrated. Pedro Carreno clearly stated this much yesterday.

    – Appeal to international instances.
    Se van a limpiar el culo con eso. Sure, it is embarrasing, but they really don’t care. Btw, no matter how much huffing you may get form the international community, they will do nothing. Look at Syria, they kill a lot of innocent people, export refugees and terrorists and its been going for 5 years!

    So we are stuck with the military, unsavory as this option is in so many levels.

    Now, the military is probably divided like the country. There are the PSUV-narco generals that are certainly dead-enders, but it stands to reason that oppressing your countrymen with a system that is starving them is not what they want to do (except if you are North Korea).

    • You cannot compare the 2002 situation and now’s. An indefinite general strike now would eventually force Maduro out. They do not have the $$$ and support to weather that type of storm.

      • People seem reluctant to accept that the regime needs them more than they need the regime. When that changes, they’ll go on strike. A general strike would bring the regime to the table faster than Nicolas Maduro could say guerra economica.

        • This is whole strike fantasy is shockingly callous and misplaced. People don’t have weeks worth of supply stocked at home any more. There’s no capacity to wait out a strike in private households. People can barely afford to feed themselves as it is. Stop earning, and they’ll run out of food virtually immediately.

          • I think you can argue it is misplaced. Perhaps I am overconfident because I have seen it work under circumstances comparable to what is going on right now in Venezuela. Perhaps that personal experience makes me overoptimistic.

            “Shockingly callous” is not a fair comment. I think you need to focus your moral outrage at what is actually shocking and actually callous rather than using it in a personal way that discourages discussion.

            Your argument is that people are too hungry to strike. Well, they are not too hungry to protest. They are not too hungry to organize. If you look at countries where strikes have played critical roles in the downfall of dictatorships, you will usually also find economies in shambles, and hunger.

            Strikes cause significant pain and hardship for the people who wage them. But they are not chaotic events. They do not necessarily extend over lengthy periods – they can be for an hour, a day, they can be strategically planned to hit certain sectors or areas at certain times. They require a sharing of the burden. They require civil disobedience. They require that people support the most vulnerable among them as if they were their own family. They call on a well of solidarity and altruism that you do not see in normal daily life, or in human beings under normal conditions. They require a lot. In that way, they are a little like war.

            Dictatorships rely on imposing conditions of isolation, vulnerability and powerlessness in people. A strike is a rebellion against those conditions. And it is a rebellion against the notion that power means physical force, or violence. In striking, the people do not resort to the tools of the dictatorship to defeat it. They harness the values and the powers the dictatorship lacks, against it. Those being among other things: (1) productivity in work, and (2) solidarity.

            I have heard many things about strikes, but never once, in my life, have I heard of advocating a strike being “callous”. I’d venture to say, when I have seen people engaging in collective action this way, it is a demonstration of some of the deepest values that make us human. And a strike is one of the few, legitimate ways to put material pressure on a dictatorship. Public opinion, international opinion, is not enough. There must be a lever, or things will drag on, and chaos will overtake the vacuum left by a collapsed government.

            And as things drag on hunger spreads. People are dying in their beds without medical treatment. You are not unique in knowing victims of this regime. The hunger is going to grow and it is going to deepen as this agony continues.

            One possible way out that deserves a hard look, because it has worked, many times before in history, is organizing a general strike.

            If I was flippant in my last comment, which perhaps I was, it was because I am frustrated that this is not a point of serious discussion. It seems as if people are casting around for solutions as if the circumstances today in Venezuela were unique and unprecedented in history. That there were not examples of the way out. But I should not dismiss people for failing to give the strike serious consideration, but simply state my opinion, so I regret that.

          • “We are marching in a compact group along a precipitous and difficult path, firmly holding each other by the hand…”

            V.I Lenin, What is to be Done?

        • Part of the regimen’s plan is the colas.. The country is already shut down, except for the lines. You don’t stand in line, then starve. Protest as you wish.. but hunger puts you back in line.

          • As if the colas still served for something. Insert in Farmatodo’s search box any relevant medication and ‘agotado’ is the result. I tried there the medicine some relatives of mine rely on to live, and I can tell that at least one would already be dead if living in Venezuela.

            People with high blood pressure, allergies, heart problems in general are hopeless in Venezuela. I don’t even dare trying cancer or pediatric medicine because that would be too depressing to search.

          • “They serve for food. Rather important.”

            Yes, they sure do, from the last CC post:

            ‘When I saw her, this weekend, I didn’t recognize her. In my mind’s eye, she’s in her 30s, a slight but strong woman. Now almost 70, her bones stick out over her skin, her eyes bulge out of her face. At home one son, his partner, and two grandchildren still expect her to shop for groceries and cook. The second part she’s always enjoyed. The first has become a misery. One day, she tells me, she got up at 4 in the morning to go queue up for chicken at the now closed —for remodelling— Bicentenario supermarket at her housing megacomplex. She emerged at noon with the bird in her possession. The story crops up again and again with different products in different locations: black beans, meat, even pasta in mercales, popular markets and supermarkets.’

            Check the IPC scale and try to define where Venezuela is yourself.

  12. Qué estupidez. Si ni siquieran aceptan muchas de las firmas recogidas por ellos mismos, por qué demonios aceptarían firmas recogidas unilateralmente por la oposición. La firma de muchos de mis familiares fueron invalidadas ilegalmente sin ninguna consecuencia. Hacer un show político de vez en cuando puede ser útil, pero no se puede vivir tampoco de puro ruido y manipulación. La gente no quiere eso ni se identifica de ninguna manera con tal estrategia, y es probable que la oposición pierda casi todo su capital político en los próximos meses, si no lo perdió ya. Debo recordar que a la gran mayoría de las personas que votaron el 6D literalmente les sabe a mierda el “proyecto político” de la MUD? Probablemente ni lo conocen!Ustedes saben eso mejor que yo! Hay un grupo de fanáticos y de voceros tarifados que en realidad constituyen una minoría, aunque hacen un ruído increíble por sus posiciones de poder. La MUD ha sido tan deshonesta y tan hipócrita con respecto a sus proyectos y propuestas, que no va a convencer a nadie de nada a estas alturas. Su fecha de expiración ya pasó. Se convirtió en algo inservible e inútil para el ciudadano promedio. La gente no vota por ellos por afinidad, sino por desesperación. Al final los únicos que salen ganando son los militares. Se quitan a Maduro de encima y se ponen a la tierna “oposición” en la manito, al mismo tiempo que se lavan la cara ante el mundo. Se le haría un favor a la dictadura y se perpetuaría la miseria en el país para siempre. Si a eso lo llaman transición, shame on you. A estas alturas, de verdad, ya se perdió todo. La MUD no tiene credibilidad suficiente para impulsar protestas (porque ha pasado los últimos tres años contribuyendo a criminalizarlas)y a nadie le importa un carajo y con razón su propuesta electoral, porque además de que no es viable ni siquiera es clara y convincente. De hecho, la verdad es que probablemente casi nadie dentro de la MUD quería realizar el RR este año. No se puede caer más bajo que eso. No se necesita un show en este momento, se necesita una confrontación directa en la calle para empezar a hacer posible la salida electoral.
    Qué sentido tiene hacer campaña electoral cuando no hay condiciones para realizar elecciones ni para hacer valer los resultados? Hay que iniciar una confrontación pacífica, pero real y contundente. Y sí, hay que lanzar algunas piedras, quemar algunos cauchos, y probablemente trancar algunas calles. Lo demás es pura basura retórica. La gente sabe muy bien lo que está pasando.

  13. I think a choice needs to be made between continuing to accept that this government is legitimate or not.

    I think that choice needs to be placed front and center of “El Pueblo de Venezuela”, whether or not the collection of 20% goes ahead or not.

    I think the right choice is to forget the RR. Whatever fancy moves the MUD may have up it’s sleeves (or not) the “government” will just use the CNE, the Courts, the political police and so on to set the agenda and the timing. And this can only continue to happen if we continue to believe these arseholes are the legitimate government.

    Time to start saying to them: ” You do not act like a legitimate government, nor do you treat us as if you were a legitimate government, you violate the values, principles and guarantees of democracy and you violate my human rights. Therefore I will not acknowledge you as my government”.

    Get 80% of the country to tell them that for a week and lets see what happens.

  14. Reject the government’s seven hour limits on voting, and, if necessary, the today limit. The moment the doors of Tibisay’s voting station close,
    open your own, with long lines of people still wanting to express their opinion. If two days aren’t enough, extend it as needed.

    Target: not 20% but 51% or more. If they interrupt the people’s consulta, it will be because they don’t want to recognize what the people are demanding.

    Street protests and other calle can be organized around the demand for a fair and timely Revocatory Referendum. “Let the people express its will” is a hard demand to oppose and should maximize impact among 1)Venezuelans; 2)International; 3) soldiers.

  15. The MUD is a mess. They hardly ever do anything right. Plus the regime doesn’t care about whatever they do. The only way to get rid of the chavista pest, is on the streets, by the millions. As Leopoldo Lopez knew years ago.

  16. 1. Huelga general con la gente en la calle.

    2. Dejar el culillo y empezar a mostrar que ya estan de salida. Que somos mayoría y no importa cuanto plomo nos ofrezcan.

    3. Echalre bola ahorita antes que los violentos se agarren la partida que esta medio perdida por los constitucionales.

    4. Activar la Salida II y no irse de derrotados malcriados sino de dueños de un pueblo que esta harto. Ya basta de jalarle bola al gobierno y a los militares.

    5. Hablarle claro a los chinos y buscar alianzas para lo que viene.

      • I have a worst visceral contempt for assholes that having influence and arguably intelligence they only allow their vision and end up in the same position of the other assholes that with no other resource than violence impose their agenda, (who is the worst?)

        You don’t have and you don’t own the truth more over than I. And I don’t see you leaving the comfort of Canada to get a taste of applying your delusional ideas.

        Mamaguevo ..oh I am famous, I said it… yeee

        (and that is for shithead since it seems you rather use the easy path of insulting a la Diosdado and use hubris rather than your apparent intelligence).

  17. Of all the ideas so far I agree with the “centro no cierra si hay votantes” and parallel 20% or 51% some date prior to the cne’s 20% day

  18. If you work out the math, each machines needs to have about 27 people in average per hour registering their vote for the RR over 3 days.

    You can bet that Diosdado or Jorge or someone will demand that the collection take splace on one day.

    Face the facts – the RR could take place next year and from my pint of view ut would be better for Maduro to lose so that he can have a rest.

    Forget all this stuff about civil disobedience – people are too concerned about buying basic foodsstuffs to waste their time on yet another lost opposition cause.

    Work towards thte presidential elections instead.

    • “Give Maduro a rest” Are you feckin kidding? More like give him a 4 x 8 cement block cell and 1 hour of sun (if lucky) a day.

      Give him a rest! Anda a lavarte ese…….palto

      • Or as those whose children and other relatives die from easily curable diseases.

        Keep going, arturito, that every single insult you let slip from your trap is used to feed the anti-chavista propaganda, chavistas like yourself are destroying the so-called “legacy” faster than Maduro’s sociopathy.

    • Good to see you again Arturo! Pleae tell us how things are for you and your family, your neighbors? Everything good? No crisis? No hunger? No medical issues?

      So, you propose there are no problems, no need for change, or as always it’s someone else’s fault? Personnaly, please enlighten us, again.

  19. Well not really into this but I am in favor of trying something we havent already tried yet, so no guarimbas, no more cacerolasos and for fucks sake no more flash mobs

  20. Damn right, Quico. Take the high road and show the people’s will. Fail in either of those and you’re rolling in the ditch with the pig.

  21. “Hold a presidential primary out of those same parallel signing stations to finally settle the question of its leadership.”

    Yeah, this isn’t going to happen. I agree with the rest, though. The MUD can’t simply follow the CNE’s playbook.

  22. Dilma Rousseff’s departure was started by large protests across Brazil using the rule of law.

    However, Maduro and his Cuban SEBIN secret police goons can cause trouble for protestors.

    Better would be a general strike even if it took a month. Chavistas joining the strike would send a message to the world. SEBIN could not stop a strike.

  23. I don’t agree with this but at least it’s a plan, with actual bullet points! My playbook:

    1. MUD will run around in circles this weekend and announce another demonstration.

    2. Masses will flood streets.

    3. MUD proclaims fall of government is imminent because we are majority.

    4. Momentum fizzles.

    5. Government does something egregious.

    6. Go back to step one.

    It’s #4 we need a playbook for; MUD has always squandered momentum! Your thoughts on how to prevent it from happening next time?

  24. I agree with Quico. It is contemptible to advocate violence from a place of safety. I also agree that the opposition should play out the RR because the international community (that will do absolutely nothing to help you) demands it. It is a game you have to play This is a process, a long grinding hell hole of a process, that will end with the downfall of the Chavistas in a manner no one can predict but their downfall is inevitable.

  25. I make two innocuous comments and the opposition supporters only response is to be aggressive and display latent violence. Look at RobertoN’s comment which is almost psycho-like.

    I htought that people commenting here had some level of education but apparently not.

    Work for the presidential election, that is your best option.

    I am still waiting for statistics on people and their children who have died from easily curable diseases. Bit I guess it is easier to throw propaganda around with no facts to back it up………, Ullamog?

    • Do you mean the “statistics” that the regime refuses to publish? Are those the ones you are still waiting for? But, since you don’t have those, I suppose that makes it makes it easy for you to ignore or deny the mass of direct and anecdotal evidence, as well as the logic of concluding that endemic shortages of medicines will lead to deaths from curable diseases.

      But, of course, you do know all of these things. You just don’t care how many people suffer and die, so long as your precious cause survives and your paycheck keeps coming. How do you live with yourself? Are you that lacking in empathy? Are you even still capable of feeling shame? Is this so important to you that you can reject and repress your own humanity?

      Please take a moment to reflect…

      This is not a game. This is no longer about just money and power. As a result of the actions and inaction of the people you are supporting, real human beings in the real world are dying by the thousands. And you are, in part, responsible for this. And, since you do know the truth, that makes you a mass murderer. Are you willing to live with that?

    • A 4×8 cell for Maduro and his narcotrafficking clan is the nicest punishment I can think of for them.

      And for you, Arturo, you ought to know better than to come here and post “we should let Maduro rest”.

      “dejenlo gobernar” Yes, we did and look what it got us.

      Mugabe must have been proud to come to Margarita and look at how much better Zimbabwe is compared to Venezuela.

      Must be your got paid, Arturo, with money leftover from the NOAL conference? Or did you take payment in Harina Pan?

  26. Here is phase #1 of the MUD’s response:

    Como una protesta por los recientes anuncios del Consejo Nacional Electoral (CNE), el venidero lunes a las 10am se efectuará un “acto de calle, un acto de masas”, por parte de la dirigencia opositora, así lo informó el vocero de la Mesa de la Unidad Democrática (MUD), Jesús “Chuo” Torrealba.

    All very original. Sure at least 2 million people will show up and Maduro will fly to Cuba… 🙂

    You guys really need new leaders.

    • Good to see you again Arturo! Pleae tell us how things are for you and your family, your neighbors? Everything good? No crisis? No hunger? No medical issues?

      So, you propose there are no problems, no need for change, or as always it’s someone else’s fault? Personnaly, please enlighten us, again. What would you recommend, besides new MUD leaders to bring a better Venezuela future?

  27. This entire post assumes that there is a politics to get “political mileage” from. There isn’t anymore a politics in Venezuela. None of the CNE’s declaration really mean much. Had the CNE or TSJ somehow started to identify with MUD, there would have been some other BS deployed to halt any political initiative.

    Simply put, PSUV knows they don’t (and won’t) have the electoral majority, and they don’t need it anyway, so they decided to just make politics irrelevant.

    • For someone who doesn’t believe politics exists in Venezuela you sure spend a weird amount of time reading a political blog about Venezuela…

  28. CNE Socorro Hernandez just said in “Vladimir a la 1” two interesting things:
    1) The 20 % had to do with the deployment of the equipment and not with a required minimum per state. The CNE should be requested to say that explicitly.
    2) That the reason for not displaying the 40 thousand machines was the economics and not the politics. Somebody should offer the CNE to do a “potazo” to collect the money; or some international organization should offer the money right away.

  29. I’m not a political expert, but I sincerely believe that the MUD should focus on the Regionales, this is a great opportunity to reclaim lost terrain. I really don’t get why anyone (in the opposition) want to dodge an election right now, I have heard the most idiotic reasons so far, there is no time, there is no money, this is not “the time”
    They not want to participate in an election in which they can get easily 20 states,
    Are they losing their minds?
    Please, can somebody explain me why?
    Without using one of the following lame excuses:
    No time: sure, no time for regionales but plenty for RR!
    No money: sure, like you have to do an expensive campaing to convince people!
    No “the time”: to exercise my ritgh to vote, choose, and elect? any time is THE TIME

    I know this article backs up the RR but, I think RR is just a cortina de humo so far, I’m not saying they should give up, I just saying they proved, in more than a few occassions, to be incapable of breaking the goverment frame, I mean they keep losing at the same game.

    • I think you are right.
      Under the circumstances the regionals are suddenly very important.
      But I think the CNE will be the ones putting forward the excuses to postpone them.
      They just cannot afford to do any elections.

      • Not talking about the regionales is justified if you dont want to distract resources and peoples attention from focusing passionately on the RR effort , the big punch strategy , if this strategy starts looking less attractive, then backtracking to a different more modest multiple pronged strategy without losing steam is not easy , you have to wean people away from the big punch strategy towards becoming engaged with this more long term strategy, including an intensified effort for winning the regionales big time …….without perhaps abandoning the RR effort altogether .

        Abandoning the RR effort altogether might cause a lot of dissapointment if not handled right . Maybe both the RR effort and the Regionales effort have to be pursued at the same time because winning both (even if it doesnt produce an inmediate change in govt0 can yield good political capital ….simply by showing that the Regime has become so crooked and unpopular ….!! but this is a subject which has risks and dowsides whatever you do….!! Not sure what the right strategy turn should be ….!!

  30. Yeah, so, at this point, we should just hope that a good VP can be negotiated for next year, and wait until 2019. Unless someone has the balls to call for a march to Miraflores tomorrow (unfortunately, HCR is challenged in the testicular area).

    • If there is actually a recall election in 2017 (I doubt it, but let’s suppose), in order to survive it, all Maduro would need to do would be to appoint Diosdado Cabello as VP, the one person who is even more hated and despised than he is.


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