A few days ago, Quico tried to throw the MUD a bone and help them through their four-day long colonic deliberation in responding to the latest anal rape CNE announcement.

Quico has recently been on a questionable/creepy MUD-love-fest bender for reasons which I still cannot understand. But Caracas Chronicles is open to diversity of opinion (however misguided), so I’ll give him a shot at redemption.

Never mind. I can’t. I wouldn’t be able to sleep tonight knowing that I am complicit in this massive, asshole hypocrisy.

In making an argument about how MUD should “leverage the dates for the 20% Drive into a National Protest Event,” Quico is helping perpetrate a monstrous deception. Quico knows full well there’s not going to be a referendum before January 10th. He wants to call out people to demonstrate on a demonstrably false premise.

Because, in fact, here’s the dirty little secret that everybody knows but nobody wants to say out loud: NOBODY THOUGHT THE REFERENDUM WOULD HAPPEN THIS YEAR, EVER.




Not the MUD, not Capriles, not even your dear, sweet, sugarless-cookie-baking grandmother who is probably going to bed without a proper dinner tonight.

So asking our electorally…. actually, our all out generally fatigued population to participate in some bullshit 20% signature collection ruse for the purposes of “proving to the world that we, in fact, are an overwhelming majority” is as stupid and cruel as the Q&A portion of a beauty pageant.

It’s stupid because there’s a longstanding precedent of the government not really caring how many votes you got (7,707,422 last time, to be exact), period.

It’s time to recognize MUD for what it is: the least worst thing we have to an opposition electoral umbrella.

It’s cruel because, in their infinite self-absorption, MUD’s honchos still think that they can conceptualize and manage what they arrogantly refer to as a “street agenda,” and raise expectations accordingly. Nevermind that they’re calling on a society to openly protest on behalf of an initiative that they themselves never even believed in to begin with, and also demanding tactical efforts which they know full well they are not capable of leading.

It’s time to recognize MUD for what it is: the least worst thing we have to an opposition electoral umbrella. They proved their chops come 6D. But to expect MUD, that grab-bag of competing personal power agendas and murkily defined, minimally contrasting “ideologies,” to effectively strategize our way out of this shitstorm, is, well, a mistake.

And a product of our well-placed desperation.

Political parties are important, necessary even for a functioning democracy, but only if they have a well-organized civil society to hold them accountable.

I drank the Kool Aid for a bit, and I won’t blame you for having a sip now and then, too. Nobody held the MUD at gunpoint in taking on the responsibility of our political stewardship, they did so because they wanted to, and sold us on their resolve….and we believed. And yes, political parties are important, necessary even for a functioning democracy, but only if they have a well-organized civil society to hold them accountable.

We stopped doing that.

So here we are, an opposition duped into thinking that our leadership knows what it’s doing, even though it was caught blindsided by a CNE announcement that, apparently, absolutely anyone could see coming.  And yet, after the mother of all pipichetadas to our democratic change-seeking egos, we wait patiently for MUD to announce its sovereign decision on how to proceed come Monday morning.

It’s as if Reverse Stockholm Syndrome and Learned Helplessness had conceived a demonchild after a one night stand in the middle of a Humanitarian Crisis. And one of the parents is a runaway dad who can’t give two shits about the expectations he’s raised. That’s what we have right now.

There is no justification for a seventeen-year-old-and-counting savvy opposition to not have foreseen this, and to not have a contingency in the works. They cannot hide behind “consensus” and “democracy is tough” to justify their clear inability of rising to the occasion.

Monday’s MUD announcement will most likely amount to be a half-baked, weak-willed call for taking on the 20% signature drive. But please know that this is not the least worst result of interparty negotiations, a well-meaning dilution of various extremes unto the lowest common denominator. To accept this reasoning would be to give MUD an easy way out of the mess it got us into in the first place.

I need you to understand that Monday’s announcement is the straightforward evidence that MUD lacks the balls to call a march unto Miraflores, and that we (those that still choose to remain in Venezuela) would all be best suited, at this point, in devoting our time to finding a proper Vice President so that a transition might be negotiated next year and we can survive until 2019.

Nada más que hacer.

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  1. Please Emiliana, lead Venezuela into the fight: announce it to everybody, give a press conference and send twits to everybody you know so that others would know and support you:
    Emiliana Duarte is going to be on such a date and such a time at the gates of Miraflores demanding Maduro’s resignation!
    Show to the MUD’s assholes what it takes!!

  2. Come on, Emiliana… don’t sugar-coat it. Tell us what you really think. 🙂

    The latest events are highlighting the differences between the two opposition camps, one of which thinks it is better to keep playing the constitutional democracy game, and the other which thinks it is time to declare open rebellion (“When in the course of human events…”). I tend toward the former, but keep getting seduced by the latter.

    I am still waiting for Monday before passing final judgement. But, if the MUD leadership announces that they will keep playing the regime’s game by their rules, they would be breaking faith with the public and would create a leadership vacuum that could be filled by nearly anyone with the balls to do so.

    • I think you’re right. I would absolutely consider jumping ship to any party that openly proposed a no-bullshit solution. I coudn’t care less for the MUD right now.

  3. Emiliana,

    Es energizante leer ese manifesto frente al statu quo de la mud, esa desesperacion, esta gana inparable de cambio si o si y debe difundirse.

    La situacion no cambiara ni por la mud que parece no terminar de jugar en interno de quien tendra el poder luego, ni por el gobierno quien ha definitivamente trancado el juego..

    Son 80% hoy en dia, son legitimos, mas el tiempo pasa mas el cambio sera brutal,

    no puedo hacer mucho de lejos sino difundir este mensaje y denunicar esta situacion que se vuelve cada dia mas critica pero también no creo que el cambio venga del exterior que sea civil o institucional asi que deberian publicar este mensaje en Caracas Chronicles en espanol.

    Fuerza Emiliana y todos

  4. “So asking our electorally…. actually, our all out generally fatigued population to participate in some bullshit 20% signature collection ruse for the purposes of “proving to the world that we, in fact, are an overwhelming majority” is as stupid and cruel as the Q&A portion of a beauty pageant.”

    I believe that the tension lies on the fact that the sense of urgency of the people actually living in Venezuela, such as yourself, is very different from the sense of urgency of the ones living abroad.

  5. Emiliana and everyone criticizing the MUD in Venezuela: Is the purpose/hope for these criticisms that the MUD will listen and change? that another group (student leaders? union leaders?) will fill the leadership vacuum and lead the charge? just ranting? If there’s no alternative to the MUD and its tactics then I don’t see the benefit to just disengaging from its proposals.

  6. Had a friend , former officer in the US army (ret) , who told me that the most dangerous time for an army was the time in which it had been dealt a blow, and was most exposed to inner turmoil and confusion and that the thing to do was not to lose its formation , its discipline , its cohesiveness , and start blaming every one in sight for what happened …..because thats what helped the enemy destroy you…..what people in that army had to do was to retreat a bit, reform and then look for a new line of attack or maybe a new tactic …..and keep going ……..!! In a war you have to face many bad moments , which make people turn against each other , political canibalism is very popular in lat american politics but the thing is to keep unified , and dont give in to desperate measures which act as cathartic relief but dont get you ahead… cool heads is what we need and not to start fighting each other …..mistakes will be made and thats to be expected , new chances will offer themselves , this is a tactical moment and a bit of pivoting is required but lets not second guess what the existing leadership will propose to do next …..

    • You friend makes perfect sense Bill, but I think the issue here is that this particular army wasn’t bindsided. They knew, or should have known, that this was coming all along. They should have had two two speeches in their pockets……one for the slim chance that the CNE would give them what they wanted, and one for the most likely outcome.

      While I follow politics closely here, I never for one minute thought the vote would take place this year. That’s akin to handing the keys to the place to the opposition because of a vote. That will not happen. I think elections in this country are doomed.

  7. How sad, even here there are people so shortsighted that they think all that’s required is “balls”.
    Let’s say the March to Miraflores is called. Let’s say people are suicidal enough to show up. Then the Maduro goons start shooting people, March dispersed, and Maduro has legitimacy against the “golpistas”. No?

    • Nope. If the military starts opening fire indiscrimintately to 1mill + protesters, all of those military officers that gave the order are going to be in the sight of international justice. So they won´t be able to spend their well earned money in Disneyland.

      So, they´ll have to make a choice. Stick with the sinking ship or change sides, be a hero and go to disneyland on 2017

    • I agree with you esaulgd the scenario you exposed. would be a tragedy, anger is not advise by it’s good to release it sometimes,

      but imagine mud decides to follow the rules of the games impounded by the cne, in the very best case (and regarding the way the government ha trancado el juego I don’t even believe in that) there is referendum in March 2017 and Maduro is expulsed of the power, you stay with chavismo in the power until 2019 and the next dirty play. Meanwhile the economical/humanitarian situation keeps deteriorating. I agree with you esaulgd the scenario you exposed. would be a tragedy, anger is not advise by it’s good to release it sometimes,

      but imagine mud decides to follow the rules of the games impounded by the cne, in the very best case (and regarding the way the government ha trancado el juego I don’t even believe in that) there is referendum in March 2017 and Maduro is expulsed of the power, you stay with chavismo in the power until 2019 and the next dirty play. Meanwhile and the repression face of the regime keeps increasing, it’s unbearable.

      Unfortunately, everyday the probability this regime ends institutionally is less and the probability to do it by the street is higher, and to my mind the mud doesn’t represent the street away from Elisa cafetal. This willingness of a change has to be done by the base for the base not running to Miraflores under the guns but organizing in parallel of the mud political game

  8. Great idea! Lets try another salida. Who do you think a majority of people blames for the dead of the 2014 protests? Or the dead of puente llaguno in 2002? It is the Government, not the opposition who control mainstream media. Aside from a bunch of dead people, your proposal will surely give a boost to Maduro on the polls

    • It´s not another salida… it would be an organized and unified front to demand fair conditions, that they won´t meet. So we stay in the streets and there will be military repression. If it gets ugly enough, the military heads, the ones that are still safe from international justice, will have to decide:
      1) Kill everyone and become an international wanted criminal, no more disney for me. I won´t be able to spend my money.
      2) Change sides, keep the money, be a hero. Go to Disney.

      • After the multiple Disney references, I can’t help but imagine a 70-year-old chavista narcogeneral inside the ‘It’s a small world’ ride, all by himself, dozens of decorations on the chest, tears in the eyes, singing along that repetitive song. Thanks, man.

  9. Is there anyone in the MUD who has worked in a skilled trade, pulled a shipping container, driven a bus, done power work, fixed a pipeline, loaded a ship? If not, they should find those people, and talk to them, and find out how they feel about the regime and what they might be prepared to do about it.

    The pots and pans thing is fun, the marching and yelling in a group is a great idea and I support it without reservation, but it is not enough.

    The regime has a very simple strategy: (1) convincing people economic war is the greatest evil facing the country, and (2) making sure their subjects- the people they oppress that is- get enough shit done that the regime can protect the line of credit which is its lifeblood. Has it occurred to anyone that those two things are related?

    What is the MUD going to do for the people who signed the list, and had everything to lose?

    I think they are brave people. I give them every benefit of the doubt. I hope they come up with a plan of action, and I hope they are talking to people who know how to move things, because a very dangerous and bad thing needs moving.

  10. It appears there won’t be regional elections for governors this year because as one chavista said, “the state of the economy is too bad to hold elections”. That can most surely be extrapolated to elections for president as well.

    The citizens of Venezuela need to realize there will be no more elections, period. Either do something drastic to force their hand, or do nothing and accept your fate.

  11. I may agree the MUD hasn’t been where it should be. I have the impression they don’t know how to articulate the power they have right now unto something with political strength, enough to make the elite in power feel fear. The regime until now has had no reason to leave power. At the same time I think they’re people like me and you who have risk so much. Being in the oppo and even more having a recognizable face here is no joke, this is not a normal democratic country. I don’t find it weird they may have a personal agenda since I think those agendas make them keep going.

    What I try to say is that even if I think maybe the MUD have been ineffective, at the same time I admire those who had the balls to go out there in public and oppose this regime, surely at big personal cost. I’m sure the regime controls every step of the oppo leaders and lately they have incarcerated many of them. I think the oppo should inspire some respect just for this, with all their mistakes. Forcing the regime out is not easy and truth be told, those who believe we should march heads on to Miraflores and die still haven’t made official the date to do so and somehow manage to bring +1million people on the street. I’m waiting. In the meanwhile while I’ll agree everyone can criticize what they want, I’ll keep being surprised as how people seem to judge the oppo so harshly.

    I am surprised the MUD took so long to respond, yes. But I’m also surprised at how 80% of the country seem to think they’re so smart. I mean, does it really make any sense they didn’t imagine this scenario? They probably knew it way before us. What I always criticize the MUD for is their disastrous communicational abilities. They suck so much. So much. I don’t mean to say they have the perfect plan in mind and I agree they’ll call for some measly march that will have no effect. But I think presuming they didn’t foresee this is stupidizing them too much. I may agree this is another case of “según venga vamos viendo” which may be even worse…hm, considering how they called many organizations, etc. in a short amount of time they had this plan beforehand.

    I think we’ll have chavismo until 2019. But I think they’ll bring down Maduro and work towards the 2019 election with a moderate chavista who understands they need to bring some balance so they can keep stealing and making money. What I fear is that venezuelans may actually reelect chavismo again. I’m living here, maybe I’ll leave soon, I don’t know. But if that times comes, I’ll run from this country to never look back.

  12. Voy a comentar en español porque no tengo la cabeza en estos momentos para redactar en inglés. La MUD no es una oposición política, mucho menos ideológica (hardcore leninistas por un lado, socialdemócratas por el otro): es una plataforma electoral. Por lo tanto en el juego político de las negociaciones y la presión son inútiles, ineficientes y hasta ingenuos. Y en lo electoral, bueno, se limitan en participar y ante el descenso de la popularidad del chavismo han subido en votos. Pero esos votos no significan simpatía ni mucho menos, son más bien una consecuencia del desmadre en el que vivimos: es más fracaso del chavismo que virtud de la MUD.

    La MUD nunca ha estado dispuesta de pagar el precio que significa rescatar al país, no lo hizo en el 2005 cuando se abstuvo en las elecciones parlamentarias sin boicotear la AN electa, ni lo hizo en el 2009 cuando se aprobó la enmienda después de una reforma rechazadas 2 años antes, ni hizo frente a las múltiples expropiaciones del régimen. Mucho menos tuvo las bolas de cantar fraude en el fatídico episodio del 2013 y en defender a quienes fueron despojados de sus derechos en el 2014: recuerden que los tildaron de infiltrados.

    También hizo caso omiso cuando se advirtió que el chavismo estaba construyendo un hegemón institucional y jurídico para someternos a la miseria y perpetuarse en el poder. Entonces, ¿por qué no surgen nuevos liderazgos? Básicamente para hacer política se necesita plata, y mucha, y esta gente tiene acaparados a los inversores.

    La MUD nunca ha tenido la intención de interrumpir el gobierno de Maduro, su plan ha sido siempre llevarnos como borregos hasta el 2019 esperando, ingenuamente, que al chavismo le salga del forro hacer elecciones ese año. Muy bien pueden no hacerlas, ya que coño.

    Siempre he sido crítico de esta coalición, y sin embargo en cuanto acto electoral ha habido les he dado mi voto, cuanta firma me han pedido se las he dado y cuanta marcha convocan la he recorrido, sólo por el hecho de manifestar mi desprecio por el chavismo, no por simpatías a ellos. No pueden calificarme de infiltrado. Creo, firmemente, que en estos momentos esta es la posición de la mayoría de la gente decente de este país.

    Y si, estamos en el derecho de criticarlos y repudiarlos, porque quienes en 18 años nos han liderado contra un gobierno nefasto han sido ineficientes para derrotarlos. Y no sé ustedes, pero cuando yo contrato a alguien para hacer un trabajo y no lo cumple, le doy una patada por el culo.

    • Y otra cosa. Si, hay que protestar, y duro. Y si, esta gente esta loca y van a salir a echar plomo. Esa es la realidad, que salga a marchar el que quiera, que aquí todos son mayores de edad como para decidir y saber cuáles pueden ser las consecuencias.. Y déjense de paja, que dictadura no sale con votos sin dejar a unos cuantos muertos en el camino.

      • “dictadura no sale con votos sin dejar a unos cuantos muertos en el camino.”

        Hay muchos ejemplos en la historia que demuestran que eso no es cierto, desde Serbia hasta Perú pasando por Chile inclusive Venezuela! muchos dictadores han salido como resultado de unas elecciones.

        Lo que si es cierto es que a la dictadura hay que vencerla primero para que después los votos puedan hacer el trabajo y eso no se logra con violencia.

  13. You had me at “pipichetada”.

    It’s the perfect word for it, really. I don’t know how I have been able to get by all this time without it.

  14. Que es la “MUD”? La palabra en Ingles los define bien, Barro, o en buen criollo, arroz con mango.

    Estan desunidos. Cuando fue la ultima vez que Maria Corina, Henry Ramos, Capriles y otros se sentaron en una mesa a compartir y discutir estrategias para tumbar al chavismo? Nunca.

    Cada cual tiene su agenda indepediente, y por eso no logran hacer nada. En la union esta la fue, pero la MUD realmente no existe. No es ningunga “alianza opositora”


    Haria falta un verdadero lider con par de cojones. Ese era Leopoldo Lopez, y por eso esta preso.

    Me cae bien el Henry Ramos, por las verdades y barbaridas y chistes que emite, pero tiene que aliarse y organizar a toda la oposicion. El Capriles quiere ser presidente, pero sin alianzas. El ‘parlamento’ es un chiste, no tienen poder alguna para cambiar nada.

    Al final, es la gente en la calle quienes pueden cambiar algo antes del 2019. Si es que permiten elecciones justas.. Lo que decia Leopoldo Lopez desde un principio.. Claro que desde Miami es muy comodo para mi decir eso, pero es la verdad. Referendo? Tremendo chiste. Se monta el Aristobulo despues de Maduro, la misma Mierd..

    Mucha gente piensa que el imbecil de Maduro es el unico problema en Venezuela.. No, a docenas de politicos corruptos, y millones de empleados publicos y privados corruptos. Por no hablar de la policia y la guardia nacional, tambien corruptos. Encima el Tribunal Supremo de Injusticia.. TSJ .. todos corruptos.

    Cuando se vaya Maduro los problemas de Venezuela no van a desaparecer por acto de magia. La gente que queda esta mal educada, la economia destrozada, el petroleo ya lo vendieron todo a China, y no se produce nada mas. Y encima tremenda deuda. Eso no lo arregla ni Mandrake.

  15. HT to GMG for this most exquisite description of the reaction to this post:

    I am reminded of this little bit from “Letter from a Birmingham jail”
    “… over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.”

    • Exactly.. I understand perfectly.. La amo esa guerrera!

      Without telling the real truth the MUD is implicitly telling 80% of Venezuelans to suck it up for another 3 years, maybe. Until it is convenient.. Ratas.

      Before I am criticized again, IMO the real opposition are either in prison or already been punched in the face, and the others do nothing constructive.

  16. Pero si no podemos llegar ni al CNE.. ¿que coño van a llegar a Miraflores?

    Have you not seen the giant walls that the are using to stop the marches? Marches cant even get into Plaza Venezuela… That way is just not viable.

    Hay que bajarle dos a las pasiones…

  17. You don’t get it, do you?, As bad as the MUD could be they brought us the 6D victory.

    It seems that you want MUD to lead ua through an epic liberation when that’s not a political party does. A political party lead the people through a democratic process.

    May be nobody thought the referendum would happen but they had to try, we had to try, when the alternative is so dire.

    I think you are wrong, i think the MUD is doing as better as it can in the current circunstances.

    Again, think realistically about the alternatives.

    I think you are wrong.

  18. You clearly are not reading well. I specifically say the MUD is good for elections and nothing else. To expect them to lead us on an epic civil disobedience odyssey is to miss the point altogether. I’m all for recognizing MUD for its victories, but don’t confuse your love of MUD with wishful thinking.

    I think you are blinded by your conservatism.

  19. Raw and excellent post, thank you Emiliana. From not only a socio political reality point of view but also from a collective psychological point of view, this has to be one of the most strenuous, crazy making events in current world affairs. To live under the illusion of democracy, to feel that there’s a constitutional way out, to bust your hopes again and again, and deep down knowing its a cruel dictatorship.

    “Hope is not the conviction that something will end well,
    but that it makes sense, no matter how it will end.”
    -Vàclav Havel

    We never know when that one crack appears, change begins and a new reality opens up. Keep it up, gloria al bravo pueblo.

  20. Ahora es que estan abriendo los ojitos al hecho de que la MUD es el primer muro de defensa del chabismo? yo desde 2012 me di cuenta que la MUD es colaboracionista, desde entonces no voto (otras mentes más lúcidas se dieron cuenta mucho antes).

    Cae la MUD, cae el chabismo. it’s plain to see

  21. Y hoy Lunes se confirma lo que Emiliana Duarte escribió el Sábado.

    Quico still been on a questionable/creepy MUD-love-fest bender for reasons which we still cannot understand

    La MUD con este jueguito de llamar a las multitudes a la calle (1SEP), para luego manifestar por 10 minutos, para luego postergar la protesta para un Viernes, para luego…. Esta vez va a ser diferente, me pregunto yo? Acaso esto forma parte de la “estrategia de las estrategias” de la MUD como nos lo vendió Quico semanas atrás?

    Se han puesto a pensar en los que pagaron con su trabajo, con su casa, tal vez con comida, cuando firmaron por el 1%? Paso pre-previo al RR del nunca jamas?

    Se han puesto a pensar en lo que pasó en Margarita y las detenciones arbitrarias de multiples ciudadanos que no cometieron crimen alguno? (drone, videos, entregar volantes, cacerolear..)

    Cada vez que la MUD sale y convoca a la calle a la gente de a pie, que sobrevive el día a día y que no son los que vivimos en el exterior y/o la clase politica – sea regimen u oposición -. Cuando la MUD decide utilizar su “agenda de calle” y NO CONCRETA, no cumple la meta, que creen que sucede con estos simples mortales?

    Se han puesto a pensar, para los que le gusta el RR 2017 en la “soberana lista Tascón” que se armaría con el 20% y la supervivencia de estos firmantes hasta el 2019? Ustedes creen que este Regimen no tiene asesoría de Cuba, Rusia, Iran, Bielorusia, donde serian capaces de exterminar a media humanidad venezolana con tal de seguir en el poder?

    Para el que lo dude, de hecho ya lo están haciendo con los viejitos, con los bebes, con los enfermos de todo tipo. O es que acaso no saben que el ídolo de Maduro es Stalin. Rodeado de psicópatas resentidos como los hermanos Rodriguez. O narcos como Cabello y Reverol.

    El RR tiene y debe ser en el 2016, así la MUD no quiera. (aunque ella dice que si quiere)


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