Can you be totally screwed and not so screwed at the same time? That’s the befuddling question we’re left with this weekend?

Opposition public opinion has been through the wringer after the latest CNE’s announcement regarding the referéndum recall. It’s not just the absurd conditions that make it logistically impossible to gather the necessary 20%, it’s that if we somehow managed to do the impossible, the recall would take place in 2017, and that would mean no fresh elections.

The MUD’s reaction didn’t help do much to improve the mood, either: that vénganse el lunes” speech from Chúo left us scrambling to gather scattered tweets and public appearances to try to piece together what was going on. Way to make a cliffhanger MUD, real classy. This can’t be my weekend.

The opposition universe is now roughly divided in two camps: the two states inside the Shrödinger’s Apparatus that is our weekend-long sesión permanente.  Until the quantum state resolves itself, “we are screwed” but also “we are not screwed” are somehow both true at the same time.


For some, that delay in the reaction is a clear sign that this political leadership is just not up to the task. May be because the strong internal divisions prevent the MUD from executing any plan, or because they have no clue, didn’t do their homework, and are scrambling at the last minute to figure out what to do.

Maybe because of the arbitrary detentions, their previously discussed plan got too scary, and now not everyone is on board. Since fact checking is irrelevant to public opinión, TeamScrewed is easily in the lede, at least by tweet-count. We don’t know if it’s happening, so it’s happening. And what’s easier than hating a bunch of greasy politicos?


For this team, the delay is a good thing. It means that they’re not rushing to any decisions. Things are looking grim for the RR, but the sheer numbers are still there. The dictatorship can still be faced peacefully using the overwhelming majority. Quico already described how that might play out.

Now, here’s what we know:

  • Accepting CNE conditions is suicide, and demanding better conditions with the current strategies won’t work.
  • The MUD knows that, and knows it has to improve its mobilization strategy after a couple of flops (that failed 10 minutes protest, and the mejor no hablemos de eso Toma de Venezuela.)
  • MUD is cumbersome. A conglomerate of 15 parties, spread across the country. While PJ, VP, AD and UNT (the so-called G4) can make quick decisions, when you have to consult outside the cogollo you cannot move quickly, especially if that decisión means a real strategic change in the course of action. No hay que pedirle peras al olmo.

I lean towards TeamNotScrewed. I want to believe. But the MUD has made so many blunders before, I’m not signing any blank checks.

The political clock is frozen, and this 5-days delay signals two opposing things simultaneously, a much needed change of course, and the complete inability to face what was probably the most predictable outcome ever. Until they announce their next move on Monday, they will keep facing the consequences of those two, that’s why they are Shrödinger’s MUD now.

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  1. “… the complete inability to face what was probably the most predictable outcome ever”. Precisely. These people are so divided that they’ve fallen into a catatonic state, or united but completely ineffectual. Not good either way.

  2. It is everyday more clear that this regime will not leave power voluntarily. Force is the only solution. I am sorry, but that’s the truth, face it. Even if you wait for 2018 they certainly rig the election shamelessly.

      • Force = 80% of the country not working, taking to the streets and paralyzing the “economy”. FORCE the military to use excessive force in repressing the people.
        Make them uncomfortable, make them have to think about the possible outcomes…
        1) We kill everyone and then I won’t be able to go to Disneyland and spend all the money I stole (those that are not international criminals)
        2) Jump ship, force Maduro to resign and call for election. I’ll be the hero and I’ll still be able to go to disneyland.

        If we don’t force them into that scenario, nothing, absolutely nothing is going to save us.

        • Someone wrote about this somewhere else but the difficulty with a paro nacional is that a substantial if not a majority of people are living on day to day food purchases (some 17% alone are apparently living off food waste/garbage). The asymmetric fight has only worsened. How can you sustain a strike like that when there isn’t enough energy to sustain the people?

          • It doesn’t have to take long. We jus need to force their hand to the point that they will no longer put their own wellbeing at risk. It can be done in 1 day, 2, maybe 3.

            Just get enough people, from all sectors (transport, students, etc) and start a mobilization bigger than the 1st. Push to the zones of Caracas where you know there will be confrontation, not on our side, on theirs. Force them to shoot 1mill people they’re facing, make them think… I am willing to open fire to 1mill of people? and risk loosing EVERYTHING to international justice? or should I just switch sides and end up on the winning side?

  3. You CAN be neither totally screwed or not screwed at the same time–you can be lukewarmly screwed, as we will see at the MUD’s Monday announcement. The problem is, as you mentioned as an example, the much-ballyhooed, but not very great, “Toma De Caracas”, which Jaua more aptly described as a show of “force” in the Este del Este de Caracas, and which lukewarm show gave the Regime the impetus to effectively deny the RR altogether; the MUD does represent the feeling/will of the diminishing number of rational/educated/fearless activists staying in the Country, who would be followed by the large majority of the population in a truly free election, but this large majority is too fearful to openly oppose the Regime for fear of losing their diminishing freebies (CLAPS, Misiones/Govt. jobs/et. al.), and the Regime will not allow a truly free election. Absent any truly patriotic move from the military ranks, the status quo will only continue, and get worse, until something (hopefully) may break at the Pueblo level, or, until the completion of the submission of the Pueblo to the failed Cuban Communism model.

  4. quote from 538’s methodology to forecast U.S. elections:

    “Account for uncertainty and simulate the election thousands of times.”

    is there *at least one* person modeling and simulating outcomes from our conflict?

    each time there’s a panel organized by CaracasChron I hear scenarios that I had not thought of, but is there anyone aggregating, weighting and converting them into a minimum-requirements scientific computer simulation?

    if no one’s doing this in Venezuela there’s a big gap between what they know could happen and what they could know if they simulate

    baseline data could be created around recent civil war and revolt events in the 20th century

    not precisely a weekend project, but 5 years ago we thought that Chavismo would be over as soon as oil prices fell

    • Game strategy in a complex multi variable scenario with irrational players and no clear rules is not the same as simulating an election based on quantitative polls and a few qualitative choices

  5. I wasn’t able to watch the whole #concluJJ but I have to agree that the MUD needs to transform itself into more than just an electoral organization based on rival political parties. Little attention was paid to the transportistas strike. Look at how swiftly they shut down parts of Caracas. They almost went to Libertador. When the MUD makes decisions in theses sesiones permanentes do they have representatives from civil society (union leaders, student leaders) present? Also, we can’t downplay the fear factor after a wave of secret politice kidnappings of political prisoners. The regime is testing how far it can go. I fear they’re nearing the stage of outright disappearances and murder.

  6. What many people faii to comprehend is that the “MUD” is very divided. Clueless. I mean who is the “mud”? Capriles, Leopoldo in jail, Chuo, Henry, Maria Corina? Borges? “Mesa de Unidad democratica”.. no hay ni mesa, ni unidad. Y tampoco comida en la “mesa”.

  7. It’s far too late for this to be any use now…

    But the oppo should have dissolved all the rival political organizations, and formed one party.

    The oppo should also have formed a single organization to lead its activities, with a small, manageable command group.

    This body should also have an intelligence group to collect all possible information on the chavernment and its supporters, and collate it. This would include recruiting “moles” in the chavernment, contacting and talking to police and miiltary figures. tracking the colectivos.

    The oppo organization should also be preparing an “action” force, to take power from the chavernment by force if necessary. Which means planning how that could happen.

    Lacking any of that, the oppo flails around helplessly, while the chavernment plays “rope-a-dope”. (That’s when a boxer lets his opponent drive him back on to the ropes, blocking punches and leaning back to take the force out of the blows, so that the opponent exhausts himself ineffectively.)

  8. “Accepting CNE conditions is suicide, and demanding better conditions with the current strategies won’t work.
    The MUD knows that”

    I wouldn’t count on that.


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