Let’s start at the beginning. Do I believe there will be a recall vote in 2016?

Of course not, I’m not an idiot.

Did Rosa Parks think she would be allowed to sit in the front of the bus? Did Gandhi think the British were going to let him make salt? Did Susan B. Anthony think she would be allowed to vote?

Of course not, they were not idiots, either.

The reason you positively insist on exercising the rights a repressive regime denies you isn’t some faith that merely insisting will be enough.

Just the opposite.

You insist on your rights because they are your rights, and because if you treat them as such, with determination, courage, grit and a sense of genuine civic duty, you dramatically raise the political costs your oppressor has to pay for denying them.

Your goal is to raise those costs so high, in fact, that they become impossible to pay. That’s how you win.

Rosa Parks calculated that segregation would not survive the violence it would take to sustain it. Gandhi calculated that the amount of repression the British would have to employ to sustain the state monopoly on salt would eat away at the Colonial regime’s legitimacy to the point of collapse. Susan B. Anthony calculated that the shock of seeing ladies hauled to trial for exercising a basic human right would fundamentally shift the terms of debate around suffrage.

All three “failed” at the immediate goal at hand. All three succeeded in obtaining much more fundamental goals they were pursuing.


If the regime is absolutely determined to deny us this right — and we all know it is — the politically relevant question for us is how can we maximize the political prize they pay for that outrage?

The act of positively insisting on a right you know your oppressor is intent on denying is intrinsically liberating. The opposite, perversely, grants the oppressor the prerogative to decide which of your rights he’ll allow and which he won’t.

Bizarrely, in Venezuela, the same people urging MUD to commit to a campaign of civil disobedience attack Chúo Torrealba for refusing to obey Jorge Rodríguez’s demand that we all give up on a recall this year. They pour scorn on Chúo for not meekly filing to the back of the bus.

If the regime is absolutely determined to deny us this right — and we all know it is — the politically relevant question is how can we extract the maximum political price for that outrage? 

That is the question that MUD has to ask itself this weekend, and it isn’t an easy question. However much the guerreros del teclado want to make it seem like it’s down to a question of cojones, the moment you start to look closely at it, you immediately recognize it isn’t.

Let’s start with the comecandela fantasy: CNE announces its crazy, recall-denying conditions on Thursday at 8 p.m. By Thursday at 9:30, Chúo is in front of the Cameras calling on opposition supporters to march on Miraflores the next day. De pinga.


A lopsided majority wants the regime removed peacefully, but that majority evaporates instantly the moment that adjective drops out.

The next day, 35,000 people —probably can’t bring together more than that overnight with no logistics, no preparation, no canvassing, nothing— come together in Plaza Brion and start marching West. They make it about as far as La Previsora before the teargas starts. By noon the march has been broken up, 300 more opposition supporters are in jail, and that’s the end of that.

But it’s worse than that, because while public opinion research shows a lopsided majority wants the regime removed peacefully, that majority evaporates instantly the moment that adjective drops out. On this, the polling is emphatic: marcha-sin-retorno style adventurism is a tiny, fringe position. Sure, it makes a lot of noise on social media and the panaderías of El Cafetal but an afterthought where it really matters: in the Class C and D strata where the vast majority of recall supporters and opposition voters live.

The politicians who represent those voters understand that perfectly well. Not surprisingly, then, those leaders cannot and will not support a hyperconfrontational, parapeo street agenda. Try to launch a parapeo strategy tomorrow and MUD will fracture, not because Enrique Marquez, Henry Ramos and Julio Borges are wimps but because they know their voters and they know their activists, they know what they can be expected to support and what they can’t be expected to support and they’re good enough at their jobs not to sign up to an agenda their followers won’t follow.

This simple dynamic systematically eludes the #Cafetaling right, as does the fact that this is how democratic politics is supposed to work. 

A politician’s job is to represent his constituents, and the vast majority of MUD constituents do not support a parapeo agenda.

Look, I understand that everyone is tired, and I understand that everyone is frustrated. It’s been seventeen years, the country’s so far gone people in Zimbabwe worry they’ll end up as bad off as we are. (Yes, literally.) We’re heartsick and hungry and desperate and we cannot afford another false start.

That’s why I’m heartened by MUD’s decision to take the weekend to agree, really agree a new strategy. To consult it not just among the usual AD-UNT-PJ-VP cogollo but with the smaller parties and with regional MUD leaders and with business leaders and labour leaders and student leaders and faith leaders and professional associations.

Moving forward in the extremely tricky circumstances the CNE announcement creates demands real unity and MUD really is a diverse coalition where people genuinely don’t agree and have real differences in standpoint and opinion and preferred vision and practice and those visions cannot be harmonized overnight just because you had a pataleta.


It’s an extraordinary feat MUD is attempting right now, made all the harder by the fact that huge numbers of their core supporters are busy sniping at them instead!

Venezuela changed on Thursday night.

What had been a movement to get rid of the chavista regime by recalling it from office changed, subtly but decisively, into a movement to get rid of the chavista regime by forcing it to act so brutishly to deny the right to recall it that it crumbles from within.

If MUD manages to morph accordingly over the course of a three day weekend they’re not slow, they’re proper Guiness World Record contenders for pivoting.

It’s an extraordinary feat MUD is attempting right now, made all the harder by the fact that huge numbers of their core supporters are busy sniping at them instead!

So, really? Is this really the time to be taking out our frustrations over our powerlessness on the people risking the most and working the hardest to make our rights realities? Is this really the time for arrechito fantasies and the adolescent onanism of the marcha sin retorno?

Grow up, coño. 

We finally, finally have a political leadership that understands we’re playing chess, not checkers, that you have to plan things out five moves ahead, that de la prisa solo queda el cansancio. We finally have a political leadership that understands unity, real unity can’t be wished into existence, that it takes time and consultation and real listening outside your echo chamber. And we finally have a political leadership that understands that while you can’t force the other side to respect your rights maybe, just maybe, you can raise the political cost of violating them beyond their capacity to pay.

Which is why I’m only to happy to say:

¡VIVA LA UNIDAD!

Thank God we have them. We don’t know how lucky we are.

(De pana, we don’t.)

113 COMMENTS

  1. Francisco, Why the MUD didn’t anticipate this movement, which has been the classic play of the regime , divide and conquer and need just until last minute to meet and decide.

    Wouldn’t been wiser to use the UNIDAD so we could anticipate the play of the regime and get less disadvantage position for which is in right now?

    I am in favour of La Unidad, but just to get right of the government?

    Capriles didn’t march for his/our right to avoid confrontration. Rosa Parker didn’t avoid confrontation.

    So be it.. another 4 years of Chavismo

    • Did you read? Because MUD is not one person. MUD is a complex organization without a caudillo and it takes time to consult not just among the usual AD-UNT-PJ-VP cogollo but with the smaller parties and with regional MUD leaders and with business leaders and labour leaders and student leaders and faith leaders and professional associations.

  2. Sus compañeros de blog dicen de usted que propone una “monstrous deception” pero su respuesta me ha parecido más sensata, con sentido común y con una visión de largo alcance que por desgracia tiende a estar ausente en Venezuela. Me ha hecho ver además que mi comentario o comparación con el referendum de Cataluña estaba errado.

    En definitiva, un muy buen post que sirve de referencia para analizar tanto lo que usted escriba en el futuro como la situación que vive Venezuela actualmente.

  3. “Rosa Parks calculated that segregation would not survive the violence it would take to sustain it. Gandhi calculated that the amount of repression the British would have to employ to sustain the state monopoly on salt would eat away at the Colonial regime’s legitimacy to the point of collapse. Susan B. Anthony”

    Let’s face it. The guys willing to risk themselves à la Parks/Gandhi/Anthony are already in jail or in exile: López, Ledezma, Vecchio, etc. The guys we got seem more concerned about their own hides, with just a handful of exceptions. This is not – and will not be – a civil disobedience movement, because they are too scared.

    “… marcha-sin-retorno style adventurism is a tiny, fringe position”

    I totally agree on that. A pacific demonstration will get a much, much larger assistance than a marcha to CNE. Regular Juan Bimba is not willing to risk jail or violence on the hands of GN/PNB/malandros. It’s a losing proposition and everybody knows that. That’s probably the only good reason not to call a “marcha sin retorno”: regular people will not risk their lives without any certainty of winning, much less if the head honchos are unwilling to lead the charge. Obviously, we have not discipline among our ranks, much less a guy with Gandhi’s credibility.

    “… we’re playing chess, not checkers, that you have to plan things out five moves ahead, that de la prisa solo queda el cansancio”

    You are wrong. Our guys are not playing chess. Our guys are playing gurrufio, y coño, están enredados con el guaral. Everybody knew all the details about the 20% days in advance (more like weeks, actually). To expect anything different was just wishful thinking. Was it so hard to meet in advance and discuss the most likely outcomes and possible moves (like, you know, in CHESS?). The motto seems to be “como vaya viniendo, vamos viendo”.

    I am afraid that out of this weekend of soul searching, the most likely outcome will be another “parto de los montes”: a lot of hot air, lacking bravery and inventiveness.

    • I agree with everything A Barreda says, except the “Eudomarismo”. I think it is smart not to react immediately sometimes. Sometimes not action right away makes your opponent wonder what you really have up your sleeve.

      I do think the MUD is playing things right so far.

      I would also say that Francisco is right. Anything that makes the political cost go up is on the menu and should be put in play. The sooner and more intense the better.

    • agree on all points and want to add another one:
      Julio Borges and Capriles are wimps and traitors… That guy from Tachira who lost an eye and a hand says it all with adult language.

      If our democratic leadership is to be trusted…. A sound plan must be made public…

  4. Great piece !!! You’re right, we are lucky we have someone that’s taken the politicaland phisical risks from us….and still are thinking with a clear head!

  5. When we start using expletives we are not showing “courage” or “resolution” but desperation and that is what Duarte’s post showed me.

    I agree we have to insist on our rights and let the regime show it despises any real respect for the rule of law, pluralism, division of powers, democracy simply.

    I don’t think we are playing chess but Go.

    And yet: Our MUD still doesn’t use the right mechanisms to openly, very publicly tell the world the kind of rubbish the regime is carrying out.
    The PR with the rest of the world is left to isolated deputies going abroad in missions that are hardly made public. They could organise events where a larger audience of foreign journalists attend. That is not the case and I know it too well because I live in Brussels and have seen them come over time after time for over a decade. The same is the case in NY and elsewhere.

    At home possibilities are more restricted. Somehow the MUD needs to establish a system that tells people not to get used to this crap. SEBIN and the other Chavista forces will try to jail the organizers of any action to let people see the regime’s time is counted. The MUD needs to take this into account so that no matter how many the regime jails, the people will get more convinced the regime is at its end.

  6. I think a large part of the anger the people have towards the MUD is that they didn’t anticipate this pretty obvious turn of events. I guess we’ll find out tomorrow if waiting more time for the MUD to get a consensus was a good thing.

  7. Rosa Parks had the balls to do something she knew she was going to get arrested for. ‘

    Comparing her to Chuo is an insult to freedom fighters everywhere.

    It’s so unfortunate that you, Quico, are parroting the simplistic idea that civil disobedience only means quemar cauchos and guarimbas.

    • Rosa Parks’ act was not a spur of the moment decision. It was carefully planned to provoke the arrest and to fight it in court over the constitutionality of the segregation laws of Alabama.

      Chuo would compare more with one of the obscure organizers of the act than with the symbol that Rosa Parks became.

      It is important to note that she was not the first one to resist it. It had been tried several times before. Even more it was not her case the one that finally went all the way up to the Supreme Court of the US which declared the laws unconstitutional, that was a case brought by: Claudette Colvin., Aurelia Browder, Susie McDonald & Mary Louise Smith. Claudette Colvin (15 years old) was the first one arrested for resisting bus segregation.

      More important than balls, the act required preparation and organization otherwise it would have been futile. Ask Leopoldo.

    • Rosa Parks’ act was not a spur of the moment thing.
      It was a strategy prepared by the Civil Rights Movement to challenge the Alabama’s laws of segregation in the Federal Courts of the US.

      In fact it wasn’t even her case the one that went all the way up to the Supreme Court where the laws were declared unconstitutional. That was the case of Claudette Colvin, 15 years old, who had been arrested 9 months before Parks and for the same reason.

      Rosa Parks became a symbol.
      But much more important than balls, it was the careful planning and organization that took to successfully fight the laws in court and in the court of public opinion.

      Misreading history can lead to grave mistakes, ask Leopoldo, he thought that becoming a symbol was enough.

      • Sorry for the double post. I thought the first comment had been swallowed by the comment monster.

        BTW wonderful quote:

        Claudette Colvin: “Young people think Rosa Parks just sat down on a bus and ended segregation, but that wasn’t the case at all.”

    • El rollo es que me la pusiste bombita…

      “I need you to understand that Monday’s announcement is the straightforward evidence that MUD lacks the balls to call a march unto Miraflores…”

      Ummmm…

    • Duarte,
      The fact you mention time after time “balls” and “cock-slaps” (pipichetadas) doesn’t make you more courageous or resolute than others. It points at giving up rational thought altogether
      and a clumsy attempt to insult others (no son suficientemente machos) and that is totally counter-productive. At the end of the day you might be still in Venezuela but are much less likely to suffer the costs than the average Venezuelan.

  8. Excellent article Quico.
    You have grown up, this is a far cry from those days of “The Normal Politics Trap”.

    Yet, no matter how well you explain it many wont ever get it.
    Already we see the replies “they didn’t anticipate it”, “everybody knew”.
    They still expect instant solutions, brilliant reactions.
    The best chess players never play fast even when the opponent makes exactly the move they knew they were going to make. They still need to check and recheck their plan, avoid pitfalls, see what they are missing.

    Those that are hoping for a revelation on Monday will be sourly disappointed,
    this is not a problem to solve in a day.
    The opposition is working through avenues of non violence because the other ones are not worth it.
    Ask a Syrian in Aleppo.
    Also because it is the only possibility they have, their only strength is the people’s rejection of the government.
    And that it is not a hammer.
    It is more like wind. Sometimes soft and soothing, others even destructive.
    Blowing in one direction one moment and another the next.
    Harnessing its power is not easy.

    The MUD focused the attention of the people with an idea: RR. It is a battle cry to rally around.
    It could have been anything else: the Asamblea Constituyente, or the Regionals, for instance.
    It was the NA before, successfully.
    Now they need to change that focus, adjust it, that takes time.
    A campaign is designed, planned, prepared and never just blurted out.

    Also they need to extract whatever more they can from the RR campaign.
    The government showed their fear, their autocratic true colors,
    showed they knew they could not win.
    Let that sip in into the hearts and minds of every Venezuelan.
    That will be the starting point for the next leg of this journey.
    Whatever it is. (And no, it wont be revealed on Monday)

  9. well then, forget 2016, 2017 and lets try to survive while we place our hopes in 2018 elections when hopefully they will allow us to exercise our rights.
    By then MUD will have lost some 2 million votes throught emigration, maybe that’s the regime’s calculation.
    A Toro lo que le gusta llevar la contraria.

    • Actually Toro loves to show he is the smartest kid in the room. His solution is outsmarting a bunch of thugs who couldn’t care less about logic and fairness. In the meantime people keep suffering and dying, not in Canada, mind you.

  10. I could take this rant seriously, if not for the use of a strawman to paint the entire segment that disagrees with MUD “strategy” as spoiled arrechitos and yes, “keyboard warriors that want death and destruction, and marchas sin retorno”.

    There is so much to say about the people that feel dissatisfaction with the MUD, and to reduce them all to “radicals that want blood” is kind of insulting. But hey, I guess is easy to distort the views of so many, treat them like brats that “need to grow up” and “need to be patient”, specially if one is safely abroad.

    • All radicals wanted Chúo to react strongly on Thursday night, before consulting. All radicals wanted Chúo to do something that would *certainly* have fractured MUD. Radicals may say they want unity, but what they really want is a fantasy version of unity where people who have deep disagreements with them magically change their minds and start agreeing with them. Substantively, they defend an agenda that guarantees a return to the MUD splits of a couple of years ago.

      • So anyone who disagrees with MUD’s strategy is, by your definition, a “radical”? Absolutely all and everyone of them?

        Thanks man, I wasn’t sure you were using also a false dilemma to defend your “argument”, now I am “absolutely” sure about it…

  11. Quico there are several flaws here.

    1.- Chuo hasn’t yet done any disobedience. In fact, everything points to the MUD dancing to Jorge Rodriguez’s tune. You are anticipating an outcome. One that I personally would like to see.

    2.- You are wrong saying that what you need now is “You insist on your rights because they are your rights, and because if you treat them as such, with determination, courage, grit and a sense of genuine civic duty, you dramatically raise the political costs your oppressor has to pay for denying them.” That point has already been made. You no longer need to prove that the chavismo is unfair. That’s known. 80% of venezuelans knows this. You passed critical mass a long time ago.

    3.- Instead what you need to do is weaken the institutions that uphold power. You do that by acts that prompt disobedience from those in the ranks of those institutions. How we device protest that do that should be our task.

    4.- Do nothing and marching to Miraflores is a false dichotomy. And accepting the terms laid out is to me passiveness, and marching to Miraflores is coockoo-banana-nutso. There are a million things we can do if we start feeling that sense of urgency, and if we are actually not lazy.

    You know who sucks to be now? Not Chuo, not those in the G4 meetings. It sucks to be that party militant with all the information of the G4 but that is still on the ground with an incredible feeling of urgency. Because they know that people are dying and can’t wait. And it offends them that given the predictability of this outcome that you needed a weekend to still figure it.

    • It couldn’t get any shorter and any clearer. But wait…Quico will show them that he can still win the chess match, even with half his brain oozing out of his skull.
      Kudos Martin!

  12. The struggle in Venezuela is now, without doubt, the struggle of an oppressed majority. There was a civil rights movement in the USA that involved an oppressed, large majority, against an oligarchy that was prepared to use violence against it, not mentioned here.

    I think there are two notions that have to be dispelled or the chess game will be the one with no clock (and no food): (1) that public opinion needs moving; (2) that the consciences of lawmakers in the regime can be moved.

    With those two things in mind, my question for the MUD would be:

    What is Ghandi’s salt, in Venezuela?

      • Interesting thought. Here’s some more:

        “Much can be done in many other ways besides these. The Liquor and foreign cloth shops can be picketed. We can refuse to pay taxes if we have the requisite strength. The lawyers can give up practice. The public can boycott the law courts by refraining from litigation. Government servants can resign their posts. In the midst of the despair reigning all round people quake with fear of losing employment. Such men are unfit for Swaraj. But why this despair? The number of Government servants in the country does not exceed a few hundred thousands. What about the rest? Where are they to go? Even free India will not be able to accommodate a greater number of public servants. A Collector then will not need the number of servants, he has got today. He will be his own servant. Our starving millions can by no means afford this enormous expenditure. If, therefore, we are sensible enough, let us bid good-bye to Government employment, no matter if it is the post of a judge or a peon. Let all who are co-operating with the Government in one way or another, be it by paying taxes, keeping titles, or sending children to official schools, etc. withdraw their co-operation in all or as many watts as possible. Then there are women who can stand shoulder to shoulder with men in this struggle.”

        Ghandi, just before he made salt.

        • Interesting ideas of Ghandi:
          – lawyers giving up practice,
          – government workers resigning their posts

          hmmm…

          They do not sound like effective tactics, because they could only work if everyone complied and there were no replacements (think PDVSA workers). It requires too much personal sacrifice from too few and almost perfect compliance in those groups to even make dent.

          Making salt, on the other hand, just required enough brave souls, with not much to lose, to show up. Not 100% compliance of some elites.

          We got to keep thinking…

          • In that quote, Ghandi, perhaps because he was a lawyer, probably overestimated the impact that lawyers ceasing their work would have on the regime’s ability to function. Venezuela, like my country, is a nation of lawyers and, like my country, their work probably has minimal short term impact on what is necessary to maintain the status quo. So a lawyer’s strike probably would not be enough, though frankly, I like the idea.

            By contrast, people who work with their hands doing skilled things are generally the people whose work has immediate impact on the maintenance of the status quo. I am sorry to anyone who thinks I sound like some sort of commie, but that is just peoples’ reality, whether they are lawyers, economists, keyboard warriors, or corrupt and dictatorial Presidents and their governing cliques. i.e. if my power does not work, my keyboard warrioring is over.

            Ghandi’s underlying point and intent in this quote are useful to consider: interference with the activities which allow the ruling clique to maintain power. Through non violent means. This involves, among other things, pickets (demonstrations at locations of work) and urging people in strategic areas not to work or not to obey. On a large scale.

            I know many people think these are bad ideas for Venezuela. People will lose their jobs, people will go hungry, are the counterarguments (as they were under communist eastern Europe, as they were in Ghandi’s India, as they were during the struggles of the labour movement in the USA). But people are going hungry with the status quo, people who are speaking out are losing their jobs, the suffering grows and it targets the weakest and the supporters of change first and hardest.

            Making salt was not some symbolic act. Ghandi wanted to interfere in the means of production that supported the regime. Contrary to the conventional wisdom, he was not advocating sitting buddah-like somewhere, and waiting for people to notice how good he was and reward him and his followers for it.

            I think it is worth pointing out that (1) these strategies have a clear record of success, historically, and (2) they were Ghandi’s ideas, among many others.

            Other than waiting for the cavalry to arrive, which in this part of the world like all others, is usually worse than what came before it, I don’t know what the MUD and other leaders opposed to this regime do, except start planning these things. It probably means, the opposition can’t function in an office building in downtown Caracas, or wherever they normally do their work. It probably means that organizing via social media will become a big problem. It means a lot of things.

            In the example of Ghandi, and perhaps less so the other examples above, we have a useful precedent to consider.

          • I agree with what you say. But I was pointing out that even Gandhi had, what I consider, bad ideas. He was not simply advocating for a lawyers’ strike or servants strike for a day. But to quit their jobs. That is too much to ask of anyone much less of a group. Only few would dare and they would just lose their jobs.
            It hurts the people more than the government.
            Those ideas were never put in practice. Making salt did not have that disadvantage and it made a lot of noise.

            I agree that:

            – Lawyers should strike, but for a day. They should make official declarations, march.
            – Engineers, the same but on a different date
            – Doctors, the same
            – Commerce, the same
            – Transportation ….
            – Radio stations should have 10 minutes of silence, or of the national anthem
            – TV stations if they dare also
            – Police men
            – All employees in all the offices downtown in every city should step out to lunch, and stay outside. Not coming back. One time.
            – Traffic should stop in all avenues for 15 minutes. In silence (or the opposite).

            These are things that do not require a big sacrifice or 100% of compliance to make an effect.

          • It may well be, as more and more people are unable to survive on what they earn, these kinds of actions start to unfold without a central organizing body or plan, in which case, the MUD and others -the professional political class- becomes irrelevant, and other leaders arise, people who are prepared to mobilize collective action and command a level of trust and respect to do so effectively.

  13. Lo cortés no quita lo valiente!

    Excellent Quico… except let us not forget that while digging the other one deeper into the hole, one must not forget being able to bury it, whenever the opportunity arises. And those opportunities are very short-lived and requires leadership character to take advantage of them… sort of knowing when the Gandhi should allow the Churchill to instantaneously take over.

    In the case of the opposition it should also never forget the real costs for people of the delays, and should be looking at promoting help, even if only Band-Aid’s.

    http://petropolitan.blogspot.com/2015/12/si-yo-fuese-uno-de-los-112-o-uno-de-los.html

  14. Qucio Toro makes excellent arguments in this piece, but he could have dispensed with the reprimands such as “grow up, coño”, which are unnecessary irritants at a time in which reason, not arrogance, should prevail.I fully concur with him on the need to reaffirm our rights and exact the highest price for the aggression we are receiving but I also believe that massive civic protest is required and that the two approaches are NOT mutually exclusive.

    If Borges and the conventional leaders cannot convoke such a massive protest I hope some other leader who can inspire the people will. Maria Corina certainly is trying. There are not many Leopoldos, that’s for sure.

    Quico’s statement: “We finally, finally have a political leadership that understands we’re playing chess, not checkers, that you have to plan things out five moves ahead, that de la prisa solo queda el cansancio. We finally have a political leadership that understands unity, real unity can’t be wished into existence, that it takes time and consultation and real listening outside your echo chamber.” is pure, unadulterated bullshit.
    MUD has been for many years limited to a group of political parties, never taking the initiative of converting this political club into a real National Front, including all members of civil society. Now, they are slowly coming to realize that they need to do so. Not so much because they led us down this path but because they are being led into it by popular pressure.
    I feel we have much more in common than discrepancies but we also need some reasonable bedside manners to guide the debate

  15. The only good thing about Thursday IMO is that the regime’s facade lost yet another thick layer! That in Quico parlance is its cost went up yet again a large step, good.

    The bad thing is that the regime is also playing chess and their strategy, as someone rightly commented above, is to continue to win by attrition, and forced exile, malnutrition, economic dependence and destruction,

    The Venezuela state has been hollowed out from within. No institutions and no gentilicio stands un harmed. In its place, stands a myriad of new interests with only one thing in common, criminality and induced corruption, all funded by a very smart use if oil bonanza riches by the invading powers: FARC, narco co., cubans, lefties , PSF, and all other kinds of organized crime international have made the failed state their new home.

    Venezuelans abroad are all too busy to make it in their new lands and those behind, are either slavers or slaved. Who has the time on its advantage really?

    The “opposition” going for a progressive raising the costs campaign, or the regime continuing the systematic destruction, that’s the calculation.

    Let’s wait yet again 4 days to learn what is the next move on this match.

  16. Have you calculated the political cost of deceiving oppo supporters by telling over and over that recall is for 2016?, or what about disappointing supporters by calling them for a “toma de caracas” with all the rebellion feelings it carries (and I’m pretty sure that feeling was calculated to mobilize more people) and then just concentrate and go home?.

    One by one, with each last actions MUD is losing more and more supporters
    I just hope they have calculated that too

  17. “Thank God we have them. We don’t know how lucky we are.”

    This is a risky bet you are making. Too risky. Probabilities are MUD will screw up eventually, and you will regret saying this. And this is not the type of thing the internet would let go. Seriously, this is “Tiempo de Dios es perecto” tier.

    Really, not even: “doing somewhat ok” but “thank God we have them”.

    Thank god we have Ramus “Derwich” Allup
    Thank god we have “No Mercosur pls” Zambrano
    Thank god we have “Escaleras mecanicas al cielo” Oscariz

    In some sense its admirable this kind of trust, but I cannot stop feeling this is impossible naive.
    This is your reputation you are playing here, on the same people who thought “10 minutes protest” was a great idea. The same people that happily stabbed Maria Corina in the back after she got inhabilitated.

    You already set the rules: “Not even the most naively deluded of MUD doves could think it’s possible to meet these requirements”

    Let me put you an scenario, a reasonable one: Lets say the MUD is a paper tiger- the probability that in fact the chavismo, even while near death, does´t fear them at all. Chavismo may fear the military, the transportists, its own police and other chavistas, but lets say they know the MUD has no power at all, for the reasons you already said: they hold no guns, Blocks C and D will never support them fully, and they still love Chavez, even if they hate Maduro. Lets say Blocks C and D would think its pretty good to have a 2017 referendum, since it will take out the “bad guy” while denying access to those ” blanquitos de mierda”, they think, while starving to death, thinking everything is Mendoza and Diosdado fault. Not saying this is true, it probably isn’t, but it could be.

    In this scenario the MUD has to take the hit. Simply, there is nothing they could do. Its not their fault. But they will have to sell us how GREAT a 2017 would be, how its the first step,and how they ACTUALLY CAN MEET THE REQUIREMENTS, simply because they cant do anything else, and you will have to either to insult them or claim “THANK GOD”

    Trust is a risky best. If I am wrong, I will laugh and say “well, I am not a political analyst, what do I know, turns out I was an idiot all along. ”
    If I am right, however, I will be very very angry, and I will go out for blood. And since in fact warriors of keyboards are not, in fact, blood thirsty real life warriors, I will do the only t do the only thing I can do:

    MEME THE FUCK OUT OF THIS, FOREVER
    . I AM GOING TO MEME THIS THING SO HARD PALO POR ESE CULO WILL LOOK LIKE A MERE IZARRA LAUGH

  18. “Bizarrely, in Venezuela, the same people urging MUD to commit to a campaign of civil disobedience attack Chúo Torrealba for refusing to obey Jorge Rodríguez’s demand that we all give up on a recall this year. They pour scorn on Chúo for not meekly filing to the back of the bus.”

    Above all, is incredibly narcissistic. “The MUD didn’t took MY strategy, so they should abandon theirs just because the going got rough and the Government said no”. You may disagree with the MUD strategy, but they should pursue it to the last consequences, not giving up just to please armchair generals.

  19. We all are guerreros del teclado, except that some of us take more than 149 characters to spit their bullets. Take it easy Quico.

    The real dilemma facing us is: do we await end of October for the CNE to say that we did not reach the required 20% of signatures for the RR to really start massive daily protests nationwide, a general strike, AN’s crying out internationally, and our political leadership being sent to jail; or, instead, should we do all that now?. Because the regime only knows huir hacia adelante. Confrontation, Ghandi style or El Cafetal style, seems unavoidable.

    The maximum political price to be paid by the regime for the outrage might be now or end of October.

    The key to success of any strategy is UNITY. Only if our political (and social) leadership is smart enough to row on this trouble water coordinately, and unified towards the same direction it is possible to achieve success.

    Sin Unidad de la oposición no tenemos vida.

  20. I agree with everything Quico said. I am waiting for tomorrow to see what they come up with. However, I am hoping that they come up with something creatively different then the usual strategies. I think we are all tired of marches that don’t achieve any result other than demonstrating that we are the vast majority. We, the regime, and the entire world already know this. The opposition needs to start hurting the regime. I am not saying it is time to go for the knock-out blow, but they need to be hurt in a way that says “Not only can we hurt you, but we can do it again, whenever we like.” They need to be seen as vulnerable.

  21. Very provocative article. However, you are missing the pacific and not so pacific confrontations that have led to important institutional changes. It’s true that Rosa Parks was a hero (by the way quite a disobedient one), but you’re missing the work of Martin Luther King Jr. who was not characterised for improvisation or lack of action. In fact, he rallied and movilised many people to fight for integration. He ended up dead himself.

    Ghandi’s movement was followed by a bloodbath. His rejection of the salt monopoly and his obvious rebellion against the British state was followed by brutal repression and many of his followers died. So in fact Quico, you can blame Ghandi for a strategy that you have opposed many times here, which is putting human lives at risk to press for change.

    You also bundle everyone criticising the MUD action as asking for a March to Miraflores. No, that’s not it. We’re asking for actively engaging in strategies that will lead to a RR or a resignation. Venezuela is no stranger to this really, isn’t that the way we got rid of MPJ?

    Look, if people want you to sugar coated and say, yes there will be regime change if we follow every crazy hoop the government comes up with; we all know it will not happen. It’s frustrating and it’s sad. We all prefer a peaceful transition, but without a credible threat this will not happen. And simply a bland opposition that refuses to accept this will only keep prolonging the misery. So, the real question Venezuelans have to ask themselves is, whether we want to continue this game and wait for 2018 to elect a new president? Or we want to accept the risk of confrontation and potential violence if we fight for a RR?

    I will not criticise my fellow Venezuelans for choosing either, both of them imply different types of suffering. But let’s not pretend that we will el juego de la Oca against the government. It’s either pressing actively for a RR or sit and wait for 2018. You choose your poison.

    • “So in fact Quico, you can blame Ghandi for a strategy that you have opposed many times here, which is putting human lives at risk to press for change”

      This is so wrong! Ghandi never advocated violent protest.

      Please provide the source of your information or withdraw the comment.

        • And of course, there is the least remember, but extremely bloody Amristar Rebellion

          http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/the-amritsar-massacre

          In which peaceful demonstrations ended up in many deaths later escalated. This was probably the reason why the British government showed more constrain afterwards. Ghandi was one of the leaders of this movement. Look, I’m not saying the opposition should actively engage in a rebellion, but it should look for mechanisms to force the RR. Sadly, many of these mechanisms will be met with force and repression, if they turn out to be effective.

          • Additionally, you don’t have to wait for the MUD.

            Using your real name you could state a date for the “toma de Miraflores” and invite all your friends and family.

          • From your link:

            “In Amritsar, India’s holy city of the Sikh religion, British and Gurkha troops massacre at least 379 unarmed demonstrators meeting at the Jallianwala Bagh, a city park”

            So the demonstration was not violent.

          • Ja, ja, ja, a straw man?

            You said: ““So in fact Quico, you can blame Ghandi for a strategy that you have opposed many times here, which is putting human lives at risk to press for change”

            So were you blaming Ghandi or not”?

            The only way he could deserve blame is if Ghandi had called for violent protests. Ghandi did not.

            You built a false premise!

            Maybe you should assume that your readers are not that stupid to fall in your faulty reasoning!

          • I do think that Ghandi put himself and his supporters at risk in order to press for change. Even when he did it peacefully he could not guarantee that they would be alright, for all he knew at the time many could have been killed (as it happened in other events). Moreover, many ended up in jail or beaten up as you read, but you try to clumsily miscontruct my argument. Furthermore, he also did this as a cold and calculated political strategy. This doesn’t make him less of a hero; in fact, his followers and him were heroes because they did this, even when the risks were high. They accepted this action, he didn’t force anybody. They used their free will. The Salt March didn’t need all Indians to follow. But a large enough group with courage and organisation. If Venezuela lacks this, then we can call it a day and wait for 2018.

            What I want you to understand, is that the Salt March, is not the action of the MUD you want, you’re demanding the opposite. You demand that they get you the RR, without undertaking any risks (this doesn’t mean taking violent actions, but peaceful demonstrations could and have been faced with force). To me this just following whatever they say strategy is not going to deliver the RR under the current Venezuelan institutions, since CNE made it impossible.

            Also, I’m not calling for la Toma de Miraflores, another strawman which seems to be your favorite fallacy. What I’m saying is that the MUD needs to either design a path that will for sure lead to a RR, which doesn’t mean a violent path. Maybe you should pay more attention to what Emiliana wrote in the comment section. What characterises dictatorships is that even peaceful actions are followed by repression (as you saw in Villa Rosa). If the MUD is going to take the attitude of the comeflor groupies like you that want to just follow all the crazy and impossible rules to reach a RR, it will not happen. The question is about the best mechanism to press for a government change, or to accept the fate of waiting until 2018. Just “pintarte la cara color esperanza” and going to the firm collection centers is not going to cut it. Not because of a lack of believe, but because it’s impossible given the number of machines, the distribution of the centers, and the ruling per state.

            Is it really a non-negotiable RR so undemocratic? Isn’t it precisely the people deciding whether a president should stay a democratic action? Or we have to beg for this as well? Theoretically the people could decide to maintain Maduro in power if we go through a RR. So, it’s just another election that Chavismo could win. The fact that we have bought all this nonsense of accepting all the humiliations from the central government without any type of reaction is more worrying than the RR. This concern goes far deeper. It seems that some Venezuelans are interpreting democracy as servitude. As accepting any arbitrary and abusive use of the institutions as just “another hurdle”. It’s not. It’s a plan.

            We need to be tough enough to avoid Chavismo winning this round, if we want to see Maduro leave before 2018. Delusion is not a strategy. What will the MUD do if they don’t reach the 20% or if the government decides to stay in power with the vice-president? Would they press until they reach a RR or do they would just ask us to go home and wait?

        • This is what you said:

          “So in fact Quico, you can blame Ghandi for a strategy that you have opposed many times here, which is putting human lives at risk to press for change”

          Ghandi did not put human life at risk.

          Re-read your links.

          The word “death” does not show up and the word “dead” only once and applied to Ghandi himself.

          Show that he did or withdraw your comment.

          • Of course he did, under a repressive regime even peaceful demonstrations could lead to people injured, killed or imprisoned. As I you read it yourself in the 3 links I posted. At the time what he did was not only a risky action, but also an illegal one.

            You know you’re building a straw man to try to win an argument. You’re trying to claim I said that Ghandi’s protest was violent. I simply said it was risky (as it indeed was). If you’re wondering what a strawman is:

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man

            Maybe you should learn to read before you comment.

          • Also, the article implicitly assumes that the MUD will have to do something of this kind if the RR is blocked by the government cheating (for all practical purposes the signature collection is already blocked). So probably even the author agrees with a peaceful (yet potentially dangerous) set of protests, strikes or actions that could lead to people imprisoned or worse if the government decides to repress them. What he would probably disagree with is with the timing of that announcement and the demands of those actions. Which is what we’re discussing here.

            For me the MUD can’t accept these terms to go to a RR and must say that whatever happens in the signature collection they will still go and demand a RR, their constitutional rights etc. This is potentially a dangerous plot and that’s my point.

            If you still don’t understand how a peaceful protest could be dangerous, you don’t understand the concept of dictatorship, or you have bought the governments (and part of the MUDs propaganda) that a popular demand for a change of president is already violent in itself.

            I wish you good luck trying to change the government by signing a couple of planas and reaching the impossible threshold given the number of machines. You seem to be a reader of “El Secreto”, so maybe if you wish enough upon a star it will happen.

  22. I don’ t really believe you have anything to offer anymore to the average person. You can try to convince the people otherwise, but it will be very hard. Most oppo voter do not belong to any party, anyway, and they don’t give a damm about anything except the RR. They demanded a solution and you failed to give it to them. So they will punish you for that.And you can’ t blame them, after all they did their part, some even lost their jobs and houses in the process. Whatever Chuo says tomorrow will not be relevant if people already perceive it is not possible to hold the RR this year. You don”t understand chess at all. It is a game of force. You can play another game and win, but this one you already lost and don’ t seem to notice.

    • “ You can play another game and win, but this one you already lost and don’ t seem to notice”

      Interesting. That is what Maduro wants you to believe!

      Did he convince you already?

      • I speak humbly, as a citizen: there is nothing the MUD can’t do or say anymore to convince me of anything. If you are convinced, however, I respect that. . For me it is a matter of trust at this point, not strategy (it was about strategy before, but not now). In order to make me trust the MUD again you would have to serve me Capriles head in a silver plate along with a signed apology for all the harm he is done. Every time Chuo, Allup, Julio Borges, Henry Falcon, or him speak, I get the same feeling of strong contempt and hopelenness I feel when I hear Maduro or Diosdado. speak. If you want me to vote for the MUD again they have to disaparear. completely and forever. Those are my terms. They will not get anything from me anymore, and I am completely sure that the only chance we have to recover as a country is if they retire withouth noise. I didn’ t even believe in their capacity to conduct the country anyway. I know a different leadership and orgnization will come out of this. Tha’ s my bet.

  23. Quico, you keep talking about raising a political cost that would be impossible to pay. Like that is the endgame.

    The difference I see with the examples you mention is that in all those cases there were strong instances that meant that the political cost of repression had consequences, and so they chose reform. Be it the US Supreme Court or (even) the British Empire of the 1940s.

    But what’s that institution or figure in our case? Who does the oppressors here have to pay any political cost to?

    The TSJ? The military? The OAS? Or maybe to its constituents on elections…?

    The difference is that the very thing they are denying here is precisely to be held accountable, not even on elections, for the already insurmountable political cost they have accumulated by crushing so many people’s lives.

    That’s why many people wonder what’s the point of raising the political costs anymore if there’s no one to make them pay it.

    That’s what many are asking, for the mud to be an organization of people willing to use its strength in numbers to force them to pay the political cost, not just one that only raises it for a democratic process that doesn’t seem to exist anymore.

    And that doesn’t need to mean going all tirapiedra on Miraflores tomorrow. I think it’s possible to do both, collect signatures and show resolve to make them worth.

    But, I guess we’ll see soon enough.

  24. Hola, Francisco. Excelente análisis. Concuerda y complementa lo que he estado diciendo, en dos artículos sobre esto, que me permito citar abajo, pues la fe, junto con las obras correspondientes, mueve montañas. No debemos dejarnos meter en la cabeza que el RR no va en 2016. Es una idea absolutamente maligna contra la cual hay que luchar. Sea el RR, o la renuncia, lo vamos a conseguir; y hay que luchar con fuerza, persistencia, prudencia, sabiduría, unidad. Las condicciones están dadas, pues lo más importante aquí es la extremada debilidad del gobierno. De ahí su altísimo, prohibitivo, costo de impedir nuestro éxito. Por ejemplo, lo del apoyo de la fuerza armada es una falacia: el grupo que apoya es minúsculo, y el grueso de la fuerza está esperando por una señal. El objetivo de la marcha del 1S era la recuperación de la confianza, no tumbar a Maduro. Ese objetivo se cumplió con creces, a pesar de los revolucionarios del teclado, como los llamas y se ha hecho común hacerlo. Ahora el objetivo sí que es que Maduro salga. Tenemos la fuerza, y contamos con la debilidad del gobierno (de todas maneras, quien gana aquí no es quien mete más goles, sino quien mete menos auto-goles; y en eso el gobierno le lleva una morena a la oposición). Es una cuestión de costos relativos, de fuerza relativa, lo que produce el resultado final. Aquí van mis artículos: 1. http://prodavinci.com/2016/07/01/economia-y-negocios/una-respuesta-de-felipe-perez-marti-a-cuando-se-acaba-esto-de-luis-vicente-leon/ 2. http://prodavinci.com/2016/08/11/actualidad/maduro-sale-en-el-2016-felipe-perez-marti-le-responde-a-luis-vicente-leon/ Los argumentos ahí están aún más vigentes ahora que entonces. Cordialmente y pendientes,

  25. I think you have waaaaay to much faith in what will be announced on Monday and on the MUDs capabilities. They KNEW this was going to happen, why not get together before, hash it out and have an answer ready for what they already knew was going to happen. Have an answer ready to go for the colective “arrechera” that was going to ensue and eventually did.

    Their communication skills are a DISASTER. They need to be clear and actually SAY that they KNOW that the RR will NOT be in 2016, but that we need to push forward anyway. They need to stop lying, to stop creating a false sense of hope, because that is what turns against them. Be clear, be concise and be HONEST.

    Is that much for ask for? Too much to ask of an opposition that has been 17 years in the making and still struggles to do things right?

    People are not stupid and they do not want to be treated as such, they’re tired, they’re hungry, they’re sick and we already have the government for that. They need to either have the balls to be upfront and honest and go for it or go home.

    • “ They need to be clear and actually SAY that they KNOW that the RR will NOT be in 2016, but that we need to push forward anyway. They need to stop lying, to stop creating a false sense of hope, because that is what turns against them. Be clear, be concise and be HONEST”

      It sounds so much as if it were Bernal speaking!

      How do you know it will not happen on 2016?

        • “Do you REALLY think it will??”

          I certainly do hope so!!

          See it? when you hope you fight for your hope to become reality but when you stop hoping you already gave up.

          If it does not happen it will not be “because of me” but “in spite of me”.

          What one cannot do is wait for others to make it happen!

    • No entendiste nada! el argumento es justamente que aceptar q el RR no sera’ en 2016 es ir a sentarte al fondo del autobus! Que aunque sea obvio q RR16 no ocurrira, hay que “luchar” por ello, por q es nuestro derecho. El como “luchar” es dificil de decidir y mas au’n de anticipar….asi q bajale dos…

  26. Who does the Goverment need to save face to?

    What’s the point of a political price if no one cashes in on it? And by cash in on it I mean REALLY cash in on it not making a couple of half-assed political statements on twitter.

    Besides the OEA and the UN and some other political entities or individuals there hasn’t been none. And besides some sort of international intervention (that will never happen and if it does it’ll just prepare the soil for Chavez 2.0) there is nothing they could do. Just ask Syria or Turkey how the international community is crap at this sort of situation.

    • The MUD does have to save face which is what this hole thing is about. Also asking them to outright say “We knew there wouldn’t be a RR in 2016, but pushed for it anyways because (reasons)” is political suicide.

      I might agree with those “reasons”, they could be completely logical and wise, they could be the greatest justification for any action ever, and it would still piss most of the country off. Particularly the people who just jumped ship on the PSUV and those who you might consider “radical”; the ones the MUD needs the most.

  27. La fe ciega y ausencia de autocrítica que profesan algunos seguidores de la MUD se empieza a parecer peligrosamente a la de los chavistas con el PSUV. Se puede y SE DEBE criticar; se puede y SE DEBE exigir una mejor forma de hacer las cosas. Reducir al absurdo cualquier propuesta distinta a la de la pusilánime MUD es chavismo.

  28. MUD is a political coalition, not an army. The move I see is to take the date, solidify that, and demand more voting machines, loudly! And demand voting centers in convenient locations. PUSH!

    The regime has how many people actually pulling strings? Actually giving orders? A few hundred? Maybe less? 30,000,000 people want the regime out. 30,000,000 v. a few hundred? Absurd.

    The regime has scored small [shady] victories, and built on those. First it was stacking the TSJ and disqualifying the three deputies from Amazonas (and one of the PSUV, to save face and make it look reasonable). Then it was the ridiculous math about the supermajority based on seats, not on members present. And a few political prisoners more. An inch here, an inch there, and now a mile: TSJ declares all AN acts null. The next step is to declare the constitution unconstitutional. I’d suggest MUD cannot continue to allow this erosion. 30,000,000 people should use the same tactics. The cacerolazo in Margarita was not planned and announced. The bus drivers’ blockade of streets was effective. The walk-around of the blocked tunnel September 1 wasn’t planned or announced.

    • The regionals are effectively out of just about everyone’s mind, what with all the focus on the RR.

      If you began to pitch the regionals to the masses as the way forward they’d look at you as if you had two heads.

      And yet, someone DOES have to keep them in mind and bring them up as often as possible, as in: ” and they owe us those too”.

      They certainly can postpone them, and have done so before with other regional elections.

  29. What makes everyone think the MUD did not anticipate the events? They don’t need to broadcast their suspicions everytime someone thinks of something…Agree with the article. Well written, well thought out and pretty darn accurate…Now is not the time to divide or criticize…Seems the MUD options are limited, and they know best what they are living.. They also have inside tracks that we don’t know about. So let’s support them, as they are risking it all.

  30. Lo que me parece lamentable es que Quico hace ver a todo el que considere que frente a un bloqueo total de las instituciones tradicionales, todo el que pida otra ruta es “comecadela”, “radical”, “guarimbero.”

    La desobediencia civil puede tomar muchas caras, y es cuestión de planificarlo quirúrgica e inteligentemente. Creo que un cambio de táctica es lo mínimo que podría exigírsele a la MUD. El problema es que como no hay accountability, nadie puede pasarle una factura a la MUD si no se sienten representados por ella….

    Sí, insisto: Es una cuestión de bolas. Hay miedo (legítimo) pero miedo al fin. Quien sea que se atreva a liderar esta desobediencia civil seguramente terminará preso. Pero habrá irrumpido en el juego que el Gob. calculadamente ideó, contando con que la respuesta MUD siempre iba a ser conservadora. Y eso por lo menos tiene mayores probabilidades de éxito que ila estrategia de insistir en lo mismo que se ha venido intentando reiteradamente sin distintos resultados.

    Me parece depinga que Quico sea cheerleader de la MUD y celebre su liderazgo si siente que se lo merecen. Y que cuchi toda la gente que le aplaude porque quieren mucho a la MUD.

    Pero no confundamos wishful thinking con la cruda realidad.

    • Ni tampoco confundamos cinicismo y frustracion con la realidad. Estamos de acuerdo que manana los anuncios de la MUD tienen que ser mas fuertes y mas desobedientes que lo que se ha hecho hasta ahora, pero no veo como se pueden criticar las acciones que ni se han anunciado hasta este momento. Criticas la comparacion con Rosa Parks pero esto es bastante similar. Es el comienzo de un movimiento mas enfocado en desobediencia civil porque ahora es que puede funcionar. Como Rosa Parks hubo muchas pero el de ella fue un caso ejemplar porque se planeo MUY bien y se aprovecho de un acto que no era tan raro en esa epoca. Lo de ella no fue revolucionario, solo lego en el momento correcto y la MUD es suficientemente inteligente como para darse cuenta que tenia que esperar al momento adecuado. Y aqui estamos. Ahora, si manana dicen que aceptan todo y vamos a recolectar el 20%, pues estare de acuerdo contigo, pero todo apunta a que eso no sera asi.

    • “Me parece depinga que Quico sea cheerleader de la MUD y celebre su liderazgo si siente que se lo merecen. Y que cuchi toda la gente que le aplaude porque quieren mucho a la MUD.”

      The use of foul language does not contribute to your argument.

  31. Quico,

    Agreed to a certain extent… but I can’t help but feel that MUD are not making full use of their resources. In the examples you bring up the groups that rallied for their rights were all excluded from relevant institutions ruling over them… in Venezuela MUD control the parliament!

    The AN should try and take control of what is constitutionally theirs, and go head on against the executive (and the judiciary) if it has to. They currently enjoy more legitimacy in the eyes of both the electorate and the international community anyway.

    History is full of examples of clashes between presidents and parliaments that end up with one or the other coming out on top. Here the playbook would be pretty straightforward: let the AN use its constitutional powers to create a PLURAL, diverse, and democratic parallel government structure which enjoys a greater degree of legitimacy (legal and popular) than what there is today, then try to force an electoral solution to the conflict as to which one prevails. Any new, reformed, or parallel structure should invite chavistas (disenchanted or not) to take positions of power they have earned in certain states and as the very large minority they represent. It should be very obvious that the AN is building proper democratic institutions as per our constitution as opposed to a MUD-version of current chavista institutions (which would accomplish nothing).

    The first place to start, of course, would be a reform of the judiciary itself.

  32. I don’t see the government paying a political price for anything they do. If they don’t like something MUD does, just calling them golpistas will make them toe the line. The circle has closed, forget elections. I see all kinds of polls about 80% against the government, I call BS, blocks C and D are still chavistas. If there was a referendum in 2016 when the revolution would be thrown out, they would not vote. In 2017 to get “el traidor del legado” out and keep the revolution, they would vote. The opposition has been thoroughly satanized by hate and propaganda.

  33. “(…) majority wants the regime removed peacefully, that majority evaporates instantly the moment that adjective drops out.”

    The same pattern probably happens with the introduction of the word “referendum” by now too. Actually, I’ve been thinking about what kind of bastard would have the guts to ask that frail lady from that other post — “When hunger knocks on your door” — that she shoud go to a CNE post and spend her day there for nothing (specially since you have even admitted that the refendum won’t happen in 2016 anyway). Emiliana is right, it’s cruel. To treat a tired and suffering people as pawns in your chess game is not pretty.

    Only MUD and Maduro will insist with the referendum thing from now on, the pawn will jump from the chess board, and then Maduro will say that, well, they ‘failed to collect the signatures’. And he won’t be lying. And all leftist journalists abroad will applaud the “Venezuelan institutions and strong democracy”. The UN and the Pope will salute the “maturity of the Venezuelan people and how it is an example for the world on how to solve a crisis without violence”. A happy Capriles will then hold that little book high in the air, the 1999 Chavista Constitution, and say that at least “las reglas fueran seguidas porqué aquí no hay golpistas”.

    That’s what you will have if you decide to play by their rules. If Gandhi had done the same, India would still be British today. To stop collaborating and play by your own rules is what make victories happen.

    • If you are correct, then all the opposition has to do is kick over the wicket, grab the noodle-flag and make Nicholas sing the “I’m Sorry Song”.

  34. “And we finally have a political leadership that understands that while you can’t force the other side to respect your rights maybe, just maybe, you can raise the political cost of violating them beyond their capacity to pay.”

    So, it just took them 17 years to learn “opposition 101”?

    It seems that the 2018 fraud is inevitable, and most distressing, that there’ll be no way to avoid adding more corpses to the pile.

  35. For the opposition people, to hand over everything (passions and hopes) blindly in the hands of the mud’s cogollo doesn’t seem to be the best idea.

    For the government’s rhetoric the mud is easier to punch than the majority of the population, it’s their best ennemy and it’s also because unfortunately the mud does not represent the street,
    unfortunately for a lot of people, even among the nowadays 80%, they still represent the “no volveran”, la vieja oligarquia, and as long as they don’t open themselves more widely to civil organizations (not only in their structure as they seem to do) but in their communication, they will never break this wall.

    What I understand from Emiliana’s post and reactions is not to end with the mud is to try to also develop a civil movement (very vague I confess, but to be invented) that would work in parallel of the mud political game and more likely to break this wall.

    I can’t believe the only political action that can be made by the struggling, suffering and fatigued people is to manifest 10 minutes per week when Torrealba decides it…

    This government is weak he can’t sustain this situation too long (this idea seems widely shared, even in aporrea, or at least in their publications https://www.aporrea.org/contraloria/n297372.html), but as long as it keeps fighting the mud and only the mud, they still look strong,

    just help to crackle the frontage (even a bit, wisely, once again, not running to Miraflores) and the rest will come…

    • why not producing pertinent political leaflet away from the PJ, VP ones that would speak to everyone for example. It can sound stupid but in this kind of situation, this kind action can just contribute to make hear the exasperation voice louder and it’s a lot

  36. My idea for civil disobedience action is to have a session of the National Assembly in front of Ramo Verde passing the liberation of all political prisoners and then marching in to Ramo Verde as Ghandi did in the salt march, peacefully and willing to martyred. The gamble would be that the military would stand by and have a Eastern Europe moment.

    As for the electoral option I think anyone hoping for this is kidding themselves. Chavismo will NEVER EVER go to an election anticipating a loss. Yes, the military may force them at some point, but only if the civil unrest the MUD can exact is such that makes Venezuela ungovernable.

  37. Mostly agree with Quico and mostly disagree with Emiliana (take a chill pill). But apart from standing up to your civil rights, MUD could and should be more aggressive in boycotting the regime via financing.

    Since the constitution clearly says that the AN has to pass or agree on any new government financing. The AN should clearly announce that if they have not approved a financing facility then they would not pay it once this regime falls. Pretty simple and clear.

  38. Quico, I agree with everything you said but ….you are making a HUGE assumption that can only be explained by Supercharged Wishful Thinking. You accurately state: “Gandhi calculated that the amount of repression the British would have to employ to sustain the state monopoly on salt would eat away at the Colonial regime’s legitimacy to the point of collapse…” Do you really believe the MUD is up to it? Are they even remotely close to having the clarity of purpose and determination that both Ghandi and Rosa Parks had ? Really? Really?

    The MUD has always been willing to exact a political price on the regime; the “just enough” price. A price that does not threaten its current political power quotas, the so called “espacios conquistados”… that is what an important part of its base understands and thus where its enormous frustration comes from. We have seen this movie before and know how it ends.

    You are right in ALL you say but you are wrong on assuming the MUD is up to the task of inflicting that maximum political price that comes through with repression.

    What say you?

  39. By the time I am finished writing this, it will be probably old news. In either case, Quico, brownnosing the MUD ain’t going to convince me that you got a point. What you got is a desperate call to stick to the only guys that might eventually, maybe in the long run effect a change of regime. The issue there is that they are not doing the long shot because it improves their chances of success…nope..there are doing it because they want to uproot the left so they can handle an easier (eventual) government.

    Mientras tanto el gobierno sigue “acabandonos en la mano”.

    You are the one that needs to grow up, but to grow a pair of balls that are also missing in the MUD.

    Waiting almost 4 days to formulate an answer to the RR announcement that everyone knew it was coming. Give me break, it not only shows lack of planning but also lack of conviction, it is like the don’t truly want it in their hearts.

    Your are advocating for the “long game” which to me is waiting for the oil price to go up, to get fresh money through credits, to demoralize the population and to pile misery on top of misery not counting the people that die not from bullets but from a completely lack of basic sense of mercy from the government and the MUD (and that includes you, Quico).

    The answer here is la Salida II because your are not dealing with the Canadian Parliament, your are not dealing with people that follows any particular set of rules and you are not going to achieve results unless you have your skin in the game.

    I know you are going to come with that line of being “disgusting” for advocating civil disobedience while not being in the country to live the consequences. But that is exactly the only thing I share with you which is the comfort of my keyboard that use to tell you that there are different ways to fight and they are all valid at this point. Once more, your ability to influence is misguided by segregating different ways of thinking.

    By the way, black people in the US had to fight for about 100 years to finally enforce their rights. The Indians fought for 190 years to gain their independence and SBA did not live to see the legalization of woman suffrage. So, Quico, how many years do you want to wait?. Oh I forgot, you don’t live in Venezuela.

    • The English Moral are different from the Spaniard Moral.

      El Liberalismo Clásico nació en el Reino Unido y se disemino por los países que tienen habla inglesa, junto a su Moral. En la manera como ven el mundo.

      Gandhi se enfrenta al Imperio Ingles cuando India era una colonia inglesa
      Madela se enfrenta a una ex-colonia inglesa como es Sudafrica
      Martin Luther King se enfrenta a una ex-colonia inglesa como son USA

      Donde terminaron los que se enfrentaron a Cuba, ex-colonia española?

  40. When France fell to Nazi rule in WWII all frenchmen hated the nazis , but when it came time to lift up arms and go abroad to continue the fight or to join the underground forces very few people had the physical courage to do it …….thats not the way its represented in films and in modern folklore but the actual fact is that there was distinct deficiency of heroism in the frenchmen of the time . De Gaulle left France on its defeat by the Nazis with the thought that everyone in the country who was anyone would follow him ..no such thing …….most people stayed home , feeling angry and patriotic but when bullets fly and you have to risk your life not every one is a candidate for heroic action …….!!

    I am all for trying any tactic peaceful or less peaceful to topple the current regime , but am perhaps a bit cautious about being able to count on the mass of people acting with heroic fury and resolve …….there are ocassions when people are pressed enough to really explode and wipe out a regimes coercive battlements but its not every day , you have to work careful for such a day to come and prepare for it ……and even then its not always that such explosions are succesful …….so I kind of understand that what the MUD is doing makes sense AT THIS MOMENT , but that other strategies may be usefully adopted in the future which involve a more muscled response……!!

    Meantime be tolerant of failures and setbacks , in this kind of process they are inevitable , dont expect magical results from any measure , and above all maintain the unity and resolve of the oppo movement and keep pressuring the regime on all available fronts ……every day that passes the regime is weakening …look at its broken down international image , at the many attacks its facing from many international flanks , at its ever growing unpopularity among all classes , at the financial fractures that gape from its economic belly ………. !!

  41. It’s ridiculous. There will still be elections in 2018. Rosa Parks, Gandhi, Susan B. Anthony, Mandela and Superman would have loved to have that chance…Please, think deeply about it!

  42. Es muy fácil citar a Rosa Parks y a Gandhi. Todos sabemos que la MUD no está interesada realmente en obligar al gobierno a realizar el RR este año. Lo que está haciendo es empezar la campaña para el 2017 o incluso el 2018. Entre eso y ejemplos como Rosa Parks y Gandhi hay una diferencia enorme. Y además, nadie cree que personas como Capriles, Borges, Falcón o Allup sean capaces de conducir un movimiento efectivo de lucha en la calle. El gobierno sabe eso y lo explota. Lleva a los cobardes al precipicio.La única persona que tiene la stamina parece ser Lilian Tintori, a quien han llamado cabeza de chorlito y hasta criticado frívolamente por sus zapatos. No es sólo un asunto de estrategia…también hay que considerar los elementos humanos involucrados. Hay una diferencia entre ser inteligente y parecerlo. Yo por mi cuenta no me dejo seducir por referencias ilustradas ni por la demagogia de quien siempre se cree más inteligente pero no puede demostrar prueba de ello. Es una trampa y al final todos somos víctimas del ego y de las falacias de personas como Francisco, que han sido derrotadas y no son ni siquiera capaces de admitirlo. La verdad es que no habrá RR este año aunque hubiera podido haberlo si las cosas de hubieran manejado de otra manera. Fracasaron las negociaciones, fracasaron todas las acciones que se llevaron a cabo. No hay manera de ocultarlo con retórica. Eso causará la muerte de muchas personas y muchos sueños. Todo esto ocurre porque no podemos ver más allá de las limitaciones mentales de literalmente un puñado de personas, de un grupito de demagogos que secuestraron nuestras voluntades para su propio beneficio. Yo nunca he sido partidario de una marcha a Miraflores, aunque me parece estúpido descartarlo inmediatamente como si fuera una cuestión de principios. No he comido suficiente mierda y propaganda para pensar que una marcha a Miraflores hoy sea lo mismo que aquella marcha del 11 de abril. La verdad es que si alguien como Capriles lo propone me cagaría de la risa en su cara. No iría. Pero si lo propone una persona seria en el momento correcto, por qué no? Está prohibido por un libro mágico? Mucho daño hacen las fobias de un grupito mononeural de niños malcriados que secuestraron nuestro futuro. Miserable es querer llamar a algo “desobediencia civil” cuando no existe la voluntad real de desobedecer a nadie, como ha sido demostrado en el pasado, en el presente y en los anuncios que se han hecho para el futuro. En todo el 2016 no han demostrado nada. Gánense el respeto de la gente con algo más que una pose intelectual, por favor. Hay que presionar y exigir a la MUD al máximo.

  43. I agree with the first half of your post.

    However, it’s not straightforward that “that majority evaporates instantly the moment that adjective (peacefully) drops out”. I bet half of Venezuelans would agree with Emiliana’s methods. The catch being that the majority of them are already on chavismo’s side.

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