MUD: Don’t Let us Down

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Yesterday, on my way home from the protest, as I crossed the Sabana Grande boulevard alongside a sea of people returning from the rally, I stopped to buy a loose cigarette from a girl with a telephone rental stand. She must have been 20 years old or so, short with big dark eyes and dressed all in black. The case she sold cigs out of was scribbled all over with “Fuck You” signs (yes, in English!) — not the friendliest of vibes.

I was mugged here not five minutes ago.

“Careful with that cellphone, buddy” is the first thing she says when she sees me reaching for the lighter. “I was mugged here not five minutes ago. A miserable son of a b**** took my rental phone, which happens to be my only one. And that poor old Blackberry was more dead than alive! Not even the screen worked.”

She vented for a little while while I was sitting next to her and the crowds of people in white shirts and Venezuela hats grew thicker. While everybody was on a democratic tour the force, she’d become just another victim of crime. She didn’t have much time for the cheerful spirit of the protest.

I asked her what she thought about the protests and the opposition’s movement to bring political change.

Don’t even get me started on that! I hate protest days. I’m living in Baruta, so every time they go to the highway to protest I end up being late to work, so I make less money to bring home. And what’s the point of all of this? I feel like they’re just being counterproductive as far as our well being goes. One protest after another and no results for us. I still have no soap, no shampoo, no sugar in my home. And now my livelihood is gone…

I was puzzled and a bit dissapointed, but I get it. There’s been plenty of reasons to be dissapointed about the MUD. The recent PR blunders, the dialogue-not-dialogue drama and the lack of concrete progress towards their goal of political change this year.

I found myself standing there proselytizing my buhonera.

Nonetheless, I found myself standing there proselytizing my buhonera, trying to convince her about of something I’d come to believe myself just minutes earlier: this time is different. There’s a sense of popular support for political change reaching critical mass; that was the spirit of yesterday’s call for a General Strike this Friday, and a march towards Miraflores for next Thursday.

I think you understand that, in order for the country to turn around, we need a change in government. And for this change to be durable, it needs to come peacefully and within the law. I know the way MUD is handling the situation is frustrating, but they are slow and steady getting there. Let’s hope for the best.

She felt better after this, her eyes even sparkled with optimism for a moment. I told her to be safe and that karma will take care of the miserable thug that robbed her, and to the thugs robbing our country as well.

My last words came out of a strange well of enthusiasm springing from the good vibes of a massive rally. I thought back, and worried: I know I’ve felt this way before…2012, 2014, and early 2016.

So please, MUD, Don’t let me down. Just don’t let us down.

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Russian-Venezuelan. A Santiaguino who left his heart in Caracas, Daniel is currently rehabbing from his addiction to High Beta and is pursuing a masters' degree in economics at Universidad Católica de Chile. Views are his own.

11 COMMENTS

    • Padrino Lopez made comments to the effect that violent oppression is an improper response to peaceful protests. Noticiero Digital is where I read that. But he said a bit more, that I didn’t fully understand, about supervision of agri and med industries.

      In a way I feel sorry for the guy, the focus on him, but capitalism works much better than socialism. The muggers took the buhonera’s capital equipment, just like the government has taken the capital equipment from so many.

      And that IS A CRIME.

    • I’m confused by what you mean. That article is a fair summary. The magazine has long been a source of good info on Venezuela, Relaying the truth about chavismo before many others.

  1. There is no trust between Chavistas and opposition. Lets say that next week the government says “OK people calm down, we will do the RR this year” but everybody knows that when and if the RR happens, the government will not let observadores internacionales to watch, will not allow the international press to cover, will unleash the colectivos all over Venezuela and the CNE will do all the dirty work needed, and late at night they will proudly announce that “The RR failed, Nicolas Maduro is still the president”…

    So, how do we get out of the mess with the minimum amount of blood possible? the only plausible solution to this mess goes through a negotiating table, a real one.

    • They would have to demonstrate good will. Talk is cheap, and history clears shows that. I would only be satisfied if they freed political prisoners. Otherwise, they are just stringing us along hoping to cool the political moment.

  2. Daniel I’m a long way away from this thing obviously but what is different is that the MUD has adopted a plan that has a track record of working in very similar and dire situations. There is no guarantee of success, there is no guarantee this will not drag on for more time, the violence is terrible, but when people get a taste of their actual power in these situations- if they strike on a large scale- there is often a total surrender of the regime just over the horizon. This is a plan that works.

  3. The power of change is in Venezuelan people’s hands. What are you expecting from MUD actually? They have no power to change the regime. They are doing their job by organizing protests. If the regime survives Venezuelans must ask themselves why they allow a corrupt regime to continue to abuse them.

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