For Wednesday, November 2, 2016. Translated by Javier Liendo.

Yesterday morning, Sucre mayor Carlos Ocariz said: “It’s not about sitting down to talk and abandoning the street; street pressure can’t be abandoned.” Hours later, Pope Francis said about Venezuela: “I wholeheartedly put all my hopes on dialogue and I believe this is the right path to follow.” That’s how we reached the decisions that unleashed divine wrath: the National Assembly agreed to postpone the discussion set for this Tuesday about Nicolás’s political responsibility in the breakdown of the constitutional order. Likewise, the Democratic Unity Roundtable agreed to listen to the Vatican’s request to suspend the march to Miraflores set for November 3rd.

They did what?

Two days after the dialogue process had kicked off -with more National Guards protecting the Federal Legislative Palace and much less chavista militants threatening opposition lawmakers-, Julio Borges requested the postponement of the points up for discussion yesterday, responding to the Vatican’s mediation in the crisis and reminding the opposition’s demands: short-term full release of all political prisoners; the recovery of the National Assembly’s authority and the restitution of the three Amazonas lawmakers; the election of new CNE authorities and a full review of the electoral schedule.

Now what?

These concessions are taken as MUD’s new blunder and PSUV’s new triumph, but also, as a “betrayal.” Let’s hope the government’s concessions are worth the piñata the MUD has become for public opinion

These concessions are taken as MUD’s new blunder and PSUV’s new triumph, but also, as a “betrayal.” Let’s hope the government’s concessions are worth the piñata the MUD has become for public opinion. A common warning issued by MUD spokespeople, is that they won’t negotiate any longer if the government doesn’t take a clear position in the next few days. Lawmaker Freddy Guevara remarked that Voluntad Popular doesn’t agree with differing Nicolás’s political evaluation nor suspending the march to Miraflores, but that they respect and support the decision made by the majority of MUD; ratifying the relevance of releasing Leopoldo López. He’s obligated to say that but sadly, we all know that López is the crown jewel, and he’ll only be released when Cilia’s polishing the last flower pot she steals from the Presidential Residence when the regime leaves power. The deadline for the answers they expect from the government oscillates between November 11th and 14th.

An alternative?

National Assembly Speaker Henry Ramos Allup, who claimed just a month ago that the opposition didn’t have a plan B: either recall or nothing, decided to tone down his words yesterday, because: “If we already know they killed the recall, what are we going to do? We have to find an alternative,” cautioning that conflict won’t bring us change and that all of them are willing to pay the political price for sitting down to negotiate. I’ll mention just one of the shameful, stupid and arrogant comments made by lawmaker Héctor Rodríguez, chief of the PSUV parliamentary caucus: “The only ones who can evaluate the president’s work are the people through elections.”

He knows his salsa

After saying yesterday “The National Assembly made good decisions,” Nicolás called Julio Borges a coward and Henrique Capriles a periquero (cocaine addict); he praised Ramos Allup (for suspending the evaluation and the march) and threatened Freddy Guevara, saying that parliamentary immunity wouldn’t save him from prison, adding: “I call all powers to take action against the terrorist group Voluntad Popular.” Nicolás -dictator as he is- wants to illegalize a legitimately constituted political party and it’s a double play: it could make the opposition leave negotiations and it could also work if they don’t, because it would accelerate division. The MUD is forced to condemn this threat.

“Anyone who calls to march on Miraflores is a criminal, because many wanted to assault Miraflores, not march,” said the guy who celebrated on Monday the joy with which the people assaulted the National Assembly, the laughter while they stole cellphones and cameras, the glee with which they messed up the Hemiciclo and attacked the people in it. An actual crime is that lawmaker Elías Jaua, one of the PSUV’s representatives in the dialogue, threatened journalist Hernán Lugo Galicia yesterday: “If I see you on the street, I’ll beat you up”; it’s a crime that Aragua governor Tareck El Aissami used Twitter to accuse another governor of murder; it’s a crime when Nicolás says: “They not only want to oust me, they want to take away my own personal life.”

The PSUV’s task

Powering up the Cruz del Ávila ahead of time to decree “the start of Christmas” sums up Nicolás’s perspective: he does whatever he wants, just because he can

Powering up the Cruz del Ávila ahead of time to decree “the start of Christmas” sums up Nicolás’s perspective: he does whatever he wants, just because he can. The same goes for his irresponsible call to assault bakeries and imprison their owners if they have lines of people outside their premises, because according to him, “they must sell bread all day long.” His entire show yesterday was an exercise to exacerbate the effects of MUD’s concessions, including his praises for Ramos Allup and Chúo Torrealba, as well as his insults against Capriles and the threat against Freddy Guevara and VP. One thing is to sow general dissatisfaction against the MUD, but this dissatisfaction won’t necessarily translate to support for his cause or even a good distraction from such a terrible crisis.

The PSUV and their failed political and economic model are fully responsible for our problems. In the country outside social media, there are ongoing protests for the most important issue: people are hungry. I don’t know who the hell created the story that a march to Miraflores will restore our freedom, not why so many people believe in it. I don’t know if they’re aware of the level of inhumanity that criminals in this country have reached, the amount of illegal weapons controlled by paramilitary armed groups and the guaranteed impunity with which they’ve acted so far.

Right now, three of our cities are in among the ten most violent cities in the world: Caracas (1st,) Maturín (5th) and Valencia (7th.) I find it hard to believe that the MUD would give up Nicolás’s political trial and the march to Miraflores without some sort of guarantee. It’s evident that any negotiation brings risks, just like the street itself; but I’d rather wait. I’ll leave you with Ramón Guillermo Aveledo’s words: “Let’s avoid making hasty conclusions in a complex and developing process. Let’s wait for more elements to judge.”

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