Infinite sides to a coin
The big protagonist of these last few days has been the infamous “dialogue.” But apparently this word means different things to all involved. I heard Ernesto Samper, who by the way said that there definitely is Democracy in Venezuela because “there are powers, they function, and the Executive and Legislative were elected by the People,” (actual quote) say that the dialogue was a means for Venezuelans “to work out their differences.” Yesterday, Uruguay’s Pepe Mujica took the luxury of commenting that “it should be focused on solving the economic crisis, not on politics.” Of course, opposition members have gone anywhere from “we were just accepting the Pope’s invitation” to “hey, they killed the RR, what else can we do?” allegedly without renouncing to the main goal of changing the government. And that’s without looking at what it means to PSUV, to the U.S., and to the Vatican. Trying to understand the dialogue’s multiple personality disorder makes me dizzy.
Get your shit together, MUD
If nothing else (and there’s a lot of “else”), these last weeks have been a case study in poor leadership and communication.
If nothing else (and there’s a lot of “else”), these last weeks have been a case study in poor leadership and communication. You spend most of the year saying you will not sit down and negotiate until your conditions are met. The conditions severely worsen, you sit down anyways. You tell your people you’ll have a massive march that will go “where it needs to go, without ruling out Miraflores” you take it nowhere. You tell your people to be patient because the “juicio político” is coming, and you’ll march to Miraflores next Thursday. You go to the dialogue, postpone the juicio político and, just when you told your people la agenda de calle no se para, you kill the march. Henry Ramos Allup admitted Tuesday that the recall was dead, but Henrique Capriles said yesterday that it wasn’t. Oh, and let’s not forget the fact that you let Maduro sit at the head of the negotiation table as if he was absolutely in charge. Let me make this completely clear: the discontent of the Venezuelan People may never run out, but your legitimacy to channel is as leaders definitely can.
Back to ‘07?
Yesterday, the Movimiento Estudiantil called for people to go march to the Avenida Libertador today. The message put forth by people like UCV’s Hasler Iglesias, UCAB’s Santiago Acosta and Andrea Guedez, and UNIMET’s Samuel Díaz was something like this: “we don’t need political parties or leaders to tell us when and where to march”. Like in 2007, they don’t trust the political leadership anymore and want to take action in their own hands. It’s not Miraflores, but it’s something.
Good cop, bad cop
Yesterday, CICPC members took out seven gang members who were linked to an assault on the team Llaneros de Guanare October 23rd. Two others were arrested, while El Chiquito, allegedly the gang’s leader, remains at large. On the other hand, some Yaracuy policemen tried to extort an Army Lieutenant because he didn’t have the receipt for a case of Scotch he had with him. It happens to us every day (not the Scotch part, but definitely the matraqueo), but it’s news when it happens to one of them.
the main fact remains: there are still 108 political prisoners in Venezuela
Lastly, and I think most importantly, Foro Penal had a major event yesterday where shocking testimonies were presented and their work as an NGO was displayed. Besides the theatrics and the ending with a Romero-Himiob acoustic duo, the main fact remains: there are still 108 political prisoners in Venezuela. Sure they released four low-profile ones, because they have so many to spare, and can take more any time. 108 remain.Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.