The Opposition goes all in for a dialogue of the damned

Today is November 11th. As the opposition's self-imposed deadline for dialogue to show major progress comes and goes, our leaders seem more interested in habituating us to tyranny than in fighting it.

-¿Qué protector te pones tu en el coco? -SPF 30 -¿Ah sí? Yo prefiero el SPF50...

I’m not even going to feign objectivity. I’m sick of giving MUD a now pathetic benefit of the doubt. Everything that MUD has done since they agreed to demobilize in exchange for nothing has been an insult to those of us who support them.

It was an insult when MUD agreed to call off a march to Miraflores. Big time mobilization — people on the street raising hell — has always been MUD’s only truly credible threat. That’s what you hold back until the very last minute. What you don’t do is put out on the first date like an idiot teenager unfamiliar with the concept of pregnancy.

It was an insult when MUD announced that they would “continue to pursue a street agenda” while sharing Hotel Meliá croissants with Jorge Rodríguez and Elías Jaua during the coffee breaks to their dialogue sessions. While the Student Movement valiantly tried to take up the slack, MUD leaders stayed well away, hanging the university kids out to dry. Bullshit, insulting hypocrisy.

It was an insult when, after the proverbial line in the sand was drawn, one by one, MUD spokesmen (yes, men) began to “manage our expectations” about what was possible before November 11th, priming the opposition base, riled up and ready to reclaim our trampled-upon basic rights, to cave in before this ludicrously asymmetrical negotiation had anything to show for itself.

It’s an insult when MUD asks for our trust, our patience and understanding during a closed-doors negotiation process.

It was an insult when MUD leaders touted the release of five political prisoners — out of 100 — as a victory. These people were hostages, and the government has continued to take new ones even as they release a few of the old ones…and you want us to clap when a handful are relased!?

It’s an insult when MUD asks for our trust, our patience and understanding during a closed-doors negotiation process, and can’t even fake an effort to inform us about what is going on…even after they’d told us that since the first two dialogue attempts had failed due to government leaks, they would just be wide open about everything this time around.

Maybe MUD didn’t get the memo: Venezuelans are desperate, hungry, sick and despondent before a nonexistent future; and MUD has a mandate. The government, in power for 17 years and counting, has consistently demonstrated its absolute indifference to their suffering. It has put up roadblock after roadblock to letting the people decide through elections whether they support this government or not, to the point of digging up the dead recall from the grave just to kill it a second time, Pablo Escobar-style. 

The constitutional rights we are — outrageously — negotiating we’re trading off for “concessions” that shouldn’t even count as concessions at all.

It says a lot about how low we’ve sunk when we’re ok with negotiating constitutional rights.

It says way more about the degenerate position we’ve allowed ourselves to be dragged down to when the constitutional rights we are — outrageously — negotiating we’re trading off for “concessions” that shouldn’t even count as concessions at all.

Just stop and understand the point we’ve reached: these sinister monsters are now treating letting medicines into the country so newborn babies don’t die from easily preventable illnessess…as a concession!

They are treating allowing the National Assembly to do the thing the National Assembly exists to do — legislate — as a concession!

They’re treating allowing the appointment of new CNE members to replace those whose terms are about to expire and who’d need to be replaced anyway…as a concession!

And MUD will proudly announce this? Are you fucking kidding me?

It’s way simpler than that: you fight, or you’re fucked.

I’m sick of rationalizing away the MUD’s incompetence. “Maybe they know something we don’t.” “Boy, their job is hard.” “Wait and see, patience reaps results.” No, pana.

It’s way simpler than that: you fight, or you’re fucked.

If I’m being simplistic in my analysis, if I’m trivializing an enormously sophisticated strategy that MUD has painstakingly put-together in a ninja-level war-room of genius, a strategy that’s somehow (magically) about to bring down the government, I’ll be delighted to eat crow.

But grow the hell up, that’s not what’s happening here. This pipe-dreams of redemption via exquisitely massaging the status quo, this disastrously wrongheaded determination to celebrate minute signs of normality amid a sea of dictatorial excess, this is the problem, not the solution.

Nothing will change if we don’t demand it. All of us.

How can something so obvious be so hard to see?

Emiliana Duarte

Emi is a cook, a lover of animals, politics, expletives, and Venezuela. She is the co-founder of Caracas Chronicles LLC and Managing Editor if the site until December 2017.