Translated by Javier Liendo

Each new day chavismo remains in power, the country sinks deeper and deeper. Because there’s no rock-bottom: countries are bottomless. Seriously. Two years ago everything seemed like shit to you, but you never heard anyone talk about people searching through the garbage for food. Now, they not only search, they get into fights for the spoils. And perhaps tomorrow they’ll gamble for it or the government will fine anyone who throws something away… anything is imaginable.

Nobody talks about looting, lynchings or dismemberments anymore, not because that all stopped happening, but because they’re just part of the landscape now.

They say this is a conspiracy of businessmen and retailers, but I’ve never known a single businessman who makes money by not selling things.

A body simply dies, but countries don’t go through that exactly, so the situation gets worse and worse. I could give you a bunch of indicators to prove it, but I’ll just use two: the highest inflation on earth for the fifth year straight and the lowest productivity of our recent history. The centralized economy and restrictions chavismo created to open up opportunities for corruption are to blame for this. They say this is a conspiracy of businessmen and retailers, but I’ve never known a single businessman who makes money by not selling things.

It’s childish to think that, in such a context, there are opposition leaders who want to be in power, just not now “to avoid the costs,” because the costs will only increase. This country can’t pay its debts, so the sooner a new government comes and those debts are renegotiated, the better for all of us. This country can’t feed its population, and that capacity will deteriorate even more, so the sooner the productive model, centralized economy and the corrupt games around foreign exchange, price and distribution controls are scrapped, the less costly taking the reins will result.

It’s not true that the opposition is thinking in terms of “better later”. Not even those who aspire to a governorship or mayorship, because winning those and ending up without a minimally adequate budget is exactly as pointless as opposing the regime indefinitely.

So I don’t support that accusation.

On the other hand, we absolutely do need certain conditions, such as recovering some institutions, and that will take time. In other words, some guarantees that the next government will honor. Because if a group of narcos, kleptocrats and torturers behave this way when they’re in power, just imagine them in opposition with all their stolen money. That’s why getting some change in the CNE is relevant. Why increasing the costs for the Armed Forces or the TSJ could prove useful. Why solving the issue of the AN’s contempt could work. But there are no guarantees. You know it; I know it. We don’t have a handbook on how to ride out a dictatorship.

So they’re doing the easy thing: attacking or blaming one another, because as soon as you pit them against the government, they start to stumble.

Now, our challenge is how to get to power more quickly. That’s why plans are discussed and disagreements arise. The thing that baffles me is how lost most people are, including those who speak vehemently, because even their “fool-proof plans” fall apart the second you put the least bit of analytical pressure on them.

So they’re doing the easy thing: attacking or blaming one another, because as soon as you pit them against the government, they start to stumble. Marchers might arrive to their rallying points, but they’ll have no clue of what to do next. Protesters may manage to squeeze past a first police blockade, but they won’t know what to do faced with the second one. Disobedience sounds rebellious, but then it fails to materialize. And the opposition majority is circumstantial: most people support you if things are peaceful. If not, they turn their backs and leave, because bullets are a certainty and people know their lives are worth more than the pranes’ lives.

That’s why, curiously, the ones who are doing something of actual value are precisely those who went all in on the dialogue, risking everything and in the face of insults. They’re there without knowing what comes after this, negotiating with kidnappers, even accepting to mimic their language although they’re scorned for it by the malcontents.

But even more curiously, you can’t go about without malcontents, because you actually need them more than ever. Because dialogue is nothing in itself. Because people don’t want to stop putting forward their demands. Because other countries would like to help but don’t understand how, since there are costs for them as well. Because each day is worse than the day before, we stand it a bit less each day, and wasting time is losing what life could be and totalitarianism has denied us.

We’d love to have simple concerns. We’d love to get a little bored once in awhile. We’d love some certainty other than knowing that tomorrow will be worse. For a change.

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  1. “There is no handbook for riding out a dictatorship.” And ride into what? Another dictatorship.

    Venezuela can not change her future without a complete change of philosophy.

    • That’s what I concluded. Venezuela is one, big, political prisoner.

      The questions for change are, “From what, to what?” (Seriously!), then, “How, and over what period of time?”

    • You are right. Laziness and an inherent sense of deserving something that you haven’t worked for runs rampant in like 80% of the population. What a dirty little trick Chavez played on the middle class and up, the work horses, the productive segment. Appealing to the majority of the population for votes and putting themselves in pole position to rape and pillage while they make impossible promises of a utopian life for all Venezuelans. There is only so much wealth in this country and we’ve seen the results of what happens when you spread it out so thin that everyone has a little bit of not enough. Socialism doesn’t work. However, there are still 80% of the population who are afraid to lose the little bit they are getting and aren’t willing to go back to the way it was. Deep resentment because “you have and I don’t and how can that be?” Yet day in and day out they sit in front of their rancho and talk about how much they deserve just for being born in Venezuela, the most oil rich country in the world. Things like police being forced to pay their superiors a daily fee equal or greater then their wage or face being transferred off into oblivion or as far away from their families as their boss can possible place them. The corruption in the military is 1000 X worse. They are the ones dealing out the food, and the cheap motorcycles and taxis and bringing in all the drugs. I live in a coastal town and everyone here knows why some cayos are off limits to everyone. I’ve seen the” go fast boats” with 4 or 5 motors on the back that touch the water ever 20 meters as they rip by at night and drop their cargo. That’s how drugs get into Venezuela. We’re corrupt to the bone. The cancer is deep within our organs. How do you get it out? Got to get rid of everything we’ve half assed together for the last 25 years … or more! Its been like this since I got here, who knows, maybe it was always like this? Everyone is so hungry they are looking for any little way to get ahead, however they can. It seems stupid not to be corrupt and get money when everyone else is and has been. I’ve seen smooth tongued devils talk their way out of anything and everything. There is no accountability here. No consequences for any of our actions. We seem to revel in the fact that no matter what you do, as long as you have enough money, you WILL get away with it. The trick is to handle it quickly before lots of police are involved…if it goes to court, it gets really expensive cause then you have to bribe judges too. Nobody really wants to give that up! Reminds me of a Catholic buddy I had long ago when I was in high school who would always say: “I love being Catholic! It’s AWESOME! I can do whatever I want and I can just ask God for forgiveness and I still get to go to heaven!” Oh my god wait a minute… this whole country is Catholic! If this was a house I think it would be easier just to burn it to the ground and rebuild.

      • my god, what sort of condescending crap are you spewing?!

        Deep resentment apparently exists both ways –

        “Laziness and an inherent sense of deserving something that you haven’t worked for runs rampant in like 80% of the population” —> HOW did YOU measure that? anecdotally?

        yeah AS IF “the middle class and up, the work horses, the productive segment” ARE THE ONLY ONES BEING DESTROYED BY THIS NIGHTMARE

        It is the poorest who are starving THE MOST, the poorest who ARE THE LEAST LIKELY to get their hands on vital medicines, the poorest who live amongst the criminals, the poorest who die murdered THE MOST

        so do you consider that people born into the middle/higher classes DESERVE it??? it just happened, they didn’t do anything to be so lucky! IT IS NOT THE FAULT OF THE POOR THAT THEY WERE BORN POOR

        where you born with some inherent anti-laziness, a-work-harder-gene??? WHERE IS THE SCIENCE, no such thing exists! The Self-Attribution FALLACY is apparently alive and well!

        I refuse to believe that “80%” of us (I mean, seriously, where do you get those god-awful numbers?!) were BORN bad, CAN’T work hard
        —> reality disproves this!


        “Everyone is so hungry they are looking for any little way to get ahead, however they can. It seems stupid not to be corrupt and get money when everyone else is and has been. “

        YES, EVERYONE IS HUNGRY, YES WE ARE ALL MATANDO TIGRES – do you expect people to just lie down and die? to just let their children go hungry???


        • Fabiola – Easy does it, man. The idea is to put forth ideas and more ideas and try to find the ones which are “true” or most applicable, and for sure some variations are going to appear! Proverbially “killing off” the person for offering ideas (no matter what they are) doesn’t advance the search for solutions.

          I said long ago that I observed some really very excellent workers in Caracas. The stone masonry, for example. Freeways in L.A. fell during an earthquake, but those in Caracas did not. (!!) HOW did that happen? I recall an afiladero (Portugues, “Afiladeiro!”) on a bicycle rigged to turn a grinding wheel. He was trying, with what he had available, but his understanding of the technology wasn’t the best, and he unnecessarily ground knives down. Way too much grit on that wheel, baby, way too much! It wasn’t that he wasn’t working, he didn’t know how. (You use a much finer grit to remove imperfections in the blade, then hone it to best sharpness, if there are not nicks in the blade, usually honing is all that is necessary, and your knife lasts a lifetime with the original shape of the blade. I’ve also seen little kids who steal stuff, and adults who try to pull of the most brazen commercial rip-offs. For the most part, I saw honest Caraquenos, algunos con man~as, algunos un poco locos, OK? NYC used to be well-known for taxistas who could spot a tourist, and drive him around one-way streets to run up the fare. You get mini-malandros everywhere. But I agree with you that most are honest, and for sure, son los pobres de la tierra que suffren mas, pero Guantanamera isn’t a solution, neither was el Che.

          I really wish there were a proper running forum for these subjects (but that’s what the AN, Fedecamaras, and other study groups are all about). Would our ideas here be better than theirs? Would our discussion be better at identifying what to improve and how to improve it? Throwing money at education doesn’t always work. Y yo, siendo gringo, no tengo the ground contact with the Venezuelan psyche.

        • Yep. Fucking socialists. Socialism only works when your spending someone else’s money. As soon as all the money is gone, this is what you end up with. The biggest mistake and injustice done to the 80% (I stick by my figure) by almost 20 years of socialism was to make them believe that they deserve something they didn’t earn. Oh and by the way people, poverty is a state of mind, it’s a choice you make, you can take the man out of the barrio but you can’t take the barrio out of the man (unless he chooses).

          As for a proposal, here’s one: Sit every public worker and police officer down in front of a polygraph machine and find out just how corrupt they all are, fire the worst, keep the salvageable ones. Without law and order and justice and accountability we will continue to be a cesspool of corruption.

          “It is the poorest who are starving THE MOST, the poorest who ARE THE LEAST LIKELY to get their hands on vital medicines, the poorest who live amongst the criminals, the poorest who die murdered THE MOST”

          The poorest starve the most? The ones who have the actual free time (cause they quit their job to be a bachaquero) to stand in line all day for practically free food? Food subsidized by wealth that could be used for infrastructure that could support independence (remember the jesus story about teaching a man to fish instead of buying him a fish, oh right they tried that with the collective farms, all those tractors what a fricken joke). And then turn around and sell what they don’t need at higher than international prices to people who don’t have time to stand in line all day cause they are too busy trying to hold down a real job and be productive? Would have been better off to load all those poor unfortunate souls with a fist full of cash every week to go buy their food at real prices.
          Least likely to get their hands on the medicine you say? I can assure you that is not the case. They are reselling that too. I paid 10,000 bs per vial for epamine from a dirty reseller outside of a pharmacy around midnight. Felt like a drug deal, had all the makings of a drug deal. That epamine was sold to them at less then 500 Bs per vile…jesus that a little more then a 30% mark up. Maybe its cause of my gringo face? Of course it is, lets not be naive.
          “the poorest who live amongst the criminals, the poorest who die murdered the most” well thats a no brainer. Of course they die murdered the most, they live amongst criminals.

          were BORN bad, CAN’T work hard
          —> reality disproves this! Who the hell said they were born bad? I said lazy, with a false sense of entitlement. Please don’t put words in my mouth. Im sure they KNOW how to work hard, they just don’t like to.

          “YES, EVERYONE IS HUNGRY, YES WE ARE ALL MATANDO TIGRES – do you expect people to just lie down and die? to just let their children go hungry???”
          What do you propose, that its ok to behave like an animal and do whatever it takes when your children are hungry? Really? Is that your stand? In the end all a man REALLY has are is morals and integrity. That is what separates us from beasts.

          In my country we have a food bank. At first many people were too proud to go get food there, too ashamed to take a hand out. Now the food banks enjoy record breaking numbers of “clients” who when poled actually said that they would have to be stupid not to take advantage of the free food! You feed the birds through the winter where I was born and they forget how to fly south. And if and when you stop feeding them (all good things MUST end) they starve to death and you find them frozen to the ground under your empty bird feeder.

          • do you know (FOR SURE, without a doubt) why they quit their jobs to become bachaqueros? (no you don’t!) probably because their other jobs would never allow them to be able to afford enough to feed themselves/their families – and nobody in their right mind will just wait to die, people EVERYWHERE adapt – that is what allowed the human race to populate the whole planet earth, that is what mades us survive as a species, not die out like our neanderthal cousins

            we know that the money used to subsidize food is better used virtually anywhere else – but that is NOT on the poor, that IS on the govt.

            for someone who “fucking hates” socialists you also (incoherently ¿?) seem to dislike commerce/entrepreneurship/the ultimate capitalist (which is it?)
            you write as if you morally disagree w/ bachaquerismo but in market societies all prices are set by supply and demand.
            And believe it or not, that is the kind of economy we have right now because it is distorted by: little to no production + the highest inflation in the world + seriously critical shortages

            the fact that we are restricted in what and how much we can buy & that we have the bs control cambiario automatically creates a black market —> which makes ARBITRAGE THE MAIN ECONOMIC ACTIVITY IN VZLA (in basically every market: $, €, medicines, repuestos…)
            the demand of goods at controlled prices is INFINITE – which causes the goods that are available to be distributed basically on a first come, first served basis (the first to come are the ones haciendo 7hrs de cola, they, like the good capitalists they are, exploit opportunity in order to maximize their financial return!) – obviously this allocation is wildly inefficient and corrupt, but that IS on the govt., NOT on the arbitrage-savvy people

            & to some degree the poorest HAVE to be savvy, otherwise they go hungry — And I, who DO have a job that I cannot afford to quit, WILL go hungry if I do not buy from bachaqueros because I am not savvy enough to become a bachaquera myself, I only have my one profession which at the moment allows me to afford food (if i don’t work i can’t buy food, if i want to buy food but don’t have a job that can allow me to afford food, then i have to become a bachaquera to eat, but alas, i cannot become a bachaquera for lack of skillz so i am grateful that i can buy food without having to do the colas that my job will not allow me to do, because without my job i cannot eat…)

            when they resale what they buy cheaply, for significantly higher prices, the middle and higher classes obtain the goods AND the lower classes can compensate their deteriorating life conditions so that they can eat themselves despite the grueling, back-breaking inflation that makes our money worth less and less with each passing day

            it’s like the most extreme free(est) market without any regulations whatsoever, it is perverse because most people have little choice but to pay more — better to “go buy their food at real prices”? free market prices are REAL prices, because of INFINITE DEMAND + VERY FINITE SUPPLY and it is getting worse and worse because the very finite supply is becoming EVEN MORE finite, because now there is EVEN LESS production/ imports so the bachaqueros might soon not have anything to bachaquear with…

            if you want to introduce morals/integrity into the market then you are not that free-market after all – are you opposed because in such extreme conditions as ours it really doesn’t seem to be free? doesn’t seem like a choice? because under duress we have no freedom?? I am opposed because of that! I await the day in which we have some virtues-legislation, but I also studied in socialist Germany, so what do I know?
            hunger, desperation > morals, integrity (ever heard of the hierarchy of needs?)

            Guantanmera + el asesino che might not be solutions (never even remotely implied anything even close to that btw), but painting the poor as people who don’t have “real” jobs (bachaquear is super REAL to me, vital!), as “poor unfortunate souls” who “just don’t like to (…) work hard” (I think bachaqueo is not that easy!) “lazy” (haciendo cola), “falsely entitled-(right, because not all of us have the right to feed ourselves without being looked down upon…)dirty reseller(s)” SURE ISN’T ONE SOLUTION EITHER, esp. not since such kind of resentment brought this whole mess on us in the first place (escuálidos, burgeses, fascistas….)

            “In the end all a man REALLY has are is morals and integrity. “ —> EXCEPT WHEN A MAN HAS HUNGER AND OTHERS TO FEED, WHICH WILL BE THE END TO A MAN

            what, so you expect people NOT to “do whatever it takes when your children are hungry? Really? Is that your stand?” most people will kill rather than be killed (which is not necessarily pretty, not necessarily right, but at least damn realistic)…
            “what separates us from beasts” is our ability to adapt, be creative and find ways to survive in the face of all kinds of adversity (including the freaking ICE AGE!)
            “Oh and by the way people, poverty is a state of mind, it’s a choice you make, you can take the man out of the barrio but you can’t take the barrio out of the man (unless he chooses).” MY GOD, your disdainful condescension is about enough to actually make me WANT to combust, WILLINGLY – poverty is FOR SURE NOT a state of mind, but very real, pervasive and concretely quantifiable

            “Maybe its cause of my gringo face? Of course it is, lets not be naive.” How about because of inflation? scarcity? arbitrage? you must think too highly of yourself to think you get some “special treatment”

            “Of course they die murdered the most, they live amongst criminals” yeah, that’s what I said, except that, to me that is tragic & evidence that the poorEST have it the HARDEST

  2. This is a very thoughtful point of view and does succeed in creating some empathy towards those sitting in the dialogue table.

    Nonetheless I can only perceive that the leadership in the MUD has good intentions but is incompetent. The last bit may sound harsh but it isn’t my intent. They don’t know how to ride a dictatorship. Trying in defensible for a limited amount of time, but not for a indefinite amount of time. Current leadership has failed to even make small advances.

    Also, the challenges pointed to the alternatives of dialogue are presented as if they are something in which energy had been placed by the leadership and failed. It is really not my impression. In the case of protest the MUD very easily managed to have a massive turnout in Caracas’s main highway. One that shocked them. They simply don’t know what to do with it.

    And it is true that there isn’t a manual on how to ride chavismo. But there are plenty of experiences out there. Chavismo’s playbook isn’t original nor new and there is no reason why current leaders shouldn’t have already learned from those stories. The fact is that it isn’t part of their skill set and they still wish to retain a career in politics and for that, you must be relevant.

    The paragraph that really bothered me is:

    “That’s why, curiously, the ones who are doing something of actual value are precisely those who went all in on the dialogue, risking everything and in the face of insults. They’re there without knowing what comes after this, negotiating with kidnappers, even accepting to mimic their language although they’re scorned for it by the malcontents.”

    That’s just wrong. There are thousands of Venezuelans risking everything everyday. Good people that have placed their trust in these politicians. That signed petitions and lost their jobs for it. That leave their homes to make the best of it that get mugged or killed.

    • Absolutely great comment by Rodrigo.

      I have been the first to decry and roll my eyes when I read here the nth post about how Venezuela’s latest events resemble what happened in Czechoslovakia or Poland (funny, never Russia or Belarus, but then…). And yet: I do think we can and must learn from what has happened in all those countries – where democracy movements succeeded and where they failed totally and where there was hardly anything as Zimbabwe.

      Politicians should know something basic: the power of speech acts.

      To simply put one’s signature onto “economic war”, to even allow one’s name be associated with someone stating there is an “economic war” as explanation for the Venezuelan mess is not really a minor issue. It has very serious consequences, just one example.

      To me all this proves all the politicians we have – including UCAB lawyers and former communist teacher Chuo Torrealba- have much less general education than
      what a simple electrician called Lech Wałęsa with hardly any access to foreign information for decades had.

      Actually, people like Antonio Ledezma – never my cup of tea either, but apparently more courageous on this – are in prison above all for saying things like “preparing for a transition government”. The thugs in power went absolutely crazy when they heard that. They want people to talk about dialogue and “the fulfilment of democracy” and fuzzier terms than that (let’s remember what nations had the word “democratic” in their names).

      Chavistas cannot afford to let people get used to the idea there is going to be a concrete regime change. That is the same reason why they acted so harshly when students, a few years ago, started to distribute simple flyers to people on queues with the message: “señores, no se acostumbren, esto no es normal”.

      Going back to the importance of speech acts, I want to let you read this article in The Economist

      • “Actually, people like Antonio Ledezma – never my cup of tea either, but apparently more courageous on this – are in prison above all for saying things like “preparing for a transition government”. The thugs in power went absolutely crazy when they heard that.”

        Ledezma was also one of the VERY FEW venezuelans that openly claimed that the blame for the ferocious and omnicidal crime gangrene in Venezuela is Chávez himself, by fostering criminal impunity in exchange of political loyalty.

  3. That makes no sense. The reason there is no a NVM, is because the people who are negotiating are doing everything in their power to stop it. That’ s obvious. The explanation is they are corrupt, just as the whole system. I will prove it easily with facts we all know. First the AN said we are in a dictatorship. Then, Ocariz says it is irresponsible to say we have to create a movement to defend the Constitution! Not only that, he said that those who want o begin a NVM should speak less and act more, just after the TSJ banned the protest and said whoever calls for protests will go to jail! The message is: if you protest, you are on your own, you are an outlaw; “either you are with us or against us”. People get that, that’ s why nothing happens. Which brings me to my second point. The economy. Even though it troubles me that they accepted the ” guerra economica” thesis, that is not the worst part. The worst is they accepted what it implies, which means there will be no real change in policy, which means next year will be a disaster. The habilitante confirmed that, so it doesn’t matter what any leader says. Facts are facts Now, if you have an economy that is killing people and your message is, “you should do nothing or you will go to jail”, that is simply called repression, not strategy. And it will only get worse. So the only way the MUD will survive after this point, is through lies and blunt repression. So no, they are not the ones doing something. Everything they do is clearly bad for us, they constrain us more and more, and actually everything would be much better if they didn’ t do anything at all. They are just an obstacle, and as long as they have influence we will never be able to form an actual NVM force. Which is why I hate to read Luis Carlos Diaz here , considering he is just a PJ propaganda boy. But well, it is not my choice. Good luck.

  4. Wow, Naky’s other half on CC – with writing just as biting as hers!
    critiques always seem a bit out of touch with the amount of power to effectuate chanhe (as if the regimen will just leave if we stick to the strees, fight it out with flesh and blood! We are no match), compromises must be made, even with the devil – that is not to say that the opposition is beyond reproach, but come on!
    sometimes people make up improbable conjectures, passing them off as truths – los videntes que me digan pues, cuando y como salimos de esta vaina? – man the opposition supporters seem to be trying to homogenize people’s views (sound familiar?), if there is any difference of opinion then the dissenters are always either corrupt, compromised, biased, chavistas escondidos…I mean, all kinds of accusations
    we are all effing frustrated and jaded, no need to alienate and attack – then you wonder how come the oposition has divisions. ..– obviously different people will have different opinions, why is it that only one view is acceptable?
    Nobody is stopping people from organizing themselves to offer alternatives for the mud, that seems disingenuous, if you want it, go for it – don’t expect everyone to agree, that is just unrealistic – if what is offered is fantastic then I am sure that widespread popular support for whatever it is they will come up with, will surely follow
    I for one am happy that Mr Diaz has been given a space here to present HIS view, I happen to agree with most of it

    • The problem is that what they do has consecuences. For instance -I already explained it, but I will again-, the problem is not the fact that they are negotiating, I can live with that, but rather the results of that negotiation. Now we are far worse, not only because we lost time, which will cost real lives, but in fact we are even more limited and constrained than ever before, even though we are a majority! In order to create a NMV we have to be united, and that would mean that some “leaders” like Capriles, Borges, Ramos and Falcon, would have to stand aside, and they won’ t do that, because they only care about their own ambitions and their own parties and their our economical interest. Sadly, they still have too much power and too many people believe in them. I actually think that MUD just killed its chances to ever win another election, at least a fair one, but that’ s another subject. You have to understand that the only reason the government decided to sit on the table was to prevent the opposition to actually form a NVM, and they managed to do just that! Thanks to the dialogue, conditions for repression are strenghtened and since the so called deal didn’ t include changing the direction of the economy, we will have a very very bleak and violent 2017 and we will in fact see may oppo leaders actually supporting full scale repression. That’ s someting we have already seen in the past, but next year will be worse. So… no, it is completely impossible to create a NVM as long as 1) the negotiations are happening 2) major leaders are unwilling to do it 3) one faction of the oppo is actually still expending a lot of money and time on propaganda to disincourage a NMV moment and is willing to support full scale repression in the name of “peace” . You just have to understand. Every single time someone speaks of ” los guerreros del teclado”, or “the radicals”, they are just trying to prevent the creation of a national NVM, which is the only logical step after you say this is a dictatorship. I just don’ t think we can have a transition like this, it will end very badly. So the real question should be: why the hell can’ t we unite to create a NVM? . Why is everyone still convinced Maria Corina is shitbatcrazy (she is indeed far more in the center than Capriles, for instance) and that LL should be in jail? Is it possible that we have our own “hegemonia comunicacional”? I am not a Maria Corina fan, or a Leopoldo fan, by the way, I am just trying to see the truth where it is.
      The dialogue just sets the conditions for even more repression, while the decline of the country just continues inevitably. If you want to believe in Ocariz, Torrealba, etcetera, do so at your own risk. All evidence suggests that perhaps you should not do that, but, as they say, faith is blind. Maybe, as someone said, we will actually see a miracle!

      • you are too sure of things that you really can NOT be 100% sure about (not yet, at least) , the certainty with which you express your opinion is unrealistic

        you are saying A + B = Z, and give a sound logical explanation for reaching your conclusion
        but frankly, just because it seems logically sound, does NOT mean that it IS right, only that it COULD BE right
        – plausible, not certain –
        because you are INTERPRETING reality, the facts is something we do not have…
        you say you have the facts, but all I am seeing is interpretation from which you deduce your ‘facts.’

        what, so now you expect that any negotiation will bring what we need, más o menos en 3 horas? if only it were that easy, we would have changed years ago…
        the lives that are being lost are not on the opposition, they are not on the supporters who don’t “dare” to go kill each other on the streets , THEY ARE ON THE GOVERNMENT, DON’T DIMINISH THEIR CULPABILITY, DON’T SPREAD IT, IT IS ALL THEIRS

        even if the opposition gives you what you want

        (that they go to the streets?? that they move out of the picture?? Anything greater/more substantial than that, is unrealistic – e.g. like what I want: which is that the oppo takes over the govt. – but the govt. will obviously not let that happen! not this year! , hence hoping for that is unrealistic)

        we will not get the changes that we need, overnight

        (I mean, what is it that you deem correct? Who are you to deem ‘x’ or ‘y’ as the ONLY correct way?who am I? It is only normal, it is to be expected, that there are differences of opinion on how to proceed with the most IMPORTANT work that has to be done in, arguably, our whole history, salvo quizás la Independencia pues)

        It’s not like, JUST BECAUSE the mud is doing ‘x’ , we are unable to escape this prison-like mess

        (the corruption and total resistance to change would be culpables here, the fact that everything is in crisis is a reason for this – NOT the fact that some have started down to speak w/ the devil…)

        it’s not like if you do ‘y’ (whatever the alternative to the mud looks like for you) we will get what we need

        it’s like you are saying that IF ONLY THEY DIDN’T do ‘x’ THEN we will FOR SURE get what we want, THEN AND ONLY THEN is WHEN we can go for ‘y’

        Not doing ‘x’ AND INSTEAD doing your preferred ‘y’ WILL NOT ENSURE ANY RESULTS, there are no guarantees!

        To be sure, maybe that’s not what you meant, but it sure as hell sounded like it – and I happen to disagree.

        you CAN create any alternative you want, you do NOT need any of the leaders to step aside to do so (yes, i actually consider them to be leaders)

        you CAN create another movement , EVEN IF “they won’t do that, because they only care about their own ambitions/ parties/economical interest” , which, frankly, YOU CAN’T KNOW FOR SURE, YOU CAN’T KNOW IF THIS IS TRUE, EVEN IF YOU DEDUCE IT FROM A GREAT ARGUMENT, YOU DO NOT LIVE IN THEIR HEADS TO KNOW WHY THEY ARE DOING X AND NOT Y , are you some fly on their wall? do you have access to info we don’t? some financial documents? facturas?- I think it is shitty to conclude such a damning thing all on your own, is your proof for saying this the interpretation you have of their actions? to me that is no proof at all

        It doesn’t matter if they still have too much power – if there is a GREAT, AMAZING, PANACEA-ALTERNATIVE THEN PEOPLE WILL ABANDON THE LEADERS AND GO FOR IT
        but you seriously can’t expect everyone to drop them like you have, without having another solution already
        A THEN B
        not: SUPPORT US —> WE WILL FIND A PLAUSIBLE ALTERNATIVE (well what if you don’t?)
        not B THEN (maybe) A

        the opposition itself KNOWS that the govt. is only sitting down to postpone things, that doesn’t mean that it is impossible for the opposition to squeeze something out of the leeches while they are trying to keep the corpse alive (it is already dead! they have no support, the govt. knows it will loose any and all upcoming elections)

        if you know it, and i know it – THE OPPOSITION SURE AS HELL KNOWS IT
        not for nothing they have publicly said that they are assuming the political COSTS (this implies loss, they know!) that going for it ANYWAYS, is causing them

        since we know they are stonewalling, we can’t expect dandy results de una , do you seriously think that esos criminales de mierr*** will just hand over a fantastic deal ? they are criminales de mier** por algo
        the “very very bleak and violent 2017” is what we were going to have anyways IF THE OPPOSITION DIDN’T DO SHIT – now they are doing shit (this shit doesn’t smell right to YOU, but that’s the shit THEY decided to go for) , trying to maybe make it less bad – does that mean that it will work? no!
        does that mean that any other alternative will work? no!

        there is no panacea, if you find one – come and tell us! we need it! where is it? what is it?

        “we will in fact see (…)” (will we?)
        “we have already seen (…), so it will happen again” (will it? does the future always mimic the past? are we trapped by what has happened, can’t we escape the awful tomorrow because of the horrid yesterday?)

        “You just have to understand. Every single time someone speaks of ‘los guerreros del teclado,’ or ‘the radicals,’ they are just trying to prevent the creation of a national NVM, which is the only logical step after you say this is a dictatorship.”

        —> I speak of radicals because i think they are more radical than i am, not because I have some ulterior motive to delegitimize them, others might do the same, HOW CAN YOU POSSIBLY BE SURE THAT YOU KNOW WHY SOMEBODY SAYS WHAT THEY SAY?
        In objective terms, the ones that propose things like sustained street protests ARE more radical
        being more radical is not a bad thing per se, it MAY well be the ONLY rational thing to be right now, so why take it as an insult?
        just embrace it: “we are the radicals: this is our plan” — I am so sure that many, many people want more radical action, that they will gladly identify themselves as radicals – it might even be your whole distinctive thing, that which will make you THE opposition, THE agents of change
        so why pretend that you don’t want to offer something MORE RADICAL THAN what we have NOW? you actually seem more radical (as I see it, just MY interpretation here)

        as to the passive people who criticize WITHOUT PROPOSING ALTERNATIVES – they are called out because they make the work of the people who are DOING THINGS IN THE PRESENT (even if it sucks, even if it doesn’t work , it IS still something) more disagreeable than it already is (I mean it is not a nice experience to sit down w/ the bastards, now add some hatred from disque-supporters to that) —— THEY call it out because THEY are annoyed, JUST like YOU call THEM out because YOU are annoyed (lo que es igual no es trampa…)
        They understand your annoyance – you have to understand theirs too – nobody , except the corrupt cdsms are taking ‘a walk in the park’, nobody is gozándose esta vaina, to suggest they are is unproven BS

        SO PROPOSE SOMETHING, “hegemonia comunicacional” and all.
        use that to convince everyone who disagrees with you to join you, use the fact that you think they are wrong/ incompetent/ stupid/ corrupt, and what not, use it all – since it will probably make you stronger and might possibly even give you an edge over the established mud

        I am not trying to drown you in verbosity, I just really think you are wrong in saying that nothing ELSE can be proposed RIGHT NOW – of course it can be proposed, you just did! you are unhappy with what is – so spread the word! come up with a plan! get yourself a megaphone, write it on pamphlets and give them out, try to get on air to be able to spread your propositions – if not you, then someone else, if not someone else, that anyone other, if not that other person either, then who?

        & what are the alternatives??? you cannot demand support, you have to win it! the mud knows this! when will you acknowledge this?

        go and win it then, propose – Become the ones able to say that the way YOU propose IS THE WAY TO GO

        your arguments are good, your logic can be contradictory, and I don’t support your conclusions – I am sure many, many others will support them, but I myself just don’t, POR LO MENOS NOT YET.

        • The difference is the risks for a NVM are much higher because of the negotiations. If the MUD didn’t do anything, the government would have a tougher time repressing us. You see, that is the only thing that put them on the table. By accepting their terms, the MUD is selling out the people that will protest in 2017, radicals or not. That’s the price they are paying. They understood they don’ t really have a future in fair politics, so they decided to turn us in in order to survive, to keep being playerd.That doesn’ t benefit us, of course, but they figure we have no option but follow them anyway. Now, if you don’t see why calling a person a radical in the midst of a dictatorship is very bad and dangerous for that person, I don’ t know how to convince you. Just look at poor Yon Goicochea’s fate. He is not even a radical, and he is rotting in jail. He is in jail because he knows how to form a NVM.

          • I just don’t see how the risks increase because of the negotiations – not to such an extent that a NVM-alternative cannot destroy with some cleverly-worded criticism of the mud
            maybe, like you said, I am blind – but I cannot see what I don’t have the eyes to see…

            the mud knows they are paying a high price, i don’t think they have much wriggle room not to accept shitty terms (MY opinion), at least they have the chance of getting something out of it – I don’t see that as treason (again, MY opinion)

            honestly, if you want something like sustained protests, then that IS, really, MORE radical THAN negotiations – that is pretty objective I think

            you could make the argument that whoever does not radically oppose the dictatorship is an idiot – but to my mind, THAT is, in effect, more radical than (…) – & to my mind, that is not necessarily a bad thing…

            Look, it’s not like I don’t get where you are coming from, I just don’t agree with your view – maybe we just have to agree to disagree here

            yeah, Goicochea would be so useful right about now! such a shame that he is behind bars, the time of his life spent in jail is a time he will unfortunately never recover!

            I mean, i also want all this crap to be over, i am so sick of it! but I feel like we have to look at what kinds of strategies will have long-term, sustainable change (the kind that will probably take a generation to be really felt)

            LVL alleges that the most significant thing the mud could secure in the negotiations is the promise of the govt. to set fixed dates for regional/ governor/ presidential elections

            the diputados de amazonas issue could also unblock this mess that neither the mud nor the govt. can get out of on their own

            here’s the video:

  5. The article has a wrong premisr which considering the opp and the as two families therefore, there are a unity just because of that,

    People in the leadership of both sides (if you want any sides) are always putting themself in first place in terms of interest and the plain people are always left aside,

    This a big issue when facing those regimes because the “dictator” has a lot power and resources (he basically manages the country resources as his personal property with no control) and therefore the capacity to satisty the personal demands of a few people ( some top army officers, some opposition leaders, some puppets in other institutions) and the only thing “the dictator”cares about the plain people if to avoid to become a threat to his power.

  6. No recuerdo la última vez que un artículo de CC tuviera tal cantidad de falacias argumentativas.

    “the ones who are doing something of actual value are precisely those who went all in on the dialogue”. De las muchas frases lamentables que podemos encontrarnos aquí, esta es la peorcita.

    Increíble como algunos periodistas (?) encuentran maneras cada vez más enrevesadas de justificar todo lo que ha hecho la MUD.

  7. The worst outcome from the START of a dialogue is not its inmmediate results but how part of the opposition has become incensed at those that participated in it not just criticizing them for not achieving more ( as they might if they had more sanguine expectations ) but going so far as to brand them as traitors , the trolls in this blog of course will say that they have sold themselves , we know that they are trolls precisely because they raise the cry of corruption which we all know they are not ……..!! we expected more and are dissapointed that they didnt get it ….I tend to be more realistic because I dont see this in inmmediate terms but as a process where you gain a foot hold here and a foot hold there and go from such perhaps not so dramatic advances to positioning yourself where you can deal the conclusive blow that brings down the regime ……, if we think that more can be achieved and that mistakes have been made we can criticize the failure to do more but not ferociously to destroy the character of those that engaged in the negotiation…such crass condemnation of their very integrity can only help the regime …..!! ..and thats what we dont want …!!

  8. Bill Bass, eres tú quien parece un troll, sin argumentos, dedicado enteramente a la propaganda. La única razón por la cual Capriles es todavía un figura pública, es porque estamos en dictadura y él se beneficia de eso. Si estuviéramos en democracia, si tuviera que hacer política en un sistema sano estaría acabado. Como él, hay un montón de parásitos, que creo que son incapaces ni siquiera de imaginar un país normal a estas alturas, sin las distorsiones que el chavismo creó. Cómo van a generar cambio las personas como Ocariz o Borgesque le deben toda su carrera al legado de Chávez?. La corrupción es sistémica. Si tú lo quieres negar, muy bien. Yo no critico a la MUD por criticarla. La critico con el objetivo de ayudar a destruirla, porque su existencia es lo único que mantiene a Maduro y todo lo que representa en pie. Tiene que surgir otra cosa y para eso la MUD tiene que ceder. Punto. Con ella caerán todos los que la defiendan, por cierto. Hay mucha gente que lo sabe y le da miedo o vergüenza decirlo para no quedar mal con sus amigos bien. Ese es el último cerco y hay que terminar de romperlo. Como cada día la MUD hace cosas más infamantes, no será tan difícil.

  9. “We don’t have a handbook on how to ride out a dictatorship”

    It’s pretty obvious that no recall election will take place, so now you pin your hopes on the elections in 2018, but are you sure those will actually take place? If they do, will Maduro recognize the results?
    You don’t ride out a Dictatorship, you have to tear it down.


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