This week has been full of political confusion. Critics and defenders of MUD have been pouring all over. All in all, one thing is clear: nothing is clear.

Let’s take it from the top to try to make some sense of it.

2016: A New Hope

The Opposition started 2016 fresh of a landslide victory of the National Assembly, which meant we’ve effectively held the most representative, most recently legitimated power available in our State’s structure

The Opposition started 2016 fresh with the landslide victory of the National Assembly, which meant we’ve effectively held the most representative, most recently legitimated power available in our State’s structure. While we were well aware an opposition legislature would be unenforceable due to PSUV’s stronghold on the remaining powers, the country’s resources, and a monopoly on both legitimate and illegitimate use of force, it nevertheless held a political significance that could not be overlooked. 

2016 felt like the year it would finally be over.

The Recall

It began with a simple proposal: chopping off the head (?) of the snake, or removing the President through a recall referendum. Through it all, MUD made two things very clear: they were betting on a 2016 referendum, and they would not sit down to talk if it didn’t happen.

To recap on the timeline:

The Dialogue

And here’s where the fun begins. Because, to the surprise of most -MUD politicians very much included- MUD decided to go to the dialogueNo Recall, but never mind. Not too bad, because we’re still going to Miraflores and the political trial -despite TSJ’s sentence- is still on. Only not really. When the time came for the alleged political trial to happen, both were suspended.

And now

The rest is more recent history. The government made some promises, MUD said they’d walk if they didn’t deliver. They didn’t deliver, and MUD stayed

 

As the Narcosobrinos trial came to an end, the National Assembly saw it fit to bring it to the floor. Because, you know, when the Presidential couple’s nephews are found guilty of drug trafficking charges, admit that there was some involvement by the national government, and, erm, mention the presidential ramp at the airport, well, it somewhat calls for the Parliament to bring it up.

Also, the deputies from Amazonas were very much not taken off the National Assembly.

The combination of these two things, allegedly, had an effect on the government, which promptly turned into Schrodinger’s dialoguer, both leaving and staying on the table.

MUD Reacts

Now if you look at MUD’s communications, you’ll find it hard to understand where they and the government are in this conundrum.

Take a look, for example, at Carlos Ocariz’s tweets:

Or Henry Ramos Allup’s

What about Chúo?

And finally, the widely retweeted Adriana D’Elia

One question: Did the government leave the dialogue or not?

So what now?

Primero Justicia announced that they’ll collect signatures as a symbolic, popular form of referendum. Henrique Capriles, on the other hand, said that it was a mistake to cool off street protests for the dialogue

What’s going to happen next? Will we take to the streets again? Is the political trial still on? Will the dialogue continue?

Primero Justicia announced that they’ll collect signatures as a symbolic, popular form of referendum. Henrique Capriles said that it was a mistake to cool off street protests for the dialogue (Do I even have to say it?). But there seems to be no consensus and no coherent plan.

Which brings me to an article Chúo wrote for MUD’s website. He makes some well-reasoned arguments, calling for consistency and coherence. He says things like the struggle will last what it needs to, but it will be shorter if we’re together and coherent. I don’t disagree with him on this. But the other thing he does is reject all forms of criticism, accountability or responsibility on his (and MUD’s) part. Everything I’ve chronicled so far: the contradictions, the crossed-proposals, the mobilizing and demobilizing, the unbelievable lack of consistency, he admits to none of it.

So to the “What now?” question, I have two answers. One for you, our readers, and one for Mr. Torrealba.

To you, I say: there are more than 10 proposals on MUD’s table (no pun intended) right now. There are powerful egos at play, different viewpoints, and a historic lack of long-term planning capability. Uncertainty is the only certain thing. We may be closer than ever to achieving our goal, but we’ve much distance to run. My advice is that we each focus very strongly on the spaces in which we can contribute, and try as hard as we can to build things that last. Never to stop being critical, but always to think in terms of construction.

a leader can delegate almost anything, but not responsibility

Et tu, ChúoYou may not be personally guilty for all or most of MUD’s many contradictions. Maybe you’re doing the best you can to control the countless interests, viewpoints, and egos at play in your organization. And yet, mark the words of every significant leader and leadership author you’ll find: a leader can delegate almost anything, but not responsibility.

So, in going forward, I very much advice that you and all MUD leaders own up to the many mistakes you’ve made. The disinformation, the mixed messages, the contradiction. Consistency is key to credibility, to legitimacy, and you have none too much of either right now. I for one am willing to play my part and answer your call for unity and coherence from now on. That’s my end of the bargain. You have to own up to yours.

And MUD, that goes for the lot of you.

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Carlos is a Law and Liberal Arts student at Universidad Metropolitana, and a teacher of Philosophy, Entrepreneurship, and Public Speaking at Instituto Cumbres de Caracas. MetroMUNer (@MetroMUN) and VOXista (@voxistas). But really, he’s just an overcompensating, failed singer-songwriter.

14 COMMENTS

  1. Ah the Pope!
    MUD insisted on bringing the Pope into play!
    And the Pope is Maduro’s friend and supporter. He will use cunning and deceit to make the “dialogue” useful to Maduro. This Pope is not catholic but he is communist; he hid his true colors from JPII and Benedict XVI.
    Please be aware that this Pope’s catholicity is into question by some cardinals:
    http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/commentandblogs/2016/11/16/the-four-cardinals-letter-puts-pope-francis-in-an-awkward-position/
    MUD fell into a death trap!
    The CEV should stand with the people:
    “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its savor, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.”
    Matthew 5:13

  2. Very well summarized/expressed. Some observations: “We may be closer than ever to achieving our goal”–even if, arguably, true, it would be due more to Venezuela’s disastrous economic situation, than to any MUD actions. Chuo and Braulio are similar in one respect-calvicie-but, one is munching croissants with Chadderton (“a bullet passes more quickly through the head of an “Escualido” (sic), because there’s less for it to go through (than the head of a “Revolutionary”), while the other is treading/drinking mainly water in prison on trumped-up charges. Finally, it is unlikely that anything dialogue-substantive will happen in Venezuela during Christmas December/hangover January, except maybe the token release of a few more political prisoners–the momentum is lost– All Hail The Revolution!

    • Excellent follow up. It would appear that the opposition went out without a gunshot, but instead just a whimper.

      Shrek needs to figure out what the goals are and what will be there next. The MUD is flailing around like a chicken without its head. This is silly and sad at the same time.

      Maduro is doing you no favors. He is just on his own path towards suicide (of the country). Trump’s AG will be taking notes from the nephew’s trial and using it to hunt down Maduro and team the minute the leave VZ come Jan 21. There is now a bounty on his head and nobody is going to stand in the way of AG Sessions from collecting it.

  3. When Napoleon invaded Russia the patriotic outcry was for the old general appointed to lead the Russian army to inmmediately confront Napoleons army in battle before more of the sacred soil of Russia was taken by Napoleon ………againts every ones indignant opinion he kept falling back letting Napoleon get deeper and deeper into Russian territory ……, giving an indecisive battle just once just before Napoleon got to Moscow and then falling back ………suddenly Napoleon found himself so far from his lines of supply that he could not go on while facing the very harsh Russian winter……..when he tried an orderly withdrawal , the whole army fell in disarray and the Russian army pounced upon the retreating army turning the retreat into a massacre…..!!

    The old generals explanation was that there was plenty of Russian territory which could be abandoned but that if he allowed the russian army to be destroyed in battle then all hope would be lost so that his goal was not to defend russias territory but keeping his army intact ….!!

    There are many ways of waging a war , some counter intuitively unaggresive ………the important thing is to keep the forces of the opposition intact …as each day passing winter gets worse …..give it time ………keep the pressure but dont wager everything in a single throw of the dice ……and never never whatever happens allow your army to fragment ….

    • You are assuming the MUD has a plan for strategic withdrawal…

      First, this is not Russia and in the best case territory is a unanimated thing. The MUD gave up the energy of the people and in the process they legitimized all the atrocities and lies of this government.

      Second, Russia gave up time and territory as a trade to reinforce his own force, thus live to fight another day. That is a trade that makes a lot of sense. The MUD traded the constitution for sitting on a table to ask the enforcement of the letter of that constitution. It not only gave up people’s energy and moral (see above), it gave up the election of governors, it made guilty the three deputies from the Amazon State (without proper judgment) and it legitimized the economic war as the source of the crisis..oh ah let’s not mention the fiasco of the “personas detenidas”.

      Third, Russia gave up territories that at best were not strategic or in the case of the WWII they moved their strategic resources inland prior to give up. They resisted, in the case of WWII, the siege of Leningrad and allowed the Germans to attempt taking Stalingrad in order to wear down the enemy. The MUD always finds to a way to let the government breathe every time the got close to achieve the objective to the point some people claim that government corruption has penetrated the MUD leadership.

      Four (and last), the Russian have applied that strategy successfully at least a couple of times (once with Napoleon and once with Hitler). The MUD and his negotiation table have actually screwed up the same amount of times. There are two common English idioms that summarizes that: “Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me”; and “a broken clock is right twice a day”.

      I think it is the opposite, the government is the one that had been successful on achieving strategic withdrawals…at least twice.

      • Three times, actually. In the Great Northern War (1700-1721) against Sweden, Russia was initially defeated (very severely) by Charles XII of Sweden. The Russians withdrew to their vast interior and rebuilt their forces, and eventually defeated Charles at Poltava (deep in Ukraine).

  4. Chuo’s tweet about the “clase obrera” at PDVSA responding to Maduro I can’t figure out. The video link does not seem to work. What is he talking about?

    If the MUD is talking to the “clase obrera” at PDVSA then they’re doing something far more useful and important than meeting with the Vatican or organizing street marches. One can only hold out hope in the face of appearances, at this point.

  5. The “clase obrera” at PDVSA are mainly 100m-strong PSUVistas on the payroll largely due to their political affiliation, many doing nothing, and most not even qualified enough to do the jobs they’re entrusted with. The MUD talking to them is like talking to the wall….

  6. These guys (choose your word: narcos, malandros, CdsM, whatever) are not leaving without a fight..

    The MUD is un plaste de mierde de ratas

    El pueblo can stop this.. peacefully..

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=m57gzA2JCcM

    Ok, change the words, but this started the end of one war.. you can change the outcome ofmthe next.

    You can get anything you want at Maria’s Panaderia..

  7. La comparación con Rusia es subnormal. Hay que ser un cretino para pensar en esos términos cuando todo es tan evidente; ni siquiera hay espacio ya para la confusión. Es como cuando alguien publicó un artículo en prodavinci sobre el genio político de Tyrion por llegar a un acuerdo con los esclavistas, y luego al siguiente capítulo los esclavistas lo traicionaron y lo volvieron mierda. Al final, si no es por los dragones, todo se pierde. Y sólo para insistir con referencias pop, es como el capítulo de Stranger Things en el cual Bill wyers le responde a su mamá “a veces tus enemigos son inteligentes también y por eso a veces es importante la fuerza”. La decadencia de los mudistas no tiene límites, y no hay ninguna esperanza hasta que no se le pierda el respeto y el miedo a sus líderes y voceros. Hay que romper su hegemonía. Todo ese aparato perverso ideológico de la MUD hay que destruirlo y poner en evidencia a sus actores y propagandistas como lo que son, basura. Sólo así podremos algún día lejano enfocarnos en derrotar a la dictadura. El fin de la MUD y la destrucción de sus líneas de financiamiento y de propaganda es la única esperanza que tenemos de cambiar el país a mediano-largo plazo. Quien la apoye estas alturas se hunde en un pozo de mierda, porque tarde o temprano la presión va a reventar y no va a favorecer a ningún luis vicente león, capriles, o falcón, o leonardo padrón. Al final todas las ratas se van a hundir con el barco.

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