That old phrase, attributed to Harold Wilson, seldom applied so well as it did to Venezuela this week. A week ago, shell-shocked by Supreme Tribunal decisions 155 and 156, Venezuela’s dictatorship looked to be well on its way to consolidating itself. The opposition, stuck in its sad, never-ending internecine fights (latest chapter: primaries) looked an increasing irrelevance.

A week has gone by. It saw an unheard-of internal split, a TSJ-reversal, an OAS storm, and a stunning outburst of protest later. Nobody’s talking about MUD’s irrelevance now. The regime’s essential brittleness is once again on dramatic display.

A week really is a very long time in politics.

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  1. Indeed. But this is Venezuela’s last chance; its falling in the abyss is suspended in mid fall.
    Article 333 was claimed yesterday by the opposition; let us hope it continues.

  2. After so many points of no return, I’m wary to get my hopes up and think this latest fiasco will give enough momentum to a regime change process.

  3. My only worry is that Semana Santa is coming. Hopefully they can keep the momentum going.

    I’m liking how the “Young Turks”, as Anatoly Kurmanaev calls them, are handling these round of protests. These diputados are usually first in line in the protests and they are also doing surprise stunts like dropping hay in front of official buildings, or what they did today at the Ombudsman office. And most of them are under 30!

  4. Se tienen que ir con todo, no hay otra.

    It would be incredible if one of the Guardia Nacional picket lines gets overrun or turns side. It is the military that is propping these assholes up, having them flail would be the watershed moment.

    I wonder how does “Patria, revolucion o muerte, vencermos!”, sounds in the different camps.

    • They actually overran a picket line in Tuesday, but I think it was PNB. Problem is that there’s always one of those bats in the back. More people at the protests would make it harder for the GN and PNB to close off all streets.

  5. “Nobody’s talking about MUD’s irrelevance now.”

    MUD is just a passenger in the process now, and that’s actually good. Let the people lead.

  6. We are in good shape as long as:
    1. the AN does not approve any new financing and mixed oil enterprises
    2. the price of oil stays around $50 or lower

  7. In chemistry, a supersaturated solution can precipitate crystals nearly instantly from the introduction of a small seed introduced to the solution, or even from a sharp impact. The supersaturated solution is a metaphor for current state of Venezuelan society. Something’s gotta give…

  8. The watershed moment mentioned above is bound to happen and I suspect that it will involve a changing of sides, that some military or security force or division will flip, or Chavismo itself will splinter. The government must know that as the meld down worsens, every hardliner willing to go down with the ship will be under scrutiny and some, even with an inevitable amnesty policy in place, will be held accountable in some way, and will likely not be able to flee the country with a bag of gold, as so often happens when dictatorships tank. The problem will likely be the collectivos and other fringe groups who have everything to lose in a power shift. I thought that the shit would hit the fan when the country defaulted on pending bond payments, or paid them and even more people had to root through garbage to find food. Maybe, as Emi said, there is reason to hope for a sea change sooner than later.

    That much said my stomach is in knots thinking about my immediate family members still working in CCS. We need a few miracles in several ways.

  9. Ok. Now everything hinges once again in what the govt does: if they somehow convene elections (regional elections, that is) what will MUD’s top brass do? My bet is that they’ll leave us all out to dry will the rationale “ocupar espacios” win out or will MUD show some spine and some scruples and accompany the rest of us until we are able to topple the dictatorship. If you ask me I am very skeptical, I’ll put my money on MUD trying to sell us regional elections as a huge victory when in essence it would be yet another lifeline for Maduro et al.


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