The historic trigger

Your briefing for Monday, April 24, 2017. Translated by Javier Liendo.


Nicolás prevented many people from enjoying the teleférico to El Ávila yesterday because he chose to broadcast from there. To be fair, it’s hard to imagine a more suitable reference to his current political circumstances than his backlit figure vanishing in the fog from time to time, celebrating the arrival of each member of his government, those doomed to be his loyal audience, despite the recent public scorn suffered by their peers in popular areas and the San Félix impasse.


Incapable of portraying the bully he was instructed to be, with a tricolor scarf wrapped around his neck, once again he spoke about the foundation of chavismo, pointing out that “February 4th [1992] was our generation’s cry for independence.” They’ve always treated coups d’état as either good or bad depending on who’s behind them; but he went a bit farther yesterday and, even though he was denouncing “the right’s” coup, he admitted that they believe that armed rebellion was the only way to change the government, but that they would never use weapons against the people. Sadly, he didn’t explain how they would even identify them in open conflict. That must be the reason why innocents died in both of their failed coups and they’re still remorseless. He dedicated almost an hour of his cadena to speak about el finado, claiming that before 4F “Venezuela was a country without an identity, without national symbols, without a common dream.”

So this happened

Nicolás sucks at many tasks, but let’s say faking surprise and governing are his worst. All State media stations will broadcast a documentary on his life tonight. It’s titled “Maduro, unbreakable loyalty.” Run, waste your quincena on snacks and watch it, I’m sure it’s going to obliterate the ratings of Game of Throne’s first episode, you know how preposterous chavismo’s propagandistic efforts can be. In any case, the documentary promises to be the missing link between faithfulness to el finado and the historic trigger he said he was ready to pull, create and promote, a historic trigger that, according to Adán Chávez, is translatable into “Taking the revolution to the point of no return.” Not even Cuba, huh?

Refounding the Republic?

For Nicolás, it´s irrelevant whether people believe his words or not. He enjoys playing the king, forcing people to listen to him, even if it’s merely to say openly that he ruing the V República, that the trigger could be a Constituent Assembly, as if “the best Constitution in the world” had died along with Chávez or, maybe, with all the amendments the Constitutional Chamber has been weaving during all these years under chavismo. Nicolás talks about a Constituent Assembly amidst institutional mayhem, with a completely illegitimate CNE and TSJ, with a chavismo that burned through its electoral grassroots through sheer misery. Such a proposition would invalidate the current Constitution, admitting their failure through these 18 years and accepting that the only way he can keep his crown is with a custom-made Constitution. If he blithely defaced the one we’ve got since 1999, he’ll do the same with others. He has no political will, he doesn’t understand plurality and difference sounds like sacrilege to him.

Blocking the party

Those were Nicolás accusations against the opposition, after claiming that he won’t react to provocation, that we won’t start a civil war. And then, immediately, he launched an ultimatum: “Either we have peace with revolution or there will be no peace, in Venezuela or in America.” Once again he likened the opposition to the antichrist, specifically trying to compare Julio Borges with a devil, calling him The Exorcist. “Capriloca has 11 murders on his conscience,” he said, mixing lies with homophobia, and he repeated that all dissidents are criminals who want a war; he called them brainless and ratified his accusations against José Guerra and Tomás Guanipa threatening them with prison, all of this before remarking that “dialogue is their lifeline” and it’s time to negotiate.

He says yes

“I say yes, I want elections, I want elections now! (…) I’m ready for whatever the Electoral Branch decides!”. I wish Tibisay Lucena was listening to him, because earlier that day he pointed out that the CNE has an electoral timetable, and even Mario Silva, the degraded Torquemada, insinuated that 2018 would be an electoral year. He euphorically cautioned the opposition not to flee from elections and, a bit more calm, he asked former presidents Torrijos, Fernández and Rodríguez Zapatero, mediators of the dialogue that hasn’t happened, to resume talks, because the government didn’t fail to fulfill the commitments assumed during negotiations, it was Rome who has set up a conspiracy against him. Minutes later, he claimed: “Certain people are raving mad with hatred (…) What would’ve happened if I had gone mad?”. Where do we start?

On the loose

Nicolás ordered the people to support the National Guard and the National Police in repression. Your asphyxia is irrelevant compared to the commitment of preserving peace by abusing the rights of dissidents. Nicolás denied the existence of armed colectivos -paramilitary gangs- and pledged his full support to shop owners affected by lootings in El Valle, for their economic recovery, even though he admitted he’s not well loved among them. That must be why SUNDDE hasn’t stopped taking over bakeries to bankrupt them. He concluded the cadena claiming that he’ll keep on “partying,” regardless of the country’s situation.

The cadena proved that the street is setting the agenda. Yesterday, he tried to respond to all the issues caused by street protests. Yesterday, he showed that the opposition is setting the agenda for his government, the resistance, the international community with their ongoing warnings and demands, the popular outrage that he thinks he can solve in a “social media war,” with lousy videos and hashtags going trending only because of thousands of regime bots. Let him continue on that path. Thanks indeed to his current communications advisor, you’re awesome!

See you today in the sit-in.

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  1. “the international community with their ongoing warnings and demands” FUNNY, if there is something that isn’t happening its that!!! The international community couldn’t give a Shit Less. These miedra Chavistas will remain in power for many many years to come if you guys are counting on their help. CIVIL WAR and HUNDREDS of dead CHAVISTAS in the streets is what will make this dictatorship get the fuck out of dodge!!!!

  2. Chavismo’s response to the fall in the price of oil since 2014 has been to make no substantive changes in economic policy, in the hope that oil prices will rebound soon. A recent article indicates that there is a bigger probability of Fidel and Hugo coming back to life.Shale’s the Wild Horse OPEC Can’t Tame does not bring good news to Maduro and friends.

    U.S. oil output could pass its 2015 peak as early as July if recent growth continues.
    Total U.S. crude production has risen by more than 550,000 barrels a day in the 20 weeks since OPEC decided to cut output, according to weekly Department of Energy data. Much of that increase has come from shale formations. If this rate of growth — a little under 30,000 barrels a day of new supply each week — continues, U.S. output could top its recent peak of 9.61 million barrels a day shortly after OPEC meets on May 25 to consider its next move.
    U.S. production peaked at 9.6 Million BBL/D from May to July 2015. It fell to 8.4 Million BBL/D, and is now at 9.3 Million BBL/D.
    Chavismo’s strategy of making no policy changes in the hope that the price of oil would rebound has not worked. In 2014, assuming the price oil would rebound soon was a fair assumption to make. It rebounded quickly after it crashed in 2008.However, the ability of frackers in the US to lower their costs of production since 2014 has put paid to that assumption. When it comes to the oil price, a fair assumption today is that what you see today is what you will see tomorrow- at least for several more years. More ruin for Venezuela and OPEC in the near future.

    When the export price of Venezuelan oil was around $11/BBL in 1998, Venezuela didn’t have the food supply problems it has today with oil around $40-$50/BBL. The lowered oil revenue in 1998 and previous years was a leading reason why Chavez was elected that year. But in 1998, Venezuela had a democracy- an imperfect democracy, but still a democracy. Today, Venezuela is about as far from a democracy as you can get.


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