May the 3rd was a day of madness. More deaths. Protests and repression at a level of violence to make even us blanche. Nicolás Maduro on aggro mode, sitting next to a deathly Tibisay Lucena, broadcasting hate speech to the nation as he vowed to relaunch a republic he’s single-handedly destroyed. An impossibly mistimed global Whatsapp outage that, in these circumstances, spread actual panic through a population that has no other way to communicate. The bizarre, Orwellian sight of a fat communist dictator literally dancing as the country burned.

And then, the saga over Leopoldo López’s whereabouts, born of disinfo spreading like fire in an information vacuum, keeping the country in a state of nervous collapse for hours while the government got its shit together enough for Diosdado Cabello to publish a bizarre, kidnapping-style proof of life video.

It’s all too much for the frayed nerves of a nation already traumatized by the last month, and the seventeen years that preceded them.

This, for now, looks to be the new normal. Days of madness and violence in a pitiless information vacuum that acts as a petri dish for disinformation, rumor and fake news. It’s a sort of psychological war set out side-by-side with the real violence on the streets, designed to disorient and confuse, to astound and defeat voices calling for change.

Venezuela keeps plumbing new depths. As Raúl Stolk wrote, each one feels impossible to get used to…and then you do. This new normal, though…it gave me vertigo.

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  1. This was sent to me this morning from my friends in Caracas.

    12,000 signatures so far. We need 100,000 to have it recognized by the White House. I hope the signatures number into the millions. Follow the instructions and enter your e-mail address. You will then get an e-mail to confirm that it is in fact your signature.

    I so wish that I could do more. My thoughts and my prayers are with every brave person that is resisting this dictatorship. My empathy is with all of you that suffer.

    Please forward this petition to everyone.

    • If you think the Putrid Pumpkin is going to help you are sadly mistaken.
      1. It won’t help his ratings. The only thing he cares about.
      2. He could not locate Venezuela on a globe if you spotted him Columbia and Brasil.
      3. He has the attention span of a gnat.
      4. And, the big one: he loves dictators. cf. Vladimir Putin.

      • This, unfortunately is true. As much as it would help Marco Rubio’s ratings, I seriously doubt he has any pull on a matter that the trumpkin doesn’t care about.

      • But the dumbass was clever enough to beat Hillary and the Dems on less than half the money. Doesn’t it just totally piss you off?

        • Not really. It’s a reflection of the society we live on these days. Trump won because he resonated with a “forgotten” class. Feeding off their resentment to the other sectors of society. Of course there were other sectors of society that jump on it, but when it goes to shit, the ones that remain will be those with unbearable resentment. Case in point, look at the 20%-25% who still support Maduro.

          So no, being “pissed off” would be stupid and counter-productive

          That shouldn’t anger anyone. It’s a wake up call to address the issues at hand that triggered their elections.

          Venezuela will be that much better after all of this. This creates conscious and social responsibility that was forgotten. The United States will be better, not because of Trump, but inspire of it. Because it’s necessary.

          A whole or two generations that will be forever be politically awake.

      • That is utterly absurd in its totality.
        Fully exagerated, uninformed stupidity.
        Clarity is what is needed. Not political resentment and hate.
        The man is far smarter than your dumb ass.

      • Confused, are you talking about Obama? He had 8 years of total inaction in VZ downfall. After the election in VZ in 2015, all I heard were crickets from him and his administration.
        I do take exception to calling him names, as that is racist. But you know that…..

      • Clarity is required to put economic pressure on the army to take out Maduro.
        Youre comment is pure exaggeration and political resentment.
        Just stupid. You watch too much Late Night (the Hate Night Show maybe) television I think, to have a coherent grasp of who Trump really is, and his capabilities. Which could be very helpful.

  2. Prediction: The fate of the Maduro regime is dependent on what is taking place behind closed doors at the US Department of the Treasury. In early April both the US House and the US Senate demanded that Mnuchin begin a CFIUS review of Venezuelan documents pertaining to the true ownership of Citgo, and have it done by April 28th. This is a political bombshell. The Russians purchased their 49% stake AFTER the US Presidential elections. Ponder that for a moment. Also, they probably own “a few” of those bonds as well. This gives them a ‘secret’ ownership, soon to be uncovered by Mnuchin. You have Putin involved behind this, as well as his right-hand man Igor Sechin. Russians! The Democrats on Capital Hill will go nuts on this story. When this story breaks, and it will, …shortly, it will focus the world spotlight on what’s going-on in Venezuela. It will crush the Chavista’s. A prediction.

    • You are putting too much emphasis on CFIUS after the fact. Please read the Senate Bill. Rosneft will not get Citgo….you are behind on this one.

      Cory just quit the Citgo gig. Things are falling apart. LL is possibly related to the Senate Bill as payback.

      • Thanks for the update. I hadn’t seen that Senate bill until today. I still believe, however, that this fight will eventually be at the center of the collapse of the Maduro regime.

    • Dr, the fate of Maduro is not up to Treasury. POTUS has the power but it comes with a price. Lets not get ahead of ourselves. To understand the opposition, there is no time left. This means that if elections are not called soon, the regime will perpetuate itself in power.

      What Gustavo Coronel is suggesting is going to take time. After all diplomatic inroads and avenues are exhausted, military options come into play. However, this is a tall order of a higher calling. Latin American militaries have not seen action in a long time and usually with disastrous results. Is Argentina, Brasil, Peru, Colombia, Chile militaries begging for action? You bet.

      Intervention is not an invasion nor a fight. It’s only a fight if they choose so. We are so far away from this that I cannot even beging to wrap my head around it. I prefer the other path, narcotics indictments that allow us to hunt them down and even do extraordinary renditions. Sure it will get nasty, they made that very clear but I believe in tit-for-tats and under this scenario, we will make them pay.

      Thus it’s very important for their foreign pals to keep up the game of wack-a-mole and musical chairs to keep the USA guessing at the revolving targets and not able to focus and prioritize BRV

  3. LL video discrepancies:he “doesn’t know why” his wife would be asking for a fe de vida, after 30 days of her being denied any contact with him; his puffed-up arms look like he’s been pumping iron, more consonant with a recently-jailed physique, not one that has spent 3+yrs. in solitary confinement, probably not eating nutritious food; he’s wearing a belt/neck chain-cross, not likely for someone jailed who could not be risked committing a Regime-embarrassing suicide; his neck-down torso is well-lit/defined, but his neck-up/face are fuzzy/probably filtered,so one can’t even see his lips move, much less combine their movement with the words being said in audio; finally, even if the “May 3” audio mention were not doctored, it could be a May 3 audio from a year previous to 2017. Unfortunately, in Venezuela, cuando el rio suena, piedras trae, but I hope against hope for his family’s sake that this axiom is mistaken in this case….

    • For those interested, Javier Romero, twitter @Javierito321, videographer, shows how the phony LL Fe De Vida video was made, plus he shows that the Fe torso is not LL’s….

  4. The poor woman Tibisay Lucena is clearly dying, while serving the dictatorship to her last breath, possibly trying to secure a money legacy to someone dear. With maduro one never knows if he won’t pocket Tibisay’s herencia, which is largely based on her corrupt servitude to Chavez and Maduro.
    As you say the country is well beyond improbable, well into fantasy fiction. This would be amusing if it wasn’t so tragic. I believe that it is time to think the unthinkable. Venezuela has to be intervened. Crazy aircraft pilots are intervened, a drunk father is intervened. A violent husband pounding his wufe is intervened.
    Don’t tell me that the “leader” ,of 30 million people who goes out of contriol cannot be intervened

    • “Poor” Tibisay reportedly lives in the Caracas Country Club, after refurbishing her house in Alta Florida with marble floors and all, well custodiada by GNB….

  5. Manu Chao …

    Pal cementerio se va
    La vaca de mala leche.
    Pal cementerio se va
    Inocente condenada..
    Pal cementerio se va
    La vaca de mala leche
    Pal cementerio se va
    Ni dios le va a perdonar.
    Bailemos todos el vacaloca
    Ese ritmo terminal
    Bailemos todos el vacaloca
    Bailemos todos hasta el final…

  6. I did not intend for this to be a debate about President Trump.
    My friends asked me to sign it and pass it on for other people to be made aware of the petition.
    I am an American of dutch / Irish origin. Some people might think that I don’t have any skin in this game.
    I despise these bastards with all of my being and I believe that many others support the Venezuelans in their struggle to live in a free and safe country. A country that I want to see return to prosperity.
    Signing it can’t hurt. No matter what your opinion of President Trump is.
    If anyone can suggest other things that I can do to help, please tell me.

  7. Trump’s done more about Syria and N. Korea in his first 100 days than Obama did in 8 years. I wouldn’t pass judgment on his policy towards Venezuela just yet.

    • S Korea got a missile defense hield system under Obama.

      Anyway, it’s been 100 days. It’s too early to condemn or praise Trump’s ‘policy’ (if that is the right word) on Syria or North Korea. Not much has changed so far in actual results, but at the same time these things don’t happen overnight.

  8. It’s the Boiling Frog effect: Most Venezuelans are numb by now, used to their tragedies. They are used to the massive corruption, lack of public services, even the lack of medicines, food. Crime is normal now, hyper-inflation is normal, even repression and violence: normal..


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