The bully shoves back


Sometimes days go by when nothing seems to be happening, even during times like these. But other days bring way too much, even during times like these. In a span of 48 hours, Nicolás Maduro’s government went full throttle, mounting a full counterattack after weeks of unrest and bloodshed.

Two days, May 22nd and 23rd, have shown us what escalation feels like, and it ain’t pretty.

After the announcement that Táchira would have its own version of Plan Zamora, riot control units nationwide received support from tactical groups, trained in harm and destruction.

It wasn’t the GNB or PNB, day-to-day acronyms any marchista expects. Not even SEBIN, the feared intelligence police. More exotic names roamed: CONAS, DGCIM. The crème de la bloody crème. May 22nd in San Antonio sent shivers down our spines.

Applying tactics like those used by the OLP —which amount to military raids to take down drug and kidnapping gangs— a different sort of policeman began to roam not only streets, but parking lots, hallways and even some apartments throughout usually peaceful Caracas suburbs. The images were shocking even by today’s standards.

Intelligence officers dressed as civilians fired guns at protesters in another usually quiet neighborhood, around CIED at La Tahona. Hardly a focal point of the conflict.

Hundreds of kilometers away, a different kind of conflict brewed. Barinas, birthplace of Hugo Chávez and a symbolic llanero stronghold of chavismo, revolted like few other places have. Eight protesters dead, the local CNE office, PSUV’s headquarters and the National Guard garrison overtaken and set ablaze. It was barely night time on the 22nd.

Two days, May 22nd and 23rd, have shown us what escalation feels, and it ain’t pretty.

May 23rd was just as noisy and chaotic, but for other reasons. Maduro’s economics team presented the new version of CADIVI/SICAD/DICOM, whilst admitting there’s not much money left and that they intend to keep it for themselves.

Not far from where they set out this elaborate pagarse y darse el vuelto en dólares scheme, Maduro held a rally he expected to give some traction to him and his Constituent Assembly proposal. It didn’t. A few hundred people joined Maduro, who was visibly upset by the embarrassing turnout. From there, he headed to the CNE to hand in the rules for electing members of his new pet project, the National Constituent Assembly. Somehow, he got them fast-tracked and approved in days.

Right after that, Tibisay Lucena held a press conference, announcing the Constituent Assembly would take place in July. The same people who said it would take over a year to hold a recall referendum —a simple yes/no vote— can suddenly process a highly complex election for 540 members over multiple constituencies in two months. De pinga.

She went on to say state governor elections would be held in December. Elections, that is, for an office that may or may not exist by the time people go to vote.

Night fell again, and with it a dawning sense of acceleration. The pace of this crisis changed. We still don’t know what we’re heading towards, but we know we’re heading towards it faster and faster.

Chavismo has started to shove back, and it only made the inevitable tastier.

Today there was supposed to be a march to honor the fallen. Instead, it is heading straight towards CNE. Politicians and everyday folk alike are in the mood to disrupt and demand justice. They don’t shove, they push forward, no matter what the bully says or does. It’s as if the worse we’re treated the more energized we get. As if chavismo’s last ditch thrashing is an elixir to us.

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  1. On the March of the Millions, once the march arrived to the distribuidor where the tarima was, the varius politicians gave their speeches, and since there was no repression, they seemed to run out of things to says and decided the march should continue. It was as if there was dissappointment for not being repressed. Of course, the CNB was waiting on the autopista pretty much in the same place we always do.

    At my age and with a bad knee, I can’t attend all the marches, and when I do I stay in the back because I wouldn’t be able to run when time comes. So why do we always take the same route if we know what’s waiting for us, unless that’s what’s wanted. Could we walk on the highway, and then improvise, perhaps get off in Chacao and walk on the Fco de Miranda without blocking all the traffic (maybe use the sidewalks and one lane only in each direcction. And “zig zag” our way to the final destination. I know it sounds easier said than done, specially when dealing with such big crowds, but I don’t see how we’re going to get to the CNE, Palacio de Justicia, etc. if we go the same way knowing the CNB is waiting for us half way through.

    • Charlie, I think you are spot on. I am not in CCS but I have a friend in Chacaito and he sends me live footage of the daily battles on the interstate. Maybe these MUD sifrinos have no military strategy and just want to be politicians who get in front of the crowd and be the cacique.

      As I was getting live shots yesterday from yesterdays battle, I was like these protesters are not thinking with their heads, just with their emotions. The tanquetas and several balenas were waiting on the high ground about a km or two back. They sent about 20 motorizados to bait the protesters. The protesters fell for the bait and they advanced about a km or so with no frickin escape route!!! It is a tactic meant to make the protesters look stupid and to make a few arrests. It was pathetic.

      Obviously not students who have taken a day to read Sun Tzu or anything dealing with strategy, which is an absolute shame. But if they want to battle the GNB, tanquetas and balenas they have to lure them into close urban “combat.” Battling it out on the interstate with no escape route or not being able to attack from multiple angles (to create confusion) is foolish…If you want to battle the NG, you got to surround them with superior numbers, rush them and then disarm them (as the gochos are doing). That has to be the goal of the kids in shields: got to run the GNB out of town. And nothing better than seeing these assholes run!! and that goes viral!!!

      I have seen one youtuber talking about strategy and tactics, but less than 1000 subscribers…

      Enough of these stupid marches that NEVER make it to their desitnation. Better to organize “the mother of all flash mobs” and everybody will arrive clandestino. No white, yellow or orange shirts; no flags of political parties when arriving; just the mother of all flash mobs meant to send a strong message to CNE that el pueblo esta arrechisima!!!. Break out the colors and flags once already there and there are sufficient numbers.

      The Chavistas need to know that they are not safe anywhere. It is almost like the MUD wants to let the Chavistas to have a safe zone. This is a battle of geography and we have to let them know they are terribly outnumbered and have no where to run–except for Cuba!!!!

      As for the snipers, people who live in high rises need to be on the lookout for them. Also the students need to form “intelligence units” that will see who is GNB or Chavistas duros who live near the battle grounds and in high rise aptos. If Venezuelans are good at one thing, it is it gossiping (los chismosos) so lets put this to good work. And then keep track of where they are shooting from if it comes to that. We have to plan for the worst, but hold out hope that enough rats will jump ship so Chavismo crumbles before it gets to the point of socialismo o muerte.

      • “MUD sifrinos have no military strategy” well aren’t you a treat.

        And… no shit! are we in the army?

        Every single word you said is useless, I just wanted you to know that. Keep on reading, informing yourself, and stop giving useless opinions and bashing on us trying to do something while you are away.

        Learn empathy, learn when to talk and what to say…

    • I have an answer for you and Guacharaca.

      They block all routes, literally all routs going west. Libertador, Autopista, Bello monte, Cotamil, behind Plaza Brion, at El Rosal. THERE IS NO WAY we can get through

      The only way to get past them is to drive or walk as citizens, separately, and meet there. But do you have the balls to do that? when you can be met with armed thugs and GN that can take you to jail and torture you?

      And how do I know this? I HAVE been to all the rallies, I ride a motorcycle and go through all the streets. ALL are blocked.

      And if you wanted to a surprise rally, how would people even know?

      Talking shit is easy my friend. Things in real life are not.

      • Thanks engoa. I guess I was hoping some of the streets weren’t blocked.

        I didn’t mean a surprise march. What I meant ws that, let’s say at the march of the Millions where we weren’t attacked at the meating point. If instead of taking the autopista where we get attacked every single time, there was another way we cld’ve taken. But I guess by what you say that there’s no way through.

      • Engoa, thanks for the clarification–you might also mention that the Govt. shuts down all public transportation (subway/buses) in Oppo march areas/times (not so for Govt. march areas/times), making Oppo marchers of all ages/health conditions walk literally miles to/from/during their marches, and that Oppo marches are blocked/ferociously repressed at the Libertador municipality border leading to Ccs. downtown Govt. offices, even though the Oppo won a majority of Libertador seats in the AN, while the squalid paid/coerced Govt. marches can freely transit through the Libertador municipality.

  2. “As if chavismo’s last ditch thrashing is an elixir to us”
    Indeed ! Just hearing Tibisay Lucena talk yesterday gave me so much revenge energy from the moral indignation.
    But that was what i needed to make sure the regime falls before she dies so I can see her being tried for crimes against humanity or better yet, to die from a mob lynching, Qaddafi style
    Another rich source of revenge energy is to watch Maduro yelling “Democracy, Democracy, Democracy !!”

  3. Hay que mantener la presión, decirle a la base que “El chavismo nunca dejará de aplastar a Venezuela, que ESTO es lo que ellos quieren eternizar con la prostituyente, robar, secuestrar y matar como les dé la gana, PARA SIEMPRE” y el otro mensaje tiene que ser para el chavismo: “Mientras sigan jodiendo a Venezuela, mientras más la intenten triturar, MÁS SE VA A ARRECHAR Y MÁS VA A SEGUIR”

  4. “The pace of this crisis changed. We still don’t know what we’re heading towards, but we know we’re heading towards it faster and faster” Uhmmm that must be a full blown Cuban communist style dictatorship bcuz still there aren’t millions in the streets. Majority of the people still don’t see the need for it apparently. Amazing but hey it’s better haciendo colas and go on with daily routines then fight for once freedom and that’s why the chavistas are winning. Because the average Joe in Venezuela does what he/she always has done …. NOTHING! !!!

    • People is usually afraid of getting a bullet in the face, which is basically the only thing chavismo gives for sure since 2002.

    • The vast millions on millions majority DO see the need for change, but it will be the valiant ones in the streets who will have the pleasure of lynching those Chavista bigwigs available when the time comes. Come join the fight on the “winning” Chavista side, and become one of those “privileged winners”……


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