Chavismo used to have great campaign TV spots. Who can forget Chávez corazón del pueblo, or Uh Ah, Chávez no se va? Catchy, glossy, they made me wanna vote for the trimardito.

But putting out fantastic ads is easy when oil is at $100 a barrel.

This post is about what happens when that same barrel costs $40.

According to the CNE, there are 6,120 candidates running for 537 Asamblea Constituyente posts. Pretty much all except María Bolívar are from PSUV. That means the government is supposed to promote (and finance) the bulk of the candidates to run against each other, with devices like 10-minutes cadenas. Well-made spots, sure, but even with all the resources, things like this happen:

Meet La Mascara, the son of María, and his proposal for CLAP bags. Unknowingly, he admits that state-subsidized groceries don’t always arrive and his whole proposal is based on the fact that the system is so broken, that people can’t get the food the government hands out.

Not every candidate appears in the ads, and for the rest there’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Candidates are supposed to record the spots themselves and send them away. Results are what you might expect.

More than the candidates themselves, what grates is the hundreds of low quality videos promising to make our lives better without telling us how. The Constituent Assembly will change the Constitution to make the government fully totalitarian, but it’s hard to take it seriously when even the spots without candidates look like this:

Yes, that is Winnie the Pooh dancing to the constituyente song, a display I want to think of as an editing mistake, but nope. It’s a deliberate, uh, “artistic technique”.

If I am not making myself clear enough on how unqualified these guys are, let me translate for you the words of a candidate who put his name forward to represent the commerce and banking sector, when asked about the inflation problem. Verbatim:

The infraction, the infraction in Venezuela right now is, is high, but why? Because of the same reason of the, of the… the situation of… of the… the right wing that is… hiking prices, they hike the price for what’s called ‘the salary’ and what’s called ‘food’, and they raise everything and the infraction rises because of that. And the infraction rises, because of that, because it is… it is… the Ven… Vene… er… the ve… uh… the country is in a crisis right now with the government, because they are attacking us even with the oils. Even with oil. We are being attacked even with the… the foreign currency, we are being attacked, that’s why that’s one of the infractions…

There are, of course, big names running for this thing too. Oscar Schemel, CEO of the, quote-unquote, “most reliable pollster in Venezuela”, is one of them (recently, he published a study stating that 54% of the population agrees with changing the constitution) along with former Defense Minister Carmen Meléndez, Eduardo Samán, and the primera combatiente herself, Cilia Flores.

It makes sense for Maduro to spend big bags of cash to make the Constituent Assembly look good they’re imposing it by force—. But still, the awfulness of the campaign makes for a huge contrast with Chavez’ hope and tunes.

This is what they’ve become, a regime that still goes through the motions of simulating looking strong and popular, just about. But barely.

It’s kind of like trying to get to your high state position in the trunk of a car. It makes you look laughable. And if there’s one thing chavismo can’t afford right now it’s being laughed at.

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      • If you are the type of person who doesn’t laugh at la Máscara I wouldn’t want to be left alone with you, you are not human.

    • Sure, but what the article is trying to get across is that look at how far they’ve fallen. These guys are playing all-in and their bet looks like this.

      It’s not inspiring, or intimidating, just pathetic and vague.

      It’s a long way from a group that once made passionate ads for a very much alive cause.

    • Lili – When you bring up the subject of “Winnie” (I don’t even care about the video quality) – but I wish to make a statement about another “Winnie” – in Samuel Becket’s play (he won the Nobel Prize for another play – “Happy Days” – being like Venezuela today. Winnie just stands there, half-buried in sand, She looks ever so pretty, in the hot baking sunlight. She makes so many inane comments about her beauty, as .she. She so get angry at mate -Willie- only appearing sometimes to get to drink.

      As the play goes, Winnie keeps on yelling her insanity’s as sand keeps on deeper and swallows her whole in end.

      Sounds likes Venezuela now (and whole lot of places and people.

  1. These pathetic commercials are targeting a specific audience, though. Millions of under-educated Chavistoide pueblo-people. Sadly, they are often not much wiser or sharper than “La Mascara”, Odel Lopez..

  2. I’m finding it harder and harder these days to find something funny in all of this. Right now I’m watching a bunch of bearded, toothless ANC candidates telling us how they’re going to fix the country. As a buddy of mine says, you can’t fix stupid.

      • And basically offering something that was supposed to happen in 2016 and the presidential elections that are meant to happen in 2018. All in exchange for the government retiring the ANC.

  3. “Nos están atacando con los petróleos!” JAJAJAJAJAJAJA!!!!!

    Esta vaina de la constituyente es un gran chiste…un chiste de muy mal gusto.

  4. Zapatero is talking negotiation now, but that is just a bunch of bullshit.

    Classic Cuban tactic: call for negotiations to put an end to street protests. Then put on the show of negotiating, sell the public a bunch of bullshit by claiming the negotiations were a success and how this is a great victory for democracy and peace in Venezeula blah blah blah. However, they win because they buy enough time to think of a good scam to keep them in power.

    We know their game and I honestly do not think the “opposition” will fall for it this time, or at least not the “resistance.” Some people just want this to be done and over with, and might fall for it. That is what has me worried the most…

    However, millions might want more than anything else: la Justicia. These snake oil salesmen, thieves and gangsters have to pay for this. This regime is not legitimate. They have already crossed the line. We know their song and dance. We have passed the point of no return. Enough.

    Furthermore, things are different this time around. Everybody gets their news from the internet. Viral videos by the resistance get out to a much wider audience than if we only could through through mainstream television or print media. In the blogosphere and youtube there are all kinds of conspiracy theories surrounding the ksa por carcel Leopoldo event. This kind of stuff trends on twitter. That is what sets the daily news narrative anymore for most Venezeulans. F*&k Cubazuela!!!

    Almargo knows their bullshit. So does the US Senate. So does the CIA. Their game is up and nobody is falling for it…The Leopoldo thing is just a song and dance.

    In sum: Zapatero is back bitches and he is a mole this time. He is not a genuine broker of peace–and more importantly: Justice. He is trying to spin it for the Chavistas because he is the only one they will pretend to negotiate with because they know he is a mole.


      “The proposal that Zapatero brings is Regional elections in 2017 and Presidential elections in 2018. All parties denied it except UNT”.

      Yup. Zapatero, that is Maduro’s actual chancellor, brought to the MUD Maduro’s proposal, and he was told where he could shove it, except for that worthless sellout of Rosales. Leopoldo being back is huge.

      Zapatero: “There’s no alternative to dialogue in Venezuela”.

      So, do what Maduro wants or else. Got nothing but threats I see. You see, the ANC is Maduro’s problem, and HE is going to have to pull it back alone. The chavistas that aren’t with him and do not want him to sink the damn ship have their own plans for July 30, and the US, Russia and China have THEIR plans for 31 and ahead. In none of those plans Maduro lasts through the week, though it will be at a higher cost for the Venezuelan people.

  5. If the Constituyente really is a negotiating tactic as Mr. Toro thinks, when should we expect Maduro to announce the postponement? There are now only 5 days until the vote! Should we really expect him to wait until the day before the vote to cancel it?

    And Mr. Toro, wouldn’t it be more rational for Maduro now to go through with the vote and see how many votes he gets? What if the govt can scrounge up 4-5 million voters? Wouldn’t that put him in a stronger position than he is in now, internationally? To be able to say that *some* sort of vote was held and people voted for these candidates (given that some media reports are basically saying that Maduro has no support, that everyone hates the Constituyente, etc.)?

    And for others in Chavismo, might they not feel that this is an opportunity to sideline Maduro, given that the members of the Assembly will have ‘originary’ powers and could theoretically re-work the executive branch of government?

  6. If this wasn’t so tragic, it would indeed be Comical.

    The actions of the regime are more ludicrous than anything Mel Brooks could have written in his prime.
    The TSJ Justice Moreno released this statement in regards to the new Supreme Court justices.

    “….the judicial branch to be the victim of aggressions that constitute violations of the rule of law.” And that those who are dedicated to the system of law, must “respect the justice system and the Constitution.”

    How he could say it with a straight face is completely a mystery. This is the stuff that banana Republic comedies strive for.

    I pray everyday for the people of Venezuela to be rid of this gang of thieving, lying, murdering psychopaths. I believe that their day of reckoning is coming very soon. The collapse of the regime will be swift and chaotic, with everyone trying to save themselves and flee with as much as they can steal.

    I have high hopes for tomorrow and Thursday. I hope Caracas is overrun with people opposed to this criminal regime. I hope they burn Miraflores to the ground. The same with hunting down every member of the TSJ and the CNE.

    A good model to follow would be the French revolution. The storming of the Bastille and the execution of Louis XVI could be reenacted. So many regime members deserve this same fate.


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