#30J Roundup: Bullets over ballots

42

A day of mayhem nationwide, as the government’s fraudulent Constituent Assembly elections are overshadowed by fierce repression and violence against protesters. As of 8:15 p.m. at least 14 people have died — by far the bloodiest of any day since the beginning of the protest cycle almost 4 months ago.

It was a day of carnage.  

The Venezuelan Observatory of Social Conflict reported several protests across 18 of the country’s 24 states: repression day, more than election day.

The Prosecutor’s Office is investigating the five following murders, all of them by firearm:

Eduardo Olave, 39. Libertador, Mérida.
Angelo Méndez, 28. Libertador, Mérida.
Luisa Zambrano, 43. Barquisimeto, Lara.
Ricardo Campos, 30. Cumaná, Sucre.
GNB officer Ronald Ramírez Rosales. La Grita, Táchira.

Two other murders are being investigated by the Ministerio Público, although it has not confirmed the names, presumably because they are underage,

Luis Ortiz, 16. Tucapé, Táchira
Adrián Rodríguez, 13. Capacho Viejo, Táchira.

The following five murders, also by firearms, are yet to be acknowledged by the Prosecutor’s Office:

Iraldo Gutiérrez, 38. Chiguará, Mérida.
Albert Rosales, 53. Tucapé, Táchira.
Wilmer Smith Flores, 21. La Grita, Táchira.
Juan José Monjes, 42. Aguada Grande, Lara.
Julio Manrique, 22. Ureña, Táchira.

Today’s sham election began with none other than early riser Nicolás Maduro, casting his ballot amid little fanfare, ostensibly to avoid another egg-throwing debacle. Social media lit up after State TV showed his carnet de la patria being rejected by a smartphone  (an illegal Carnet de la Patria identification station was added outside some voting centers in an effort to intimidate voters).  In a serendipitous bit of poetic justice the device read  that the “person doesn’t exist” or the “id was annulled.” Venezuelan hacker YoSoyJustin_ claimed responsibility for the snafu.

Early in the morning, National Guard officers took over the Francisco Fajardo highway to prevent protesters from gathering there. Later, GNB troops chased protesters firing rubber bullets and tear gas. In a still murky incident an explosive device was set off in Avenida Francisco de Miranda in front of Plaza Altamira setting ablaze several GNB motorcycles. Seven GNB officers were wounded by the explosion, and four motorcycles destroyed.

At 2:50 p.m., journalist Víctor Amaya reported that there were no voters left at the large voting center set up at the Poliedro de Caracas. Jorge Roig, former head of Fedecámaras, explained that if the 100 voting tables installed in the Poliedro had one voter every 20 seconds, only 140,000 people would be able to vote there in eight hours.

According to Luis Pedro España, the high profile Catholic University academic, the latest turnout estimate ranged between 2.5 and 2.8 million, quipping that: “any figure the CNE announces will be the last in its history.”

Midday, National Assembly Speaker Julio Borges said that the CNE had already put together a report to announce that 8.5 million people voted, but the actual figure would be closer to 7% of the electoral registry: around 3 million voters.

“It’s rare for a country to have such clear evidence of an electoral fraud,” Borges said. “With the ANC, they’re accelerating their own downfall, digging their own grave.”

According to journalist Javier Ignacio Mayorca: “the military hasn’t voted either.” Nonetheless, Héctor Rodríguez claimed that today’s would be “one of the highest turnouts in Venezuela’s electoral history.”

Instead of urging people to vote, the PSUV kept noting how the carnet de la patria will allow them to know who voted and who didn’t. They chose coercion despite (or because of) enormous levels of abstentions.

Mayor Jorge Rodríguez broke his own record for pathetic lies. After saying that “a guy voted 17 times” at the do-it-yourself referendum on July 16th, today he said that there were voters from eastern Caracas who rode to the Poliedro on their bicycles. Rodríguez laughed —literlly laughed— when asked about the deaths that have taken place throughout the day, even though they’ve widely reported by major media outlets and confirmed by the Prosecutor General’s Office.

 

Sick.

Incidents in Caracas

Colectivo members, with the support of GNB officers, attacked protesters in the Bello Campo neighborhood, stole and burned motorcycles, including one belonging to a NY Times reporter.

 

In a confusing incident, DGCIM officers (military counterintelligence) and GNB officers apparently engaged in a friendly fire incident in Chacao,

National Guard Anti-Kidnapping Unit (CONAS) officers repressed protesters in the western Caracas neighborhood of el Paraíso with tear gas and rubber bullet. However, neighbors vigorously fought back and at a point successfully made the GNB tanquetas to back down.

There were also clashes between protesters and GNB officers in Santa Fe where the officers unsuccessfully tried to disperse the protesters gathering there:

Mérida

The situation in Merida had been tense even before election day. Riots yesterday left two dead: Marcel Pereira and Iraldo Gutiérrez, both of gunshots.

Today, at around 7:00 am, two protesters supposedly attempting to take a voting center in San Jacinto, a traditionally chavista sector of the city, were shot dead by members of Plan Republica who allegedly left the scene shortly afterwards.

The victims were identified as Eduardo Olave and Angelo Méndez. At the same time, GNB tanquetas (armored personnel carriers) did their best to clear main roads that have been blocked by barricades since Thursday, breaching the gates of some residential buildings in the process.

Most election centers looked empty, just like streets around the city. Chavismo however managed to gather a few people, concentrating voters in two of the city’s biggest centers, Libertador High School and Mucumbarila Convention Center.

The local airport, which has been closed to commercial traffic for several years, had never seen so much activity as this weekend. Military Hercules C-130 planes have been spotted landing in Mérida since yesterday carrying military personnel and equipment. A number of colectivo (paramilitary) groups have been patrolling the city, using both public, State-sponsored buses and unidentified trucks to get around.

In the early afternoon reports of heavy riots in Ejido —a city 5 km. west of Mérida— started flooding social networks as Mayor Omar Lares’ house was seized by state security forces. Lares managed to escape but his son was captured.

At the same time, police and GNB officers breached an apartment building, smashing through the gates, burning some vehicles and taking an unknown number of people into custody.

The situation in Tovar, a nearby small town, has also been tense. Since the early morning small groups of voters were escorted by GNB officers to the few voting center that remained operational after yesterday’s riots. Confrontations took place shortly after and reports of several wounded protesters started to appear. The conflict quickly turned so heavy that local priests tried to mediate with state security forces, leaving us one of the most touching pictures of the current protest cycle so far.

Several protesters were wounded by live ammo, and a local first aid team was assaulted by official forces as denounced by Merida’s Mayor Carlos García.

At 11 a.m. a 19 year-old man was shot dead in unclear circumstances, supposedly while trying to cross a barricade, marking the fifth casualty in the State in the last 24 hours.

People report the presence of snipers around several buildings in town, but this information hasn’t been independently confirmed.

Today has been the most violent day in the State so far, and the night hasn’t even started yet.

Táchira

In the days ahead of the so-called election, violence escalated in Táchira: the Andean state known for the kindness of its people and the ferocity of its resistance to chavismo. Last Friday two men were killed: Eduardo Rodríguez (53) and Gustavo Leal Vilamizar (18), both shot down while protesting. Yesterday, Wilmer Smith Flores (21) was shot and killed during a riot on the city of La Grita.

Today’s picture is even worse. As we write this, the death toll stands at six. The small town of Tucapé saw violence first, as Luis Ortiz (15) got shot by local colectivos. Her mother was notified while attending the morning mass, GNB and armed encapuchados started shooting as soon as they reached the barricade he was manning. The other victim, Albert Rosales (53), was peeking through his balcony trying to find out what was going on when a stray bullet took his life.

Later, a GNB officer, Ronald Ramirez Rosales was shot in the face during a riot in La Grita’s military school Liceo Jauregui. And a few moments later Adrian Romero (14), was shot in the head by a sniper while protesting in the town of Capacho Viejo.

Riots in the border town of Ureña also left a toll of four wounded (including a ten year old), and another death: Julio Manrique (22). The wounded were taken to Cúcuta, Colombia for medical attention.

Gilbert Peña(19) was also shot this afternoon in Rotaría avenue in San Cristóbal, there are conflicting reports of his status. The casualties in the last 72 hours total 8. The number of people wounded is striking: In Tucapé about 40 people were hurt and reports claim there are over 400 all over Táchira.

Reports of violence in the hands of colectivos, GNB and the Army come from pretty much every corner of the state. From border cities like San Antonio and Ureña, to Táchira’s capital San Cristóbal.  There are reports of army snipers placed in several locations:

The city has been under siege since last week’s paro cívico, with continuous barricades and protests. However, some people still made it to the polls in what the government calls “Elections for Peace.”

Ciudad Guayana

No fatalities have been reported from Ciudad Guayana, but there have been clashes between armed paramilitary groups working with the National Guard and protesters, that have left several with gunshot wounds.

At 5:30 a.m. in Alta Vista, a drive-by shooting hit four protesters blocking a street. Shortly thereafter, the repression came from the GNB. One protester was shot.

In Villa Betania, a housing development, there were other two gunshot wounds.

 

At Isla Dorada, near Villa Betania, repression continues and tear gas canisters have been shot into the residential complex.

Other barricades hotspots like Lomas del Caroní and Las Garzas have had visits from the GNB. In Las Lomas, the guardsmen burned down the security booth for a second time.

Aragua

Repression started at around 3:00 a.m. in Maracay, with the GNB launching tear gas and breaking barricades around residential areas that have become focal points of protest recently.

Besides the Base Aragua and Residencias del Centro neighborhoods, now Residencias Independencia, located in downtown Maracay and just a few blocks from the Primero Justicia and the Acción Democrática headquarters, have seen repression: two APCs broke into the apartment complex gates.

At the same time, in the South of the city, the National Guard along with the Aragua State Police broke into into Residencias Madre María:

The election itself has been met with half-empty voting centers, despite Maracay and nearby towns being long regarded as a bastion of chavismo.

A tense calm remains as GNB breaks any sign of protest and keeps strategic positions around the city:

 

Elsewhere in San Casimiro, in the southern part of the state, it was reported that AN deputy Simón Calzadilla’s family was being held by either law enforcement agents or armed forces personnel:

Carabobo

Things were relatively calm in Valencia, with protesters setting up barricades in nearby San Diego to keep Plan República personnel from getting around:

Valencia proper had its turn later in the afternoon:

But, unsurprisingly, the voting centers around Carabobo’s capital city were mostly deserted:

UE Regino Peña, reportedly the largest voting center in the Valencia area:

CLAP checkpoint for voters at Las Palmitas:

Escuela 19 de Abril at one of the most populated districts of Valencia:

A scant morning crowd waits outside UE Caribay, Lomas de Funval:

As we wait for Tibisay to announce “results” of a fraudulent election with no auditable voter rolls, with no  international observers, in which  journalists were barred from within 500mts. of voting centers, and where government workers were coerced and blackmailed into turning out,  let’s remember the number of votes eventually, whether true or false, is irrelevant. Abstention won the day: there’s no way to refute that. Repression, death and media censorship are out in the open.

Today, nobody cares about the CNE’s announcements, there’s no sense of expectation, only pain. Too many people murdered for the imposition of a man who scarcely boasts a 17% approval rating. This is the constituyente through fire and blood. It’s conquering through bullets what they couldn’t get through votes.

42 COMMENTS

  1. This is truly devastating

    Thanks for all the info. I just wanted to correct the turnout number. Since there’s about 20m in the REP, 3 million should be closer to 13%, not 7.

  2. It’s not the “imposition of a man”, it’s the imposition (temporarily) of a failed ideology, failed state (2), and a failed corrupt/narco military….

  3. Seeing the photo of the sharpshooters on the roof top in Tariba, Tachira made me ill. My family live in San Cristóbal and thank goodness they’re okay today. Coño esta gente represora….furia, ira y profunda tristeza es lo que siento. Deeply, deeply saddened by the death toll today…
    But I have to say that the gochos are tough people and they will persevere despite the brutal repression.

  4. Saw Capriles speak today and I believe he gave the names of the high ranking military personnel who ordered sending repressive forces to Merida and Tachira states. These names need to be recorded and made public; it’s important to start documenting the names of those violators of human rights. There will be a reckoning or accounting before the law.

  5. excelente resumen del día… si el gobierno sigue insistiendo supongo que estamos ante el comienzo de un conflicto armado en toda regla en Venezuela… veremos lo que sucede los próximos días…

  6. Every single person that is driving a vehicle tomorrow should run over every police officer, guardsman and soldier that they can.
    Stop your vehicle. strip them of there weapons and go on your way.
    One day of these arms getting into the hands of the opposition will change the odds immensely and show the cowardice of these criminals when they have to face armed resistance compared to unarmed protesters.
    There are ways to make their activity deadly for them.

    Carry a rod or straight piece of hard steel. When the motorcycles come, throw them at the front wheels. It just takes one rod to stick between the spokes to immediately stop the bike when it comes against the forks.
    This has the result of launching the riders like a catapult and hopefully breaking their necks.

    Crumble up Styrofoam and put it in the bottles to be used for Molotovs. The gasoline will dissolve the foam as it is added. Continue adding gasoline until it turns into a jelly consistency. This is a rudimentary napalm that works quite well. It will stick to the object or person that it hits and will stick to anyone that tries to wipe it away.

    If anyone can access aluminum oxide powder and iron oxide powder, thermite is a Very useful compound in urban warfare. It burns at about 4000 degrees. If no powders are available, lower quality can be made from steel wool and aluminum cans.

    http://www.instructables.com/id/Cast-Thermite/

    http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Thermite

    It will burn through almost anything. Thermite and plaster of Paris should work to burn through the Chinese made personnel carriers that the soldiers hide in.

    Make your oppressors paranoid and fearful for the safety of themselves and their families.
    Burn their houses and cars. Make them lie awake wondering if tonight will be the night.
    make them wonder if they will ever see their children alive again when they leave their houses.
    Make them feel the fear that the average Venezuelan has had inflicted on them.

    Every single person that supports this regime is an enemy to the people of Venezuela.
    The Cuban handlers are an occupying army. Armed resistance is necessary against armed oppressors.

    Every building, vehicle and piece of infrastructure that is used to the oppress the people needs to be destroyed.

    The days of peaceful protests have ended. The regime declared war on the innocent people that wish for the restoration of democracy and the rule of law in order to end this ever worsening human created disaster.

      • fabian, YOU are the example of the slippered keyboard warrior.

        Self defense is a right and the people doesn’t need a stinkin’ chavista law to “have the right to that right”

    • Well, Fabian, keyboard warriors are better than people who just dont care…

      Nevertheless, seeing this in English lets readers know how serious this is getting. Trust me, I live near where there are guarimbas, I am protecting my house, I have the right to protect my house, and nobody will get into my house over my dead body. All of the tactics John spoke of above are all over the message boards right now in Venezuela. You can even find youtube videos on how to do it. Real easy.

      Nevertheless, John gave you a road map as to what to expect. It is going to happen if these scum do not let up (but honestly, I think they played their last card–which would have only worked if they got a legitimate 8 million. ALL of Venezuela knows they are full of shit now. We just have to wait it out till they are broke and cannot pay the military, national police and colectivos).

      For example, once Seniat starts coming after businesses, better believe that people will get together and burn down the offices of Seniat. If they dont stop at that, then go after the bosses, their car, their house, whatever. It will happen.

      This will not be a civil war in the traditional sense, say North vs South or Hutu vs Tutsi or whatever. There is no geographic segregation, nor ethnic divisions. People live on top of each other here, especially in CCS. Add on top of that the “chismosos” (gossipers, something Venezuelans excel at) Nobody is getting away with anything. We already know who does what. Expect the fire departments, hospitals and morgues to be busy as the resistance movement starts to get organized and go guerrilla.

      And that is the FANB’s worse nightmare.

      P.S. For CCS Chronicle readers in el Imperio, please lobby your congressman, participate in protests and do whatever you can to bring attention to the situation in Venezeula now.

      • You’re right, Guacha–the 8mm was SO egregious that no se lo calara nadie. If the military does not fracture at this monumental fraud (3x the already-coerced real vote), then it’s guerilla war, maybe (short-lived) civil war if the military splits–Sebastian lives!.

  7. This is so disheartening… but, not completely unexpected. The “results” are in and it is unlikely/impossible to challenge the results at this point.

    VZ, I wish all of you my deepest condolences. But, you got the gubmint you so richly deserve.. Hell, you voted for it!!!

    My heart goes out to those that are suffering more than ever. But, I cannot fathom how you can expect to address your issues under a dictatorial rule. Make the best of it and hope that fellow communists in Cuba and China are able to make life just a bit easier for the uncertain future.

    • Bullshit.
      Fight! Fight! And Fight some more!
      Kill every single one of these bastards by any means possible.
      Resistance!

      • You are talking about killing people on a public blog you dolt.You probably are not even here in Venezuela and if you are you are not killing anyone so calm down.

        • When intruders break in your house, everything yo do is nice, pretty and valid.

          “You are not in Venezuela so shut up”

          Keep that stupid thought that the unarmed people of Venezuela can get rid of the dictatorship by themlseves without any help at all.

  8. Venezuelans are a bunch of lame sheeps, the dictatorship that was installed yesterday is what they deserve bcuz for many many many years they did NOTHING, last 18-12-6-3-2-1 month they did NOTHING. So my advice to those shortsighted weak lame lapdogs that call themselves “el bravo pueblo” is. … just carry on doing what you’ve always been doing, stand in line to go home empty handed after 10 hrs, bitch about how bad things are, get your fucking polar light at the bar on the corner and enjoy your well deserved communist dictatorship for many many years to come. You didn’t stand up against it … now its here. .. lots of hunger and suffering awaits you, big smile, Viva Fidel, Viva Cubazuela PENDEJOOOOOOOOS

    • Duncan, Yes, this is exactly what these pathetic pukes need to be told to their face.

      We arrived to this point because of pathetic people who are perfect to be pathetic communists. Really, the best and brightest left the country and left a lot of shit behind.

      Gloria Bravo Puebo is only for 10% of the population. The rest should go back to thier polar ice and cheap rum.

    • The only thing that changed is that it has now been proven that the supporters of the Maduro Regime are outnumbered at least 8 to 1.

      Two weeks ago the people saw what 7 million voters in the streets looks like. They know that there were not 8 million voters.

      The MUD must immediately appoint a transitional government with leadership that has the ability to speak for the people of Venezuela. If it must be in exile and out of the reach of Maduro’s murdering henchmen so be it.

      The financiers that are owed money have out sized political influence in many of the same countries that refuse to recognize the ANC. The MUD needs to pt forth a rational economic plan that will encourage other nations to recognize the transitional government as the legitimate Venezuelan government and consider the country under occupation.

  9. Hi Rob…well if you as Diosdado: #tuntunporlapaz, that is knock down doors and arrest people…

    However there are more defections and I think we are just at the beginning (when we should be at the end, and it is purely the fault of the pathetic people of Venezuela why we are at this point–as Duncan pointed out).

    The fight has just begun, when we are tired after more than 3 months of this bullshit, but we go on.

    All I have to say is that the sanctions better be hard economic sanctions (that target PDVSA) so we get this over with quick. Secondly, prepared for hyper hyper inflation. This is what will ultimately do the regime in. They are broke as a joke already, and will be even more broke now.

    • Sanctions that will I only target PSUV will be close to impossible, they will hit hard and will hit everyone that isn’t a millionaire in $ (those cunts that can fly private planes to Aruba and Curacao to do their grocery shopping there). Within 30-60 days the supermarkets will be really empty, not even the very expensive goods wont be available anymore. If people went hungry the last 12 months wait and see whats coming now. Hard core rich chavistas won’t give a fuck, they will let people die of hunger without blinking an eye. Cuba’s G2 trained them well. Unfortunately we’ll have to wait until several 10’s of thousands of Venezuelans have died of hunger before the international community will step in. That might take another 12-18 months I think. Sad to know that all of this could have and should have been avoided through an armed struggle/civil war!!! Francisco Toro…. remember that link you’ve send me couple months ago about that 3% of the people needed in the streets protesting non violent? (never ever came close to that ever in Venezuela)…. bet you changed your mind in that one????

    • I read that one of the first of the new sanctions to come from the USA will be a halt of shipments of refined fuels, which are needed to mix with the heavier crude in Venezuela to make gasoline. Those refined fuels must come from Houston and Louisiana refineries. PDVSA lacks the ability to make lighter fuels due to a lack of maintenance and investment in its facilities. Personally, I hope whatever banking sanctions are made will still allow the sending of small amounts to individuals in Venezuela through services like Moneygram and Western Union. This is the most direct way those of us with loved ones in the country can help to keep food in the house.

      • RWG
        Will Moneygram or Western Union pay the recipients in US Dollars?
        I have been using people to physically deliver Dollars and it has become much more challenging over the last few months.
        I have been using people that have US bank accounts and travel between Venezuela and the US or Panama to get Dollars to people that desperately need them.
        I make deposits into their accounts and they bring the Dollars into the country and then distribute them to the intended recipients.
        One of the people that has done the bulk of my money transfers was severely injured during a protest and required surgery. This has resulted in my reliance on only one other person in the Caracas area.
        I need to have a plan B. It is critical that this pipeline remain open.

        • Unfortunately for the recipients, the payout is always in Bfs. I have no means to get actual Dollars to Venezuela. It would be so much more beneficial to those I am trying to help if I could. Last year, I could occasionally send the funds to Maicao, they could get the COPs and convert them into Bfs upon return. That worked for a while, until the border situation became much more problematic. Now most of my efforts are focused on getting them out of the country and permanently into Colombia. Btw, thank you for helping. I am sure your efforts have been a godsend to those involved.

          I want to say something else here. I am a US citizen. Most people here have no idea what is going on there, in fact, most would need more than one try to find Venezuela on a map. It’s sad, really. US citizens should take a much greater interest in the people of Venezuela, considering how much our respective histories are alike. There is a deep and abiding reverence for the same democratic principles we hold among the Venezuelan people, for the most part. Unlike places like Iraq and Afghanistan, which had no history of Jeffersonian style democracy, those principles have been part of the society there since the country’s inception. That is why I have faith the people will win their freedom back. I admire them greatly for this. Lately, in the US, our own commitment to those time-honored principles has come under attack, but from a different quarter. The plutocrats and rentiers of which the Chavistas endlessly complain, have gained too much power, but that too in time, will be brought back into balance.

          An interesting fact: the house I own was once the home of the former Minster in Residence to Venezuela, appointed by Abraham Lincoln. He moved here after his retirement and actually died in a room upstairs. He was very close friend of Jose Antonio Paez.

          • RWG,
            This morning I was discussing this with one of my friends in Caracas.
            She said that the man that does her exchanges may have an account in the US. He will only pay in Bolivars but he pays at the parallel rate minus a couple of percentage points.
            Caracas Chronicles has my permission to give you my e-mail if this might be of help to you.
            I can only get money to the Caracas area. For the time being I have given up trying to ship supplies. The last shipments have all been stolen.
            The US State department used to assist people in getting money to recipients in other countries. I am going to make a few inquiries to see if it is still a viable program. People used to be able to open an account with State and then have Dollars distributed at the embassies. It wasn’t advertised and i am not sure if it is earmarked for only US citizens.

  10. Don’t bring a knife to a gun fight or you are going to lose.
    The resistance and the opposition in general better stop living in denial and PREPARE & ORGANIZE for war (yep, WAR as in violence) or they will lose it all.
    At this point it is obvious that street protest and marches have reached their useful limits.
    Sanctions won’t be enough either, mark my words !

    It has been obvious for quite some time to some Venezuelans that we are facing a bigger problem here for which there is no peaceful solution unless you want to surrender to the narco military dictatorship the rest of your life.

    I would stop the street protest and start organizing for an armed struggle.
    If the leaders of the opposition don’t do it, someone else will, rendering them irrelevant in this process.
    Doing another world wide Referendum accepting foreign military assistance could be a good start, we CAN NOT do it alone.

  11. While we continue to monitor the situation in Venezuela, all possible scenarios are dire. The AN is failing as an institution, watching passively as Maduro and his accomplices impose the ANC, and not acting upon the 16J mandate to form a legitimate government. The MUD has also failed to form a coalition with dissident chavistas, and to organize their international support into a block capable of enacting real pressure against the dictatorship. Meanwhile, the PSUV’s power-grab is complete; their psychopathic PNB and GNB will continue to massacre, kidnap, and torture civilians (and they enjoy the power trip); and they have organized their international support to block sanctions from most relevant organizations.

    In Venezuela, going out to protest is a huge risk. It is clear civilians are willing to assume that risk if the objective is to bring the dictatorship to an end. However, the MUD/AN continues to talk about stopping the ANC and holding Regional Elections, and are not in-sync with the population who are getting tired of their political passiveness.

    People want and need the MUD/AN to act NOW. Their lack of leadership and communication, combined with the dictatorship’s brutally effective psychological torture has people’s morale very low. This will end up causing civilians to completely lose hope in the MUD and tune them out because no one wants to follow a loser, much less when the consequences of doing so are death or prison. In order for streets protests to continue at the level necessary to maintain national and international pressure, people have to feel they are supporting the winning side, not only the “right side”. If the MUD does not address this issue ASAP, then two things might happen: (1) Protests will die down solidifying the dictatorship for the foreseeable future AND/OR (2) desperate people start taking matters into their own hands, and protests become violent, with armed paramilitary groups confronting the PSUV’s “collectivos” and the GNB and PNB. Finally, the MUD needs to stop praying to PSUV’s FANB and the international community for help. Start doing your job and stop relying on others.

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