“I’m going to vote for the Constituyente,” the man told me. When I asked for whom, however, it got blurry.

“Well, I get to vote for the pensioners”, he said. He’s in his 70s and, although he doesn’t get any benefit other than his pension, all of his sons work for the State. Voting, for him, is a way to support them.

“I’ll vote in the school…”

“No, you don’t”, his grandson interrupted. “That place was closed, now you vote in Maripérez.”

“I vote somewhere else?”

“Yes” answered the grandson, sitting in a bench of Plaza Bolívar, barely away from the Esquina Caliente, where chavista hotheads watch VTV all day long. Not long after our conversation, Tibisay Lucena, president of the CNE, announced that voters could go to any center of their municipality.

“It’s difficult for the viejos explaines the young man on the bench. “I can look for information on the internet, but they can’t”.

A detail of today’s election is how convoluted it is; there are thousands of candidates running in the municipio-por-municipio election, and thousands more running in a confusing “sectorial” election. All of them represent the ruling party, but nobody knows who they are. In the privacy of the voting booth, people will have to pick which, exactly, they want as representatives.

“I don’t know the process” says a 30 something in a “La Constituyente Va” t-shirt. “I hope the Punto Rojo tells me”.

CNE’s education campaign has been ultra weak. A handful of videos explain the process, but no one I talked to seemed to get the details. This time, for example, there won’t be dedito mojado, a constant in Venezuelan elections of recent years. Conditions change by the minute, and because there are so many candidates, people will vote for a number, not a name. Chances are, people will just pick them at random.  

The grandpa scratched his cheek.

“Well, first I’ll vote for number one, that’s Delcy (Rodríguez). Then I’ll vote for the number a friend is going to tell me, someone she knows and I like.”

Meanwhile, in the heart of power, there are red tents with a few red shirts waiting to be given away still.

“Come learn how to vote!” one said with a bullhorn, as everybody walked by.

31 COMMENTS

  1. “Chavistas have no idea how to vote today, or for whom”.

    Tell us something new. No toaster ovens, no washing machines. Just threats today.

    Maduro will force his interpretation on the nation later today.

    • Yup. And their first decrees have alresdy been written as well. No reason to let a messy thing like opinion or democracy slow down the process of formally installing a dictatorship.

  2. If you look in hindsight to all that the narcoregime has done since their violent coup attempt in 1992 you can come up with a pattern. The opposition has always come up short understimating the danger that these criminals really are.
    When are they going to realize that the only way to deal with these subhumans is by force before a genocide happens?
    So they went forward with the ANC and i dont want to think what comes next, more likely i d come up short.

  3. This obvious, painful lack of education of most of Venezuela’s “Pueblo” is one of the main reasons for the rise of the disastrous Chavista populist regime. It clearly manifests itself again, today, when several millions of under-educated people will vote for the criminal narco-kleptocracy. And, mind you, this vast section of the population often lacks any sort of moral values, but that’s another story. Plus the many more millions of pueblo-people who will not vote for the despicable ‘constituyente’ – because they hate Maduro and are hungry, without medicines or security, and above all, because they are not fearful enchufados.

    Yet they still declare themselves as Chavistas, still adoring and venerating the infamous ‘Comandante Supremo’, today, after this enormous tragedy, 18 years.. Why so many people will vote today for the aberrant ‘constituyente’, plus the millions of Chavistas who don’t support the opposition?

    Because they fear losing their government jobs, and/or are corrupt enchufados, and/or still love Chavez, and/or still hate the “burguesia derechista”, the ‘sifrinos”, still feel alienated.

    But above all it’s because they are tragically under-educated and ill-informed, when not simply morally twisted and corrupt. Or how else can you explain so many millions of Chavistas (Maduristas or anti-Madurismo, paradoxically) still exist, in the middle of the worst crisis in Vzla’s history?

    Now Ad/Copey and many of us anti-chavistas are to blame for this enormous lack of education, class divisions, hate, alienation, and twisted moral values. In 4 decades we were unable to educate all of those people and inculcate proper moral values, unable to incorporate them into a healthier mainstream economy.

    For 18 years we’ve been paying the price of such gigantic mistake, and will continue to suffer the consequences for more than just one generation, with any MUD new government.

    • “In 4 decades we were unable to educate all of those people and inculcate proper moral values, unable to incorporate them into a healthier mainstream economy.”
      Perhaps unwittingly your references to the “pueblo”, education & inculcation of moral values, etc., sounds a lot like what one reads in such 19th century works like those of Sarmiento and other elitist ‘enlightened’ criollos who deplored the ‘uncivilized’ segments of their nations and dreamed of building a civilized ‘enlightened’, whiter homeland modeled on Europe or the United States. All of it exceedingly condescending and elitist, regrettably.
      For a modern day lesson in the Americas on the perils of populism based on a rejection of traditional political groups we need only to look at the Trump election in the wealthy, generally educated nation to the north. And on Venezuela we can look for that seemingly ‘critical, essential flaw’ in the people, the history, the region, etc. until the proverbial cows come home. I don’t believe that’s especially productive. What has failed in Venezuela, pre- and post-1999, is the political class on the right and on the left. Hopefully going forward future politicos can learn from the past. Despite the darkness now I do see signs of hope for Venezuela in the anti-constituyente referendum, in some of the opposition leadership, and especially in the youth that have taken to the streets. And also in those outside of Venezuela who a are doing their part, however small, to help, support, inform.

      • I agree with your comments.

        Today really does not change much in the regimes favor in practical terms. It was a dictatorship already. As a propaganda exercise it was a total failure from the start and I suspect will further alienate the last vestiges of support.

        The struggle continues and this could turn out to be an auto-goal by Maduro. The opposition has shown real effectiveness. People don’t like to be manipulated while they are suffering. The violence is appalling but I’m cautiously hopeful. This can’t go on and there is something viable to take its place.

        I think a lot of the disappointment in this comments page is from people who have an interest in scoring ideological points in the nonsensical Gringo culture war going on right now. Will Trump let Maduro cross his red line? Well of course he will (along with Assad, Kim Jung Un, Putin and President Xi), but if that’s what people think the difference between success and failure is in Venezuela, let them go on their way now.

        Someone here mentioned Robespierre…well how about look at that revolt for some lessons (not the ones I think the commenter had in mind). As I see it, this vote today was possibly like Louis XVI’s letter to the French people on his failed escape from Tulieres: a colossal betrayal of the last vestiges of his support. France might still have a king if Louis did not push his loyalists too far. And if Louis and his Swiss mercenaries could be brought down without an army, so can Maduro and his regime be brought down. And without the help of some foreign nutbar blowhard potentate…

        • You can’t help yourself, can you? Always have to take a shot at Trump even though his administration has spoken clearly that it wants to see democracy restored. If he really does make a difference in the end, you’ll be crying tears as big as crocodile turds because it sure seems what’s really important in all of this to you is trump fails as opposed to Maduro.

          • MRubio, the State department answers to the executive, pulling out Diplomats is a direct threat by Trump to get Venezuela to follow his line and cancel the popular referendum. Even the right wing South American nations have not pulled diplomats out Venezuela.

            He didn’t even wait for the results of the vote, and now people supported with money from the Trump state department are sowing chaos during the vote.

      • “whiter ”

        When the frag was race in the equation, you bloody racist?! Oh, yeah, the very racism that chavismo uses as a political weapon.

        Yes, the “pueblo” in Venezuela is stupidly uneducated and grossly ignorant, that’s the reason because they voted for a mass murderer who piloted two coups and later fully supported his madness of turning the country into a cuban colony just because the seething hatred they felt for the middle class.

        As a friend said recently: “Pueblo de lambucios con mentalidad de bodegueros”

        The only thing missing from your absurd comment is “All Venezuelans deserve chavismo”

  4. Who wrote this?

    [quote]

    (1) Popular forces can win a war against the army.

    (2) It is not necessary to wait until all conditions for making revolution exist; the insurrection can
    create them.

    (3) In underdeveloped America the countryside is the basic area for armed fighting.

    Of these three propositions the first two contradict the defeatist attitude of revolutionaries or pseudo- revolutionaries who remain inactive and take refuge in the pretext that against a professional army not
    hing can be done, who sit down to wait until in some mechanical way all necessary objective and subjective conditions are given without working to accelerate them. As these problems were formerly a subject of discussion in Cuba, until facts settled the question, they are probably still much discussed in America. Naturally, it is not to be thought that all conditions for revolution are going to be created through the impulse given to them by guerrilla activity. It must always be kept in mind that there is a necessary minimum without which the establishment and consolidation of the first center is not practicable. People must see clearly the futility of maintaining the fight for social goals within the framework of civil debate. When the forces of oppression come to maintain themselves in power against established law; peace is considered
    already broken.

    [end quote]

    • I don’t think the piece is applicable, today. The MUD appears to be writing its own playbook. My take is that things will continue on the MUD’s course of action, the new status quo. The world has become more intelligent than the days of armed revolution, one would hope, perhaps as it has become more intelligent about the use of open warfare. Those hopes have been proven wrong time and time again – but that does not mean they are falsely based. Some day, reason will prevail, as God is far more powerful than mere mortals banging their heads against each other. The question is, I guess, “Has that day arrived?” Certainly, it is possible to impose reason over matter … or automobiles would sputter, and no one would ever train a body to play a violin.

      [quote]
      I thus began to call the Indian movement ‘Satyagraha’, that is to say, the force which is born of Truth and Love or non-violence, and gave up the use of the phrase ‘passive resistance’, in connection with it.
      [end quote]

      Gandhi wrote that in his autobiography (which has an awful lot of “I” in it … I guess necessarily, being an autobiography, but glossing over it I found little in the way of strategy and tactics. perhaps someone more scholarly than myself can enlighten us all.

    • My Non-violence
      http://www.mkgandhi.org
      Page 5
      01. THE DOCTRINE OF THE SWORD
      I do believe that, where there is only a choice between cowardice and
      violence, I would advise violence. Thus when my eldest son asked me what he
      should have done, had he been present when I was almost fatally assaulted in
      1908, whether he should have run away and seen me killed or whether he
      should have used his physical force which he could and wanted to use, and
      defended me, I told him that it was his duty to defend me even by using
      violence.
      But I believe that non-violence is infinitely superior to violence, forgiveness is
      more manly than punishment. Forgiveness adorns a soldier. But abstinence is
      forgiveness only when there is the power to punish; it is meaningless when it
      pretends to proceed from a helpless creature. A mouse hardly forgives a cat
      when it allows itself to be torn to pieces by her. I therefore appreciate the
      sentiment of those who cry out for the condign punishment of General Dyer and
      his ilk. They would tear him to pieces, if they could. But I do not believe India
      to be helpless. I do not believe myself to be a helpless creature. Only I want to
      use India’s and my strength for a better purpose.

  5. I see so many parallels in history. I see Maduro and his puppet matters as Robespierre and the Jacobins.

    Fear nor. History invariably repeats itself

    • And repeats itself again and repeats itself again and again and again …… All are looking for “promised land. And what find there – Mad Man Enrie, Castro, Statin, et al. Foolish people for one all.

  6. Thousands could die in the streets this week and it won’t matter to the regime as they’ll say they were terrorists fighting the will of the people who want to live in peace.

    Unless the US lays dowm sanctions that totally cut the flow of money to the regime, I’m afraid this one is over and ready for the history books.

    I see no other way out.

      • Yes, I’m aware of that, I’m just hoping they’re severe enough to make these criminals scream. Otherwise, we’ll see more political prisoners and dead until the opposition just buckles and gives up.

          • After all, socialism was doing SO WELL in Venezuela before Trump became President. Infant Mortality rose 30% in 2016- where else in the world has that ever happened? Per Capita income has fallen by about 30% in two years.

          • Yeah, judisociada, sanctions and more sanctions, until every chavista’s dollar accounts are tompletely depleted, not a single penny left.

          • Yeah JudiLynn, let’s give ’em another 18 years,surely they’ll get it right this time, asshat.

  7. When Maduro voted, I thought I was watching The Flintstones.

    Forget about the computer not recognizing him:

    That cardboard on his voting booth was real high tech!

    • I laughed too. At least they could have somebody to clean-up and put together some plastic bags to make it more official

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