The day after the ANC


The day after any election in Venezuela is always slow. It seems like there’s an unspoken understanding that, come Monday morning, it’s ok to take your time. Yesterday was no exception.

Hours after Tibisay’s announcement of “results,” Caracas was calm. Early morning rush hour traffic was almost nonexistent, and there were fewer camioneticas than usual. In the Eastern part of the city, the few drivers circulating tried their best to dodge barricades of debris and trash, now half of their original size: the remaining signs of a Sunday full of violent repression.

After days of conflict, some businesses decided to start the week with their doors open, while many others remained closed. “The market is open, you know that never stops,” a man selling chucherías said to me.

I voted because the President promised that he was going to freeze the prices. He should have done that three years ago.

Although the number that Lucena reported at midnight outraged some people, for others, the situation was more of the same. Outside a supermarket in La California, the line to buy Harina Pan took up the whole block.

“I did vote for the constituyente,” a 52 year-old woman told me as she closely guarded her bags with two packs of Harina Pan. “I voted because the President promised that he was going to freeze prices. He should have done that three years ago. We’re pasando trabajo, but this is not the first time, I lived through the Caracazo. This is part of the economic war. Since I can remember, the United States has wanted our oil,” she said.

Another lady right next to her said that she also voted on Sunday: she’s hoping that the Constituent Assembly can fix Venezuela’s problems. However, she believes that the shortage of food is due to the “evil plans” of the private companies, in their quest to seize power in Venezuela.

What are they going to do? Take away my CLAP box? They can have it.

They’d been waiting for four or five hours in a queue to get into the supermarket, after not being able to find products on offer the night before. Still, they had hope that their vote on Sunday would help to solve the issues they face.

“In the end, we’re the ones that get out every day and look for food while chavismo and the opposition fight,” one of the two ladies said. Both of them were nurses.

An older woman explained to me right outside the supermarket that they didn’t have any Harina PAN left. She and another lady lined up next to her assured me that they also voted on Sunday, as a way to thank the government for all the “help” they’ve received.

“There’s a place in Plaza Venezuela where you can go with your doctor’s prescription and they give you what you need,” the old lady told me after I asked her about medicine shortages.

“The government has built a lots of housing, and we received the CLAPs groceries and the Madres del Barrio card,” she continued. The younger woman next to her believed that they would have to “wait and see” how their votes “would help” solve their everyday problems.

Sitting on a street bench close to the market, a 27 year-old mother said that a packet of Harina Pan costs Bs. 840, but if I wanted it, she could sell it to me for 12.000 Bs. “Well, I’ll leave it at Bs.10.000 Bs,” she said after giving it a few minutes’ thought. She is not shy to admit that she didn’t vote: “No, porque no, I didn’t vote. I have never voted.”

She heard about the threats that people in her barrio received: “What are they going to do? Take away my CLAP box? They can have it. The box arrives once a month, my kids don’t eat with that. Yes it helps, but it’s not a solution. I’m the one that goes out every day to get food for my kids.”

By this time it was almost 5:00 pm, the time that the opposition had announced a demonstration to pay tribute to those who died in protests the day before, in Parque Cristal. The Resistencia was already closing down the streets in Chacao, setting up wires to block roads, while cars tried to make U turns to avoid the new barricades. Hours after the election, nothing has changed in Chacao.

At 5:30 pm turnout in Parque Cristal was sparse.

“There are more people coming. We can’t stop, we can’t,” an old woman wearing a flag as a cape said. “We can’t stop because of the Constituent, we all know that is a lie. We have to keep fighting on the streets, for all the young people who have died. They are fighting with an empty stomach,” she said.

Protesters at Parque Cristal huddled and commented on the day’s news, as one lady shouted: “The United States just canceled Maduro’s visa!” As soon as she finished the phrase, all the other ladies around started clapping and cheering.

We can’t stop because of the Constituent, we all know that is a lie. We have to keep fighting on the streets.

The National Assembly diputados present gave speeches without a sound system or megaphones, but everyone stayed put. “Calle sin retorno!”, they all shouted in unison. “Let’s go to Miraflores!” a deep voice screamed.

Meanwhile, opposition leaders promised to keep protesting, as Freddy Guevara, leader of Voluntad Popular and first vice president of the National Assembly, called for a march to Parliament on the day that the Constituent Assembly convenes.

Something tells me there will still be food lines on that day as well.

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  1. I am with the MUD but frankly, everything has its useful limits, including street protest.
    The situation has changed dramatically lately and it looks like it requires other fighting methods. No doubt the regime is weaker than ever, but make no mistake, they remain in control by force and will do anything they can to remain in power, now with total disregard of keeping any “democratic” appearance and that could include genocide.
    This is the point you say, ok all the peaceful plans we have tried were good but not enough, the Armed Forces will never rise, in fact they are against us so we have arrived to Plan Z.
    I’m concerned that the MUD will be unwilling and unable to do the dreaded but necessary calls to arm, it simply is not in their DNA and interest.
    That role would probably come from anyone from the younger apolitical resistance.
    I am worried that some of the MUD will be jailed, at this point nothing is stopping them from doing that.
    One thing is to have courage, another is to be smart enough to understand when to retreat from a battle and come back stronger to defeat the enemy.
    How the world would look like if the USA thought that you can appease the Japanese or Hitler to avoid a WWII?
    Criminals will be criminals and the only think they understand is brute force.
    This is just my opinion and hope the MUD know what they are doing.

    • Toro Volt,

      The MUD is a political organization and beat Chavismo in the political game. It finally demonstrated for the world to gasp at the COMMUNIST MILITARY dictatorship that it is.

      Chavismo is now a military problem. Either you defeat it with a direct violent confrontation or you starve it.

      If the MUD turned military (I’m thinking of the IRA an Sinn Fein in Northern Ireland) they would be erased as a political force. Remaining as a political voice in this post political period is important.

      Now I expect the escuderos to evolve into an urban guerrilla movement. They continue match the escalating violence of the repressive forces. If you are looking for a violent response it is here.

      The Fuerzas Armadas de Ocupacion Bolivariana will be starved out of existence if the US has the will to apply real economic sanctions.

      • Remember the IRA had a terrorist campaign for over 30 years, and they still didnt win but got power sharing from ‘The Good Friday Agreement’
        Over 30 years!
        ‘Ad multos anos’

    • As usual you get so much historical context wrong Volt.
      The British, i being one, were fighting against the Nazis for 3 years before the Americans became involved, and even then only because of Pearl Harbour did they declare war.
      You allways tell people to stop wasting time and call for violence on the street…….go on then, no one is stopping you, but be carefull what you wish for.
      ‘absens haeres non erit’

      • Crusader
        USA became directly involved in the war against Nazi Germany because Hitler, strategic genius that he was, declared war against the USA on December 11th, 4 days after Pearl Harbor. Until that day, the USA was only at war with Japan.

        And America was heavily involved in the war before then, providing materials and money to Britain and the Soviet Union. Also, US Destroyers escorting ships full of material to Great Britain were already in a de facto war with the German Navy.

        • The US supplied the UK materiel for the war, yes, ( 50 destroyers under ‘lend-lease’) materiel that the British only stopped paying for a decade ago! unlike the Germans and Japenese who were given money at wars end to rebuild.
          But to say they were heavily involved is not a historical reality.
          The first American ground force action in WW2 was its retreat from Luzon to the Bataan peninsula were they surrendered 4 months later, April 42.
          I remember someone called Macarthur doing an about turn.

      • Crusader, the UK entered WWII belatedly only after Germany invaded Austria and Czechoslovakia. They were firm believers that they could reason with Hitler by diplomatic means, that is why is relevant. The point being that you don’t get to choose between peace and war. War will make the decision for you.

        • As i have said to you before Toro Volt, your historical compass seems to not be reading true north.
          The anschluss of Austria with Germany was in 1938 and had nothing to do with WW2.
          Germany invaded Poland on Sept 1st 39 and Britain declared war with Germany on Sept 3 two days later.
          I dont call that belatedly.
          Britain could have chosen not to go to war, which is actually what the Germans wanted, so yes you do have a choice.
          But then some of us have been to war and know from experience, i assume your armchair is full of battle damage from your skirmishes.
          ‘Adequatio intellectus et rei’

    • Add to that more currency controls and expropriations and one has to ask, why the “baddie” to the North would need to use an economic war. Someone needs to start a youtube campaign explaining how the modern world economy works. Not Econ 101 but Econ 1.01

    • (I think the system ate my previous reply)

      You should not miss that Chavistas and for that matter many socialist have misplaced their religious needs in their political movement. If things don’t work, you never fault your god, instead, it is the believer’s lack of faith or faults that prevented the their gods promise into being.

      If you look in the Old Testament you will see that one of the narratives is that such false gods are very cruel.

    • “The results thus suggest that the government maintains an important loyal core of supporters that it can mobilize in both electoral and non-electoral scenarios,” the report concluded.

      The same exit poll also noted that Venezuela has an estimated 2.6 million government employees, “suggesting that a large fraction of the votes could have not been voluntary.”

      Two completely contradictory statements by some journalist who probably is not even in Venezuela.

      That is, A. They have “popular support” B. Millions were forced to vote.

      The walk of shame to vote was painful for millions who were forced. If they thought anything positive of this government, that ended on 30J.

        • Emi, this AP journalist should be called out for what he is–at best, a closeted Commie/schizophrenic, at worst, a bald-faced liar on Chavista payroll. Title:: 8mm vote for NM, showing support; text: polling places poorly-attended, even in former Chavista strongholds like El Valle. Text: authoritarian Govt. strangling the population to starvation; but, ANC good because may impose price controls (on non-existent food). All previous punctuated by Torino Capital’s self-serving 3.6mm turnout, 50% larger than UCAB’s reliable 2.4mm turnout Disgusting, despicable, twisted reporting/journalism–this journalist might qualify for Yahoo reporting in the future, if he’s lucky.

          • A reporter can do the leg, write the story, and the editor can change it around and add or subtract things. The editor also determines which stories will appear. “Please the editor.”

            Editors adapt to the market, publishing what sells papers. Major media have swung left, and are relying on their reputations. People blame capitalists for trading anything that makes money, but do not blame media for publishing anything that sells … to make money ,,, and corrupt the minds of generations with popular lies.

        • If He is in Venezuela then he should know better.
          Desconstructing the article and reading between lines you can tell the piece is purposelessly biased yet manage by a small margin to pass as news by given some information but in a very ambiguous manner.
          It even has the nerve to call the CNE reliable and objective before the ANC!!.
          You can tell by the comments sections how people are misundertanding the article. In other words, it succeeded in misleading people to believe that these is a 50:50 Oppo vs Maduro crisis.

          • TV, pre-ANC “reliable/etc.” are simply direct quotes from a very recent post by FT, “Cheating At Solitaire”.

  2. MRubio, Hahhaahaha price controls, the magic bullet!!! Only fools on the streets who understand nothing about economics will still believe that…and obviously from reading Gaby’s article there are still a few dupes and pathetic people like this should be called out.

    Yes, Toro, you are on the money. Marijuanita will tell the pueblo to come and defend the AN, but they will never make it there, and then we will just see live on TV Cabeza e Mango and ZK crew taking over the AN and making a big show of it…while all of marijuanitas supporters are stuck fighting off balenas, tanquetas y piquetes de GNB in Las Mercedes.

    Enough of these marchitas and concentrations. They should be used as nothing more as a way to bring people together to organize and serve no other tactical purpose than that (while we can still protest). Now it comes down to everyday forms of resistance and strategic strikes on key targets to make this country ungovernable for the long term while an armed resistance can form. This will be a long few months, but people have to be prepared to resist by any means necessary.

    Who knows, lots of military did not vote, maybe something is in the works??? Oscar Perez might show up to save the day?? However, the bottom line is to go clandestine (online as well as in public). Most will protest peacefully, some will protest violently, but we have to be clandestine because we truly live under a dictator now. Time to take precautions and dig in for the long fight.

    That said, regardless, these guys are a house of cards and the only thing that can save them now is Russia giving them billions, but I do not see that happening. They will just sell them arms and give them moral support “we respect the sovereignty of blah blah blah and blah blah blah”. Chinese, the same. Which returns us to MRubio: if they are doubling down on more of the same, they are still the same house of cards and it is just a matter of time.

    However, if marijuanita can be successful in starting a Maidan in the AN where the resistance defends the AN and MP for a long period of time, that would be great.

    • Guacha, when you consider that the Armed Forces are composed by ~17 generations of youngsters that were likely inspired by Chavismo enough to join and duly brainwashed, it is hard to believe they would have strong democratic, free market values. At best they support moderate Chavistas. So I am not hopeful about them. I believe in the older generation that joined before Chavismo but if they can not rely on the rank and file to act nothing can be done. Which is why we are in this situation. Waiting for Godot.

      • Thanks – I had to read that play in high school, and of course did not get it. Waiting for Godot is waiting for … waiting for … waiting for … someone whom we know nothing about, and he isn’t showing up … no appointment … yet we wait for Godot … and wait ….

  3. New York Times: “Early Tuesday, family members of two prominent opposition figures, Leopoldo López and Antonio Ledezma, said on Twitter that the men had been taken from their homes by security forces. Both men had been under house arrest.”

  4. . “I voted because the President promised that he was going to freeze prices. He should have done that three years ago. ” … “The government has built a lots of housing, and we received the CLAPs groceries and the Madres del Barrio card,”….”a 27 year-old mother said that a packet of Harina Pan costs Bs. 840, but if I wanted it, she could sell it to me for 12.000 Bs. “Well, I’ll leave it at Bs.10.000 Bs,” she said after giving it a few minutes’ thought. “.. Just some examples of why these ignorant shit for brains dumb ass Venezuelans deserve the communist dictatorship that they have right now. The rest that doesn’t agree didn’t do SHIT to prevent it from happening so they as well deserve it. You burned your ass. .. now go and sit on the blisters. Viva Cubazuela!!!

    • The U.S. companies found the oil, located where it is underground, is what I read, then provided the technology to extract it. They paid for it in lease contracts, royalties, market prices, and taxes. I have not researched it at all – just skimmed a bit of the history of oil in Venezuela. I believe my take on it is basically correct, but I know as much about oil as I do about extracting an alligator’s tooth – if that’s ever necessary.

      • The first major Oil company in Venezuela was the Caribbean Oil Company which was given the first large concession by Vincente Gomezin 1914, it was owned by Royal Dutch Shell.
        It wasnt untill the 20s that most other Oil multinationals came to country.
        ‘Advocatus Diaboli’

        • Thank you for the data. Apparently exploration and drilling increased markedly after WW I ended – the 1920’s. Various enchufados back then were granted concessions which they sold to foreign investors (Wikipedia).

  5. The ignorance of Er Pueblo is astounding (as Einstein said, there are only 2 things that are infinite, ignorance, and the universe, and he wasn’t sure of the latter), and they ARE the vast majority of Venezuelans. Those currently fighting/rising up tend to be the better-educated still remaining in the Country, particularly the youth, who see no future for themselves. As someone said commenting on a previous post, RC/Cubans know their ganado well, and how to repress/enslave them to their needs, while coddling/favoring/corrupting the all-important military. If it weren’t for the strategic needs of the U. S. to avoid it, Venezuela would certainly be doomed….

  6. The people can not give up. Internal resistance is critical to the overthrow of this regime.
    You may be tired, you may feel beaten up, you are probably hungry.
    Instead of these being excuses to stop, they need to be the motivation to continue.
    History is filled with stories of people overcoming their darkest hour to be victorious in their struggles.
    Just as you are exhausted, the regime is more so.
    The soldiers that have been on the streets oppressing you can not be given a respite.
    Opposition needs hit and run attacks.
    A small group of people can tie up a large amount of resources when nobody knows when the next attack is coming.
    People may think that this is a despicable thing for me to advocate, however it is an effective tool of resistance.
    If the soldiers and police are attacked individually, their morale will quickly deteriorate. The same goes for known members of collectives.
    Killing the oppressor and taking their weapon changes the game quickly.
    Burning their homes, making them fear for the safety of their families and instilling genuine fear in them will do much damage to the forces.
    Hit and run again and again.
    It worked for the colonies against the British in our war of independence. It worked against the US forces in Vietnam.
    The regime does not have the manpower and resources to overcome a citizen supported resistance.
    Taking an opportunity to damage the regime’s infrastructure at will is a simple way to make the soldiers doubt the ability of the regime to protect them. It does not need to be grand gestures. Simply slitting the
    Taking targets of opportunity is a numbers game with the odds in the resistance’s favor.
    The regime needs to be successful 100% of the time.
    The resistance just needs to have any success to diminish the faith in the regime.
    The psychological effects of these tactics and the paranoia that it will generate, can not be overestimated.


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