It’s been difficult to focus on the news coming out of the Constituent Assembly. A vague sense of nausea grips you when you look at the headlines. “Saab: I Denounce Ortega Díaz as the intellectual author of violence in the country.” “Constituent Assembly asks election council for list of gubernatorial candidates to determine if any of them has committed a crime.” Or “ANC installs a Truth Commission to investigate the opposition’s crimes.”

The nausea only grows as you read the body of the article. Story after story of a government out of control: no guardrails, no restraint, nothing at all to keep them from their worst impulses, to slow them from giving their authoritarian impulses free rein.

It’s frightening.

The Constituent Assembly, you soon realize, has nothing at all to do with rewriting the constitution. It has to do with extinguishing the possibility of a constitution: one final stockade against the rule of law.

The Constituyente amounts to a lightly disguised Junta de Gobierno: a clique of toughs that has decided to take the state and use it like Play-Doh. The doctrine of “supraconstitutionality” providing the flimsiest of legal patinas to an all-out assault on dissent, henceforth to be punished by 25 years in prison, in the guise of legislation “against hatred.”

Orwell se quedó pendejo.

With opposition mayors on the run, Luisa Ortega skipping the country, SEBIN on an all-out manhunt for German Ferrer and a bunch of Jacobins in a stolen hemiciclo determined to impose truth via commission, it seems like the wrong time to round on MUD.

The Constituent Assembly is about extinguishing the possibility of a constitution: one final stockade against the rule of law.

Could MUD have done more to avoid this catastrophe? I suppose it could have, if it was perfect. But it isn’t perfect. It’s a human institution, and no human institution is perfect.

MUD’s task now is simple, vital, and desperate: to survive.

That’s all.

However it can, whatever it takes, it needs to survive this authoritarian onslaught to fight another day. The plan to create enough pressure on the street to generate enough cracks and desertions on their side to push the government to collapse failed.

It sucks, but it’s the truth. Their ability to dissuade desertions through coercion turned out to be stronger than our ability to provoke them through moral suasion.

And their need to prevent the next set of desertion forces them to act even more heavy-handedly than they had before, because the stakes keep rising and they need to make themselves seem unassailable to keep those who may be harboring doubts on the straight and narrow.

You don’t have to like those facts to accept that they are facts.

And no good political decisions ever flowed from a principled refusal to face the facts as they are.

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  1. “The MUD’s task is now simple, vital, and desperate”–RUN!.Dying today is worse than living to fight another day (R. Betancourt, dixit).

  2. Premise: “The plan to create enough pressure on the street to generate enough cracks and desertions on their side to push the government to collapse failed.”

    Premise: no military intervention from the US

    Premise: attempts to gain weaponry by non gov groups have failed

    Premise: all potential civic leaders that can shine out of the pile are jailed/tortured so we have a crappier oppo

    Premise: they will use guns to stop us

    Conclusion: we are past any solution (military, democratic, etc)

    Course of action:
    I’m joining team screwed.

      • You are correct but don’t count the U.S. out yet. It’s not about Trump. It takes time to make time. Next year is crucial, the year after key.

          • There will be no military action in Venezuela from the US. Most citizens here cannot find Venezuela on a map, much less have any idea what is happening there. Of course, with The Orange Menace in charge, you never can tell what might happen. If it looks like the investigation into his ties to the Kremlin is getting too close to the truth which would spell his doom, he could lash out. But that’s unlikely. The more likely scenario is covert action by the CIA coupled with more arrests by the DEA.

        • NOPE!!! Military is now off the table completely. There is no longer any “country” to save. The VZ that was worth saving is not the population that warms their butts waiting for CLAP bags.

          No one bullet will be fired from the gringo military for VZ “freedom”. MUD = Chavistas with just slightly nicer slogans.

          The “revolution” is now complete.

          • Those who sit and wait for the bags can rot for all we care.

            There are those who won’t waste their lives crying in a corner like you.

      • Man I’m not saying people shouldn’t defend themselves. I’m saying it’s a question of ability. Our politicians believe that armed rebellion is counter productive and they may be right; the government thugs are good with violence while we seemingly are not. It’s like a bully and a nerd in the schoolyard. Hell it’s even worse than that. In our case, the nerd has pleaded with the bully, backed away from the bully, gave lunch money to the bully, and at this point the bully is trying to enslave us.

        Yes, the nerd should defend him/herself from the bully. The question is how and with what leadership?

        First, let’s talk about leadership:

        Our leadership has degenerated to discouraging the nerd to fight back, because the bully is too strong! Instead, s/he should peacefully go to the bully, allow the bully to torture him/her, beat the living crap, and even kill the nerd. Rinse and repeat! No wonder why the streets are empty of protests.

        If our leaders don’t understand, that the window for war is passing, how are the people supposed to have a strategy, organize and prepare for war?

        This is not just a dictatorship; this is a narco-state! It’s evil and it needs to be stopped by any means necessary.

        How? a punch right to the nose. In other words, overwhelming force. The toughest part is organizing. If you think about it, once you have an organization, it’s easy to create overwhelming chaos:

        1) Do an inventory of pro-gov assets
        2) Assess vulnerabilities of those assets (let me tell you, if you every driven in Puerto Cabello/Moron, where the refineries are located, you will see how ridiculous a house of cards the government really is; we wouldn’t survive an attack from French Guyana)
        3) Do an inventory of your assets
        4) Do a cost benefit/analysis, what would cost to exploit one of those vulnerable assets and which asset produces the largest benefit to the government?
        5) What attack vector can you deploy with your assets?
        6) Execute
        7) Rinse
        8) repeat
        9) and wake up; this was a dream. No one is organizing! and you are now a ranking member of Team Screwed!

        • “Man I’m not saying people shouldn’t defend themselves. ”

          Then you’re not in team screwed.

          Because team screwed is composed of those folks whose only claim is stuck in the monotonous “The only way out is Maiquetía, the country’s been lost, your life will be wasted, you’ll never enjoy a decent functioning life ever again”

          The street protests haven’t been effective because the MUD has made it, because they don’t want chavismo out of the power, and thus want to force people to continue the same charade that maintained chavismo during the last 18 years: The crooked elections which have always been a farce.

  3. The Constituent Assembly, you soon realize, has nothing at all to do with rewriting the constitution. It has to do with extinguishing the possibility of a constitution: one final stockade against the rule of law.

    Which reminds me of what I once wrote about the Constituent Assembly. The current Constitution says “You must do A and B.” Chavismo replies, “We will do what we want to do.” The new Constitution will say: “Chavistas, you have permission to do anything you want to do.”

  4. I honestly believe that the MUD has proven themselves to be powerless to cause change in Venezuela. The ones with the guns and almost 60 years of communist experience rule the country. The only hope I see is the government runs out of money to the point that the military and their families go hungry and the soldiers rise up against their fat leaders.

    • Fat chance. Not saying your wrong, but, you place your faith in a gubmint complex that is the problem.

      Maduro and the Chavistas have proven (yet again) that “might makes right”. They are antifa in its final form.

      Trump would do well to keep gringo troops out of VZ.

      • “Trump would do well to keep gringo troops out of VZ.”

        Keep hoping for that, US knows now that VZ is a nest of terrorists that will be used to send suicide bombers to their country, and that’s a big nope on their book.

          • Because Saudi Arabia is the only country that houses terrorist groups, and also, it’s not been proven that they are behind those.

            In any case, keep dreaming that chavismo will last another decade, all of you the whiners of the team screwed are getting boring already with the same stupid chanint over and over again, you sound like a bunch of chavisto imbeciles.

          • “In any case, keep dreaming that chavismo will last another decade”
            2 isn’t enough for you?

            “it’s not been proven that they are behind those”


            OK Ulamog apparently you are not ready to have a serious adult conversation and you prefer to curl up in the corner calling everyone a communist and a paid g2 spy while you drink your Cuban coffee.Good luck with that,.

          • Proof of that Saudi Arabia is behind the daesh, please?

            Nothing? Good, see? Your argument fails, you know, because you can’t go and nuke a country just with a handful of assumptions and gossip, you need to have as they say here “los pelos del burro en la mano” or “the donkey’s hairs in the grasp”

            And the ones seeing the gusano2 everywhere are people like you from the team screwed, that think that everything relevant that happens in Venezuela is work of the gusano2.

            Take a deep breath and count to 10 or to 100 before touching the keyboard again, because you just hurled a sissy hysterical fit here, dude.

  5. Does anyone honestly believe that taking the option of foreign military intervention off the table has made conditions better?
    In past posts I have urged individuals to organize into small groups to resist this regime. To take targets of opportunity whenever and wherever possible.
    If you are going to be jailed or tortured for speaking your mind, you may as well be jailed for killing a few of these criminals.
    Righteous anger and violence is justifiable and necessary in this situation. Just a Jesus drove the money changers from the temple and St. Patrick drove the snakes from Ireland, these bastards need to be driven out of Venezuela.
    The people of Venezuela have been mislead at the least and more likely outright betrayed by the politicians that have put themselves and their political aspirations above the needs of their country.
    Venezuela desperately needs patriots to come to the fore and fight for all that is good and destroy all that is bad.
    The people, institutions and infrastructure of this regime are all legitimate targets.
    Venezuela is not the Middle East. The citizenry that is so galvanized against this criminal regime, yet cowers in fear, needs to rise up.
    Only 1/3 of the colonists supported the rebels in the US war of independence. The British were the most powerful military at the time. The freedom fighters did not accomplish the task of independence alone.
    French and Dutch assistance were critical to the success of the revolution. Just as foreign support will be critical to Venezuela once again becoming free and democratic.
    20 million people determined to complete an act of defiance every day, will overwhelm this regime.

    • Bolívar and Miranda added help from the Brittish. Actually, the great thing about Bolívar and Miranda was that both had international connections. So a lot of money, weapons, supplies and soldiers came from abroad to fight with Bolívar. And don’t fool yourself. Some foreigners soldiers fighting for Bolívar killed venezuelans fighting for the colonialists.

      How many people have been pushed to death in the last years in Venezuela? Lack of proper medical treatment, lack of medicines, colectivos-hampa, starvation or even shortage of power, unmaintenance of roads, prison and hospitals. Worse: paludismo, mal de chagas, malaria, dengue thanks to the “inversión social” of socialismo xxi.

      How many people have been forced to leave? In the last referendum on July 16th, more than one tenth of votes came from abroad. So I may dare to say that more than one tenth of the country have been forced out. And more and more people are leaving the country.

      Some patriotic-clowns say that aliens want “our” oil. Really? What oil? The one China, Russia and Cuba has been stealing for years. They want “our” mines. Ha ha, what about the “arco minero” and the chinese companies exploding them. Collateral damage will kill people. Well, colectivos- hampa kill ten of thousands every year according to official figures so it should be many times more. The infraestructure will be hit. Ha ha, another joke. The infraestructure is already collapsing. See El Guri.

      At this rythm, soon the country will have only two families and their bodyguards, which are the colectivos-hampa wearing fanb customes.

      The rest will be out or death (or imprisoned).

  6. Nausea is the right word. That’s exactly what I feel also whenever I read the headlines. How can anyone believe that any of this makes any sense? A constitutional assembly, if it were legitimate to begin with, should be writing a new constitution. This one has not even began a discussion on that.

    I hope I’m wrong (usually am), but it’s hard to see a way out of this one. I agree with the conclusion, try to survive if you can in the opposition leadership. The rest of us can only try to help them.

  7. The Constituent Assembly is doing everything it can, to push us into the corner of obedience, setting an example of what it’ll happen to any other chavistas who would dare to do what Luisa Ortega and her husband did.

    Regarding the MUD, I don’t see, in the realm of possibilities, how they would not be facing harsh criticism in this scenario, I think is well deserved, there is no way they wouldn’t anticipate this. It’s the price of failure when you carry great responsibility on your shoulders, isn’t.

    The control of the electoral system, the possibility to call and deny elections at will, has been chavism democratic weapon when things get hairy for them; that’s how Maduro got into office in the first place. When they moved the elections from December to October of 2012, so a dying Chavez could win. I remember back then the opposition could not do anything because didn’t have the power required to prevent this from the parliament.

    Many of us thought that was the point of winning the parliamentary elections, but it wasn’t, was it? Today is not clear why we still have Tibisay and her comadres(funny thing, I just realized comadres is an anagram of comrades) torturing us, is it because (even thought we had the parliament, and the law in our favor, we couldn’t do anything because) Maduro would not allow it? If so, did we even tried it? No. Our parliamentary majority avoided to do so, when on the 15 of December of 2016 three congressmen from UNT got something more important to do than voting in favor of the designation of new electoral authorities, they obeyed in advance, saving Maduro a crisis, back at the beginning of this year. Whether this is a matter of being perfect or not, is in the eye of the beholder, it could also be an issue of incompetence, or even something worst.

    And still, despite that unexplainable mistake, the narrative conspired against the government, when two weeks ago this CNE executed that sham constituent assembly election. We boycotted it, and the international community responded favorably. From then, in my head, and the head of most Venezuelans, anything called for this government could be disregarded, and ignored from our couches, we could just let the weight of illegality do the rest. But they had one card up their sleeve.

    I need to make a pause here. There are certain Dracula movies that I always considered bad fiction- idiosyncratic fiction- those B movies in which you can chase Dracula away by showing him a cross. I always thought, what if this vampire was Jewish, what would happen to the power of that cross? That represented, to me, an absurd whole in the narrative.

    So, the Regional elections. The opposition’s catch phrase “This government will be removed by the votes!” had its power, it made some sense in the pre ANC days, after it, at least for me, the whole context changed drastically, it was as if our Dracula had converted from catholic to Jewish, the power of the cross (elections) would dissipate, our converted Dracula could just smile at the sight of its holding cross victim. That is why, to me, to see that Jewish Dracula having a seizure on ground over cross looks like terribly bad fiction, the whole in the narrative is there for all to see. It has its explanation in something beyond negligence, is not that they aren’t being perfect, they a blowing it, big time! And just like in bad fiction, they are being booed, people are walking away of the theater, and throwing tomatoes. They are having a terrible time selling this story, and for a reason, it doesn’t add up. This move its compromising the reason they exist in the first place, and I can see why people are looking for other acts.

  8. Mister Toro, don’t you think the time has come to start a full blown civil war??? Or are you still going for the non violent protests to tumble this dictatorship???? Would love to read your answer!

  9. “Could MUD have done more to avoid this catastrophe? I suppose it could have, if it was perfect”

    This attitude is what has brought Venezuela where it is.

    MUD could have been rational. It could have listened to the many voices pleading with them to be united in calling the dictatorship for what it is and for summoning the people to the streets until the dictatorship left.

    There is zero sense in leaving the streets after the government did their fraud election. The initial uprise occurred before a constituent assembly had ever even been heard of.

    Why in god’s name did MUD stop marching forward when the goal was getting closer?

    It is time to wake up.

    Where we are right now is precisely because of this whitewashing of the disastrous decisions MUD has made, with the support of lukewarm “journalism”.

  10. “Constituent Assembly asks election council for list of gubernatorial candidates to determine if any of them has committed a crime.” Or “ANC installs a Truth Commission to investigate the opposition’s crimes.

    The Constituent Assembly, you soon realize, has nothing at all to do with rewriting the constitution. It has to do with extinguishing the possibility of a constitution: one final stockade against the rule of law.”

    But, who could have known?

      • BT, I read Quico’s words and thought, is this a joke, is he pulling our collective legs? Is he really that slow? Is he really serious? WTF?

        I don’t know, but I guess it does clarify to an extent why he’d write an article stating that the country would need to “pick up the pieces” after Trump said military action was not off the table.

        • There is no use in “freeing” a people who enjoy missery. I would not support any gringo setting foot in VZ, other than to collect on debts owed.

          Why should Trump risk gringo lives on a people who do not want to be free?

          Let them be as they are and reap what they have sown.

          • “Why should Trump risk gringo lives on a people who do not want to be free?”

            Because otherwise the gringos will have suicide bombers that came from VZ killing thousands in their own star spangled union.

            “Let them be as they are and reap what they have sown.”

            The same could be said from the previous “gubbbmnmnints” as you call them in USA, Bush for cranking up the oil prices, giving the best platform and push that chavismo could ever dream, the oil barrel above 100$ for years, and the useless Obama who was about to trash every single sanction against the castros so the old bastards could enjoy even more their disgusting dictatorship.

            Tough luck that the bigwig came and said “nope, I don’t like that, those are enemies and are to be treated as such”

  11. Quico, yes MUD needs to survive and somehow simultaneously keep the pressure on. The life,raft looming in the foggy distance is the Chavista led destructon of your national oil resource. There is a good story about that in today’s WSJ but you need a subscription so I wont post the link. They are starving the fatted calf. It will be their demise but it will take time. In the meantime, persevere.

  12. Excellent article that captures the current moment. Nausea.

    Venezuela situation is horrid. Government controls everything now. And is using it to eliminate and silence all opposition. The constituent assembly with absolute powers, elected in fake elections, all the money in the country, food distribution, all institutions, security forces, persecutions, massive propaganda, planted spies, and who knows what more. Now they can complete the implementation of the socialist system modeled after Cuba. Venezuelans are now reduced to miserable living levels.

    Probably opposition will soon be a facade, controlled by government too. They should probably consider moving to outside of the country, if they want to continue existing.

    • Agreed to last; their only hope for “continued legitimate existence” is in exile, and they’d better do it quick, because they wont be able to do it from behind bars in Venezuela–besides, they can always become advisers to CC in Canada on its successful suggestions on how to sop up Venezuela’s arroz con mango, as Sebastians roam the land….

  13. William, the opposition leaders who would, or could, actually rally the population to topple this regime are being put in jail, forced to flee the country, or otherwise neutralized. There are no more “constitutional” options left in the bag IMHO. The bag is empty my friend.

    Even within chavismo, anyone who dares split with the dictatorship, will be persecuted (as every single one of them has a closet full of skeletons that can be exposed and used to justify their imprisonment)…..German Ferrer and Luisa Ortega are good examples. They are being made examples for all chavistas to see.

    Toppling this regime from within the country, I believe is no longer a viable option. If Maduro senses that his military support might be eroding, he’ll simply starve a greater portion of the population to buy the support he needs.

    Unfortunately, I’m convinced we’re done.

  14. Some guy explaining why the ANC shows how blatantly stupid is chavismo, and how their reaction of massive ego masturbation is an even more stupid way to “use it”.

    Also, a suggestion wn what the opposition in general (not only the MUD) should do:

  15. Nausea indeed. In the fall of ’59, “Dr.” Castro officially trashed the Cuban constitution. What followed was not pretty. At least 1,000 died by firing squad but no-one will ever know the real number.

    As a teenager I listened to Radio Havana on my homemade (Heathkit) shortwave receiver. To, “Cuba Si, Yanqui No!” was soon added, “Paredon! Paredon!”, (to the wall, to the wall).

    God have mercy.

  16. Obviously Constituent Assembly is doing whatever they want. Their goal is to eliminate via intimidation, arrest, imprisonment, or death anyone seen as a treat. So it looks like MUD leadership has only four choices moving forward.

    RUN: At least if they go into exile they still have a chance to fight remotely. The Chavistas seem to be attempting to block this option by invalidation of passports and requiring permission to leave the country

    HIDE: Go underground – Go Guerrilla and fight in secret (Civil War – no one wants this to happen) FARC tried this strategy.

    CAPITULATE: give in, give up and go over to the dark side (seems to be underway by some MUD elements)

    CONTINUE AS IS: keep protesting and making noise to attract and garner increased international support and pressure. Hoping to survive and that the government will fall. The “Truth Commission” is design to deal with and eliminate this option.

    It is hard to know what to do when any choice could lead to your arrest, imprisonment, or death.

    The nausea is natural and comes from fear of the unknown future. What is needed is courage.

    • Recognizing that every single person that supports this regime, From Maduro to the local Clap authorities are enemies of Venezuela and enemies of the people. Doing everything possible to destroy every single one of them is what needs to be done.
      Maybe your enemy wears red or maybe not. Every cop, soldier, civil servant and all of the infrastructure, including buildings, vehicles and anything else that this regime controls is fair game.
      You are in a war. The problem is that only one side is actively fighting this war.
      The people of Venezuela need to actively and violently resist this regime at every turn.
      Something that many combat soldiers bring back with them from combat is the experience of seeing men that were not as readily expected to come to the forefront in displaying courage and leadership in some of the most dire circumstances. The need for these types of men is critical.
      Where are the men of Venezuela that want their children to have a better life than they had?
      Why are the children leading the protests?
      It is time for the men of Venezuela to “man up” and take back your country. If for no other reason, the futures of your children and grandchildren should be motivation enough. It is so very true that a brave man dies once, but a coward is doomed to a thousand deaths.
      How can you not die a little every time your children go to bed with no food, you watch your family suffer because there is no medicine or there is no hope for your families future?
      What does it have to take for you to decide that you must act?

        • Because no one has tried to send them the message.

          Venezuela is a huge cavern where the only voice that reaches anywhere is the chavismo’s.

          • I disagree. This is exactly what the people of VZ have been screaming for. The voice they hear is their own.

            Maduro and the Chavistas are not the cause, they are the symptom.

            The “majority” have spoken and that is all that matters now.

          • “This is exactly what the people of VZ have been screaming for”

            Only if you keep drinking that sewage that pours from the chaveco drains.

            “Maduro and the Chavistas are not the cause, they are the symptom.”

            “The murderer that murders people isn’t the cause of the people dying, it’s some other nebulous factor that we will likely pin on the victim because they somehow deserved it”

            “The “majority” have spoken and that is all that matters now.”

            Sure, dude, 0,0005% is majority.

  17. Should MUD be a purpose in itself? After all, it’s not even an “institution”. Just a coalition. If MUD survives, but the regime is secure, is that a win?

    At the moment, the regime is still in a tough spot. Laying low increases the odds the regime muddles through the current crisis. If this happens and MUD survives – given that MUD itself is not optimistic about being able to change anything by its own ‘power’ – it means the regime stays for a long time, and keeps hollowing out Venezuela. Perhaps the better idea would be increasing the pressure as much as possible, regardless of what happens to MUD. That makes it more likely the regime does not survive its economic and diplomatic problems.

  18. Los hechos son que al cohabitar con la ANC, la AN no sólo le da la espalda a la gente y la abandona a su suerte, sino que se pone abiertamente en su contra. Es mucho mejor que la MUD muera si su supervivencia significa que se convierte en parte del aparato represor y de un estado fallido. En realidad, la MUD es parte del aparato represor desde el 2014, pero la situación ha empeorado mucho y ahora es imposible disimularlo con retórica y propaganda. Es decir, la MUD es enemiga de la libertad y es un obstáculo más para quienes quieren ser libres. Esa es la verdad. Todo tu marco conceptual, Francisco Toro, está equivocado, y quizás deberías ampliarlo, a no ser que quieras que Caracas Chronicles se convierta en un mero servicio para los tenedores de bonos. Si hay un interés real por parte de la administración de Trump para sacar a Maduro, es cuestión de semanas o meses para que salgan a la luz los casos de corrupción de gente como Ramos Allup o de los mismos gobernadores que queden de PJ. La verdad es que la MUD está en la posición más miserable en este momento porque no tiene nada que ofrecerle a la gente, nada que ofrecerle a la comunidad internacional, nada que ofrecerle al régimen, sino que depende completamente, absolutamente, de éste último para todo. Hasta la Fiscal general tiene más dignidad y más olfato y se fue. Y con esto quiero decir que la MUD se ha rebajado a lo más bajo de la naturaleza humana, más bajo incluso que el chavismo, porque no hay nada más bajo que aceptar ser un traidor y un esclavo. SI la gente no responde a los llamados de la MUD, la MUD no sirve para nada y la dictadura la destruirá por completo, a pesar de todo sus “intentos de supervivencia”.
    Ir a las regionales en este momento significa para la comunidad internacional ponerse al mismo nivel que Tarek El Aisami. ¿Para qué alguien querría colocarse como gobernador, si no para ser aliado de la trama del narcotráfico y del terrorismo internacional?
    ¿Qué demonios tendrían que ofrecerle los gobernadores a la gente? ¿Acaso los gobernadores van a evitar la represión, la censura, las expropiaciones que se vienen? Díganme una cosa, si la dictadura está prácticamente quebrada , acaso no es obvio que lo poco que van a repartir, lo van a obtener quitándoselo a los pocos que todavía tienen algo? ¿Y los gobernadores van a hacer para evitar eso? ¿ Y la Asamblea? Por favor. Es mejor que la MUD muera, incluso por el bien de todos los políticos involucrados. Todo, el exilio, cualquier cosa es mejor que formar parte de un estado fallido. Al cruzar la barrera de cohabitar con ese estado fallido, cualquier esfuerzo nacional o internacional que se haga en contra de ese estado fallido, los tendrá obviamente a ellos como enemigos y como obstáculos. Me parece que la cabeza no les da para entender que las amenazas internacionales son reales, sólidas.

    Más allá de un falso sentido de superioridad moral, no hay ninguna respuesta racional a los interrogantes que yo planteo. Pura retórica, pura propaganda. Un análisis frío de los hechos lleva a la conclusión de que si los políticos de la MUD quieren sobrevivir como políticos y no como esbirros tendrían que pasar a la clandestinidad o al exilio. La cohabitación no los pone a salvo, además, sino todo lo contrario. La dictadura los usará y los exterminará después, que es lo que siempre hace.

      • i – The picture you paint is grim and well beyond nausea. Regrettably I tend to agree that the MUD has became an utter failure although really the have seldom been especially successful. Perhaps its their very nature as a coalition of disparate groups with differing political interests and ideologies. What you’re suggesting is either exile or going underground for the so called opposition. That would certainly work to the benefit of the dictatorship. Their goal is to eliminate all political and any other type of opposition. Their actions of late have brought to mind Stalinist purges. For regular folks in Vnzl options are few and far between. Exile for those who can leave, going underground for those who opt to resist. I’m hopeful that external pressure from a US & Lat Am coalition will materialize but at present there doesn’t look like much is in the works.

    • Como?

      (Sorry, but I don’t know how to type that upside-down question mark.)

      Thankfully for me, very few posts here are in Spanish, because my Spanish STINKS!

  19. The MUD is all but dead due to it self inflicted wounds.

    BUT if only there were just a few smart, brave souls in the bunch. Just a few.

    An ember, can burn down a forest.

    MUD needs to call for a nation wide protest. NOW

    The fire needs to re-start.

    Looking for heroes.

    • “MUD needs to call for a nation wide protest. NOW”

      Why? 30 July was supposed to be zero hour, and in a way, I guess it was as the day after there appeared to be zero resistance. Shit, I sat here in my office watching HRA on 31 July on Vladimir a la 1 saying the MUD needed to prepare for regional elections. Yup, the day I thought there would be smoke coming out of Miraflores, MUD is calling for mobilizing for regional elections.

      Sure, there are still embers out there, but the combination of MUD and Maduro pissing on them has pretty much ended the game.

      It’s over folks, they won. Venezuela will not fix this.

  20. MRubio, i read your responses, and know very well, your love for your country and pain you endure. You are one of the few here on the board that remain in VZ, and are subjected to this dictatorship actions, the lawlessness, and threats to your farm, family, health, way of life. Tragic.

    But you represent the embers I am speaking of. Those that can still make a difference. But who need leadership to get the word out. The MUD is all but dead. But even at this late date, before the MUD/opposition is completely snuffed, would not a massive protest, possibly, by even a small miracle spark the fire?

    Heroes needed now.

    • Thanks for the kind words Dale.

      I suspect, based on my recent outbursts, that some here think I hate the country and the people, I absolutely don’t. I’m just totally frustrated and bewildered that something so precious as one’s freedom can be bought with a kilo of corn meal and a few promises of shiny things.

      I’ve been a “builder” all my life. Worked hard in the oilfield and was fortunate enough to retire before the age of 50 after selling my company. I had always wanted to farm, work with animals, grow crops, produce off the land. I decided to do it here. Living in Venezuela was like living in the old west of the 1860’s except we didn’t ride horses, we drove pickups. I had to be on my toes every minute of every day and those of you who know Venezuela, know why. I made a world of mistakes, learned a lot, and honestly have no regrets.

      And I can’t stop!!!! This morning a guy came to my place looking for corn (we’ve sold all of last year’s crop unfortunately) but before he left we’d brainstormed a new line of business that will benefit both of us and others and I’m already putting the wheels in motion. My point is, this country has so much potential to do so many good things for so many people and it’s as though the population, not all of them of course, just don’t care.

      Living here has taught me what a truly unique and wonderful thing our founding fathers in the US fought for and established and what, for the most part, still survives to this day. But I say with all sincerity that the US is in danger as well from the creeping cancer of socialism.

      • MRubio, I just wish more people had the same country builder mentality. I believe the righteous, visceral anger you have expressed in recent posts is shared by most of us.

        Yes, the US is also in danger. Allow me to digress from the Venezuelan quagmire: Mexico elections are in July next year and that messianic populist “El Peje” (AMLO) will be a candidate. His coalition was very close to win the last elections. BTW he got a lot of support from the Chaveztias international de-stabilizing forces. The real problem this time is that the popularity of the other 2 democratic parties is close to the single digits.

        A few hundred thousand votes in MX elections “can go either way” (AMLO has always complained that previous elections were stolen from him), but currently, MX IFEI is not like Venezuela’s CNE A difference in the millions can’t be magically covered up.
        If a messianic populist similar to HCF, becomes a US neighbor, a stupid wall (electrified and with a croc moat) won’t be sufficient to stem determined people escaping misery….(and here are some “news”: AMLO has already pledged that he won’t pay for that…)
        MX being MX (closer to a real far west) maybe they have a plan “B”, but the panorama surely isn’t pretty.
        Keep it up, disregard the city slickers.

  21. LL played along Zapatero’s intrigue to make it look like an agreement was imminent even the day before July 30. This pretty much extinguished the spirit that moved the protesters. So there was nothing left.
    Next day LT leaves the country, LL is taken to jail again and brought back to his house and he has not spoken since.

    And all this happened because of the Pope who is a believer of “el socialismo del siglo XXI”. He, the Pope, is who has put incredible pressure on MUD, OEA and everybody else to “negotiate” while the regime becomes stronger.

    • Thanks for increasing the nausea factor by mentioning The Francis. Who could have known, indeed … cualquier con dos dedos frent a la cara sabía que a eso siempre iban .l, solo tenían que ver a Cuba. With NET, done. Put a fork in it, or suck it up, liberals, and admit that external intervention is the only way left. Sorry it took you so long to see what was coming all along.

      • No gringo souls for VZ souls.

        They earned every bit of pain and suffering they will endure from this point forward.

        I would never send a family member there to fight for an idea of “freedom” for a people so unwilling and incapable of keeping something so precious as liberty.

        They do not deserve it.

        • “They earned every bit of pain and suffering they will endure from this point forward.”

          The same way the gringos who never voted for Obama “deserve” to have been killed in the recent terrorist attacks, right?

          “I would never send a family member there to fight for an idea of “freedom” for a people so unwilling and incapable of keeping something so precious as liberty.”

          Fortunately you don’t have the power to decide that, or otherwise the terrorists at the other side of the world would have nukes by now.

          • WW3 is already going from a long time ago, dude, and the bad guys are called daesh, they want all of us, including you and your family, deader than dead, maybe beheaded and then burned would suffice.

            Also, when little pot of turd chinchonchún in NK threatened with launching their nukes to USA, cranky orange guy answered with “ok, fatty, just try, let’s see how many breaths can you take after that”, followed by China saying “kim, calm the fuck down, we don’t want radioactive wind in our place, so pipe down and shut up”; and hey, even Russia said basically the same, that NK should shut their trap and stop threatening everybody with their stupid nukes or otherwise they would get deleted from the world.

  22. Dunno. If you want a military intervention, then things are going great!

    The MUD lost all legitimacy, both in and specially outside the country and is seen rightfully as part of the regime, and Pence gave the US’s ultimatum: Either the not-crazy Latin American presidents convince Maduro to leave before X, or he’s leaving the hard way. Where X is likely the time from now to the regional elections, that are simply illegal since the illegal Constituent Assembly put: The Date, the Electoral Council and the candidates of both sides.

    And given that said efforts are being led by a bunch of mediocrities scared of a forced exit of Maduro leading to an anti-US election wave putting Commies into power all over Latin America….again (basically how Chavez, Kirchner and the rest rode the rejection to the Irak War to securing their power), then the smart money is on the military intervention, specially after today’s stunt. I mean, who honestly thinks that Santos is going to convince Maduro to leave?

    The fault of that scenario lies 100% on the MUD. They destroyed the capacity of the Venezuelan people to put pressure on the goverment by leading us into the regime’s ambushes, and rebuilding it, specially on the scenario of the entire might of the State and all the social control of the regime against it, will take time. Time that the US simply isn’t willing to give, since a rogue state, a haven of criminals, including the biggest drug lords of the continent and terrorists, and a gate for Iran and Russia into the Western Hemisphere is unacceptable.

      • He’s a nothing, he’s usurping functions by the edict of a nothing made by a bunch of nothings who think they are doing something when they haven’t realized they’re little less than a handful of clucking hens in a pen, walking on their own turds.

  23. I am laughing so hard at the events in VZ today.. I am dancing for joy!!!

    Seriously, this is the perfect ending to an otherwise useless opposition.

    The MUD was done last September when they started organizing useless and pointless marches instead of using the power they were afforded. Now we can finally write the epitaph that is long overdue.

    The the people of VZ get all the gubmint they so richly deserve. This is what they wanted, this is what they got. A dictatorship and single party rule.

    There is no point in ever voting again in VZ as you have no rights, no freedoms, and no future.

    No armed revolt. You have no arms to raise and nothing to recover with.
    No storming of the castle and taking back your country… because this is all your fault.

    Just go peacefully into Cuba 2.0 and enjoy your communism. Its what you wanted all along, and now you have it.

  24. The only thing that will save the MUD will be them taking the actions not only to “survive” but to actively topple and DESTROY the chavista regime.

    Otherwise it will simply kill itself.

    • You remind me of my crazy uncle who says “ya les faltan poco” for the last 15 fucking years.It’s not about being a Chaveco whatever that is it’s about the reality on the ground and it’s not looking good is it?

      • If the people doesn’t organize and work to oust chavismo then they will reign supreme forever.

        chavismo wins as long as the people keeps still, and they have used the opposition leadership to demobilize and snuff out the streets many times.

        MUD threw people to the streets with absolutely no strategy and no organization at all, thinking naively (if that’s the case then they’re criminally incompetent at their work) or in purpose (which is worse because that would prove they’re colluded with the regime) that “chavismo wouldn’t dare to kill pacific protesters that don’t even defend their own lives”, and that resulted in this bloodshed where more than 150 people were murdered by the colectivos, the pnbs and the gnbs, among another chaveco fanatics that went all abu ackbar on the people running over them with trucks and cars whenever they spotted them.

        Had the opposition leadership actually instructed people on how to defend themselves from the chavista onslaught, many lives would have been saved and the regime would have been toppled by now.

        So that returns this to the article’s topic: The only way for the MUD to survive now is to work with the people to oust chavismo, simple as that.

  25. Back in the early 80´s Saab was presented in one of Jose Vicente Rangel´s TV programs as “ElpPaladin de los derechos humanos” which could be loosely translated as the knight of human rights… fast forward 35 years : Gimme a Break …

  26. ¡Gracias, Quico! ¡Te quieremos, Quico!
    I’ve had many discussions with people here in Brazil that say that Capriles, MUD helped the chavista government with a lenient opposition. I think nobody can make this kind of judgment of people that make politics with a gun pointed to them, people that can be arrested and tortured at any moment.
    So I agree with you. What MUD needs right now is literary to survive, the ANC wants to jail them all.

    • The people that actually fought against the regime on the streets made judgment and the MUD stabbed them on the back. Guess how do they feel.

      For heaven’s sake, that attitude is the damn problem of this country. Elected politicians SERVE the people, they aren’t superheroes that we stare in awe, and we can judge their performance. The MUD has failed to serve us and conspired with the regime against us, so why the fuck shouldn’t we angry? Got enough “strong man politics” with chavismo.

  27. “However it can, whatever it takes, it needs to survive this authoritarian onslaught to fight another day.”

    Why? If there is another fight it will not be under the leadership of this collection of clowns. MUD as an entity is dead. It committed suicide on the 31 July – if it ever really existed.

  28. I have a question. Next year there will be a Presidential Election in Colombia. If the allies of Uribe and his hard line policies gain power, will arms and weapons flow into Venezuela, feeding a guerrilla movement and armed attacks on the Regime? It seems to me the military in Venezuela is ill prepared to cope with a determined armed opposition. Any successful attacks could further fracture the FANB and GN. I’m not advocating, only asking other’s opinions.

  29. Quico-

    This is not related to this post. Could you (or your team) explain in simple terms (for gringos babosos like me) what the latest US sanctions mean. I’m a little confused from US reporting. To me, ill-infomred as I am, this seems like a pin-pick.


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