“This won’t be solved tomorrow,” Marialbert Barrios said in front of some 30 people. It was the first time many heard the deputy for the Circuito 1 of Caracas (Catia-La Pastora-El Junquito), and everyone was attentive.

“I won’t lie to you, maybe we’ll spend Christmas with el bigotudo in Miraflores.” A woman shouted in anger, but Marialbert carried on stoically. “The MUD has been the same since day one, although some leaders se les va la lengua. MUD can’t only exist when it suits us.”

The audience, formed by UCV students and neighbors, tried to understand why we would even vote for governors, a very palpable vibe that was hostile at the corners, but Marialbert, the youngest woman ever elected for National Assembly, was confident in front of her small audience. “We can’t make more political mistakes. I don’t like war-speak, but we must understand that if we don’t get organized, they’ll win the battle.”

Her experience as a leader in Catia made her grow and it shows. She’s young, yes, but she’s vibrant in her convictions.

Américo Martín changed the dynamics of the day. “Ask me your questions”, he said, before a couple of hands went up. Soon, there was a clear picture of doubts and fears: Should we vote with this tainted CNE? What’s up with the protest and the calle hasta que caiga? How can we vote for the same dudes who called us to the streets and then went quiet?

Is there a secret agenda to reach an agreement with the Government?

If the government doesn’t hold the elections, we’ll force them on the streets.

The lawyer, politician and former guerrillero wrote all the inquiries down and proved that más sabe el diablo por viejo que por diablo.

“You gotta learn to play the piano with all ten fingers” he said. “You don’t play the piano with one finger, or your fists. You use your ten fingers to create a melody.”

To him, it’s obvious that the government doesn’t want elections, but they need the scenario to lower the international pressure. The opposition, thus, must insist on going to elections and also maintaining street protests, thus creating a ten-finger-melody.

“They know that the opposition is at its worst. This is not about elections happening or not, it’s about the cost for them of not doing it. When I was little, we used to play metras and we said metra que sale no entra. If the government doesn’t hold the elections, we’ll force them on the streets.”

“If you don’t vote, how can you prove it was a fraud?”

It makes you think.

MUD politicians all over the nation are not only eloquent, they’re experienced. Some, like Marialbert, have lived all of their lives under a single regime, and others, like Martín, have already faced dictatorships. They question, quite effectively, your apathy.

But will that be enough when the day comes?

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  1. “They question, quite effectively, your apathy.”

    They are not looking to understand where the apathy is coming from and what caused it, they have had that condescending tone of “Do it and don’t ask questions”

    “But will that be enough when the day comes?”

    THAT is the question, I want to see if they have a plan for when chavistas start kicking witnesses out of the voting centers at gunpoint, or for when tibisay claims that chavismo won 20 of all the 23 states.

    People is worried sick thinking in the dreadful scenario when MUD’s only answer to the fraud would be 2013’s “Se los digo clarito de una vez, aquí no hubo fraude, váyanse a sus casas a descargar la arrechera bailando salsa” all over again, and saying “This won’t be solved tomorrow,” is for millions in Venezuela the worst thing they can hear, as it’s basically a death sentence for many.

  2. Miranda is having one of the better capaings… while i feel people around me won’t go to the primaries they are getting more and more convinced to vote in the elections.
    Still not enough but is a state thats going decently.

  3. No es apatía. Es sentido común. SI quieren jugar el juego de la democracia (aunque estamos en dictadura) deben entender entonces que yo como ciudadano con derecho al voto los considero la misma porquería que el PSUV, y que no los pienso votar ni reconocer como gobernadores así ganen, puesto que las elecciones son en sí mismas inconstitucionales y fraudulentas. Y que me repriman, pues, pero tengo derecho a expresar el profundo asco que me después de no respetar el plesbiscito del 16 de julio. Esa es la verdad.

  4. It’s not apathy, it’s the logical reaction to their over promising and under delivering. Very naive analysis imo.

    Also, that “argument” of “If you don’t vote, how can you prove it was a fraud?”… like seriously? After everything that happened… really? Talk about novela type amnesia.

  5. all i have to say, and i am not saying much because i am here, is that we need to lose complete faith in the political class.

    yesterday, i was in a taxi. i live near a mission vivienda. so when i have to give directions, i always say the mission vivienda. the taxi driver, in a former state and time was rojito rojito. however he has given up compete faith in the bullshit revolution. he said, that that socialism only works in theory, not in pracitce, as well all know. He talked about how that they sold the consejos communal and all that bullshit, but at the end of the day “VENEZUELANS ARE FUCKING MONKEYS AND FUCKING CORRUPT MOTHER FUCKERS!!!!!” Opposition or Chavistas, it does not matter. Venezuela is fucked because they fucked themselves.

    His quote, not mine so dont give me your PC bullshit.

    Nevertheless, this wont give better till it gets worse and the dollar hit 21,000 today.

    We have suffered enough, but this will not be over till we suffer more. FU to all you keyboard warriors who think this will end peacefully. Poor people are suffering the worst, and they will be the ones picking up the machete and looking for who is to blame when this gets really bad.

    • The poor (who indeed always suffer the most in ANY scenario) are the key to the downfall of Chavismo.

      It isn’t what the MUD can guarantee them (more empty promises for more “free” stuff? Even the most ignorant won’t keep falling for that ruse) but what the MUD can offer them. A viable alternative. Offer them a vision of a better tomorrow, about what THEY can do to improve THEIR lives in a country that offers opportunity, not guarantees. Better than anyone, the poor can see their lives are worse now than ever.

      And how about the TRUTH? Wouldn’t that be a novel idea? Quit telling the voters what they want to hear, and at the very least, tell them the truth. Tell them that the opposition has failed them in the past (honesty), but are willing (willingness) to be more accessible and transparent (openness). If ANYTHING, coming from a believable person, is a step towards being elected. Notice please, how not a single promise of material gain was offered? If Venezuelans are anything like Americans, they are tired of the same BS touted over and over again by the same political hacks. (Which is why we have an orange-haired narcissist in the Oval Office instead of the angry, histrionic, perpetually outraged political opportunist)

      I might be wrong. I am not Venezuelan. My wife is. But I have spent enough time listening to angry in-laws with high pitched voices hyperventilating about how government is always promising more and delivering less.

      • I completely agree with you. My experience in one of these “assemblies” quite proved your point. I straight up asked Marialbert and Ocariz how could we participate in the elections without even demanding international observers, the renewal of the RE (Registro Electoral), the removal of all CNE expired directors? I know such demands would have never been met, but it is one thing to make your demands public than making no demands at all. The answer was that I was “filled with darkness” and that “my negativity proved the regime’s point”. Can that really be the answer to a question posed by a voter, by a member of society that has placed its hopes and trust in your leadership?

        I also asked the congresswoman why didn’t the National Assembly name new magistrates in 2016? To me the National Assembly tacitly accepted the magistrates imposed by the last Assembly on 2015, when they did not declare those nominations as ilegal given that they could be declared as absolutely null due to the violations in the legally established procedure. The answer was no different than the first: “We should look towards the future, to dwell on the past is fruitless”. Couldn’t she just said: We are sorry, we messed up but we don’t want to do it again”?.

        That lack of transparency and even decency is what turns off the people from the MUD. If they could just speak the truth maybe they would start winning adepts instead of continue losing the few ones they have left.

        I am still going to vote, I don’t want to wonder about “what could have been”, but my faith in the MUD leadership is waning, and if the opportunity comes to [put them in the spot and replace them for a younger, more prepared generation, no doubt I will gladly help its reckoning.


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