“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?Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.