For the last few weeks, I’ve been holding on to a shameful secret. I’ve been hanging on to it, timidly, in that weary way you hang on to an unpopular odd-ball opinion. I’ve been going back and forth on whether to share it for days, fearing the backlash.

But the reality is:

I think people should vote in today’s opposition primary.

I do.

Here’s why.

All year, I backed the opposition’s street protest agenda. I thought militant street protests were the best chance we had to destabilize the regime. I thought they could set off the kind of defections cascade that, alone, will really change the game in Venezuela, with one pillar of regime support after another switching sides. I thought Luisa Ortega had a credible shot at becoming “the first domino”: the defection that opened up a wider split, one wide enough to genuinely make the regime’s hold on power start to slip.

I was wrong. We were wrong. Luisa jumped, and nobody who matters really followed. The cascade didn’t materialize.

But I knew it was a gamble. We all did. We knew the government had plenty of tools at its disposal to try to stanch the bleed. We knew they could threaten —credibly— and intimidate —credibly— and, deep down, we all knew it was far from given that we would be able to split them before they wore us down.

And the long and the short of it is as simple as it is bitter: I was wrong. We were wrong. Luisa jumped, and nobody who matters really jumped after her. The cascade didn’t materialize. The prospect of life in El Helicoide or Ramo Verde proved too scary.

The realization is crushing, dispiriting. But it’s also, now, an unmissable reality. We gambled. And we lost.

The protests didn’t end because Henry Ramos Allup stabbed us in the back. MUD isn’t responsible for the collapse of the protest strategy. The protests petered out because opposition activists realized that the defection cascade wasn’t coming: that they could keep tear gassing us indefinitely, that there was no upside to continuing to risk arrest and political prison to set off a regime crisis the government had under control.

That’s what happened. We misjudged how cohesive the regime was, and so we lost. Taking it out on MUD doesn’t help in any way.

It’s unfortunate —if understandable— that no one in MUD has had the fortitude to stand up and spell this out clearly. And it’s understandable that opposition supporters are hurt, confused, disoriented, depressed and demobilized by this absolutely dire reality.

The question that faces Venezuela now isn’t “what is it going to take to cause the regime to collapse in the short term?” That question’s been settled. The regime isn’t going to collapse in the short term. Criminal, jueputa, and utterly intolerable though it is, the regime has enough support from the people who matter to keep power. For now.

The question that faces Venezuela now is different. “Is the opposition to remain a viable, nationwide organized movement with some scope for independent action, or are we to become truly like Cuba: a country without an organized opposition, only atomized ‘dissidents’ with no capacity to mobilize and act collectively?”

To hope for MUD’s destruction is to wish for the dictatorship’s number one wish: to face no opponents, only dissidents.

That’s where we are now. The atomic rage now facing MUD from its own grassroots — that mix of hurt and disgust and despair— is both deeply human and profoundly dangerous. It’s the state of mind the government absolutely needs if it’s to liquidate the opposition entirely as an organized force in society. If you think Venezuela is hopeless now, just picture it without an organized political opposition at all.

There’s a certain morose pose out there in the oppo twittersphere that likes to play with the idea that MUD has been so hapless that we’d be better off without it. I don’t think there’s a more irresponsible view in today’s public sphere, or a more blinkered one.

For an opposition supporter to hope for MUD’s demise is to endorse for the dictatorship’s number one wish: to face no opponents, only dissidents. For all the loose talk about “cubanization”, that’s what the real Cuban scenario looks like. I don’t know if the people who hold it have genuinely stopped to mull the life of a dissident in an outright dictatorship — the utter isolation, the total irrelevance, the complete despair of that position.

MUD’s responsibility right now is to survive. To live to fight another day. It’s intolerable, but that really is our best case scenario now.

And that’s why I think you should vote today. Because MUD with a dozen governorships under its control is much harder to liquidate than a MUD with none. Not impossible, mind you — but harder.

Will it solve the whole problem? Will it get rid of el bigotúo before hallaca-time? Will it bring democracy back to Venezuela?

Of course not.

Grow up.

I know opposition governors won’t really be allowed to govern. I know they’ll face enormous pressures to bow to the Constituent Assembly. I know they’ll have parallel CorpoGovernorships set up alongside them to absorb most of their budgets and responsibilities. These things are all true.

The measure of how bad our strategic position is now that we’re better off electing them even though we know these things are all true.

Voting today is an act of tactical retreat. No one goes into tactical retreat por gusto. You don’t do it because you want to. You don’t even do it because it’s a good idea. You do it because you’ve just suffered a very bad set back and if you don’t keep your wits about it you’re liable to be annihilated.

That’s where we are today. The debate inside the opposition today amounts to “do we want to be liquidated, or merely battered and bruised?” I think we’re better off battered and bruised than wiped out as a political force. Hate me all you want for it.

65 COMMENTS

  1. Well said. The comparison with Cuba is useful. While the subject of how Venezuela and Cuba are the same has a kind of therapeutic and gratifying effect for people (myself included), it is important to remember that they are not the same in many important ways, one of them being: you can still support the election of political opponents of the regime. So what crazy, defeatist logic is it to voluntarily give that up, or to denigrate that endeavor?

    I’d just add: nobody knows when this regime is done. It could be a while. It could be next week. These events are famously impossible to predict and often come unannounced. The regime is having a tough time paying the people it needs to survive. That is not a good prognosis for a dictatorship.

    • “you can still support the election of political opponents of the regime. So what crazy, defeatist logic is it to voluntarily give that up, or to denigrate that endeavor?”

      Can’t speak everyone but I would answer that by participating, you’re merely giving the regime ammo to claim that they’re holding free, fair elections which then translates into: see, this is not a dictatorship, actually a. democracy, otherwise why would the opposition have participated?

      Very few people on the outside looking in understand that there is basically no tax structure in the country that allows a governor to run his own state. They don’t understand that everything comes from Miraflores and if an opp candidate “wins” an election, it really means nothing because the national government merely withholds funding from him thereby his ability to build a powerbase.

      I don’t have the answers, but at this point in the cycle it seems useless and counterproductive to lend credibility to the regime.

      • You are lending credibility to the regime by not opposing it in the places where it can be opposed. The same notional person who thinks participation in elections is evidence that they are free and fair will draw similar conclusions from voluntary non participation in opposition politics.

        And who cares about what those people think anyway? Engineering proofs to convince idiots and fanatics is pointless.

        • “The places where it can be opposed”

          That being the places the government chooses , ergo, where it is not being opposed really.

          Enough of this “symbolic gesture crap” which is only a victory in the minds of leftists analists living abroad. “Symbolic means useless, so a leadership which is not leading the people to anywhere is requesting votes so they can do nothing. Except of course, enrich themselves while holding a publiuc office and negotiate with the government in terms of cohabitation while the people starve and are harassed and killed by sebin, colectivos or hampa.

          “There no tequeños and whisky like the governo`s , the best terraza in town, and you should see his place in Miami”

          • Its not symbolic. It means campaigning, talking to people, connecting with popular forces, informing people, organizing, building an organization, giving a voice to peoples’ hardships, breaking down the isolation and hopelessness that empowers the regime.

            You can scoff at leftists or activists or whatever you want, in your benighted universe where if you don’t have everything, it is meaningless, but what activists can show you is that if your political space is as restricted as sitting at the front of the bus, or organizing people for a vote controlled by your oppressor, you sit at the front of the bus, or you organize people for that vote- and you work outward from there. You don’t sit at home like a child on your high hobby horse waiting for the gringos to land or fantasizing about body counts.

        • “That being the places the government chooses , ergo, where it is not being opposed really.”

          Exactly. The government desperately wanted the opposition to participate in the ANC vote yet the opp wisely stayed away in overwhelming numbers. Today the ANC’s legitimacy is rejected by virtually every country in the world.

          Cannuck, what’s the difference between the ANC vote and the upcoming regionals?

          • “ts not symbolic. It means campaigning, talking to people, connecting with popular forces, informing people, organizing, building an organization, giving a voice to peoples’ hardships, breaking down the isolation and hopelessness that empowers the regime.”

            Except that is what people have done for years, campaigning, voting, protesting and then politicians wipe their asses with it and just use them as leverage for their own interests and their economic beneficiaries.

            this is not about “the people” because when WE the peoiple whoe suffer the consequences of this bullshit are pissed and are critical we get called “fanatics and idiots”

            and when we demand effectiveness from a leadership that exists only because the PEOPLE have put them in that position to perform ONE JOB that they DON`T perform we get scoffed at by pinkos living abroad and who feel a high moral standard when defending cute slogans that mean nothing to the ACTUAL PEOPLE GETTING SCREWED.

            I have news for you buddy, the vast majority of people that oppose the government are not pro-mud and have never been partisans of any political party inside the cohalition, we simply realized the unitarian response was necesary as a means to an end.

            When that end is not reached and that means is corrupted and is counterproductive, we have the right to be pissed and not comply.

            Nice ad hominem, btw, cute straw man and projection to the end. I bet that high moose you are sitting on is really comfortable and adult size

  2. This might sound controversial but in order for protests to succeed we needed the repressors to feel threatened if they misbehaved (read capture, kill or torture). They were misbehaving with impunity. Of course that’s not gonna work. Our oppo insisted on not punching back to punches received. The people don’t enjoy pain, torture, bullets. Of course they aren’t gonna protest anymore. It is what it is.

  3. “I don’t know if the people who hold it have genuinely stopped to mull the life of a dissident in an outright dictatorship”

    People currently “living” in Palo Verde do … unfortunately, I believe it is too late already. I truly hope I am wrong

  4. — “It’s the state of mind the government absolutely needs if it’s to liquidate the opposition entirely as an organized force in society. ”

    No, the state of mind chavismo needs for the society is them sitting in their houses quielty waiting for tibisay to announce the next fraud, and nothing more, until the colectivos eventually break in the people’s houses and slaughter them.

    — “If you think Venezuela is hopeless now, just picture it without an organized political opposition at all.”

    Or picture it with a chavista-hand-picked opposition, a bunch of yes-men who only continuously blabber “either we sit in an eternal dialogue to accept all what they say or you get killed”

    — “The protests didn’t end because Henry Ramos Allup stabbed us in the back. MUD isn’t responsible for the collapse of the protest strategy. The protests petered out because opposition activists realized that the defection cascade wasn’t coming: that they could tear gassing us indefinitely, that there was no upside to continuing to risk arrest and political prison to set off a regime crisis the government had under control.”

    The protests ended the minute the regime waved the regionals in front of the MUD’s noses, because they stabbed people in the back. MUD IS responsible for the collapse in protests because their never carried out their obligation as opposition: To actually teach people on how to protest in an effective and efficient way, simply telling people “go and do whatever you want” showed a complete lack of strategy and even interest in the protests to succeed. This is 2014 all over again, the only thing that’s missing to complete the whole fraud is the MUd bosses braying again that “anyone who protests is a chavista infiltrator”

    — “Will it solve the whole problem? Will it get rid of el bigotúo before hallaca-time? Will it bring democracy back to Venezuela?

    Of course not.

    Grow up.”

    It would have been done a long time ago if the opposition leadership had pulled up their pants and fought chavismo when they became a bloody dictatorship the moment chavez ordered to slaughter the protesters in april 11 fifteen years ago.

    They should have grown up and accept that chavismo was a dictatorship since that day instead of bullshitting people claiming it was only an “imperfect democracy” as they held in a fanatic way until this year.

    The governorships will also be useless if they concentrate on useless stuff such as not focusing in ousting the regime.

    The one that needs to grow up is the MUD.

  5. voting in the primaries as a symbolic act? Because there is one link missing here. The schedule for regional elections has not been released yet, as far as I know.

  6. Oh, and about this:

    “The protests petered out because opposition activists realized that the defection cascade wasn’t coming:”

    Then explain why the opposition insists on the same strategy they have tried during 18 straight years and has yielded ZERO results against the regime and not call it a dismal failure then? How many years do you think are needed to oust a dictatorship then? All the remaining lives of those who are alive now and perhaps half of the lifetimes of those who haven’t been born yet?

    • There will be no change until an “alternate chavista ” comes along and wins battling against Maduro but on the same PSUV platform or an offshoot of it. We will transition from chavismo to chavismo. Or at least from Chavismo to “Socialism que si no es se parece igualito” which is what would happen anywauys if the adeco led opposition had won any presidential election.

  7. This is an important argument, and the crux of the matter: “Is the opposition to remain a viable, nationwide organized movement with some scope for independent action, or are we to become truly like Cuba: a country without an organized opposition, only atomized ‘dissidents’ with no capacity to mobilize and act collectively?”

    Of course, some might say that one is interested in the MUD’s viability because one has vested interests in it. And, of course, some people do have such interests.

    But, as can be surmised by following the dire straits of the many Cuban dissident groups (who, BTW, have tried to model an unitary opposition at home and abroad many times), this dissolution is a real possibility.

    I am sure that most people who criticiese the MUD and hope for its dissolution do it honestly, and I would love that some of their efforts would work (and really hope some other don’t). But I also believe that most people who join the MUD honestly want change, and that MUD reflects better -ideologically and socially- the center of Venezuelan politics.

    We are, simply put, in a very bad strategic position. Bud bad as it is, the MUD is still recognised in the West as the most important opposition platform in the country.

  8. I couldn’t agree with Ulamog more. MUD surrendered and betrayed, pure and simple. These guys have been playing us the whole time.

    Do your job Toro, do a full investigative piece on who Eudoro Gonzalez Dellan. The diputado who just toured Europe with Borges and Guevara. I dare you, follow the money. Same goes with Allup.. follow the money, see what happens… same can be said of Rosales and UNT… I have even been looking (unsuccessfully) for the money behind VP.

    MUD leaders (Coordinadora Democratica) previously have been the most effective protection Chavez ever bought.

    But then again, I’m not sure if you might also agree with your tocayo Rodriguez from Torino capital. Perhaps “la cohabitacion pacifica” is the best for everyone….Everyone that want to keep guisando while Venezuela dies that is…

    • Juan Andres, I was in Venezuela during the protests, the MUD didn’t kill the protests, the government did. The government knew and succeeded in pushing hard enough that the people themselves would call it quits.

      They got violent and we don’t have many violents on our side, so what was initially massive protests ended up being 500 people, and with 500 people, you don’t topple a government. It was then, when protests were already dead, that MUD decided to change course. What the hell else could they do?

      I have criticized the MUD (opo in general) A LOT, but this in particular was not their fault, it was the cowards, the sheep, the lazy and the piece of shit people of Venezuela that let the street protests down. I went to every single one, but I was one of the few… sadly, the people of Venezuela only want a way out that’s comfortable for them, and the government won’t give them one… so we are screwed.

      • “the MUD didn’t kill the protests, the government did.”

        The regime did what was expected they would do, repress the fuck out of the people, maim and kill enough so the rest would turn tail and flee.

        The MUD killed the protests for two reasons:

        * They never had a strategy for the protests, they simply told people “Go and organize yourselves! Go and do whatever you want!” They never organized the people and never bothered in offering any actual course of action on how to react when the regime sent their murderers to crush the people, as the ones with media coverage, logistics and funds, they were obligated to provide people with some basic training in protest 101 to mitigate the losses to the regime.

        * The moment chavismo pulled the regionals in front of them, they immediately ran away and left the people alone in the streets as if chavismo had pulled a juicy chuleta in front of a starving dog, for the MUD then stopped talking altogether about the protests and changed to talk only about regionales and how that was “not giving up the spaces” even when they are giving up the spaces they won in 2015.

        ” but this in particular was not their fault, it was the cowards, the sheep, the lazy and the piece of shit people of Venezuela that let the street protests down. ”

        Ah, yeah, the usual “the people is shit, so they deserve the dictatorship”, dude, you have to stop that stupid train of thought and accept once and for all that even in the bloodiest dictatorships MOST OF THE POPULATION WANTS TO CONTINUE THEIR ROUTINE LIFE AS IF NOTHING IS HAPPENING.

        ” the people of Venezuela only want a way out that’s comfortable for them, and the government won’t give them one…”

        That’s a fact since chavismo became a full fledged dictatorship the day they made official the death penalty for being non-chavista in april of 2002.

        “…so we are screwed.”

        The exit is through the Colombian border then, if you want to stay in Venezuela, the protests are the only way out.

  9. The analisis talks about the eventual lack of political opposition and assumes such an oposition already exists.

    Sorry, no, but i do not consider the likes of Allup, Falcón and Rosales a serious option or better alternative, neither a bunch of unkown bate quebrados and absent law makers who dont get oaid by the assembly but suddenly have fortunes and are seen all over the world turisting. the time for blind support to the MuD is over. It is not “better than nothing”, it is validating a fraud.

    I wonder if Eveling Rosales is trowing money out of her car somewhere right now or how many chickens have PJ delivered in name of its candidate.

    • Your first line tells me you’ve never been to Cuba. That’s a shame because you could learn something about what a country without organized political opposition feels like.

      • Except Cubans do vote https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elections_in_Cuba they simply don`t get to choose.

        Keep underscoring the fact that the Constituyente renders any public office the opposition wins meaningless, we are very much a de facto one party system.

        Wathever the case i assume you dont even actually live in Venezuela, so i guess you woni`t find out. Maybe if you were here right now you could learn about how it feels like.

        • I am curious: how do you distinguish between supporters of the regime, and people who don’t engage in opposition politics because of their high principles and exacting standards? It is the colour of their hat?

          • “If you are not mudista you are an active communist supporter an activist , supporter and endorser”

            Nice one, lovely piece of falacy.

            The irony is that everyone who is against the government has had to willingly or not endorse the MUD only to be left in the dirt by their politicians, but of course, MUD holy fathers cannot be held accountable of their failures, corruptions and missdeeds, if you complain you are as good as Diosdado.

            no one is an adeco anymore, yet you see Allup having a filed day in a leadership he only has gotten borrowed as part of the “opposition” coalition,

            What happens when opposition stops opposing? well keep blindly supporting them of course! Primero Justicia even proposes better Clap bags! awesome!

  10. La MUD es una maquinaria electoral que medio-funcionaba en una semidemocracia. Pero el chavismo ya en 2016 se convirtió en una dictadura completa. El cambio de régimen requiere otro tipo de organización, con otras estrategias, las cuales se plantearon en los días del plebiscito pero fueron ignoradas. Es mentira que las protestas se aplacaron por la represión, el mismo día del 30J hubo protestas y asesinados, millones se abstuvieron de votar por la ANC arriesgando empleos y beneficios por el chantaje dictatorial. De hecho a pesar de los primeros asesinados por el régimen en Abril, la gente siguió manifestando. Pero como ocurre con los escritores mudistas, son incapaces de criticar los errores de la MUD y buscan culpar al pueblo que lo dio todo en estos meses.

    La verdad es que la MUD solo quería sus cargos de gobernadores (su situado constitucional) y se monto en la ola de protestas para presionar a la dictadura. Manipulo al pueblo solo para beneficio de los partidos y sus necesidades.

    No creo que venga un escenario cubano, quizás lo mas probable es el escenario de la ex-RDA, China, Irán o Rusia, donde existe un partido dominante y varios partidos pequeños de “oposición” subordinados a aquel.

  11. Man, I get what you’re saying, but it is through this “Live to lose another day” mentality that our history is filled with unfulfilled dreams. The few who stand are slaughtered, the many who run do so because they say “sape gato” as soon as their neck is on the line.

    “The protests didn’t end because Henry Ramos Allup stabbed us in the back. MUD isn’t responsible for the collapse of the protest strategy. The protests petered out because opposition activists realized that the defection cascade wasn’t coming: that they could tear gassing us indefinitely, that there was no upside to continuing to risk arrest and political prison to set off a regime crisis the government had under control.”

    Tell me, Francis, what is a politician responsible for, if not the definition of strategy to attain their goals?
    What is the actual goal of the opposition? To oppose? Or to get to power? And if they attain power, what will they do with it?

    If getting the regime to leave was the goal, they were headed to the right direction.
    This protest cycle is like nothing that was ever seen before. Everyone knows that. They had all they needed to do anything they could’ve set themselves to do. The minimum grassroots support that led to mass civil disobedience. The international community has never been more united against this regime. Real dissidence within the Armed Forces. A slew of cards that they would’ve recognized how to play, IF they would’ve had a defined goal. But they didn’t. As soon as Leopoldo was released, the ANC happened, and regionals came into play, they forgot about the other ~1000 of political prisoners, they forgot about the ~92% abstention rate in the ANC, and the MUGRE PECUECA of the CNE. This is a clear case of not having conviction of your goals, in yourself, and in your struggle. Never were protest cadres set up. Accounts of how the actual protests went down evince a complete lack of direction and ideas on to how most effectively to resist. Only through independent civil actors did the protests ever stand a chance, and for some time, were they able to effectively resist.

    HRA & Borges exist as opposition political figures. They live to lose another day. That footage of Borges being pushed out of Congress is the materialization of a dilettante politician. They are politicians who have no real conviction in themselves, in their parties, in their ideas, to effectively obtain power. They are the old & spent center-left, with only suggestions of how to run things in a better way. They pose no real alternative, or represent any new ideas for our country. They are critics, at best. Hence their hatred, which the country takes as general fashion, on Maria Corina Machado, the “radical” they leave out to dry because the MUD is IDEOLOGICALLY CLOSER to the regime than to anyone who represents a real alternative. If there is any doubt about that, tell me, why hasn’t the MUD named our situation as it really is? This isn’t an authoritarian semi-democracy. This isn’t even a semi-communist dictatorship. This is a foreign occupation by Cuba. We are run by Havana. All decisions made by the regime are described by the function that Venezuela plays in Cuba’s grand plan for survival. We are being played in the Cuban handbook.

    Pragmatism is sometimes overvalued because in a materialistic description of the world, only results matter.
    In that sense, MUD is a goddamn fraud, but one can bet a house that no one is really considering that ideology is the problem. But before we return to the “How do we win elections” & “How do we have fair elections?” we must answer this most essential of questions: “What do we actually propose? What is our purpose as a political force?”

    These questions seem obvious, and there are many answers, but if there’s anyone that should know them, is whoever is at the helm of our ship. It is clear by now they don’t, so out with them. Tell them to go home, write a book, watch from the sidelines, send some suggestions whenever they feel like it.

    After so much criticism, which is our national sport, imma leave a couple of actual thoughts for all our sakes to build on:

    We shouldn’t be spending money on elections, we should be setting up humanitarian relief channels.
    MCM is unelectable, but if we’re gonna be able to see further than we can right now, it will be by standing on the shoulders of giants. And of all our politicians, she’s the only one with conviction on a different Venezuela, one with actual self-worth and desire for real progress.

  12. Quico is right about the voting issue. Voting is a no brainer. It is a form of resistance and not voting will be an excuse for the world to assume that the new reality in Venezuels is a new normal. I just can’t swallow the explanation that you should vote to sustain MUD. The dictatorship will not fail because of MUD’s existence. It will fall when the economic conditions dictate a change. MUD in that regard is irrelevant. I am paying more attention to whether other fraternal socialist countries like Russia help the Chavistas to restructure the debt. The race is between the efforts of Russia and China to sustain the dictatorship and the efforts of the rest of the world to break the Chavistas through sanctions. And, you have to factor in the Pope and the UN , the middle grounders, whose efforts to promote peace through negotiations will also delay your emancipation. it’s a three horse race and MUD has a seat at the racetrack.

  13. You do need some growing up because by your own admission you where wrong. Amazing coming from a Venezuelan not far removed. Don’t know what you’re missing but suspect knowledge and understanding of psychopaths and the character disturbed.

    You do not understand your foe, your enemy. Furthermore, you have never shown an understanding of the bigger, broader picture. You do a fine job explaining within confines of border but this is a regional and hemispheric issue.

    We can disagree all day long about this but I know you since you started blogging. No daisies and sunflowers for you.

  14. I hope this comment gets published.

    I have often asked myself what will the regime do with the parties now and
    to what extent their existence will help us.
    I remembered this: back in the times when there was the German ‘Democratic’ Republic, there were actually several parties apart from the SED…there was a CDU and several other copies of those parties you saw in Western Germany but they all became puppets of the socialist regime.
    That is a different dictatorship to the Cuban model but a dictatorship nonetheless.
    We need to ask ourselves how we avoid that lot

    • A bit off topic, Kepler, but just an advice, copy the text of any comment you post in a notepad or something like that (If you’re posting from a computer), because sometimes comments don’t get posted, which happens more often if they contain links.

  15. I agree with most of the post here, but I need someone to explain me to me how is not naive to think that this will happen:
    “And that’s why I think you should vote today. Because MUD with a dozen governorships under its control is much harder to liquidate than a MUD with none. Not impossible, mind you — but harder.”
    What’s the rationale for thinking that a government that’s already a recognized dictatorship (and its suffering the consequenes of this (sanctions, no access to credits, etc)) will allow the conditions for minimally fair elections or in the unlikely case it does would actually announce the results. Is Donald Trump sending marines to Venezuela if the government steals the regional elections? I think this is a December 2015 analysis not a September 2017 one. Or what is the alternative that MUD negotiates half of the governorships with the governments and gives them away even though it wins them by popular votes? Is a scenario where we give away some states ir order to keep a few acceptable?

    • Zillions of good questions. We’re in the realm of probabilities here. It’s by no means a given that MUD has a better chance of surviving if it wins some governorships than if it doesn’t. Seems likely, though.

      • The real question is whether it should survive or not. I believe freedom is more important than the MUD, and if the MUD stands in the way of freedom, well, then it is better it does not survive. As it is right now MUD does not benefit anyone, and it is only logical that most people despise it. To take it against the people for losing faith in MUD and trying to destroy it is not right. Destroying MUD is only the right thing to do since there is no way to beat the dictatorship as long as the MUD survives. Governors will not only be uselless, they will be in fact our enemies. I would tolerate having some MUD governors only if they were willing to colaborate with a rebellion, and the truth is there is not a single MUD politian right now willing to do that. So they are not only useless, they are harmful.
        Gracias a la MUD la guerra civil es inevitable. La única manera de evitar la guerra civil era haciendo el sacrificio de luchar contra la dictadura este año, aprovechando que todas las condiciones se habían dado. El momento pasó.
        La situación del país va a empeorar hasta hacerse insoportable y los políticos de oposición no van a acompañar las protestas de la gente, sino que van a ponerse del lado de los represores. O sea, nos lanzaron estúpidamente en la dirección de una guerra civil, y de paso se pusieron del lado de Maduro. Cuando el conflicto social escale, nadie va a considerar a los gobernadores parte de la rebelión ni a la MUD parte de la solución. EL fuego va a quemar a todos por igual . Y si no es el fuego, entonces la represión se va imponer. De una manera u otra será un desastre, un desastre que se hubiera podido evitar este año.

        Todo lo que estoy diciendo es obvio y es muy fácil de entender para quien contempla las cosas sin ningún de sesgo y sin ningún conflicto de interés, desde lejos.

        • Lo peor del caso es que ni siquiera será guerra civil porque no hay dis segmentos armados, lo que hay es un 90% de la población completamente desorganizada contra un 5% de lacayos y agentes de los invasores que están armados hasta los dientes.

          Sin una coordinación y organización, las protestas que surjan en el futuro serán focos completamente aislados y sin ningún norte, que sólo estarán clamando por las cosas más básicas como gas o algún otro servicio público que falle ne el momento, y dado que no existirá una coordinación por el abandono de los únicos que tenían el monopolio mediático como lo es la MUD, entonces a la dictadura se le hará mucho más fácil aplastar cualquier foco de descontento que surja en el país.

  16. More of the same either way.

    Hard core socialism or slightly less totalitarian socialism. Just the clap bags come with different coloring.

    • The clap bags are the less of the problems when the government sponsored criminal gangs are slaughtering dozens of people left adn right on a daily basis.

  17. I’ve been away for decades now so I cant really know what is happening, but I get the impression that all in all, all those reasons, why true and proper and right, dont get to the core of the issue.

    I feel people were ready for a big shock. They were ready for a big confrontation, and the MUD should have had a plan for it in the case of “losing” what was the first battle – stopping the ANC election.

    But they didnt. After telling everybody that this was a dictatorship removing all residual democratic trappings (true) and that this could not be accepted and had to be fought and rejected (true)… they just folded and decided to go back to planning for an election.

    And they got abandoned by the people again. Because what the people wanted to hear was the battleplan for confronting the ANC results. Anything. Not talking violence, but not going back to normal. They seemed to be ready for whatever it took, and they got … nothing.

    So, in the current scenario, it makes sense to try to rescue something, maybe. But the thing is, this is not the scenario that should have been. Again, dont know, and sure as hell I’m not risking my skin so I cant tell anybody to be a hero, but at some point the MUD has to realize that if what they say is true and Venezuela is a dictatorship, the time for “the usual” is long past and they should become a clandestine organization for coordinating the resistance to it. Because winning a governorship or two or all, under this, is not going to give anybody anything but the next list of people to remove and jail. Yes, they want to still pretend there are democratic institutions, but why do the MUD has to oblige them?

  18. En lo que escribe late siempre una visión demasiado optimista sobre su país y su gente. Omite por ejemplo el hecho de que la MUD nunca agotó todas las posibilidades de lucha (¿por qué no fueron consecuentes con la presunta hora cero que pregonaban -“los últimos días de la dictadura”, decían hace unas semanas – y convocaron un paro general indefinido?) e ignora en sus análisis que si contamos los ocho millones que votaron por la MUD y los tres que lo hicieron por el chavismo quince días después, tenemos que a casi la mitad del país le da igual una posible salida organizada de la crisis actual y no fue a votar.

    Edgardo García Larralde definió muy acertadamente el perfil sociológico de los venezolanos: “Venezuela es una sociedad de desencuentros…Cohabitamos un territorio, pero realmente ni nos conocemos, ni nos reconocemos…Aquí el incentivo no es ser productivo, ser creativo, sino acercarse al Estado”. En esas condiciones, da igual que mañana un general de espíritu democrático acabe con Maduro y convoque elecciones libres. Los venezolanos nunca desarrollarán el enorme potencial que tiene su país porque, como muy bien decía “los incentivos reales que existen en esta sociedad son, en su gran mayoría, de índole perversa” y son estos los que definen hacia donde irá Venezuela en el futuro.

    • La ideosincracia se puede cambiar a través de los medios de comunicación, suficiente propaganda oficial ha demostrado que incluso en un país donde se tiene acceso a fuentes alternas como Venezuela todavía existe un sector significativo de la población que ha quedado completamente disociado de la realidad debido al lavado de cerebro chavista, y otro porcentaje de la población que prácticamente ponen en un pedestal a la MUD de la misma forma que el chavismo pone a sus honchos.

      • Claro, el malo de la película no es el pueblo venezolano,es el chavista-champú que lava el celebro a la gente o cualquier otro que se dedique a lo mismo. Basta un poco de aclarado con agua limpia de medio de comunicación afín para enseñarles lo que es bueno y ya está todo solucionado ¿no?…. Opiniones como estas son las que uno puede esperar cuando alguien habla y habla sin parar con todo el que pase por aquí.

        • “el malo de la película no es el pueblo venezolano”

          Exactamente, por mucho que te duela, el malo de la película son los chavistas, de la misma forma que los culpables de un asesinato son los malandros que jalan el gatillo y los culpables de una violación son los violadores, cosa que en la Venezuela chavista y socialista se ha tergiversado para echarle la culpa de todo siempre a la persona que es asesinada (Porque nadie la mandó a estar en ese lugar) o violada (Porque se vistió de X ó Y forma) porque para los chavistas el malandro fué elevado en un pedestal como si fuera el “héroe de los pobres contra los maricones de la clase media” que tanto les enseñó a odiar el chavismo.

          Y por mucho que te duela, sí es posible cambiar ese comportamiento mediante los medios de comunicación.

          Tu afirmación de “todos tienen la culpa menos porque así sueno muy inteligente” no es más que una falacia ridícula usada por los mismos chavistas para esquivar y librarse de la responsabilidad y culpa que tienen de la situación del país, es como esos que se la pasan repitiendo la imbecilidad aquella de que “los venezolanos se merecen al chavismo” que significa que a todo aquel que la basura roja les mató los hijos o les arruinó la vida era porque se lo merecía, cuando lo que realmente merece que le saquen los dientes a golpes es el decir semejante imbecilidad que no es más que otro invento de la neolengua chavista donde los malandros no tienen culpa de nada si no que siempre son las víctimas las que se merecen todo lo que les pasa.

          Y por más que te haga retorcerte, el comportamiento de la población sí se modela mediante los medios de comunicación y el sistema educativo, y es lo que se debe usar para acomodar la mentalidad de la gente en el país, en lugar de esa vaina inútil de sentarse a llorar gimoteando que “Venezuela está jodida porque su gente es una mierda que no tiene ningún arreglo y así lo dijo un escritor X”, el fulano García ese que citas ahí lo que suena es a propagandista chavista de los más rancios.

          • Como era de esperar en alguien que despliega tal verborrea y tiene tantas ganas de que alguien escuche sus presuntas opiniones, te creíste que te iba a leer o a discutir sobre nada de lo que tú digas y en consecuencia me has respondido con un texto que no he leído ni me pienso molestar en leer porque me importa un comino lo que piense alguien como tú. Mira entonces a ver qué otro incauto pillas por aquí porque por mi parte no tienes nada que hacer

          • Típica respuesta chavista, y así esperas que alguien te tome en serio, que por tu berrinche se nota que sí leiste el texto y que te dolió bastante.

  19. “The question that faces Venezuela now is different. “Is the opposition to remain a viable, nationwide organized movement with some scope for independent action, or are we to become truly like Cuba: a country without an organized opposition, only atomized ‘dissidents’ with no capacity to mobilize and act collectively?””

    Except that there are elections in Cuba too. How’s that been working for them?

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuban_parliamentary_election,_2013

    You go vote, Quico, book a trip to Caracas next time. Give the example!
    When you reach the line, take a selfie, post it with the hashtag: #BringingDownDictatorshipsCubanStyle.

    Ps: Don’t forget to proudly show the little finger soaked in ink!!! Hahahahah!

      • What is probably one more reason to vote on the 2018 Cuban parliamentary elections, according to Quico, Ulamog:

        “That’s where we are today. The debate inside the opposition today amounts to “do we want to be liquidated, or merely battered and bruised?” I think we’re better off battered and bruised than wiped out as a political force.”

        What’s is funny is that he has the chutzpah to tell people to ‘grow up’ in the middle of his text.

  20. Evidentemente quienes estamos en contra de la dictadura no podemos aceptar las elecciones regionales bajo las condiciones actuales. Las elecciones no son libres y quienes desean participar en ellas son agentes de la dictadura y como tal deben ser tratados.
    Nuestro único objetivo debe ser la rebelión civil y militar. La MUD es un nido de víboras, y debemos entender que es parte del enemigo y organizarnos contra ella. Nuestro mayor error es que no hemos entendido esto y seguimos dándole ventaja. Es imperativo escracharlos y en la medida de lo posible cortar su financiamiento. Hay que investigarlos y exponerlos en todas las instancias. Es cierto que quienes realmente estamos en contra de la dictadura no nos hemos organizado bien todavía. Yo no creo que podemos organizarnos para una rebelión civil y militar en un corto plazo, pero sí creo que debemos comenzar por hacerlo de espaldas completamente a la MUD y considerarla un enemigo peligroso.
    En el caso de una insurrección civil o militar los gobernadores van a ponerse del lado de las fuerzas represoras, por lo que tarde o temprano vamos a tener que ir directamente contra ellos y mientras más rápido lo asumamos será mejor para todos. Ya vimos algunos amagos de esto en el 2014, pero los próximos gobernadores, sometidos a la ANC, serán mucho más eficientes y crueles, puesto que ya quemaron todas sus naves y no pueden ser considerados demócratas sino parte de un estado fallido que vive del narcotráfico y tiene vínculos con el terrorismo internacional. Ya vimos el caso de Ocariz en el 2017. No van a dudar en entregarnos.
    Nadie se lanza de lleno a formar parte de un estado forajido sino es para quedarse dentro de él un largo rato. Sólo en el mundo ideal de Francisco Toro los políticos de oposición son decentes y capaces de resistir el chantaje y las tentaciones del poder absoluto. Según él, los tipos quieren formar parte de un narcoestado para luchar contra él y no para vivir de las drogas y el contrabando mientras someten la población a través de un aparato clientelar perfecto, cuya longevidad ha quedado demostrada en Cuba.
    La AN resultó siendo nuestro caballo de troya, y nos hace un daño tremendo, puesto que usa su legitimidad de origen en contra del pueblo venezolano y a favor de la dictadura.
    De hecho, la AN cometió probablemente el peor acto de traición al pueblo y de sometimiento a una dictadura en toda la historia de nuestro país. Y es nuestro peor obstáculo ahora mismo, puesto que lamentablemente la comunidad internacional sí escucha a Julio Borges como Presidente de la AN y eso reduce las probabilidades de cualquier intento real de salir de la dictadura. Ahora mismo, es la MUD quien secuestró nuestra libertad, porque con la AN de nuestro lado se hubiera podido acabar con la dictadura este año. Nunca se trató simplemente de causar defecciones, se trataba de empezar una rebelión y triunfar porque somos más y porque nuestra supervivencia dependía de ello. Sabemos muy bien que no todos los factores políticos estaban de acuerdo con ese plan y que hicieron todo lo posible para sabotearlo. La unidad es necesaria, pero no la unidad de los partidos necesariamente, sino la unidad de la sociedad en contra de la dictadura.
    Es una lástima que personas talentosas como Francisco Toro trabajen a favor de la dictadura, y no usen su capacidad profesional y sus contactos para ayudar a organizar una rebelión a quienes de verdad la quieren hacer. Supongo que él no cree en rebeliones, pero es triste, porque entonces cree en la misma mentira que sostiene a una dictadura.
    La MUD no está en un repliegue táctico, sino en una avanzada en contra de la población. Están escapando hacia adelante, poniéndose del lado del sistema corrupto y no en contra de él. La represión que ejerce la MUD contra sus detractores, que hasta ahora ha sido principalmente verbal, psicológica, pasará a ser física en cuanto termine de fusionarse con el aparato totalitario. Si a usted le parece chino lo que estoy diciendo, espere unos meses nada más

  21. I agree with most of JCF/i above. The MUD leadership post 8/1 let it’s base down, and will pay the price in Regionals, my estimate 3 wins, maybe, and only then if the crooked electoral system allows them, for, perhaps, being “Chavista Light” (HF), or collaborationist (HRA/AD)–all this, sadly, “showing the world” that the Regime has widespread “popular support” after all. Momentum building up to a promised 350 attempted climax was betrayed/completely lost. By participating in Regionals, the MUD leadership, with exquisite timing, simultaneous with SmartMatic declared electoral fraud, legitimized the crooked CNE, and by reflection the spurious ANC. Venezuelan Oppo leadership proved once again, as in 4/11, that it can’t carry the ball to goal, and the vast 80+% DE classes proved, whereas they would throw the Regime bums out in free/fair elections (as for the AN), which they will forever be denied in future by the Regime, they will not (yet, at least) widely follow street/public protests to physically/forcefully throw the bums out, as they literally progressively physically get weaker/weaker/less able to do so from lack of food/medicines….

  22. A political movement is defined by its goals and its plans. What are the goals of MUD? What are its plans for the future?

    We only now know that the plans of its leadership for the highly probable scenario wherein the ACN was established against all objections was… abject unconditional surrender and betrayal of all of its supporters many of whom suffered the direct vengeance of the regime in jobs and food, many of whom risked their lives and many of whom paid in blood.
    Its supporters had a right to expect determination and persistence at the very least, or even better, a clear commonly agreed declaration on the way forwards, one designed to escalate the pressure on the regime.

    Whether the individual leaders decided on total surrender because of personal cowardice or venality is now unimportant. What is important is that this collection of treachorous misfits who now compete with each other to win Quisling awards are positively lending credibility to the electoral system AND legitimizing ACN oversight – simple propaganda for a despotic regime. They deserve no support in these efforts. They have become part of the problem.

    MUD is no longer “viable” or “organised” and retaining these fakes serves no purpose other than to provide an umbrella of protection to the regime. As a voice of the opposition, they are tainted and untrustworthy. As leaders of a popular uprising, they are useless. I do not accept the argument that anything is better than nothing. These people have shown themselves to be worse than nothing; they are now making a positive political contribution to the Chavista propaganda machine A new, real opposition must emerge with an iron will and the courage to destroy this plague of rats. The alternative is surely and clearly written on the wall.

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