Last Sunday, the PSUV got 18 out of 23 governorships, in an already controversial election. After using subtle (and not so subtle) mechanisms to exploit every weakness in the message the Democratic Unity Roundtable /MUD) sent, chavismo turned the Venezuelan map red once again. But even where the opposition won, it’s all coming to the expected outcome: no matter the results, chavismo won’t share power with anyone who’s not wearing a red shirt.

See, after suggesting they would swear in their charges to the Constituent Assembly (ANC),  the five oppo governors decided not to, setting the chavista machinery in motion.

To understand its twisted operation, we must go back to December 16, 2012, the day a dying Chávez got his governors elected in 20 states. Members of Regional Legislative Councils (the regional branch of the Legislative Power) were also elected, and the PSUV got a majority in every one, except Amazonas. These councils were supposed to be renewed along with governors on December 10, but when the CNE re-arranged regional elections for last Sunday, they didn’t include legislative councils. These small parliaments are in charge of key activities like approving regional budgets, and authorize governors to name regional authorities. Also, as stated in the Regional Constitutions, before taking their posts, elected governors must swear in their charges to them.

A Gaceta Oficial ordering the intervention of Merida’s state police, along with those of every state won by the MUD last Sunday, was published.

By Constituent Decree, the ANC ordered every Council to not swear the candidates in, until they do so before the ANC itself. And after Maduro, in a show of democratic spirit,  threatened those who don’t comply with jail, legislative councils followed orders.

In Zulia, Giovanny Villalobos, Regional Secretary of Government, announced he’d wait until next Tuesday for Juan Pablo Guanipa to swear his charge to the ANC, or he’ll name Magdely Valbuena, current president of the legislative council, as interim governor until the CNE calls new elections for the entity. He also warned that there won’t be CLAP bags and state companies resources for the new governor, until he bends the knee.

A similar situation happened in Anzoategui, where Julio Millán, president of the legislative council, cited articles 127 and 128 of the State’s Constitution to force Antonio Barreto Sira to comply with the plan. Officialist supporters even ransacked the Governorate Office, as denounced by Vente activists.

In Táchira, a group of MUD legislators revealed the Council’s plan to declare the “absolute absence” of Laidy Gómez, to name PSUV legislator Omar Hernández as substitute governor unless she swears in to the ANC.

Even though the legislative council hasn’t made any public announcement in Mérida, chavismo is playing its usual cards: on Monday, right after winning the election, Ramón Guevara announced he planned to restructure the state police, one of the pillars of Alexis Ramírez repressive policy. Álvaro Sánchez Cuéllar, current director of the state police, begged Ramírez to not “hand that revolutionary institution to a escuálido” like Guevara.

After suggesting they would swear in their charges to the Constituent Assembly (ANC), the five oppo governors decided not to.

Lo and behold, a Gaceta Oficial ordering the intervention of Merida’s state police, along with those of every state won by the MUD last Sunday, was published. The Interior Minister argued the decision was taken to “guarantee the people’s security” and “to make sure the police duty is exercised in strict accordance with the law.”

Chavista activists also introduced legal action against Guevara to the Prosecutor General, hoping to nullify Merida’s election, since Guevara “made fun of the Venezuelan institutionality” and “threatened to fire over 7000 public workers.” The funny thing is that, even though none of their accusations are electoral crimes, using state resources to promote a candidate, like PSUV’s Jehyson Guzmán did, is typified in articles 13 and 18 of the Law Against Corruption.

On the other hand, Alfredo Díaz, Acción Democrática’s elected governor for Nueva Esparta, said he was willing to swear in before the ANC, because that’s “their only alternative to keep the spaces won by votes.” Even that statement didn’t earn his committee entrance to the new office.

Chavismo has created parallel institutions to bypass its electoral defeats for years. They do it because they can, and as long as it remains so, the electoral resolution of our crisis is a self-destructive pipe dream. Chavistas will win, even when they lose.

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


  1. Catch 22, or perhaps 33.
    1. If the opposition participates, it loses because of the illegal conditions and abuses.
    2. If the opposition does not participate, it loses and the chavismo does not even need to cheat.
    3. If the opposition participates and wins (as in 2015 National Assembly), the chavismo applies any “sobrevenida” rule and deactivates the victory. In this occasion, for example, removes any governor who does not subordinates to the ANC.
    There is o legal solution when you are dealing with thieves, smugglers, murders and so on.
    What’s the solution? Everybody knows.

    • “There is no legal solution when you are dealing with thieves, smugglers, murders and so on.”

      Well CC is “a toda mecha” “haciédole el corito al CNE” repeating any information provided by the CNE as facts but …” …you are dealing with thieves, smugglers, murders and so on.”

      Did you see the map in the home page of CC? all the information from CNE, so these is “santa palabra”. The word “fraud” is not allowed no matter is massive FRAUD just happen in your face and …”… you are dealing with thieves, smugglers, murders and so on.”.

      There is not fraud because CNE or the ACTAS didn’t say so. No fraud because VTV, el canal oficial, didn’t say so but …”…you are dealing with thieves, smugglers, murders and so on.”

      If you read the articles here in CC just before 15-Oct they were misleading people, actually cheating. Assumptions like “if more people vote CNE cannot steal the gobernaciones”, correlations of numbers between participation and gobernaciones of the Opp, like 50% of means 6 gobernaciones, 55% more gobernaciones, 60% at least 15 gobernaciones, more than 60% around 20 gobernaciones. If at least 55% vote “Miranda esta segura”, and what happened was exactly the opposite because …”…you are dealing with thieves, smugglers, murders and so on.”

      Now, they forgot about their misleading analysis, with more than 61% opposition only got 5 gobernaciones because “you are dealing with thieves, smugglers, murders and so on.”

      So we go back to: “… you are dealing with thieves, smugglers, murders and so on.” And people at CC are still believing in them… just look at their homepage and all the posts they are opened about what happened in 15-oct!!!

  2. This behavior is just fine. Chavismo was trying to improve its international standing by faking democracy, so if being denounced as cheats is not bad enough, straight out power grab just makes them show what they are, a naked military tyranny.

    Meantime, while the economy implodes, the country becomes ever more a failed state. Up to now, los militares estan muy contentos en echarse ese muerto, but reason does not favor making Venezuela the Zimbabwe of the Americas.

    Dolar Today 38,087.

  3. I seriously think that this is the best of all possible news. I cannot imagine a more stupid action by the regime at this time.

    I am reminded strongly of the joke about the Princess out walking with her maidservant when she comes across a frog on the riverbank.
    The frog croaks out, “Princess, I am not really a frog. I am actually a handsome political journalist turned into a frog by a wicked witch, but if I am kissed by a princess then the spell will be lifted. What say you, Princess?”
    The Princess smiled, picked up the frog and put it into her handbag.
    The maidservant watched expectantly and then asked “Aren’t you going to kiss the frog, Your Highness?”
    The Princess still smiling replied “Somehow I believe that a talking frog is a lot more valuable than another political journalist!”

    I genuinely believe that the irreversible damage that the government does to its reputation by the instant rejection of the newly elected governors is a lot more valuable than anything which those same governors could have achieved if they had assumed office under this regime with no power, no budget and under permanent threat. Coming immediately after the abuses and proven fraud in the election process, this action leaves the regime without even a fig-leaf of credibility in the international community.

    It also flips the finger at the electorate.

    This was not a smart move.

    • Absolutely right–the Oppo arguably made a tactical mistake by participating, but any Regime possible “democratic” patina gained (e.g., FT’s WaPo article) was immediately blown out of the water by the Regime’s invalidation of the Oppo’s squalid Governorship wins. Goes to prove, Commie/Military thugs can’t easily bear a democratic mantle.

  4. Beyond doubt the Chavistas govern as a dictatorship, but I am hoping someone from CC or someone who partciipates on this board will explain why a majority of voters preferred the socialist dictatorship of the Chavistas to the democratic socialism of MUD. The problem isnt that Chavistas are dictators; the problem is that a majority voted for them. This is the paramount issue now that fraud has been eliminated as a decisive factor. Who accepts my challenge to explain the choice of a majority of your voters?

      • Andrees Oppenheimer of the Miami Herald agrees that fraud was decisive as per the following excerpt from his column: ” Maduro’s most recent elections for 23 governorships were so fraudulent that they were denounced by the United States, the 28-member European Union, and Latin America’s biggest countries, including Mexico, Brazil and Argentina.

        It sounds like a joke, but Maduro claims to have won 80 percent of the governorships in a clean election, despite the fact that virtually all polls show that 80 percent of Venezuelans want him to leave office.

        In addition to using massive government resources to help his candidates, allowing widespread media censorship and refusing to allow credible international observers, Maduro invalidated more than 1 million opposition votes by preventing people in opposition strongholds from casting their ballots.

        He changed the locations of polling places on Election Day, sent voters to remote or dangerous neighborhoods or failed to inform them where to cast their ballots. Some voters were given ballots that included the names of opposition candidates who had been defeated in primary elections, leading them to cast invalid votes.”

    • As confusing as it may sound, the further deterioration of the Venezuelan economy can benefit the Government in the context of a weak and biased electora authority like is the CNE. The fact people can’t afford anything, from food to cara, makes them extremely deendant of the Governement to survive. Chavismo sends a clear message before any election: if you want a house, you MUST vote for me, if you want a car, a bag of food, in any case YOU MUST VOTE FOR ME. The worse the situation gets, the more basic the needs that chavismo offers to satisfy get. People feel they can’t have absolutely anything in this country if it doesn’t come from the Governement. I think that helps explain some of your doubts.

      • I’m not sure that dependency fosters loyalty. It certainly fosters resentment.

        The Soviet block certainly cultivated this model, and then it crumbled.

        As for consolations the government is providing the people, they have become rather meager. Moreover, people lived a better life just a few years ago. Talk about a resentment generator.

  5. Almost three months wasted as the MUD chases its tail while the streets cool, Miranda is handed to the regime, and the dollar closes in on 40,000 bs. Is there a country out there more fucked than this one?

    Never have so many done so little with so much.

  6. I have been saying, repeatedly, that the government’s main objective for the election was the legitimization of the ANC. They are counting on 2 o 3 opposition elected governors to break rank and voila, the ANC is the supreme law of the land.

    Guanipa is already weaking and so is the one for the State of Nueva Esparta.

    “Guanipa: Los cinco gobernadores actuaremos en bloque y consultaremos a nuestros estados”

  7. I see either a recklessly weak opposition leadership or a completely beaten people.

    Probably equal parts of both.

    And to think CC was banging pots and pans for a diplomatic solution and marching every day for freedoms that we’re never coming.

    Bang dome more pans. Walk your marches. You gave up everything this time for a CLAP bag of lies.

    I fear for Columbia more now than ever.

    Trump should not bother sending one brave US soul for VZ. Instead reinforce the Columbian border and send as many Narco terrorists to their graves.

    • This type of cancer can spread quickly, especially over extensive green borders; that is why, before it’s too late, there will have to be a Final Solution….

      • There’s still hope and a constitutional and democratic solution according to some.

        For the life of me I can’t figure out what those solutions are or how they’d be implemented.

        • Why, more dialogue, then on to the Regional legislative elections, then on to the 2018 Presidentials (HRA/HF top Oppo candidates)–I mean, if the Govt. ONLY has 54% popular support, and the economy will deteriorate even more by then, well, what could go wrong?….Oh, I forgot, bailoterapia daily on the Autopistas of Miranda, with youth dressed in tri-color lycra tights, and oldsters wearing tri-color caps/franelas….,

        • I have no idea how to get things turned around without massive outside assistance.

          Not because the USA need another nation building exercise,but, because the rot is so deep in VZ. Good people can only remain victims for so long before they leave or revolt.

          I think the time for a revolt has long LONG since past.

          Kidnappings of police and SEBIN who are less well guarded … Then go after the families if gubmint officials and military and police like they have done with innocent civilians?

          Those are drastic steps with questionable results, but they scare the hell out of leaders.

          I don’t see that the opposition has it in their stamina for what comes next. The longer and more drawn out the suffering, the bloodier the battles will become.

          Or you end up just like Cuba with nothing to hope for but more handouts if you rather out enough of your neighbors. This is where Marxism always ends up.

  8. To participate or not in fraud ridden elections is a veritable Hobson’s Choice. Damned if you do, Damned if you don’t.

    At the end of the day, participating was the lesser of two evils.

    Now that fraud is finally out in the open with a paper trail to prove it ( yes, I know that previous elections were manipulated, but no smoking gun like the one in Bolivar), now it is clear to all who doubted that the game has been rigged for ever.

    Blasting this blog’s editorial line for trying to maintain a modicum of objectivity in the middle of the destruction of a country is at best a show of ignorance.

    It is said that crises bring out the best or the worst in people. It is clear that this is true also here.

    So many keyboard warriors who don’t do anything but criticize and kvetch like fussy grandmas are now, unfortunately, more common here than ever before.

    Thank God there are still a few around that make it still worthwhile to read SOME of the comments.

    • I think Robert Cheeseman’s comment to FT’s “modicum of objectivity” WaPo article, claiming a real election result (in a fake democracy), headed by a photo of a narrow street one-block long Chavista rabid horde to prove its point, might be of interest to you.

    • I was going to make the same criticism of your posts.

      Here, more than anywhere, you should realize the absurdity of your thought police mentality.

      • I haven’t posted here, Ira, in quite some time thanks to the lousy comments system that swallows comments.

        If you had bothered to look up what I have posted in the past you’d realize how silly you sound.

        But then again, to expect anything else from you is stupid.

    • “So many keyboard warriors who don’t do anything but criticize and kvetch like fussy grandmas are now, unfortunately, more common here than ever before”

      So they have to shup up, even though you have nothing to show up for all your arrogance and good deeds?

      I would rather do nothing than make a god dammed fooled of myself over and over again.

      Maybe our politicians are not making things better, but worse.

      And besides, who the fuck gests to judge who is “doing something or the cause” and who is not? I am I citizen, I can vote, and if I thought assholes like Ocariz were actually doing something for the cause instead of making things worse, perhaps I would have voted for him.

      Imagine, the guy is so useless, I didn’ t care to vote for him even though it seemed that I had no choice but to! And I wasn’ t the only one to think that.

      So if some are willing to fake they are democrats, then they have to accept that the true is that most venezuelans actually think that MUD Is a piece of crap. Live with that. You decided to go to fake elections, you decided not to oppose the ANC, well, then accept the results.

      The only reason people put up with politicians like Ramos Allup is because the system is rigged and they have no choice. Oppo voters are no different than PSUV voters, Right now, the average MUD voter is no different than the average PSUV voter.

      Good luck trying to fight against a terrible dictatorship with that mindset.

      I am never voting for MUD again, in any circunstances.

      La verdadera lucha contra la dictadura va a empezar cuando seamos dignos.

      • No one asking you or anyone else to shut up.

        My point is we can disagree without shooting each other.

        As for the rest of your post, yes, I agree that we are in a shitty place when our options are MUD or PSUV.

        In practical terms, do we have enough time, right now, to get the steam up on a third way?

        Do Ledezma and MCM and such have a fighting chance to become that third option in a significant way?
        Not as long as AD, PJ and the rest hold title to MUD. And not as long as they are the ones that are getting the money.

        It was a foregone conclusion that even winning 23 governorships meant 23 “Protectores de estado” would exist come Monday.

        Which is why I said that voting was the lesser of two evils. Even though the lesser, it was still evil.

        Without significant foreign help we are not getting out of this mess. Without an obvious, provable in a physical way fraud, we are less likely to get the help we need.

        So now actors such as the EU have even more reason to impose sanctions that will go far towards achieving our goal. But I am not naive enough to believe that this is going to be enough.

        Sadly, it is going to take blood. More than that already shed.

        • “In practical terms, do we have enough time, right now, to get the steam up on a third way?”

          The “anti-keyboard-warriors” believe that even 50 more years are a little time to continue enduring the chavista blight, all because “trabajo de hormiguita”

          They obviously aren’t lacking food nor medicines and they don’t care either about the potential millions of people that’ll be slaughtered by the dictatorship.

          “Without significant foreign help we are not getting out of this mess. Without an obvious, provable in a physical way fraud, we are less likely to get the help we need.”

          There is proof of the fraud, now more than ever with the physical actas, yet still there are some folks that prefer to “bend to not to break” instead, such as the Nueva Esparta governor who was willing to betray the country by validating the prostituyente.

          • “There is proof of the fraud, now more than ever with the physical actas, yet still there are some folks that prefer to “bend to not to break” instead, such as the Nueva Esparta governor who was willing to betray the country by validating the prostituyente.”

            And for that they should be execrated

  9. How was it the lesser of two evils Robert? We abstained in overwhelming numbers for the 31 July fraud and it was recognized the world over as just that, a fraud.

    And while today some are celebrating the amazing discovery that a dictatorship cheated in an election, how many are left with the impression that, well, it wasn’t really a fraud because Francisco Toro told us so in very influencial newspaper article?

    Finally, I would submit that NOT blasting this blog’s efforts to “maintain a modicum of objectivity” while the country’s democratic and constitutional institutions are dismantled one by one by an illegal regime, only feeds into the regime’s goal of sowing hopelessness within the opposition.

    In a nutshell, if you’re not part of the solution, then you’re part of the problem and trying to maintain “objectivity” towards this regime borders on insanity to me.

    • It was the lesser of two evils because without participating you simply hand them the goodies and show the world your fight really was for nothing.

      Could Velasquez have shown fraud if no oppo had shown up to vote?

      Look, no one should believe that Quico is some kind of opposition guru whos opinions and the first and last word on the subject. I don’t,

      For decades we have cried foul in every single election, and the only ones ( in practical terms) that believed that were inside Venezuela. So now, yes, there is a smoking gun that, as Velasquez put it, you can smell and taste and feel.

      It is one thing to “Blast” and another to disagree and explain why you disagree.

      Personally, if I could fire the entire MUD directives, and put Rosales, Allup, Falcon and Borges in jail I would do so happily and I’d throw away the key too.

  10. Of the whole thing, I just cant get past 2 bits

    – No CLAP for you governor. Really? Really? Thats the point the country is in? Public blackmail with food?

    – At least one adeco is willing to bend the knee? Fuck you

    THERE IS NO SPACES. The only point of participating in this election was to have to force them to do stuff like they are doing so the very “chimba” democratic mask falls off quickly. You know even winning the goverrnorship you will not get to do anything. So instead of selling out, SCREAM for everybody to see how they are stealing the will of the people.

    If this is the AD position they should be kicked out of the MUD.

    • MUD”s incoherence is to blame. We went from 350 and “throw da bums out!” On 16J to “lets go get elected” on 17J.

      Problem is, we expected politicians to act like people, not like politicians.

  11. There is no longer any pretences and yet the MUD will say they need to stay “engaged” if they want a seat at the table.

    Well, now there are less chairs for them and what few they hold are about to be pulled out from underneath them just as they are about to sit down.

    How does this make their participation look at this point?



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here