During the Weekend

For Moday, October 30, 2017. Written by Javier Liendo.


Last Friday, CNE chief Tibisay Lucena announced the electoral timetable for municipal elections in December, but she didn’t mention a specific date. Mayoral nominations must be submitted starting today, and the admissions process will take place November 1st through 3rd. The same electoral registers that were used for ANC polls and regional elections will be used this time. Even electoral committees will be the same.

In the wake of this announcement, an embattled MUD, struggling with its recent defeat, is yet to say whether they will run again.

Meanwhile, Zulia Legislative Council chairwoman, Magdely Valbuena, was unconstitutionally sworn in as governor, and vowed to protect the careful work of “the best governor Zulia has ever known, Francisco Arias Cárdenas.” I’m sure we’ll find her suitable to the task (not).

On Sunday, FAN Strategic Operational Command chief, Remigio Ceballos, said that Bs. 2,3 billion were confiscated in new banknotes about to be smuggled to who knows where. He also said that they had captured 114 aircrafts breaching Venezuela’s airspace, that 74 laboratories in the Orinoco Mining Arc were “sanitized” (whatever that means) and 30,000 soldiers were deployed to patrol the border. In an interview with José Vicente Rangel, he claimed that the opposition had “called for violence in the streets” after the October 15th defeat, and “when the authority finds resistance, the authority must act” (justifying the brutal repression by security forces). Additionally, Defense minister Vladimir Padrino López says that the “economic war” against Venezuela has intensified after the popular victory on regional elections. Needless to say, there’s not an iota of sense or truth in any of this.


Yesterday was the National Day for the Prevention of Teenage Pregnancy, and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) reported that a child is born in Venezuela to a teenage mother every three minutes, accounting for 20% to 25% of all childbirths. The social, educational, clinical and economic implications of this, amidst the most severe crisis in our history, are disastrous. According to UNFPA’s official, Andrea Pereira, both the Fund and the Ministry of Health are carrying out awareness and prevention campaigns to get the situation under control. But due to restrictions in access to resources, as well as adequate professional staffing, these initiatives are insufficient.

Lara’s setting up stations to vaccinate citizens against diphtheria, after Carabobo, Yaracuy and Portuguesa were hit by an outbreak they’re scrambling to keep in check.

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  1. Javier, a suggestion, and only a suggestion. Would it not be reasonable that every time the word elections is used, it be placed in quotation marks? That would at least convey the impression that the staff recognizes the process as a fraud and hopes its readers recognize understand that as well.

    That is unless, of course, you believe the process really does represent real elections.

      • I only wish there was a clear signal sent to those on the outside reading these pages that elections here aren’t really elections.

        • M – off topic, but yesterdays quiz… I immediately thought of our Puerto Rican quenepa . Just looked it up, and it is the same as a mamon.

          Now that is a fact !! jajaja

          • Dale, a year or two ago on another forum based out of the states we were discussing tropical fruits, I posted a pic, and a friend of mine from California knew exactly what a mamon was. She’d spent time on one of the Caribbean Islands and it was popular there….called a mamon there too. Even commented about the kids rolling up the front of their T-shirts and carrying off a load of them.

    • It’s a good point, but the quotes do convey a certain irony, and important for new visitors here.

      May I suggest we come up with some alternatives? Like:




  2. Elections are a fraud. Timetables and procedures are meaningless. The oppo will never be allowed to win under the dictatorship and the fraud of the ANC.

    • It will never happen. The day any threaten to crush them, the so-called “venezuelan army” will be emptied of its members and will be long gone. Actually, they are long gone, the currently members are just con artists wearing bombastic costumes, and even some of them are members of the hampa común, that joined the official hampa.

    • It won’t be the USMC. If Venezuelans won’t fight for their own freedom, why should US blood be shed? We already have enough ingrates who hate us for “helping” them.

      Lesson learned.

      • Yeah I’m aware that’s why it’s a fantasy. Honestly if Venezuelans were real patriots then a real opposition would be organizing an army in the US composed of Venezuelan expats and ex-military personnel with financial and technological support from the US in exchange for future oil fields in Venezuela. Something similar was what Miranda was basically doing the majority of his life.

  3. Under current conditions in Venezuela, abstaining seems to be the correct choice. However, for abstention to have any result it needs to be accompanied by something else, be it marches (which I don’t think really work), strikes or whatever. I don’t see abstention by itself leading to anything.

    • Charlie, in my view the protests from May through the end of July were making real progress and I honestly felt things were reaching a tipping point when the traitors called off the dogs.

      There were protests in most of the major cities around the country but the ones in Caracas had a significant compounding effect of restricting the flow of goods to other parts of the country since most everything flows through that area. This, in effect, was like an ever-increasing work stoppage taking place around the country as already scarce goods and services were drying up even further. Suppliers who normally covered our area every 10 days or so, suddenly reduced their schedules, some stopped coming altogether. Our parts business took a major hit because the suppiers refused to go through Caracas or try alternate routes farther south. I know this because they told us so.

      The regime’s oppression of those demonstrators also gave it a black eye almost daily internationally and they were literally wearing out many GNB troops who eventually were restricted to base when on leave for fear of desertion. The opposition was winning, gaining the upper hand, and most importantly, gaining the sympathy of the world at large.

      Work stoppages ftoday are much trickier because many businesses fear that the regime is serious when they say if you shut your business, we’ll take it and give it to “the people”.

      Sucks. All done and over with now. And it was all traded for a few shiny baubels in the form of governorships, disguised as an election.

  4. “they were literally wearing out many GNB troops” The protesters were wearing out too after 3 months. I saw less and less people attending the marches as time went on. I couldn’t go any more after I hurt my back. I guess a lot of people didn’t see us making much progress and the number of kids losing their lives was a bit much. Out of fear, I didn’t want my niece to go anymore, if I couldn’t be there. Also, I wasn’t too happy about some of the international coverage. They always talked abut the “violent protests” and not about the peaceful protests turned violent because of the government actions.

    I guess if some f our “leaders” had taken more time expaining how much progress had been made, like you did above, and hadn’t sold their souls we’d be in a different situation now.

    So, what will be the strategy to follow, abstain and …… ?

    • Indeed Charlie, both sides were wearing down, that was apparent. I applaud you and your niece both for exercising your constitutional right to protest peacefully and also putting your lives at risk which you obviously did every time you took to the streets.

      Even though a certain poster here has tried to paint me as someone asking for, and waiting on, a military invasion of US ground forces, I have never done so that I recall. I may have commented that I couldn’t see how the regime would be forced out quickly short of a military solution, but that doesn’t mean I was in favor of seeing US ground forces here in Venezuela. I do recall once commenting on how targeted air strikes could have been used to cripple the forces Maduro was using to attack non-violent protests, but that was the exent of it.

      At this point it’s turned into a waiting game though I fear time is now on the regime’s side.

      Abstention? Absolutely. I was 100% in favor of abstention for the 15 October “election” and am now more convinced than ever that that was the right approach. To participate in any further “elections”, to me, borders on insanity at this point I just can’t imagine the logic anyone would use to justify handing the regime such a gift as participating in another fraud.

      Continuing to isolate the regime both politically and economically are good things, but take time, a lot of time, to have a positive effect.

      Economic sanctions? I’m all in favor of them and hope that the EU steps up and does their part as well making it all the more troublesome for regime members to hide their stolen loot. I’d like to see the US continue to tighten the screws making it more and more difficult for the regime to conduct business, specifically, hindering their ability to buy the support of the GNB. While PDVSA appears to continue on course to destroy the country’s capacity to produce oil, I’d like to see that accelerated. If production doesn’t collapse altogether, perhaps a mechanism of shutting down all PDVSA sales would do the trick. I think everyone knows what that would involve, though as stated before, it would be viewed by just about everyone as an act of war.

      God save this country.


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