I’ve always had a thing for witches. There’s something really powerful and heroic about being wrongly burned at the stake because you spoke your mind or simply because you were cultured or well educated. I look up to smart witches, like Hermione Granger, complex witches like Bellatrix Lestrange and funny witches like the iconic coven from Hocus Pocus.

Turns out, I’ve been fighting my whole adult life against the one coven that can actually do magic when it’s convenient for them. I’m talking, of course, about Tibisay Lucena, Sandra Oblitas, Socorro Hernández and Tania D’Amelio.

The four chavista extremists who run elections in Venezuela are the real deal: seemingly magic and scary as they come.

Remember last year, Henrique Capriles was all “el tiempo de Dios llegó” and announcing we were going to have a referendum to fire Maduro? Yes!

We were excited and hopeful and did everything they told us to do.

We listened to opposition leaders and sorted out every obstacle, almost doubled the number of initial signatures we were asked to submit. The process started on the first quarter of 2016 and we played by their book, we danced to their beat, we obliged even though we knew they were cheating and making up fake – and illegal! – steps to delay us.

We proved over and over that we’re law abiding citizens, even when those laws are mostly made up on the spot to screw us over. And then they said that six months wasn’t enough. They said this was a lengthy process and that there just wasn’t enough time.

Look, I’m not a lawyer and I am sorry if this sounds dumb or if I am truly underestimating how complex it is:

Step 1. Write one simple question asking the Venezuelan people if they want Nicolás Maduro Moros to remain in office.

Step 2. Set a date so people can show up to their voting stations and answer yes or no.

What’s so hard about that?

A year wasn’t enough time to do that. And yet, somehow, these witches can come up with the money, logistics, miembros de mesa and organizational skill to hold elections for 335 mayors in six weeks? Huh?

Were their wands broken in 2016? Was there a potion ingredient shortage too, in addition to food and medicine last year?

Yesterday, every major Venezuelan party that’s part of the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) said they were not going to participate in the elections our dear coven set for December 10th, 2017.

The four chavista extremists who run elections in Venezuela are the real deal: seemingly magic and scary as they come.

Freddy Guevara (VP) said “we won’t participate in a new fraud against the Venezuelan people and we responsibly call on the other parties in the MUD to refrain from participating in any way.” Tomás Guanipa, from PJ, said his party won’t participate in any election held by “a government who decides who can or can’t win” and he accused them of never respecting the will of the people.

MUD also said they will soon hold primary elections to decide who will lead this coalition moving forward and who will be running against Maduro in the 2018 presidential election. The thing is, it’s the government that will really pick who runs against them: arbitrary inhabilitaciones mean that only the people who the government finds simpático get to run. The others end up ruled out como por arte de magia.

So we’re left with the leftovers: people who’ve been given a clean bill of health by the regime. Sadly, nobody trusts Ramos Allup after the “four rogue governors swearing into office before the ANC” debacle, and his likely primary opponent, the just-as-magically re-habilitado Manuel Rosales, manages somehow to be even sketchier.

But that’s all next year. We have a December ordeal to get through first. Once again, the opposition won’t run. Yes, we know that election boycotts never did the opposition any favors. But CNE had never been this brazen before.

Some witches used their powers for good and were burned at the stake. I always liked those. Apparently when they send their witches, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending witches that just want to burn an entire country to the ground.

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Nina is an actress and comedian living in Bogotá. She loves reading and correcting people when they screw up, which is perfect for working as a copy editor at Caracas Chronicles, because she gets to do both.

24 COMMENTS

  1. Riddle me this. If all the opposition parties will now NOT participate in the local elections this December because “….(we) won’t participate in any election held by “a government who decides who can or can’t win”, then what potion are they taking, that makes them believe next years presidential election is different?
    Politics are a bewitching profession!!!

  2. I’m all for electing the leader of the opposition to have coherence and direction, but totally against the candidate for the 2018 Presidential “election”. First because that would demobilize a portion of the opposition that wouldn’t agree with the picked candidate and second any presidential election should occur ONLY after the regime is exterminated.

    Our focus, time and energy MUST be in coordinating and planning a Humanitarian Intervention with Military Assistance.

    Humanitarian Intervention with Military Assistance.

  3. Nina, help me understand your phrase: “But CNE had never been this brazen before” Brazen at? Did you possibly mean voting fraud, that CNE has never been this brazen at altering the vote before.

  4. “We listened to opposition leaders and sorted out every obstacle, almost doubled the number of initial signatures we were asked to submit. The process started on the first quarter of 2016 and we played by their book, we danced to their beat, we obliged even though we knew they were cheating and making up fake – and illegal! – steps to delay us.”

    “A year wasn’t enough time to do that. And yet, somehow, these witches can come up with the money, logistics, miembros de mesa and organizational skill to hold elections for 335 mayors in six weeks? Huh?”

    The bigger whopper was putting together in 2 months or so that indecipherable, sectored, cluster fuck known as the ANC. Amazing how fast they pulled that off, no?

    Confession time. Let me state clearly right here that as the recall referendum approached, I was convinced…”now we got ’em….there’s no way they can screw around with this one, it’s a centerpiece of dearly departed Galatico’s constitution………..new elections!!! Yea baby”.

    Then, the cunt starts working her magic every step of the way. No matter that the opposition met the requirements of Step D or E, or F, in 7 days, if they rules said the CNE had up to 45 days to confirm that Step D, or E, or F had been met, then the cunt took all 45 days. Rinse and repeat. Finally the thing was dragged out, under the guise of legality, until time expired at the end of 2016.

    Confession No. 2. I was still being stupid. Okay, so I thought, “it’ll be 2017, and while there won’t be new elections, at least we’ll get rid of that asswipe Maduro and start making some headway towards tossing these bums to the curb. Getting the recall through will be a major embarrassment to chavismo, expose all its flaws, and the new king will be a lame duck”.

    Then bam! As the process was gaining major strength in the final dash towards the finish line, state criminal courts around the country suddenly throw the whole thing in the trash can violating every constitutional norm in the process. And maybe I’m wrong here, but there was hardly a peep out of the opposition from what I recall.

    I should have been smart enough to have known better long before then that these thugs were never going to give up power via any constitutional means. I wanted to believe that for all its flaws, the constitution still meant something. I was duped. But it was the last time I fell for their shit.

    That day, the day the recall was killed, should have been the day all holy hell broke loose in this country. Had that been the case, had the opp been prepared to seize the moment, we might be having a totally different discussion tonight.

    • “That day, the day the recall was killed, should have been the day all holy hell broke loose in this country. Had that been the case, had the opp been prepared to seize the moment, we might be having a totally different discussion tonight.”

      You think so? Yes, I agree, the oppo should have launched a massive protest movement the moment it was killed. God knows the people were ready and outraged. But would the outcome have been any different than the outcome of the massive protest movement this past spring? There’s no reason for me to believe the outcome would have been different if the protest movement had exploded last fall instead of this spring. The men with the guns did or could not abandon the regime.

      • Can’t disagree with your final comment Rory14, which is why I said “might be having a totally different discussion tonight”.

        I guess when looking back over the last few years and all of the things tried by the opposition, the only thing that seemed to keep the regime off balance was the marching. Photos of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people in the streets marching to protest their living conditions was more than the regime could bear and they had to attack them and demonize them.

        I think most would agree that it was the protests coupled with diplomatic efforts that finally lead to the sanctions. Sanctions aren’t everything, but they’re not nothing either.

  5. “Yes, we know that election boycotts never did the opposition any favors. ”

    Please tell the complete story: “Election boycotts WITHOUT ANY OTHER ACTION AFTER THEM BECAUSE AN USELESS AND RIGGED PRESIDENTIAL CAME LATER never did the country any favors”

    • This is what I’ve been saying. Boycotting elections could be a gof choice provided it’s followed by another action. Otherwise it’s just giving up without a fight. What other action? I have no clue, but something needs to follow abstention.

      • The MUD has to drop their political party campaign and start working and organizing to exterminate the Maduro regime.
        Unfortunately this can not be carried openly or risk incarceration.
        So it is up to Venezuelan living in the exile to form a coalition promoting the idea of international intervention.
        That is the action we should be taken, there is no other way to deal with armed criminals.

  6. Oppo and elections: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”

    And to take it a step further, boycott election same result, don’t boycott election same result……………

  7. When will people understand that elections have never and will never be fair and therefore will never be an option. Please don’t be expecting any foreign military intervention ever, it will never happen. The only way this will eventually be solved is a civil war. It will be a long wait I know but I’ll bet a €1000 right here with anyone that thinks different. … Any takers???

    • “The only way this will eventually be solved is a civil war.”

      Ok, fine, I’ll go get my AK-47 to go fight against the military that defends Maduro.

      Oh! Wait! I don’t have one. Can I borrow one from you?

        • Even if he and others like him had one, that’s a long way from an organized and directed movement against a highly equipped, centrally directed military complete with robust intelligence and surveillance systems set up for just this precise situation.

          If armed revolt/resistance is the answer, I think the only hope is that sporadic guerrilla action gains strength and sparks the military to splinter, but the real risk is it unifies the military.

          Who knows. I certainly don’t. But the people are dying and suffering everyday…

      • “Oh! Wait! I don’t have one. Can I borrow one from you?”

        It’s very easy to tell people to wait 50 more years when:

        1) You don’t live in Venezuela.

        2) You have a full stomach and don’t need medicines.

        3) Your income covers all what you need.

        4) Your income depends on chavismo’s standing in power.

        • Are you saying that to me?

          Because if you are, let me tell you that I’m certainly no telling people that they have to wait 50 more years, and my income does not depend in any way shape or form on chavismo’s standing in power.

          I understand why someone might propose a civil rebellion in order to get rid of the fuck-bags we have in power, given the fact that elections have failed, and protests have also failed, but how on earth are we going to start a war against an army, regardless of how shitty that army might be, without proper weaponry?

      • Missing from this is the obvious. It’s going to take a significant part of the Venezuelan Military to start a civil war. Some civilians still retain weapons and ammo, as seen this year in Urbanización Miranda and Terrazas del Avila, but not enough to do much without help.

        Getting the hoods in the barrios to add their firepower would be a plus, but something tells me that’s a hard ask.

  8. Venezuela is literally swimming in weapons. Yeah, the most common are of the handgun variety, but military rifles and even hand grenades are available. Like everything else here, each has its price…….which is why the country is so fucked up.

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