Foto: CuatroPelagatos

Antonio Ledezma hasn’t even been in Spain for a week and the buzzards are already attacking: Helen Fernández, the woman he left as commissioned mayor just before being detained, was sent home by a decision of the Metropolitan Council, effectively ending her tenure. That Council is, by the way, opposition–controlled.

“They’re declaring my absolute absence and the four grounds for dismissal are nonexistent in this case!” she says.

But Alejandro Vivas, city councilman from Primero Justicia party, believes the controversy is born from different interpretations of the law; when Ledezma was in Caracas, he says, there was a chance of him coming back to his post. After he fled for Spain, that possibility is gone and the mayor’s absolute absence is in place.

“There is no chance he’ll come back. This was a decision consulted with people from the PSUV [government party] who already had plans to nullify the Council” Vivas says.

I’m going to repeat that for you: people from Primero Justicia held hands with the dictatorship to expel a functioning mayor from her duties.

Truth is, this mayorship is a powerless body, an empty shell amidst parallel institutions under a dictatorial regime. Vivas insists on this being a recent notion born out of the need to comply with the law: “there was real risk of seeing the will of the opposition voters violated,” something that may have a political cost for Primero Justicia, but, according to Vivas, it was done with the utmost respect. “We tried to communicate with (Ledezma) after he left Venezuela, and he told us he disagrees with our actions.”

They’re declaring my absolute absence and the four requisites for that are nonexistent in this case!

And you know why? Because you can spin this any way you want, sugarcoat it with all the legalese available and make a pretty poster with bright colors, but we can see what you’re doing. The commissioned mayor is a figure created precisely for situations like this, and all logic (let alone camaraderie and real respect) dictates that she should end her term. “Law will let you do anything” is a saying in Law School, because you can spin the words as you wish. But the fact is that you waited until a popular opposition figure was out of the country to violate the provisions he left and now they leave his trusted collaborator out of a job. For a post with no real power. For a line on your CV. And you did this colluding with the people you are allegedly fighting.

“This decision came from Primero Justicia” Helen says. “I don’t understand why they did it or why they mock what Ledezma said. It’s a complicated situation, but this is disrespectful.”

By being part of Ledezma’s team, Helen thinks she is becoming an “uncomfortable figure.” Even inside the opposition.

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  1. I couldn’t agree with this more! Has anyone EVER heard of any Cabildo councillor before? anywhere?… I imagined so. That’s precisely the problem with a large fraction of the opposition, a bunch of don nadies fighting for el perol. Un perol that does not exist anymore.

  2. “Truth is, this mayorship is a powerless body, an empty shell amidst parallel institutions under a dictatorial regime.”

    Now flash back to the weeks of apologism of the MUD on this site when they were disregarding the protest , shitting on dead people and sending everyone to vote in rigged elections for those same useless seats? 🙂

  3. The entire idea of “power” in a bankrupt nation is an illusion. With a population of 30 million, and total dependence on foreign monies from oil exports, which in turn subsidize the little food and medicine etc. the country has, and in an economic “system” in which the currency is of no value whatsoever, “power plays” are like two chamos arguing over a comb. Why, because the power to effectively make change is simply not there. Government is a business, and without funds, it can no more function than a bodega can function sans comida, a building, money to give change, and a staff to honestly and efficiently manage the operation. Perhaps none of this can ever transpire till a total make over of the culture is underway.

    So who’s gonna step up and lead the way, because the path the Chavistas and the opposition are heading clearly leads nowhere.

  4. I have commented before: most opposition “leaders” might be easily part of psuv party if psuv put them “donde haiga”. That’s the reason that all people that split from chavismo are inserted so smoothly in the opposition leadership. Falcón, la fiscal, Didalco, William Ojeda, any former ministry of maduro even the ones that were responsible of the repression in 2014, all of them are nowadays opposition leaders (fine Didalco or Ojeda are not yet there but they will). Just like that. So don’t be surprised in the future when Diosdado will form part of the MUD or Rosales part of psuv.

    This is business as usual in Venezuelan politics. Everybody fighting for the cambur. Don’t fool yourself most opposition parties lease their franchise accordingly in a bidding process behind the scenes. Cuánto hay pa’ eso, vivito y coleando.

    P.S. How many votes will get Borges, HRA or even maduro in a free and open election with no tarjeta backing them? Same votes Alfaro Ulcero got when AD withdrew its support back in 1998 (less than 1%).

  5. JJ underscores the sad fact that there only appears to be two parties, when in fact there are just two groups playing the same juego Venezolano. Till that juego (business as usual) blows apart, change seems unlikely.

  6. This further comfirms the theory that HRA hated Ledezma with every fiber of his being and wanted to erase all traces of him from the map.

    • Except PJ has nothing to do with HRA. I’m not defending them either; if they did hold hands with el zorro viejo they wouldn’t have been so pathetically blindsided when the (unconstitutional) regional elections were announced

  7. Who cares…

    We need unity now more than ever, yes. But Ledezma and MCM have made their beds by splitting the MUD wide open. (Now they’re trying to be part of the dialogue too.)

    How can you expect “camaraderie and real respect” from PJ when Ledezma and MCM don’t do the same when the stakes are much higher? In fact, they’ve never done so.

    Nunca se han sumado, pero siempre esperan que los incluyan en todo, aunque representen una minoria dentro de la oposicion (y una mayoria de los tuiteros).


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