EFE’s Marcel Gascón has an excellent round-up of Julio Borges’ tenure as National Assembly’s (NA) speaker. Although far less histrionic than most Venezuelan politicians, Borges managed to inflict more damage on chavismo than the bombastic, less efficient Henry Ramos Allup:

Borges launched an international campaign that has undoubtedly yielded results. Using letters and personal contacts, and without the histrionism of other more vehement opposition leaders, Borges relentlessly denounced the alleged abuses against the Constitution by the chavista government, with special attention to those committed against the Parliament.

A key element in Gascón’s perspective is Borges’ crucial role in closing chavismo’s access to foreign credit, one of the main negotiation weapons (if not the only one) that the extremely weakened-opposition has against the government (not to mention the international recognition gained by the NA and the widespread global rejection to the Constituent Assembly):

Borges explained in detail to these entities the alleged illegality they were incurring by buying a debt that the government unilaterally approved, without the seal of approval, required by the Constitution, of a Parliament now stripped of its competences.

As Borges himself — of Catalan and Valencian extraction and born in Caracas in 1969 — explained in an interview to the English language blog Caracas Chronicles, the strategy had two fronts.

First, making clear that ‘they were aiding and abetting a violation of the Venezuelan Constitution’; second, reminding them that ‘doing business with a dictatorship or a government that violates human rights or destroys a country’s democracy’ entails a reputational damage that banks cannot allow themselves.

Borges’s letters ‘scared many persons in the financial world’, a source close to the bondholders market told Efe…

Considering the hysteria surrounding Borges’ name (he’s called a traitor while, ironically, being one of the few high-profile opposition politicians that has been savagely beaten by chavista thugs —more than once), Gascón’s profile is a necessary piece on a complex figure that we’ll probably miss after finding out about his successor.

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  1. I watched many interviews that Julio Borges gave to the media. He was on the BBC news show Hard Talk a few months ago. The host Stephen Sackur is very sympathetic to the opposition and allowed Borges adequate time to explain the opposition arguments and to explain why Venezuela was no longer a democracy.
    The illegal cancellation of the recall was explained in detail.
    Borges may have been effective in getting the opposition’s message across to financial markets, but he does not have the charisma that is needed to create the focus of the international media on the crisis in Venezuela.
    He comes across as a capable bureaucrat rather than an inspirational leader.
    Venezuela needs a true patriot that can rally the troops, obtain international support and has enough political support to influence events and even make the regime fear him and fear arresting him.
    The MUD is in disarray. The recent elections have left many people feeling betrayed by the MUD leaders. The split within the opposition is a gift to the regime.
    The MD’s continued “playing into the hands” of the regime, calling off street protests when they were becoming more effective and attracting international attention, meek response to the ANC and participation in fraudulent elections, have convinced many people that the MUD opposition is not the answer to Venezuela’s problems.

    • “A cabaple bureaucrat rather than an inspirational leader”.

      That might be the best description I’ve ever read of the man. I hope he reads it too.

  2. This unknown clown Marcel Gascon must live on some other planet. The only question about Borges is whether or not he was bribed by the Narco-Kleptocracy, and if so, by how much. Did he get more Euros than Ramos Allup or Freddy Guevara to call off protests and participate in bogus elections?

    As one of the leaders of the despicable, ineffective, disastrous MUD, Borges can only be described as a huge failure, en el mejor de los casos.. with less charisma than Maduro’s retarded son, a pathetic bureaucrat. He managed to bury whatever momentum the MUD have, dividing it to the core, making a ridicule of the entire opposition, while invigorating Chavismo to its strongest position since El Pajarito Supremo’s death.

    Concentrating on International help has proven to be a dumb move. Beyond Stupid. Chavismo’s crooks know where to hide their stolen millions and properties very well. They laugh every time some US official put them on a some list, just ask Gabrielita or Ramirez, the Derwicks.. 99 out of 100 Mega Crooks are enjoying their millions overseas, everyone knows how to hide them.

    On top of that, useless International condemnation does NOTHING, while Chavismo establishes itself firmly in power more and more every year, getting stronger and stronger, while they just talk some politically correct crap once every blue moon overseas. Chavismo doesn’t even care about humanitarian aid to hungry and sick people, and all Borges tried to do was alert the international community that the ANC was illegal, while the MUD utterly disintegrated? And Borges is praised for that now? Gimme a break!

    This Gascon guy and other political clowns have the nerve to praise Borges, a clearly failed and disastrous MUD leader.. BTW, suspicious last name, probably comes from Gars Cons, vraiement Cons!

  3. There are many in the opposition who are competent and economically aware individuals doing more than should be expected of anyone during normal times. They are faced with a military regime, and with a legacy of “oil money” morphed into socialism – and those Venezolanos who truly understand the situation can continue with the “morphed” descriptions. I just see the economic competence they have, and in my opinion these men and women should not be faulted before they are given credibility and rationality. (There … meti my too [sic] cents again.)

  4. …’while Chavismo establishes itself firmly in power more and more every year, getting stronger and stronger.”

    Stronger? Only relation to a toothless opposition. Maduro owes billions, has tanked the production of anything, the oil sector (taken over by soldiers, they say, today) is slumping like crazy, people are dying from malnutrition and curable diseases and conditions, there’s no fucking comida, and the murder rate is dire and security is gone. None of this is sustainable as mentioned, Chavistas are like cockroaches. I can’t see how this is sustainable much longer, ever for cockroaches.

  5. I can’t fault the guy, because there’s a difference between politicians and revolutionaries.

    A revolutionary like Chavez who was overwhelmingly elected and…

    Oops. Never mind. That story isn’t going to well.

    I think some of you guys think that a guy is going to emerge with the combined qualities of Lafayette, Jefferson, Bolivar, Washington, and Frankln. A master in all things.

    It’s fucking Venezuela, okay? Good luck with that, But not a country on earth has had a leader with these combined qualities mentioned above.

    You gotta take the good with the bad.

    Which is why I adore Trump.


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