Assassinating Óscar Pérez, Chavismo Shatters the Myth of the Peaceful Endgame

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Yesterday, a man who rebelled against a totalitarian regime was executed during a raid in violation of all applicable laws. He, his family and Human Rights groups raised the alarm over his imminent execution. Paramilitary groups, created and financed by the state, seemingly played a leading role and the government confirmed that Óscar Pérez was dead more than 24 hours after the raid.

However, from the reactions of the media and our political establishment, you’d think that it was all a storm in a Twitter tea cup. Primero Justicia, to its credit, seeked a parliamentary debate only to be overruled by the new Speaker. The result is painful silence at best, clueless irony at worst. It was Venezuelan Twitter, at its most suicidal and snarky.

But I don’t think snark alone explains the reactions to Óscar Pérez’ demise; Pérez always stood out as an uncomfortable symbol of the real nature of our predicament, and the slim chances of a peaceful endgame.

For those taking part in the quixotic dialogue in the Dominican Republic, he’s a painful reminder of the hopelessness of their negotiating posture. His presence and, now, his absence gnaw at the earnest, well-meaning intellectuals who nonetheless must realize the chances that a gang of thugs will hand over power voluntarily are vanishingly slim.

We’re so used to dismiss as crazy those who argue that violence may be the only alternative to end the dictatorship, that we kind of do it automatically now.

Deep down, we all know there may be no outcome other than violence and chaos. Oscar Pérez faced that reality and did what none of us dare to: he embraced it.

For the diaspora and the more “radical” factions of the opposition, he is evidence of the terrible price of the solutions they advocate, the physical courage it calls for, the probability of a deadly outcome and the long odds of success against a ruthless and heavily armed kleptocracy.

The raid shows what the real price of a war would be.

Before his death, Pérez could be dismissed as a sideshow, a false flag, an actor paid by the government to string the “radicals” along. He even acted in an action b-movie and had a colorful Instagram account  we could laugh at. He was religious and irony-free.

Not anymore.

For all the times we’ve said “don’t you get it, this is a dictatorship that will stop at nothing to keep power”, looks like we didn’t really get it. Óscar Pérez’ gruesome death brings home a reality we’ve spent years trying to repress, to wish away. We’re so used to dismiss as crazy those who argue that violence may be the only alternative to end the dictatorship, that we kind of do it automatically now. But even some of our most eminent intellectuals argue that force may be the only way out of this.

Óscar Pérez never really had a chance, but morally, it’s difficult to condemn what he did. His death gnaws at a nation. It puts violence at the center of the national debate in all its bloody, life-destroying reality our last hope, doubling as our biggest fear.

51 COMMENTS

  1. The problem with Oscar Perez is that he never seemed sincere, he always looked as an actor, that’s why he would always be seen with esckepticism, and it’s likely why not many people in the military joined him. However yesterday’s events prooved that at least he and his movement were real. Time will tell if his movement is/was as serious as he claimed.

    The reason why there haven’t been rebellions in the military must be the same reason why there aren’t major civilian demonstrations lately = fear.

    I doubt we will see any more Oscar Perezes in the future. If anyone is conspiring they will have to be more discrete or put on a bigger scale show.

  2. Oscar Perez failed to inspire in the population the emotions of patriotism and the sense of duty that he believed in.
    Too many people have decided to let others take the risks and make the sacrifices that removing this illegal regime will require.
    Just like the 100 plus kids that were murdered by the regime during the protests, it appears that Oscar Perez has also died in vain.
    I hope that I am wrong and that someone will rise up in Venezuela and stir the men of Venezuela into action against this regime.
    The men of Venezuela need to act to protect their families and to bring about the promise of a better future for their children.
    What will it take to make the people resist the regime? How many more children have to die from starvation and lack of medicine?
    For a population that has become used to handouts, when will they realize that nobody else will hand them their freedom when they refuse to fight for it themselves?

    • Oscar Perez was the Che Guevara of Venezuela .. Time was not on his side. Like Bolivians this will mark another dark phase for Venezuelans. It is easy to be critical of how he presented his case..but He Did, nevertheless.

      • Tweety,
        I am not being critical of Oscar Perez. I am baffled by the lack of support and his inability to inspire other men to act.
        A lady that I help in Caracas has told me that she thinks Venezuelan men are cowards. I don’t know.
        I just can not believe that there aren’t any grassroots resistance movements against this regime.
        I think that Oscar perez believed that he would have followers and inspire others.
        The people that seem to understand the Venezuelan citizens the best are the members of Maduro’s regime. They have the ability to manipulate the people and the opposition politicians. The opposition leaders jumped at the chance to get elected, even though it is common knowledge that vote tallies are manipulated to favor the regime. People wasted their vote for the promise of a CLAP bag.
        This reminds me of the Peanuts comics when Lucy promises Charlie Brown that she will hold the football for him to kick it, even though every time in the past she has pulled it away. Charlie Brown keeps believing Lucy will keep her word.
        Just like maduro keeps making promises and the people keep falling for the lies.

  3. Reverol indicó, sin dar muchos detalles, que la ubicación la obtuvieron debido a las declaraciones de un medio internacional y por las mesas de diálogo, que se llevan a cabo en República Dominicana, donde dirigentes de la oposición habrían dicho el lugar donde se encontraba Pérez refugiado.

    “Las diligencias investigativas, desarrolladas mediante el análisis minucioso de cada evidencia, de interés criminalístico, además de la entrevista reciente que ofreció un canal, un medio internacional, a uno de los integrantes de esta célula terrorista, además en el marco del diálogo por la paz, algunos dirigentes políticos dieron información importante sobre la ubicación presuntamente de este grupo terrorista”, dijo este martes durante rueda de prensa.

    Really? With an opposition like that we may as well just burn this whole fucking thing to the ground.

    • Ok, I hope the criminals pay me for the script:

      -Alo Julio, epa hermano aquí Oscar, el del helicoptero…
      -Quién?
      -el de la película hermano, el cicpc que sobrevoló el TSJ.
      -ah sí ya me acordé. Qué hubo ? Cómo va la cosa?
      -aquí hermano en el Junquito con Pimentel y los muchachos, cómo va lo de RD?
      -todavía negociando, en un rato nos reunimos de nuevo con los hermanos Rodríguez.
      -buenísimo hermano, envíameles un saludo, pero no les comentes que estamos aquí.
      -Seguro, saludos.

      It’s not easy to be safe for a group of notorious people (everyone could recognize Oscar or Pimentel) for so long in el Junquito, add to that, the govt kidnapped several friends (including the guy from minci) and some other families. Additionally, according to the videotape there were women and probably kids staying with them. As such, it was very difficult to be under the radar for so long. Actually, what I think it’s that those guys had a good intelligence network to keep doing what they did in Caracas for a while. Unfortunately this was the end. RIP.

      P.S: we hope for once that everybody understands that we are dealing with a gang! A criminal one.

    • Nothing the regime says is true. Rebels cover blown by an infiltrator who sold the info to the regime. The regime moved ASAP meaning they did not sit on the info or stake El Junquito out. The timing with the gold shipment and Maduro’s speech a coincidence.

  4. I was not a fan of the guy, but this end seems … well, he embarked in a quixotic crusade that, at least for what it seems, was not that well organized or supported, and paid the ultimate price when the thugs in power decided to squash him.

    But as time goes by, as much as he was, still in my opinion, not really much of a leader for not much of a movement, the point you make, as much as it hurts, remains.

    We would wish a political exit to this.

    It doesnt look like there is going to be one, ever.

    He may have jumped too early or too unprepared. And again, I would wish not to have to think this. But the window for thinking this is going to be solved peacefully is closing.

    • Its evidently an attempt at discrediting and disincouraging the opposition , a blatant lie , why would he tell anyone in the MUD where he was hiding , he was acting idenpendently of them ……….

  5. Oscar Pérez faced that reality and did what none of us dare to: he embraced it.

    Exactly spot on.

    He faced the reality.

    He did what NO ONE has dared to do. I dare say, no one WILL dare to do.

    He embraced it. And paid the ultimate price.

    The guy is a hero for Venezuela.

    Time to bulldoze that mausoleum of El Finado and put this guys bronze statue there.

  6. “Paramilitary groups, created and financed by the state, seemingly played a leading role”

    I beg to differ. This was simply a smokescreen designed to remove HV. These thugs have no business in yesterday’s type of assault which was conducted by professionally trained and geared troops. HV was setup and killed by his own…this MO of using unrelated event to wack someone has been used by the regime countless times going back to Danilo Anderson.

    OT: Yesterday an Air-X charter Airbus 340-312 9H-BIG departed Ccs 7:46 am to Dubai via Athens. What was on board? Many tons of gold bullion.

    OT: Russian navy Vishnya-class intelligence ship Viktor Leonov left Port of Spain, T&T after 5 days in port. Will she head to Venezuela?

  7. Yeah no doubt. That was the only good news there was yesterday. What I can’t wrap my head around is how Oscar only got one of those brainwashed walking abortions that were sent in as cannon fodder first. Listen to what the retard Freddy has to say about him. God these people are fricken unbelievable…

    pic.twitter.com/WmJNj5ITZ0

    • You are falling for the BS. Nothing is what it seems. You should know that. You can’t wrap you head around something that did not happen.

  8. it is unlikely opposition knew where he was. Seems like the usual tactic from the government, trying to make someone else look bad for them (like with everything bad that happens that they don’t ignore, like the perniles)

  9. Did he leave behind any indication of his political sympathies other than his call for rebellion against Maduro? Did he advocate for democracy? I cannot find anything on English about his political views?

  10. OP was sold out by an infiltrator. The regime acted immediately upon learning location meaning that yesterday’ timing with gold bullion shipment and Maduro’s speech where coincidences.

  11. “The Cuban embassy in Caracas was the target of Oscar Pérez’s car bomb”

    “In his account on the social network Twitter, that medium identified as La Tabla affirmed, without specifying details, that the plans against the Cuban diplomatic headquarters in the Venezuelan capital were discovered by the intelligence of the South American country.

    “It would be against the Embassy of #Cuba in #Caracas the attack with a car-bomb that planned the terrorist group of the actor and pilot Oscar Pérez and that was unveiled by the Venezuelan intelligence, as confirmed by the president @NicolasMaduro”, he tweeted the blog chavista.”

    https://www.aporrea.org/actualidad/n319738.html

  12. ‘gnaw at the earnest, well-meaning intellectuals who nonetheless must realize the chances that a gang of thugs will hand over power voluntarily are vanishingly slim.’

    This has been evident at least ever since the TSJ decided to not recognize the the three deputies from the Amazonas when the National Assembly was elected. And you call yourselves intellectuals? Don’t make me laugh.

    • There’s always been a disconnect and misunderstanding between civilians, the military and cops. OP was successful in bringing his plight to the attention of Venezuelans and the world. Considering his age and career accomplishments under Chavismo, he was very successful. He was braver than most and understood what needed to be done. To criticize or question the man is just bullshit.

  13. I admit, I did not believe he was legitimate. My question is why was he considered a “false flag” by the people of Venezuela when the M-19 performed similar actions in Colombia (granted 40 years ago) and the people were, if not mesmerized, at least impressed by their “accomplishments”. I know the comparison is a bit weak but the pulling off of incredible feats is apt. Anyone have thoughts on this?

    • Most people in Venezuela has considered cool to not to believe in anything, so as to claim “Hah! I’m not a stupid sheep like you the gullible lemmings!”

  14. Can’t believe what I’m reading here:

    Disparaging this hero who paid the ultimate price to save his country. Knit picking on what he did, how he spoke, how YOU know how he could have done it better.

    While sitting on your asses and doing nothing.

    Man, Venezuelans are really fucked up. More so than I ever thought.

  15. You’d think OP was Osama bin Laden, the way they handled this. Did Oscar ever actually kill anyone? I don’t think so.

    • He was trying a more “diplomatic” approach than the ridiculous caricature of the “lunatic happy trigger that kills even the cat to show they’re more macho than the regime”.

      The actual problem is, that the other groups that were doing the same, won’t be so cautious now about who gets trapped in the crossfire.

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