How Diosdado’s Cunning Plan Could Spectacularly Backfire

Original art by @modográfico

The presidential election announced yesterday is probably a bleak omen for the possibility of a peaceful endgame to our current catastrophe. Given what we know about the way these guys roll, it’s easy to dismiss as unimaginable the idea that the government could lose. But history is sprinkled with examples of ruthless authoritarian regimes that called an election never dreaming they could lose them, only to be shown the door.

Look, we fully grasp by far the most likely scenario is that they do whatever it takes to win even if that means disqualifying the 27 million Venezuelans who aren’t PSUV members. The government has painstakingly built blackmail-y votes-for-food system that guarantees them around 6 million votes as a rock-bottom minimum. It can and it probably will disenfranchise Venezuelans living abroad and Jorge Rodríguez will experly play opposition members against one other, leveraging their petty grievances and using SEBIN to create more.

However, chavismo does have to allow some competitive conditions to get the opposition to participate. Even with the Kafkaesque conditions that the government will set, there is a non-zero chance that the opposition may settle their differences, choose a decent candidate and actually win this thing.

History is full of examples of authoritarian regimes over confidently calling for elections that they thought they could never lose and then going on to lose them because they underestimated what it would take to steal them. More generally, as international relations scholars have known forever and a day, miscalculation is one of the basic drivers of human history.

Chavismo does have to allow some competitive conditions to get the opposition to participate.

It’s easy to sketch out a story of how this might play out. Chavismo’s comfortable wins in gubernatorial and municipal elections late last year is clearly boosting their confidence in Nicolás Maduro’s viability as a candidate. It’s easy to see how PSUV could “overlearn” the lessons of October and December 2017. How they could “forget” that turnout in Venezuela is much higher in national and presidential elections than in regional ones. (Even though there was a huge outrage about abstention in the October gubernatorial elections, turnout was not much different from past ones.)

Late last year, Maduro was careful to remove himself from the campaign. In a presidential election this is impossible, his odious bloated chin will have to be in all posters.

You could even argue that a rational voter, knowing Maduro would stay in Miraflores whatever the outcome of his municipal or gubernatorial election, would logically prefer to vote for a PSUV candidate: electing an opposition local leader would surely cut the area off from transfers from the central government. We don’t usually think of it that way, but an opposition supporter who detests Nicolás Maduro might have had good reason to vote for a PSUV mayor or governor anyway.

Buying votes through bolivars is effective as long as the bolivars you are giving away are worth something and people aren’t making 50 cents a month.

Even if you think that’s nonsense there are good reasons to think PSUV might have a rockier road than they’re realizing. It’s also impossible to ignore the hyperinflationary elephant in the room.

Think about it, this will be the first election in Venezuela held in its first ever hyperinflation. Buying votes through bolivars is effective as long as the bolivars you are giving away are worth something and people aren’t making 50 cents a month. Hyperinflation is destroying the livelihoods of low-ranking military members of the armed forces: precisely the people whose support you need in order for any election-theft plan to work.

And yet, we live under a ruthless dictatorship. We know that chavismo is likely to overcome all of this and win. But it’s in no way a sure thing. Since the Massacre of El Junquito, the government has been as its most erratic.  Maybe they will call the elections off when they realize they’re out of their depth. Or maybe this is a bluff to get the opposition to compromise on sanctions at the Dominican dialogue.

Or maybe they’re just miscalculating. Maybe. 

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  1. I detect wishful thinking…..

    Truthfully, massive cheating is the norm for the last 19 years. Why change now? I expect nothing different to happen this time around. They’ve got caught outright stealing elections and nothing bad happened to them. It’s like a kid that has never been disciplined…….

    • “…nothing bad has happened to them…”

      Because the cover-up of the traitors from the high seats in the “opposition leadership”, I guess we all know who the usual suspects are.

  2. We sure haven’t learned a thing if we even consider elections as a possibility. I’ll put on my cafetalera hat and say, “Eso es lo que ellos quieren que creamos”.

  3. “History is full of examples of authoritarian regimes over confidently calling for elections that they thought they could never lose and then going on to lose them because they underestimated what it would take to steal them.”

    I believe the 2015 AN Election is one of them, which is why chavismo has carefully stepped up their whole “rigging the election” game, which ended up in the blatant steal of the Bolívar governorship from Andrés Velásquez.

    • The 2015 AN election wasn’t “lost” by chavismo, they “won” it by rendering null the AN the same day the 112 congressman was anounced.

      • What a elaborated statement. The lost the AN 2015 Election, period.

        They effectively killed the AN afterwards, but they lost the election and that’s a fact.

        • No, they didn’t lost, they LET some seats to go to the opposition.

          That’s the way to ensure there will be people believing that “there will be fair elections and they’ll respect the results”

          They destroyed the AN after “losing the election”, they turned their apparent defeat in their victory, because the AN hasn’t been able to do anything since day one (And promptly went to “bend to not to break” instead of actually opposing chavismo)

      • No, the election, they lost. It was the AN which they killed afterward. There’s reason to believe they won’t even let the opposition win this one this time.

  4. Ok, let’s continue thinking along this path:

    The mother of all miracles happens, the Oppo candidates win big-time, Maduro and Co. concede and retire to their villas in Cuba.

    Then what?

  5. This is the type of article that plays into the regime hands. “Maybe we can win” cannot be the message. The message should be that Venezuelans cannot keep accepting to play a game with the regulations imposed by a narco-regime. Let’s rebel against this farce, don’t entertain it,

  6. “Look, we fully grasp by far the most likely scenario is that they do whatever it takes to win – even if that means disqualifying the 27 million Venezuelans who aren’t PSUV members.”

    You don’t need to buy nor disqualify anyone, as long as you can change the numbers at your leisure and have a leadership in the “other party” that agrees to keep their mouth shut about the fraud.

    The hardest and most undeniable proof of fraud, forever and ever, will be the steal of the election in Bolívar state, we know that they’ve rigged EVERY election since 2004, but that specific one had some people that weren’t plating into the disgusting plan of burying all the evidence in exchange of a miserable paycheck.

    They CHANGE the votes, they’ve done it since 2004, that’s how they invented that “chavismo was majority”

    The electoral shortcut leads to nowhere else than another couple of years of misery and destruction in Venezuela.

  7. Well, I am not an expert in Central and South American politics, but I have some issues with the two parallels mentioned here:

    – Nicaragua 1990: someone commenting here, who has experienced that election first hand, wrote that in the end, the Sandinistas’ Cuban advisors were comfortable with Ortega losing the election, provided that the FSLN can keep some power behind the scenes. Moreover, the linked Wikipedia article says that the civil war / Contra movement, and US pressure also played a role in Ortega’s defeat.
    If, as it is commonly written in this board, Cuba is calling the shots for the Maduro regime, then for that kind of scenario, it would be necessary that Havana acts the same way it did in 1990

    – Chile 1988: again, not an expert in Chilean politics, but I am pretty sure that the Chilean economy was in better shape back in 1988 than the Venezuelan economy is today, and there was a growing middle class which demanded democracy. Again the linked article from Wikipedia claims that “pressure from big business” also contributed to Pinochet respecting the result and stepping down in the end. The same article (or one linked from that) claims that the referendum itself was a measure of political liberalization.
    If any, Venezuela in the last few years experiences the tightening of repression and dictatorship, not its liberalization. It is also safe to say that Chilean people were not blackmailed by withholding food to vote for Pinochet.

    The other case which was mentioned in Caracas Chronicles last year, Gambia, an African dictatorship where the dictator suddenly lost the election in 2016, is a better parallel IMO. Worth noting, that the dictator only stepped down after military intervention from neighboring states (something which I dont think going to happen in Venezuela)

  8. Also, stop using those examples to try to justify that “elections can end dictatorships”

    In the case in Nicaragua the sandinistas allowed Chamorro to win as part of a plan to have them to validate their dictatorship, the right party took the seat but the government was completely devoid of power, a common chavista practice, where they “allow some seats to be elected” but said posts are stripped of all power, so they can’t change anything.

    And in Chile, Pinochet had already fixed pretty much everything that commies had done there, so he used the election to say “well, I’m done cleaning your disaster here, you can vote either for me to leave or to put another guy here.”

  9. Come on!!! The CNE can produce electoral results on command and you still think they will announce Maduro lost? Maduro will win, period. Now, what is your plan B?

    • Plan B needs to be the overwhelming majority of people that oppose Maduro’s reelection rioting when the CNE announces the results.
      The CNE could give the opposition some time to plan by announcing the final results before the election. The numbers will be the same.
      The major problem that I see with the opposition is that they are politicians. Politicians being politicians, they tend to act in their self interests rather than for the greater good. Maduro knows this. The most recent “elections” proved that the opposition politicians will jockey for power individually rather than stand united and risk losing any individual influence they still have.
      Venezuela desperately needs strong patriots that will act for the benefit of all citizens.
      The kids that were murdered by the regime in the 2017 protests, showed a willingness to risk everything for the benefit of their country. More so than most of the national politicians.
      The opposition leaders for the most part are a disgrace to the country.
      A candidate that has no political baggage and is supported unanimously by all opposition politicians is the most credible threat to the current regime.
      Make no mistake, Maduro’s reelection is assured by the regime. The theft of the election needs to be the spark that lights the fire of rebellion that burns strong enough to destroy the regime.
      After witnessing the reaction to the illegal ANC, I don’t hold out a lot of hope for the overthrow of the regime.
      Perhaps we will be pleasantly surprised.

      • “The major problem that I see with the opposition is that they are politicians. Politicians being politicians,”

        The biggest problem is that there are some really dirty traitors in the high ranks of the so-called opposition, willing to sell the election for a couple of bucks.

        • That goes along with acting in their own interests rather than for the country.
          Falcon has already announced his candidacy. Allup shouldn’t be far behind.
          Maduro understands that these people act just like dogs when a squirrel runs by. The elections that everyone knows are rigged is the squirrel that the regime easily distracts the opposition with.

  10. Free and fare elections will not occur until Leopoldo Lopez is free to run since the sole reason he is unable is political persecution.

    • Agreed, but that will not happen because Capriles, Rosales, the despised Henry Ramos Alupp will never allow it.. they hate competition, prefer any psuv candidate

  11. Is it me or does the government thinks it has more power than they actually have. The level of ‘prepotencia’ showed by them lately is excessive considering their position. Yes, they control the army and institutions but they have no money, no food, a hungry and angry pueblo, hyperinflation, wall street coming after them, all the western powers against them. I mean they really are against the wall. In situations like these I remember that Chavez would lower his head retreat and come back with stronger force. Doesn’t seem to be the case here which I take it to be a good sign.

  12. “History is full of examples of authoritarian regimes over confidently calling for elections..”

    Yes, and the vast, vast majority of the times they win, as our own mentor and boss, Cuba, always does. I dunno about Nicaragua, that’s a strange arroz-con-mango, but Chile’s example is TOTALLY different: It was a fair Plebiscite, from day one, a “yes” or “no” deal from an honest dictator, willing to accept defeat, unwilling to cheat. The exact opposite as in Klepto-Cubazuela.

    There is less than ZERO chance any Muddy clown could win this farce. NONE. Heck they haven’t even started using the many tricks Chavez’s Smartmatic can produce, handled by the Jorge Rodriguez Thug, trained in Fraudmatic ruses. The historical comparisons are completely irrelevant and inapplicable here, particularly Chile’s.

    Any other dictatorships similar to Kleptozuela’s that decided to stop cheating in elections and accept defeat? Didn’t think so. It’s not “full” of examples at all, unless you meant full of cheating examples.

    Cubazuela has demonstrated a thousand times that they will not hand over power and play fair. That they are masters at the cheating game, in many ways, from intimidation to extortion to outright vote manipulation. They know that they have nowhere to go except Jail, comprende?

    Dream on about somewhat fair elections and a Muddy victory.. Un-freaking-believable, at this point…

  13. Look, the US and the EU already know Venezuela is a dictatorship. Why do you think they have imposed sanctions? So, another proof to them that they cheat will not do much. China and Russia could not care less, so, again, another cheat will not do much. Latin America already know it and there is little they can do to change the situation in Venezuela, other than giving grandiose pronouncements that sound nice but are not effective. This leaves Venezuelans alone to deal with the issue at hand. If Venezuelans choose to play the electoral game thinking that they may win, well, what I can say that is not insulting?…nothing.

    I’ve long advocated for civil disobedience. I was laughed at by a few, but I still think this is the only way out of this corrupt government. Civil disobedience may just happen because there is no money left, not even Bs (kind of what Quico wrote about yesterday). At any rate, I would not wait for politicians to lead the way since you all know that they are not reliable.

    On a personal basis, I would have left the country years ago.

    • Venezuela tried civil disobedience ad nauseum.

      1)-The protests of last year were dramatic and lasted over 140 days. Something like 120 kids paid with their life and Chavismo did not care. The intent here was to force the military to choose sides, and they did on the side of Chavismo. They proved to be las Fuerzas Armadas de Ocupacion Bolivariana.

      2)-The workers of PDVSA staged a strike counting that Chavismo would not dare destroy the goose-that-lays -the-golden-eggs, but they did and now, 16 years later, the PDVSA roja-rojita is broke and produces half of what it did in those years.

      Only violence will do it and it is the military that hold the key.

  14. If we get a good turnout the amount they won’t be able to steal the election. They have a 400K to 600K buffer of votes they can steal.
    The problem that I see is the elimination of voting centers in opposition strongholds. They send this people to very dangerous places and these centers will overflow to the point that people will not be able to vote.

    • That’s a pre-2015 mentality. “…they won’t be able to steal the election” really? What makes you think they can’t steal an infinite amount of votes? What exactly prevents them from doing that?

      I would like everyone to remember the ANC election last year where they made up millions of votes. So out of touch with reality that Smarmatic themselves said the whole process was completely fraudulent.

      There was a time when you could overcome a lot of their trickery with a strong turnout (such was the case with the last AN election), but the regime learned its lesson. I am just astonished that the opposition cannot do the same and realize it’s not the same game we are playing. The only reason the government continues to push elections it’s because it keeps the oppositions in the doomed electoral hamster wheel and away from other, potentially more dangerous ventures.

      • When there’s no witnesses from the opposition they can create all the votes they want but when we have witnesses and people at the tables their ability to create votes is diminished. In the ANC election they claimed 8M votes just two months later they couldn’t do it in the governors elections. Why was that? because we had witnesses. They stole the Bolivar election by creating votes in small villages. If they were all powerful to create votes they would have done it in the middle of the City.

        That doesn’t mean they can outright do what they want but the evidence is that they have a 400K to 600K votes they can create.

        • Fefe you must be young , educated, fair and idealistic

          Also naive and lacking any historical knowledge.

          Please wake up and join the revolution

          You did not ask for it, but you need to sacrifice for your country or get out.

          Choose quickly

        • And when there’s witnesses from the opposition the chavistas still steal and create as many votes as they want.

          Just ask Andrés Velásquez in Bolívar.

          Also, they don’t create “400k” votes, they create over EIGHT AND HALF MILLION VOTES, because that’s what they made up for the prostitu-garbage and the regionals.

  15. Chronicle of a Death Foretold:

    The MUD idiots will present a candidate, or more, just to showcase their mental retardation and corruptibility.

    Millions of pueblo-people holding their shiny ‘Calnes’ de la Patria’ , with bogus Chavista jobs will be forced or tricked to vote for the Kleptocracy, with renewed promises of multiples Guisos and perniles.

    A couple million people will have the audacity and common sense to abstain. Those votes will be replaced by the dead, Cubans with cedulas, plus the undead, and countless folks with multiple personality disorders.

    The pathetic, predictable result won’t be a blowout, as the usual, almost traditional final adjustments are made by Jorge Rodriguez, Cabello and Cuba during the final stages: a glorious 57% to 43% victory for Masburro!!! Ramos Allup, Capriles and the other Muddy Clowns will claim fraud, and, much like in Honduras recently, the dictators will laugh out loud. “The international community” will doubt the results, while millions of Chavista thugs lough out even louder. Despite more Portuguese Pernil sabotages and bloody Guerras Economicas against the Imperio, there will be new Guisos, bogus jobs and Clap Crap for the “bravo pueblo”.

    The final stage of Kleptozuela’s full Cubanization will be complete, for several additional decades to come.

    • It feels like watching a wreck in slow motion. You know what’s gonna happen. Everyone around you knows what’s gonna happen. Even the people that go out and vote know what’s gonna happen, but everyone is completely afraid of trying something different and choose instead to tell themselves “maybe, maybe God will give us a miracle and maybe then, we will win”. And dont even get me started on the opposition politicians some of who are in bed with the regima and those that are not seem to fail to understand the concept of opportunity cost (“we have nothing to loose by participating in the election”, tends to be their thinking)

  16. The biggest problem when analyzing the Venezuelan situation is that we always compare what happens to us to similar events in history. Over and over again, we have seen this is an understatement as the government continues to show us they have no limit when it comes to evil.

    We should stop over-analyzing and over-thinking the situations and start asking ourselves simple, common-sensical questions. In this case the question is: If Presidential elections actually take place, is there any way the PSUV candidate can lose? The answer is NO.

  17. The MUD is a democratic organization, at its best it can win elections, sad to say, it has never governed.

    The government will have to be dislodged with violence that is very clear by now, so even if the MUD wins the election Chavismo will not concede. MUD cannot take arms against Chavismo, it has none.

    However, wining and election and/or proving callous fraud is a win for the MUD. Moreover, the asswipes military may be willing to sell out Chavismo and get itself out of the responsibility of the Venezuelan humanitarian disaster, short of deposing them through military coup.

    The government loses no matter the outcome.

    • First, There is no government! there is a regime aided by a foreign occupation.

      Second, there is a siege campaign against the population, hunger and disease and learned hopelessness are engineered and purposefully promoted and have been since day 1. (not swearing on the constitution!)

      Third. “opposition” players that become problematic (i.e. powerful and not corruptible) are used as examples (LL, Sumate, Goicochea, etc.) so that any other hopeful understands they can play as long as they are either harmless (AN) or useful (ALLUP, Others).

      some of the useful and harmless don’t even know they are (Capriles, Oscar Perez, etc.)

      The path to liberation and to start reconstruction lies first in the mind and the heart of the people. The leadership’s message needs to address the deepest sense of dignity and nationalism. (and Survival!)
      (better to die fighting that to die of hunger …)

      Meanwhile, millions are trying to rebuild their lives in exile.

      Until the problem is addressed honestly and openly, and the discourse supports the right actions, the game will continue. (enough to say presidential elections, and we are back to the cuento del gallo pelon of elections participate or abstain, etcetera. )

      Is tiring.

      • Hi Luis!

        I think the people are learning of the foulness of Chavismo: they are going hungry. Stark lesson.

        But as I said above, against a regimen (I take your observation) what is the alternative? There is no match to the raw force of the Fuerzas Armadas de Ocupacion Bolivariana which is willing to inflict violence on the people.

        A rigged election should be used as a civil disobedience action. You must embarrass the oppressor at every time.

        Even ‘El Gallo Pelo’ stops, the players tire out.

        • “There is no match to the raw force of the Fuerzas Armadas de Ocupacion Bolivariana which is willing to inflict violence on the people.”

          I beg to differ.

          Kill 10, kill 100, kill 1000 over a year. and people will argue, and yawn.

          Kill the same in Mass protests on Election Day this March – and the regime will be gone by nightfall.

          YOU CAN BEAT A SUPERIOR POWER, by OVERWHELMING their weak spot

          Now, what arises from this, I can not speculate

          • Sure, sure, but you need the 1000 pendejos to take the bullet. Believe me anyone that has the option to be an undocumented refugee elsewhere will probably demure.

            Unless you are an Oscar Perez type and willing to risk life and limb, I think your position is disingenuous.

          • renacuajo67
            you say “pendejos” – I say heroes

            my position is NOT disingenuous. It is a belief that pigs will fly, santa is real, and the Bolivar equals a dollar. Pure Fantasy

            Yes – we do agree

            The vast majority of Venezuelan people DO NOT BELIEVE IN COUNTRY. They talk a good patriot talk, on their way out of door.

            Did I hear 4 million of a 40 million population? That is staggering!!

            Change TODAY, will take much blood, but ONLY because of the pacifist policies of the recent past.

            A choice CAN STILL BE MADE.
            Do not Vote, or Vote, is all but the same.

            Fighting, protesting, revolution is the only legitimate historical way to change

        • I dont believe the Fuerzas Armadas armadas are unbeatable based on their raw force. You are probably basing that on the practically limitless supply of weapons and people. However, having lots of weapons and warm bodies has never guaranteed a victory.

          They may look like they are willing to fight if things get violent because they have only had to fight unarmed civilians. It’s easy to go out and shoot people you know at best will only through rocks back at you. It’s quite a different thing stepping to the front line knowing you may very well not make it back home.

          That undepaid, hungry soldier can be made to fear as much for his life as the armed civilian he is shooting at. The difference is that while the civilian can feel proud and a sense of duty to his country (if not desperation), the soldier knows he is only fighting to keep a mustached, fat guy in Miraflores.

        • El Nuevo Herald ran an article yesterday about serious morale and discipline problems among the armed forces in Venezuela, with a report suggesting an alarming increase in insubordination and desertion.

          According to ex-minister General Herbert Garcia Plaza, a state of alert has been declared in military installations, despite the fact that there are no immediate threats in the street.

          “Hay malestar y hay falta de disciplina. La tropa está desmoralizada”, dijo desde Washington el general Herbert García Plaza, ex ministro de Maduro. “En las instalaciones militares han declarado un estado de alerta que no es normal en este momento porque ni siquiera hay manifestaciones en las calles. Es como si pensaran que al enemigo lo tienen por dentro pero no lo vieran”.

  18. Stop wasting your time.

    We will not vote. Period.

    We have already agreed that the path is not to play their game. And we won’t.

    • Free Speech: You’re an idiot if you don’t vote. By not voting you legitimately hand the election to Maduro. By voting you force them to steal the election, and potentially get caught at it.
      Getting caught rigging the election will incur fresh sanctions, and maybe other outside help

      • It’s not that I won’t vote. It’s that we, the real opposition,

        Simply forget about it.

        We are done trying to make you see obvious things. Eventually you will see things our way and you will find a twisted way to rationalize your past stupidity. You will be welcomed regardless when you eventually understand.

        For now, though:
        Get ready and plan ahead because

  19. The only thing that matters is who counts the votes. And we know who will be doing the counting. Until the opposition realizes that this is a dictatorship and starts calling it that, we will be playing this game. This game which has taken what should be the most wealthy country in South America and turned it into a disaster.
    There is a special spot in hell for these idiots and for their supporters.

  20. As thoroughly flawed as this post is, it has one valid point:

    “Late last year, Maduro was careful to remove himself from the campaign. In a presidential election this is impossible, his odious bloated chin will have to be in all posters.

    Not that his hideous, much hated face will change the obvious result of the next Fraudulent Farce.

    Pero y despues quien se lo cala??!

    That’s the only silver lining I see on Klepto-Cubazuela’s dark cloud. After they steal this Presidential election, people will start to realize that the never-ending nightmare is for real:

    1/ “Elections” will never be fair or winnable. Ever, comprende?

    2/ It always comes down to the economy. Es el bolsillo, pendejo. (Proper Translation from “It’s the Economy, Stupid”.) And Kleptozuela’s economy is about to get even worse, yes, even worse meaning even less purchasing power for the pueblo-people, worse hyper-inflation, even more scarcity. That’s what’s gonna blow things over. The Chavistoide pueblo-people left getting really pissed off, even the millions of Enchufados.

    But pissed-off at what, at whom?

    At the detestable Maduro, who will soon be declared undisputed president for SEVEN years.

    Now THAT’s too much. Esa si que no me la calo!!, they will exclaim. Pueblo-people hate him, and being so utterly ignorant and under-educated, they blame everything on him, personally. You see, many simple-minded average people think that changing the President can change everything. Heck, most Venezuelans remaining in Cubazuela still love and venerate Chavez, to this day! They still think Maduro is the problem, not Chavismo, not the flawed klepto-system.

    Imagine the Klepto-Cubazuelan populace after Masduro’s inevitable victory next April, facing 7 full years of irrevocable misery, economic disaster, hunger, scarcity, colas, crime, financial default, even worse than it has been, with only one detestable face to blame. With his posters and insufferable cadena speeches all over again. No pana!! The popular hatred for this one President could prove to be too much,on top of the economic final debacle. Even if Cabello, Rodriguez and some in the corrupt military still support El Burro, cracks in the military will grow stronger, and massive popular unrest could start to organize with just 1 goal: Tumbar a Maduro. That’s how simple-minded people can be. (Even in developed countries like the USA, people tend to blame the President for all, it’s Trump they hate, not understanding that Presidents are overrated, it’s the Trump Administration that is responsible, it’s Chavismo, not just Maduro..)

    That’s the one silver lining after the next stolen election. People might finally get fed up with Maduro, and attempt to overthrow him in the streets, after it’s been proven over, and over, and over again that “elections” will always be fraudulent, and as the Economy gets even worse.

    Huge mistake by Chavismo. Enormous miscalculation. They should have presented someone else, less unpopular, say Chavez’s brother or some other Chavista puppet, That’s the only thing that could “backfire” after the next bogus presidential election. Miscalculating Maduro’s massive personal unpopularity.

    • Say what you may, Venezuela is a man made humanitarian disaster. Moreover, Chavismo is ideologically impotent to address it. Whatever keeps the criminal military loyal to these PSUV thugs must be wearing thin. Ultimately their power lays in their ability to project violence and in the economic collapse this too is compromised. The military is stubborn, but they will see they are on the losing side, just let the economic vise continue the strangulation over the next few weeks.

      Having the elections gives them a way to save face with everyone. They can sell PSUV out and in their mind, atone for their complicity in the disaster.

      However, I do believe there is a real possibility that the military will push along with the Chavista election farce and its consequences, and that may not be smooth sailing under the current economic trends.

    • I have been thinking about this “mistake” and the only logical conclusion is that Maduro is being setup to be either politically or physically removed as a candidate very late in the election cycle, to be replaced for an unifying new face among chavismo; this way they can easily explain why the polls couldn’t have predicted massive levels of participation of this election that they miraculously won.

      They are really good at creating this kind of narratives.

    • Poeta, never underestimate the Petro-State Peons’ seemingly unending ability to suffer while pursuing another red brick handout in Soylent Red (copyright, MR) Nation. This will end by guns, most probably from the outside….

  21. It was either poster waltz, or perhaps William Crispin, who wondered out loud yesterday that if everyone agrees that this is a criminal regime, and I believe everyone here agrees with that premise, then why go to elections on their terms?

    He was right.

    They’re criminals, remember.

    • Correct, but I also specified that one should not expect regime change from elections. I have to admit that taking part in elections and dialogue make sense when it comes to providing further proof to the international community of how undemocratic the regime is.

      I tried to respond with the same sentiment to poster Charlie last night but kept getting an “invalid security token” message, whatever the hell that means. There appears to be only one option, in my mind for regime change, that may include strikes and protests but guys/gals likely to face charges ranging from drug trafficking, money laundering, theft/embezzlement/corruption and human rights abuses are not likely to step down out of the goodness of their hearts or because they have agreed to play be internationally/locally accepted rules/norms.

  22. Easter Monday would be a good day for an uprising. Easter Sunday is April Fools day ,
    I bet you 100 Petros it will be a fair election.

  23. Two articles in a row. First Astrid, now this drivel. Dreamers ….. NO

    They are more like the NAZI Train and Truck Drivers.
    Telling the people that “if you come with us, we will take you to a better place”


    This will only end in Blood.

    The Venezuelan people DO NEED to come out on election day, but with rocks, sticks, with the unlimited supply of free gasoline, and burn MIRAFLORES DOWN.


    or god help those that remain.

  24. So another objective analysis how a corrupt/criminal Regime might lose to a corrupt/INCOMPETENT Oppo in a rigged election–GIMME A BREAK!

  25. If Maduro wins, no one in the world will believe it and the sanctions will only grow and further dismantle your economy. If MUD wins, the Chavistas will find a way through the courts, your criminal court system, a military coup, or the ANC to ignore or disembowel the presidency. This will also lead to an increase in sanctions and more damage to your economy but foreign countries will be even bolder and quicker with the new sanctions so there is a reason to vote to make the election fraud even more difficult and apparent when the Chavistas steal the election. Your choices are to wait for the economy to fail or to take matters into your own hands before the economy gets worse. A terrible set of choices in my view but a decision that should not be influenced by anyone other than Venezuelans living in your country.

    • Things are winding down very quickly now Mr. Crispin. See my comments below the “Kick the table” article. I think something may give long before election day. If nothing happens, then the eleciton really won’t matter anyway. In that case, we’re toast.

      • Timing is the hardest thing to predict. But, I trust your judgement and hope you are right. But, if the election occurs, I would waddle my butt to the polls and vote just to spit in their eyes.

  26. I reiterate the great silver lining after yesterday’s news: The next elections fraud will happen in April and the Chavista thugs are making a huge, enormous mistake: using the ridiculously unpopular, wildly detested Masburro as President for another 7 years. Ay Papa…. it would be political suicide.

    If they don’t correct this deadly mistake, this is indeed great, great news for Klepto-Cubazuela. I don’t see any way in hell – given the hellish economy, which will get even worse – that the pueblo-people left and some mid-level military can stand Maduro 7 more years. No way. Esa si que no se la calan ni de vaina!

    Just pray Chavismo doesn’t correct this huge mistake. If they don’t pick someone else soon….ahi si que la vaina se va a poner bien, pero bien buena este mismo año, despues del fraude y el difol.

  27. I think there is a non-zero chance that MUD could win this election. With a turnout of well over 7 million (like Capriles 2013, AN 2015) the government’s hand gets greatly weakened. The level of the steal goes over the roof. And Maduro is an absolutely terrible candidate.

    But, even if that outside chance comes to happen… how does MUD translate it into government change? Chavismo has all the levers: the military and the fraudulent ANC, just two name the two most important ones. What impedes them from claiming that MUD committed fraud to win the election, and that the ANC as a supraconstitutional power will choose a new president?

    On the one hand, I think this is really the last chance for Venezuela to break away from the ruling kleptocracy. On the other hand, I believe all realistic hope was lost when the ANC was installed…

    I wish you the best of lucks.

    • “On the other hand, I believe all realistic hope was lost when the ANC was installed…”

      Spot-on Ferrim.

      We were told by opposition leaders in the runup to that election that all hell would break loose if it took place. One even said that the shit would hit the fan. Instead, the day after HRA called for participation in the next round of elections, the street protests came to a complete stop, and the only sound to be heard from the opposition was a whimper.

      The country has not been the same since.

  28. I can’t seem to find it now, but the CaracasChronicles homepage at some point had a button requesting donations with a statement something along the lines of “…coffee $2, morning travel $3…fighting the dictatorship, no price!”

    I’m glad that statement has been removed.

    “Fighting the dictatorship…”, really? Articles like these (and those of late) are nothing less than a complete torpedo to the movement for a new Venezuela. Embarrassingly submissive rationalisations of ‘we may be able to win this one…’ or ‘if we play by the rules just maybe…’ will continue to yield no results, and further exploit what little (misguided) hope there is for a stable way out.

    This news outlet has now become moot, and is counter-productive to the future of our country.

    • Aquellos que siempre dijimos que Francisco Toro era comunista fuimos vetados de acá.

      Y este comentario no va a ser publicado, porque al igual que el chavismo, a Francisco Toro no le gusta la crítica.

  29. Excellent piece by Daniel Lara Farías, who points out that MUD representatives simply don’t care about any of the actual problems in the country but they care far more about trying to get their hands in some useless post that chavismo might excise at any moment they want.

  30. It is patently clear that by accepting rigged elections they have no chance of winning the MUD is condemning Venezuela to even more ruin (Almagro agrees). The Pueblo is not likely to rise up any time soon for myriad reasons, even as many quite literally starve to death. Ven military upper brass have no intention of giving up their goodies (as Jackie Gleason said, “How sweet it is!), and mid-level military are closely controlled by in-garrison Cuban G-2. Venezuela is sinking into its pre-Oil quagmire of poverty/misery, but with a terrible difference–it is undoubtedly the most dangerous country in the world to live due to unbridled crime….

  31. Sorry but this article is the “defender los espacios” approach taken to its most delusional and wreckless extreme. Kind of like using “The Secret” as a guide for action.


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