Why is the Venezuelan government determined to go to a blatantly unfair election on April 22nd that it might, nonetheless, lose? Because it faces risks on all sides, and holding such an election is the only way it can think of to manage them.

Not holding an election at all is risky — the last vestigial thread of electoral legitimacy may elicit nothing but smirks to those of us in the opposition, but inside chavistaworld it’s still valuable enough to matter. Once you’ve calculated you’ll need a vote sooner or later, the question becomes when and how.

Waiting to hold an election is risky — the economy, already in hyperinflation, looks likely to do worse and worse, and hard as it will be to win in April it’d be even harder later. So sooner. And having a free and fair election is obviously way, way too risky — suicidal even. You’ll need to cheat. But you’ll have to calibrate the cheating so the exercise preserves the optics of a competitive election. In legitimacy terms, winning North Korean Style, with 99.99% of the vote, creates more problems than it solves.

But if you want an election that feels competitive, you’ll have to manage the risk that things will go badly off the rails and it will actually become competitive. You’ll have to manage the risk that you’ve done so much damage to the economy and your political brand is so toxic that you’ll end up losing. There’s a risk you’ll lose by a lot, by the kind of margin you can’t make up by tampering with a few dozen actas here and there, by the kind of margin that leaves you without a good escamoteo option.

I know many readers dismiss this as an impossibility, but I’m pretty sure the government doesn’t — that’s why it’s spent so much energy ensuring it has the final say over who its opponent will be.

And, to be clear, the clique around Maduro has worked overtime to give itself levers it can pull to determine that choice. From the classic tools: jailing, exiling or disqualifying candidates they find threatening to machiavellian, fourth generation stuff like maneuvering to make it politically impossible for certain people to stand against them, which they’ve done as well.

Thankfully, we don’t have to go through overly complex mental gymnastics to figure out who Maduro wants his opponent to be on February 22nd.

It’s Henri Falcón.

The best case scenario is a transition to a more economically stable kind of authoritarianism.

And how do we know? Because the president came straight out and out told us.

In a remarkable bit of saying-the-quiet-part-out-loud at a speech in Parque Central on February 2nd, Maduro told us outright that while he’d personally love to face Henry Ramos Allup in an election, “Ramos Allup doesn’t have permission to be the candidate at this time, on Saturday the 3rd of February.” Instead, he said, “I am ready and triple-ready (estoy recontralisto) to go to a battle with Henri Falcón over values and for loyalty.”

Why Henri?

Not, I think, because Falcón is some sort of chavista sleeper agent. I think it’s more that Maduro sees him as someone he could deal with. Someone he could negotiate suitable guarantees with during the extra-long, eight-month lame duck period the April Election date will create.

Someone he may hate but need not fear.

Where does this leave Venezuela? In a very dark place. The “election” that will take place in just a couple of months deserves all the scare-quotes in the world. Openly rigged, with an opposition candidate handpicked by the government and in open defiance of basic democratic values, it’s a steaming turd served up with all of Tibisay Lucena’s trademark shamelessness.

The absolute best case scenario here is that despite all the cheating Falcón wins, and a timid, gradual, slow-burn transition designed entirely around the interests of the band of hardened criminals now governing the country.

A transition that may well, for instance, leave the Constituent Assembly in place for years as a guarantor of the deposed regime’s hierarchs interest.

A transition not so much to democracy as out of the current hyperinflationary nightmare. A transition to a more economically stable kind of authoritarianism.

A miserable transition, in other words, to a detestable, debased state that is still clearly preferable to the outright catastrophe now destroying the country. By quite a lot.

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150 COMMENTS

  1. An election between Maduro and Falcon would be the ultimate insult. It should be rejected massively by the venezuelan people. Mentioning it as a possibility and discussing it as something which is already a fait accompli plays into the hands of the regime.
    The best case scenario, says Toro, is a Falcon win. Of course not. The best case scenario is total rebelion by the Venezuelan people, supported by the international community.
    This is not a video game, is a real national tragedy that requires a dignified reaction.
    Falcon, by the way, is a Chavez clone, outside and inside. Let’s not play along….. please

  2. I do not see how HRA has been maneuvered out of contention. Indeed, if history holds, there is less than 24 hours until HRA does something to allow the regime to save face and to divide the opposition. Something like announcing that if there are no MUD primaries, which are a practical impossibility particularly given the time lapse of “dialogue,” HRA will stand as the candidate of AD. Thanks to Maduro, it is the AD ticket upon which the MUD must rely, HRA holds all the cards. Plus, who but HRA is willing to kneel before the Constituyente.

  3. Steaming turd indeed.

    I think Maduro could negotiate with either Henri or Henry, and believe that has already taken place.

    The deal is for a loss in April, a Gambian style exit with a plane full of cash (which is already gone, this is metaphorical). ANC for a couple more years to cover asses.

    If they get creative enough, there might even be a “refund” of some of the stolen cash in the form of the brave new governments ability to “find” ill gotten gains and repatriate them. Shine up that patina of competency and all.

    Cue up a few “chinitos de RECADI” to take the fall and we now have a traitor presiding over a wasteland while the thieves enjoy their güisquisitos overseas.

    And hard a pill as it is to swallow, that’s likely better than what we have now.

    Maybe we should crowdfund a mercenary force to recover the loot, after they are gone.

  4. Más allá de la estupidez de insistir en participar en elecciones no libres, es bastante cómico que alguien piense que Henry Falcón podría ganar.Es lo más cómico que he escuchado.

    • Donde esta la insistencia, en este artículo, de ir a votar?

      Y ni tan cómico pensar que los que voten, voten no tanto por un Henri o un Henry, sino contra Maduro. O bueno, la intención porque en esta farsa del 22 de Abril hasta los ciudadanos de Marte “votarán”a favor de Maduro.

      • La gente votó por Falcón en el Estado Lara para ponerlo de gobernador porque el “otro” era la basura chavista (Más chavista) de turno.

          • Eso dice el CÑE (Aunque la irreversible dijo que Falsón había sacado 400 y tantos mil votos contra menos de 100.000 que había sacado la pseudoalmirante racista), quién sabe cuánta gente votó en verdad en esa elección allí, los centros electorales estaban vacíos, con apenas una docena de personas (Y bastante menos en muchos casos)

            En todo caso, Falsón nunca dejó de ser una basura roja como lo era la triple gallina batracia de Zulia, que hasta se dió la cachaza de llamar “asesino y carnicero” al podrido en televisión nacional y no lo metieron preso ni lo mandaron a matar como suelen hacer los rojos, cosa que terminó demostrando al entregar la gobernación como su colaboración al plan (Sumado a que nunca hizo nada en contra de los colectivos asesinos que tenían su guarida a una cuadra de la gobernación)

  5. How discountable is a Lenin Moreno in Ecuador kind of scenario? Where things change slowly but very unexpectedly? I see it as more likely here than it was in Ecuador because Falcon is at the very least an opposition candidate “de la boca pa fuera”.

    • Ad93,

      Correa could leave power without the risk of being immediately arrested and jailed for the rest of his life. Correa, could get on a plane and go to Belgium, no problem.

      None of the Chavistas in power can do the same, hence the Ecuador scenario is totally irrelevant.

      • Correa was “Santos-Uribe-d”

        Moreno was supossed to be “Correa part II”, in the same way that Sants was supossed to be “The continuation of Uribismo”

        Both of them pulled a 180º twist on their praetors.

          • Indeed, but look at his campaign, he was basically “Uribe part II”, and that’s what enabled him to win the election, because as much as the lefties hate Uribe’s work in Colombia, the rest of the country wanted the extermination of the farc, that was the of trademark of Uribe’s term, and that was what people voted for when they elected Santos.

            Then, Santos betrayed everything in favor of his personal interests, violating the vote that explicitly denied the botched impunity agreement for the farc (agreement that will be dismantled the second the Uribista branch retakes power in the country) and in short handing the country to the farc.

            Moreno seems to have won on Ecuador in the same vein, being presented as “Correa MK II”, a guy who would continue all of his pestilent businesses and most importantly, that would “hold the fort” while Correa took a little vacation enjoying what he stole while he was president.

    • Almost certainly impossible. I’m not fan of Correa, but he was no Chavez or Maduro and he didn’t uterly destroy his country/economy beyond all recognition. It still kept some semblance of institutional integrity and free press and not rigged elections, also.

      • “Free press” my ass, Correa was a top whiner who wanted to go apeshit on the press the same way shiabbe did in Venezuela, he couldn’t because he didn’t have such a strong grip on all the country’s institutions as chavismo had from day one.

        Also, he was very well on his way to destroy the country’s economy with his massive corruption networks.

  6. En una noche tan linda cómo está
    Cualquiera de nosotros podría ganar
    Ser coronado,
    Dictador Maduro,
    Es un sueño hecho realidad…

  7. The problema with VP types is that they want a Carmona solution: erase chavismo from vzla. But vzla is a chavista country.

    One needs to look at it more coldly. The rotten core of chavismo may die, the hardcore negligent criminals. And be supplanted by an enemy we can actually do something with, because they exist on a polítical plane.

    Or is VP afraid of the fight?

    Enough with apocalyptic fantasies. Let’s recognize the socialist side of our country and do politics with them.

    • Venezuela is NOT a socialist country.

      If you wonder why the “revolution” failed miserably, it is because the majority of Venezuelans are KLEPTOZUELANS. This cannot be denied. They will take freebies from whatever government and it has always worked this way.

      Socialism–ok socialism lite–only “works” where you have a well educated public who work together towards some collective social good. Here it all collapses around the individual and then the family and not much outside that. There is no “collective social good”: everybody is out for themselves and will take as much as they can of the oil money that is their “god given right”. That is why we see the disaster we see right now. A kleptozuelan is a chameleon and can put on any color, red, white, orange or yellow.

      Say whatever you want about free market capitalism, but it accommodates for corruption much better than socialism/communism.

      Really, what we need in Venezuela, is not to try to affirm the socialist side of Venezuela, but that what Venezuela actually needs is THE POLITICS OF ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS! That is: TODOS SON CORRUPTOS!!! (Most all of KLEPTOZUELANS are corrupt and complicit)!!!

      That way we create a political economic system that realizes most everybody here are ABUSADORAS!!!! Eliminate the temptation to steal and you will solve so many problems here. And only a free market and politicians who stand for law and order can account for that. None of this socialist bullshit. Forget it, it will never work and now is the time to start re-educating people that only hard work and being productive will get you ahead…or else they can continue to be vagabondos gracias a Chavez and a permanent underclass. Hate to say it, but it is the cold truth.

      • I have to agree. Nothing changes in the life of an alcoholic (I have been a Friend of Bill for about 30 years) until they
        1. See the chaos that their life has become, and
        2. Want to make a change.

        Venezuela apparently needs a “Come To Jesus” moment, (an “intervention”) where the KleptoZuelic can realize the shit-storm their lives have become and make a committed effort at change for the better.

        Be warned. Not everyone cares that their life is shit. You will not convince the dyed-in-the-wool Chavista that robbing Peter to buy the vote of Paul isn’t the Golden Path. I have relatives who insist that given the chance, Chavismo would bring Utopia to not only Venezuela, but the world. They are immune to logic and reason and facts. They have been indoctrinated from a young age into the belief system of Victimhood.

        Besides, its not just Venezuela. The US is filled to the brim (+50%) with voters who think the reason that they aren’t driving a Mercedes Benz and rolling around naked in piles of $100 bills is because some unseen entity is keeping them down and stealing their wealth. You cannot educate some people.

    • Agree.

      From the makers of ” We will win all the state governorships” and “Freeing ourselves the Gambian way”.

      These guys are here for the long run.

    • I was at the Velvet Revolution and I thought something similar might have been possible. With all respect Kepler, I think you confuse the advantage of hindsight with a superior understanding of the present.

      I maintain that it is still possible that there could be a massive civic mobilization that could force the regime to call real elections but what we don’t see is an opposition that to date has had success mobilizing labour, as was the case in Eastern Europe (I’m not talking about store closures for a day…I’m talking about, say, port closures, transportation closures etc). And that, I will admit, is hard to understand, especially when it seems such an obvious key to success. It may be because opposition leaders have carried themselves as traditional politicians, and so they don’t recognize they need to use another toolkit. There are no doubt many reasons. There is the past PDVSA strike that people cite as reason it would fail again, now, so maybe that has created a kind of learned helplessness.

      The prescriptive lesson of The Velvet Revolution is high, even if nobody can with any certainty predict these things. One thing I will say with a fair degree of certainty ( and I think this is where you and I have had disagreements) is that it is not the case that the communist regime in Prague was less brutal, or more reasonable, than the Maduro regime. And it is the case that the shelves in Eastern Europe and Russia by the late 1980s, early 1990s, were bare. It was a dire situation, economically.

      There are valid comparisons still, and I don’t buy this argument that Venezuelans are just inherently incapable of pulling something similar off- history shows there is no rebellion gene that only certain peoples have.

      But it may not happen, and I think it is unfair to Quico to suggest he intended his comments as a definitive forecast.

      What I love is that some in the comments section (not you) read “giant turd” as an endorsement, and this post as a definitive prediction. It’s just par for the course here that teclado warriors (not you either) will impose their narrow mental categories of what exists and what is possible on a complicated situation, and do their best to trash any nuanced examination of the situation.

      • I know it’s fun to imagine an end of Chavismo ala Ceacescu or Gambia, but if we want to see ourselves reflected in another country, we should look at Cuba. How has the Cuban government maintained it’s control for oh so many years?

        • Capa: For one, Cuba had a bona fide revolution in which significant portions of the population participated and made huge sacrifices. You do not lose faith in that process quickly or easily, or ever, if you’ve been through it.

          Venezuela, in contrast, had a fake revolution based on casting a ballot for a clown demagogue and financed by a spectacular oil boom. That’s different.

          Secondly, I believe that for a long time, although not as long as people like to think, socialist ideology in Cuba held widespread credibility in the minds of a significant portion of the population. Marx will never defeat the Shopping Mall in the popular imagination of Venezuelans (like the people of many countries, like mine). I’m just an outsider, but that is not a wild bet.

          And to be clear to the teclado warriors, I am not endorsing the Castro regime. Not at all. Though I think the gringos made some miscalculations on the front end with that event that put Che and his mindset in the drivers seat.

          Venezuela has no Che. Or if it did, he matured and became an excellent publisher of a newspaper that was then persecuted by Hugo Chavez. Or a wickedly good opinion writer for El Universal (the old one).

          I think the country we should be looking at most closely as a comparator is Mexico under the PRI. Vincente Fox was running in “elections” in Mexico when “elections in Mexico” was properly written in scare quotes.

          Sure, I am engaging in wishful thinking. But why not: I saw European communism fall first hand, and fast, and nobody was predicting it. What the hell is wrong with wishful thinking after seeing that? What is wrong with taking some lessons from that about how such things happen, and how to make such things happen? I think for a while there, Venezuela was near that tipping point, and may be again. We don’t know.

          • I think you have a lot to learn about Cuba.

            Castro entered Havana with hardly what you would call an army. Minimal men and arms, and damn weak support from any populace.

            The only reason Batista had to flee was that his entire military just quit. They weren’t willing to risk their lives for any ideals, let alone Batista.

            Sound familiar?

            I see a lot writing in your posts, but I don’t see much evidence of a lot of reading.

          • “I saw European communism fall first hand, and fast, and nobody was predicting it.”

            Well there were a few, like President Ronald Reagan. First stated in June, 1982, in a speech to the British Parliament. Much to the guffawing and ridicule of the intellectual left, as I recall.

            And there is a lesson in the fact that he backed up his words with a massive buildup of the US military (remember the 500 ship Navy?), deployment of sidewinder missiles in Europe (again, much to the screaming of the European left), and, finally, the threat of a space-based missile defense system (“Star Wars).

          • Ira, Castro entered Havana after a five year insurgency. To be clear, I am not endorsing communism by pointing that out to you.

          • Lorenzo, the economic collapse of the Soviet Union was caused by communism. Not Star Wars.

            It was hastened by a collapse in oil prices, and a costly war in Afghanistan.

            The only armaments that had much to do with it were ones provided to the Afghan rebels, and we know how that turned out.

            We know that economic collapse is often an important but not sufficient factor in the overthrow of a dictatorship by means other than military force.

          • So the Soviet economy was robust to the extent that the Reagan arms-race challenges had no effect, yet so weak that it collapsed shortly thereafter.

            Economics was never my thing.

      • CanuckleHead,

        I got completely wrong how long the oil boom would last. I got it all all wrong with that.

        I do believe Venezuelans are fully capable of getting rid of this dictatorship.
        I have always thought we can learn a lot of history, but only as long as we are ready not only to see similarities but to distinguish where the differences are. If we can only see similarities, we are screwed up.

        I was not in Czechoslovakia back then, I was a teenager in Venezuela.
        At that moment I had
        several years of correspondence with Czech and Slovak kids, though…and with a couple of Bulgarians and I had been reading Soviet and East German and Hungarian propaganda for a while and heard the discussions with my parents’ friends who had fled from several of tose countries many years before.

        That is: I had a distant but constant flow of information coming from several of those countries.

        I sensed from my friends’ letters and from reading between the lines from the Soviet press,
        from the radio (radio Moskva, radio Praha and others), that something was boiling well before 89. And I was sure it was going to happen. A couple of Germans and Eastern Europeans in Venezuela thought I
        was too optimistic, even naif.

        These are some of the differences, I think:

        a) the Soviet Union led by Gorbachov decided time after time to restrain itself, it even encouraged certain processes. Right now Putin has more interests in Venezuela than in Syria. Let’s not forget dozens if not hundreds of Russians have already been killed in Syria, mostly mercenaries but all sent with the ok of Moscow
        b) there were loads of murderous blokes in middle and upper echelons in Eastern Europe but there were a lot of idealists and they hadn’t seen for decades a process of purges aimed at having the worst of the worst. From the seventies a new generation had risen, maybe brainwashed but not only selected because of how brown nosed they could be. In Venezuela we have seen a tear and wear of the opposition for 18 years and at the same time – and this is something Francisco Toro wrote well about years ago – a natural selection for criminals at the top of the government
        c) with the exception of the Balkan countries South of Slovenia the ones that got free had already had a past with a middle class majority and a large proportion of people
        who were literate, who kept a concise discourse, not a mostly feudal past and who could
        organise things. Venezuela, in spite of its experience with a weak democracy,is still feudal territory
        and a lot of the elite never read more than they needed to finish their university studies,
        they do not know how to tell tales and move the masses. Chavismo managed to put those who can in jail.
        d) those regimes back then were caught off balance
        e) Chavista honchos cannot imagine where they can live after they have stolen so much…particularly now, where we can start sending videos of people from almost every corner of the Earth at any time.
        There are a couple of other important differences, I think.

        • Good points Kepler, but I maintain the similarities are valid. Couple of observations though.

          Venezuela has no equivalent to a Gorbachev because it has no equivalent to the grip that Russia had over eastern Europe under communism. That makes conditions MORE like 1989 in Venezuela now.

          The Cubans are a useless palace guard at Miraflores (and select offices where enchufados hang out) there to foment intrigue and skim some money while the money is good and then head off to Colombia when things get bad. They may be crafty buggers but they are not the KGB.

          While the revolutions in eastern Europe were assisted by Gorbachev’s decision to cease and desist, those regimes put up a serious and at times brutal struggle. They were not in my view, caught off balance. They were pushed, hard. People stopped working. People mobilized in massive numbers. The regimes ultimately ran out of the means to survive. You cannot impose a dictatorship on millions of people who will not participate in productive society anymore.

          The feudal nature of Venezeula…well, I look at Mexico, which has this same feudal aspect, and it overthrew a brutal authoritarian government. The power centers in these counties are urban, and like the events with Chavez, its what happens in Caracas, Valencia and a couple of other urban centers that probably determines where the country goes.

  8. Is this post for real? Either Quico forgot to take his meds, or he’s lost all credibility.

    As Emiliana and Gustavo say, Falcon would also be an insult and a charade. Not that he would ever win, anyway, and Kleptozuela would remain a disaster, even worse in months to come.

    Until Rex Tiller, Macron and Macri lay down the hammer to stop the bleeding.

    • I really don’t see how anyone from the international community can intervene in Venezuela. There are too many counter weights around the world holding any interventionist actions in check.

      As long as Russia and China have Venezuela’s back (as they plunder from the Venezuelan people to prop up the PSUV regime) nothing will change internationally.

      Any interventionist move by the US will give Russia the freedom to reclaim Ukraine. Any interventionist move by the US will give China even greater freedom to ramp up the pressure in the South China sea (plus their longer term aims for Hong Kong and Taiwan).

      And that’s before we even discuss the Middle East.

      Change has to come from the Venezuelan people alone.

      • Oil/Gas and Economic embargo by the US/EU and Peru Group12 countries.

        A few weeks and Chavismo is kicked out.

        By the hungry people and a few hungry/pissed off military.

        Humanitarian aid waiting to help the transition MUD new government. Capisce?

        • “Oil/Gas and Economic embargo by the US/EU and Peru Group12 countries.

          A few weeks and Chavismo is kicked out.”

          Really. …. you don’t think that these Narco criminals are ready willing and able to use their 100’s of billions of stolen $$$ to keep this shit show floating if the choice is jail or freedom. You can bet your bottom dollar they will “finance” this dictatorship for many many years “out of their own pocket” with a smile on their face.

      • And current sanctions against Russia for Crimea doesn’t give them a reason to do more in Ukraine?

        Russia is holding its position there now because going further into Ukraine would be a bloodbath for them, and a political disaster. Besides:

        You don’t formulate policy here solely based on what’s happening there. Not to mention that the U.S. holds the higher moral ground here, by a hell of a lot.

        • Russia is at war with Ukraine right now. It doesn’t get a lot of coverage on Pennsylvania Avenue, strangely, but that is what is going on.

          • He quotes the Times, and once again shows his disdain of Trump.

            And challenges my knowledge of history, despite knowing nothing of how Castro took over.

            Not to mention he suggests that the U.S. should be much tougher on Russia. While Canada does…exactly what?

            Continue their decades-long support of Castro.

            You’re fucking hysterical, but in an ignorant way.

  9. What amazes me is that you still peddle the line about a transition. There will be no transition and if they choose to lose the election, it is to give them international ‘legitimacy’ concerning upholding ‘democracy’. Thus allowing them to seek new loans under the premise of the rule of electoral law.

    Then what will happen is this… They gave the Constituent Assembly the remit of rewriting the constitution (yet again) and I suspect they will lose the election in April, then give themselves all the power in law by using the Constituent Assembly to strip all powers from the presidency. Thus, when the ‘President’ is finally allowed to take their oath, they will be as lame as the National Assembly is today.

    Whether Falcón or Allup, they know neither of them will call the people to the streets, hence why they are the only acceptable candidates to lose to and then strip all power from.

    • Or if they lose the election, they’ll say it was fraudulent and rigged by the opposition, and then they’ll loudly proclaim that cannot abide by such a travesty, or allow such criminals to walk the streets! (Hey … I think I’m getting the hang of reverse-think or whatever!)

  10. The only way Chavismo will lose is if they decide to lose, which I do not see any upside to for the time being. To think that maybe they won’t be able to cheat is an act sheer ignorance or wishful thinking.

    Sorry Quico, you have been wrong on countless times (and were pretty arrogant to anybody who advised you that you were way off). This time you are wrong again.

    Yes, they can cheat.
    Yes, they can create billion of votes if they so fancy.
    Yes, they will not leave power without more concessions than the international community is willing to give.
    Yes, you are wrong and in a few months you will be inundated with many “I told you so’s”.

  11. Maduro and the huge group of criminals aren’t anywhere near ready to go to prison in either the Hague or the good old US of A. So Maduro will win, the ANC is here to stay for many years to come. Furthermore China and Russia aren’t willing to give up their hold on Venezuela just yet. The ONLY way OUT is a civil war and that day is getting closer by the day. If vast numbers of the population are about to die of hunger they WILL pick up arms and oust this Cuban Narco Communist Dictatorship. Mark my words, within the next 12 months rojo rojito blood finally will be on the streets. The sooner the better imho.

    • Remember the 2008 fiasco when elfinado tried to send tanks to the border with Colombia? This would be even more embarrasing. From a military point of view, what would they take and how would they take it? Sure, you can send a couple Sukhois to drop some bombs and embarrass Venezuela on the international stage. But are you going to put some tanks on a raft and send them down the river? Just look at the mess regarding Anacoco island.

    • That’s interesting information if it’s true.

      They might be thinking of pulling a Falklands move (promote nationalist sentiments with a made up war), but I think that would backfire spectacularly. It would give the US and other Latin American countries the perfect excuse for a military intervention. The US would never #sendthemarinés under current conditions because it would be too politically costly at home, but if Venezuela shoots first, that’s it. All bets are off.

      • Now THAT’S funny!

        But you bring up another point:

        I haven’t seen any reporting on Colombia’s concern about the VZ migrant invasion, as far as their state security concerns. Very real concerns…

        Considering the ceasefire with ELN is off.

        Bring back Uribe, for God’s sake.

        • Colombia sent a “delegation” to Turkey recently to study how to deal with the coming immigrant crisis.

          I Venezuela was dumb enough to enter Guyana or rent/sell/ or give the Russians access to a military base as Bill Bass has suggested they likely would be signing their own death certificates.

  12. Kiko is drinking the same joy juice as European “intelligence” sources who said that the DR dialogue was about letting the Oppo “win” the Presidency, so as to later lose it because of worsening economic chaos–or, is it the extreme winter cold affecting Northern-dweller neurons. The Cuban puppet masters are not about to loosen the strings, the Military to give up their narco/other goodies (under development in Rio Chico–a military/enchufado urbanization of 40 mansions ($8 mill. each,numerous luxury apartments ($4 mill. each), a possible golf course, and expanded waterways/infrastructure for larger-sized yachts–just one example), nor the “Bravo Petro-Peon Pueblo” about to rise up and be slaughtered in the streets, at least not in the near future. And, yes, the RT solution will have to be applied, perhaps followed by a Gulf Of Tonkin provocation for more forcible action, before any real change can even tortuously begin in Venezuela.

  13. Forget it, Mr. Toro. If Falcón runs and the rest of the opposition (including UNT and AD) abstains, he’d struggle to get more than 30% of the votes, no matter how unpopular Maduro is. In fact, I’d be extremely surprised if he reached Rosales’s anemic 37% of the vote he got in 2006. AP is a non-existing entity outside of Lara, and even there, he managed to lose re-election by 18 points. The man isn’t going to be president, at least not this time.

  14. Falcon as an ex-PSUV candidate and governor doesn’t cut it as a truly independent candidate. Even if he “wins” he can’t be trusted. But I’d still vote for him to make Maduro look as bad as possible.

  15. I don’t think the criminals will finance the regime. It will boil down to hunger and suffering, especially with the military. They are losing suppliers of food for the military. My father sent a picture of the local grocery store in Caracas. There was plantains, squash, and some other produce, corn flakes and cleaning supplies. Otherwise the store was empty. I think the size of Venezuela and the size of it’s population will make the outcome different than Zimbabwe and Cuba. I hope so.

  16. “A transition not so much to democracy as out of the current hyperinflationary nightmare. A transition to a more economically stable kind of authoritarianism.”

    I don’t mean to be contentious about an article that is obviously addressing candidates and votes and very probable continuation of the regime. It isn’t an article addressing the economy or monetary policy.

    Could you please explain how this transition to a regime controlled government will transition “out of the current hyperinflationary nightmare”?

    Is there some kind of platform stance, some kind of statement regarding changes in monetary policy, other than The Petro, being made? For that matter, is there any kind of platform offered, or is it all about who wins?

    • Their no platform or stance other than:

      We wanna get rid of these arseholes.

      Like the character Eudomar Santos said: “como vaya viniendo, vamos viendo”

      As to monetary policy, nada. Except they’ve probably figured that they’ll be talking to IMF etc.

  17. I don’t get why everyone is saying that Quico is campaigning for Falcon here.

    Did anyone read the title?

    “Maduro Might Lose the April Election, but Democracy Won’t Win It

    If you are one of many Venezuelans that believes there is no democratic way out, then why would you argue about Falcon? No single candidate can magically bring democracy back. You should be pissed about Falcon participating at all, not about him being the candidate.

    Similarly, if you are so cynical about the prospect of democracy in Venezuela (as you should be), then Falcon is better than nothing. Yes, he’s a former chavista, detached from the opposition as a movement, and offers few solutions or hopes. After everything the resistance has suffered, him running at all is anti-democratic. How would he pull Venezuela out of economic crisis? Nobody knows.

    It’s not democracy, but it’s better than the country’s current state. Maybe Falcon will listen. Or maybe him winning weakens narco-traffickers hold on the state. Maybe he’ll open up humanitarian and monetary aid. Or maybe he’ll be easier to topple than Maduro…

    If Falcon wins, does Venezuela have a democracy? No, it will still be rigged. Is the country’s future guaranteed to get better? Far from it.

    But some people will want to take a chance to get out of this. Not everyone can twiddle their thumbs and wait for foreign intervention.

    Foreign powers have already made clear that they won’t recognize this election. They understand that under dictatorship, people still vote, and many are forced to vote. It’s too late for Maduro to fix this with a fake election.

    If Falcon wins, the fight for democracy must go on, it must intensify. But if you want your chance to vote against Maduro, even in a fake election, well, that’s you choice.

  18. Quico? Really? This article reads literally like “Chepa Candela”…a bit conspiracy theory, a bit wishful thinking and a lot of out-of-touch delusion. Henry Falcon has ZERO credibility and I actually think Ramon Allup has a bigger shot. Instead of entertaining the idea of election, we need to contemplate and analyse how to boycott and delegitimize these upcoming “elections”. For fuck’s sake this is a MOTHERFUCKING DICTATORSHIP! Wake the fuck up!

    • Exactly Harrison!

      The only thing good about a Henri Falcon campaign is that he will have to campaign.

      THE ONLY POSITIVE ASPECT OF THIS IS THAT IT GIVES THE OPPOSTION/RESISTANCE AN OPPORTUNITY TO SHOW UP AT THE EVENTS AND BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! THROW MANDARINS AND HECKLE THE POLITICIANS OFF STAGE!!!!!!!!

      These puppets need to hear a strong message from the pueblo that we are sick and tired of political games and if they do not get their act together soon there will be a Caracazo 2.0!!!

      If you actually live here in Venezeula and see the ticking time bomb each day on the streets, you will see that this whole election scam as futile.

      A Caracazo 2.0 (followed by Oil Embargo and international support) is the only way out of this– whether Falcon wins or not.

      PS If you actually live in Venezuela, it is impossible to be a keyboard warrior because you are on the front lines everyday. Everyday, I tell people DO NOT VOTE because the Gringos, the Group of Lima and the EU are saying NOT TO VOTE!!!!

  19. I think that the elections could be used as a civil protest. The outcome is really irrelevant. If they win, everyone knows they cheated. If they lose the are likely address the loss by circumventing the power of the office probably with the Asamblea Nacional Constituyente (they would probably declare Maduro the great leader or a king).

    Maduro is in power because of the military click headed by Godfather Lopez. They are the same jerks that were willing to kill a protester every day last year. They will figure at some point that the collapse of Venezuela is also the collapse of their power, which is ultimately based on the fact that they order some poor sap to use his weapon against their enemy, but the poor sap is also going hungry and deserting.

    The military leadership is truly Chavista. It is ignorant of history of the failed military dictatorships in Latin America. It is ignorant that Communism failed. It is profoundly corrupt.

    I am afraid that all we have to do is wait for the hellhole to become more hellish.

  20. In my humble opinion there are only TWO viable ways to get rid of the regime:

    1- Generalized social disobedience /strike where the entire country comes to a stop giving way to a military intervention that finally outs Maduro and his cronies.

    2- US Oil embargo that would effectively strangle the country’s economy…leading to a humongous social uprising …Venezuela will effectively become a failed state. Once again this would end with the military kicking Maduro’s butt outta Miraflores.

    It is sad, but we still depend on the fucking military forces to be the muscle that would give Maduro’s regime the final blow. I do believe that a reconciliation committee of sorts needs to be assemble to create the legal frame for the reconstruction of our nation and the terms and conditions under which these people who effectively destroyed our nation will be punished. During this time we must re-configure the military and make sure it will always be under the control of our civil society…let’s get rid of the seed of Caudillismo once and for all. This would also entail a TRUE division of powers to create a just system of check and balances.

    Finally, ideology-wise; we must educate our new generations about the dangers of Socialism and Communism as failed political models and exert our claim as a progressive nation. However, we must not forget to address our biggest historical issue: INEQUALITY. We must never AGAIN turn our backs against the poor and underprivileged…we need to NOT to continue to give them lemons, we must teach them how to gather the seeds and plant their own lemon trees. We need out country to break from the curse of oil and truly embrace a diversification of the economy where we produce 100% of the food we consume.

  21. I’m starting to think that Quico is trolling his own website. No sane person can write such piece if not to elicit the anger and outrage of everybody.

    • That’s the style he’s developed, I find it really annoying and find that his articles pale in comparison to those of some of the writers he has recruited.

      • True on all counts. He’s trolling and outta touch, living quite comfortable for way too long overseas, and some of the writers suck.

        • And one could suspect Emiliana is on the ruse, April fool’s style, if you notice the first reply real early morning, when, unfortunately, she hardly ever writes anymore.

  22. Oh, hey, let’s vote for falsón, the candidate who:

    * Let out the colectivos to slaughter the population during the 2017 protests, even knowing that their hideout was past the street the governorship office was.

    * Screeching like a proper chavista that “Trump should stop being so insolent, go home and solve his own mess in USA”

    * Handing over the governorship to a rotten to the core chavista like menéndez even when more than 3/4 of the population voted for him.

    * Stating that “he is a LIGHT CHAVISTA and what’s the problem with that?”

    If HRA wasn’t enough reason to provoke an over 90% abstention in the incoming tibisay-esque farce, then a maggot like falsón is going to ensure that not even 200.000 votes will be cast, so chavismo will have to make from thin air over 18 million fake votes, of course themselves getting over 15 million, just to claim that “maduro made real the dream of shiabbe of getting more than 10 million votes”

  23. It is interesting that Toro seems to use Caracas Chronicles more as a tool to be heard in the US, rather than to be heard in Venezuela.
    He also seems to believe that he speaks for the Venezuelan opposition to Chavism at the meetings and forums he is invited to in the US.
    If he believes that he speaks for us living here, and is representative of our position, then he should come back here and stand for President, i mean he is so smart and savvy in Washington and is so knowledgable at these dinner parties that he would win convincingly…………who needs Lorenzo Mendoza?

    • We need to invite Francisco here for a beer and a hamburguesa. Hanging out with too many libtards in Washington. Impossible to be a libtard in Venezuela. Needs to come hang out with us “fascists” who are spitting the truth on whats up here.

      I fell for the hamburguesa bet that the constituyente was just a bullshit ploy for their exit. Pero LA CONSITUYENTE SI VA OH EHH OHH EHH OHH!!! And you know Henri Falcon was shaking his ass to that gay ass tune while downing imported 18 year old whiskey with his amigos enchufados. OHHH EHHH OHHH EHHH OHHH!!

      Man I just need to rub it in again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hM35ehgROQw

      Francisco, forget all those libtards. They sound great in theory but as we all know in Venezuela: PURO PAJA!!!!!

  24. Pretty much everything in this article is true.He is not saying that this is the correct thing and is what he wants and is
    Ideal but that it is a strong possibility

  25. “If you actually live here in Venezeula and see the ticking time bomb each day on the streets, you will see that this whole election scam as futile.”

    Yes, but they are also shooting themselves on the foot with this obviously fraudulent, bogus “election”. Even the uneducated, often enchufado and corrupt pueblo-people can tell. No to mention Rex, Macri and Macron. Especially if the Muddy clowns decide not to participate… Rex is talking today about Oil with Canada and Mexico, guess why.. Perfect storm brewing on the horizon: Economic Disaster getting even worse, plus the hated Maduro “re-elected” on a Mega-Fraud for 7 more years, PLUS a severe economic embargo (no mo’ money for Brazilian claps, 5 million public ’employees’ or the corrupt military)

    Asi, esa vaina revienta.

    • I’ve pretty much given up on predicting the end of this regime because I’ve been so wrong so many times, but I do think an oil embargo would probably be the tipping point. This regime no longer has any reservers they can fall back on and the time it would take them to establish new customers for the crappy oil they’re trying to sell would be too much. As PC says, “no mo’ money for Brazilian claps”, which amounted to 100% of the products in the last CLAP box I examined.

      What little food the country did produce before is now at great risk due to hyperinflation because almost no one can now afford to plow, plant, fertilized, water, harvest, etc. I’ve heard a number of guys say they can no longer even tend to the little product they had planted because they no longer can afford to keep their motorbiikes running. Try taking care of your harvest and watching your equipment and also look for food and medicines when you’re on foot and the nearest supplies are 5 miles away.

      A sense of doom and despair abounds.

      • Just revealed that PDVSA has been doing swaps in December and January. Swapping their crude for lighter stuff so they can get their crude to market.

        They don’t have the cash to pay for it.

        Which means, as many of us here already know, PDVSA’s declining BPD is only PART of the story. And it’s amazing how so many respectable news outlets do stories on declining BPD, and hardly mention Chinese and Russian debt obligations, and now this.

        • PDVSA swaps, eh? Well, now we can say that PDVSA really is part of the pueblo doing cambalaches like everyone else in order to survive without cash.

          • All the math that I have done, keeps coming up with a bottom line that shows negative cash flow.
            Obviously the collapse in the value of the Bolivar has reduced the cost of wages. The reduced production may have offset the savings in wages when lift costs are figured by dividing production by fixed overhead expenses.
            Capex is way down. This leaves deferred maintenance as the only way to monetize production. Resulting in even lower production. Thus increasing per barrel lift costs.
            Otherwise described as a death spiral.
            It is challenging to get an understanding of this due to the lack of information coming from PDVSA. Decreased domestic consumption as a result of the collapsed economy allows for more oil to be available for export.
            The big question is whether China has agreed to lower exports. basically extending the repayment schedule for the debt the regime owes them. This is a balancing act for the Chinese. Do they take all the oil they can before the regime collapses, or do they give the regime some relief in the hopes that it will keep them in power and extend the amount of time they can collect their debt?
            The Chinese seem to be making business decisions rather than supporting the regime simply for the spread of Communist ideology like the Soviet Union did with Cuba for decades. The Soviet Union’s support of the Castro regime was a burden to the Soviet budget. Whether it was designed to keep Communism from being displayed as a failure or to just maintain the thorn in the side of the US, Castro was a recipient of Soviet welfare that was necessary to keep his regime from collapsing.
            The Chinese seem more interested in exploiting the resources of Venezuela for their own benefit.
            While all of this is happening, the US is being accused of imperialism.

          • John, excellent, clear way of explaining it.

            I only differ in that in my view, displaying the merits of communism vis-a-vis supporting Cuba had nothing to do with it.

            It was just based on geography for future warfare.

  26. I think Quico prefers the elecoral route over any other solution because it would involve too much suffering. He is hoping that Falcon will win the election because he is the lesser of two evils but isn’t overly optimistic about Falcon’s chances.

  27. What is the point of this election that a single legitimate country won’t recognize, except Cuba, Bolivia and Nicaragua… and those two other huge repressive shitholes?

      • Mate it’s obvious that you can’t stand Trump but if you have ANY love for Venezuela you should thank whichever God you believe in on your bare knees for Trump being the current President . Surely you won’t denie that spineless Obama was a disaster concerning Venezuela and that a next democrat President would have continued that disastrous route. And I’m talking about Hillary bcuz Basted Bernie would have come to Caracas to praise Chavismo ffs. I really couldn’t care less about all the negative sides of Trump bcuz he DOES have a policy concerning Venezuela. …. HE AIN’T putting up with another communist dictatorship in the region period. It’s TRUMP that will be remembered as the guy that saved tens of thousands of Venezuelan lives whereas Obama will be remembered as the CUNT that did fuck all for 8 straight years. We are in this mess bcuz Obama who preferred looking the other way and even had the balls visiting and shacking hands with another communist dictator shortly before leaving the WH. Fucking him and all communist/socialist MMG like him. Get over your Trump hate and get with the program. Embrace Trump and be grateful for his stands again Chavismo.

        • Btw my comment is aimed @ all you leftists Trump haters here on CC. It’s way beyond irritating reading your Trump bashing comments when it’s Trump who started taking on Chavismo from his first day in office. In this forum we should be discussing Venezuela and not the USA. The only thing that should have our interest is the US administration’s policies towards the Cuban Narco Communist Dictatorship that ruined/ruins Venezuela.

          • It comes down to where you live.

            You live in Venezuela, you don’t care if Trump cavorts with pink ponies at 3am dressed in Melanias 1996 outfit, as long as he is talking tough to NarcoChavoMadurismo. Pulling out the notepad for name taking & ass kicking.

            You live outside of Venezuela and you are now affected by his policies, stances and tone in a much different way.

            Since I do live in the US, his regular schtick does have its effects. And yet I celebrate his stance on Venezuela.

      • Who’s afraid to say Russia? I just thought Repressive Shithole was more accurate.

        Seriously–your mental diahrreah is runnier and smeller than usual.

        I love Trump, and I would love to know how my vote for him was influenced by Russia. You seriously are an idiot wrapped in a moron’s coat, totally ignorant of Americanism.

        I mean, do you have ANY idea who he ran against, and you wonder why he WON!?

        • Do you love Trump?

          Do you remember the white supremacists marching in Charlottesville and chanting “Jews will not replace us” (whatever the hell that means)? Explain to me, if you can, how Trump could say that those marchers were “very fine people”.

          You made a comment recently on how many common German people claimed ignorance of the atrocities committed by the Nazi regime. As you know Trump has the full love and support of the KKK, Holocaust deniers, and many other unsavory elements in the US. You can’t blame Trump for being loved by David Duke; after all who Duke and his ilk love is not something that Trump can control, but you can, I believe, blame him for accepting their support, can’t you?

          • Polticians attract all sorts of unsavory types.

            Communists and extreme leftists were quite charmed with Obama. Did he denounce them? No, quite the contrary, he appointed a communist as his Green Jobs Czar.

            He also rubbed elbows with Louis Farrakhan as evidenced by a photo that was intentionally buried for a long time so as not to embarrass the president. Bother you? Doesn’t bother me.

            I’ll now await the nuanced rebuttals to my comments.

          • Politicians aren’t the only ones to attract unsavory types.

            Wherever there is power, be it coin or law, you’ll find that deals need to be made in order to move ahead. Some more savory than others.

            Go back enough, you’ll find powerful folk gladhanding all sorts of douchebags.

          • Yes. You make good points, but the thing is not that there are unsavory characters attaching themselves to Trump and the republican party, but that neither Trump nor the party seem to be bothered by it, or do anything to make clear that they don’t welcome that kind of support.

            I am not going to defend Obama, or anybody else. Just let me say that I am a conservative, disappointed in the caliber of current conservative leadership. I don’t believe in demonizing your opponent, and I believe in something called integrity which, in my opinion, Trump lacks.

            I remember a scene from the 2008 campaign where at a McCain rally a woman started rambling about Obama “Muslim, Kenyan, Terrorist, Muslim, Communist” After 30 seconds McCain had enough of it and took the microphone away from her and said “No, ma’am. I disagree on many things with Obama, but he is an American who loves his country, just like you and me” Can you seriously imagine Trump saying anything like that? He would probably smile, nod his head, and lead the crowd in a chant “Lock him up. Lock him up”

          • “Do you remember the white supremacists marching in Charlottesville and chanting “Jews will not replace us” (whatever the hell that means)? Explain to me, if you can, how Trump could say that those marchers were “very fine people”.”

            I don’t see anti-Trumpists condemning stuff like this:

            https://imgur.com/F5Hb5FT

            Taking apart sidewalks and public property to give lefties something to throw at those despicable “whiteys”

            Yeah, VERY peaceful way to “make them understand”, because nothing works better than a good ol’ whack to the noggin, right?

          • “Taking apart sidewalks and public property to give lefties something to throw at those despicable “whiteys””

            Again, I am not going to defend lefties, I am not one of them. The assumption that if you don’t like Trump you must be a lefty is part of the problem, as is the assumption that if you don’t like Trump you must want to whack “whiteys”.

      • Or are you afraid of saying Russia because Trump is so impressed by Putin, who helped him get his presidency?
        There is a lot more recent information which throws that narrative into the dustbin of history. I am not going to take the time to inform you. The information is out there.

        Instead, I will point out to you that Democrat Presidents or Presidential candidates have not been exactly friendly to the vision of Venezuela as you would prefer it. Condemn Trump all you like, but many of the oh-so-enlightened Democrats don’t always come off smelling like a rose when it comes to Venezuela.

        I have previously discussed with you at your website the issue of Bill Ayers and Venezuela, including Chesa Boudin, the son of jailed terrorists, whom Bill and Bernadine raised from infancy. As I pointed out, Bill Ayers is a stark raving mad Chavez fan. Which, given his far lefty history, is no surprise.

        In addition, there are ties between Bill Ayers and Barack Obama. From the New York Times (2008):
        It was later in 1995 that Mr. Ayers and Ms. Dohrn hosted the gathering, in their town house three blocks from Mr. Obama’s home, at which State Senator Alice J. Palmer, who planned to run for Congress, introduced Mr. Obama to a few Democratic friends as her chosen successor.
        According to most accounts, this fundraiser at Bill Ayers’s home launched Barack Obama’s career. Nor is that the only tie between the two.

        Does that not make you uncomfortable, to have those ties between Barack Obama and a stark raving mad lefty who thought El Finado was the greatest thing since sliced bread?

        http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/04/us/politics/04ayers.html

      • Kepler, while you may not like Trump, I doubt that Bernie Sanders’s statement on Venezuela would please you very much.
        From the sanders.senate.gov website: Close The Gaps: Disparities That Threaten America. (2011)

        These days, the American dream is more apt to be realized in South America, in places such as Ecuador, Venezuela and Argentina, where incomes are actually more equal today than they are in the land of Horatio Alger. Who’s the banana republic now?

        The American dream is more likely to be realized in Venezuela than in the United States, Bernie Sanders tells us. As we all want to realize the American dream, we should emulate Venezuela, Bernie Sanders tells us. Just as Mayor Bernie said that Sandinista Nicaragua should be a model for Vermont.

      • “Or are you afraid of saying Russia because Trump is so impressed by Putin, who helped him get his presidency?”

        Spot on, Kepler. I can’t tell you how many times Putin (or one of his bots) would call my wife or I on the phone (at dinner time!) trying to convince us to vote for the Orange. We’d try to politely decline, but he was very insistent. Even sent us a box of beets, including a bunch of return address stickers that had pictures of him with his shirt off to try and guilt us into voting Cheeto. Hard to resist that kind of pressure.

        • The same thing happened to me, but the worst part was all of those mailings I got urging me to vote for Trump.

          Except I had to hire someone to translate them from Russian.

      • “Or are you afraid of saying Russia because Trump is so impressed by Putin, who helped him get his presidency?”

        Yeah, who would ever have thought that Putin had harnessed the technology to transmit radio waves into Hillary Clinton’s skull convincing her that campaigning in the rust belt states was a waste of her precious time…..time better spent preparing for her coronation.

        The man’s an evil genius. Trump owes him everything.

          • What truly amazes me is that otherwise intelligent people like Kepler are still parroting the Russian narrative. It’s as though he’s completely unaware of events unfolding in DC, including tonight’s reveleations that a State Department friend-of-Hillary was passing information to Christopher Steele for use in his “intelligence dossier”…….information from none other than Sidney Blumenthal. FBI, DOJ, now the State Department. Anyone see a pattern? Anyone wonder where the trail leads to next?

            DC is sitting on a story 10 times bigger than Watergate ever dreamed of being but we’re still getting “Putin put Trump in office so Trump owes him”.

            I shake my head.

  28. The absolute best case scenario here is that despite all the cheating Falcón wins, and a timid, gradual, slow-burn transition designed entirely around the interests of the band of hardened criminals now governing the country.

    ——–

    Aint gonna be anything slow about Maduro’s demise if Rex/Rubio gets his way and the US stops buying Venny oil and sending them oil products.

  29. There is a reason for the april election date , there is a reason for choosing Falcon to be the oppos make believe candidate , it makes it easier for him to fake a victory , that all , he is not giving up power , nor would the people arround him allow him to do that……, meantime the elephant has entered the room but hasnt really started to bash things around , it will presently do so and then we shall see , oil production is dropping fast like a stone arround his neck, 200.000 bd is Pdvsa’s own internal estimate (yes its almost impossible for Pdvsa to keep anything a secret) , there are others outside the circle of people who care one hoot about Venezuelan politics who say the same , the foreseen hiking of chinese deliveries all going to pay for govt and private chinese loans will make the cash flow situation pretty brutal……..I make no predictions but things are going to get pretty bad very soon …….. !! Nobody mentions it but economically this will be the worse year for any govt Venezuela ever had !! Lets see anything comes out of it ………One thing I know for sure the chinese are not prepared to give them any help , the russian might but not sure anything like the amounts they”ll need ………, and the US and Europe and most countries in Latam are going to tighten the vise …..this story is far from over ……….!! but lets give time the chance of passing sentence on this disaster …!

  30. What people don’t seem to get is that these stupid, obviously fraudulent ‘elections’ are Great News.

    Chavismo, once again is shooting itself in the foot. Committing Political suicide. By rushing the bogus ‘elections’ first, in desperate manner, and eliminating some of the main adversaries, (Leopoldo, MCM, Capriles, etc) they are advertising how fake they are. And now that the Sto Domingo huge Fiasco makes it even more clear, hopefully with other MUD parties refusing to participate, even better! This makes it abundantly clear for everyone, even the most uneducated, corrupt, enchufado, chavistoide pueblo-people that this narco-regime is full of shit; Not to mention the international community, less in touch with Kleptozuela, there will be no doubt that this will be a huge mega-fraud. Thereby granting them moral support, fine arguments to proceed with severe economic sanctions including oil/gas cash severance!

    So the Perfect Storm is brewing, and Chavismo is doing us all a big favor with these rushed, imbecile ‘elections’. Pueblo-people will be more pissed-off and hungrier than ever, including some military, especially as the economy keeps getting even worse, with the promise of 7 more years of a despised, loathed Maduro, and then. KABOOOOOM!! The Detonator: Rex Tillerson, with friends, Macri/Macron and the Peru 12.

    The shit is gonna hit the fan soon after the fraud in April. Start Celebrating.

    • “Start Celebrating.”

      Speechless I am …. you must not have seen chavismo in action in the last 18 years. The only time they dropped the ball was 6th December 2015 and it took them 24 hrs to reestablish themselves. Whatever BS they pull out of their arse they know what consequences it will have and are ready for them. They’ll have several backup plans … always. There are no surprises for them. Cubazuela is here to stay for many more years unless an armed struggle puts them out of business.

      • I hear you like the dinner bell is ringing.

        Except maybe ONCE someone will be right about this.

        Although for 19 years, none of us has been.

  31. Maduro doesn’t hate Falsón.

    It’s Diosdado the one that hates him because Falsón exposed Diosdado as a thief in front of every chavista and Chávez himself during an Aló Zaperoco program when the latter was checking some budget briefings for a transport system to be implemented in Lara state, now known as “those yutong buses that are mostly rotting away in Barquisimeto’s industrial district”

    Falsón has always suspected to be an Arias Cárdenas part II by no few people, and in the end they were right, Falsón never ceased to be a hardcore chavista.

  32. FT, nice layup for today’s phony NYT editorial which crossed your computer screen before publication. Always knew you had a price you greedy narcissistic traitor.

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