Photo: Infobae

Venezuela is in uncharted waters: after the long-trailed failure to reach an agreement for free and fair elections, the Maduro regime is now consolidating a dictatorship, and the April 22nd elections are a key part of the process.

This is entrenching the ruling coalition, its control over state money and state resources and its influence over regular people. It means dispensing with any reasonable mechanism to dislodge the regime.  

Venezuela’s transition to dictatorship didn’t take place overnight. However, until 2017, the basic expectation was that there would eventually be a moment when Maduro had to re-legitimize his power in a competitive election. The collapse of the Dominican Republic dialogue and the regime’s final refusal of free and fair presidential elections puts an end to that expectation.

The April election isn’t designed to select a president. It’s designed to entrench Maduro’s autocracy.  

Elections in authoritarian regimes are often more than window-dressing: They perform key functions to keep the reigning elite in power, establishing the required guidelines to institutionalize its rule and create new political routines that elites and the broader society must adapt to. They help reassert the relevance of the leader facing potential competitors within the movement. The leader uses the election, then, as a juncture to define who continues in the coalition (the “ins”) and who doesn’t (the “outs”).

The dialogue process deepened the rift and played into the slow-motion implosion of the MUD.

Recent rifts between the madurismo and former sacred cows like Rafael Ramirez show the kind of moves that can be less costly during election time. The creation of Somos Venezuela, a strange spinoff of the PSUV, is the most obvious sign that this election will be used to sort out the “ins” from the “outs.”

Elections can also divide and disempower the opposition, a central regime goal. The fight over whether or not to participate has deepened divisions between opposition partisans and their leaders, a phenomenon particularly visible in the Twittersphere. The dialogue process deepened the rift and played into the slow-motion implosion of the MUD.

We’ve also witnessed how the process of regaining ballot access has led to the gradual purging of many opposition parties — including the MUD leaving only Acción Democrática, Copei, Un Nuevo Tiempo and Avanzada Progresista on the ballot. This is a deliberate attempt to encourage Acción Democrática to field a presidential candidate, or favor someone like Henri Falcón, perceived as disloyal to the opposition by some. It’ll bring legitimacy to the election and help cement the existence of a regime-pliant, “collaborationist” party.

Of course, elections bring legitimacy, domestically and abroad.  

Most Venezuelans see this contest as the elecciones de la dictadura, but old habits die hard. Venezuelans are used to vote and might feel that not voting goes against their civic duties. Even many hard-line oppositionists will not accept that by participating in the election they’ll bolster the democratic credentials of the government. You can vote and still protest against the regime.

This is a deliberate attempt to encourage Acción Democrática to field a presidential candidate, or favor someone like Henri Falcón.

The government needs to reinforce its international legitimacy to lift existing sanctions (or prevent future ones), something it keeps failing at. This is a regime in dire need to enter into credible commitments with potential financial interests, business partners and investors. The election might just be the way to help restore Maduro’s mandate and work around this two major setbacks.  

Additionally, the election can (and will) be used as a ploy to perfect and exercise social control. The government has been developing the carnet de la patria as a mechanism to ensure political support in exchange for “benefits”. This political extortion is morally repulsive yet very effective —according to Michael Penfold, it’s one of the key reasons why so many people voted for the PSUV in the last election. This might also explain why Maduro has become more popular in recent polls, during a worsening crisis. Perfecting this extortion mechanism might be seen as essential to consolidate party hegemony and turn voting into a ritual of loyal support to the ruling party.

Elections in autocratic regimes also help detect specific locations or communities where votes fall short of expectations, which can be used by the government to detect failures in the CLAP distribution system (or other benefits), or under-performing politicians.  Thus, they also provide valuable information to enhance authoritarian governance.

This is no longer a “democratic fiesta.” Abusive military or even the presence of paramilitary forces can help create an atmosphere of fear and hopelessness to dissuade opposition voters from showing up. It’s a mistake to think that these elections are “just a sham”; understanding why, and to what extent they are meaningful for an unstable dictatorship like Maduro’s is essential to develop a strategy to confront the regime and restore democracy.

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  1. The Narco-Chavizta Dictatorship is already consolidated, a process that started in earnest after the failure to remove Chavez from power since 2002. Revealed 100% itself as one after illegally blocking the Recall Referendum in 2016, dismissing the National Assembly etc, etc No amount of elections or participation of political opposition will change that fact. People voting or no voting neither will remove the Dictatorship, with or without Henry Ramos, all that is irrelevant and an futile excersice. The whole world is clear what is the true nature of the regime and it has to be 100% removed before we can start talking about Democracy in Venezuela.

  2. Well explained article on what motivates the govt to hold elections at this time even if there is no oppo official participation , all governments shy away from characterizing themselves as arising from the exercise of brute force and flagrant fraud , they all need to build a fachade of faux legitimacy to at least notionally prop up their arbitrary authoritarian rule both vis a vis their own followers and hopefully vis a vis some part of the local population and international opinion .

    In early medioeval times when kings rose to the throne through deeds of sheer force murder and intrigue they sought legitimcy by trying to gain the support of the spiritual authority of the church , they needed the legitimacy to feel secure in their thrones , things havent change that much throghout the centuries except that now its not the church but elections that grant regimes if not substantive legitimacy at least the semblance of one .

    If the oppo participates in the election the validation of its legitimating effect witll be reinforced , if it abstain then they will try to show high electoral participation figures (however induced) as the equivalent of a free election making it into what is really a plesbicite …..!! Of course no one will be fooled , people in Venezuela and abroad already know that it will be a farce and many have already said so publicly.

    The next step of course if for the govt to invoke its electoral victory to squash what remains of the institutionaly organized opposition which means that the oppo will have to go underground to continue its strugge against the regime a move that implies a deep change in strategies and possibly of leaderships , something that makes many oppo people uncomfortable but which may be inevitable !!

    The sooner we realize this the better prepared we will be for the coming stage in the struggle for the restoration of Venezuelas freedom …!!

    • Bill, the institutionally organized opposition is what gave the Narco-Regime 1 or 2 more years of time by entertaining the notion that a peaceful solution was available. The AN and MUD needed to go underground and reorganize themselves under a different strategy or Plan B, once the illegal ANC was installed or even before, after the Recall Referendum was banned. I guess this is easier to say from my Desktop abroad but that is the reality after all that has happened. If they want to keep leading the opposition, not sure if it is too late now, they HAVE TO do these changes and fast.

  3. This post completely wrong. From beginning to end:

    1/ The Genocidal Tyranny (aka ‘dictatorship’, Kleptocracy – to be far more accurate) was “consolidated” long ago. It’s been in place for almost 19 years. Nineteen. And was particularly reinforced after the April protests failed and the MUD collapsed.

    2/ “The April election isn’t designed to select a president. It’s designed to entrench Maduro’s autocracy. ”

    It ain’t “Maduro’s autocracy”, at all. He’s nothing but a hated, inept clown. A tonto util, at best. The election fraud is intended to CONTINUE (as opposed to ‘consolidate’) the Cubazuelan Kleptocracy. Said Kleptocracy is led by the Corrupt Military, dozens of top Generals and other top military thugs, and a few dozen other top political thugs, such as Cabello. Rodriguez, Tarek, Reverol, etc. Those are the real “presidents” already in place for a long time.

    3/ “Of course, elections bring legitimacy, domestically and abroad.” Of course not! The elections will be the most obvious fraud in Latin-American Elections HISTORY. Everyone, domestically and abroad is well aware of the upcoming fraud. More than ever, the international community is well informed of the major scam. Heck, they’ve even expelled the regime from Cumbre de las Americas, and numerous countries have ALREADY declared the results illegitimate.

    What is the author of this post talking about??

    4/ “It’s a mistake to think that these elections are “just a sham”; understanding why, and to what extent they are meaningful for an unstable dictatorship like Maduro’s”

    They are more than just a sham only because they are also political suicide. Clumsily advancing the elections, openly banning top opposition candidates was waaaayyyy too obvious, so everyone now is getting ready for the predicted Mega-Fraud. The pueblo-people left, the malcontent lower military and the international community, especially my buddy Rex.

    Chavismo’s Kleptocracy is unstable only because the ECONOMY is destroyed, comprende? Because people are pissed-off and hungry, no food, no medicine. That’s why. Otherwise it’s as strong as it’s been in years, after over 4 million opponents left the country, Leopoldo and Capriles, MCM and others were silenced, etc. The fraudulent elections will serve as Detonator, if Mr. Rex Tillerson and the US administration lay down the hammer, with unprecedented support from the Macron and the EU, Macri and the Lima 12.

    5/ There’s nothing anymore to “understand” there, as the clueless author of this post finally writes. The MUD and the opposition ya la cagaron. I hope, at least, some of those inept and often corrupt clowns will listen to Rex and abstain from presenting Ramos Allup. It’s not “essential to develop a strategy to confront the regime and restore democracy.” That’s up to the rotten Economy, and Rex’s oil embargo, only source of CASH, which would strangle the regime because millions of Enchufados and corrupt military would either revolt or stop supporting the Kleptocracy, once they stop receiving their juicy monthly bribes.

    • The author is correct in explaining why elections may serve dictatorships in normal circumstances. But, as the Poeta says, in Venezuela’s case, any election will be widely viewed as a sham. As for Rex and the hammer, an oil embargo is a touchy thing–effects on U.S. refiners/Carribbean countries/Ven. Pueblo have to be sorted out. Coming Pres. elections in bordering Brasil/Colombia are complications so as not to play into the Left’s narrative. Financial moves by defaulted bondholders to embargo Ven. oil assets abroad should prove effective. Any U.S. probably unilateral military move, which will be the only real way probably to effectively remove the Castro-Communist cancerous tumor from Venezuela and prevent it from infecting neighboring S.A, countries, will have to wait until post-N. Korea impasse resolution, and post-Brasil/Colombia presidential elections….

  4. If that’s a recent photo, it looks like the cunt Tibisay is losing weight. Can’t be from a lack of lobster as we know alta-chavistas don’t miss meals. I hope her cancer is kicking into high gear, eating her alive, and all foreign options for reliable treatment have been closed off due to sanctions. Let the Venezuelan and Cuban witch doctors do what they can for her.

    For those of you who are aghast that I would say such a thing, second to Maduro, I hold her responsible for the misery and suffering of millions of Venezuela…….some of whom have died because of her actions. She’s gone out of her way to screw this country and no amount of suffering on her part would be enough to make up for what she’s done.

  5. I like that this article theoretically focuses on why authoritarian regimes go through these song and dances- which is fine for a classroom setting talking about elections in dictatorships.

    But as always we have theory in the ivory towers and reality on the ground, which is way more complex than concise arguments why x dictator does y.

    Poeta is right: “[elections] are more than just a sham only because they are also political suicide.”

    That is,given all that is going on day to day in Venezuela (the geopolitical context, the looming sanctions, the economic collapse (just look how many santamarias are closed on any commercial strip), NO HAY!!!, empty shelves in every supermarket, no cash, PDVSA going into default, the electrical grid on the verge of collapse, a decimated agricultural sector and zero productivity, hyperinflation and otherwise being on a precipice of another Caracazo 2.0…the list goes on and on and on) THESE FARCE ELECTIONS ARE JUST THE TIP OF THE ICEBURG. THEY ONLY GIVE US A ROUGH TIMELINE OF WHEN THE SHIT WILL HIT THE FAN. THAT IS IT.


    In other news here is a real story that needs to be addressed by CCS Chronicles:

    Ingenieros y técnicos de la antigua Edelca entregaron al ministro Motta Domínguez el documento “Líneas maestras para recuperar el sector eléctrico”, en el que aseguran que el sistema eléctrico entró en fase de obsolescencia

    My girlfriends ex, the godfather of her daughter and many of her ex’s friends have worked for Corpolec or presently work for Corpolec. The ones who presently work there say: “cant say over the phone or whatsapp, but it is way worse than you can even imagine.”

    Again, why this is a huge story: 1. No cash in the streets 2. Electrical failures mean punto de ventas (credit debit card swipers) do not work (whether system wide for a bank or locally). 3. Most people live day to day in Venezuela (e.g. when Banco de Venezuela went down many people went hungry for a couple of days because NO CASH AND CANT PAY PUNTO DE VENTA). 4. it could be a really hot summer….

    Hard for bloggers abroad to understand this, but this is the reality we live with day to day here.

  6. Another HUGE ISSUE!! that gringos abroad should know about is THE IMMINENT COLLAPSE OF THE TRANSPORTATION SECTOR.

    Talking with a buddy who is a taxi driver, he thinks the peo will start when we have a complete collapse of the transportation sector. If you have your own personal automobile here, or you live abroad, this is hard to fathom. But if you take the bus and taxis everyday like I do (because car broke down and impossible to fix a car in Venezeula), you would understand that the situation is REALLY REALLY BAD. You wait an hour or more when you used to wait only 15 minutes or less for a bus. The busses are jammed packed and are often full of fumes because they are burning oil –NO HAY MOTOR OIL! NO HAY CAR PARTS!! Taxi drivers are dealing with same shit, but many are not working because nobody has cash to pay them.

    Really, what we are seeing is a convergence of a perfect shitstorm that could collapse on its own without the help of our buddy Rex…that said, only international pressure will force these rats to jump ship sooner and spare us from a few more months of extreme misery.

  7. Stepdaughter No. 1’s 2 year old daughter is in a clinic in Caracas today in intensive care. She underwent major surgery 2 days ago by doctors from the US for a number of congenital nternal defects that she suffers. Her single kidney suddenly became nflamed and she needs dialysis to stablize her condition but, as you might guess, key supplies are unavailable in the country. Her father is now flying to Colombia to try to procure the supplies she’ll need to save her life.

    These worthless mother fuckers can’t be gone from power soon enough.

    Yeah, I’m in a rage today.

    • Wishing you the best. Sounds pretty hollow, but hang in there. Stay away from hatred. Hatred is yuca amarga. It’s hard, but it can be conquered, and in doing so you win a world.

    • Crystal is actually 3 years old, not 2. I misjudge her age by her size, she’s tiny. When they can get her up to 12 kilos, she’ll undergo a kidney transplant, the organ donated by her mother.

      The child is a little angel. She’s spent too much of her short life in this clinic. Five major surgeries so far. Wants others to call her Dra. Crystal because despite all the poking and prodding and shots and transfusions, she loves the doctors and nurses there. One of the American doctors told her mother the other day that he honestly doesn’t know how she’s survived to date with that one kidney that’s in such poor shape. He told her in his view it was a miracle.

      And Gringo, thanks for that sound advice. I don’t live my life that way. I’m actually pretty much a live-and-let-live kinda guy but when some of this shit hits so close to home it puts me over the top sometimes.

      How much money does one have to steal to have enough? How much pain and suffering and physical and economic disaster does one have to witness to know that what one is doing isn’t working and will never work? When does one realize that “the project” is a complete and utter failure and it’s time to let someone else give it a shot? How many deaths are enough?

      Get on a god damned plane and fly to Cuba and live the rest of your miserable life in the comfort of your beach home with all your servants. Just go.

    • MRubio
      I am very sorry to hear about your granddaughter. I honestly wish that there was something that I could do. If the Dr’s that did the surgery can send any meds, We can use Maria to get them there asap.
      If the inflammation is caused by any type of infection, there are antibiotics in your packages.
      I am not home (Long Island, I have a family member that is terminal with cancer), but if there is anything that I may be able to do call me or will try to check back into CC from time to time.
      I will keep your granddaughter in my prayers.,
      The best of luck to you and your family.

      • Thanks John for the offer, you’ve done more than your share already. Her father is now in Colombia and hopefully by tomorrow will have in-hand what’s needed for her treatment. Just a sad state of affairs how screwed up this country has become.

        On another topic, I should have your packages in-hand tomorrow and will post an update when they arrive.

        • Thank god for that. I will keep her in my prayers please keep us updated about her recovery. I can only imagine the anguish that you and your family are going through. Nobody should be subjected to this.

  8. Is Henri Falcón so desperate for a political legacy that he would even want to be part of this fraud? Has he no shame?**

    Is the lust for power so overpowering that Henri Falcón cannot see past the short term, and see his name mentioned in the same sentence as Vidkun Quisling and Philippe Pétain?

    **A rhetorical question…politicians, I am convinced, are without shame. Or a conscience.

  9. Guacharaca – I was going to post this a couple of days ago, but thought, “Heck, everyone knows this ….” Today, I’ll just add it to your comments. Maybe it will be of some help.
    Maybe I’m dumb or not paying attention or something and I am just “getting it”, but there’s also the “maybe” that I am an illustration of how difficult it is, for someone not in Venezuela with day-to-day personal experience and contacts, to get a real idea of what is going on. It isn’t just the petroleum industry collapsing. Here’s a partial list of things that are collapsing or that are in even worse shape:

    electric grid
    water supply
    mining (bauxite)
    replacement part supply chain
    justice structure
    retail businesses
    currency (pricing mechanism)
    debt structure
    fiscal policy (non-existent, really)
    prisons (run by prisoners)
    transportation of goods
    army as “defender of the people”
    airline travel in and out of the country
    basic medical services
    electoral system
    unified opposition to the regime
    old people collapsing
    children collapsing
    brain-drain or population drain

  10. I think the task ahead for the chavistas is clear. How can they convince Venezuelans and also the world that Chavista lite, which I define as some pseudo democratic form of chavistaism is the answer. It would appeal to a large audience of left leaners everywhere as well as non poltical types who wish to avoid confrontation at any cost and appears to assume a human form in the name of Mr. Falcon.

    • That may be their strategy, but I dont see it working. The country is fucked (sorry) for all the reasons pointed out in this thread and others. Their only hope to be less fucked is to receive a whole bunch of “free” money from the outside IMF or bond restructuring or whatever. This requires Marco and Rex need to be convinced it is worth asking Trump to lift all financial sanctions. Plus, IMF rules would have to me meant. I don’t see that happening with Chavista Lite. Instead, I see them at least trying to go full Castro. I know, “Never Go Full Castro” ….

    • I think that part of chavismo sees the “Lite” option as the way to save the “revolution “

      The criminals in power have different take. They do anything to continue bleeding the country for their profit and hope to somehow step off the train before it crashes.

    • This gets asked a lot on CC blog. I believe the consensus answer is along the lines of: The oil requires specialized refinery, but probably somewhere in the world they have this, so maybe it becomes $30M a day because of having to transport far away (India? or China?).

      The other consensus answer seems to be that even if the US keeps buying, the amount available to sell is going to dry up, so sooner or later (maybe even in 2018), the $40M a day is going to zero anyway. US does not have to do anything.

      Then there’s that part about bond holders going after their assets at some point.

    • That would be the right thing to do, and no doubt the regime would fall really fast. However, such move would have to be coordinated with a military intervention to stabilize the country and avoid a catastrophic population crisis given that the internal armed forces are part of this problem.

  11. Your point about the use of the election to divide and disempower the opposition is a good one. One effect is also to provoke radical elements in the opposition to cast the people as the enemy and to denigrate Venezuelans, rather than to try to organize a common strategy.

    There must be nothing more gratifying to the regime than witnessing its opponents frothing at the mouth about el pueblo venezolano, and how all the decent venezuelans have left, etc.. In this way, the Maduro regime provokes elements within the opposition to do the regime’s propaganda work for it. And if a couple of angry old musius jump on board, all the better.

    • You simply cannot help yourself, can you cannuck?

      As for the regime’s propaganda work, you’re doing a great job by constantly deflecting criticism from those who deserve it and on to others who are at their wits end living in it every day.

      Every time one of your posts pisses me off I tell myself to try to calm down, there’s got to be something of value in the guy but with each time you post you seem to prove me wrong yet again.

      At least your consistent if nothing else.

      • I’m tellin’ you… I think Canucklehead is Joe Emersberger. Google the name and read his crap and tell me if you don’t think so too.

        • I have EG.

          Trying to recall cannuck’s posts, an unpleasant exercise in and of itself, I can’t say that I really recall him ever saying much of anything negative about the regime itself. His schtick is mainly criticizing individual posters here, basically trying to drive a wedge….or in essence, doing exactly what he accuses others of doing…..a classic leftist tactic.

          It wasn’t but 6 or 7 months ago he was encouraging everyone to give “constitutional” and “institutional means” a chance to overthrow the regime. Who the fuck, other than dreamy-eyed Quico, would say something like that after all this country has been through?

    • You have a good point there Canu, the regime have been somewhat successful at keeping this eternal illusion that there is a tiny possibility of a democratic or negotiated solution. That in itself divides the opposition into Peace vs War approaches. That have played well into the hopes of the institutional opposition given that would be the easier, self deluded path to move forward or just remain “relevant”.
      Even the Lima Group have failed by putting the horse before the carriage when saying The Lima Group is created with the intention to find a PEACEFUL & NEGOTIATED solution to the Venezuela serious political and human crisis.
      In other words, the Lima Group are already committed to a specific solution to a problem that can only be solved by force. They have committed themselves to a solution before finding out of the real problem.
      Their latest actions of banning Maduro from assisting the America Summit give them a hint of what they are really facing here. Hope that they become flexible and open to an international military intervention.

  12. Just one thing: I don’t think this voids Quico’s theory.

    These may be the reasons they do it. And Henri may win anyway (internal fissures would only make it likelier). And he may pull a Perestroika.

  13. I agree that the purpose of the election is to give some modicum of legitimacy to the existing dictatorship. It is the smart political move. However, any government and in particular a tyranny has to run the country with some degree of effectiveness, instead they are making Venezuela a failing state on par with Haiti.

  14. Eñe, first thing that happened with Perestroika (and more precisely Glastnost) was that the Ruskies gradually cut off subsidized oil to Cuba.

    Cuba’s Special Period

    Dont see that happening here with lot, not even Chavista Lite. Yes, Cuba is prepared to make up for PDVSAs declining oil output (hence deal with Algeria), but as long as Chavistas Lite are in power, don’t expect them to stop giving out oil, lift the exchange controls, nor the price controls: that equals death to the revolution/robolution. Chavistas Lite are just window dressing designed to keep the revolucion bonita going a little longer.

    Dont take the bait!! Who are really in control are Socialismo o Muerte types.

    “Opposition doves,” you can go f*&k yourself, because the “opposition hawks” know these scum in power WILL NOT CHANGE and doves will continually be made fools of again and again by falling for this election trap. No way around this. We are dealing with authoritarians who are tramposo and will stay in power by any means necessary, not democrats willing to leave office if they lose a free and fair election.

    Only way we go to elections is if they are truly free and fair and called for by the AN, NOT THE ANC. Plus a truly independent CNE. Plus international monitors who ensure it is truly free and fair. That is the only way we go to the polls. Nothing less.

    • “not democrats willing to leave office if they lose a free and fair election.”

      Not without a lot of shrill pants shitting, hissy fits and pussy hats. But, yes.

  15. I thought I’d be reading something this on CC, but it is on Aporrea and it is blunt; not more “economic war” bullshit. The little girl in the picture about the same age as Mrubio’s GD.

    “Mandatory emigration imposed in Venezuela” (google translation):

    “First, those with higher incomes and young professionals left; Then, the economic situation, the shortage of food and medicines and the sensation of political suffocation due to the reduction of democratic freedoms have pushed the most popular sectors out of the country. ‘It’s like they run us from our own house.'”

    “When I go to the market or I have to buy a medicine, it causes me to leave. Not to mention when I ride the Metro or hear Maduro talk. However, I think that at some point we are going to get out of this lethargy, this blackmail. When it is finished dismantling the religious relationship with Chávez.”

  16. The April 22nd Election is Designed to Consolidate a Dictatorship
    Quite fittingly, the posting leads with a big photo of Maduro with Tibisay Lucena, head of the CNE. Tibisay is a graduate of The New School in New York City. The New School used to be associated with Hannah Arendt. Now The New School is associated with Tibisay Lucena, who is probably the New School’s most newsworthy graduate.What a decline.

  17. Very interesting. Could be another Chavista trap. I saw a very good video by this pastor earlier today and liked what he said. Then I heard he wants to run for president. ARRRRRGGGGGG!!!!!

    The best thing he can say to his congregation is NOT to vote. That the only revolution will be a spiritual revolution (that Venezuelans do not lie, cheat and steal) and any notion of a political revolution is a farce.

    So I hear others saying they are waiting for “someone of dignity to run” and that is why they will vote. Yeah, I am a sinner, but I believe in God, and I believe in Christ. That said, I will not take the wife and kids to an evangelical church because you usually see a well dressed pastor with a nice car who is smoozing with the Christian businessmen association for fundraising purposes…especially in a big mega church.

    Very interesting. Want to do more research on this. Now if he is a radical anticommunist, at least he is better than the Henry and Henri, but we always have to be looking out for the traps. AND NO MEANS NO!!! In terms whether to vote or NOT!!!

    Only thing at this point I can tell Evangelicals is if you vote for Javier Betucci, CNE will magically use a portion of your vote for Maduro.

    Evangelicals, the best thing you can do right now is to not run a well dressed pastor for president. The best thing you can do is to run soup kitchens to feed the poor and show everyday Venezuelans the economic message of Christ: “give a man a fish for the day and he can eat, teach a man to fish and he can eat for life”.

  18. the issue keeps the same: where is the opposition leadership? They need to join together in only one single party with only one goal, only one message: to remove the gang from power and create the conditions for a transition.

    Indeed they need to choose a speaker, an individual that can inspire the people and mobilize them. Otherwise skipping the farce elections and standing pat will not be enough to produce anything.


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