Photo: Diario La Nación

Nicolás can feel a bit more relaxed with the validity of his electoral circus on April 22, although every one of his fake contenders are chavista dissidents. Aside from evangelical pastor Luis Alejandro Ratti and engineer Reinaldo Quijada, yesterday the former soldier Francisco Visconti went to the CNE, claiming that he’s presenting his option to “structurally transform the Venezuelan State and hand power back to the people”; remember that one? Visconti asked the CNE for equality and fairness in the process, demanding that Nicolás leave his post during the campaign and until the election. Visconti was involved in the failed coups on February 4 and November 27, 1992, and that same year he fled the country and requested political asylum in Peru, to return in 1994 and run for the Aragua state governorship the following year. He lost. In 1999, he was a member of the National Constituent Assembly for Barinas; and in 2000, he was a candidate to the Barinas Governorship. He lost again. For some strange reason, he thinks he can win in the ANC-imposed reelection of Nicolás.

Only public employees

With an flimsy audience around him, Nicolás arrived at the Diego Ibarra square after fulfilling the step of visiting el finado’s tomb in the Military Museum. With one of the vehicles from the multidimensional exercise, better painted than Cilia Flores’ hair, the background of his stage was set with a vulgar copy of Soviet communist iconography, changing the profiles of Lenin and Stalin for his own and el finado’s.

Photo: Diario Las Américas

Héctor Rodríguez introduced him. Nicolás dedicated part of his speech to boost hard feelings (he chose February 27 for a reason, after all) and attacked the opposition, while promising to conquer the 10 million votes that Chávez couldn’t accomplish in his best moment. In fact, he claimed that his “engine does work,” that he’s physically prepared for his candidacy, a daring wink since Chávez was the only candidate who has run for president with an ongoing terminal disease. His memorable phrase: “All opposition candidates have guarantees, the only guarantees I will never give them is that they beat me in elections.” Aside from the deeply red attire, the investment in confetti and VTV’s effort to get favorable takes to add some audience in the empty spots, Nicolás didn’t look comfortable or secure.

The other chavista

Public media has censored any statements from opposition leaders for many years. Yesterday Henri Falcón’s registration before the CNE was broadcast live, proving what he is. Sadly, he didn’t rehearse the long text he read for almost an hour, so he made all kinds of mistakes: pronunciation, pitch, modulation and, of course, coherence. He spoke of the mark left by his administration in Lara (where he lost by a landslide in October last year); he requested that elections be postponed (the only offer made by the Rodríguez siblings) and asked for social and political coercion to be abolished or at least removed from voting stations. So cute. He called himself “the candidate of prosperity and salvation” and for an even stranger reason than Visconti, he claimed to be assured of his victory. In the same event where he breaks away from MUD and mocks the decision not to participate in elections for lack of conditions, he remarked that he’ll assemble a government of national unity.

Last night, MUD repudiated Falcón’s registration:

“With this decision, Henri Falcón steps away from the Coalition as well as the democratic feeling of the Venezuelan people. We cannot validate a fraudulent electoral system.”

Is the other evangelical pastor, Javier Bertucci, so committed to his candidacy that his registration was formalized by a representative?

Non-negotiable conditions

The Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) sent a document to Nicolás titled “Non-negotiable conditions for a free election in Venezuela,” in which they restated their willingness to participate in elections as long as the democratic guarantees they demand are respected.

“These elections, in those conditions, won’t solve anything (…) they will close the only escape valve for national tension,” the document reads. Among other conditions, MUD demands that elections are set within the schedule established by law, with international observation from the start of the process, the immediate and agreed appointment of two new CNE authorities, equal opportunities for all candidates in media outlets, the suspension of mandatory TV and radio broadcasts during the entire campaign and the reversal of political party invalidations.

Humanitarian aid

Yesterday, the Inter American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) demanded that the Venezuelan government allow access of humanitarian aid: “The IACHR not only urges but in fact demands that the Venezuelan State accepts the humanitarian aid being offered because it’s obvious that for whatever reasons, it can’t fulfill its duty and the guarantee of protecting essential rights,” said Francisco Eguiguren, IACHR rapporteur in Venezuela. The Venezuelan State, represented by the executive secretary of the National Human Rights Council, Larry Devoe, offered an abject performance and blamed the crisis we suffer on the financial sanctions imposed by the U.S. in August 2017. Francisco Eguiguren schooled him, explaining that receiving humanitarian aid isn’t an ideological matter because “people’s lives are at risk,” and Devoe claimed: “Venezuela has the capacity to purchase and provide the required resources to its people. Venezuela doesn’t need anyone to give us anything.”

Abroad

  • UN Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees (Acnur) Kelly Clements acknowledged that the exodus of Venezuelan refugees is concerning and that they’re analyzing the situation to find a better solution.
  • Nikki Haley, U.S. ambassador in the UN, said that Venezuela is one of her country’s greatest concerns because “we’ve seen how a successful democracy has turned into dictatorship,” saying that they’ll continue to work with OAS “to see what can be done.”
  • Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said that the normalization of political and diplomatic relations with Spain depends on the government of Madrid. His Spanish counterpart Alfonso Dastis said that there’s no chance for now that Spain and Venezuela exchange ambassadors once again after both countries expelled their respective diplomats in January.
  • Yesterday, a group of eleven U.S. senators presented a resolution against “the repressive and anti-democratic actions of the Venezuelan government,” on which they also call for the holding of free and fair elections, establishing that any election that doesn’t comply with international standards will be deemed illegitimate. The text says that the Senate will ask the Venezuelan government to postpone the presidential elections set for April 22.
  • Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski said that American countries must think of a way to help improve Venezuela’s critical situation.

Yesterday was the 29th anniversary of February 27th, 1989. The dimension of this humanitarian crisis far exceeds the conditions that explained the Caracazo.

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17 COMMENTS

  1. “..the Inter American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) demanded that the Venezuelan government allow access of humanitarian aid: “The IACHR not only urges but in fact demands that the Venezuelan State accepts the humanitarian aid being offered.”

    “Demand”? With what authority. Demand? Or what? What will these “commissions” actually DO, if their “demand” is laughed at? People just have no idea what words mean sometimes, ‘urges’, ‘pleads’, ‘insists’..
    Just like people everywhere calling Chavismo a “gobierno’, all the time, when the correct words exist, Desgobierno Criminal, Cleptocracia Genocida, Tirania Narco-Militar.

    Learning how to utilize words would be a start.

    • I think you’re overreacting to this, and I think they DID choose their words carefully.

      I agree that words matter, and in this case, they didn’t mince them as far as demanding aid be allowed.

      Whether they can enforce it, of course not. And of course, they’re not going to go so far as to categorize this administration with the adjectives you’ve supplied, as accurate as they may be.

      Baby steps.

      • Yes, I agree. Demand is the strongest word they can use, so it’s good to see, regardless whether they can enforce it or bring any consequences to bear (which they can’t, in this case).

  2. I wonder if there’s an established compensation rate to bribe potential ‘opponents’ for the election mega-fraud. You know, a cool Million US$, or so. I suspect there no such thing, the Rodriguez Sinister brothers improvise, perhaps the offer to Ramos Allup and Borges was too low. That’s the only “oferta y demanda” law that still applies in Kleptozuela. Here, they did not have much to bribe with, so they got these 6 cheap dorks.

    The rates for International Mercenaries like Zapatero and De Zayas seem to be right on target, though. That must have been more expensive, and in fresh Euros.

  3. La verdad sale: “Todos los candidatos de oposición tienen las garantías, las únicas garantías que no les voy a dar nunca es que ellos me ganen las elecciones”. The donkey dixit.

    And this is it. The gang is not going anywhere peacefully. And that’s why the “dialogo” was a diversion, because anything close to a “fair” election will mean kicking out the gang from power (at least from the presidency). And in an election like that the donkey does not have even a sightly shot.

    The best case scenario for the donkey would be running against LL, MCM and HCR simultaneously and even with some few hundreds votes drainiing to other monkeys like “el choro pare de sufrir” or even “the chicken who is named as a hawk”, even then, the opposition will get first and second and probably the whole podium.

    Actually the best scenario (in a clean election) for the gang would be to throw a different candidate (el mismo mono pero con diferente cachimbo). Some governor or minister.

    Or even a better scenario for the gang would be having a “chavista critico” or “chavista disidente”: a dude that robbed and hunted “opositores” during the administration of ch and the donkey as well, but now they are considered “real” opposition guys. In this regard, sooner than later we will see lapatilla, bocaranda and other pundits rooting for diosdado to be the MUD candidate against the gang. Oops.

  4. “Among other conditions, MUD demands that elections are set within the schedule established by law, with international observation from the start of the process, the immediate and agreed appointment of two new CNE authorities, equal opportunities for all candidates in media outlets, the suspension of mandatory TV and radio broadcasts during the entire campaign and the reversal of political party invalidations.”

    Is MUD finally getting their act together?

    Can’t be, can it?

    • As opposed to the example above, here the word “demand” was applied correctly: in the sense of “exigir” . The MUD can have a set of demands, OR they do not participate. Capicce Ira? The IACHR is in no position to “demand” anything from the Criminal Tyranny. Unfortunately.

      The word “demand” has a strong connotation in English. It comes from “Demander”, to ask, in French, but is stronger than “exhort” when applied today. Or should be.

      For instance, my buddy Rex could DEMAND that the Narco-Kleptocracy accepts humanitarian aid, OR the USA cuts off the oil cash. No other nation is in a position to “demand” shit from Kleptozuela. Even the USA might not be, since the income from the Drug trade may now exceed the oil income, and the Chavista Thugs simply don’t give a damn about people.

      • Hey Poeta, day by day, it sounds like your buddy Rex will get the last word. The MUD-as always-sound like a bunch of monkeys in a banana republic (without the republic) who tell us what we want to hear, but the devil is in the details, and the big whig politicians are all waiting for their guiso.

        Until the people stand up again and demand their freedom in the streets, the MUD is just a debating society and nothing more.

        Rex gets the last word, Caracazo 2.0, and then finally people will wake up. Hate to say it, but it is true. Venezuelans are PATHETIC!!!!

        Right now, Venezuela is a country with millions of people who want change, but they are nothing more than a bunch of c(*ts glued to twitter at night and otherwise waiting for somebody else to do this for them. Typical chimbozuelans.

        Shit will get really crazy when Rex cracks the whip. Crazy thing is, right now is the time for peaceful protest, but everybody is at home with their thumbs up their ass.

        • Yeah, but my pal Rex is telling me now that he’s gotta hold his horses and chill for a while. Wait & see what transpires nationally and internationally after the mega-fraud, while keeping a close eye on Brazil and especially Colombia with their own PetroChavista threat. Ya know, your dayly SuperPower Geo-Political Global Economic considerations at the breakfast table.

          But the Big Gringo Hammer is going down this year. And cutting the oil cash might not suffice to suffocate the Narco-Kleptocracy. They are making loads of cash with the Drug Industry too.. Don’t be surprised if Cabello and Tarek’s friends become the next tropical Cara’e’Piñas Seal Team 6 takes down.

      • It looks like the embargo may happen even before the election.

        TrumpRex, or RexTrump if you prefer, is justifying it by telegraphing that all departments have been researching an embargo’s impact on the American consumer and business.

        I can’t imagine that impact to be negative enough to prevent it from happening. And with U.S. production now easily picking up the slack?

        To me, it seems like a no-brainer.

      • How can at least 9 out of 10 politicians in Latin American politics not call themselves revolutionaries?

        If the word was stricken from the Spanish language, Central and South America would explode from confusion on how to proceed.

  5. These elections are a blatant farce , a charade , everything points to it ,and no one really thinks that the result will be in any way credible , in time they will prepare a replacement for Maduro , a new face……but someone they think they can trust …..I think I know who they are thinking of ……but they are already in the hole and wont be able to get out ……..!! Any Chavista that thinks that they can turn this crisis around by having a charade of an election is got to be delusional …..!!

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