Photo: Reuters, retrieved

For years Venezuela’s opposition has been described as “fractious”, but I’ve never seen it like this. Ahead of the vote on May 20th, the opposition is divided at all levels. The split between those who want to vote and those who want to abstain is tearing up not just the opposition as a whole, but each of its parties individually: every single one — aside from AP— is now riven between those signed up to MUD’s no-participation line and substantial portions that secretly (and not-so-secretly) are working to get Henri Falcón elected.

The rift has a regional angle, too, with many state and local political activists incensed with the Caracas- and exile-based National Leadership’s decision to boycott. Infighting had long been a hobby for the opposition, but more and more it’s the main event: the thing opposition leaders spend the bulk of their energy on.

It’s horrifying.

How did we get to this point?

As I see it, the government played us. Again.

To see how, you have to rewind to late last year, when the government started toying with the idea of early presidential elections to capitalize on MUD’s already-visible disarray.

Early —very early— in that process, Henri Falcón signalled that he would participate in elections no matter what electoral conditions were on offer. Knowing that, the task of splitting us became straightforward: a simple matter of humiliating the more radical bits of MUD into a boycott.

Easy peasy.

It’s like the goddamn groundhog came out and saw its own shadow, foretelling six more years of dictatorship. 

The ‘how’ was straightforward. They held a high profile set of negotiations in the Dominican Republic, then conceded absolutely nothing around the negotiating table.

In drawing the opposition into negotiations, they knew the more radical leaders would need to issue guarantees to their followers. “We’ll talk,” they’d be force to say, “but we’ll only sign provided we get X.”

After that, splitting the opposition was as simple as not giving them X.

As expected, Julio Borges painted himself into a corner: forced to choose between splitting the opposition in two by calling for a boycott Falcón wouldn’t agree to and accepting a humiliating climbdown that would destroy his credibility with his own rank-and-file followers.

Falcón’s early signal he would participate no matter what deprived Borges of the one bit of leverage he might have had around the negotiating table: a credible threat of a genuinely unified boycott.

The result is as predictable as it is dispiriting. By all accounts, Falcón’s candidacy hasn’t exactly caught fire with the electorate, meaning the opposition now faces a very real prospect of ending up without the goat and without the rope. Maduro has a real prospect now of winning a contested vote without having to falsify the final tally, a miserable Nash equilibrium that could put the final nail on the coffin of organized political opposition to his regime. It’s his wildest dream come true.

It’s like the goddamn groundhog came out and saw its own shadow, foretelling six more years of dictatorship.

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97 COMMENTS

  1. the truth is the opposition leaders never really cared about Venezuela but their own political futures.

    this was seen back when the nation got chavez out of office and within 2 days carmona pronnounced himself as the new president. a coup within a coup. this has never changed.

    All of these professional politicians of the opposition will never fullfill the real task at hand. It is going to take someone new to turn things around, if there will be another chance

    • “carmona pronnounced himself as the new president”

      That wasn’t the mistake.

      The error was that every lambucio enchufado that was sucking from the chavista gubmint went to ask for their slice of the state pie, and when they were denied of it because Carmona wasn’t a dirty thief like them, they threw their arms to the air and said “well, F**K you and F**K Venezuela, you’re on your own!” and used their media to send the people home and leave Carmona alone.

      • Disagree. The plan deviated (many times)from the original plans carved out at Isaac Perez Recao’s place. For starters, Baduel was double-crossed not once but twice. There is still a lot of opacity surrounding these events but Otto Reich did warn Carmona not to do it and threatened sanctions. Carmona’s last words to Reich: “dont worry, we know what we are doing” or something to that effect.

      • The coup never stood a chance. Many people in the initial meetings (@ IPR’s place) came to the conclusion it was a goat fuck and left.

        • Listen to all the interviews done to the people present in the plate at that time, the coup wasn’t a “fuckup”, the movement was taken over and killed by the enchufados that arrived after Chávez fled Miraflores terrified of being caught for ordering the massacre of Llaguno which was documented with the hundreds of witnesses, videos and photos of the death circles raining gunfire on the people, the trial wouldn’t have taken more than 3 days to lock Richard Peñalver and all of his accomplices for the next 30 years.

          The enchufados came to Miraflores and demanded to be given parts of the country as they always did, they demanded ministeries and portions of PDVSA, while part of the chabizta security detail was even left undisturbed inside Miraflores when they had to be captured and locked away or killed if they put resistance at all, so when the enchufados were “deprived of their prize” they told everybody to fuck off and used the media to send people off the streets because they wanted Chávez back (as Chávez was their guarantee to access the insolent privileges)

          The movement was betrayed because NO ONE broadcasted the message that had to be said, that the more than one million protesters had to stand in the streets to keep the chavistas at bay, as they ran into hiding when they witnessed the size of the march.

          “Baduel was double-crossed not once but twice.”

          No, he intervened because there were components of the armed forces that started to inquire about Chávez’s and the presidency’s whereabouts (which remained vacant because the enchufados left Carmona alone in Miraflores) and he concluded that the country could effectively end in a worse situation as some officers threatened with launching coups time and again if Chávez didn’t appear.

          In any case, was Reich interviewed at some point to listen what he has to say about that date anyway? I guess not.

        • “The coup never stood a chance. Many people in the initial meetings (@ IPR’s place) came to the conclusion it was a goat fuck and left.”

          Of course, if I had some contracts with the gubmint and someone told me that I would lose all that juicy corrupt money, I as an enchufado would scream at the top of my lungs that that was a supreme goatfuckery, because my accounts in mayamie, dude.

          Also, as much as some people insist that “the decree was illegal because they didn’t hold elections the 11 itself”, those people must accept the fact that Venezuela will have a defacto president and a defacto government once chavizmo is ousted, simply because the country can’t take the mortal risk of having a chavizta agent winning any election to destroy the achievements.

    • “the truth is the opposition leaders never really cared about Venezuela but their own political futures.”

      Exactly.

      But, they aren’t alone. The US congress and Senate is full of such people.

      Jefferson Smith, where are you?

      “Laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made” — Otto von Bismarck (1815-1898)

    • No, but it makes even easier for them. No friction, not having to do operations that may be noticed, no possible scandal, no masses knowing the result is false because they all voted for the other guy.

      The “legitimacy” is going to be the same, probably a bit more to use outside as justification by friends and fellow travellers (but who listen to them except other friends and fellow travellers). But hey, no need to do the dirty work of actual physical fraud.

    • “Does really not “having to falsify the final tally” add any sort of legitimacy to this totally illegitimate election?”

      Three words:

      Bolívar State election.

      The undeniable proof that the regime has been tampering with numbers all this time.

  2. Agree, except with the “six more years”. Why only six?

    The regime will change the constitution. It could be six, eight or ten. What’s more, I bet they want this to be the last “one person, one vote” presidential election. They can’t afford to take those kind of risks again.

    • “They can’t afford to take those kind of risks again.”

      Actually they never took any risks, the elections were ALWAYS rigged, there has never been a chance for them to “lose” them.

  3. Why be so negative….I’ll take the other side of this discussion. I think those opposed to Maduro are already in the best position they could be under the circumstances. Any notion that the Chavistas will lose !any election is nonsensical. Falcon thus was a spoiler candindidate whose goal was to lend some credibility to this election and divide the opposition. He succeeded in the latter but will fail at the former because the international community has declared this election to be a farce. The outcome of the vote doesn’t matter. Big time sanctions are on the way and Falcon’s effort to legitimize this election has been relegated to a historical footnote. This is good not bad news. Don’t be so gloomy.

    • I appreciate your optimism, but we gotta remember Cuba.

      And without Russia’s or China’s largesse, VZ could easily turn out 10 times worse for decades to come.

      • Russia’s or China’s largesse is already running out. Under the Castros, Vz will turn out much worse for decades to come.

      • “I appreciate your optimism, but we gotta remember Cuba.”

        Remember Cuba well, Ira, there are no nukes in Venezuela, so no way to actually threaten USA besides sending more and more terrorists with venezuelan passports to butcher civilians and export colectivos to the neighboring LatAm countries to go and slaughter people there.

    • Quico throwing his toys again because nobody believes in Falson.

      No mention in this article of the pressure of international community, nor the economic and social disaster that we face every day in Venezuela.

      Clearly a case of somebody throwing their toys here because nobody will jump onboard of the Falson campaign.

  4. So what if Falcon and the rest of the oppo have taken different positions , that wanst going to change anything , Maduro was going to ‘win’ any way , they ve got the results already cooked up , Falcon lost miserably to an unknown Psuv candidatee when he went for the gubernatorial seat in Lara state where he was most popular and had the most organized support , doenst that tell us somthing about the prospects of any rival presidential candidacy…, after the election they are going to announce so many millions voted , no one will believe it , the countries andinternacional bodies that have already pronounced the elections a sham and stated that they will not recognize its results , will not change their position , Maduro will shout victory , but he will remain an international pariah. Meantime people are leaving the country by droves, 1777 deserting National Guards were officially thrown out of the National Guard for deserting , people in Pdvsa , in the armed forces, in the key departments of the Banco Central , even people who were counted as loyal chavistas are abandoning their posts , hyperinflation, shortages of all kinds and worsening dsyfunctional electrical and water services are destroying the fabric of everyday life , making life hell , Pdvsa is broke and production and oil income falling to historically record lows , more and more corruption scandals are being discovered everyay , there is the real risk of a breakdown in the overburdened payment system, China is definitely not coming to the rescue , theyve had it ….., Maduro has stated that he will give prizes to anyone who votes (now why would he do that ??) and talked of calling for another round of talks in Dom Rep to which the president of that country ( an old ally of Maduro) said that he handt heard of any such talks and that if they happened he would not participate in them ..what does that tell you …..?? Maduro may have divided the oppo in the sense that Falcon has participated in elections that the rest of the oppo boycots , but after the election is Falcon going to become a Maduro ally, is he going to say that he lost fair and square and that he is happy with the results ?? Creditors are getting organized to move against the countrys assets abroad stiffling its capacity to service its debt or get any income , what happens to chinese oil deliveries if the place in Bonaire where the heavy oil is mixed with the light US oil used is taken over by Pdvdsa or the Govts creditors ?? meantime further sanctions are on their way once the election is held ……this dividisin of the opposition regarding participation in a farcical election may be the regimes sole success in a situation in which they are losing all the battles and getting trounced ……!! The oppo can unite again against their common enemy but are the regimes dire situation going to improve after the elections just because they make a show of it ??

      • Bill Bass hits the 3-2 pitch. Going…Going…Gone!!! Out of the park for a walk off home run. Well done sir!

    • This is correct, however the dynamics and the trends can take years to collapse the regime and introduce the end. Venezuela will take several generations to heal, IF THE RIGHT PROGRAMS ARE STARTED AND CARRIED OUT after the implosion.

      • ” Venezuela will take several generations to heal,”

        Doesn’t matter, as long as I can point a finger at chabiztos and laugh at their misery for being anti-homeland losers, it’ll be worth it.

    • “is he going to say that he lost fair and square and that he is happy with the results ?? ”

      Basically that’s what’s been his job and only function there, much like Rosales in 2006 and Capriles in 2012-2013.

  5. Toro, you’re talking about those individuals as if they were an ACTUAL opposition to the castrochavista dictatorship.

    They never were, they have always been on the regime’s side, JB has been sold out since 2005 when along HRA they stabbed the people of Venezuela in the back by sabotaging the national boycott AND protest strategy by asking people to “stop protesting because it was suicidal” and going to the farce of 2006 with the sellout worm that’s rosales, JB also is known for being the snitch that helped the regime to defuse militar plans for liberation more than once such as the Jericho and Blue Strike plans whose leaders are now rotting in jail; the MUD-controlled globovisión took as its duty to keep the “only the electoral and peaceful ways will get Venezuela out of this so wait for more years for the next election!” farce; while falsón is a miserable chavista minion who never lifted a single finger once to actually do something that would displease the regime.

    Toro, you’re assuming that rotten thing that’s the MUD and most of its leadership has been an actual opposition to chabizmo in Venezuela, the truth is that they’ve been the official, tailor-made opposition that the regime built to keep people in the groundhog day.

    It’s been that way since 2002, the true opposition has been silenced and vetoed from all media and has been discredited and slandered by the regime and the fake opposition during almost two decades.

    This is not “the government played us again”, this is “the dictatorship continues to use its fake opposition to keep people from protesting in the streets as they’ve done since 2002.”

  6. “winning a contested vote without having to falsify the final tally,”

    I can’t believe you still think that they never changed the numbers, how can you be so naive, Toro? They’ve done it since the first election they held for the prostituyente, dude, chabizmo ALWAYS CHEATED AT ELECTIONS, ALWAYS, and they did so by brazenly changing the numbers, regardless of how many people voted or how they voted, the regime always said “we won, period.”

    Stop that lie that “they win because they’re more and we do nothing more than going to arenitaculitoplayitabirrita” because that’s NOT TRUE.

  7. “For years Venezuela’s opposition has been described as “fractious”, but I’ve never seen it like this.”

    Were you paying attention when Allup decided, against all consensus, to participate in elections right after the ANC was imposed? Have you heard Falcon’s speeches about “chavistas tarifados” in the protests? They’re “fractious” because a “fraction” wants to cohabitate with a dictatorship and the other “fraction” wants to support said dictatorship. Only a small minority, from my point of view, actively wants to oust them.

    “They held a high profile set of negotiations in the Dominican Republic”

    So we shouldn’t have gone and sat down to talk with a regime that has a precedent of not making good on their promises no matter how “corneder” they seem, then? A regime that, by then, had killed hundreds and injured thousands? Thanks for realizing it.

    The fact that your last paragraph is worded (maybe unintentionally) to bring legitimacy to an election as transparent as my tap water is laughable, at best.

  8. “Ahead of the vote on May 20th, the opposition is divided at all levels.”

    I can’t find a dimes worth of difference between all of the aggrieved parties.

    It would be impressive if it were akin to the Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Green and the Constitution parties in the United States trying to come to a consensus for the salvaging of the United States. But in Venezuela it is the Socialist Lite Party, Socialist Junior Party, Socialism for Tomorrow Party, We Love Socialism Party, Hurray for Karl Marx Party, Fred Engels For Us Party, and Almost Communist Party are more concerned with keeping the pathetic little bit of power they have while watching the country spiral down the shitter. I am convinced that these parties think that the problem with Chavismo is that the wrong people are in charge of it. They are content to sit on the sides and watch the unfolding catastrophe, while not offering the least bit of hope, let alone a realistic plan forward.

    Q. Why aren’t PJ, UNT, VP and AD all together in one party? Hmm?

    It is cultural. There can be no other explanation. The leadership of these parties are more concerned about being in a position of power than they are with saving Venezuela.

    Your nation needs an actual Constitution and a Bill of Rights that gives power to the people, not the government. Though I am not convinced that that level of responsibility can be offered to Venezuela. Culturally, the US is very different from Venezuela. But not so different from Chile. I don’t know why.

    • “Q. Why aren’t PJ, UNT, VP and AD all together in one party? Hmm?

      It is cultural. There can be no other explanation. The leadership of these parties are more concerned about being in a position of power than they are with saving Venezuela.”

      It’s because they are SOLD to the dictatorship, they are the “officially acknowledged opposition” (Florido), they are PAID to act like that.

  9. The people is a figment of the immagination , people is really hundreds of different groups and social divisions proliferating every which way , shifting here , coalescing there , the purpose of political parties and interest group is to take parts of that cacophony of opinions and interests and trying to organize them to pursue certain defined political goals ……….people is rethorical poetry not factual reality …..!!

  10. I would like to know from everyone that insults the opposition to tell me exactly what would they have done differently?
    Be Dr. Strange, and explain me a scenario where the opposition would have succeeded. The Chavistas controls all the power (military, TSJ, and CNE) and do what they want.

    • Correct. People forget that the dictatorship does what they want. Some people in CC keep selling this naive idea that “la via electoral” is possible, but no, it’s not. Just because the oppo was able to get the AN in 2015 doesn’t mean that the government will accept losing more power. The Bolivar and Zulia state elections are a clear example of what would happen if Falcon or any oppo figure won. The ANC and the military decide everything.

    • The first thing a cohesive opposition would have done would be to tell the people the truth. The problem being, nobody with political throw within MUD wants to do that, and for the most part, the public doesn’t want to hear the truth.

      Which political party in the MUD alliance is for fiscal responsibility and personal accountability? Because for the opposition to be THE OPPOSITION, they have to be philosophically opposite of Chavismo. They are not… they are Chavismo “By Another Name To Be Decided Later”.

      So, if the ElGuapo Party was a part of MUD, I would be telling my constituency the truth about Karl Marx and his Bolivarian acolytes.

      1. There would be ZERO consultations/negotiations with Maduro et alli. NONE.
      2. Each transgression against the constitution would be called out specifically. TSJ. CNE. ANC.
      3. Protests/strikes would be called for, including not so thinly veiled threats of armed insurrection. BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT PEOPLE WITH PRINCIPLES AND BALLS DO. (here is where a Second Amendment comes in handy)
      4. Every single bureaucrat would be held accountable (war crimes) “NAMES ARE BEING TAKEN”. There will be no “reconciliation” and “truth and forgiveness commissions”. People will go to prison and others will experience “extreme prejudice” firsthand. You love Che? You’ll get your Che! “We must create the pedagogy of el paredón
      5. Every single entity loaning a dime to Venezuela while under this scumbag dictatorship will be told quite sincerely that all debts incurred by Chavismo will die with Chavismo.

      I see none of this in the MUD. Not one politician has any balls. Why should they? In the end, they really don’t disagree with Chavismo… only who is running the show.

      Would Chavismo come for me? Probably. But then again, that is what despots do! People with principles and beliefs stand for their beliefs and FIGHT for them.

      Venezuelans have rolled over and are licking the stanky, nasty taint of Chavismo, and almost nobody cares. One guy did, and NOBODY GAVE A SHIT until after he was dead.

      • I’ve been thinking lately about Carrero Blanco. And in the next thought I think about Diosdado, Delcy, Padrino, Tarek, Saab, and others from that gang, and I wonder, what if one, just one of them, were to share Carrero Blanco’s fate? Would that make the rest stop for a minute and think about what they are doing?

        The next thought is about my pious, religious, offer-the-other-cheek, protect-the-needy, love-your-enemy upbringing, and shame. I have never been one to advocate violence, but as J. F. Kennedy said, “Those who make peaceful change impossible make violent change inevitable” (he used another word for change, a word that has been prostituted beyond meaninglessness in the history of Latin America).

        A change will come, and it will be violent, but is has to be driven by Venezuelan forces. If the change is driven by foreign forces then we will all be back in a blog just like this one 20 or 40 years from now, after another Chavez decides that it is OK to attempt to oust a legitimate government, after another Caldera decides that failed wanna-be coupsters should be fully rehabilitated, including having the right to run for office, because after all that poor boy was just protesting against evil neo-liberals that expected people to have to work for a living, and after another generation of our bravo pueblo watches their country go down the drain without doing anything about it because, isn’t that what Kansas farmer boys are for?

        • “f the change is driven by foreign forces then we will all be back in a blog just like this one 20 or 40 years from now, after another Chavez decides that it is OK to attempt to oust a legitimate government,”

          With the proper “brain medicine”, doubtful.

          One of the reasons commies get such a desperate grip to power is because they’re very unlikely to get it ever again, as the population will be taught with practical examples of what happens when those folks have a hand in deciding anything.

          In short: Communism, socialism and chabizmo are very likely to get banned in a post-chabizta Venezuela, while the new generation of venezuelans are taught all the horrors performed by that scum that took over the country to gift the pieces to the cuban invaders.

          The media can be used to instill hatred and aversion to chavismo that would last for a century, as it happened with most of the european countries that were subjected to communist rule and are now capitalist countries where a person can be imprisoned for wearing a “che” t-shirt.

    • “I would like to know from everyone that insults the opposition to tell me exactly what would they have done differently?”

      Since Vz has been uniformly marxist for over a century, there is nothing different that can be done policy-wise. No actual opposition party could ever gain any following. So we have opposition in name only, vying for a bigger piece of the mordida. A simple equation: the most brutal bully wins.

    • ” Be Dr. Strange, and explain me a scenario where the opposition would have succeeded. The Chavistas controls all the power (military, TSJ, and CNE) and do what they want.”

      In 2002, the opposition leadership had to mobilize people to the streets to oust chabizmo.

      In 2004, they could have done the same after the recall fraud.

      In 2005, after proving that chabizmo was less than 12%, again, protests.

      Instead, they always chose to make people waste time by doing the useless bailoterapias and yogazos and banning from their media anyone who dared to tell the truth that chabizmo had to be ousted because it’s a dictatorship that serves the cuban invaders.

      Backstabbers.

  11. How many english speakers will understand without the goat and without the rope, i didn’t get it at the beginning and i’m venezuelan.

      • I enjoy reading them in English. Makes this place feel Criollo instead of just foreign analysis like every other source.

    • “Without the goat and without the rope” (Sin el chivo y sin el mecate) it’s a metaphor that refers to how for wanting to have all the things, you end losing all of them because you could only have one.

      In this case, it’s not that the opposition “made mistakes”, it’s that the self-appointed “opposition leadership” has been actively working for the regime to keep them in power, and their actions from the last 16 years after april 11 of 2002 are proof of that.

  12. Do you guys really think having a unified oppo behind Falcón would change the outcome?

    Es que no aprendemos.

    The election for the Bolivar state governorship just a few months ago is a good and recent example of what would happen if the oppo won. There was NEVER the possibility of keeping the goat or the rope under the current climate, with a Chavista CNE and the ANC. At least the international community knows this is a charade, the flip side being that it doesn’t make any difference. I mean, sanciones no tumba gobierno.

    • Sí, las “sanciones no tumban gobiernos”, es cierto, pero las sanciones impiden al gobierno que siga comprando balas, lacrimógenas y tanques para masacrar al que salga a protestar, y también impide que el régimen tenga dólares para seguir pagándole a los colectivos y los narcoterroristas para que salgan a matar a la gente.

      Y es ahí donde se acabará esa pendejada de que “si protestas sólo vas a conseguir que los chavistas te maten”, y es que el régimen a lo que más miedo le tiene es a que la gente proteste porque esa ha sido desde el principio la ÚNICA FORMA de derrocarlos.

  13. Any discussion about this is frankly a waste of time.
    At this point, there is nothing the opposition can do other than a forced overthrow of the regime.
    Even with more sanctions or the complete collapse won’t be enough.
    The NarcoChavista regime won’t ever give up power until forced out with violence.

    • Right. But somehow for CC now it’s Borges fault. C’mon, the dictatorship has found the perfect system to stay in power. The oppo, whatever its form, is totally useless at this point. And it has been like that for a while.

    • The sanctions are to back the people up when protests spread through the country again.

      With less dollars product of the sanctions, they won’t be able to buy so many bullets, bombs and tanks to kill protesters.

  14. Quico, what exactly is horrifying? The division among the opposition parties? But that’s an old story !! We have not got to this point because of goverment’s action. They have been divided always except for temporary agreements in some – and only some – electoral instances. You’re right, the opposition- not only Borges – had to choose between backing off from their rightful demand of fair electoral conditions or boycotting Falcon or any other oportunist. Why is the result predictable and dispiriting? The only two scenarios that look possible up today in this rotten, discredited, illegal and illegitimate election, are: a Maduro straight win or a narrow Falcon victory with doubtful transmission of power. Both alternatives don’t seem stable at all. Is that dispiriting? I don’t know about that.

    • The only two scenarios I see are: Maduro wins without cheating or Maduro wins after getting the ANC to disqualify Falcon for whatever reason.

    • What seems horryfing to me is that Toro still won’t acknowledged that the regime has cheated in every election since the prostituyente in 2000 and thus no matter how many people vote the ergime will always “win” and thta he won’t acknowledge either that those “oppo leaders” have been in the regime’s payroll from a long time ago.

      • Don’t re-write history. chavez won some elections. He is the queen of stealing them with oil rents. But to say he did not garner a majority of votes is disingenuous and serves no purpose.

        • I’m not lying nor rewriting anything, the only election that chabizmo could have actually won was the one in 1998, and even then there are doubts of that because the massive amounts of money involved that the enchufados paid to have Chávez “win” that election.

          The election of 1998 wasn’t “won by a landslide” like the urban legend says, where some propaganda claims that he allegedly won with 80% of the votes, when he actually won with barely more than 35%, and with an abstention of about 50%, which could be translated as that less than 20% was actually chavista in the beginning.

          The 2000’s prostituyente is a well known and documented fraud, because the gerrymandering that allowed chabizmo to have 98% of the seats with 51% of the votes.

          Since Smartmatic’s hire and the automatic election machines not a single election where chabizmo claimed to have won could be considered as legitimate, because it’s been also proven time and again that they changed the numbers to get the result they wanted, it was done with the 2004’s recall where the regime changed the 60/40 defeat for a 40/60 win, which sparked protests that ended with several murders commited by the regime’s death circles, those cases have been documented too.

          In 2005, the boycott plan was cut and stopped by the coordinadora democrática (now the MUD) who did the same thing they’ve done since 2002: Send the people home to do nothing, even when the election showed that chabizmo was a pitiful and phyrric 12% of the population.

          In 2006 with Rosales’s candidacy, everyone knows by now that he’s actually another sellout agent of chabizmo, so he did exactly what Capriles did in 2012 and 2013 and what Falcón WILL do the 21: Quiclky claim that he lost the election and that there’s no fraud at all, that everything is the fault of those ninís who went to playitaarenitabirritaculito and nothing else.

          There’s undeniable proof that the regime cheats in the elections: They put the numbers they wanted in the Bolívar election in 2016 to put their puppet there, even when Andrés Velásquez had won the election and had every tally ever to prove it, and then again we got stabbed in the back by the MUD, their media hounds immediately came out and ridiculed Velásquez claiming that “he’s just a sore loser that never won an election”.

          chabizmo has always been minority, they’ve cheated and never won any election at all because the enchufados and the cuban invaders simply locked and killed everyone that tried to stand in their way, that’s the truth.

  15. I wonder, what if Henri Falson quits a week before the election. What if, Henri was just smart enough to play the game of the government to the point that his candidacy is in reality a distraction with the real objective of getting the “king naked”.
    I mean, what is the best way to show the world the horrendous use of the PSUV/Government fraudulent electoral machine? by exposing it at full display. How do you flush your own team betrayers but by making them believe that you are willing to sell your principles (call that flush them out). What is the best way to amalgamate the opposition back but by showing that you were never in the play of the government, you actually got to play them.
    Maduro and Co. would say that Henri quit because he saw that he will never win. Nevertheless, legitimacy (or the lack of) will not be a question anymore. The opposition will be realigned under a new leadership and then we get a chance to fight another day.
    Perhaps, I am dreaming but what a nice dream that Henri quits the farce on May 15th.

  16. You are very conveniently assuming that the only reason the government knew HF would run is because he signaled it.

    My theory is that the point of these elections is to give HF the legitimacy he lacks to represent the opposition in a future dialogue. After they reach an agreement Francisco Rodriguez will tell his Wall Street buddies to lobby Washington to lift the sanctions, further stabilizing the Maduro government.

    Is it a master coup to Vzlan democracy? Sure. Is it the most viable way to get out of this crisis? Probably.

  17. Chavismo has shown time and again that they will not cede one bit of power through elections. In the beginning they would concoct some parallel power center to whatever office they lost. Now, they just cook whatever votes they need and just in case, they have their ANC which makes them, in Chavista thinking, legally sound to whatever whim they may have.

    They will not leave por las buenas. They only answer to raw power.

    I even think that a people’s revolt such as strikes and street protest would not undo the regimen. The government does not depend on its people to finance itself. It depends on oil, so as Crispin put it a few days ago, so long as they have enough money to pay for the bullets for their soldiers they are going nowhere.

    Chavismo’s strength is holding to power, but they are thoroughly incompetent to run the country. The oil industry is collapsing, hyperinflation is ravaging even their troops, infrastructure is collapsing all around them. They are making Venezuela join the dubious distinction of being the only other failed state in this hemisphere and breaking a world record on the speed on which they have accomplished this. They are creating a hemispheric humanitarian crisis.

    Will the military continue Maduro’s death march? It is unreasonable and unlikely but sadly not impossible.

    • ” but they are thoroughly incompetent to run the country. ”

      They’re not incompetent, they’re doing it ON PURPOSE, the communist recipe needs to destroy the country’s economy to subjugate the people by sinking them into extreme poverty.

  18. Didn’t Venezuela elect some governors recently? Didn’t some of those elected (non-PSUV) not get seated? And the ones seated pledged fealty in front of the unConstitutional ANC?

    “Fool me once? Shame on you. Fool me twice? Shame on me.” That statement means something in the real world outside of Venezuela.

    How many times do Venezuelans get kicked in the balls, only to come around time and again for another kick in the balls? And to make matters worse, with each kick in the balls, the Chavists insist it ISN’T a kick in the balls! But there you are, always coming back for another heaping helping….

    On May 21, Chavismo will AGAIN win big, Venezuela will get another kick in the nut-sack, and the usual cacophony of back-benchers will howl, “Ouch! My nuts hurt! We were lied to AGAIN! Next time, we won’t be so easily hoodwinked!”

    Venezuela is literally getting what it deserves. That el Pueblo isn’t in the street rioting RIGHT NOW speaks volumes.

    • Absolutely right–in all sincerity, Venezuela (Oppo politicians/Pueblo) don’t desreve to be saved–but, the U.S. will have to do it when/if push comes to shove–to save the Region (read the full/in-between the lines text of recent Haley, et al. declarations).

      • and VP Pence today who confirmed the military option is still on the table but in reality it won’t happen. However, never say never again.

    • HAH! I love the analogy!

      But I gotta feeling we’re going to see yet again dismally low turnout, and although we all know they’re going to lie about the numbers, it will be so dismally low that they won’t have a chance of hiding it.

      So Venezuelans can protect their balls by just staying home that day.

      • The analogy that I think of with the regime and the opposition is Lucy and Charlie Brown.
        “Honest Charlie Brown, I won’t pull the football away this time.”

      • They should be rioting regardless of the opposition.

        IMHO, that is the number one issue afflicting Venezuela. And the issue I cannot for the life of me comprehend.

        • People protested nonstop during about five straight months in 2017, the movement was bombarded by the MUD-controlled media during half of that time until it was snuffed out in july.

          A leaderless movement that’s constantly attacked 24/7 by the media is almost impossible to keep alive, that’s something no one in Venezuela or outside has wanted to understand, because that would finally be the proof that the MUD is but an appendix of the chabizta regime whose job is to keep the people busy wasting time forever.

  19. No quico, the dictatorship has played you again. Full stop.

    I remember when you and Katy could crank out 100 posts in a week that were each more consequential and impactful than this one dribble.

    If you’d planned to be lead editor of an opposition blog then lead an opposition instead of supporting complicit idiots: Henry 1, Henry 2, Jorge 1.. this was so weak.. Your editorial line is just to quit again?

  20. Falsonhoods: “…substantial portions of MUD secretly/not-so-secretly working to get Falson elected”; “Maduro has a real prospect now of winning a contested vote without having to falsify the final tally.”= all proof that in-bred Canadian weed is more potent than its S.A. counterpart. As for the sorry/often sold-out Oppo, which excluded top Military from a Carmona transition Govt. , accepted the 60/40 Smartmatic machine 2004 Recall inverted vote without a peep, blew the 2/3 Natl. Assembly majority election, blew the 2017 Recall attempt, blew-off the post-ANC protest movement, and blew cigar smoke in countless stalling “Dialogos”–Gimme A Break!!

  21. I cannot believe this sht….
    First …Falcon becomes the face of the Opposition….really?…..now the press recognizes him ?…isnt this when the the press throws everything at him for what he really is?…no….the stupid Venezuelan sheep want to vote…..this is not a conundrum….the election is illegitimate….end of story…..where is Ugly Betty and Her Brother?….Delcy will do cartwheels at the End of day……totally legitamizes the ANC…..this is the real Gain in this for them……they will dance and sing……and the misery of all this hits the streets the following day……i know many young people there….25-35……they are all leaving…….what a morass of shit….

  22. Quico,

    I fully subscribe to your post–I guess I am the only one in the comments section.

    Do you think the opposition could have avoided this? It seems to me this was bound to happen, given the polar opposite views and the fact that we have not come to terms with what happened last year.

  23. The way I see it the oppo had two choices.

    Either push 100% for a vote or 100% for a boycott.

    Either way the fraud gets exposed.

    But since the MUD is a coalition and not a hegemonic party, it’s no surprise that there is a Split. Add in the protecting of their little fiefdoms, or the threat of the release of damaging information and we end up here.

    At this stage, it is easier to boycott than to call out for full participation.

    Either way, on May 21st, no matter who wins, the ANC will go full bore ahead with the plan. No more voting as we know it, no more AN, etc.

    Hell, even if Falcon won and the regime recognized it they’ll have 8 months to set Falcon up for failure. Look what they did to the AN in a couple of weeks in 2015!

    The correct strategy is a boycott, followed by massive street protests. And if you think people won’t protest, think again. Compare Venezuela today to last year. The folks from the barrios are worse off today than they were last year and the anger is only increasing. Many are finally admitting that there is no future unless Maduro is gone. And it’s going to take blood, lots of it.

    • +1

      Don’t forget that the sanctions have made much more difficult for the regime to replenish their repression arsenal, and that the colectivos are much less willing to face people in the streets knowing that lots of them will be looking for blood now that the MUD can’t coerce the protesters into doing stupid and useless bailoterapias nor plantones.

  24. Strongly disagree with this analysis. It paints both Falcon’s path and Borges’ path as equally legitimate. “If only they had agreed to work together!”

    Falcon, not Maduro, is the one who played the opposition. I don’t know if he’s bought, coerced, has been a sleeper agent from the beginning, or somehow has something to win by playing along to Maduro’s fraud, but the fact is he’s acting as a pro-regime agent.
    When Falcon signaled he would participate in “elections” no matter what, he was de-facto defecting to Maduro’s side. He signaled his intention to validate Maduro’s fraud, nothing else. He’s never addressed how he planned to prevent fraud this time, beyond vague “with lots of votes, no fraud” slogans. He hasn’t once addressed the stolen elections last year nor stated his plan for what to do when Maduro plainly fabricates figures. He’s never planned to win, he’s just playing along.

    To follow Falcon was to walk right into an obvious trap. That was never a choice for real democrats. The situation is indeed very grim. It’s really bad that the opposition splintered like this. It’s sad that they haven’t been able to come up with any kind of plan beyond “don’t vote”.

    But on the simple decision of not participating on the fraud of 20-M, I 100% think they made the right choice.

    • “I don’t know if he’s bought, coerced, has been a sleeper agent from the beginning, or somehow has something to win by playing along to Maduro’s fraud, but the fact is he’s acting as a pro-regime agent.”

      All of the them.

  25. Capa1010, your remark about CC and elections makes sense and explains the editorial slant of Quico. You wrote :Some people in CC keep selling this naive idea that “la via electoral” is possible, but no, it’s not.” Quico , in the face of daunting evidence to the contrary, thinks that the electoral process is the solution. Winning an election against the Chavistas reminds me of greyhounds trying to catch the mechanical rabbit at a race track

    • A great analogy

      I wonder, in the history of greyhound racing, if the greyhound has EVER caught the mechanical rabbit? Yet everyday, the dogs get trotted out there, and every day, the gates open and off they go… thinking to themselves… TODAY IS THE DAY I GET THAT DAMN RABBIT!

      Meh… maybe tomorrow will be the day…

      Every day, some Venezuelan acolyte for peace and coexistence trots out their firm conviction that with enough people holding out hope for democracy and singing “Kumbaya” that El Pueblo will come to the belief that a reasonable and logical end to a brutal dictatorship will manifest. All that is needed is enough positive thoughts, “the right leadership” and faith.

      I’m not convinced Venezuela is ready to sit at the grown up table when it comes to liberty and freedom and rule of law. They certainly have mob-rule down pat. Its like a bunch of toddlers screaming about who got more arepitas dulces… while not noticing that the rest of the grownups are eating prime rib.

      • Used to go watch the hounds race in Sarasota eons ago. Cheap beer, crazy retirees getting hammered, dogs pooping all over the place. What’s not to love?
        (NB. I have since understood greyhound racing is not really very nice to the doggies)

        You know, they did catch the rabbit once when it broke down and stopped mid race.

        Funny thing is, once they caught it they didn’t seem to know what to do with it.

        I hope this is not the case when (and if) the rabbit in question here ever breaks down, but I ain’t holding my breath.

        • “Funny thing is, once they caught it they didn’t seem to know what to do with it.”

          Exactly

          I’m of the belief that if Maduro et al were deposed today, and free and open elections were scheduled for a month later, there would be an endless parade of Chavez imitators clamoring for the votes of the eager populace who long for “the good old days” of Chavismo. And the mess would start all over again. Because the downside of democracy is that it is the $5 word for “mob rule”. And by God, the mob wants to vote itself other peoples money.

          “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”— Winston Churchill

    • Right? They’ve been pushing the idea that Falcón’s bid could be successful up until yesterday. For me those who see a Falcon presidency are the same as those who are waiting for Pence to send the marines. Delusional.

        • I don’t know, but in my opinion I don’t see a US or even a Panamerican coalition happening anytime soon. It’s all diplo talk, I don’t see it going past a few additional sanctions.

          • So… Cuba.

            It would have been a service for humanity if people was taught the actual reasons as for why the regime never got anything more than slap-on-the-wrist sanctions.

            Here’s a hint, it involved nukes.

      • It’s not delusional. VP Pence today confirmed the military option is on the table. The U.S. military may be required to play a bigger role moving forward but that does not mean an invasion. There are many roles for the U.S. military to play going forward. An increase in U.S. military activity in the area is to be expected. If Maduro get indicted on narcotics, you bet your ass the U.S. will deploy. Worst case scenario? Missile strikes to take out certain key facilities…. Troops on the ground? No. Venezuela already has plenty of men and women in uniform.

    • I would pay cold, hard cash to see your face when Falcón announces that Maduro won fair and square with more than 12 million votes.

  26. “The rift has a regional angle, too, with many state and local political activists incensed with the Caracas- and exile-based National Leadership’s decision to boycott. ”

    Exacto. El pueblo va a votar. Créelo

  27. Good to see yo back!
    Let’s not forget that the root of the issue is that Maduro and cronies do as they please with elections. They’re an ingredient to the one and only objective they have in mind: staying in control of what nowadays is considered a failed state. A dictatorship rules the country but it was only last year when this grim reality was uncovered to the eyes of the world, and greatly due to the regime’s blatant use of fake elections in several occasions.
    The opposition’s demise is the result of this dictatorship, not the other way around. Yes, Borges, Falcon, Allup and the rest of the bunch have put up an embarrassing show of egotism and lack of foresight but they are really not the ones to blame for the current state of events.

  28. it leaves me flabbergasted the stupidity of the opposition, how they play into the hands of the gov’t. It’s almost as if they had been bribed to sabotage their own movement. And i wouldn’t be surprised if in reality it were so. In the meantime we’re destined to six more years of this most inept of all govts. I have ever seen in my 65 years. The only hope is that this hyperinflation will create such hardships that the “pueblo” will once again take to the streets and overthrow the gov. Another “caracazo” of unprecedented proportions. Its’s a choice between Chaos or More Chaos.

    • Why hasn’t a Caracazo situation happened yet? Is it because of the colectivos, or simply a absence of leadership in the barrios?

      • Because the caregallazo was a coup orchestrated by the cubans that used the marxist venezuelan traitors to take over the power and put a puppet president in miraflores.

        And the plan worked, the puppet seized the coroto in 1998.

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