Photo: Mundiario

One of the elemental aspects of the government’s political strategy is the establishment of a “new opposition” tailored to its needs, a process started a few years ago, but sculpted with care in the last couple of months.

Jailing Leopoldo López and barring Henrique Capriles from public office were the first steps they were the opposition leaders with better chances of winning an election against Maduro. Conveniently removed from the political gameboard, they were joined by the MUD, Primero Justicia and Voluntad Popular, in rulings that forbade them from running in electoral races again. Court proceedings against leaders like María Corina Machado, Freddy Guevara and Tomás Guanipa neutered them politically, and the mere threat of being on that list has made others, like Julio Borges, flee the country.

A process started a few years ago, but sculpted with care in the last couple of months.

But it’s been around the May 20th electoral process that this design has been made clear. The picked candidate to run against Maduro was Henri Falcón, a man embraced by a team of people who provoke distrust in the opposition’s electoral universe, like Francisco Rodríguez, Carlos Raúl Hernández, Claudio Fermín and Eduardo Semtei, none of them particularly popular or charismatic. Of course, the voto opositor didn’t join, and Maduro “won.”

And then, right after the election, chavismo used leaders like Pedro Pablo Fernández and the governors from Acción Democrática as spokesmen to back the political prisoners’ “release.” It was the synthesis of the strategy, an attempt to legitimize a policy of, quote-unquote, “peacekeeping and dialogue.”

It was the synthesis of the strategy, an attempt to legitimize a policy of, quote-unquote, “peacekeeping and dialogue.”

The goal to weaken political parties and leaders under the MUD umbrella (whatever name it decides to stand by) has been reached. Today, the mainstream opposition is more disoriented than ever, partly because of their internal strifes to define and settle on a common, coherent plan. And with base and mid-range leaders leaving the country, future looks somber.

It’s too late perhaps for a new organization derived from the MUD as we know it, and chavismo will only deal with its tailor-made opposition, to which it’ll concede some victories to legitimize the whole charade. An Opposition Ministry integrated by those who don’t represent a real threat, those who are accommodating, naive or corrupt enough to play pretend.

A Vichy Venezuela, with a docile, puppet opposition, that will only exist if we allow it.

Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.

38 COMMENTS

  1. The Chavistas are defining who is the opposition. Falcon certainly doesn’t opposed Chavismo… he opposes Maduro.

    Which one of the 15 main parties that make up MUD opposes Chavismo? I have seen their party platforms, and I cannot discern from that which party is which, and which one is PSUV. They are all Chavismo lite.

    THAT is the problem. Perhaps that is what is wrong with Venezuela?

    Perhaps some introspection on that point?

  2. Year 2000 called, they want their news back.

    Frnaicso “triple toad-chicken” Arias Cárdenas was one of the first “official oppos” in the chabizta era, followed by the equally infamous p. of s. Rosales, who SOLD 2006’s election to counter the 2005 boycott that revealed and proved the world that chabizmo was a mere 10% of the population.

  3. What the author seems to forget is that Falcons participation in the recent elections convinced no one that the elections where NOT a total charade , so if the intent was to legitimize the elections it failed miserably in its purpose , Falcon is a distraction , some people are so desperate to change the regime that they will vote for anyone no matter how futile they inwardly know their vote to be , and then Falcon can only maintain his credibility by loudly protesting the elections a fraud……!! So if the strategy of the regime was to legitimize itself by creating an erzast oppo figure ….IT DIDNT WORK…!!

    • They want to force this fake oppo figure down the people’s throats, maduro is even gloating how “there will be dialogue forever and ever until the end of time thanks to this thoughtful and intelligent opposition that follows the democratic practices”

  4. Vladimir Chelminski is cited in a WSJ opinion piece claiming that Venezuela’s road to ruin started 40 years ago with socialist policies of price and exchange controls. One of the claims in Chelminski’s book is that not a single privately owned apartment building has been built for years due to price controls and the slums on the hills surrounding Caracas is the result. So the choice for Venezuela is democratic socialism or undemocratic socialism since socialisn is the common denominator. The WSJ argues that socialism hasn’t worked in Venezuela to develop a balanced sustainable economy but its deficiencies get masked during periods of high oil prices. If this is true is the meaninful debate between democratic or undemocratic socialism or should it be socialism vs free market capitalism. Does anyone know if Chelminski’s book titled something like Venezuela Checkmated has an English translation. I could not find one.

      • Roy, I was unaware of that though I have to admit I gave up the TV long ago and with so many power outages here, it’s hard to keep up with in-country news.

        Any other signficant names you can add to that list? Where’s Borges now and what’s he doing. I’m surprised he didn’t leave sooner actually, he was obviously a marked man.

        • I’m not really the expert. He has been the point man for the AN fo a while flying all over the world convincing the politicians and leaders of the world to not recognize the regime. I know he was involved in the talks in Dominican Republic. I am sure he has not been back since then.

          He is at or near the top of the list of opposition politicians they want to jail for “traicion a la patria”.

  5. 629 Libyan refugees in the Mediterranean have captured the attention of the world’s media.
    Every one of us that desires this criminal regime to end, must actively work to get every media outlet to focus on Venezuela.
    I continually write to elected representatives, news organizations, right activists etc..
    I have mused that the liberal leaning media has a hard time turning on their beloved Chavez model of society. There is something that I am missing. Perhaps it is because any stance that President Trump takes, the media’s knee jerk reaction is to condemn Trump.
    How this crisis continues with so many people having no knowledge of it baffles me.

    • It doesn’t baffle me.

      The mainstream media is infatuated… an outright love affair with Marxism. Ergo, any stories of tragedy coming out of their favorite countries due to despotism are routinely ignored. Only when poor dead Venezuelans are being stacked up like cords of wood will the mainstream media take notice. (now, if it were the vile rich or the deplorable middle class being harvested like sheep, they would shrug it off as popular class righteousness)

      And their excuses are legion… “There is nothing wrong with Chavismo, per se… the leadership is just doing it wrong.” That is EXACTLY what they say about Cuba and the Castros.

      • Worse, they say “it’s just that the white sifrinos are crying like sissies because they can’t stand the color people they hate so much to live like human beings”

        • It was Peru in 1967 when I witnessed firsthand how the media fabricated “news”. Total disgust and loss of any remaining respect for the media came in Southeast Asia where at least 80% of the so-called
          “reporters” spent most of their time in the Phnom Penh, Vientiane and Saigon bars, listening to bar talk and then screwing up the stories they heard and filing whatever they wanted to conjure up. Today’s US and European press is plastered with front page stories of how Robert DeNiro and his sycophants buried President Trump with expletives at the Tony awards. The President of the US is about to take an historic step in Singapore and this is the angle the media chooses to use. Now, if you want to see how totally corrupt and dangerous the media is, without using the internet, review what you know about DeNiro and his business partners activities in Barbuda. Where has anything been written or said about the fact that the native Barbudan’s remain without anything following Barbuda while DeNiro and Co., have bought off Barubda’s bureaucracy. The natives? They are being relocated to different Islands so all of their land can be expropriated by DeNiro’s minions. Sadly, babies dying in Venezuela, the vulnerable now suffering from diseases that were eradicated back in 50’s just isn’t going to throw any garbage on President Trump so the media will not become players. The media really, really hate the President as he does not give one iota about what they say.

          • Right. De Niro , excellent acting early on (“The Tycoon”/”Taxi Driver”/”The Deer Hunter”/etc.), despicable performance at the Tonys. Liberal media/Hollywood just can’t get over slimy Hillary’s losing, lambasting Trump constantly, crying for impeachment at every turn, while the Clintons continue to be idolized/lie (“I did not have sex with that woman”).

  6. While ideologically there is much to fault this government with , dont think that ideology alone has been responsible for Venezuelas current situation , Bolivia , Ecuador , even to a certain extent Nicaragua , have used the same ideological rethoric and they are not suffering the total break down that Venezuela is experiencing ….., adding a great deal to the disaster is the regimes gross mismanagement of public affairs and corruption…

    • Nicaragua is in the exact same place Venezuela was in 2002, the pedo just ordered the first great massacre of his regime against the people, and he’s squealing and pleading now to have a dialogue to save his ass.

    • I think that a lot of Venezuela’s woes can be explained simply by the massive exodus of people. Figure that about 4 million people have left over the last twenty years. These generally represent the smartest, most educated, most ambitious, most motivated, and most able of the country.

      No matter what sort of political system you have, if you skim off the best and brightest 12% off of the population, that country is going to be screwed for a long time to come.

  7. Andres, this is an excellent description of the condition of the Oppo in Venezuela today. The Regime has outmaneuvered the Oppo at every turn, so that little is left internally. Falcon did “legitimize” the 5/20 election to many outside Venezuela, especially to the Leftward-leaning. Hope for Venezuela internally still resides in its calamitous economic/oil production/humanitarian collapse and possible lower-level military reaction; barring an internal solution, an external solution must/will be supplied after key S.A./U.S. elections are finished after this year’s end.

  8. Bill Bass re your comments :Bolivia , Ecuador , even to a certain extent Nicaragua , have used the same ideological rethoric and they are not suffering the total break down that Venezuela is experiencing ….., adding a great deal to the disaster is the regimes gross 

    The point of the WSJ story was that socialism hasn’t worked in Venezuela for forty years except when oil prices peak and tgat it hasnt worked under several diffetent leaders including Maduro and Chavez. If that claim is true why shouldn’t Venezuelans try another economic approach. Just because Bolivia and !Ecuador are not collspsing shoild not be the test. Why not give a new system a try unless of course you think that socialism has built the conditions for a sustainably growing economy.

    • Its question of comparing the life of people in Bolivia and Ecuador and Nicaragua with that of todays Venezuela …….whether socialist or not they all stink but right now Venezuelans would trade places with anyone in those countries, they are much better off than we are now …..
      The same observation applies to life in Venezuela prior to the period of miseries that now haunts us …..a much better life than we have now ……..!!
      Also capitalism doenst work the same in all cultures and countries , there is a cadillac capitalism (US , Canada Singapore) and a buggy capitalism , ours has almost always been of the latter kind ..

  9. In the midst of the battles for independence, Bolívar summoned a congress in the city of Angostura to reassert New Granada’s autonomy and to install a political system that he believed would be capable of sustaining a new republic. In the speech, Bolívar lays the foundations for the establishment of democratically governed Gran Colombia that is free from the burden of slavery and racial inequality. However, he implores his audience of 26 representatives to take into account “Social realities” of the former Viceroyalty when writing a new constitution. Mindlessly appropriating the constitutions of other nations, he argued, would lead to Gran Colombia’s demise.

    “We are not Europeans; we are not Indians; we are but a mixed species of aborigines and Spaniards. Americans by birth and Europeans by law, we find ourselves engaged in a dual conflict: we are disputing with the natives for titles of ownership, and at the same time we are struggling to maintain ourselves in the country that gave us birth against the opposition of the invaders. Thus our position is most extraordinary and complicated. But there is more. As our role has always been strictly passive and political existence nil, we find that our quest for liberty is now even more difficult of accomplishment; for we, having been placed in a state lower than slavery, had been robbed not only of our freedom but also of the right to exercise an active domestic tyranny . . . . We have been ruled more by deceit than by force, and we have been degraded more by vice than by superstition. Slavery is the daughter of darkness: an ignorant people is a blind instrument of its own destruction. Ambition and intrigue abuses the credulity and experience of men lacking all political, economic, and civic knowledge; they adopt pure illusion as reality; they take license for liberty, treachery for patriotism, and vengeance for justice. If a people, perverted by their training, succeed in achieving their liberty, they will soon lose it, for it would be of no avail to endeavor to explain to them that happiness consists in the practice of virtue; that the rule of law is more powerful than the rule of tyrants, because, as the laws are more inflexible, everyone should submit to their beneficent austerity; that proper morals, and not force, are the bases of law; and that to practice justice is to practice liberty.”

    A speech of Simon Bolívar at the Congress of Angostura, February 15, 1819

    It is not just 40 years ….. it is 200+ years that Venezuela has been suffering the same fate.

    Bolivar foresaw the issues 200+ years ago unfortunately the generals and enchufados of his era didn’t listen. They established a culture of power and corruption that has carried on since that time and become ingrained in the culture and politics that we are witnessing today. Until that changes nothing in Venezuela will change (even if the Chavista’s are kicked out)

  10. What the hell is going on at CC? The story from yesterday concerning the Colombian election has been taken down completely. There were 120 comments on that “article” and I thought of something else I wanted to say to the author but CV took it down. I guess they didn’t like the response they got.

  11. A poll published yesterday by Meganalisis suggests that, if offered a choice of the 13 key political figures in the MUD and Frente Amplio, 84% of the population would not pick any of them as having the right credentials for presidency. (The picks on offer did not include Leopoldo Lopez, MCM, Ledezma or Mendoza.)
    It also suggested that 78% of the population believe that there are some “opposition” politicians who conspire to keep the regime in power.

    Overall, these results show massive distrust of the opposition and its leadership. Probably deserved, but not a great sign for the near future.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here