The fact that the National Assembly (AN) is now the recipient of the international community’s legitimacy is uncomfortable not just for chavismo, but for the opposition too. That explains why this strange Friday started with demands for Juan Guaidó to assume his “historic commitment,” including arguments (from exile) about why he had to do it, with the promise of digital ammunition ready to accompany him once the parallel government had started. None of the sages who demanded the Parliament Speaker’s immolation has managed to equalize the opposition’s objectives, much less defeat chavismo; but they still tend to attack the opposition much more fiercely than Nicolás, who has remained in power erasing any vestige of institutionality, increasing the weight of military power in this equation.

What did Guaidó say?

Despite the short time for the call and the risks associated with this government’s repressive pattern, there was a decent crowd before headquarters of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Juan Guaidó emphasized that Nicolás is an usurper and with that idea as a starting point, he continued his thread on the pertinence of sticking to articles 233, 333 and 350 of the National Constitution and “assuming the competences of taking charge of president of the Republic because our Constitution says so.” In view of the bursting applause, Guaidó reacted with the hand raised and repeating the word “Ahora”, he made two rhetorical questions: “Is it enough to follow the Constitution? Is it enough to follow the Constitution in a dictatorship?” questions that he’d use to talk about the need to have the support of the people, the Armed Forces and the international community, to help us “clearly take up this mandate that we won’t reject, that we’ll exercise.” Guaidó also called all Venezuelans to march on January 23.

Taking charge

Oratory isn’t one of Guaidó’s gifts, so on top of his performance on the stage, we have to add the words he chose, those that allowed for his speech to be perceived by most as ambiguous. Once the open assembly ended, he ratified with tweets the key messages of his speech and, with them, clarified that in order to end the usurpation, the unity of the people, the Armed Forces and the international community is a requirement for establishing a transition government and a call for free elections. Guaidó didn’t say he’d take up the Presidency of the Republic neither in his speech nor his tweets, he simply spoke about taking charge of the post, which in our laws means temporarily fulfilling the duties of an absent authority.

Interim President

Just a few minutes later, two important messages came together to complicate the situation further. First came the salute of OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro, celebrating Guaidó’s “assumption as interim President of Venezuela in compliance to article 233 of the Political Constitution,” swiftly followed by the press releases issued by Voluntad Popular and the National Assembly itself, where Guaidó’s words were twisted and presented as: “In compliance with articles 233, 333 and 350 of the CRBV, the AN Speaker assumed the competences of the Presidency of the Republic and, together with the people and the FAN, call for free and transparent elections.” This information kicked the hornet’s nest of the hyperinformed Twitter-sphere. The National Assembly staff took hours to correct the press release, but they left no record of such an important errata. Apparently, the “war” for editing Juan Guaidó’s profile on Wikipedia was much more interesting.

Chavismo’s contributions

Prisons Minister Iris Varela once again showcased her vulgarity and despotism, because in a sort of extrajudicial trial held while she was writing her tweet, she warned the Speaker of Parliament: “Guaidó, your cell’s all set up, with your respective uniform, I hope you appoint your cabinet quickly so I can know who’s going to accompany you, stupid kid.” Meanwhile, some ANC members such as Olga Álvarez, claimed that Guaidó had committed “a flagrant crime against the republican form” and should be immediately arrested and taken before the competent authorities.

Nicolás’s Guaire

The usurper asked the people to remain on the streets because that’s “the guarantee of peace, of stability (…) it’s the vaccine against any adventure, madness, destabilization process,” adding that “there are crazy minds, immature minds leading the opposition seeing what they can come up with,” saying that the entire deal was a show. Nicolás even mused about the possibility of calling the opposition and yielding the presidency to them, only to emphasize that they wouldn’t even pronounce Guaidó’s last name right (so they’d call him Gauire, like the Caracas river that Chávez promised to sanitize,) that he doesn’t have a plan or a team and that, according to him, the opposition “is non-viable, it has no faculties or capacities to assume political power.” The usurper foresaw that “they’ll come up with a new show each day,” so he urged people not to join what he called a “Twitter coup.”

It was a day with many uncertainties, not only for the possibility that the mistakes weren’t such, but actually part of a strategy, but because if that’s not the case, each mistake diminishes the clarity of mind that we sorely need. The usurper has no legitimacy but he controls the Armed Forces, while the National Assembly controls a legitimate power but has no means of coercion, that’s why we must create the currently non-existent conditions, to advance toward a transition government; we must unite forces and support the National Assembly, with a strategy and political pressure.

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27 COMMENTS

  1. “The usurper has no legitimacy but he controls the Armed Forces”

    It seems it’s still to much too ask from CC authors to name Nicky for what he really is, a dictator. Why is that??? Does the handbook of good socialism prohibit calling your fellow comrade a dictator???

  2. The AN and all its respective parties need to come together with a primary objective and plans to carry it out, remove NM from power. In the mean time they need to decide their next steps. Keeping in mind that the next steps, may need to be adjusted base on the results of the first plan (removing NM). All other political differences are unimportant and should be put on hold until success of the first plan and the next steps are implemented.
    Naky, you should run for office!

    • Well, it seem they came up with a plan. But is this. Which is, well, less than optimal?

      I dont want to be one of those from the safety of another country that think they can insult the actual people risking their lifes there. Far from it. In fact, I’m a bit hearthened by the move.

      But all the confusion, conditionality, “I will if”, clarifications, etc… look, this is life or death territory. This is do or dont times. You cant lead people if you dont LEAD them. Again, Guiadó and whoever is with him have, at least, tried to do something, but really, you dont telegraph your punchs like that, you dont go to people to beg their support in this kind of situation, you have to lead them, you have to say stuff that shows strength, even if it is just moral one.

      Now lets see if by a miracle, even the fumbled approach they took to this cristalizes into something. But by a general rule, you dont announce your uprisings with 2 weeks of time.

      • “But all the confusion, conditionality, “I will if”, clarifications, etc… look, this is life or death territory. This is do or don’t times. You cant lead people if you don’t LEAD them. Again, Guiadó and whoever is with him have, at least, tried to do something, but really, you don’t telegraph your punches like that, you don’t go to people to beg their support in this kind of situation, you have to lead them, you have to say stuff that shows strength, even if it is just moral one.”

        THIS

        When it comes to leadership, the people under the leader look for conviction and belief. They don’t even care if that leader has all of the information he needs to be successful. A lot of leadership is in how it is presented. The caveats and conditions, the provisos and qualifiers… it’s as bad as sitting in on a divorce proceeding.

        Here is what you say, Guaidó:

        “I and my fellow patriots in the AN are prepared to step forward and lead by example when the time comes.”

        THAT’S IT. Nothing more needs to be said. You are DONE. You let Maduro and his Merry Morons prattle on and on and on. Let them talk all day, because that is all they have to offer. TALK. And if they want to shake Bolivars sword until their arm falls off… let them! Let them talk all day about treason and “Chavez” and (fill in the blank with bullshit). The less you talk, the more Maduro is on the defensive.

  3. Brazil says it recognizes Venezuelan opposition leader as president

    SAO PAULO, Jan 12 (Reuters) – Brazil’s government on Saturday issued a statement saying it recognized Venezuela’s Congressional leader, who opposes President Nicolas Maduro, as the rightful president of Venezuela.

    Maduro, who started a second term as president this week, has found himself increasingly isolated as countries around the world have called his continued leadership illegitimate.

    Juan Guaido, the head of Venezuela’s opposition-led Congress, said this week he was prepared to assume the country’s presidency on an interim basis and call elections. (Reporting by Marcelo Rochabrun Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

    http://news.trust.org/item/20190112140040-1djls

  4. ambivalence is sometimes a political weapon , Guaido may be using it in pursuit of a strategy that keeps the regime unsure about what to do , he has assummed the presidency or he is prepared to do so when a certain alignment of factors occurrs ?? which is it ?? both and none….., he will take his time before making clear what he is doing , Remember president Eisenhower who was a very able politician , when he spoke to the press he was difficult to make out , he seemed lacking in the ability to express himself with precision , left everybody guessing . but when you read his internal memos while president he was as clear and straightforward as the most talented writer . meantime the press reports the following from maduro in the last 2 days : addressing the UN authorities he wants to start a dialogue with the opposition with the help of the UN, he’s also prepared to allow humanitarian help to reach Venezuelans provided its done thru the UN agencies, he is bringing 2500 cubans to venezuela to serve as medics and specialists, he will make up for past mistakes and do whatever is needed to solve the countries dificult situation ……!!

    • Eisehnower… seemed lacking in the ability to express himself with precision , left everybody guessing . but when you read his internal memos while president he was as clear and straightforward as the most talented writer .
      Eisenhower held first televised news conference in 1955

      Don’t worry, Jim; if that question comes up I’ll just confuse them.

      — President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s response to presidential press secretary James C. Hagerty regarding the use of atomic weapons against China during the Formosa Strait crisis in 1955

      Yup.

  5. Well, ambivalence and confusion notwithstanding, Guaido is now in jail and, no doubt, being tortured.

    All the “legitimacy” in the world is not going to save Venezuela. Only force of arms, from inside or outside, is going to resolve this.

    • From inside only. Externally will only give Maduro the out that he so desperately wants.

      A lot of Venezuelans are going to have to suffer horribly regardless. A lot of senseless deaths from starvation and disease and crime, and these deaths will very likely be the people who have supported Chavismo most vocally.

      Some schadenfreude perhaps on my part.

      But… the Chavists don’t care. They care about the Revolution. That is what must endure, in their warped worldview. Any outside interference only legitimizes Marxism. It MUST fail on its own. And it will. The world only needs to give it time to fully implode.

    • He is out, it seems. Same day.

      No, I also have no clue whatsoever. Everything from “now go back home and say it was just a mistake” to a SEBIN officer jumping ahead of cue to what the hell, this is crazy.

  6. Ok poeta. I don’t think any of them are laughing very hard right now. You actually come across as though you want Venezuela to fail. There are still a lot of good people here my friend. And lots of confused people who are coming around. All things change and when they do, you watch how people will come flooding back into this gorgeous country.

    • The first time I visited Venezuela (1988) to meet the family of Mrs. Guapo, I was gobsmacked. I couldn’t believe how beautiful it was. I was under the impression it was going to be either a nasty bug and spider infested jungle* or a sweltering hot dusty shithole (ala Tiajuana, Mexico). But the beaches and mountains and plains were outstanding. Didn’t much care for the cities (Caracas, Maracaibo, Maracay), but I don’t like cities no matter where I travel. The food was great, the people were friendly, and I thought that it had the world going for it despite a lot of poverty.

      Who knew what shitstorm awaited 11 years later?

      *OK… it was buggy and full of spiders. And big ass lizards. And f*ing HOT.

  7. BTW, that photo of the crowd in the story. The guy with the dark-rim glasses just to the left of the lady with the sign in the bottom center of the photo. Is he not a contributing writer here? Forget his name, but sure looks like him.

    • Good eye. Wow were you studying that picture with a magnifying glass or something?! Oh and notice that our last exchange got deleted. Still trying to figure out what the new rules are but apparently the powers don’t like us using this platform for private exchanges. You know what to do Senator.

  8. Wow, that thread got deleted WHILE I was adding to it Guacharaca! Busy little elves. Too bad cause I haven’t seen you comment in a while. So censors, can you tell us what got poetas comment deleted there? Or is it you have decided that Poeta is no longer allowed to comment here period?

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