Venezuelan Dialogue Irrelevant Short Term, But Helps Opposition Medium Term

April 11, 2014


I did not watch the ¨dialogue¨live, it was too long for my taste, but I watched parts and later watched the videos of some that I had missed. And here is my take:

Short term, this is largely irrelevant, clearly Chavismo is stuck in its own imaginary world, trapped in its slogans and has no intention of yielding on anything, despite the scheduling of another session on the 15th., right in the middle of a nationwide vacation.

But the fact that this was shown on nationwide TV and the opposition had some very good interventions, is very important long term. Close your eyes, ignore the names and last night the opposition was Hugo Chavez circa 1994 and the Government was Caldera or ¨La Cuarta¨, out of touch and mired in their ideology of what they believed in.

The only difference was than in the 94-97 era, Chavez was the only leader and here you had good interventions that range from Henry Falcon to Henry Ramos. And when Falcón asked Ramirez to get rid of his bodyguards and go to the streets, it sounded just like Chávez in the late 90’s, talking to out of touch politicians.

And Falcon was probably the best speaker, simply because I don´t like the other Henry, On nationwide TV, Falcón told his former buddies you really screwed up the Venezuelan economy, while a dreamy Ramirez tried to claim that shortages and 57% inflation were the signs of the success of the revolution’s economy.

And yes, it is all irrelevant short term, but I think the opposition looked good and in touch with the country, while Chavismo/Madurismo could only appeal to slogans that seem very empty today.

And if you watched both sides, it was the Government that showed no respect, while Capriles “carajeaba” a Nicolas and Ramos told Diosdado he was not his boss and he had a lot to say after 15 years of “cadenas”

And while it is clear the Government will not yield, with Maduro claiming this was a time for “Justice”, what the various opposition leaders talked about, even the boring Barboza (He was great, but was talking to the wrong audience) was exactly in line with what the average Venezuelan is worrying about.

For now, Maduro and his cronies have to be worried about, they may have gained a few points internationally by holding their dialogue, but asking for justice n denying the paramilitary groups or torture hurt their credibility, On the other side the opposition was not strident, logical and very in tune with not finding corn flour or paying for regulated items six times the price.

And that is something the average Venezuelan understands, while anyone claiming that the economy is successful or peachy sounds almost extra-terrestial.

Thus, while I was not that favorable to the dialogue without some amnesty gesture first, I think the meeting allowed the opposition to score points and shine, while showing that the revolution has become the IVth. Republic, out of touch and living in the world of bodyguards and jet planes that Chávez promised to get rid of.

Funny (not ja ja), Chavismo becomes the Cuarta Republica with fascism and the opposition shows who is in synch with the people in a single night.

This can only be a positive for the opposition, united or not, in the medium and long term.


30 Responses to “Venezuelan Dialogue Irrelevant Short Term, But Helps Opposition Medium Term”

  1. xp Says:

    Close your eyes, ignore the names …

    They got the kind of mind
    that does less than think
    But since we’re feeling kinda lonely
    and our defenses are low …[MeatLoaf]

    And as you put it –
    yes, it is all irrelevant short term,

  2. nacazo Says:

    “And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?… The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If…if…We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation…. We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.”

    –Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

  3. Kepler Says:

    Well, Miguel, I have said it a thousand times: we needed to challenge them to a debate. We didn’t even have a dialogue, much less a debate, but it was the closer to getting the large public to see at the same time two visions of Venezuela in the same place.
    We should demand for these meetings to always be live so that people see the attacks and counter-attacks and perhaps some time we will see a debate.

    And with debate in the political sense we never mean a dialogue where the talkers try to “understand” each other. We know since Ancient Greek that the purpose of a political debate is for the public in the forum to see arguments and counter-arguments and to see who fails to bring forward actual arguments.

    So: it was a good thing.

    My question is now: what will happen next week? Will they repeat or will they meet behind closed doors?

  4. Paul Esqueda Says:

    There is something I find very puzzling in this dialogue. Why would the Government accept a meeting with the opposition leaders in national TV with the facilitators (Luiz Alberto Figueiredo,Brazil’s Foreign Minister; María Angela Holguín, Colomobia’s Foreign Minister; Ricardo Patiño, Ecuador’s Foreign Minister; and Aldo Giordano, Vatican’s Apostolic Nuncio to Venezuela) only to receive the worst well substantiated criticism ever? Each opposition leader literally poured “bucket of shit” after “bucket of shit” on the current Government officials after they had continuously manipulated the media for years to hide the truth about our economy, corruption, and everything else. In my opinion, at the very least it must be very embarrassing for the Government. I can understand that the international and local pressure forced the Government into this “dialogue.” However, Chavistas are not known for being embarrassed or having shame, neither are they known for accepting any type of pressure. Stubbornness, superficiality and improvisation have been a common Chavista hallmark. It is evident in their arguments during this dialogue. So why a dialogue now? I think there is something very wrong here and my guess is that the economy is about to collapse and they know it. As Omar Barboza read the key macroeconomic indicators you can tell how bad it is. The worst is yet to come. For Chavistas dialogue is a form of life support for Venezuelans in general it is extending the pain of the worst quality of life I have ever seen in Venezuela.

    • captaincs Says:

      No dictatorship has been deposed (except by force) as long as they stay strong and intransigent. The good thing about this “dialog” is that it is a sign of weakness on part of the dictatorship. Now, more that ever, the opposition must keep to the streets and hammer away at the dictatorship with all the weapons at their disposal.

      ¡El que se cansa pierde!

      Let’s wear down the despots.

      • Dr. Faustus Says:

        “The good thing about this “dialog” is that it is a sign of weakness on part of the dictatorship.”

        That is precisely correct. Those were some excellent points posted above. Just imagine Adolf Hitler sitting across a table with a bunch of scull-capped Jews and then hurling accusations back and forth about the economy of the Third Reich. Ah,…no. What happened on Thursday was indeed a “sign of weakness.”

    • moctavio Says:

      Paul: The problem is they claim everything is fine and did not accept any of the criticism. If they were worried, they would concede more. That is the puzzle to me.

      • Roy Says:

        You are assuming that they are operating with the same set of facts you are, which is wrong. As you said, they are out of touch. Remember that they are being told daily exactly what they want to hear by subordinates who were elevated solely on the basis of loyalty and who would be fired (or jailed for treason) if they reported the unvarnished truth to their bosses.

        That is why they are not more worried than they should be. They have a sense that power is slipping from their grasp, but then their lackeys undermine that sense by propping up their wish that everything is just fine, except for a handful of malcontents. They attend Chavista rallies that have been staged with “loyalists” bussed in and paid off to cheer wildly at everything they say. The whole system is built around protecting the leaders from the truth. That is why they are not as worried as they should be, and that is why they made the strategic mistake of agreeing to televise this meeting.

          • firepigette Says:

            Wrong Roy,

            Televising the event was perfect for them.Televising it shows the world that they are willing to negotiate when they are not.

            And it is not true that if they were worried they would concede more.That would just make them look weak, and they were trying to show strength.

    • concerned Says:

      It may be that the government wants to avoid international sanctions that would hasten collapse. There is surely a group of these thieves that need more time to get their families out of the country. It would be better for them if they were seen to have been forced out illegitimately. Moreover, it is likely that the mediators/monitors are interested in avoiding collapse out of self interest—-many of them are very vulnerable. Perhaps the creation of some sort of internationally backed “junta” is not far off to avoid damaging these other countries. The OAS vote on MCM seems to foretell how this could lean unless the people can force the expulsion of the Cubans. This could very well happen if the opposition can pull together and develop solutions to these very real problems that will enable Venezuela to maintain sovereignty. Did not see the telecast, was Cuba discussed?

      • Jon Says:

        Head scratching on my part too. Did they agree to the “dialogue” to delay and time the economic collapse somehow to their advantage, time to get out of the country or maybe an indication the military is a bit restless ?

        The other possibility is that the decision was driven by external factors. Problem is that the opposition not only has to contend with Venezuelan thugs but also the vast majority of Latin America. Maybe the “dialogue” episode is no more than externally created camouflage providing a veneer of integrity thereby allowing the cross border handouts to continue in an acceptable manner.

        I can’t remember exactly what Capriles said to the UNASUR
        ministers but it was something like – ” if you think the Venezuelan Chavista
        model is a good one take it home with you.”

        Whatever forced or initiated the dialogue I suspect that Maduro
        and co. may be only one of the hurdles.

  5. captaincs Says:

    The latest victim of Maburrismo: razor blades. Regulated at “just prices” they have disappeared. Now we will all look like Fidel Castro and his stinking beard.

    • Roy Says:

      Yep. Been looking for them for several days now. I am on my last disposable, and in another few days, it will be unusable. I guess, we will all start to look the part of jungle guerrilleros…

    • m_astera Says:

      It’s been fun while it lasted, buying shavers pre-sharpened. Time to learn how to put an edge on steel, like our grandfathers, great grandfathers, and everyone before them in history, I guess.

      A shortage of coffee, pan arena, or toilet paper isn’t obvious and visible. No razors, that will be obvious.

  6. Rafael Hidalgo Says:

    Hi Miguel, for the sake of accuracy the challenge on walking the streets near Miraflores without bodyguards came from Capriles, not Falcón

  7. notiven Says:

    What I liked the most was that every MUD member had their script which I think revolved around the way the Government departed from the Constitution.

    From Aveledo, to the Copei rep that talked about the expropiations, Ramos Allup was great when he mentioned the non existance of the term Revolution; Socialism or Bolivarian Armed Forces in the text of the Constitution and every time they march with these slogans its anticonstitutional.

    • Paul Esqueda Says:

      MUD did their homework, however, Chavistas improvised as expected. It is scary to hear some of the arguments made by Colectivos fellow and by super minister of Finance

  8. VJ Says:

    Taken from Aporrea.-
    El circo que disfraza la entrega del Socialismo
    Por: Toby Valderrama y Antonio Aponte | Viernes, 11/04/2014 01:06 PM

    Aquello fue lo más parecido a un congreso socialdemócrata de la cuarta república, igualito, hasta los mismos actores. Abundaron los veteranos diputados, se agarraron por las greñas, dieron un bonito espectáculo de lucha de utilería. La noche estuvo cargada de discursos, acusaciones, defensas, rabias contenidas, despliegues histriónicos, y al final, el objetivo se cumplió: servir de circo que engañe, distraiga, la entrega del Socialismo, que lo convierta en un discurso más del cretinismo parlamentario que presenciamos ayer 10 de abril en la reunión de diálogo entre las partes aspirantes a administrar el capitalismo.
    Podemos calificar ese show de golpe helado, de complot de ambos bandos, y no nos equivocaríamos. Y, coincidencia para los supersticiosos, se hace en las vísperas del golpe de abril de 2002.
    Esa noche funesta no se habló de Socialismo, se nombró poco y cuando se hizo fue de soslayo, como para llenar una formalidad. Se planteó no como un cambio de relaciones sociales, de creación de una nueva conciencia, de un hombre nuevo, es decir, como una Revolución, sino como un simple reparto, más amplio, de la renta petrolera, es decir, una pirueta socialdemócrata.
    Los dos lados de la larga mesa de diálogo representaban al capitalismo, con diferentes matices pero la misma esencia. Las acusaciones, los reclamos, eran más a la forma de administrarlo. Hasta algunos de los diputados de este nuevo congreso se atrevieron a quitarse la careta y decir, palabra más, palabras menos: este no es un problema ideológico, ni siquiera político, es un asunto de administración eficaz.
    La lucha de clases apareció, tímida, al final de la noche, como doncella arrepentida de haber perdido el pudor, se oyeron voces que reivindicaban a los obreros (que no estuvieron en la mesa) y acusaban al lado opuesto de burgués, cuando pasaron toda la noche implorándole que explotaran, que montaran trampas de explotación que, eufemísticamente, llaman unidades productivas.
    Pero, ¿qué hay detrás del circo parlamentario de anoche? Algunas medidas fueron pedidas de manera directa: amnistía total o parcial, desarme de los colectivos, nombramiento de las autoridades que faltan, abrir el grifo de los dólares un poco más, etc. Otras se harán tras bastidores, de ésas nos enteraremos cuando las tomen.
    Ahora bien, para los revolucionarios la discusión debía y debe estar centrada en algo que allí sólo se asomó:
    …el nuevo rumbo del proceso, atrás quedó el Plan de la Patria de Chávez, ahora se plantea con descaro un capitalismo siglo XXI que tiene como esencia el absurdo de formar capitalistas para que eleven las fuerzas productivas, es decir, poner en manos de la burguesía y la neoburguesía la renta, con la excusa de superar la economía rentista, pero no hacia el Socialismo sino hacia el capitalismo.
    ¿De dónde sacaron este nuevo rumbo? ¿Por qué abandonaron el Socialismo de Chávez, que era contra “la lógica del capital”? ¿Dónde quedó el “horror a la oligarquía”, por qué se arrinconó el Plan de la Patria? ¿Quién lo va a cumplir? ¿Los capitalistas, que contentos se sientan en las mesas económicas? ¿Por qué este pacto con la burguesía en contra del legado de Chávez?
    Esa es la verdadera discusión, y debe darse entre revolucionarios. Algunos tienen esperanza de que esa discusión se dé en el congreso del PSUV, amén. Pero tenemos nuestras dudas. Preferimos que esto se discuta a cielo abierto, bueno, no tan abierto, a los que discrepan de ese nuevo plan contra el Plan de Chávez le cierran las vías de comunicación que permiten llegar al cielo. Algunos piensan que esta discusión se debe posponer, ¿para cuándo? Si no hablamos ahora, luego, con todo consumado, será inútil.
    La noche del 10 de abril asistimos a la guarimba mayor, no pretenden parar el tráfico de carros sino el tránsito al Socialismo, no desnudaron sus cuerpos sino su alma capitalista.
    ¡Entregar el Socialismo es entregar a Chávez!
    Esta nota ha sido leída aproximadamente 3438 veces.

  9. Noel Says:

    I didn’t see the debate but it seems to me that it was a mistake on the part of the opposition not to demand the liberation of Lopez as a precondition to a sitdown.

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