The Devil Looks At the Upcoming Elections In Venezuela

November 29, 2015


I have tried not to say much about the upcoming Parliamentary elections. I have also tried not to get caught up in the current excitement of Venezuelans. In just a few weeks we have gone form subdued optimism, to almost a frenzy, that suggests that we may reach the 2/3 super-majority needed to make a difference.

I view this election as simply one more step in the process of undermining Chavismo, a process that could (and should!) take some time. Yes, I do expect the total vote, the overall percentage of pro-Mud votes vs. Chavismo vote to be around 70% versus 30% in favor of the opposition, but I can´t ignore the fact that Chavismo will massively have assisted voting, lots more money than the opposition, will mobilize voters, will blackmail public employees and recipients of the Government’s largesse and stuff a few hundred ballot boxes at the end of the day.

Which makes me skeptical that 70% of the total vote vote can be turned into 66% of all elected Deputies.

But I the same time I do believe that a victory in the national vote by the large margin expected, will set off an earthquake within Chavismo. Maduro and his Primera Combatiente will be blamed for the debacle and a fight will ensue that will lead to the demise of Chavismo as we know it.

But I also believe that confrontation, violence and uncertainty will be the rule of the day as Chavismo gets used to having to share Government with the opposition. And I pray that the opposition maintains some form of cohesion, before it begins having its own internal divisions.

In the end, Venezuela will be choosing between two forms of populism. One better than the other one, but in the end two forms of the same thing. We are trapped in the last 16 years of Chavista domination. The lesser of two evils.

But I digress…

The most likely outcome of the election is that the opposition gets between 84 and 100 Deputies, a simple majority, but short of the three fifths needed to cause serious damage.

But even at a simple majority, the opposition could become a pain in the behind of Chavismo: It can change the attributes of municipalities versus states, it can initiate investigations, approve budgets and new appropriations and change the rules of order that determine how debate functions within the Assembly.

Sufficient to drive Chavismo crazy, as they are simply not used to even discussing issues among themselves. They simply follow orders now.

Of course, the cherry on the opposition’s cake will be the fact that it will be decide who the President of the National Assembly is and you can be sure it will not be Godgiven.

I hope is not an old dinosaur either.

But in the end, this is just the annoying level. Like a bee permanently buzzing around Chavismo and reminding them that they lost. And they will not absorb this gracefully. If they actually decide to even absorb it, which is definitely a possibility. The best scenario in my mind: Kicking the democratic can…

The next level becomes somewhat interesting. At 100 Deputies, or three fifths, the Assembly can revoke something it did before, censor Ministers, remove members of the CNE and/or the Supreme Court.

That’s what would be called getting annoying, really pissing off Chavismo.

I think this is reachable, but call me suspicious that we will actually get there. The CNE may not cheat everywhere, but I am sure that it has identified the districts where a few levers, a few votes and the three-fifths are just a memory, even if we did get it.

Finally, there is Nirvana, a level that I don’t think we will reach: 110 opposition Deputies. Here, we can really raise havoc on the revolution, removing  Supreme Court Justices, Prosecutor, People´s Ombudsman, revoke Deputies and even call for a Constitutional Assembly.

Just imagine the level of confrontation involved.

I know many people interpret polls like we will get to this level, but I am skeptical. People may be mad enough to surprise me (Please do!) But I don’t think they will. The media is still controlled by Chavismo and the fake stories of Chavismo still sell, no matter how absurd they may be.

Thus, much like the nephew’s trial, the elections are just another step. Maduro will have to pay for the loss and any undermining of his rule is a positive. In the end, we want the process to last, so that Chavismo can be wholly responsible for the destruction of the country and any chance of it reviving becomes remote. Yes, this involves a lot of pain, but nothing like not burying Chavismo for its sins.

In some sense, better a small death than a sweeping victory. In the absence of a strong opposition that can articulate a plan, this may be the best of scenarios anyway.

56 Responses to “The Devil Looks At the Upcoming Elections In Venezuela”

  1. Sam Says:

    Let us welcome Nirvana.

  2. moctavio Says:

    Anyone that thinks the Government controls the voting machines, can’t say the MUD will win the election. If the Government could control the machines it would do it. As I have said before the amount of cheating is limited. My estimate sis that in 2004 was 4-5%, I dont think they can do more than 2-3%. So, dont come back later saying something inconsistent.

    • evilio Says:

      Changing the results isn’t easy because everyone has a copy of the printed tallies at the polling centers, so it would be obvious and easy for the MUD to figure it out.

      Hacking the machine to change votes is also problematic because every single voter checks its receipt after voting and those are audited randomly at the end of the day.

      And why would they go through all that trouble trying to hack the system when is so easy to take advantage of the abstention?

      It’s cheap and easy, you only need a bunch of buses with chavistas to vote for those who didn’t; you don’t need to hack anything and is completely invisible.

      That’s the best way for them to cheat without nobody noticing. Actually is not a secret that in most elections they keep the schools open to do that when the results don’t favor chavismo.

    • Tony Tan Keng Yam Says:

      You don’t get it Miguel. Try to put yourself in Cabello’s, Ridriguez, Tibisay, or the corrupt Military and TSJ shoes.

      The WORLD knows Venezuelans are pissed off, all Polls and encuestas show an 80% pissed-off, anti-Madurismo voting crowd. If Cabello and Rodriguez decided to utilize Smartmatic’s full Fraud potential, – (which you and most people keep underestimating despite numerous extensive Studies by Princeton or many other Computer specialist and Election specialists_ – then the massive Fraud would be too freaking obvious and people would revolt, even outside of Venezuela.

      So unless you are completely out of your mind, you Measure the Fraud. You keep disguising Venezuela as a “democracy” . You concede a useless “Mud” little victory on Dec 7th. Heck, even Cabello will probably glady step away from the laughable “Parlamento” with his 12 bank accounts, and let Ramos Allup or some other corrupt MUD clown run that Circus. Then the PDVSA Thugs and Military truly in power simply will bribe the new MUD deputies, and nothing will really change until the Presidenciales in 2019.

      It’s a perfect scenario for the Chavista pandilla of Thugs: The will be able to blame the “derechista, burguesitos, imperialistas MUD people “controlling the Parliament” for the disastrous Economic situation that will only will get worse next year.

    • evilio Says:

      Tony, that’s exactly the point, they can easily change the results, maybe in the machine or maybe in the server, or actually Tibisay could just have pre-cooked results and ignore whatever is transmitted (you don’t need a hacker for that), but no matter how they do it it’ll be OBVIOUS to everybody by comparing the counting in the polling centers with the cne results.

      So I think the same, the best they can do now is just let the MUD win, maybe make the results look a little better by getting chavistas to vote on behalf of abstention and then they just have to get some popcorn and sit to watch Rome burns (and blame the derecha and the imperio).

      • M Rubio Says:

        Hope I’m wrong but I still say the Chavistas squeek out a victory. Everyone will know it’s BS but no one can or will do anything about it.

  3. M Rubio Says:

    Because they are criminals, current government officials will not, cannot, tolerate a loss of control of their own destinies. I believe we either see a victory for Chavismo via massive fraud or an outright suspensión of civil rights after the election if the opposition truly does win a big majority.

    These are not Sandanistas who can bide their time while a newly-elected opposition screws things up and loses the faith of the people that put them in power.

    Of those two options, massive fraud is the path of least resistance.

  4. Tony Tan Keng Yam Says:

    I’m sticking to my guns: 45/55% laughable MUDdy Mud “victory”. With the usual, late-evening adjustment with the Fraudmatic Olivetti Chavez little machines.

    It gonna be a lot of fun to watch how nothing changes in the “parlamento” next year, after the inevitable Chavista bribes of new MUDdy Congress dudes, and dudettes.

    Lee Kwan Yew.

    • Dont get it. If they can cheat why is the MUD going to get more than 50% isnt there an incosistency there? You claim they can heat all they want, whats stopping them?

      • Tony Tan Keng Yam Says:

        Well, if the Chavista dictators are only slightly smart, and not totally stupid or masochistic, they will allow, concede, and actually orchestrate a funky little “MUD victory”, because everyone knows 80% of the people are against Maduro and the PSUV. The Fraud would be too obvious. Notice that in Brazil and Vzla, past Smartmatic elections the margin of the results were minimal. Just enough to get Dilma in and keep Capriles out. Mysterious extra-innings late into the evening, coincidentally..

        In the Parlmentarias tomorrow all Chavismo needs is a small defeat, say 90/77 diputados. Then, with massive bribing, the Gerrymandering. Unless they are all retarded or high on crack. But to turn 80% disapproval into a laughable, useless “MUD-win” by 5 or 8% will take Massive Fraud, with all the tricks in the book (dead people with 3 cedulas, Chavez’s Fraudmatic little Dominion/Olivetti machines, that even Delcy Rodriguez can easily hack.

        • I disagree, they cant cheat that much without it being extremely clear, there are planillas, audits, ballot recounts, only in the places with no opposition witnesses can they stuff ballots, the only way they can cheat big at this point. And if you watched the news, the MUD has more witnesses registered than PSUV, that reflects on the mood of Chavistas and maybe the MUD will do some stuffing of its own in some places.

  5. Floyd Says:

    They will cheat, they will lie, they will use intimidation and violence against the opposition and then if that does not work, they will “fix” the results.

  6. Tony Tan Keng Yam Says:

    We only have 4 little blogs about Venezuela. It’s pathetic. No one says shit.

    Cool. Deal with the results.

  7. Duncan Says:

    “In some sense, better a small death than a sweeping victory. In the absence of a strong opposition that can articulate a plan, this may be the best of scenarios anyway.”

    Wise words indeed. History is littered with disastrous, overnight regime changes; usually bought about by a well intentioned, but poorly organised opposition. Obviously, Chavismo has not run such as long course as, for example, Soviet Russia. However, it is worth remembering that many of the electorate have known nothing but Chavismo. Democracy is something that has to be learnt gradually. A gradual but turbulent transition would surely be preferable to the creation of a power vacuum that would both undermine any new government, and provide justification to old school chavistas?

  8. With a simple majority, can they pick the speaker from outside the assembly as is available in the U.S.? In that case, they should pick MCM. That would be taking a baseball bat to the hornet’s nest. I’d love it.

    • moctavio Says:

      Nope, they can’t.

      • Tony Tan Keng Yam Says:

        If the MUD gets a majority, the least they can do is act on the Capriles “amnesty” promise, and free Leopoldo, and all the other political prisoners. Also, they have to reinstate Maria Corina, and free Ledezma, and Ceballos plus the Zuliano guy.. No more house arrests.

        Otherwise I don’t see how any reasonable Venezuela could lend any credence to the next “MUD” parlamento and their leaders. Internationally, it would also be a joke if all of these key people do not gain FULL freedom in January. They’d better get that done. It will be very interesting to watch, and I’m afraid, probably violent and bloody too. The Chavista thugs won’t go quietly into the night..

        • moctavio Says:

          “reinstate Maria Corina” to what? She did not run, there is no legal thing to reinstate her to.

          • Ira Says:

            Well, reinstate her to eligibility to run!

          • Tony Tan Keng Yam Says:

            Sorry, I don’t understand Venezuelan surrealistic politics too well, from Miami. But if that was a semi-democratic, semi-civilized country Maria Corina Machado would be reinstated as a Top Venezuelan leader, in any constitutional capacity. Actually, if you’re gonna violate the Law, as Chavistas do every day, you put her as “Primera Combatiente” with Leopoldo as Comandante. But hey, dreams are free.

    • HalfEmpty Says:

      Hummm, does the Speaker of the US House have to be a US citizen? 🙂

      • Ira Says:

        Of course. And possibly even native born, because Speaker is second behind VP to assume the Presidency, and the Prez has to be native born.

        • Daveed Says:

          The exact definition is being tested by the candidacy of Ted Cruz.

          • Ira Says:

            Nothing to be tested–he’s not eligible.

            Except the Dems don’t have to go down that route right now, unlike the anti-Obama birthers.

            • Dean A Nash Says:

              Oh-for-two, Ira. He is a natural born citizen. He has an American passport that he secured without taking an oath of citizenship as a foreigner would have had to do.

            • Ira Says:

              Not really 0 for 2:

              The fact that he was issued a U.S. Passport isn’t relevant. Babies brought here at a few months of age, although not born here, are not eligible for the presidency.

              An oath of allegiance has nothing to do with it, and even quick citizenship, because what are they going to say?

              “Goo goo, gah gah?”

              I’m not saying I agree with this, but the Founding Fathers made it crystal clear:

              An illegal anchor baby born on U.S. soil has more rights to the presidency than others. And apologies to Tony!

              It turns out that YOU’RE the ignorant jerk!

            • Dean A Nash Says:

              Facts are stubborn things. We each can have our own opinions, but the facts fixed. He was born to an American mother, the location of the birth is irrelevant. There are only two categories of American citizen, those “natural-born” and those “naturalized”. He is, by definition, “a natural-born citizen.”

              Considering the daily violence in America, I can see why you chose not to rebut my earlier comment, but instead rebuke Tony.

  9. Dr. Faustus Says:

    With the the world’s press focused on Venezuela on Sunday and Monday, the opposition should be relentless in pointing out the discrepancy of the vote totals vs. seats in the AN. The gerrymandering of the districts favoring the PSUV in the AN is just one of the many corrupt rules/regulations that are purposely put in place to keep them in power That should be made clear to ALL the media viewing this election from afar. Emphasize this, repeat it over and over. Spokesperson’s for the opposition should be pointing to this at every opportunity in their public statements. “We got 70% of the vote, but only got 52% of the AN seats? How can that be?” The opposition must be shown to be indignant, frothing-at-the-mouth at this outrage, and that must be reflected in the world press coverage of this very corrupt, so-called election.

  10. A sad witness Says:

    How do you figure that Chavismo will not cheat and change the votes tally to their favor? With no international neutral and fare observers, I can see Chavistas having a the opportunity to change things to their favor by cheating. People will know they cheated, but it won’t really matter, they already know they do and have in the past. So based on that, please tell me will there really be a change?….I know that these are the final moments of this regime, but unfortunately, I also believe that they will try to take everything down before they are out of power.

    • moctavio Says:

      I dont know, but I do think that the tallies can not be changed wholesale. They can only be changed where the opposition has no witnesses. If the opposition does a good job, that will not be the problem. The only way would be for Chavismo to really decide to not accept the results and become a true Dictatorship. In the end, that may be the best scenario of all.

      • Wanley Says:

        Agreed, being perceived to be a dictatorship changes the whole game.

      • DG Says:

        they are kicking the can but they are not going to quash it because they need to maintain some semblance of legitimacy for their followers. They will just buy time as they probably see the light of $88 barrel within three years.

  11. Tony Tan Keng Yam Says:

    Excellent, original analysis from Mr. Mephistopheles. Here’s where I see things differently (besides my view that Smatmatic’s fraud potential is much larger than anyone seems to think) :

    ” The most likely outcome of the election is that the opposition gets between 84 and 100 Deputies, a simple majority, but short of the three fifths needed to cause serious damage.

    But even at a simple majority, the opposition could become a pain in the behind of Chavismo:”

    Say the MUD somehow does get 90 Deputies (I’d be surprised, impressed); Chavismo still has what, 77 Diputados. There is no Parlatino anymore.

    Say Ramos Allup or some other dork replaces Capo Cabello. The famished, MUD newcomers will be exalted with prospects of Power, fame, and above all financial gain. I guarantee you that of the 90 MUD Deputies 70, at least, have a price. Who has the PDVSA money to bribe them? Who has the corrupt Military, Guardia Nazional, Malandros and Sebin to extort and intimidate them?

    They will show up of meetings at the laughable “Parliament”, to discuss Legislature and reforms. They will mingle with the putrid, corrupt-to-the-bone 77 Chavista Deputies. Cafecito in the morning, long lunches, even dinners.. Some amends and new friends will start taking shape. Remember, the MUD is Chavsita-Light already, socialistoide, they are just as incompetent, under-educated, morally questionable, highly corruptible, from the same social Fabric and Venezuelan mold.. Mas o menos la mijma gente..

    Or do we forget 40 years of highly corrupt Ad/Copey MUD in the “Parlamento”. Even without radical Chavistas and some semblance of “democracy” it was guiso after guiso, tigrito tras tigrito, massive embezzlement after regular daily thievery. They will mingle and have cafecito with the Chavistas.. Not all, but many of them will sell their souls for apartment in Rome or a small bank account in Belize.

    A few months later, a few fights but a few new friends, the new MUD will be even murkier, corrupt. Chavista-light. Inneficient. Add the Gerrymandering, the pressure from Maduro’s Thugs at the Executive Branch (the only people that truly rule) the pressure from the corrupt TSJ and the filthy military, and it’s a mud mess.

    Other than that, I agree with this post. These elections are less important than what people like to think. Not much at all will change next year in Cleptozuela.

    Except that Chavismo and Maduro will now blame the “Derechistas in the Parlamento” for everything. The worsening colas, the abysmal Economy, the daily murders, everything will be the fault of “El Parlamento Burguesito Imperialista” . Perfect. Chavismo will remain alive and well.

    • Dean A Nash Says:

      Sadly, you’re probably right. I’ve said it for a decade and a half now, the “problem” isn’t Chavez (or Chavismo), it’s Venezuelans. Until they decide to change themselves and thereby change their culture, the players will change, but the game will continue.

      Of course, this isn’t unique to Venezuela. America is a war-mongering nation because Americans are violent people. And so on.

      People (mostly) get the government that they deserve.

      • Ira Says:

        What an insulting thing to say. And hardly accurate.

        • Tony Tan Keng Yam Says:

          And your specific point is?

        • Tony Tan Keng Yam Says:

          As usual, you have contributed ZERO to the specific topic at hand. have you? And that’s what many people do, either they do not Opine, at all, or they they ADD Zero to the specific topic at hand. Guess they’re busy, so I’am I in Singapore. Top sushi dinner, have fun.

          I will add. most readers here and elsewhere on these blogs are beyond lazy are pathetic. They just read and do not opine.

          Way to change the world, in this electronic media reality, Dudes and Dudettes. Hope you enjoy, somehow, the latest Reina Pepiada Special in las Mercedes or Miami.

          • Ira Says:

            I would hesitate to categorize Americans as war-mongering, unless that’s how you define the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in response to 9/11.

            Our invasion of Iraq was a mistake based on sheer logistics and not thinking it through geo-politically…

            But it was believed, by a majority of Americans, to be the next logical step against terrorism.

            As to past conflicts, America wouldn’t go near the war in Japan and Asia, until Japan bombed us. And only went to war against Germany after Hitler declared war on us a few days later.

            Vietnam was a civil war, in which we chose sides. And choosing the capitalist, Democratic side against Communism, supported by a socially and economically bankrupt dictatorship China), could hardly be considered a sin.

            We fought the British in 1776 and 1712, but rightfully so.

            Panama and Grenada can hardly be considered wars.

            And I can’t recall any Americans engaging in any real conflicts in Central and South America, aside from us supporting certain sides, like the Contras.

            And of course, U.S. military might has been responsible for saving the lives of millions, not only by direct intervention, but by threat of that intervention.

            Is this contributing enough for you?

            You, my friend, are a fool, and broad generalizations such as “Americans are war mongerers” is definitive proof of that.

            And while Americans in uniform give their lives for others, the rest of us Americans spit on people like you.

            And deservedly so.

            • Tony Tan Keng Yam Says:

              Jezuzz dude, take your medication. And, then, stick to the topic. Just another blog..

            • Ira Says:

              You have the balls to say America is war-mongering by nature?

              And the ignorance to simply say “Calm down” when someone calls you out on your stupidity?

              You don’t have to calm down yourself. You have to read history, and learn how to interpret it properly.

            • Dean A Nash Says:

              Ira, it was me who said that America is a war-mongering nation because Americans are violent people.

              So, lets start by defining the term warmonger: “A policy of advocating war”.

              I agree that honorable people can disagree, but having grown up in America, and having lived around the world, I stand by statement. Americans seem to fall into one of two camps: peaceniks who’ll fight for nothing, and neocons, who are all about engaging in war.

              And only an American who hasn’t lived abroad could argue that Americans aren’t violent. Americans relish violence. See: Football, American. See: annual gun deaths. See: Hollywood.

      • DG Says:

        Dean, 43 along with Cheney and Rumsfeld (and the neocons) took us to war. We are not war mongers. We went almost two decades without major war after Vietnam. Desert Storm was not of our making and Dessert Storm was not our making and that was one of our finest moments on the battlefield and in the world. The old man was very clear in his biography about Junior, Cheney and Rumsfeld.

        • Dean A Nash Says:

          I see it differently – that just as Chavez represented Venezuelans – 43 et al. as well as Clinton/Kerry/Republicans and Democrats alike all supported the war.

          It’s too bad neither of us will be around to see how history judges it.

          • Dean A Nash Says:

            I’m so glad that I came back to seek out responses. DG, only a war-mongering nation could produce a citizen that would utter “We went almost two decades without major war after Vietnam.” and use that as justification that the country is a peace-loving society.

            China has been without war since 1979. The Philippines since WWII. Vietnam since ’79 (against China, border dispute). Cambodia since Khmer Rouge (late 70’s, internal/civil). Mexico since I don’t know how long, but I know it’s prior to the mid-70’s.

            Hell, even Venezuela, apart from its internal struggles, is basically peaceful with other countries. I understand that America shoulders unique responsibilities, but that wasn’t my point. America simply worships violence and then can’t understand why ~80 people die from guns (in America) every single day.

  12. Robbie Says:

    Where does the DEA fit in to this picture. I can only assume they will have something to offer or request ?

    • DG Says:

      The DEA et al is busy making history. The U.S. government has nothing to offer or request regarding these investigations and prosecutions. This is very serious and will be major news next year.

  13. TV Says:

    If the opposition gets even a simple majority, it should extend it’s hand for any and all defectors from PSUV to it’s own ranks. The rats will flee a sinking ship, and you don’t need all that many.

  14. Can the National Assembly invite the UN Human Rights body to set up shop in Venezuela and investigate abuses? Can they issue a resolution asking other nations to provide them with help to ensure members’ personal safety? And can they organize Maduro’s recall?

    • moctavio Says:

      I don’t think so. It could start its own investigation and request assistance into it, but inviting a UN body is a Government to Government invitation.

    • Boludo Tejano Says:

      Given the abject performance of the UN HRC/CHR over the years, that would be like asking Godgiven to head a committee investigating corruption.

  15. Ronaldo Says:

    Maduro will be feeding lies to Chavistas who know better. I agree that at a minimum Chavismo will be split into smaller factions.

    Great post on reality.

    • DG Says:

      I see four factions: the Tarek clan, the Maduro-Flores cartel, the Godgiven mafia and the Chavez gang. Maduro-Flores is weakest and getting weaker. All four factions are under investigation in the U.S. for narcotics as all four have shipped cocaine up north.

  16. Tom ODonnell Says:

    Your last comment seems to me especially right on.

    Perhaps in a position of strength in the AN the opposition could organize itself better — would be forced to do so — so as to accomplish parliamentary goals. On the other hand, … it is so amazing how little cohesion and clear elaboration of program exists till now. Some modicum of power might only exacerbate differences.

    Thanks for the post.

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