Long And Winding Road For Change In Venezuela After Sweeping Opposition Victory

December 7, 2015


I have been waiting for the CNE to give a new bulletin of yesterday’s results, but so far no luck in obtaining a complete set of numbers for what happened last night. Remarkably, the number of Deputies for the opposition keeps increasing, with the latest estimate between 117 and 118 Deputies. The opposition did publish earlier a list of the 112 Deputies that will surely be announced as winners up to now.

This is truly in the upper range of any expectations, as voters clearly expressed their disenchantment with the Bolivarian revolution  and the current state of the Venezuelan economy. Maduro was not that gracious or wise in accepting the defeat, devoting most of his time to blaming the “economic war” for the defeat and not the economic stupidity of his Government’s policies. Never had the phrase “It’s the Economy Stupid” resonate more than today in Venezuela.

And while the opposition has to rejoice in its victory, it will be a long and winding road to obtain the change the people want, particularly on economic matters. It will also be a conflictive route to change, as Chavismo will certainly resist the possible dismounting of the Bolivaraian State.

And the opposition has to understand its victory for what it is. People turned against the Government, but the sweeping victory is a strong rejection of Chavismo, more than a strong support for the opposition. And the strong mandate calls for action, but it is precisely on Economic matters that it is more difficult for the Venezuelan National Assembly to have an impact.

But at the same time, the 2/3 majority gives the opposition many powerful tools to at least negotiate with Chavismo, including removing and naming members of the Electoral Board, Supreme Courts and all other major public powers, approval of Constitutional reforms, issue organic laws, name Permanent commissions of the National Assembly and approve and propose referenda, including revoking the Presidency after its third year of mandate.

But all and any of the above implies conflict, decisions and optimizing time and resources in order not to waste time in pyrrhic fights with little immediate positive consequences.

How the weakened Maduro Government reacts will be key in the process. So far, Maduro seems to have been too defensive in the reaction to the loss. His mandate has been severely weakened in the eyes of his own supporters, party and national opinion and there is little he can do for maintaining the status quo. But at the same time, he will have a hard time implementing an economic change that he has clearly not agreed with in the past. Internal fighting and bickering within Chavismo must be intense and it is clear that Maduro will have to assume all of the blame for the blow received by Chavismo on Dec. 6th.

Venezuela and PDVSA bonds jumped on the news, but they simply recovered back to the prices of a week ago, a clear signal by the market that it is concerned about the future. However, the mandate received by the opposition should in general be more supportive for prices, even in the face of US$ 38 oil today.

It will also be important for the opposition to maintain its cohesiveness. Difficult decisions are coming such as who should be named President of the National assembly come Jan. 5th. when the Assembly is sworn in and the priority in the legislative actions that the opposition will undertake with its super majority.

A difficult and somewhat daunting task ahead, but a much brighter prospect for a country ruled autocratically and by whim for too many years.


49 Responses to “Long And Winding Road For Change In Venezuela After Sweeping Opposition Victory”

  1. Roger Says:

    Regardless how you slice it, this win comes with a lot of PODER and all Venezuelans understand the word and they ain’t thinking electricity! To most it asked a simple question…. All those in favour of eating say I! To both MUD and PSUV the pueblo said FIX IT NOW! I think most in PSUV got the message as most are trying to survive too and stood by rather than using lancero tactics. As with most juntas there are only a few at the top and the rest follow to survive? Most Venezuelans put their famalia first. Si? That said, how many will put their country first? First, there is no country in LatAm including Puerto Rico and even Spain that is in good shape? Even with its oil money (still a big factor) how will it pull its self up by its boot straps when its domestic economy has been destroyed and its Latin sisters struggle to make even modest economic gains? Chavez, in his day, had the poder to mobilize Venezuelans to greater economic growth but, he chose to buy them with 30 barrels oil! I know what most Venezuelans are feeling right now. For as long as there has been a Venezuela that word has been esperanza or in English HOPE which does not even get close to the emotion of the spanish word. Venezuelan will need to just saying words like Patria, democracia and el Pueblo and start doing it!

  2. Tony Tan Keng Yam Says:

    The one thing many international observers fail to notice is what are the 2 main problems in Venezuela, by far.

    It is not a “leftist” or “socialistic” bullshyt ideology. Chavistas are all desguised Capitalists, all they care about is their bank account. What they eat, what moto they can ride, what apartment or ranchito they live at, and how much money can they get from “el gobielno” to get a better ranchito, or maybe a car.

    All they care about is their lifestyles, what they can or cannot buy at the supermarket. Enough of this Chavista “pueblo” crap. Somehow, about 8 million of them have plenty of cash to spend on “salario minimo”. Somehow.. They are enchufados and leeches, not all, buy many. That’s how Chavismo has survived for 17 years. Kicking out the real, honest professionals, (about one million, you or me) and keeping lots of leeches on the Government payroll, with gifts, freebies, promises.

    So no, a “marxist” ideology, or some Aporrea crap is not the problem. They all Lie. And they get very rich first obscure chance they get.

    The real problems are # 1/ Galactic Corruption, no Separation of Powers, more Galactic Corruption, at every single level in Venezuela society, from top to bottom, every industry, every town, every pueblo.

    The second problem of course is an embrarrassing lack of real Education. The “pueblo” will believe almost any piece of crap TV or Radio throws at them, many have no clue about the difference between Chile and Cuba or England and Pakistan. Even “University” educated people are clueless about basic Historical or Geographical facts. Let alone what Populismo means, or what Capitalismo really means, or what a Republic really means.

    Those are the 2 problems. Lack of Justice, complete impunity of course. Because almost every ignorant person loves to steal and not go to jail for it.

    • Mitchell Says:

      Give the people a bit more credit, the uneducated just voted against their own political party and Gov’t. They were not fooled by a confusing MID Unidad ticket, or the censor controlled media, or “free” gifts, or economic wars, or a corrupted and sold out CNE and TSJ. Their senses are there. Sure there is room for improvement in Education, alot, but lets give them a hand. They are not nearly as ignorant or foolish to believe everything they see or hear on “Radio Cadena”. People speak and educate each other. Word of mouth played a big role here and common sense. Politics is a very real thing in the people’s lives. They probably know more about politics than the average of American, even if they have trouble with Science, Math, and History. I say “Gloria Al Bravo Pueblo” and I think even with all that is going to come from Chavistas mouths as far as trying to discredit the MUD will fall on deaf ears for quite a while. Especially as the corruption scandals and information and truths about the last 15 years becomes more readily available they will know what to do with it. Once you stand on line for hours and hours for the first and only time in your lifetime, you will most likely never, ever go back to that political party again. So we may just be free of Chavismo for several decades once the recovery begins. And it will begin.

  3. Tony Tan Keng Yam Says:

    The question remains, out of the 111 MUD new deputies, how many will be bribed by Chavista PSUV and Narco-traffic money?

    I bet that at least Half of them will become suddenly very rich. If not 70%.

    And they will start having cafecitos with the Chavistas still in power. You know, having little chats about a possible new apartment in the Caribbean in they just behave, and turn a blind eye on the massive Corruption for a while..

    The second question now is: how long until the “socialist”, vastly under-educated Chavista population ( that still loves Comandante Pajarito eterno, or at least the many Freebies they received when oil was expensive ).. how long until they start blaming the new MUD ‘burguesitos pelucones que controlan el parmento’?

    Remember, the Economic situation in Cleptozuela is going to get even worse before it gets better. The colas, escasez, inflacion, plus inseguridad.

    You can bet your apartments in Miami, Madrid or Argentina that the Chavismo will start blaming the MUD for everything. Heck, they will be blamed for the past 17 years of Chavismo massive Corruption and Ineptitude. The will be blamed for global warming and the price of the arepa in the next couple months.

    It’s really a perfect scenario for Ali Baba Cabello and his 40 Ladrones to continue to rob the country for a couple more years. Until some Rule of Law, mano dura, real Police, real TSJ is established, hopefully.

    • The propaganda war waged by the Maduristas will be relentless. I have yet to sense the unity side understands the regime was waiting for them to go celebrate and give interviews while the foreign media and the six presidents packed their bags. Yesterday I tried to warn the regime will do whatever it takes to cripple unity.

      I’m watching tv feed from Venezuela and Maria Corina is complaining about the 2 missing seats. But those complaints won’t work unless there’s diplomatic pressure, which means Brazil has to weigh in.

      The talk about the first thing they’ll do is naive…or they are keeping cards close to their vests. First moves have to tackle separation of power, and this means independent assembly, presidency and Supreme Court.

      The ANTV is peanuts. Once they have separation of powers it’s easy to legislate equal access to media, and an end to censorship and self censorship. It’s fairly easy to say the state channel will be unbiased and will have a board make up proportional to National Assembly membership.

      • moctavio Says:

        The CD handed out to the opposition by the CNE gives it 112 Deputies. Is she saying we were robbed too on top of that?

        • MO, who sits in judgement of a CD given to the unity representative? Maduro’s Supreme Court? Do you realize they simply waited for UNASUR ad everybody else to leave to stick a knife in Unity’s back?

          I’ve seen these guys operate for decades. They will simply say that cd isn’t theirs. And it’s going to keep raining kitchen sinks on your heads until you get separation of powers and equal access to tv.

          The only thing that could save you is the six former presidents and diplomatic pressure. IF Unity loses the two seats you will have to be extremely careful.

        • Ok, it seems you were right, Salanova wins by 80 in Maracay. That’s 112. Now hang on to them and get separation of powers ASAP.

  4. moctavio Says:

    CNE has published 110. The tallies say 112. PSUV says that three actas are missing that wlll reduce it to 111. MUD says all actas are in.

  5. M Rubio Says:

    Why the silence? Why no final results? How hard is it tally machine votes? It’s starting to look like there’s a slow-motion robbery in place. 107 Delegates for MUD, not 112. Miguel, help us understand what’s going on.

  6. M Rubio Says:

    Interesting commentary coming out of Monagas. Seems Godgiven and “El Pollo” the narco-general both lost. The Chicken’s loss is no big deal as he was untested but if in fact Godgiven lost, then the ramifications, especially for him, are significant.

    According to the skuttle-butt, Godgiven and Maduro were pressuring the National Guard to keep polling stations open across the country, and especially in Monagas, indefinitely while they looked for more votes. Padrino, the National Guardsman in charge of the process refused as most polling stations no longer had lines.

    Godgiven, if he lost, will become an everyday citizen on 5 Jan and the speculation is that he’s scared crap-less that some deal will ultimately be worked with the US (DEA) to turn him over for his narco-trafficking activities. Imagine Godgiven singing like a canary while in captivity in the US.

    All rumor and speculation of course. However, that someone as powerful as Godgiven couldn’t manage to hold on to his own seat in his own home state is an indication of just how bad a shape Chavismo is in today.

  7. Latin Erik Says:

    Accpording to CNE this morning, the most the oposición can win is 109.

  8. Sales Man Says:

    The first step is to clean house at PDVSA and make it an oil company again.

    • M Rubio Says:

      Agreed. Today, it’s nothing more than a jobs program and social experiement gone horribly wrong.

    • Boludo Tejano Says:

      Easier said than done. I for one wouldn’t know where to start- though cutting out the “social responsibilities” of PSVSA would be one place. I doubt that many of the PDVSA people that Chavez fired, now working all over the world, would be willing to come back.

      I wonder if the PDVSA engineering professionals who began their careers after the strike have similar competencies to those who were fired. Under competent management, could they perform well, or are they people who were hired not for their technical expertise but for their “Rojito rojo” allegiance?

  9. concerned Says:

    Maria Machado certainly earned the right to be named President of the National Assembly if she wants it. A little karma, and a sucker punch to diosdada…pun intended.

    • RobertoN Says:

      Except she is no longer a Congresswoman, and therefore not elegible.

      Minor detail that one.

      That said, I’d rather see Henry Ramos Allup in that spot. We need someone who knows all the tricks of the trade for that spot.

      But I say that holding my nose since if that were the case the Derwick Bolichicos will be safe

  10. Brook Says:

    Long road, indeed, and they will only partially succeed. They do not have a charismatic Chavez at the helm that is willing to go to any lengths to promote his ideology, including the destruction of all the nation’s democratic institutions and shutting down the legislature for a time.

    They may get a few years and undo some damage, but Chavez has done his destructive work so well, they will not be able to reverse it, before the tide of public opinion turns against them once again, and the Chavistas are back.

  11. m_astera Says:

    One wise move would be to rescind the ludicrous visa requirements that apply only to Americans. Perhaps a dribble of foreign currency could then begin making its way back to Venezuela via tourism.

    Another would be to restart agriculture. That could start paying off by feeding people within a few months (black beans, planting to harvest 90-120 days, maize about the same), and would be a much better move than throwing more money at food imports. I won’t hold my breath though; most Venezuelans hold agriculture in contempt.

    • nacazo Says:

      One way to restart agriculture is to eliminate all price controls. Sure prices will go up but the eggs will show up in the shelves and it will eliminate the bachaqueros. Eventually offer and demand would stabilize the prices to a normal value. What good is eggs at 430 if you can’t find any. With no price controls, agriculture producers get an incentive to produce. At least the ones that want to make a profit.

      • m_astera Says:

        Agreed about eliminating price controls. The problem has been that there is much more money to be made by importing food than growing it, even if the food rots in the containers in the shipping yard.

        Regarding eggs and chicken, Chavez so totally destroyed agriculture in Venezuela that chicken feed needs to be imported, and what is imported is the sweepings from warehouse floors in Nicaragua and whatever ancient rancid grain can be bought cheapest on the international market. Imagine a country that can’t even grow chicken feed.

  12. Tony Tan Keng Yam Says:

    Excellent observations from the Devil, as usual.

    I can only add that Venezuela, or Cleptozuela is deeply corrupt. Chavistas have pretended to be “socialistas” for the “pueblo” for 17 years. Yet all they do, first chance they get is Steal Money. Or Leech, at the 32 ministerios, or the police, or the TSJ. Or in PDVSA or Corpoelec. It really is not much more complicated than that.

    Forget about “Marxism” or “Castro-Chavismo” or “leftist ideologists. They are all thirsty and hungry Capitalists. Hungry for money, hungry for power. And women, and a nive fancy car, and 3 apartments plus 2 houses for the entire corrupt family worldwide. These are not Lenin types, or even Giordanni’s, a rare species. These are blood thirsty capitalists disguised as “rebolucionarios” chavistas bolibananas.

    Once people continue to understand that, the true nature of Cleptozuela, sorry to say, not a Republic, not a democracy, simply a 3rd world nation of many thieves and capitalists who want to get very rich illegally in a hurry (and they did, by the hundreds of thousands), people who want un “mango bajito”, “una segunda” “una palanca” un Enchufe con el “Gobierno”.

    Well, at that point, with a minimum level of Honesty and hard work, for a change, perhaps our beloved country will prosper. But it will take a long time. The Chinese own the oil for decades, remember? There will be no economic miracles, like people learning about Agriculture, or Industrial tasks. They have no idea, 1 Million of the few educated Professionals, you the readers of these blogs, left Venezula, wisely, and will not return any time soon if at all.

    Sorry to rain on the MUD parade. I don’t trust politicians, especially less in Venezuela. And the dammage Chavismo did the past 17 years will be very tough to fix. The corrupt institutions, the 32 Ministerios with perhaps 8 MILLION leeches. It will take a long time to get back to the 90’s, before Chavismo, and that wasn’t that great either, was it?

    Free Leopoldo Lopez. Get rid of the corrupt military and the despicable TSJ. Get a new President, poderes ejecutivos y judiciales. Get a true Police in the streets. Send people to jail for every crime. Fast.

    Or get ready for an even worse year next year.

    • nacazo Says:

      The new National Assembly will have exactly 0.0 seconds of honeymoon. As Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada, who tackled hyperinflation in Bolivia said: you only have one shot to kill the tiger. If you miss, the tiger will eat you.

  13. Alex Kaye Says:

    Citizens should be issued debit cards and one share of the oil company to begin an economic evolution. These acts would permit everyone to share in oil profits. Water, cement and coca production should be privatized and supported by government grants until prosperity and profits return. Government hands off imports of food and household products. Many readers will have better suggestions. I look forward to reading them and hope the new government asks the correct questions to get answers from the people with knowledge.

  14. M Rubio Says:

    As you said Miguel, this was a vote against Chavismo, not for the opposition who needs to act swiftly to convince the public that they made the right decisión. While changes to the Supreme Court, Constitution, etc are all needed and worthy goals, I think first and foremost the opposition needs to move quickly to literally put food on the tables of those who are going without.

    Most people outside of Venezuela have no idea how dreadful the situation is in major cities and pueblos away from Caracas. Store shelves are literally bare of foodstuffs, medicines, spare parts, etc and now we’re looking at the shutdown for the holidays. By mid-January things will be absolutely critical.

    I’d start by suspending, dissolving, and rewriting all the Chavez programs that give away the country’s wealth to Cuba and other pro-socialist countries…..keep that wealth here and use it to stabilize the country, first via the importation and distribution of massive amounts of food and ultimately via the establishment of in-country production of as many products as possible.

    The former could be enacted rather quickly, the latter will, of course, take much more time.

  15. nacazo Says:

    Ok, diablo. Spill the beans. What would be your recipe to heal the economic sickness? If you were to give your prescription to he new National Assembly? What would be the top 20 (or 30) new laws or pieces of a single law that would fix the economy? I already wrote in a previous post but i will repost it: “shock therapy”.


  16. nacazo Says:

    Ok, diablo. Spill the beans. What would be your recipe to heal the economic sickness? If you were to give your prescription to he new National Assembly? What would be the top 20 (or 30) new laws or pieces of a single law that would fix the economy? I already wrote in a previous post but i will repost it: “shock therapy”.


  17. Maria Says:


  18. moctavio Says:

    They will be coming. Opposition has 112 and 5 are tight but leaning opposition

  19. Maria Says:

    where are the final results?

  20. JAU Says:

    Puede la AN cambiar la dirigencia de VTV, TVES y los demas canales y emisoras de radios!?!?!?!?!?!
    Please say yes!

  21. Boludo Tejano Says:

    And the strong mandate calls for action, but it is precisely on Economic matters that it is more difficult for the Venezuelan National Assembly to have an impact.

    And the tendency of Chavismo will be to do nothing to change current economic policy, or when any change in economic policy is implemented which will result in a certain amount of short term gain, to blame it on the Oppo-dominated Assembly. “See- those escualidos made you suffer.” Unfortunately, nearly any change in the current set of Chavista economic policies will have winners and losers, so the shout is inevitable.

    And whoever next runs for President under the Chavista banner, be he Maduro or be he Juan Bimbo, will run against the Oppo-dominated Assembly. Of course, this is not the first time such a tactic has been used in electoral campaigns. Harry Truman focused his successful 1948 Presidential campaign against the “do-nothing Congress.”

    Miguel, where is the picture from? The picture shows that that while I prefer mountains to plains or to seacoasts, I live on the the plains.

    That is some serious road-building.

  22. Dave Barnes Says:

    “change the people one” – the people want
    “severely weakened in the yes of his own” – eyes of

  23. Ronaldo Says:

    The opposition has their work cut out for them. The government has left a massive mess. Let’s hope they do not burn everything on their way out the door.

    The new opposition NA leader will likely have more power than Maduro. Who to pick should be thought out carefully with a positive attitude to re-building Venezuela.

  24. Pablo Henning Says:

    Excelente pana Grcs x la INFO



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