AD should be expelled from the MUD (Updated)

The allegations contained in Wikileaks are damning for AD and its leaders.

Even though the cables are old (2005-2006?), the stuff they contain suggests that Acción Democrática has become a national embarassment, a party so content in its own faded glory, so ill-equiped to handle the challenges of a new Venezuela, and yes, so treasonous as to go ask for money at the US Embassy, it simply cannot be tolerated inside the opposition movement.

If you think I’m over-reacting, read this cable in its entirety and convince me that, yes, these are people worth having at the table. Go ahead and try.

There is simply no way that the MUD can escape these revelations unscathed. There is no way that AD’s leadership can argue these were the actions of its rogue leadership. This, quite simply, is unacceptable. It represent a real threat to our chances in 2012.

If the MUD has any dignity left, it will expel AD from its ranks. Any decision in which AD has played a role recently must be revised in light of this.

Asking – make that begging – the US Embassy for cash is traición a la patria.

Update - Henry Ramos responds, saying “we are the victims here” and pointing fingers. What a douchebag.

#46 … and so the 100 post challenge ends. Toro withdraws due to illness. Game, set and match. We will return to our regular posting schedule tomorrow, and pick this up some other day. It was fun, but I simply can’t do it by myself, least of all in two blogs. Thanks for following us! Our readership went through the roof this week. We appreciate it.

99 thoughts on “AD should be expelled from the MUD (Updated)

  1. More than likely there are no, or few, oppos who are truly worthy, however I find this quote from the cable important:

    “Second, while a
    credible opposition candidate would certainly make the
    presidential election more believable, Chavez does not
    technically need the opposition to hold an election. Should
    he lack real opponents, Chavez would most likely invent his
    own. ”

    I think we should meditate on this one.

  2. JC and Quico, congratulations on the 100 post a week challenge. I liked the quality of each post, although I couldnt work too much due to extensive reading…

    I understand Quico illness, lots of insults received due to increased posting! But if my words have any weight, you guys did a great job!

  3. The leadership of the MUD should immediately disavow Ramos. Furthermore, they should use this revelation to form a new party and get all of the leadership of the various components to close ranks under one new banner.

    Yes, this is a public relations disaster, but it is also an opportunity to admit what was dysfunctional about the previous opposition parties and forge a new truly democratic party with new branding and fresh leadership. This is the moment for the Opposition to engage in self-examination, make a final break with the 4th and redefine themselves.

    • Roy – your comment proves beyond a reasonable doubt that you have absolutely no idea about politics or morals in Venezuela.

      This fact about AD begging for funds from the US Embassy will not even get published in the privare media. El Nacional or El Universal.

      • Arturo,

        1. I didn’t predict that is what will happen. I said that is what should happen. I hope for something close to that, but expect something less.

        2. Nevertheless, I think that the Opposition will react to this news in some manner. The old-line power brokers aren’t calling all the shots all the time any longer. The newer breed may not be be ideal, but they are not as banal as Ramos.

        3. With regards to your opinion that this will be ignored by Venezuelans, I find that very difficult to believe. Even when the interest is undeserved, people in Latin America continue to care about what the U.S. thinks and says, be it positively or negatively.

        As for not knowing Venezuelan politics, you may be right, though it was unnecessary to be insulting about it. However, if everyone accepted your opinion of Venezuelans, we would have to conclude that the country and people are a lost cause which should be abandoned. This, I do not accept. I doubt you do either, else why would you bother being here and writing?

        • And, oh by the way… El Universal published an interview this evening with Ramos indignantly defending himself, which tells me that Ramos thinks this will be published and taken seriously.

  4. May I suggest MUD put aside membership disputes and stick to the election deadlines (therefore primaries deadlines) and to platform solidification. Work with what you got, and forget about using foreign internal documents leaked through Assange to start any kind of witchunt. With cash distribution, the powers of any wouldbe government are so severely diminished that those issues become minor, especially when compared to those of a supposed president who actually did carry out a coup.

    • Torres,
      So we ignore that our coalition partners are treasonous bastards? We invite them to the table and let them influence decisions? Who knows what foreign interest they are representing at the table…

      • Well, Juan, to be frank: they are just compradores, as usual. Chavistas are the same shit, but they have the petrodollars.
        By the way: just read the Russians are buying German Panzer galore. While our Banana Bolivarian republic spends hundreds of millions of dollars in Russian tanks instead of good schools for children, the Russians prefer to buy in Germany.

        But anyway: yes, Adecos are criminals.
        It’s time for other parties to go to those “rural areas” with more than 100 000 inhabitants, like Calabozo and Maturín, Guanare etc

      • Leaving aside foreing interests, Juan, you know thy do not represent _our_ interests. When two people with such different views of the world, politics and economy as you and I agree on that, well, I don’t it’s a coincidence. These fuckers are screwing us.

      • Juan, go ahead and start an investigation, but a wikiwitchhunt is too scarlet letter for me. Regarding your concerns, once you remove the power from the hands of those who take over, it matters much less whose interest they represent. The real question that shouldn’t distract you is what is you better choice against chavez:

        A) win with these guys at your table, or

        B) lose without them.

        The systems I support work with or without them, which is one of the main reasons for thinking these are the right systems for Venezuela. They work *con la gente que tenemos*. Before eliminating the spawn of the petro state, we kill the petro state. Once we’ve killed their birthsource, we can start weeding them out.

        If you have a lawn with lousy grass and many weeds, you’ll waste your life away pulling weeds. Instead, distribute fertilizer all over, that makes your grass grow and choke out any new weeds. Only then go pull out the weeds that have survived the grassroot onslaught. [distributing fertilizer = cash distribution... :) ]

  5. “Asking – make that begging – the US Embassy for cash is traición a la patria”

    Really? I call it business as usual

    • Meaning what? That everyone does it? Prove it.

      Those are really serious allegations you are casually throwing out there.

      • I can prove it, pero no lo voy a hacer. Some political parties do it but not all. If I give the evidence would be worse. So sleep happy in your ignorance. Forgive for my rudeness, but no nos chupemos el dedo

      • Yes, everyone does it, you should know it’s true. This is nothing new. They may not ask directly to the embassy in such a brass way as Allup, and it certainly doesn’t get channelled directly through the embassy or using Antonini’s bags but via third parties like ONGs or private parties. This is an ancient practice.

        You want me to prove it? Really? What else do you want me to prove?

        • That’s all you folks have, gossip and hearsay? What carrito por puesto did you pick this information up from?

          Honestly, if AD’s defense is going to be “everybody does it” then this proves my point. They have to go.

          Or let me put it this way: if the other parties do it, at least they are not so incompetent as to get caught.

          • Yes, gossip and hearsay. No proofs.
            Believe whatever you prefer.
            And no, I’m not defending AD, obviously they’re not used to doing this.

            I’m just telling you this because you sound so outraged.

          • I *am* outraged. And the moment we shrug our shoulders and simply accept this as part of the status quo is the moment I become a ni-ni.

            You have to own up to your scandals. They got caught, la cagaron, so they have to be thrown under the bus. That’s how politics works. Tough.

          • Juan, Take a breather and think that you are no judge, have no jury, and are not at the end of a hearing in court. There is information from a piece of paper produced by a foreign guy that claims to leak secret information of a different foreign nation given to him by some called traitors in their countries or by savvy CIA-types that claims that some of the people sitting at MUD are acting in ways you consider treasonous.

            Fine, take them to court, but treat them as innocent until proven guilty. The one with hands in the air flailing like a headless chicken is not going to get many followers… Move forward, keeping in mind that you may be right, but not distracting yourself with what is important, and let alone what is at stake: chavez’s reelection.

            Tone down and keep you emotions in check. You really have only wikileaks to go on. Worrisome, yes, contundente, no.

            Unconditional cash distribution takes the power from all their hands, whatever is going through their heads or their hearts. It’s the way to go. Don’t lose direction.

  6. Gracias. It was very interesting. Though there were many posts, I felt most were very relevant.

  7. Something nobody has pointed. The embassy did not give the money and tried to dodge the issue. This is news and can be used to counter the claims that will come.

  8. http://radiotrinchera.org/tag/eva-golinger/

    It’s not just about asking for dollars but actually receiving them. If this is traición a la Patria, JC, then why is no one in jail? There’s plenty of declassified evidence out there under the Freedom of Information Act.

    As far as expelling AD from MUD. forget it. The opposition has no scruples about receiving money or committing traición a la Patria. Look at María Corina Machado and Súmate. There is no honor amongst thieves.

    It will not make any difference to AD voters since they will vote for a cardboard cutout if it were to be postulated as a candiadte against Chavez.

    • Yes, it’ another Venezuelan trait you hate. they will vote for the murderer of El Amparo if Chávez tells to

    • *sigh*

      What about MC Machado? Yes, SUMATE got financial support from the NED, but: 1) She was not an elected official at the time, 2) She was not a member of any political party either and 3) SUMATE is a NGO, which can get financial support of ANYONE because it was not a political party and IT WAS NOT ILLEGAL.

      Get your head out of the pamphlets of Golilla and Galeano and grow up, you annoying teenage troll…

      • So, Barreda, stating facts is trolling? In fact, it is the other way around. You make excuses for MCM recieving funds from NED as an NGO when she and Súmate were clearly involved in politics by illegally creating a parallel CNE. Your are the troll denying the reality of what happened.

        Hopefully the Minsitrio Público will reopen this case, the AN will vote out her immunity and she will face the trial she deserves after courting US interests in Venezuela. La justicia llega pero llega tarde.

    • If Eva Golightly is the Queen of Propaganda for Chávez, you are her advertising pimp.

      Speaking of questionable tapping into foreign funds (when not going into histrionics and building a platform on much ado over nothing for those with limited criteria)… how about Golightly’s sucking at the tit of the Venezuelan treasury, when she goes along with the pretence of being Chávez’s *defender* (wink, wink) during the stratospheric, gold-plated taxi services that take her and others, halfway around the world? Then how about her vacuous comments on the dictatorial leaders she encountered.

      You’re trying to substantiate your arguments using this American-born twit’s behaviour as an example?

      Criteria, Arturo/Chris/Welshie the Brit, or whomever else you impersonate.

      • syd, I don’t think you should confuse Arturo with Welshie the Brit. The comments on this thread seem to make it clear they’re not the same person. (I’m not qualified to rule out MPD as a possible explanation.)

      • Talk all you like about Golinger. But she has done nothing illegal against Venezuela. No, I am not trying to defnd Golinger. You can call her all the names you can think of as far as I am concerned.

        FACT: she has uncovered hundreds of documents detailin the financing of opposition groups in Venezuela with US funds. This is true so why do you try to slide around the facts when they are there for all to see. It’s easy if you know how to use Google.

        Honestly, you strike me as being rather pathetic when it concerns dealing with facts.

        • Um, the only one who seems to be pathetic here, unfortunately for you, Arturito, is you. You’re the ONLY one here who seems to be defending La Novia, no matter what you say. Evita Wannabe, excuse me, Golinger, is on a mission that no one can deter. She is hell-bent on being Chavez’s defender, no matter what. Why don’t you ask Alek Boyd (http://alekboyd.blogspot.com/), or Ulf Erlingsson (http://blog.erlingsson.com/), for that matter, about Little Eva? You might actually learn something. That is, of course, if you want to. It seems to me that die-hard Chavistas absolutely refuse to educate themselves.

          • Ah Arturo… you had such potential, clever, mobile, quick a-type, not-so-repellent, then this, the defense-not-defense-defense of grollingbug.

            I had such high hopes for you… but sadly:

  9. The MUD should take this opportunity to differentiate themselves from the past, and become are real democratic alternative for Venezuelans. They should expel AD and Ramos Allup, and anyone else involved in this issue.

    If they do so, the opposition movement will gain tremendous strength and credibility. They will surely attract millions of Venezuelans disgusted of current and past corruption.

    Venezuela, Go! Clean yourself of those corrupts!

    P.S: Quico, take care and get well soon.

  10. Arturo, Arturo, what about Chavez receving money from BBVA and Santander, what’s the difference? The tumor in your brain?

    Componte chico, que haces aqui, esta pagina es para gente pensante, no para Chavistas pendejos.

  11. “Asking – make that begging – the US Embassy for cash is traición a la patria”

    From Wikipedia: Oran’s Dictionary of the Law (1983) defines treason as “…[a]…citizen’s actions to help a foreign government overthrow, make war against, or seriously injure the [parent nation].”

    What part of what Ramos Allup did qualifies as treason?

    Putting Cubans in charge of Venezuelan ports is treason. Giving Cubans so much control over the Venezuelan military is treason. But begging money from another country? That’s not treason. Jack-assery, maybe, but not treason.

    And yes, we all hate Adecos as much as we hate chavistas. Mostly because they’re the exact same guys. It was, after all, AD who brought to Venezuela the idea that once you become part of a party, you should always vote for the party’s man regardless of how corrupt and/or incompetent he might be.

  12. I’m so sorry to hear about Quico’s state of health. I’ve enjoyed the posts, but, as others have said, it’s a LOT of information to digest! Buena suerte a los dos!

  13. I usually dismiss “treason” cries as hot air.

    Except when there’s actual treason; actually aiding/receiving aid from someone intent on conquest of your nation, and/or fighting alongside such an enemy against your own countrymen. The guerrillas they are trying to make into heroes nowadays, who landed at Macuto with Cuban help and weapons fulfill that description perfectly.

    AD, however, begging for funds in an underhanded way from a foreign government is breaching the confidence of the Venezuelans. First of all, because as a political party, they are supposed, or at least intend to, represent the public, the citizens of Venezuela at large. At least they should be open about how and where they ask for funds, accounting for what they receive.

    They are only slightly better than Hugo Chavez asking for covert Cuban help and advice with subduing Venezuela (though he pays them handsomely, with cash which is Venezuelans’ to add insult to injury). Or Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner getting suitcases of cash…

  14. “And yes, we all hate Adecos as much as we hate chavistas. Mostly because they’re the exact same guys”

    Bingo! Chavez is an Adecon on steroids with a military uniform,

    Arturo, chupate esa panita.

  15. Again, I say:
    In other circumstances I’d be cynical and assume that the DOE or whoever else is finding a way to give money, but that’s not on the cables released so far, certainly not in this one. And the people here claiming they know for sure are not going to tell. Just like UFO abducted people.

  16. Lets hope this leads to Allup having some respect for the Venezuelan people by resigning. Unfortunately, like that turd that wont flush away Manuel Rosales, he’ll probably stick around – the only winner from this will be Chavez.

    • I don’t think that Chavez will be the winner if the opposition cleans its movement once and for all from those who: 1) do not represent democratic values 2) offer Venezuela the same corruption than Chavez.

      On the contrary, Chavez will loose! He will not be able to say in his campaign anymore that those who want a change in Venezuela also want the 4th Republic back. This could be the beginning of the real opposition movement.

      Go Venezuela, I know you can!

  17. There is some confusion here, probably created by the way the article in El País was written.
    First, Ramos Allup was not the one asking for money. I hate the guy with my guts. I find him annoying and the guy should step down because he’s hurting what’s left of AD. But, again, he was not the one asking for money. But it was VERY stupid not to go on the offensive as soon as he got the cables a month ago (Ramos dixit). He should have trashed Bolívar and Alcántara before he got leaked by El Pais. He makes clear that they are not in AD anymore, but that won’t do it for the public opinion.
    Second, one of the problems of our political system is that AD and COPEI went down and nobody care about it. De esos polvos vinieron estos lodos. As long as AD and COPEI are nothing but former shadows of their former selves, it’s gonna take a while before we go back to our good old stable democracy. Because, let’s face it, PJ and UNT are a loooong way of becoming national political powerhouses.

    I don’t think that kicking AD out is going to do any favor to the MUD. I hate how things are run in AD and COPEI, pero con estos bueyes hay que arar. Nonetheless, I think that a renewal is desperately needed in AD. I think Ramos Allup should step down, but I can’t help but wonder if the next guy will be better than him. The next guy may as well be another Alcántara or a Bolívar…

    Jeez, politics sucks hard. Sometimes the whole thing seems so hopeless…

      • I don’t want to got back to la vieja cogollocracia either, but I’m not that ingrateful to demonize all that happened before, because my family got the chance to prosper under AD/Copei governments. And no, we are not corrupt politicians or crooks. We are just Juan Bimbas.

        But you have to admit that ANY democracy is better than what we have right now, even our old flawed one. Like I said, our democracy went down with the two big parties, and so far I don’t see PJ or UNT succeeding them. Even if that happens, the attitude of guys like Borges and Rosales is not that different from that of guys like Ramos Allup. Cogollocracia just like in the good ol’ times.

        Probably you are right, and AD’s support is not worth the baggage and crap that they bring with them, but you have to wonder why the people still vote for them. It is obviously not because Ramos Allup charm, or because good old clientelism.
        Could it be that the AD brand still have some value?

  18. Hola Juan, I think you’re being a bit naive. Let me start with this, from the cable you linked:

    “Rondon rhetorically asked poloff what made AD different from Chavez’ movement.”

    I remember vividly having asked Cesar Morillo, Rosales’ dizque communications guy, exactly the same question, during the campaign in 2006, about the way in which the campaign was being led, not “rhetorically” but directly. You can imagine his reaction… Caudillos Juan son todos. But I’m digressing.

    Now, you say that AD asking for money amounts to treason. Now our resident imbecile argues that’s a treat of the opposition in general. Luckily someone’s reminded him already of Chavez getting money from Spanish bankers, a radical lefty taking money from bankers no less… In any case, I believe you have been/are somewhat close to PJ. Are you going to pretend that you don’t know that PJ gets some from the Konrad Adenauer Foundation? Or from Aznar’s FAES? I reckon is a bit disingenuous to say that AD should be thrown out of the MUD (pun intended) because of it. In the opposition anyone who gets the chance to get some money, and let it be known that to engage in the business of opposing the $2 trillion dictator much money is needed, gets it. Whether it is from the US, Germany, the EU, Spain, public coffers, or chavismo it is completely and utterly irrelevant. While we are being led to play this guilty by association charade, what to do, for instance, of Henrique Capriles Radonski’s consanguinity with el pelon Capriles and Michu? Are you prepared to assure us that HCR has never taken any money from those two? How about the relations that those two have with chavismo, and with some rather disgusting families from your neck of the woods?

    We got to face it Juan: without money nothing can be done, and since no one in Venezuela can command the sort of funds that Chaves does, without supervision or accountability whatsoever, well, they have to go hat in hand to any place where they believe they can get some. And before someone accuses me, as they like to do in these pages, this is not a defence of Ramos Allup, AD, or the opposition. Rather it’s a reality, sad and infuriating as it may be.

    I don’t know about you, but I often wonder: how do these politicos can afford to live entire lifetimes without holding a proper job? How are they able to travel around the world? How do they pay their bills and raise their kids without a stable source of income? Mind you, where does the money come from?

    • It’s a mistake, Alek, to equate asking for the US Embassy for funds and asking the Konrad Adenauer Foundation for a free trip now and then. The political consequences of getting caught doing the first and the second are miles apart. They “everybody does it” line is really not appropriate in this instance – neither the Adenauer Foundation nor the FAES represent the interests of a foreign country, and besides, there are no cables explicitly saying they fund any opposition party. You say they do – pero no nos consta.

      If Un Nuevo Tiempo were to be proven to be funded completely by, say, Gustavo Cisneros, that’s one thing. Begging the US Embassy for cash is quite another. At least Gustavo Cisneros is Venezuelan!

      AD got caught doing something really damaging. They have to go.

      • Juan, don’t get me wrong. This is not about defending AD, nor about keeping them in the MUD. Rather, it is about arguing that *because* they have asked for funding to the some folks at the US Embassy they then should be forever expelled from the opposition coalition. Should that be the test, then most should also be expelled. Whether the funds are to pay a plane ticket or a beca matters little. It is, as I said before, a naive in the extreme position Juan.

        The Konrad Adenauer and FAES represent non-Venezuelan views/interests, as much as those from the yanks. And in the cables, it does not say that AD *did get* the money, rather it says that they were *asked* for it.

        Politics is a dirty business Juan, you know that. You can take a holier than thou approach and pretend that your folks are better because they take money from Germans, Spanish or associates of Chavez sources. In my book, if I were to adopt your indignation, they’re all the same, from Chavez to Omar Barboza to HCR. No politico in Venezuela is libre de paja, not one. Como dice el dicho, con esos burros hay que arrear…

        • I dunno Alek, for someone who has for years railed against Hugo Chávez receiving money from the BBVA (and rightly so), you seem a bit too blasé about this whole thing.

          • What stroke me as utterly hypocritical -to this day- from the fu*&^ comandante presidente was his giving shtick to oppo figures for accepting foreign money, when he was caught taking $1.5 million from BBVA, then making illegal for all to accept foreign money. Mind you, it was all right for him to do it, cuando no tenia ni para papel toilet, but once in command of the country’s wealth U-turning the whole thing, to asphyxiate his opponents. That’s what railed me, not the taking money of A, B, or C from X, Y, or Z.

            I reckon you’re taking my objection to your argument the wrong way. You want to kick out Ramos Allup from the MUD? Fine, but don’t say it is because he’s asked the yanks for money, when there are a million better reasons to do so. Same applies to Barboza et al. Let’s kick them all out, por inutiles no joda, no por pelabolas.

          • I am with Alek on this one, let’s kick them out but for batequebraos, no por lambuseos…

          • Kick them out after a guilty veredict at an internal trial, including an opportunity to explain temselves before peers. Heck, you know, non chavista a dedo porcedures…

            And only if we can do this without distracting from the main deadline: chavez re-election.

            Que fácil nos distraemos los venezolanos! Focus, people, focus.

  19. By the way, I still don’t see what the point of having AD in the MUD is after what we’ve learned about them. Are they really a net positive?

    • As solidified in my mind by a Kepler post…. this is about a FRONT not a Party(s). Focus on Party and you have zero chance. The situation is now beyond the power of regular party politics to handle. Power Hand Hold and pretend to walk in unision.

  20. For all the shit I give you and Quico over your rejection of “la cuarta”, you’re 150% correct on this one.

    If our politicians had any real conviction, they would distance themselves from Ramos immediately. What’s the worst he can do, try to be a criollo Ralph Nader? Please…

    I think the key issue is to ditch him (and the less-known, but equally guilty cronies mentioned in the memo), not AD as a party. An AD led by a member of the younger generations could actually aspire to regain some of its lost luster.

  21. So, were Bolivar and Miranda traitors then? Are the rebels in Libya traitors if they accept help from outside: Funds, arms, organisation, military support to even bomb their soil in the quest? Was Churchill a traitor because accepting help from the USA in WWII? I am almost sure you do not believe so, or realise that those where indeed traitors who were doing something good. It is somehow a subjective area, although most countries have formal definitions of what treason is

    Finding funding from other governments should not be classified as treason per se, although I have no doubts the Chavez government will easily do so (they will not see the double speak and the double standard). Treason assessment should be based on the activities performed (future discussion to come to a venue near you)

    Let’s be clear. Part of the problem political parties have in Venezuela is that their funding sources have vanished, with the big exception of PSUV that has the government coffers, illegally, at their disposal. I still wonder how political parties do to survive nowadays, and how they do so should go a long way to explain their sometimes “self-defeating” behaviours.

    Furthermore, there are other governments and entities interested in the health of our democracy, and so it is in our nation interest to keep them. In the same line, we Venezuelans might have an interest on supporting foreign political parties that find problems to survive on their own because of systemic issues where they are (Haiti, Cuba, Lybia). This might be illegal, but not treason, and not necessarily evil.

  22. Let’s assume that the leaked cables are truthful. I understand what many people believe to be the politically correct thing to do. That would be ditching Ramos Allup. It’s a Bacalao, I understand it, and I agree. But let us not fool ourselves. We know that the solution to the day-to-day problems of the Venezuelan people pass on the defeat of Chavez in 2012. We are talking about a country rottening in our own corruption, who is going to take us out of it? me? you? Henry Ramos Allup had assumed a greater deal of responsibility than any politician in the country (Referendum 2004). We condemn Ramos Allup because he asked for financial support. I have witnessed how our own people will not sacrifice any of their time in order to fight for the cause. For crying out loud, when we pay matracas and other bribes we are supporting the corruption system!

    Now you have the luxury of using this forum to morally discredit Ramos Allup. I know that the situation of asking money to an ambassy is pathetic, but if truth, at least it provided us with the resources we need to run a crippled enmienda campaign, for instance.

    Even more now that we reviewed what happened in April 11th 2002 (it’s so hard to forget) I fully support the arguments of Henry Ramos in terms of judging the President for treason on the events of April, as well as the individual who should have been responsible of stopping the madness when he was in the office of the Attorney General of the Nation, Isaias Rodriguez

  23. My PoV:

    Agree with Moraima that Allup and his gang should be kicked out for Batequebraos. They keep standing on top of the Mesa and the real issue is not that they ask for money, but that they have demonstrated one time after another that they don’t really care about if we get to have a truly democratic government but what piece of the pie they can get their hands on, wether it is from the Oppo or from Chavez himself.

    As far as I can tell Allup – like Bush himself – has been the biggest ally Chavez could have hoped for, because only by having him as the “Cuarta” incarnate he is able to make his division of the center-left card work.

    What do we need to get the center-left away from Chavez ?

    Maybe a good ADECO ? Does such a mythical creature exists ?

    I was told once that a long time a go they did exist … just to be told that those where only ‘cuentos de camino’.

    Is this what UNT is trying so hard to impersonate ? – with little success and a Patacon flavor instead of Arepas ?

    Is this why Chavez will not allow Leopoldo to run ? Because he seems to maybe have a shot at cracking this nut …

    Can someone come up with a valid re-interpretation of a good ADECO for the 21st century that Venezuela will buy ?

    We already have the re-interpretation of the bad one for 12 years and running.

    Final observation: Brownsfield had it quite clear in 2005 about Chavez strategy, perhaps we can hire him as a Chavez strategy consultant for the MUD … but wait … that might be treason and Juan will get p…off. So, Brownfield can you please CCd us on your cables to Hillary, it doesn’t matter if they are from Colombia we might learn something valuable from them. Perhaps why Chavez is now Santos best friend … if you are going on a Roadshow who would you rather stand next to, Piñero or Rouseff, or perhaps the guy trying to peddle Socialismo del Siglo 21 ? … if you have any doubts ask any proper Miss X that Osmel has trained and Carolina dressed who do you stand next to for the pictures … every time Santos needs a nice picture he will go visit his friend.

  24. Complex issue here.

    I have had the same question as Alex for a while, what is the venezuelian’s politicians business Model? How do they pagan las cuentas?

    In Canada for example, if a goverment oficial is caught stealing so much as an extra weekend hotel stay on state monies, he is nailed to the wall. That’s the way the society values it.

    In Venezuela, as long as you have money, no one is asking how you got to it, you are respectable, even if you are a public servant, with no other known income source.

    In Venezuelian politics, and among the citizenry these moral high grounds do not apply. However, we need to convert our soul if we are ever to learn anything and have a positive change. This is the challenge.

    Juan, good luck with your moral crussade. I like Moraima’s slogan better: no por “traidores” si no por bates quebrados….

  25. I don’t understand clearly the concept of batequebrao. If for batequebrao we mean less than 7.30% of nationawide vote then we have to get rid of Copei, Podemos, Proyecto Venezuela, PPT, etc…

    I thought MUD = Mesa de la Unidad Democratica was about uniting all the efforts not dividing them.

    • well, bate quebrao is a concept subject to interpretation :-) And some of those parties unfortunately share AD’s batequebraismo.

      But the problem is that in the search of the holy unity it looks like we have to accept whatever they decide without complaining and without questioning at all because that “hurts” the unity. It sounds a lot like the many chavistas that for a long time didn’t protest because that would be betraying their leader.

      I am sorry, but for the first time I understand the “ni-ni” position. 70% of opposition wanted primaries in 2011 and what did the MUD decided? To do it in 2012 because AD did a good job of influencing the decision and UNT followed the exiled caudillo. That’s batequebraismo, they are not playing for the team, they are still playing for themselves. What this tells me is they are in the MUD only because they have to, not because they are commited to working together out of this mess.

      Maybe they really did a careful analysis and chose the best option, but if they did, they are not very good at explaining it. The press release from the MUD was pathetic. Like we are children that you can tell, you do as I say because I say so.

      I hope really hope 9 months will be enough, that is if the CNE does not move the date of the elections forward before the candidate has had a chance of making himself know everywhere.

      And I said it before, if we lose because we chose our candidate too late, I am becoming a “Ni-Ni”.

      • Moraima,

        “And I said it before, if we lose because we chose our candidate too late, I am becoming a “Ni-Ni”.”

        Caramba!Don’t you think that sounds like an immature temper tantrum ?Do you consider yourself the darling of the opposition or what? If that is all it takes for you to become a Nini, then by all means do :)- but don’t blame that one on others please.

    • vsalomon … wait up … that is precisely the point.

      In fact, it is amazing that AD still gets 7.3 % – in spite – of Allup.

      My point is … get rid of Allup – not of AD.

      I know. Easy-to-say, hard-to-do as he´s screwed himself to that chair tighter than Chavez has to the one in Miraflores.

      Perhaps that´s an interesting idea for a Political side bet – Who gets to go first, Chavez from Miraflores or Allup from AD ? And, is there any relation between these two events ? …

      That is why my PoV is, What needs to happen for AD to get better leadership ? Is this possible ? Can it happen within AD ? … they have been avoiding it for years …

      In any other party / country you would expect to be able to leverage such a piece of news to prod for some sort of leadership change. Unfortunately IMHO if you ask any ADECO, they will argue Allup is actually a patriot by going ask for money at the embassy.

      So, what if we graduate from kindergarten by figuring out how to get Allup replaced by a new ADECO (have yo seen one ?… one that actually has a chance in AD ?) without breaking-up the MUD …

      One that ADECOs can actually vote for … not the stupid idea of 1998 of switching Alfaro for Frijolito so that all ADECOs actually go and vote for Chavez

    • The larger danger here is not about what is happening in the MUD today so much as what will happen the day AFTER the elections. (I’m assuming we win, of course)

      The “unity for unity’s sake” approach is the best of many different bad choices that the opposition had in order to defeat Chavez. Like a shotgun wedding, pretty much, except the baby that is to come is going to have 30 different parents screaming at each other over how to raise it.

      Politicians by nature are always going to be on the lookout for what benefits them, their party, their friends and lastly their country. There is no such thing as a successful politician that is altruistic; truly an oxymoron if there ever was one!

      No one should be surprised, nor outraged, that some went hat in hand to a foreign government or organization given the avenues they have left to raise money. Before it was either from what they managed to “divert” or from private sources.

      Well do I remember accompanying my father to dinners with Lusinchi, or Luis Herrera or CAP (twice, no joda!) whose “ticket prices” were well in excess of the value of the rubber chicken we got served at the Hilton or Tamanaco.

      These avenues of funding are now very restricted, many business owners will not go near funding the opposition for fear of being the “next victim” of a resentful government.

      So how, JC, are these guys going to fund their campaigns? Raffles? Concert in El Poliedro? MUDpotazo?

      • So how, JC, are these guys going to fund their campaigns? Raffles? Concert in El Poliedro? MUDpotazo?

        By giving perceived value. Call it innovative and intelligent ideas from its platform. Not until then will money find its way.

  26. I don’t need to add to the excellent comments by Alek, DomingoL and vSalomon regarding how parties get funded and the morality of it.
    On a side note. I’ve never liked the concept of “treason”. To me that concept is only applicable in wartime and that’s because real treason normally costs lives. Punishment in most places is death. When it’s brandished in normal times is tipically to start a witchhunt and to instill fear and it’s usually a trademark of a fascist state. In fact some chavistas have revived the term recently and they tipify it as anyone that speaks badly about Venezuela or the government.
    The “treason” concept has no place in politics.

  27. Look, there’s a lot of issue here. DomingoL explained it really well. Ramos Allup is fucking useless, that much we all know. So is Barboza, and a host of others sitting in that mesa. Twelve years we’ve had that MoFo in power, and yet the opposition continues singing from the same sheet. They are unimaginative, scared shitless of competition and new blood -not that new blood is particularly gifted-, and are, generally speaking pretty useless. They want to do out Chavez Chavez in his own game, without a tenth of the charisma, command, and resources. But the way I see it, is not to waste one more minute on center-left, center-right, left v right, socialism v capitalism bullshit. The word in the street is clear: security, jobs, peace, wellbeing, progress, that’s what everyone wants. We will never achieve that trying to outdo the largest waste of public money Venezuela has seen. We need to create our own discourse, rather than frame it along Chavez’s. We need to stop this nonsense about capturing Ni Nis, for all they want to hear is someone, anyone, addressing the issues mentioned in pragmatic, simple and viable terms.

    Torres has a plan, but before Torres plan comes to be, my plan takes precedence: if we can’t guarantee that every single one of our votes is counted properly, in every single mesa in Venezuela, then Chavez is going to keep winning, no matter how many promises of redistribution we put out there. But then Juan’s plan precedes mine: we need to select a candidate asap. But for Juan’s plan to succeed, we need Moraima’s: dismiss the lot of them for batequebraos. To apply MOraima’s we need new, untainted blood in the MUD. Now who is that, according to the discussion above? Who meets Juan’s whiter than snow preferred profile?

    Reality is, we have to make do with what we’ve got. None of the stuff that we discuss in this and other pages makes it to the brains of the batequebraos that have the final saying in the mesa. So what then? Can we get to the students? Are these yellow-shitting caudillos amenable to our concerns, to the concerns of the wider oppo movement? Can we get to the military? We fucking need the military. This thing ain’t solving without them.

    It’s complicated folks, very much so. There’s no chance in hell those batequebraos are ceding their positions for us to waltz in and say: “all right this is what needs be done” We have to gain that, and the only place we can start doing it is in the streets, up and down Venezuela. Any takers?

      • I dunno, but surely there are other ways than asking for money in the American Embassy.

        • That’s true.
          The problem in Venzuela is nobody wants to do anything that is not “fun” unless they are paid very well or promised to be the candidates for the presidency. Nobody wants to do even one visit to a “rural” city of twohundred or even eighthundred thousand people and just distribute flyers there, as Colombians were doing years ago. Nobody wants even to give ideas for a party unless he is paid in gold.

          This is sad because it is not like we are living in a democracy. But Venezuelans do not want to sacrifice their free time.

          I know you need money to do things even if you had voluntaries to do all, but fact is we hardly have any voluntaries to do anything unless there is money or they are claimed as the national leader.

          Herrera Luque said once Venezuelans are all local caudillos and only Gomez had managed to become a national one, as not even Bolivar did it. Chavez is perhaps the only one after Gomez who did become a national caudillo. Of course, he had all the resources to get on a permanent tour through Venezuela: he is using the nation’s money for his Aló Presidente and stuff like that.

          But why can’t we get some organisations going as they did in Germany in 1988-89? Why can’t we get some movements going as India got prior to 1948?

          Because there is always the “cuánto hay pa eso?”
          We still have the mentality of the Spanish landlords who would not move a finger to do “lowly work”

  28. Let’s get one thing straight: the MUD can’t “expel” Ramos Allup because, technically, Ramos Allup is not a member of the MUD, AD is.

    This whole discussion, however, is mute. The MUD is tone deaf to these kinds of things. Everybody is turning the page and moving on. Sad, we really had a shot at beating Chávez in 2012.

    • Yes, the MUD is turning the page and moving on. But I bet that Chavez will not forget this, and will use it in his campaign…I can almost see the slogans.

      Sadly, after 12 years we have not learnt that is because the “Allups” are directing the opposition movement that Chavez is still there.

      If we just knew how much potential we have without them…

    • ” Everybody is turning the page and moving on. Sad, we really had a shot at beating Chávez in 2012.”

      Dude, what’s eating you? You wish us to think that it’s going to boil down to kicking AD for asking the american embassy for cash?! Have you even seen the reaction here? You really think that the reaction from the rest of the Venezuelans is going to be like your, “me hago ni-ni”. Really? Do you think that if you offered unconditional cash to the 80% in or swimming near the poverty end of the pool would care who’s in charge so long as they get their cash? And do you really think whoever is in charge can go crazy without spending control of that cash?

      1) to win we need a platform that is independent of the candidate
      2) to win we need a plan to protect our votes
      3) to win we need the funds to let both platform and plan known and carried out.

      4) The bus has left the station. This is not the time to care who’s on the bus. Let’s frickin get to the destination with those onboard, and picking anyone up along the way.

      • Lots of people won’t vote even for the transfers if they do not trust the guy driving the bus. I am not going to utopia with a guy DUI

        • Guido, keep both thoughts at once in your head:

          It’s not whether you get on or not. Those are not the choices. The choices are: Bus MUD or bus chavez.

          Furthermore, we know MUD can be tweaked before or after destination, namely by having an ironclad platform that limits how it can go astray. We also know chavez will tweak before and after destination, namely by becoming more ironclad like Fidel.

          Now choose: MUD, or chavez, both DUI. Once you accept that there is no other bus, and that you don’t get to get off, that’s when we stop whining and getting the most out of it.

          Que ganas de enredar las decisiones, y para colmo por un wikileaks! There is no point in spending the rest of this ride criticizing the driving nor the bus. This is it. It’s the one we got. Any other bus is an illusion. This is the one that has to get us to the non chavez destination. Make the best of it. If your actions and statements aren’t helping; they’re hurting. Plow forward.

          1) we need a platform (I suggest UCT).
          2) we need a vote protection plan
          3) we’re going to need some funds
          4) we’re going to need a candidate (on Feb12) that is clear that the platform is going to be given to him or her. This is far more important than who exactly it ends up being. It has to be someone who accepts, and SELLS the hell out of the platform.
          5) We need focus.

          • I think it’s clear, from the way things are going, that the old IV-th Republic politicos are in charge of the MUD. The way things are going, I think Ledezma or someone like that is going to end up being the candidate. And yes, sadly, I don’t think these people can beat Chávez in 2012.

          • There is _always_ another alternative. Not even bothering to get up and go voting. I got up oiver my anger a long time ago.

            I voted for Rosales, even if it was disgusting. I voted for William Dávila in the list. I will certainly vote for almost anybody they put up there, because I know that even if it’s bad, he’ll be easier to control than our current bully.

            But, the thing is a lot of people hasn’t got over it yet. Maybe they won’t get over it. And we need those votes to win. And we are not going to get them with these people, no matter your focus on the transfers.

            I am very sorry, because I love your idea, I think it should be tried, and I want to see Chávez gone, but… it’s not going to happen. I’d love to be wrong in 2012, but I am pretty sure I won’t be.

          • Juan Cristobal,

            That’s another point altogether. That Allup and friends are in control of MUD is independent to a Wikileak document about some embassy opinion and story about Allup and others. Their control is no reason to kick them out; it’s just reason to take their control away. And that is done with a platform. If you make the platform, starting now, that all oil money will be distributed, then their control will be for nothing. They will be bound. And even if they win and try to take control of the government, the platform will have their hands tied because they won’t control the oil money.

            The opportunity that we cannot pass up, here, is to kill the petro-state. Anything else has to take a back seat. Allup, even MUD, is small potatoes. There is too many people in poverty for us to be thinking that ideologies or personajismos can beat a cash distribution proposal.

            Ask around. 10USD/day/persons trumps all political squabbles. We need to start selling that now; that will tie down any candidate, whoever is in control.

          • Guido,

            That you would vote for whomever is up against chavez supports my point. Those who reject chavez will think like you. So we can stop worrying about your target bucket. Let’s look at those who don’t reject chavez so clearly:

            Is there anyone out there with a charisma that will outshine chavez and his money machine? I don’t think so. So stop looking for such a person. Focusing on any particular candidate is simply not the answer. Even if it were, chavez would knock him or her out of contention before the election. So, just forget worrying about a candidate.

            Is there a platform that will outshine chavez and his money machine? Yes, there is. Can chavez kill it. Nope. Can he trump it? Nope. It’s cash distribution. Does it matter who the candidate is. Not really. All that matters is that it is clear and that we mean it. That it’s not a false promise. That there is no fine print. That it includes everyone. That it is easy, simple, and a sure thing.

            Everything else, take a backseat.

  29. After all this discussion, I have one question for JC: Do you still believe that Ramos Allup and/or AD committed treason and should be spelled from the MUD?

    • Spelled? Sure… A-L-L-U-P ;)

      I don’t believe “treason” was committed, but I see the leaked cable as evidence that AD’s leadership has learned nothing over the past 12 years, and that the cancer that’s eating them has a chance of infecting the rest of the MUD. To me, those are reasons enough to drop Allup, Bolivar, and Alcantara (among others) like the dead weight that they are.

      AD should remain part of the MUD, but its current cogollo should be thrown under the bus. Useless remnants of the past, and nothing more, that’s what they are.

    • I do. But what’s more disappointing than anything is the date of the primaries, and the fact that the US Embassy fiasco has not generated even a modicum of discussion in our sphere. It’s not even about expelling AD o Ramos Allup from the MUD, because that is never going to happen. AD and Ramos Allup control the MUD. But this scandal never even registered.

  30. If we waste time trying to throw Allup out now, we risk the slippery slope of a time losing and people dividing CHAOS.Everybody and hi mother will have his list of those to throw out.

    If folks don’t want him they can campaign against him in the primaries.

    • That’s a fair point. I can’t see anyone in their right mind voting for Ramos Allup as a presidential contender, nor do I see a hypothetical oppo president giving him any measure of real power.

      I’m in favor of getting rid of Ramos Allup and his combo, but firepigette makes a good point: Wash the dirt away after the fight, no point in doing it before, or we’ll end up dirtier later.

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