This is what Capriles is thinking

De un maracucho a otro

De un maracucho a otro

OK, so we all know this is a kind of coup. Keeping Maduro on as the not-encargado-and-yet-obviously-in-charge (a.k.a., de facto) president is about as legitimate in my eyes as if my dog started barking orders on cadena nacional. We all agree that what’s happening is outrageous. We all want to…do something.

But what’s the right strategy?

Today, Henrique Capriles went on the air again and took what, to many, was an unacceptable moderate tone. I found his press conference a bit confusing, but his basic stance can best be explained by an email I got from Primero Justicia grandee (and candidate for Chacao mayor) Ramón Muchacho. You don’t need to agree with it, but you do need to realize that there’s a strategy in place.

Here are the choice bits of Muchacho’s email:

“- The technical, legal, and constitutional discussion is as important as it is complex. It admits of multiple visions and different interpretations, but most people don’t care much about it even though we do.

- With or without Chávez, there was never going to be a change in government tomorrow. The same gang that held power before was going to continue holding power regardless. If we had won the elections in October – then we would have seen a change in government.

- From a communicational point of view, the idea of a coup without shots or tanks on the streets is a hard sell. It’s difficult to convince people that those who held power before October – and also won the election – are now governing thanks to a coup.

- If we endorse the idea of a coup and/or an illegal takeover of power, then we would have to cease recognizing the government. For example, Capriles, Falcón, and Ledezma would have to stop asking for or receiving money from the government. Furthermore, no politician or party that stops acknowledging the government would want to register their candidacies for mayor.

- Chávez didn’t take the oath because he couldn’t (I’m sure he really wanted to!). He is obviously sick, and has little time left.

- There will be no elections in Venezuela while Chávez is alive. We can protest, march, etc., but that is a fact – no elections while Chávez is alive. We must be realistic about this. We can’t put our socks on before our shoes. First, Chávez dies. Then, we call for elections.

- They will not be able to hide Chávez’s death. He won’t be cryogenically frozen a la Walt Disney.

- It would be terrible if people started seeing the opposition as vultures, circling around Chávez’s dead body trying to obtain power. We can’t be seen as trying to gain via a technicality what we have yet to achieve via the vote.

- Although some don’t perceive it, the government is weak and getting weaker. Maduro is wasting himself as the days go by, and Chávez’s death will soon stop being dramatic news. The topic has even gotten kind of boring…

- We just lost the presidential elections. We were supposed to spend 6 more years in opposition. Now it seems we will have elections soon, and sans Chávez. We represent roughly half of the voters, and we can continue to grow. Let’s not destroy with our feet what has taken such effort to build with our hands.

- Most importantly: leaders, public servants, and politicians should not forget what people’s real problems are. They are increasing daily. Let’s not get stuck on January 10th, but if we do, let’s acknowledge that doing so only helps the government.”

Allow me a personal note: Ramón Muchacho and I have known each other since we were teenagers. We worked on our school paper together. I guess the fact that we both learned to write at the same time (and from the same teacher) partly explains why I find his reasoning so compelling.

I’m not saying I’m 100% sold on this, but you can’t deny he makes a pretty strong case.

Ultimately, whether or not you buy this line of argument depends on something I have been emphasizing for the last few months: are we, or are we not, electable?

I used to think we were not electable and so truth should prevail above all strategic considerations. However, with Chávez out of the picture? Against these stooges? Hell, I’m liking our chances.

Perhaps it’s time we started thinking strategically once again.

161 thoughts on “This is what Capriles is thinking

    • You are barking up the wrong tree, or should I say your dog is barking up the wrong TV. You, mister Francisco Toro, are a frigging COMEFLOR. You have absolutely NO IDEA what’s going on in Venezuela, AND NEITHER DO MOST OF THE OPPOSITION. I used to like your articles, until I noticed the ugly and no-brained head of “comeflorismo” rearing up on your scripts. This “opposition” HAS NO STRATEGY, apart from being conniving and convenient legitimizing mass to all of chavismo’s wonts and needs, and mr. muchacho’s email just PROVES that, he is more worried about “Capriles, Falcón, and Ledezma would have to stop asking for or receiving money from the government.”, THAN ANYTHING ELSE. Yet he goes on to falsely assert that “the government is weak” HAHAHAHA what a MORON. This comfortable and cowardly position enables them to at least be viewable characters in this charade, as long as they don’t deviate one millimeter from the tight bounds chavismo imposes on their predetermined roles. These “opposition leaders” are just marionettes being deftly handled and financed by the irks of petkoff, jvr and other boliburguoise, or even old money plutocrats that are doing TOO GOOD with the revolution and don’t want the party to end. And this is not new, it’s been going on since about a decade ago, right when civil unrest was put on hold through the “mesas de dialogo”. Real opposition DIED then, and these current conniving legitimizing OPOSIBOBOS were born AND they have been “leading” us from defeat to defeat through the “democratic route” against some thugs that don’t have A SINGLE GENE of democratic origin in their system.

      Curiously these “democratic paladins” don’t accept or allow dissidence within their ranks, for ANYONE that has a different view to their “democratic” way is swiftly and TERMINANTLY put aside, avoided, and shunned in ALL mainstream opposition media, while the views that favor these constantly failing “democrats” are repeated AD NAUSEAM. Brilliant “democratic opposition” we have. What is the end pursued by these lacking strategists? Very simply to just survive while retaining some sort of monopoly on the term “opposition” while expecting that somehow, sometime, somewhere, perhaps the current powers do so wrong as to require their names to legitimize some kind of faked “transition” into something that is innocuous to the power levels and ill gotten fortunes of the current status quo, THAT IS ALL, no more, no less.

      THERE IS NO ELECTORAL DEMOCRATIC WAY OUT, WITH CHAVEZ OR WITHOUT. Chavismo has NOT WON a single election DEMOCRATICALLY in at least 8 years, and I have testimonies that tell me that figure is closer to 10 years. After such a long run of manipulating the system, and not only here, but in many other countries of the alba TOO, do you REALLY think that neither diosdado, maduro, nor the narcosoles with the help of the cubans DON’T KNOW EXACTLY what to do to continue winning elections with FALSE MAYORITIES? Man, you’re a FOOL if you think they don’t…

      And to top it all, WE WILL HAVE MUCHACHO BOBO caprilito AS CANDIDATE AGAIN, HAHAHAHA, and he will ONCE AGAIN declare that cne is a transparent and honest institution, that there is “nothing wrong” with our electoral system, and that we must “accept” any results, no matter the “triquiñuelas”. OH, BOY, WHAT A JOKE! After yesterday’s press conference I SAW some VERY ACID derogatory remarks amongst oppositors that saw and heard very clearly his wishy washy declarations. People are slowly waking up regarding this FALSE “opposition”, it’s about time YOU SHOULD TOO. REAL Opposition is a MAJORITY and has been for close to a decade now, but these FALSE LEADERS continue to squander and give away this manifest majority out of sheer terror to the brutal threat that castrism exerts over them. Brave “leaders” they’ve been…

      Venezuela needs a NEW LEADERSHIP, not related with neither chavismo nor with these false prophets of the current “democratic opposition”, or we will unerringly continue the spiraling downfall into zimbaweness. Nuff said…

          • I do not want to come across as either pro or anti anyone on this forum, but I understand and empathise with the tirade of EDA above.
            That being said…violent goals (IE: the overthrow of a tyrant…hypothetically speaking of course) CAN be achieved without the use of violence….”how?” you might ask? well, by taking a page out of Ghandi and Machiavelli at the same time….unfortunately, this method requires something called “personal sacrifice” something which I have never run across in my 8 years of living in Venezuela…everyone talks about what should be done, but it all comes down to NIMBY (not in my back yard)
            I have found that my neighbors and friends will never do anything that would possibly affect their own standard of living…even if it means that they know that their interests will be hurt at some future date. They prefer to “live in the now” and eat today, then give up any comfort so they might live in peace and freedom tomorrow.
            Perhaps I am being too harsh in my criticism of Venezuelans apathy in general, but such anger and venom as I read in the tirade above actually gives me hope for Venezuela’s future, because people must be ready to risk something in order to gain anything. If a larger percentage of the population were as passionate as Enrique, then maybe we would be further along the path to getting rid of Chavismo (I am positive we will be rid of Chavez soon, but the real poison is the remenants of his followers)
            The entire point of MY long spiel is that instead of criticising or bad-mouthing people who show a spark of emotion for a topic that is highly emotional, I feel that we as a community could foster this anger and frustration into a healthy and positive use of creative energy. Ask the important questions: “how should we act to obtain desired results with minimal pain” …”what would YOU like to see done”…and most importantly “what am I willing to risk personally to see the outcome that I wish for Venezuela”

      • Listo, salgamos a la calle todos juntos… total, eso ha funcionado buenísimo en el pasado. Creo que por primera vez se está actuando de forma inteligente. Ya llevamos 14 años en este peo y hundiéndonos cada vez más en el barro. Chavez va a patear el tobo más pronto que tarde, y lo peor que podríamos hacer es darle excusas a los mediocres e impostores que hoy des-gobiernan de ponernos la etiqueta de “golpistas”, y que el rebaño chavista le haga la cruz al único candidato presidenciable que tenemos, que por cierto, va a tener que ir a elecciones muy probablemente durante este año. Llámame comeflor, pero creo que es sensato esperar.

        • Por lo visto el ingles no lo entiendes… Tus metodos tienen MAS de 10 años NO FUNCIONANDO, y seguiran sin funcionar, porque no tienes NI IDEA a lo que te estas enfrentando. Lo electoral NO SIRVE porque esta SECUESTRADO, igual a TODOS los demas poderes e instituciones del estado. Punto. Y estos seudo lideres son complices del regimen, son marionetas pagas del circo. NO te engañes, que no son otra cosa. Si capribobo se vuelve a lanzar contra EL QUE SEA del chavismo, P I E R D E. NO porque no tenga mayoria, sino porque el cne “tramparente” NO LE DARA LA VICTORIA NUNCA. Los metodos de resistencia civil FUNCIONARON en menos de 4 años, que fueron manipulados en sus efectos finales por cierta plutocracia NO LOS DESLEGITIMA ni un segundo. Tu metodo electoral AHORA nos tiene con PICHES 3 gobernaciones, cuando EN REALIDAD somos BASTANTE mas del 50% de Venezuela. ¿Y TODAVIA nos quieren vender el camino electoral? ¡¡¡NO ME JODAN!!!

            • La necesidad IMPERIOSA del regimen de HACER TRAMPA, cometer abusos, comprar votos a todo nivel y forma, abultar ficticiamente el registro electoral, y desde hace mas de 8 años, no hace falta mayor prueba, si ellos estuviesen TAN sobrados, no requeririan de nada de eso. Alla los ciegos que se arrancan los ojos…

              • No es precisamente una prueba. Lo que demuestra es que necesitan comprar votos y abusar para asegurarse las elecciones. En cierta forma demuestra que los votos por lo menos son contados correctamente, porque sino para que se molestarían en comprarlos? Como corolario lo que queda es que han sacado (con trampa y muchos abusos) más votos que la oposición.

          • Pero que es lo que tu propones? Que significa “resistencia civil”? Salir a la calle y paralizar el pais? Para que maten a unos cuantos sin obtener ningun beneficio? Con eso solo se conseguiria consolidar una transicion dentro del chavismo que no esta nada clara… Asi fue como se perdio PDVSA. Nos olvidamos muy rapido de las cosas.

            • No vale sigamos bobotando, legitimando y perpetuando la dictadura, ya tienen 20 gobernaciones, la mayoria en los consejos legislativos de todas las gobernaciones, y van por la mayoria de las alcaldias, es lo mejor, y que te termine la vida un choro cualquiera cuando menos te lo esperes, ¿ese es un final mas adecuado y mas digno para ti? DESPIERTA Y ABRE LOS OJOS.

          • Hermano, con mucho respeto le digo que por sus comentarios pareciera no vivir en Venezuela. Creo que compartimos la idea de que la gestión de Chávez y su manejo de la división social que existe en Venezuela, han sido muy perjudiciales para el país. Sin embargo, desgraciadamente, el Sr. Chávez sigue gozando de una gran popularidad, muy cerca del 50% (confieso que no estoy seguro si es un poco más o un poco menos), basta con ir al interior del país para darse cuenta de esto.

            Lo que usted propone y el lenguaje que utiliza, no aporta a la solución de la problemática en Venezuela. La mayoría de la gente está hastiada de la confrontación y lo único que se lograría con desconocer todo lo proveniente del gobierno, es alejar a ese cerca de 50% de la población.

            No digo que Capriles sea la salvación de Venezuela (de hecho, creo que el cambio vendrá justamente cuando no pongamos todas nuestras esperanzas en una persona sino en un proyecto), pero creo que ha sido el que se ha acercado más inteligentemente a una nueva opción.

      • I haven’t taken any Adderall since grad school but I remember that sometimes it came off too strong so I had to spend some 10-20 minutes doing pushups and stretching, lest I ended up posting walls of text like this one for the Internet to see.

          • I don’t remember taking any kool-aid, especially not the kind that makes people think they’re capable of overthrowing a well-financed bureaucratic monolith that employs gargantuan hordes of hungry, stoned and armed savages simply by typing ALL CAPS walls of text on the Internet describing how the reason why we’ve lost control of our little Nostromo fantasyland to a pack of fat degenerates who can’t spell the word “adquirir” is due to the dubious voting system in place, and certainly not because those hordes form a majority and that they really like the guys in charge.

            It’s cool if you want to believe they’re not that many but feel free to come visit the monte y culebra places where many of us grew up to see for yourself.

        • FT, I urge understanding and compassion to those who are feeling the way Enrique is…but I get where you are coming from too! perhaps an open exchange of ideas on concrete ways to achieve goals would be more productive than insults? just a thought.
          maybe im not getting all the nuances of the castellano,:)

          • Sure, but I really don’t think of that as an insult. I can just about see how a decision to give up on normal politics would make sense to me given the tons of shit we’ve been through. I just think people like Enrique need to understand what that *means* – and to call for a certain coherence. When guys like García Ponce and Americo Martín looked around them in 1961 and concluded – tragically, very wrongly – that democratic politics was not going to deliver goals they considered fundamental, they didn’t sit around writing pamphlets. Asumieron su barranco. They slung guns over their shoulders and headed up to the sierra in Falcón, to eat grubs and dodge army patrols for the next few years. Well, agree or disagree with them, you can’t question their sincerity: you can see it in the congruence between their rhetoric and their actions. As for the duros del teclado, wel…

      • Parate para darte un abrazo Enrique, carajo!. Finally i’m starting seeing some people wich are not contaminated with the well spread germ of the clean elections symptom. Maybe in 2020, people will realize that maybe is something wrong with the elections so far. I couldn’t believe, that throughout the social media the idea of fraude was so banish, that the simply act of propousing it was a trigger for all kind insults and arguing. I don’t doubt the first intention of Capriles against the goverment, but it was so clearly how he sold he’s will days before the 7O with and after that, the totally unspected winning against Jaua… ”You loose the elections! but you still gonna have Miranda, Does it works for you?”. nice agreement I have to admit, but it cost to all venezuelans a lot. I’m still hoping he have a plan though.

        Reality is that there is no democratic way out the russi… I mean, the chavismo, because they know what they want and they are very well supported. The main problem remains on the will power of the people. Venezuelans just complain during the lunch with their friends or colleges, in the social media or with themselfs when they are stock in the traffic. Revolutions are taking place all over the middle east and Africa, we should learn something from them, Problem is: the own the military power, the have all the weaponry and they control the mob. I do think we need to go strategically and passively bacause evidently we have no chance using violence. people have to stop and say ENOUGH! but without good organize honest to god leadership… it could just end up in nonsense anarchy.

        • Abrazo devuelto. Many countries have done it, stand up and RESIST, doesn’t mean armed conflict but it does mean DON’T COLLABORATE, DON’T COMPLY, MANIFEST YOUR DISSENT VISIBLY AND FIRMLY. If these “leaders” can’t do it on their own because of their compromised public political standings, they should support organizations with diffuse leadership to do the actions for them, like some kind of Otpor from Serbia, for example. Actually Otpor was born out of the political arena and then integrated the polititians when the time came. But here if some student group, for example, wants to do something noteworthy they are INMEDIATELY infiltrated and manipulated into stopping and their leaders sucked in the political machinery where they are anulled and lost to their natural audience. Or worse still, DENOUNCED by these “opposition” collaborators as being undercover government agents, like capribobo did yesterday. So NO, THIS “oppositon” has NO strategy, and NO future. Following them is SUICIDE, and a lengthy, slow, cruel, asphixiatiing one at that.

          • don’t comply? don’t collaborate? I don’t see the opposition collaborating with the government. You are too vague. You seem very upset about the opposition’s strategy, but have nothing to offer in place of it.

            • If you don’t see the flagrant collaboration it can only be because 1) You’re blinded by your jaded beliefs 2) You haven’t lived in Venezuela for the past 14 years 3) You don’t read or inform yourself on current Venezuelan affairs well enough… Which is it?

          • Dude, you haven’t, in your entire charade, said what you would do. Could you please enlighten us with your great knowledge of the situation and tell us what your strategy would be? I’m dying to hear it.

            Thanks.

          • I had actually written a reply, quickly realizing that it would make no difference as what you just wrote here is a tantrum. No arguments or ideas were presented. Please come back when you have either.

            • Rodrigo, I think this might be the alter ego of Cort or even Cort in disguise, same style, same rethoric and lack of proposals. I can’t help but wonder if he is starting the resistance from his laptop.

  1. Fair enough, what concerns me is this part: “they will not be able to hide Chávez’s death”. If a year passes and we don’t see the guy on at least a video or hear from him over the phone what would be course of action?

    • I fear the same; if Chavez is being kept in Cuba is only to avoid Venezuelan gossipers (just imagine: nurses, cleaning ladies, doctors…). For how long will they be willing to keep Chavez alive? Enough to say he ordered the new paquetazo for the good of the people? Enough to give Maduro enough time to give out cheap Haier stuff to everyone around? Enough to keep governing until the constitutional term is over…? I mean, he wasn’t even able to sign a letter asking of the extension of his permiso, he must be very close.

  2. Yep, said this in the other comment thread. Capriles is playing it smart. This is the long strategy. And it’s the best strategy possible.

  3. If Chávez dies, we will know thanks to María León’s hysterical, unstoppable wails.

    • The real sad part though is that if he’s on indefinite life support then the poor people sitting by Chavez side are being messed with in their minds. The long, dreary, road of hope and disillusionment. I pity them, to be honest. If that’s what is happening I can’t imagine a more cruel way for it to end. (I admit Chavez could be up and walking around in a few months, who knows how this goes down.)

      • What about an Ariel Sharon outcome, confined to a hospital bed on life support, giving Maduro time to become the incumbent?

      • Lets assume for a moment Chávez is kept alive for a year or so. My guess is that Maduro won’t be able to govern that long, since slowly but surely the contradictions within chavismo will become evident and fights will start between him and Cabello, and also there would be too many legal problems like, can he name new Ministers? Can he sign international treaties? Can he decide on the armed forces’ promotions? And so on. My guess is that Chavismo without Chávez is like Yugosavia without Tito.

      • He’s a cancer patient. There is only so much that life support can do for him. Sharon suffered from a stroke which ruined his brain, but the autonomus body functions remained rather intact.

        Even if he was put on maximum possible life support, the cancer will suck the life out of him within a few months, a year at the most. Modern medicine can do a lot, but not everything.

        • That’s absolutely true, but it’s still a horrific prospect. Especially if he was totally gutted to get rid of all the cancer amalgamations they could find. Which is what makes it all the more horrific because the guy is likely rotting from the inside out as his family watches on in deluded horror that he’ll “get better.” I can think of nothing more macabre.

          • True, although I wonder what their game was if they did gut him to such extent. If what you say happened, his chances of even regaining conciousness are very slim indeed. They could just as easily lie that he’s still alive.

            • “They could just as easily lie that he’s still alive.”
              I wouldn’t put it past the Cubans to do that. Their interest in the oil pipeline is GARGANTUAN, their involvement in Vzlan politics is already 14 years old, with most Vzlans none the wiser.

      • If someone really really hated Hugo Chavez and wanted for him to abandon this world after as much pain and degradation as possible…. They could never come up with something worse than what the Cubans (and chavismo) are doing or will be doing to him to keep him alive. Dysthanasia for you.

  4. The Globovisión affair tonight and the comments from the top PSUV brass today are meant to provoke a violent reaction from the opposition, it’s good to know they are not falling for that and perhaps it’s just me but I sense desperation from them.

  5. I’ll add another reason: The man in charge now (Maduro) needs serious work to do, as he lacks the experience and skills to be both the head of government and the candidate for the upcoming presidential election. A henchman doesn’t become a leader overnight, even if he has potential (and so far, I haven’t see that on Maduro, who still looks kinda uncomfortable in this position).

    As his first public appereances as the succesor-in-waiting were uninspiring (and I’m being polite here), this period of time which could last a while will work basically as a presidential on-the-job-training, as JC hinted in his “Por Que?” post. He needs to polish his language and actitude, learn the moves, gain the trust of Chavistas and ni-nis, embrace the spotlight more. His previous work as Foreign Minister in recent years can help him to certain degree, but let’s be honest: going to summits in expensive hotels abroad ins’t he same that “kicking” the slums here at home.

    In HCR’s press conference today, I hinted what Mr. Muchacho mentions. Henrique went after Maduro personally, accepting he’s the man in charge now and saying therefore he should just start governing already. “No more excuses”, HCR said. The problems of the country are still there (BTW, finding sugar today here is an ordeal, but that’s another story) and sooner or later he have to do something about those… or play the Chavez’s playbook and blame others.

    And in that case, there’s no guarantee that will work out for him, because he’s no Chavez.

  6. The opposition needs a good cop and a bad cop. Just having the good cops (like Capriles) risks alienating many of those who voted for the opposition because they perceive the good cop as collaborationist with the Chavernment. I speak from experience. No matter what the good cops say, my brother always finds an angle which portrays these guys as pusillanimous politicians who only care about keeping a slice of the government for themselves. So, whatever the ultimate strategy is for the opposition, someone from the opposition must be the bull dog who minces no words (Machado and Arrias come to mind, but they also come across as too oligarchic).

            • Yeah, her English is good. Far better than my Spanish and I’m betting better than Toro’s Japanese.

          • C’mon you are being a dick (and I don’t even like her), she did well. I’ve seen WAY worse than this.

            • Missing my point, i praise her for doing her job and she is doing it extremely well. My point is that you have to speak english flawlessly and know the terms the audience is used to, to go on the air with someone like Amanpour.

              • I understood your point and I still believe you are being a dick. When I said she did fine I meant the speaking not actually what she said. Who are you Sir Patrick Stewart?

              • I think you are being a bit unfair. English is not her native language so no one really expects her to be perfectly fluent. I would like to see a reversal of roles here and I bet Amanpour doesn’t speak a word of Spanish and if she does I bet it is not flawless either. MC is a brave woman who speaks her mind so who really cares if her English is not perfect? She made her point and that is what really matters.

              • That was good. The opposition needs to speak to the foreign media. As much as possible. They do not have the courts to make their case.

        • She should avoid interviews in english. She knows enough to be dangerous. It was clear she thinks in spanish and then translates, using the wrong terms that along with the bad pronunciation looses the english speaking audience. The intention was good but should have used a translator

          • I disagree, in my experience as a non native, I find that most native english speakers respect the fact that we speak two languages when most of then don’t and overlook minor pronunciation mistakes. She stuck to her messages and reiterated very clearly the issues, we have the right to know, this is against the constitution but they control all the institutions and the Cubans are the one’s calling the shots. Yes, her English is not perfect but certainly good enough to communicate clearly. I also liked the interviewer, she did her homework.

            • English is my first language, and I agree with your take. Americans, especially those that watch CNN, have a lot of contact with recent immigrants and are used to people for whom English is not their first language. Congratulations to MCM for making herself available, and doing an interview in a foreign language (I know my accent falls apart when under pressure like that).

            • I agree completely. Particularly in the United States where we have basically two languages working together. There are some regions where it’s frowned upon but I honestly watched that interview and didn’t even get the “clumsiness” that another poster here pointed out. I didn’t see it at all. Being familiar with the mannerisms of Spanish speakers has made a lot of English speakers sympathetic and even empathetic toward the vernacular used. We know what’s going on even if it’s not perfect.

          • Ok, so after the self imposed cool down period and after watching the interview a couple more times. I was indeed unfair and being a dick. She did well, and we can use all the exposure we can get in this difficult moment we are going through.

        • I think she did just fine, in front of an audience that might not have heard her before. Though what was that, her BB buzzing in about 3 instances, interrupting the frequency?

        • MCM was awesome! Obviously English is not her first language but she got all her points across very effectively. Thanks for posting the link

      • I posted a quip about MCM but I think the spam filter got it. Anyway, she’s great. I’ll never forget when she called Chavez out to his face about expropriations. She hasn’t let up as far as I know.

  7. I have to say he does make a strong case (which makes me feel a huge amount of anger). However, calling what happened today a “technicality” is showing we´re buying Luisa Estela´s bullshit. ” We can’t be seen as trying to gain via a technicality what we have yet to achieve via the vote.”

    This is not a matter of a political party trying to achieve power with good publicity trying not to be seen as voltures, it´s a matter of destroying a dictatorship and today me may have just lost our chance to do so.

    • “The technical, legal, and constitutional discussion is as important as it is complex. It admits of multiple visions and different interpretations, but most people don’t care much about it even though we do” That means that we have to put aside the discussion? we have to accept the decision of TSJ ? Im not agree, contradicts what he said just 2 days ago about an anarchy state, We are giving too much away of this country. De un maracucho a otro: Vergacíon! hasta cuando!!!

      • The TSJ has committed fraud. When their power is lost, they will pay the consequences. In fact, what I have learned from these years is that those who attempted a coup de tant in the past, and who were then elected later, cannot be trusted to respect the laws they had pledged to uphold. Hence forth, I think it would be irrational to allow any Chavista to hold office again, else this whole catastrophic upheaval could happen again.

  8. I still have a missed opportunity flavor in my mouth.
    I guess HCR could but did not:
    1. Punch directly Maduro as one that has never got one vote in his lifetime, never. Avoiding the word illegitimate, he could remember chavistas that the only legitimate President is Chavez, and only Chavez got 8.2 million votes
    2. Partray Maduro and Diosdado as the tru vultures, trying to grab the power people gave th Chavez, and only Chavez
    3. Denounce the fucking indefinite permit doctrine of Luisa Estela and ask the international community to stay alert, this situation is unsustinable, queremos a Chavez curado de regreso a su país, sino elecciones.

    • Im also worried about the no coordination whatsoever with the rest of the MUD, we need to put the team act together here

  9. Is funny that i kind of knew what this article just said. They can not hide Chavez’s death and election will be soon in our future that’s super true. There’s no Chavism without Chavez. They can say they will rule “indifenitely” but it won’t last a year , they’re getting weaker every day.

  10. Did anyone else notice that Conatel, an office that depends on the Vicepresidency, acted today at the bequest of … Diosdado Cabello?! #WhosTheBoss?

    • I think that is the question of the moment. Everybody talks about Maduro this and that but I can’t see him as a big boss he is at best a good henchman, good at following instructions. When he is president he is going to be somebody’s puppet and the real question is who will be pulling the strings. I know most people think his last name is Castro but I think Cabello will be holding big scissors ready to close them when is convenient.

  11. What is Capriles thinking? As I listened to him the impression I got can be summed up as “Lets complain a bit but not enough to get my nuts crushed”… The fact is that today the government holds all the cards and a direct confrontation would not be a good idea.

  12. This is what I was commenting on the post below. The opposition was not very loud on the inconstitutionality because they want more time to get a chance at electability and the chavistas did not want Diosdado as President in charge. The people of Venezuela could not care less about the legalities of the Constitution and the markets wanted the problem solved ASAP …so Luisa Estela made everybody happy ….except, of course, that the Constitution was violated once again…

  13. us and them , the two divides.
    [Money, it's a crime. Share it fairly but don't take a slice of my pie.
    Money, so they say Is the root of all evil today.
    But if you ask for a raise it's no surprise that they're giving none away.]

    Money will bring this regime down. There’s only that much left. Debts and obligations keep piling up. and petroleum won’t grow on trees. Give humpti and dumpti some slack, and everyday life
    becomes a struggle. Think – they went to a coffee packaging plant, and threatened jail to one and all. Like that solved it. Paper pushers are a dime a dozen, but where are the execs?
    Forget our politicians, they are part of the socialist establishment. Remember the Vichy france?
    So, wait for the money to run out. Then all of us can blame the bad times on 2013, cursing each day for being NOT FAIR! end of rant :-) and then of course, everyone lived happily ever after.

      • Ticking away the moments that make up a jan 10 day
        You fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way.
        Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
        Waiting for someone or something to show you the way.

  14. Yeah, that sounds about right. According to Muchacho the reason they are in stand-by mode is that Chavez is still alive. I suspect something like this too. If that is true, then it may benefit the opposition if Chavez continues to be in his “stationary” condition (I know this sounds cruel, but I’m thinking from a strategic pov). The PSUV’s cohesion and coordinating capacity will undoubtedly erode the longer they continue to be without a new hierarchy. Now more than ever the opposition needs to avoid charging any read rags.

  15. Quico: After the legalistic contortions the court performed today, what makes you think there will be elections? If there is “continuity” of administrations, so to speak, why wouldn’t the next election be in 2018?

  16. Maybe Falcón (while HCR does the legal stuff) could hammer on the last point “Most importantly: leaders, public servants, and politicians should not forget what people’s real problems are. They are increasing daily.”
    He could say something like:
    “- People ask where is Chavez? I ask: where are the jobs? Where is the new housing?, Where is the sugar, cooking oil, the electricity?
    – Some want to know whether Chavez is alive and how long he will live; but let’s not forget about the mothers that want to know if their son and daughter will come back home alive or if this week or this month they will be victims of crime
    – Maduro says that the swearing-in is a formality, I tell him that the people’s problems, their goals their will to get on in life if NOT a formality and we have not forgotten that!”

  17. I guess they have a point, now that you have showed us. Its just very frustrating, to keep turning the other cheek to these criminals. We seem to be here just to watch them destroy our country. They are raping it over and over again.
    “- It would be terrible if people started seeing the opposition as vultures, circling around Chávez’s dead body trying to obtain power…” Well, to the rest of the world we now look as a weak nation. A country without leadership. I’m sorry, but it does feel that way. My questions: Is the MUD working behind close doors? How will we get those Ni-ni votes if no one sees anything done? Capriles is loosing followers because he is perceived as a weak guy. People even think he is “cuadrado con el gobierno”. What a mess we have in our hands. We allowed these crooks to take too much space. To gain it back will be a very difficult task.

    • yes, we allowed them to do that by doing things like the general withdrawing from the parliamentary elections of 2005

  18. Thanks. That was a breath of fresh air and rationality.

    The best thing the MUD can do right now is go back to the drawing board and craft another platform… one that doesn’t look or sound like Chavismo Light. They need a platform that assumes the worst… that they will inherit a broken and bankrupt country. Then they need to quietly (at first) get the word out. The message is:

    “This is going to get worse. We couldn’t prevent it, but we did predict it. You are now seeing our predictions come true. We are patient. We know that this cannot be stopped. But, when the country has finally had enough of this madness, we are here, and we have a plan. It will not be easy. We will not promise instant properity for every Venezuelan. We will not be the country that we can and should be for many years to come. There is much work to be done, and there will be a role in it for every Venezuelan. But, if Venezuela can commit to our plan, we can promise that your children and grandchildren will inherit a country that you can be proud of. We are ready when Venezuela is.”

  19. What else can you do? Nothing because either way you may lose.
    Granted the bureaucracy may lose its grip but the grassroots is 10 times stronger than you or them.

    They are organizing big time and you will never be able to catch up.

    Cort

    • The grassroot we are counting on. To see the size of the deception perpetrated on them by chavismo, on this and in all other matters. In fact our other thought is to wait for the right moment…

    • If the grassroots is so much stronger than ‘the bureaucracy’ (ie the self-serving clique around Chavez, who now have the reins of power), then it’s a little odd that in 14 years they haven’t been organised enough to demand – and get – decent public services, effective policing, adequate housing, street lighting, roads without holes in them, labour rights and a gazillion other things this country still lacks. They protest, but in an isolated fashion that makes them easy to pick off one by one. Hell, they don’t even get to decide who is candidate for mayor or governor! And they just take it, while waiting for Chavez to deliver Utopia.

      Wake up, guys – Utopia has been postponed indefinitely. Now your leader is incommunicado and surrounded by Cuban intelligence agents, unable to sign his own letters. The people you have been denouncing as useless and corrupt all these years are ruling in his name, but you don’t even know if he’s still conscious. Isn’t it time to echo the opposition’s demand for ‘opportune and truthful’ information about what’s really going on?

  20. Hoy terminaron de asesinar la democracia en Venezuela. Los asesinos intelectuales son los hermanos Castro, asistidos por una pandilla de malandros coordinada por Nicolás Maduro, Diosdado Cabello y un tal general Molero. Se llevó a cabo el asesinato ante la concurrencia cómplice de dos presidentes latinoamericanos: Evo Morales y José Mujica, y malandros de menor categoría llegados de varios países forajidos de la región.
    Inesperada y triste fue la presencia silenciosa de Henrique Capriles, líder de la oposición. Capriles, testigo del asesinato, lo aceptó pasivamente y comentó: “Ya no tendrán más excusas para gobernar”. Una estrategia que podrá dar sus frutos mañana pero que sacrifica principios que deberían ser sagrados.
    Desde hoy los venezolanos amantes de la democracia tendrán que luchar esencialmente solos. Quienes todavía creemos en los principios y los valores que nos enseñaron en el hogar y en la escuela tendremos que resistir, cada quien en la medida de sus posibilidades. No es suficiente con creer que los malandros se auto-destruirán. Aunque esa es una excelente probabilidad es necesario que cada venezolano decente y honesto haga una profesión activa de dignidad. Pero eso es lo que escasea en Venezuela hoy en día, junto con el el azúcar y el papel sanitario.

    • GC,

      De acuerdo completamente con:

      “Capriles, testigo del asesinato, lo aceptó pasivamente”

      This reminds me of a true story I once witnessed.A friend of mine and I had the occasion to meet the Dalai Lama and ask him a few questions.She told him that when she was young her sister was bullied everyday at school by some horrendous girls but she never stood up for her sister because she was afraid that the bullies would pick on her.The Dalai Lama told her that if she was witness to wrongdoings and did not stand up for her sister then she was as much to blame for the situation as the bullies were.

      Venezuelans always say the time is never right to speak up strongly, resist and fight back.
      This makes the opposition as much to blame for what is happening as Chavez is.It takes to to tango folks.

    • >>> … Desde hoy los venezolanos amantes de la democracia tendrán que luchar esencialmente solos.
      Right on!

  21. Me parece fuera de lugar la punta a Capriles. Que se suponía que hiciera? Convocar a una protesta porque en vez de Diosdado, Maduro se quedará con el coroto? Armar una alharaca porque según Luisa Chávez no está ausente hasta que él lo diga? No creo que sea el momento, ya él hizo su denuncia pública, dió su opinión. Pero el ambiente de rechazo a lo que viene hay que irlo creando progresivamente, hay que mofarse de la absurdidad de la ‘sentencia’ de Luisa, hay que remachar el hecho que Maduro es un usurpador. Que Chávez está ausente lo sabe todo el mundo, que esta secuestrado en Cuba y solo se ‘comunica’ con su sacerdote Maduro a través de los Castro se notará cada vez más. En fin el ambiente se va a ir enrareciendo y no es cuestión de simplemente esperar, se puede contribuir a ello, pero tampoco conviene adelantarse a los acontecimientos y desde ya despotricar de Capriles como si él tuviera la culpa.

  22. Sr. Mieres:
    Hay un “momento” para defender principios? No le parece que ellos deben defenderse en todo momento? Quienes hablan del “momento” nunca van a encontrar un momento. Prefiero despotricar a sentarme a esperar el “momento”.

    • “Es difícil convencer al pueblo de que los que han venido gobernando y de paso ganaron la elección, ahora gobiernan gracias a un golpe.”

      Es decir – tenemos razón pero vamos presos.

  23. Some humans live like insects – they bump their heads against an obstacle, scitter around it, and
    blindly move to the next one. Some families devote years of efforts to teach and develop their offsprings – no kid needs 10 yrs of schooling, 4-5 yrs of univ., and uncounted yrs more to be useful – right? All they need is a big mouth? right?
    WRONG!!!!

  24. I do not know at this point if I agree or not – And that is a point, not a weakness, since we all know how the improvisation in politics in Venezuela has conducted the whole country to the current state of affairs. Capriles is a smart person – But well-wishing on his smartness might be another horrific mistake. We Venezuelans need to take active role and not let just an elite of a few smart kids take on this situation. And, by the way, I find it so interesting that we are having one of the best discussions on these relevant matters in English… It seems that our “español venezolano” is blocking some good reasoning and threads of thought in the mainstream, where these ideas need to settle in the majority. Think about it.

  25. The constitution is clear enough, there’s no margin for interpretation. The president elected should take oath the 10th of January period. If the president elected does not take oath then the Congress president takes the presidency and call for new elections. That’s pretty clear.
    Capriles Radonsky won the election, there was a massive electoral fraud that you and a few “top opposition politicians accepted”.
    Hey, moron, have you gone into Facebook, twitter and any other social media what the common people is saying? Everybody, everybody is saying that this is a coup d’etat. You don’t need any special communicational strategy, everybody already knows it.
    This is the only point I agree with this betrayer, and this is the one of the real reasons why you don’t want to change anything, MONEY, MONEY, MONEY.
    Chavez is the president “elected” upon you traitors, and the only one that can be president, and if can’t take oath then they have to call for new elections asap.
    How do you know if the guy is alive or not? When are you going to know when the guy dies? What about 2 years from now? maybe 4? chavez can still be plugged in and in coma for years, in that case, Maduro would be the president per secula seculorum?
    This guy doesn’t know Castros abilities to hide things out and lie to the world.
    Hahahaha you already are vultures, and the people already knows it, but sshhhhh keep it secret.
    Wrong again, the government is not getting weaker, they’re developing a coup d’etat in front of everybodys faces meaning they’re getting more power, and you the opposition less power and obviously weaker, moron.
    You already destroyed what you did with your hands, but don’t want to accept it. Yeah, you grew a lot, just 3 governors out of 23.
    This moron talks as in Venezuela there were a regular normal democracy, as if nothing happens, and not telling the people the truth because it does not have c..ones to speak out loud and tell the truth. This guy and many others think we’re stupid.

    • Did you hear of the accident? 11 people dead, while coming to Caracas, teachers and school personnel, wait, today is a school-free day?

    • Most of them are extremelly bullied to be there.
      They are public workers threatend to lose their jobs if they don’t show up. Not too different to crying for the dead leader in north corea.

    • We are facing absolutely nothing. We are watching a group of embezzlers herding sheep towards their sorry show. It’s only a matter of time before even the most sheepish of them begins to ask “Where’s Hugo Chavez?” “Why am I being hit by a Paquete””And how this mustachioed git has authority to do that?”. They will begin demanding answers…

  26. Although I didn’t like one bit of HCR’s press conference yesterday, after reading this I can see their point.
    More to it: the MUD has been always very respectful of the institutions and has been always keen to show that, to show the difference, and when you think about it, the TSJ should be an independent institution and for that, their ruling should be respected. Even if we all know that in reality the TSJ is another branch of the executive, ( and he did point that out, mind you), they ruled that there is continuity of the government and that must be accepted until it can be challenged using through proper channels.
    If we are to rebuild the country, we have to act according to the rule of law and respect the institutions, even if we don’t like them.

  27. Juan, thanks for sharing. I’m relieved to learn that someone’s thinking long term.
    I hate to admit it but I’m kind of enjoying the show. Maduro y Diosdado están más enredados que un kilo de estopa and they deserve to hold that hot potato.
    I´m glad we have María Corina to speak her mind (in Spanish or English), Teodoro, a group of lawyers who came out with a public statement, and lots of journalists to raise their voices. But HCR and Falcón are are doing exactly what they should be doing, by not engaging in a fight that will be perceived to be againt Chávez.
    As I’ve said before, I lived for a year in a cancer ward and when someone is dying things get very emotional. Our opposition leaders (let’s call them HCR and HF) should be careful and avoid comments that could be perceived as hostile against Chávez.
    Do we shut up and swallow our frustration? No, because we have are lucky enough to have a variety of oppositions figures with different points of view, who can speak their minds freely without hurting one another. Having a non monolithic opposition is an asset at a time like this.

  28. Chavez is not dying a hero’s death. He will not die in a valiant military action despite his excessive use of military uniforms and military guards. He has lied about his condition despite signs that it was getting worse. He is a heretic for dismissing excellent health care in his own country for Cuban political health care. The complete secrecy is causing unnecessary bickering throughout the Venezuela government. His treatment has cost Venezuela at least $27 million. He has left the nation without leadership. The Castros are stealing from Venezuela and controlling Chavez and his possible successors. Chavez will spew hatred and divisiveness until the very end.

    No more images of Chavez will ever be seen since he entered the hospital on Dec 11. A month drugged and intubated in a hospital bed on a respirator after a six hour operation must have taken a big toll on his looks and physical condition. The communist morticians will have to use their skills in case of an open casket.

    Chavez will always be seen as a hero of the poor, regardless of how little he helped them. Chavez wasted Venezuela’s assets on other countries, on corruption, and most critically on himself and his family. Can a man who is stole $billions from his country and gave bread crumbs to the poor really be considered a champion to the poor. So much more could have been done.

    Now is the time discuss Chavez legacy. Do not let the Chavistas create propaganda to make Chavez into a Bolivar or Che.

  29. Muchacho is right, and amazingly coherent. At this point, time is on the Oppo’s side, but the future will be a very fluid situation….And, those that adapt commensurately will win.

  30. The issue, I believe, is not to attack PSUV for abridging the constitution and abusing their power, because that’s what revolutionaries do. The attack should be focused on the chronic shortages, economic bankruptcy, and their failures to provide ordinary government services. These problems cannot be placed on indefinite hold while the Comandonte is recovering if his recovery is going to take months and months. There needs to be an independent assessment to determine the reasonable and realistic expectation of his recovery and how long it will take.

  31. “Perhaps it’s time we started thinking strategically once again.”
    I don’t agree at all with Muchacho or this comment, Juan. Tell me, what strategic thinking is left? Only the one that tells me that you cannot argue/deal/do business/ally/TRUST or have something to do with malandros. I think the role of the opposition as per today is to be an affidavit that there is democracy in Venezuela and as long there is business deals coming from Chavismo to Europe, the USA and the rest of the developed countries, all is well. None of those countries are gonna come out and cry for a coup when the opposition doesn’t do it instead is waisting time it’s trying to think “strategically” how to win the poker hand to the ultimate cheater. It’s like an endless loop of madness following this path…

      • They are wasting their lives, and giving credibility to all this. Go and read the international news. Not that I don’t understand the rational and admire their sacrifice and work, but in reality, pragmatically speaking, not even ethically or morally, a total waste of time and more beneficial to the Chavismo than to the opposition.

  32. No nos caigamos a coba. No me creo el argumento de Muchacho por la sencísillima razón de que no es necesario usar la palabra “golpe”. Basta con decir que se han incumplido las leyes, que Maduro no es el legítimo Presidente encargado, y que si no es siquiera capaz de respetar las leyes más básicas, ¿cómo será capaz de responder a las responsabilidades de la Presidencia?

    Coño, en este país debe haber aún un mínimo de conciencia con respecto a las leyes… y si efectivamente, para todos la Constitución solo sirve como papel sanitario, oficialmente sí somos inelegibles, aún sin Chávez en el terreno.

    Está buena la idea de tener un “policía bueno” y un “policía malo”, pero no podemos caer tampoco en el comeflorismo. Bastaba con que Capriles dijera que estaba en contra de la decisión del TSJ, y que si Maduro no era capaz de respetar la Ley Máxima, ¿cómo sería capaz de resolver las necesidades de los venezolanos?

    Espero que Capriles se ponga las pilas, o a este paso terminará perdiendo la candidatura en manos del único rival factible que le queda ahora: Ledezma.

    PD. Y díganle a Muchacho que no se pase de ingenuo, que de verdad esta gente es capaz de hacernos creer que Chávez sigue vivo al menos por unos años más… si son capaces de esto, también lo son de muchas cosas más.

  33. the idea of a coup without shots or tanks on the streets is a hard sell. It’s difficult to convince people that those who held power before October – and also won the election – are now governing thanks to a coup.

    It is a confusing situation, but one for which there is a well-established term: “self-coup”.

    This applies when a person or faction already holding the executive power lawfully assumes additional, unlawful power by force,

    Some notable examples of self-coups:

    Peru, 1992, President Fujimori.
    Korea, 1972, President Park Chung-hee
    Brazil, 1937, President Vargas
    Greece, 1936, Prime Minister Metaxas

    The Maduro self-coup is a particularly strange form, as it is passive – Maduro has not seized additional powers, he has only refused to give up powers that should have lapsed. He has the complicity of the legislature, judiciary, and military in this usurpation, so there is an appearance of legitimacy.

    (Yet more abdication…)

    • Exactly… and all involved in the legislature, judiciary, and military are together and individually culpable.

  34. After speeches, complaints, and meetings things will continue to move forward, Maduro as “temporary president” and Cabello running the country behind the curtain. As they continue the destruction of all the bases and infrastructures of the country, the military at one point will have the fianl saying in this long nightmare and most probably will call for elecctions.

  35. Dude, Fujimori disbanded the parliament and I believe local governments and courts as well and ruled by decree. Comparing this to the current situation in Venezuela is ridiculous. I´m no expert in the Venezuelan constitution but whether or not the president has spoken certain words in front of the parliament, IS indeed a formality, a technicality. It´s not like the government is trampling democratic rights or usurping powers it shouldn´t have here. Chavez won the elections, with Maduro as vice-president (and furthermore his designed successor now), Chavez is for the moment incapable of governing, and Maduro governs in his place. It will be REALLY hard to get anyone mad over that (even in case you are actually technically right with your interpretation of the constitution) unless you simply hate Chavez and Maduro anyway and really just want an excuse.
    Furthermore the tribunal has the constitutional right to interpret the constitution, right? So what it says, is technically what goes. That´s like, if a court absolves someone, legally he is innocent, even if you think there were enough evidence to convict him.
    Venezuela has less than 1/2 the public debt of the US, or 2/3 of Germany, relative to BNP, only a small fraction of which is forex-denominated, and is not going to collapse anytime soon, although the government may indeed do some belt-tightening following municipal elections to rein in the relatively high deficit.

    • “I´m no expert in the Venezuelan constitution but whether or not the president has spoken certain words in front of the parliament, IS indeed a formality, a technicality.”

      Neither am I an expert, but it is required in the constitution to either swear in before the Asamblea or before the TSJ. So far, neither has happened. And it’s not a question of rights, it’s a question of form. And it is also a question of presence. Where is the President elect? Have you seen him lately? Heard from him? Seen a letter from him, even?

      Chavez designating Maduro on December 9th is a PSUV internal matter. He clearly states that he wants Maduro to be the candidate should elections needs to be called before 2018. How this extends to January 11th, without any election, is not stated in the Constitution. Maduro’s term as Vice-President ended January 10th.

      To complicate things further, there is no continuity clause in the constitution, but there is a mechanism to deal with temporary and absolute absences of the president. How anyone with three fingers of forehead cannot see that Chavez’ absence falls into either definition is either because they are stupid, or obtuse, or both.

      The TSJ is free to rule that Elmo Jones, alcalde de Tucutuniamo should be the next in line in any succession if it wants, but that doesn’t make the interpretation right, nor sensical nor in the best interests of Venezuela.

      This isn’t about hating Chavez or Maduro or Disodado. This is about the correct interpretation of Chavez’ absence, which as I said before is at a minimum a temporary one, so let’s not “caernos a mojones” here. The facts support the theory that the Castro brothers do not want Disodado in charge even for 3 seconds, and have found a legally twisted way to keep Maduro in the place where all policies in place under Chavez can continue until Chavez dies.

      We, the people of Venezuela are just bystanders with our hands out hoping, a crumb or three falls our way, just like when Chavez was conscious.

    • Maduro was Vice President, but his term expired yesterday. He has no more right to act as President than any other Venezuelan. Chavez’ apparent designation of him as substitute has no basis in the Constitution, and is a usurpation of power.

      Let us consider a hypothetical – Capriles Radonski won the election, but was assassinated by a demented follower of David Icke for being a disguised alien lizard.

      Thus the President-elect is not able to take the oath on 10 January.

      Who should become President?

      Chavez? He was defeated, and his term expired.

      Someone named by a commitee of MUD leaders? There is no provision in the Constitution for party action.

      Maduro? He is an appointee of Chavez, who was defeated; his term also expired.

      The Constitution is clear on this: the President of the National Assembly assumes the Presidency. For Maduro to do so instead would be a flagrant, very clear violation of the Constitution.

      It is just as much of a violation in the real world where Chavez was elected, but failed to take the oath of office.

      Practically, it makes little difference. Cabello and Maduro are both hard-core Chavistas, and Maduro has the apparent approval of Chavez, who would be President if he was well.

      But the flagrant violation of the Constitution remains. It is the equivalent of lynching, where the victim is in fact guilty of the horrible crime. That it is allowed by the judiciary, legislature, and military, and excused or endorsed by the Chavista intelligentsia, is the equivalent of establishing lynch law – and destroying the Constitutional order.

      • The nuance is Maduro is not assuming as president instead he is remaining as vicepresident and no one is taking the president’s seat.

        • The biggest nuance is that Maduro’s office now lies principally in Havana. And the ties that bind him to that city are so entwined, so subtle and so politically fraught that few dare to broach the subject.

  36. “The TSJ is free to rule that Elmo Jones, alcalde de Tucutuniamo should be the next in line in any succession if it wants, but that doesn’t make the interpretation right”
    That was an example in which the letter as well as the spirit of the constitution would be totally ignored to name a person with 0 democratic legitimacy. In this case, the TSJ has made a decision in an unclear and somewhat unforseen situation which may or may not be technically correct, but has resulted in the result closest to the popular will as expressed in elections possible, naming as caretaker the former vice-president who is also vice-president-elect. Any other solution than Maduro in my opinion would have less democratic legitimacy. Politically, there is just no way that anyone who is not already a dedicated anti-chavista will be upset over this and in the back of your mind you probably know that.
    If you are of the opposition, get to work on some real issues like crime, corruption and inflation, prepare for the municipal elections and the presidential elections following Chavez possible death, throwing around words like “coup” in a situation like this just digs your own grave. Som being pro-chavez maybe I should encourage it, but I really think it is preferable to have an opposition constructively critisizing and offering alternatives.

      • I’m sorry, I am not Venezuelan, and some basic things that anyone living in the country would know is just seldom mentioned in media coverage. Do you not elect a president-vicepresident team there? Is the vicepresident named by the president like a minister?

    • Two comments for JW : One , Mr Chavez in his farewell speech did propose that Maduro be ELECTED his substitute as president if he didnt make it , not that in his absence Maduro automatically take his place , second , assumme that before Obama took his pledge of office he and Bidden became deadly ill from eating some spoiled food and that although the constitution then called for the acting head of Congress to take his place the Supreme Court of Justice appointed The Head of the Chiefs of Staff to take his place , would you consider that decision legitimate?. What is too often forgotten is that in civilized countries the Rule of Law is as important as Free elections to Legitimize Political Power. Some effort at political literacy is important to understand the institutions under which one lives . Allow me to respectfully suggest u read Fukuyamas latest book on the ‘Origins of Political’ Order’, Im certain you-l find it an enjoyable read.

  37. Good pun Socrates and surely well meant , the issue I have with JW is that in the ordinary course of things Rule of Law is not necessarily trumped by Mayority Rule , specially where Mayority Rule is interpreted to entitle those in the mayority to ride rough shod over the Minorities basic freedoms and rights and to totally exclude their participation in collective decisions. Here is were Rule of Law can help balance things and avoid a ‘Tyranny of the Mayority.’ .. Still there are exceptional ocassions where legitimacy rises totally outside Rule of Law parameters , as when Gnral Degaulle became the undisputed Leader of the French ( despite allied and communist opposition) the day after Paris was taken from the Nazis by simply walking with a million frenchman along the Champ Elysee to the Arc d’ Triumphe . Thanks for your witty albeit belatted observation .

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