Reports from Cuba’s Venezuela: I am afraid there is no peaceful outcome for Venezuela anymore
I am afraid there is no peaceful outcome for Venezuela anymore
The opposition political umbrella, MUD, decided to walk out of the dialogue table, a decision based on the regime intensifying repression, a decision based on the clear plain fact that the regime is not interested in any compromise, in any dialogue, in any power sharing, ANY. Actually, with the abusive repression of yesterday where even kids distributing flyers were arrested we can safely assume that at no point the regime saw the dialogue meetings as anything but a device to gain some time. That the first public hearing was a first time eye opener for many chavistas about the rottenness of the regime was enough to sink the dialogue if there was anyone in the regime serious about it.
We are thus entering the heart of the crisis.
Let's review the direct causes of the crisis today.
There is an economic cause: the country is bankrupt and there is no way it can escape its fate this time around.
Yet, the regime has decided to ignore that side and is instead preparing itself for a major default, for the deliberate ruination of any economic factor not aligned with the regime, of an apartheid where only regime followers will have access to goods, to ration cards, if needed. I am convinced for at least a couple of years that this was an objective. I suspect that at first they meant to create a large dependent class that would be enough to ensure political survival for decades. But the incompetence and thuggery and corruption of the regime made this a runaway experiment, and now, cornered, they are seriously considering going all the way, turning the economy into a few major concerns that will be able to sustain a survival system.
Today in Venezuela you cannot replace your cel phone even with a cheap one, you cannot find batteries for your car, elevators cannot be fixed because there is no money to buy the electronic control cards, your production lines are compromised because there is no spare parts, there is no electricity, there is no functioning infrastructures. We are regressing faster than what many think, regressing in a way that will make it much more difficult to come back. A regression that will be accentuated by the poor education exiting now, by the massive emigration of skilled workers.
There is a political trigger and it is not the death of Chavez. The direct causes of the crisis today were set years ago, in 2010 when the National assembly was neutered and when Chavez did his last big wave of expropriations that left us today without milk, without meat, without cereals. That year were planted the seeds of rebellion, a rebellion that would grow as people realize there was no political outlet, no economy to prosper within, and that rebellion would become the only available tool.
The political trigger was the electoral fraud of April 2013 when Maduro lost the election but managed to claim a 1% margin victory though ballot stuffing the traditional old way. That the opposition at first denounced effectively the fraud but then dropped it cannot hide that aspect. Even chavismo knows that they are a not a majority anymore, then the scare tactics, to postpone the end, to pillage whatever can still be pillaged.
The crisis is made worse because turning the initial fraud claim against April 2013 result into a meek acquiescence has divided irremediably the opposition into two camps, none with a leadership inspiring enough to unify it, for the time being anyway.
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