Sunday, 7 February 2010

Predicting a head-on collision in Venezuela


So: what will happen?

I am not a seer. Politics is not physics or mathematics. Societal "predictions" can influence outcomes. What we claim one group will do may influence what it really does in the end.

Still, I reckon it is fair to say this:

The Venezuelan government will

  • massively send military and police agents to the regions where Hugo of Sabaneta said the government will focus when fighting crime; crime may or may not go down a little bit and the government will announce it has greatly reduce it, even if the murder rate will still be several times what it was in 1998
  • distribute mixers, refrigerators, TVs, mattresses and more either for free or next to nothing (minister Samán has already said they are importing all kinds of gadgets and cars to sell at $2.6 while the private sector gets dollars at $4.3)
  • falsify results supposedly coming from areas where the opposition does not have actas (which are many, specially outside the major urban areas)
  • infiltrate groups in the opposition, specially those in charge of actas
  • insist on doing paper trail counting - when things come to that - only in those centres the cne has prepared
  • invite several deputies from far-left European parties to try to legitimize themselves with "international observers"
  • send armed groups in bikes to intimidate oppo voters and witnesses during voting day in September
  • announce the political inabilitation of oppo politicians who could win many votes
  • increase the amount of hours of forced transmission of Hugo's speeches in all radios and TV channels
  • announce some juicy deals for Spanish or Brazilian companies but economically bad for Venezuela in order to buy off favours from Spanish or Brazilian politicians
  • threaten companies and well-known individuals who are still not with them with confiscation unless those companies and individuals stop supporting the opposition
After results are known, they may decide to
  • prepare a law to emasculate the National Assembly
  • aprove a law to give Hugo of Sabaneta full powers for several years (see also Quico's post here)
  • transform the so-called councils (in Russian "soviet") in mere groups under complete control of the Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela
  • make elections go indirectly through the councils and transform them into intimidation mechanisms against the opposition
  • take away more resources from the states and municipalities

And some of the errors the opposition may make:

  • opposition governor Salas Feo could again refuse to cooperate with the rest of the opposition in Carabobo unless they accept his father and other members of his family party to lead the list of oppo candidates
  • opposition governor Salas Feo and Andrés Velázquez may again fail to organize enough field workers and set up a good network of observers in the most critical areas like Municipio Libertador or Miguel Pena
  • opposition leaders may remain in the main urban centres and fail to go to the secondary ones; they may again use a lot of money to campaign through Globovision and newspapers instead of using flyers and hard ground work in secondary urban centres and slums
  • Primero de Justicia will fail to join forces with the others in Monagas, specially in Maturín
  • A lot of oppos may want to become witnesses, but only in "their areas"
  • The opposition in general may keep thinking Tweeter, Facebook and Globovision are good methods to campaign in Venezuela
  • Oppos may get infiltrated
Of course, nothing of this is inevitable.

Quico made a remarkable job in presenting possible scenarios in this post.

After this and in view of the fact the economic situation keeps deteriorating and oil prices don't rise (fast enough), Hugo will try to gain more control via the Soviety (or councils in English).

The vast majority of Venezuelans do not want communism, but some sort of that is precisely what Hugo is finally trying to set up in Venezuela. Of course, communists will say that what Hugo is trying to impose is not communism, but then it seems as if implementing communism is like trying to measure position and momentum exactly at the same time: according to the uncertainty principle, that is not possible. I do agree so far we haven't had even socialism, it is all about control by one political force around a man supported by extreme left-wingers and wild boliburgueses and mongrels thereof.

Hugo will give more power to those thugs acting as his Sturmtruppen in the same measure as the economy deteriorates further.

Hugo will also try to accelerate the mass emigration of those who opposed him. Never mind that most highly qualified professionals opposed Hugo. As one former chavista told me (she describes herself now only as "nib"): "que se vayan" (may they leave). Hugo is also constantly saying the opposition will lead Venezuela to a civil war if it wins the majority (as he has always claimed about his adversaries). We need to remain cold-blooded and avoid the violence Hugo will try to provoke.

Government "journalists" kicking other journalists who were distributing flyers about the freedom of expression. These "journalists" are free:

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