The Misguided MUD

camelBoy, this communiqué from the MUD in response to Barack Obama’s recent Executive Order is a clear example of the old adage about a camel being a horse designed by a committee. What a mish-mash.

Let’s break it down – what is the text saying?

1. Venezuela is not a threat, and the only thing that is a threat are the government’s policies.

Really? Venezuela is not a threat to Colombia’s stability? What about Venezuela’s position in the UN Security Council – by aligning itself with Russia and China, does it not become a threat to US foreign policy? Furthermore, their attempt to change the topic into domestic policy is lame and coarsely done. “Foreign policy? We only want to talk about people lining up on the streets! Do’t ask us about foreign policy!”

2. We have consistently rejected measures against a country, but we are OK with measures against an individual.

Um … it’s OK to be against measures that affect all Venezuelans – we all are. But why mention them, when the Executive Order clearly states that these are measures against seven chavista thugs? Do they not see how they are feeding into the government’s narrative. Don’t think of an elephant guys. Don’t.

3. We prefer punishment under international law over unilateral actions.

OK, here is where they really lost me. How is “international law” (such a hazily defined term) going to prevent the SEBIN guys from continuing to violate Venezuela’s human rights? How can “international law” punish people such as Katherine Harrington by taking away their assets.

We can agree or disagree about the effectiveness of the unilateral measures such as the recent Executive Order, but thinking that “international law” is going to rein in Maduro is simply not realistic. It’s as if they have learned nothing.

If anything, “international law” is going to bolster Maduro, given how so many countries are willing to look away while the regime does what it wants – countries which the MUD chastises in the same communiqué in which it pleads for “international law” to help us.

4. We thank the international community for helping us, but the job is ours to do, so please don’t interfere.

So, which is it guys? Do you want the international community to help or not? Because you can’t have it both ways. You have spent countless hours lobbying the international community for this or that. When somebody does something, you squeal in terror at the mere thought of being seen as “vendepatria.” Defínanse.

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I don’t want to belittle how difficult a situation this one is for the opposition. But it would have been enough to put out a mere statement saying something like

“This is a private issue between the government of the United States and seven corrupt individuals. We continue to fight for the release of all political prisoners, and for Venezuelans’ human rights.”

Instead, the rice-and-mango that came out makes their position … incomprehensible.

33 thoughts on “The Misguided MUD

  1. Juan,

    Very well put, and I agree completely. The old narrative of U.S. meddling in LatAm is waning in any case. In my conversations with people on the street, this image of the U.S. just doesn’t have any traction, other than with the most extremist Chavistas. The Opposition’s reaction was overblown and unnecessary. Your statement of what the Oppo position should have been was just right.

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  2. Proving once again the old adage: “With “friends” (Falcon/Enriquez/Fernandez/MUD/et.al.) like these, who needs enemies?” Dire future for Venezuela, indeed….

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  3. In fact, bullet two is so far removed from the quid of the third paragraph on the communique that all hope of neutrality went out the window.

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  4. From an outsiders point of view I can’t find fault with any of the four points. Venezuela is not a threat to the U S and that finding was merely a necessary procedural predicate to the individual sanctions which if issued against the entire country would have harmed blameless victims of the Chavistas. The preference for international law punishment is their weakest point since no such punishment will follow since the Chavistas are leftist and maintain a thin veneer of democracy. But that point is more than overshadowed by the last point which is critical. Venezuela must resolve the inanity of the Chavistas because there will be no help from the U S or any other country. To the extent any foreign influence is exercised it will support the status quo. Your quagmire and suffering will not end in the short term but I hope I am wrong.

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  5. El peo de estos tipos es que tienen una cadena pegada al cuello con un yunque llamado “populismo”, por eso prefieren seguir con la retórica estúpida de que es preferible seguir regalándole todo a los vagos para que voten en lugar de siquiera asomar la idea de desarrollar una sociedad donde la gente pueda tener un mínimo de estabilidad e independencia económica, para que produzca en vez de estar medrando toda su vida del trabajo de los demás.

    Venezuela seguirá siendo una republiqueta tercermundista hasta que se cambie ese paradigma ridículo de que todo tiene que ser subsidiado y regalado y el que se atreva a tener algo más es visto como un criminal, mientras que a los criminales de verdad se les perdona todo lo que hacen.

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    • Ralph, In Venezuela there is a long tradition that forms part of an authoritarian nature, where people idolize( or respect) external power,rather than internal power.External power can be a caudillo, a dangerous criminal,a status quo,an well known ” intellectual” a famous person , a blog owner, a rich man or whatever form the power takes on in the circumstance.

      This makes many people protect the external power even more than they will protect themselves.

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  6. Hey, MUD, Nietzsche has some advice for you:

    “Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster… for when you gaze long into the abyss. The abyss gazes also into you.”

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  7. That’s what happens when political leaders are similar to the uneducated, naive population of any country:

    1/ By horrible mistake, the pueblo ends up electing one of their own: uneducated, incompetent, unprepared to handle money and power: Chavez. (Instead of an “elite” group of people, more educated, refined, ‘international’ if you will, say a Leopoldo Lopez, at least.)

    2/ Then the astronomical Corruption and Theft explodes among the Indians and their Elected Caciques, (who are not even superior Shamans or street-smart). So the monkeys in power steal everything in sight, and the country goes to hell = Musburrismo/Vzla.

    3/ The “opposition” left (MUD = barro ‘e’pueblo, en buena parte tambien), is also uneducated, dumb and unprepared, especially on international matters. So they issue stupid statements like the one described here on this blog to further complicate things.

    Beware of complete “democracy” and “everyone is born equal” crap, when that actually works.. Even in advance, much more educated places like Europe, Indio no gobierna Indio.

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    • Then, of course, the corrupt, uneducated Indians in power don’t want to give it up, and resort to Force and Superstion to stay in power, and steal as much as they can as fast as possible, with illusions of grandeur: Ley Habilitante, perdida de libertades, zero separacion de poderes, Dictadura.

      They say they are direct descendants of the Gods (like the Romans, Egyptians, Mayans, Chinese, etc, except they are much dumber), they say Chavez/Bolivar are Semi-Gods, elected by Jesusito and in direct contact with Maria Leonza, etc.. therefore the rebolucion bolibanana is legit. and the pueblo has to idolize them too.

      For more Superstion, and to stay in power, they also claim there are real Demons (El Imperio, Capitalismo, etc) on the prowl, so they must defend el pueblo against such imaginary attacks of Evil.

      That’s the case in in Vzla, has happened all over the world forever.. “Democracy” gone wrong, Indio al poder, abuse of “religions”, superstitions, theft, inept totalitarianism, leading to Chaos and ultimate demise.

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      • And like the Romans, they give the dumb, uneducated indios in the populace a bit of Circus (novela, tv..) and diversion, some goods (gas, mango y arepa) and lots of corruption (enchufadismo agudo, a todo nivel) that’s just to keep them somewhat appeased, distracted with all the superstitions and drama ..

        Until, of course, they economy fails, due to the greed and incompetence of the indians in power, and there’s no more bread or medicine, and the tribes start to get pissed and finally revolt: Vzla.

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  8. Those who supported La Salida went to prison for insurrection, those who now support foreign intervention will go to jail for treason…so perhaps… this policy statement is principally an attempt at defensive cover to avoid going to prison for treason during the next round of purges.

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  9. Juan Cristobal Nagel wrote: “So, which is it guys? Do you want the international community to help or not? Because you can’t have it both ways. You have spent countless hours lobbying the international community for this or that. When somebody does something, you squeal in terror at the mere thought of being seen as “vendepatria.” Defínanse.”

    To me, the Venezuelans living in the US were the persons who did the majority of the pressure on US Congress. No Venezuelan political party, no MUD were helping in the succeed of the sanctions.

    Instead, the MUD and their representation in DC where lobbing against the sanctions helping the Venezuelan’s regimen (just remember the Jacobson affair). Alex Boyd explain very well who were the persons involved (Aveledo and Medina in Caracas & Leopoldo Martinez Nucete in DC). Their motivations? It’s not up to me to define it, but however read Boyd’s blog, it will figure out their intentions.

    And now It look like Aveledo was involved one way or another in the redaction of the new MUDdy response to the US. It’s consistent with the gaffe that he did at the time of the Jacobson’s affair.

    Today, after the UE declaration against the Venezuelan’s regimen, those people in the MUD looks more “MISGUIDED”.

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  10. One has to wonder whether these MUD folks have received threats from Godgiven Hair and his combo.

    It is easy to throw stones at these guys, but it is not so easy to live in their skin. Talk to any diputado and they’ll tell you how they are constantly followed, their phones and emails tapped and hacked, etc……(even PSUV diputados too)

    That said, one also does wonder that if those statements by the MUD are not given under threat, what the hell do they have in their heads?

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  11. Juan, other than on point 2 (indeed, don’t bring out the elephant if there is none), I think you overreach in your analysis. As Quico pointed out a few days ago, Venezuela is way, way down in the threat category for the US. If aligning with Russia and China is a threat, then half of the countries in the UN should be on the threat list, including China. So, stop with the nonsense that Venezuela is a threat to the US. If Venezuela is a threat to Colombia, then have Colombia declare so. Seriously, you are grasping at straws with that argument.Second, the call for use of international law (in my view) is an allusion to application of the Interamerican Democratic Charter (maybe the communique’ should have said so).

    What would you have the MUD do? Do you want them to rejoice for the sanctions? That’s a losing proposition in a country in which more than 60% of the people disagree with the sanctions (regardless of their reasons or ignorance of the nature of the sanctions).

    Third, it does not hurt reminding people that given how the OAS has acted so far, and the paper tiger that the US sanctions really represent, we Venezuelans are still on our own to solve this mess.

    You might want to walk in the MUD shoes for once.

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  12. From outside it’s very easy to take side…..I think the MUD it’s between a hard rock and a wall, “si la ensarta pierde y si no tambien”. Trying to please the hard oppo, the “salida”, the appeasers and the uneducated mass is almost impossible. If every venezuelan was really politically educated it would be very easy to handle these situations.
    I do agree there are some old school politicians in the MUD that are 110% populists, but there are some that are really interested in the venezuelan future.

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  13. I’ve slowly been losing respect for the MUD, and they just knocked themselves down 10 pegs with this communique.
    Some are talking about how stressing it must be to be an opposition leader in the current state of things, and I know we should sympathize with them to a certain degree. But at this point, it’s also safe to say that it’s time to go big or go home. Put simply, I don’t think we have time for politicians who’ll spend a year clamoring for international attention only to backtrack once a country actually intervenes against chavismo, and they’re faced with the threat of a reprisal that the government would have carried out just the same (No nos caigamos mas a mojones sobre lo que este gobierno realmente es).
    While I wouldn’t criticize opposition leaders for not going on the record to say they applaud sanctions from the US against government officials because of the inherent consequences of doing so, I do at least expect them not to condemn it in the slightest.
    The game has changed for some time now; our leaders ought to think long and hard of what lies ahead, and step back if they don’t think they can face it. That would be infinitely preferable to communiques like this.

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  14. “It’s as if they have learned nothing.”

    It’s as if the MUD was just the conservative wing of chavismo. As people keep noticing over and over. They are the conservative wing of chavismo.

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  15. My apologies por write this comment in Castellano

    He estado pensando el porque la miopía, la falta de olfato político, los errores “políticos” que comete la MUD, no tanto por lo que escribieron en contra de la decisión soberana de USA de sancionar a 7 delincuentes con congelarles sus cuentas y propiedades en USA, prohibiéndoles la entrada al imperio.

    No solo por eso, sino porque ahora es la UE la que se pronuncia en contra del régimen venezolano, en forma paralela y sin que aparentemente hubiera alguna conexión, lo cual pone a los “visionarios” de la MUD mas miopes todavía.

    Cuadres políticos? Negociaciones? Marketing político?
    Desde mi punto de vista NO creo que sea algunas de ellas.

    Carlos Blanco, cuando muere el galáctico, se refería a los subalternos de Chávez como la sargenteria. Los que están mandando ahora en el régimen es la sargenteria y por eso el caos, los conflictos de poder, las burradas.

    Con la oposición se produce una analogía, porque está dominada por la sargenteria de la 4ta.

    Por aquellos que con cierta inteligencia escalaron en la estructura del poder pero mas por ser el mas jalabola, el más cuadrado a los líderes de la 4ta.
    No por su propio mérito, visión y audacia, sino por su dedicación a doblarse al mejor postor. Especialmente cuando era penalizada la audacia.
    Allí aprendieron muy bien su trabajo: a negociar (Ramos Allup), a conciliar conflictos (Aveledo), hacer guisos (casi todos). Y por supuesto tenían a sus herederos (Leopoldo Martinez Nucete por nombrar uno solo).

    Bueno, ahora nos encontramos con una MUD secuestrara por estos “visionarios” y mantienen al margen a la Venezuela que esta surgiendo paralela: las voces independientes y la de los estudiantes.

    Repetimos hasta la saciedad. Esa debería se nuestra apuesta de futuro. Los estudiantes .

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