Fighting the windmills of abstentionism

gilliamdq_largeThe MUD will be holding primaries in 33 electoral circuits this Sunday. The primaries will be used to elect opposition candidates for the Parliamentary Elections that will supposedly take place before the year is up.

At this point, we should be hearing about the candidates – what they offer, what their message is, how they are different from the other contenders. We already have our favorites.

But instead, all we hear lately is about how anyone calling into question the CNE is baaaaaad.

Luis Vicente Leon is talking about this. Chuo Torrealba is talking about this. Seemingly every MUD politician is talking about this. In fact, I received a barrage of negative comments when a few days ago I posted something about how the electoral conditions in Venezuela are not fair. Supposedly, anyone who talks about how the CNE cheats … is promoting abstention.

Regardless of where you stand on this issue, let’s get a clear fact out of the way: there is no real push for abstention in Venezuela.

There are voices calling for accountability in the CNE. There are also some fringe elements who believe that voting “enables” the dictatorship, that participating in the CNE’s tricks “legitimizes” their shenanigans. There are some who question the motivations of the “official” opposition (their words, not mine).

But this does not make a serious political movement. When the day for the election comes – whenever that is, right Tibisay? – the opposition will vote just like they have done in the last few years.

Given there is no real threat of abstention, what is the point then of criticizing – scratch that, humiliating – those who question the strategy?

It has come to the point that the MUD treats dissident chavistas with more respect than it shells out to dissident voices within their own camp.

Here is my message to the MUD: we will all vote if we are allowed to do so. Don’t be afraid of accountability. Those “radicals” that you are so afraid of … are on your side. The ghosts of abstentionism are simply that – enemies in your head. Focus on the issues at hand, and ignore the abstention camp.

Get that bug out of your butt and quit fighting your own side. Navel-gazing is getting you – and us – nowhere.

58 thoughts on “Fighting the windmills of abstentionism

  1. Seems like the MUD is more focused on fighting the ghost of the 2005 parlamentary elections than addressing the issues in the ground now, a decade later.

    I suspect that is both due to a disconnection with the electorate and because is easier to fight an strawman that can’t shoot back.


  2. Elecsiones Parla-quevaina? Ezo ej pa lo 32 ministros y vaina d’esa, no? A quien le firmo el mango?


  3. ¿Saben que es triste? Venir de un país dividido.

    Que arrechera nos tenemos. Votar es esto: salir de tu casa, hacer una cola y depositar el voto. En total menos de tres horas de un domingo en el que de todos modos no hay nada que hacer.

    Y ni para eso podemos ponernos de acuerdo.

    Como esos matrimonios en los que cualquier acto desencadena una pelea, porque en el fondo el amor se acabó y lo que queda es resentimiento.

    No me considero inmune: temo encontrarme con venezolanos y siento literalmente repulsión por los chavistas. Repulsión física. Me dan asco, directamente.

    Y no creo ser el único que se siente de esta manera.

    A ver si este peo alguna vez se arregla, yo no creo.

    Se dice que la patria es la infancia, y en ese sentido, es un lugar irrecuperable porque está en el pasado.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. It could have something to do with the Gubernatorial and Mayorial elections. The opposition has come out to vote during the last two presidential elections but there has been considerable abstention for other elections. The opposition should not have less than 8-10 governors but due to the abstention that Chavez’s victory causes in Dec of 2012 we lost at least 5 winnable states.


  5. The more people vote against narco-state the harder it needs to work to maintain power. With 25% support which rappidly dropping, it’s bound to crash sooner or later.


  6. Abstentionism or not, 40-60% anyway, these laughable elections will be heavily manipulated, in multiple ways we all know.

    From the flagrant lack of “libertad de expresion”, to the Massive Chavista Propaganda Machine, with all its Bribes, threats and intimidations, to playing around with Cabello’s Parlament seats and fantastic “demographic” recent changes, and even flexing the diabolical muscles of the CNE and Chavezmatic fraud machines. Heck, they won’t even have to play with that too much, just for training purposes until the real Presidential elections.

    If Masburristas are not completely retarded and suicidal, such Fraud will probably allow for a laughable and meaningless “victory” of MUDcrap. The Fraud and cheating will still have to be huge, but not of Smartmatic immense proportions, as it will be later. To turn 80% disapproval into a 52% “win” for the opposition will be evil enough this time.

    As if that would make any difference in a Dictatorship with no separation of powers, no real Parliament or anything even close to it. It will just buy more time, flex the corrupt CNE’s muscles, until they really put down the hammer for Nicolasito’s re-election.

    Might as well be watching Cuba’s recent “elections”… or better yet, “el baile del bachaco”.


  7. “Given there is no real threat of abstention, what is the point then of criticizing – scratch that, humiliating – those who question the strategy?”

    Yes, there is no real threat of abstention so far, and the job of the MUD is to keep it that way…

    You have to understand that the opposition has a dilemma:

    1.- Call the CNE into question, and with that alienate your voters and guarantee a (significant) rise in abstention.

    2.- Tell people that there can be no fraud and go to vote, and with that let CNE get away with their cheating ways.

    If you don’t understand this is a dilemma, then, well… Fortunately some people in the MUD seem to be wiser than you.

    Look, I know the dilemma shouldn’t be there, because the point is that people should go to vote even if there is gonna be fraud. It really shouldn’t be either option 1 or option 2,


    Try convincing most people that they should go to vote even if the elections are not fair. I dare you.

    So, considering everything, I think it is better to choose option 2 and stick to it. Otherwise, chavistas won’t even need to cheat in order to win.


    • Actually the dilama does exist and even our MUDcrap factions have realized that.

      The more people vote, the more votes for the so-called “opposition” in the end, even after all the cheating, with 80% against. “Quitate-tu, pa oneme yo”, anyway.

      Even Leopoldo, MCM, Ledezma,, the “elite” of MUDcrap, have decided to keep quiet about the obvious Frauds, grotesque and unfair practices of Chavista “elections”.

      They seem to have adopted a 2 way street strategy:

      1/ Let Caprilito and the other populist Mudcrap Clowns do their thing in the barrios, promote the “elections” anyway, push people to vote. They know las Parlamentarias are a joke, but anyway.

      2/ At the same time, start pushing for the “Voto-Manual” but ONLY in certain media for certain audiences: on FB, Twitter and papers for the educated, elite anti-Maduristas. As if to prepare for the future, starting to educate everyone able to listen about the real atrocities of the Chavista Electronic Fraud to come in the real Presidential Elections. Hopefully, that will be the final detonator.


  8. Sheeesh, defensive, are we?

    For me it’s simple: my goal is better elections with less scope for votos chimbos, with more opposition turnout and with checks and guarantees that allow us to win.

    Complaining about CNE, issuing demands of CNE, pointing out the obvious about CNE…these things don’t really bring us any closer to meeting those goals.

    What gets us closer to achieving those goals is recruiting, mobilizing, training, supporting and empowering witnesses and volunteers in the 5,000+ voting centers MUD has already identified as At Risk of abusive/intimidatory tactics by the chavista machine.

    Because that’s where the problem is, at the centro de votación level.

    When our people are there, at the voting center, organized and empowered, introducing votos chimbos becomes hard, hard, hard.

    Arguing that CNE is hideously partial isn’t a strategy. It’s a declaration of the damn obvious. We can’t count on them to solve that problem for us. We have to solve that problem ourselves. And we can. If we work it.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. “What gets us closer to achieving those goals is recruiting, mobilizing, training, supporting and empowering witnesses and volunteers in the 5,000+ voting centers MUD has already identified as At Risk of abusive/intimidatory tactics by the chavista machine.”

    Agreed. I don’t see how one op-ed after another blasting “the radicals” gets us any closer to that. In fact, it pushes us further away!

    BTW, I’m not defensive. For the record I think abstaining is silly and counter-productive – but I think they have a right to be heard and respected.


    • For the record, we fail again with the official rewrite of history here. The abstention of 2005 was not a failure. Rather an incredible opportunity that was not captured by other political means IMO.

      The participation is no only electoral but has to be on organization, activism, and more importantly on demanding and getting accountability. The day politicians fear the citizens (and media) and bloggers and the rule of law, more than the reverse, we will be heading in the right direction.


    • “There is only one kind of men who have never been on strike in the whole of human history. Every other kind and class has stopped, when they so wished, and have presented demands to the world, claiming to be indispensable – except the men who have carried the world on their shoulders, have kept it alive, have endured torture as sole payment, but have never walked out on the human race. Well, their turn has come. Let the world discover who they are, what they do and what happens when they refuse to function. This is the strike of the men of the mind, Miss Taggart. This is the mind on strike.”

      Abstention until the system is cleaned up from the likes of Ricardo Sanchez, Chuo Torrealba, Henry Ramus Allup and all the others who haven´t earned that place! If further pain must be endured, then so be it.


  10. People are pretty disapointed, ~20%-40% oppo people I ask about voting, they answer “Y pa que voy a votar si igual ellos hacen lo q les da la gana”.
    So yes, it is baaaaad if you just limit yourself to pointing the problem, instead of explaining why voting is important amid CNE partiality and “Hacen lo que les da la gana”


      • people will eventually understand that voting is not their only way to force a transition of power, and a different dynamic of resistencia and insurgencia will develop.

        The Voting mirage is a pressure safety valve this regime has built in and administers to control the social body and prevent the other more effective dynamics to take hold and perform.

        Regretfully, time only favours the regime who gets stronger in relative terms to the impoverished and soon to be hungry and sick and scared, and hopeless population.

        No one who spends 8 hrs a day on a cue under the tropics sun, ” begging” for a pollo and papel toilet, has time or energy to demand better public services, accountability from public office and better standard of living, they are only on survival mode. (Castro dixit)

        fait acompli.


  11. You overlook the fact that the trojan horse is in place already. The REP has been adulterated systematically by chavismo since the mid 2000’s. The growth of the franchise base does not follow demographics and it is subject of suspect in my book.

    The Naturalization and cedula express sub systems supported this manipulation, as cover ups. however young voters continually complain there is no centros de inscripcion available for them, while there seems to be limitless resources to asign centros de inscripcion in strategic rural and chavista strongholds (tambien es fraude!)

    So, it is not only a matter of controlling the poll centres, which I endorse, it is also a need to focus on gaining trust on the vital franchise database. For some reason the regime has maintained strict control and total tramparencia on this issue!

    Voto manual presents same risks when a non controlled remote polling stations closes for escrutinio. … so the solution by quico stands, regardless of how votes are emitted and tallied.

    In any case, assume oppo wins and assume oppo manages to demonstrate win on the polls. Still there is a matter of forcing the incumbent to transition out of power and for the newly elected to take control. Without any respect for laws and having dilapidated (stolen) almost three trillion dollars, the regime will not play nice.
    It all ends up on the arbitrator of course, the grantor of violence, that is the armed forces/ military.
    good luck there.

    The only thing that will trigger a transition of power in Venezuela, is that the military decide its is not worth the while to control the violence in the streets,rather deal with the regime’s criminal organization. (I fear the two are by now one and the same) so what is next?

    Ghost busters? el Chapulin colorado? Maria?
    No se. i just dont see a transition out of this orgy, without heavy costs.


  12. “Voto manual presents same risks when a non controlled remote polling stations closes for escrutinio. … so the solution by quico stands, regardless of how votes are emitted and tallied”

    Of course not. But what does Europe know, anyway..


    • Voto manual in an scenario of unmanned poll stations by witnesses from all parties, is the same situation as before chavismo, where local componendas among represented parties can happen. (acta mata voto).

      Automated centralised voting (and escrutinio, and totalizacion) without witnesses from all parties in the central command centers and trustworthy processes and hardware/software render the whole electoral sytem obsolute- that is untrustworthy. (CNE mata actas y mata votos).

      The only solution for gaining competitive, free and fair elections in the country is a total opening of CNE to public review and audit. Chavismo will never allow for this.

      Cui Prodest?


      • For starters, your premise is wrong.. “scenario of unmanned poll stations by witnesses from all parties”.

        Of course, either way, they’ve gotta be “manned” , super “manned” that is.

        No elections in Corruptzuela can be 100% straight and transparent. But as everyone in Europe knows, for countless reasons, manual, paper voting is best. Potential Massive electronic fraud is thus avoided.

        But you can go back a couple of weeks here and read about Chavezmatic, plenty of links everywhere. Ask the poor Brazilians, or the CIA, or Princeton University, etc, etc

        Or just look at today’s beautiful process in the Philipinnes..

        Anyway, I’m tired of the subject. Just wait til the shyt hits the fan when Chavezmatic reelects Maduro.


  13. “It’s difficult for a man to understand something when his job depends on his not understanding of it”. Luis Vicente Leon fundamentalmente cobra por encuestas, which tend to boom in election years (almost every year since chavismo took office). That’s why for him Venezuela is a democracy.


  14. Absentiism is the main enemy , people should understand that voting has a impact , a cummulative impact that damages the regime and makes it increasingly vulnerable , so that voting isnt predicated on the Regime being toppled by voting in an oppo parliament ( although thats a possibility) but on showing that despite the frauds and coercions there is a big chunk of the electorate that oppose the regime .

    In the final instance voting is an expression of protest , of resistance which we owe it to our self dignity to express . I will prefer that my vote be stolen that I suffer the indignity of giving it away . Im not sure that the capacity or the CNE to jiggle the numbers is that big so as to conceal the fact that a huge part of the votes cast were against the regime .

    We hurt ourselves when to flattter our pride at being righteouly and sanctimoniously indignant at our sometime less than perfec oppo leadership we use language that disparages their character or motives or wax sweet on how utterly futile voting against the regime is . This is the equivalent of aiding the regimes cause by encouraging defeatism .

    We have two not one wars to one and one has top priority at this time , the first war is creating conditions that ultimately allow us in two or ten steps to change the govt , the second war how to organize the plans of an oppo movement to use its control of govt to restore venezuela to a life of freedom and economic growth .
    We can prepare for the second war in our discussions in this blog , but such discussion must not be allowed to disturb our chances of winning the first war. Unless we win the first war fighting among ourselves for defining how to win the second is folly.


  15. Correction In line one of the 4th paragraph: ‘We have not one but two wars to win and one has top priority at this time ..”


  16. “Of course the game is rigged. Don’t let that stop you–if you don’t play, you can’t win.” — R.A.H.


  17. Capriles: “Aquí la gente no se va a ir, ni la oposición se va a ir, ni el gobierno se va a ir, hay que convivir” Yea… Convivir… You can’t make this shit up.

    If abstentionism is voting for them, and working for them for free like Chuo said… If abstentionism is silly, is idiotic, is whatever you wanna call it, then what is this crap?

    Everyone is worried about ”abstentionism” instead of getting worry about the MUD, and voting for them again… But don’t keep calm I guess, go vote so you can coexist with the government mientras descargas la arrechera con la cacerola, in the meantime, you may get robbed or killed, or perhaps you can wait in line to try and acquire some basic products… Who knows, maybe dancing salsa will make it more pleasant.

    Oh BTW… Let’s imagine that the MUD is actually the way to go and not corrupted, that voting will go smooth without any fraud… Do you *really* believe that the government will just resign and give Capriles la cinta presidencial? Do you *really* believe that after being 16+ years in the power, getting rich… They will just give it all up so someone else can be president?


  18. I am sorry Juan, but after reading and confirming that the MUD shorten the list of circuits in which primaries will be held, I decided I will not go to vote, I couldn’t care less really. I am sick of the shenanigans, of the excuses, of trying to keep the cogollo intact. The MUD has shown me time and time again that it’s not really a democratic alternative, it’s just a group of people looking after themselves. I’ve become really disappointed of our political class.


    • Well you must no live in Venezuela. I do understand the frustration with the MUD, but how not go to vote solve the problem? This constant “tirar la toalla” is deeply seeded in Venezuelan’s DNA. Yes go and vote is not going to solve the problem, but do nothing is give Chavismo the Assembly in a silver platter!


      • I do live in Venezuela. But handing the National Assembly to the MUD won’t solve Venezuela’s problems either. The MUD is filled with people as despicable as Diosdado y su combo. The MUD lacks the discipline needed to be a real threat to chavismo and corruption plagues its lines.
        Chavismo’s lines are disciplined cause they know that if they fall out of line they would not have the support of the party and most likely lose. But the MUD’s situation is different, instead of being able to exercise the same pressure on its candidates, the so-called leaders hold the coalition to a ransom threatening to leave (or jump the talanquera) if their demands are not met. Moreover, the MUD leadership has signaled that it rather find “consensus” than to lead by example.
        The problem with Venezuela is a lack of moral fiber among its politicians who are not really committed with our democracy.


        • “The MUD is filled with people as despicable as Diosdado y su combo.”
          so basically they are the same thing?
          How did you reach that astounding conclusion?
          Who are these people and what did they do that compares them to Diosdado no less?
          How many laws did they violate?
          How many people did they send to jail?
          How many TV stations, radio stations, newspapers did they close?
          How many acts of corruption did they commit?
          How many …
          please, do tell


          • It’s really time we stop looking the other way when confronted with the reality the MUD is as rotten as the rest of the country on the inside. I’m not saying that the entire coalition is rotten, just like not every person that is part of chavismo is bad, but certainly we have been very accepting towards it, just because they say to be on the same side it doesn’t mean they behave accordingly.


    • Sino que lo diga rallup, que sabia por adelantado que diosdado se iba a volar la eleccion directa al parlatino y en vez de opornerse (esto es mucho pedir para la mudcrap) y pelear esa vaina. Se fue a donde el cogollo a pedir q lo lanzaran a diputado de la AN.

      Bueno, despues de todo esos contrato de derwick con el chabismo no se van a cuidar solos

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Nagel al contrario de lo que piensas, la abstención será masiva, ya nadie da medio por la mudcrap. Los únicos que la defienden son periodistas o intelectuales a sueldo (mires por ejemplo?) que les hacen propaganda a la mudcrap o los que estan en una nómina de alguna alcaldia o gobernacion mudeca. Ningun ciudadano que no pertenezca a los grupos que mencioné va a votar por estos bandidos.

    It’s plain to see that MUD = chabismo sin chabes + chabismo light

    Hace rato que en la mudcrap no hay opositores

    Pero me alegra ver en este blog que cada vez hay mas gente que ya no se deja engañar por la mudcrap, que no se deja chantajear ni manipular por la falacia de “la unidá” y “cuidar los espacio” (cuidame mi cambur, tú jódete y ve como te defiendes del chabismo)

    Ya muchos despertamos. Y tú?


    • Yo realmente no entiendo como una abstención masiva se puede llamar un despertar…que alguien me explique el plan B…despues de la abstención masiva en las primarias que pasara en las elecciones parlamentarias? Se van a abstener y dejar que Diosdado siga mandando como capataz de Hacienda en el siglo 19? POr favor expliquenmelo porque sin plan B tendrán a Diosdado y a Maduro por largo rato…


      • El plan en 2005 era boicotearle las elecciones al chavismo, al no ir a votar casi 90% (Nunca se puede olvidar que el chavismo sacó menos de 13% en esas elecciones), se sabía que se contaba con aproximadamente esa cantidad de gente para montar una protesta generalizada en el país hasta que el gobierno hiciera elecciones manuales.

        El peo fue que la dirigencia, a la cual le tocaba llamar a las protestas, se chorreó y decidieron “echarle tierrita al asunto” y no mencionarlo más nunca, se rumora que el gobierno amenazó a los dirigentes de los partidos con que les iba a ilegalizar los partidos si seguían con la “ladilla de boicotear elecciones”

        Es el mismo peo que pasó con Capriles en 2013 que dijo que “iría hasta las últimas consecuencias” y luego salió con la patada por la cara de “váyanse a sus casas a escuchar salsa que acá no pasó nada”

        Es el mismo peo desde hace 10 años, ganan, pero no cobran.


        • Entonces el plan B se parece al plan A. Si votas masivamente pero no te reconocen hay que protestar, pero no se protesta. Si no votas y el PSUV gana aunque sea con una participación baja hay que protestar pero no se protesta. Si lo que se necesita es protestar energéticamente, as vale hacerlo cuando se vota masivamente…Acuerdense que Chavez llamo al abstencionismo y no llego a nada. Acuerdense como se perdío la Asamblea por abstencionismo.

          Yo se que la situación en Venezuela esta peluda pero abstenerse en mi opinión no arregla nada…


  20. Ya te dije por qué se perdió la asamblea en 2005, así que no vale la pena volver a repetir de nuevo lo que dije en el mensaje de más arriba.

    El peo es que si se va a votar con el sistema podrido hasta la médula que hay, el gobierno usará como excusa que “como participaron entonces ustedes están aceptando TODAS las condiciones actuales”, al boicotearles la elección se les quita esa excusa.

    Nadie le paró bola al fiambre cuando llamó a abstencionismo en los 90s precisamente porque las únicas opciones eran AD o Copei, y porque todavía buena parte de la gente del país recordaba que él era un golpista asesino.

    Sigue creyendo que 2005 fué sólo un berrinche o que a la gente le dió flojera hacer algo, lamentablemente eres otra persona más que se ha tragado las mentiras que el régimen ha dicho 24/7 durante todos estos años.


    • Y hay mas opciones ahora o se vota por el gobierno, por ese partido que aunque pegado con saliva de loro es el PSUV (Partido socialista UNICO de Venezuela) y con algunos $$$ o contra el gobierno por la alternativa democratica que la MUD ofrece, aunque de paso pegada con saliva de loro (pero sin $$$). Es la misma vaina que cuando CHavez llamo a la abstención…yo no veo la diferencia.


  21. The fact is that the MUD (“barro” in english… what a coincidence isn’t?) let students and people alone in February-March-April 2014 protests, and instead of support them (us), they prefered to go to the infamous “diálogo” in Miraflores, which was the chavista regime’s perfect excuse by the time to show to the world that Venezuela has a legitime democracy. And now, they want us to support them… fuck it. The citizens should realize that the country is not polarizado anymore; in my opinion, there are 4 groups of people in Venezuela (politically speaking):

    1. Chavistas/maduristas who really support this nightmare, they do believe in the “guerra económica” and all those bullshit.
    2. Oppositors who still believe in the MUD, Capriles, Chúo, etc.: they have infinite hopes in that the democratic transition will be electoral, peaceful and with unicorns swirling around the sky.
    3. The “soy chavista pero no quiero a Maduro” people, who blame Nicolás on the crisis but still think the “supremo” is the reincarnation of Jesus Christ.
    4. The “radicales” oppositors, who promoted “La Salida”, the guarimbas and the protests in order to get rid off the chavismo; also, the whole right wing/liberal movements are in here.

    The MUD does not get the message. We must remember that since 2006 until april 2013, the whole oppositors believed that the elections were the only way to beat the chavismo, in spite of the rotten CNE rep and the frauds, and they (we) called to vote massively in every chance; but in 2014 -after the things I’ve explained above- there was a rupture, and right now, people simply don’t believe in the official opposition anymore. Right now, the MUD accuse the “radicales” of “hacerle el juego” to the chavismo calling to the abstention (#SalvaTuVoto), but they have demonstrated in every election that their victory won’t be the regime’s end, because they want to “convivir” (Capriles dixit).

    Pro-MUD people are just stubborn.


    • People who understand that absentiism is a vote for the regime , dont care that the MUD is or is not all composed of a lily white and pure group of people , they will vote for whatever candidates they propose to express their loathing of the regime, even if the regime is committed to resorting to all kinds of fraud . The size of the rejection will get noted (nothng remains hidden in this country) and the govt further delegitimized in the eyes of the world which ultimtely will make them more vulnerable in the coming battles.

      To play the divisional game is to favour the Regime and collaborate with the govt plans to demoralize people and induce them to forego their vote. If after the election the fraud is succesful it will only make oppo movement more motivated to follow its pursuit of regime change, thru whatever means seem most expedient. My own wife says that if the oppo proposes a cockroach as a candidate she will vote for the cock roach because whatever the govt proposes is bound to be worse. Many people share that radical position .

      If n the end institutinal means or regime change become blocked then other means will get adopted by the mass of people who are deeply dissatisfied with the regime , a number which is ever larger each day that passes. !! With the countries chaotic worsening situation the govts position can only grow weaker …until the thread breaks. The tougher the talk the more they reveal their panic.


      • Well, not only the opposition is divided… look at Marea Socialista and the chavista dissidents (Julio “Coco” Gédler, for example). And the oppositors’ abstentionism shouldn’t be a worrying for the citizenship, because the chavistas-not-maduristas won’t vote for PSUV anymore.

        PS: 8% was the MUD’s participation in their primary election. What a fall down.


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