How do you solve a problem like Pereira?

Good old Maria Corina Machado. Today she was not allowed to register her candidacy due to the government’s push to have her barred from public office. So, instead, she announced that her replacement candidate would be Sociologist Isabel Pereira.

I didn’t know much about Pereira before today, but from the looks of it, she brings a resumé. She has a doctorate, has studied poverty for years, and at the same time is closely linked to pro-market NGO Cedice. Pereira is civil society through and through, and she has tremendous chops to be in the legislature. She has also worked closely with Machado in the past few years.

In other words, she’s a problem for the MUD.

A few days ago, the MUD announced that Machado’s replacement candidate would be selected by them, and not by Machado. Machado beat them to it, naming her replacement as soon as she could. The fact that she picked a grandmotherly Venezuelan with no political baggage and impeccable academic chops … is no coincidence.

The MUD would have to diss Pereira in order to impose somebody else. The risk is that if they diss Pereira, they would be dissing capable members of civil society who have been fighting in the trenches and defending the poor. The squeaky-clean Pereira is a problem for the MUD leadership – it’ll be fun to watch them deal with this hot potato.

37 thoughts on “How do you solve a problem like Pereira?

  1. What a SHOCK that María Corina couldn’t register her candidacy. Totally unexpected.

    Anyways, joking aside, the biggest problem with Pereira is that she’s a total unknown. Just like you, I didn’t know much about this woman until today, and she’s running in the biggest opposition stronghold in the entire country.


    • Well, the votes are in the bag, and what little we see of her we like so far. It’s not like we’re going to be vetting her much. Vetting is just not a thing we do (see, e.g., Sánchez, Ricardo 2015)


      • That’s exactly the problem: If she’s the definite candidate of the MUD, the votes are in the bag, she’ll be the next deputy; but she’s obviously not going to pull as many votes as María Corina, or a candidate similar to her. Turnout and big (and I mean really big) margins are needed in this region for the MUD to win in Miranda. Sure, we could be watching another San Cristóbal or San Diego, where the replacement candidates of deposed mayors won by larger margins, but that may not be the case, since the fundamentals are different here. I’m not opposed to her candidacy, but I’m wary about it. We’ll have to see. I do hope she surpasses expectations.


        • Unlike Sanchez, she has a track record. We can be certain anyone who is Public Policy Director for Cedice … will be the last person to switch to chavismo.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. is there any mud rule regarding choosing a substitue candidate? we are having kind of an issue here in carabobo with Scarano, where after he too is unable to inscribe his candidacy he wants to give his seat to his substitute instead of the 2nd placed in the primary Pablo Aure, (1.VE 70%, 2.PA 25%)


    • Pablo doesn’t deserve that seat, it’s as simple as that. He got only 20% of the vote against Scarano’s 67%. People voted for the candidate and their substitutes, and the substitutes are exactly for these kinds of situations.


      • he probably has some claim to the candidacy, but the way both Aure and Scarano are handling this dispute makes me wish none of them would be running for anything again.
        Are there no gentlemans left in the carabobo mud? it seems like mobsters fighting for a piece of an hypothetical cake.
        Can’t they just get together talk a bit and reach an agreement? even if the deal is unfair it would be better than venting their stupidity on public, sure they can see what’s stake.


  3. She seems like a splendid candidate , she also has the advantage for MCM’s many followers in the electoral district of counting with MCM active and personal support , no mean advantage . If the Mud doenst have a better candidate then they should endorse MCM’s election.

    The only thing I may have a bit of a quarrel with , is that out of a sense of discipline and order if you are part of an organization you should try and talk it with them before anouncing your selection, encouraging people to act on their own when they are supposed to be acting in conjunction with others is not very conducive to achieving the goals they both share.


  4. No political baggage?

    That’s the niní’s holy grail, somebody completely unrelated to the dirty and snively parties from yore.

    …til the chaburros come and make one of their asspulls…


  5. Who do you want to get rid off, Maduro or MUD. It’s MC curul let her decide! What really concerns us is getting rid of Ricardo Sanchez! Eduardo Rivero

    Sent from my iPhone



  6. “The squeaky-clean Pereira is a problem for the MUD leadership – it’ll be fun to watch them deal with this hot potato.”

    JCN is clearly suggesting one of 2 things: Either the MUD is deeply divided, anti MCM, or it is deeply Corrupted. Or both.

    And then you have numerous case like Sanchez, “MUD” Thugs that end end selling their souls to the devil.

    That’s the MUD that people dream is going to pacify the 2nd Deadliest nation on Earth, that is going to lead a 60% still-Chavista incredibly Ignorant Populace to work more, pay taxes, pay for Gas increases, adjust to tough economic austerity measures, no more freebies, no more leeching off the government, no more free-lunch.

    That’s the same old Corrupt, Inept ad/copey/etc/Chavista-light MUDcrap that has been in power for almost 60 years. Except the country now is totally destroyed at all levels of society, all fabrics, all former institutions are completely trashed, from the top executive to the bottom Military, to the top Judges and laughable, utterly putrid “judicial system” to the 3 million Chavistas employed by the Dictatorship that will be re-incorporated by the MUD Amnesty, the the mid-level sold-out politicians de siempre, to the putrid Police or even worse malandros of Sebin and Guardia Nazional, to the average Venezuelan left, mostly uneducated leeches, gangsters, crooks or just unskilled, severely brain-washed and massively under-educated “socialistas”.

    Good luck. I bet none of you, the readers of these blogs, or the last 1 Million educated professionals we had, all long gone, none will return to such a country in decades to come, if ever.

    Unless there’s an extremely juicy new Guiso with the new MUD in the future, of course!


    • 60% Chavista populace?. You gotta stop looking at polls from 2006 man. They do not have anywhere that level of support now, even chavista pollsters say so…


    • Tony TKY, presumably from the Far East, deep thinkers of age-old political/other philosophies, I, too, have frequently used the 3 mill. Ven. public employees figure, but, lately, people I respect are talking of 4-5 mill., probably including all non-central govt. employees (gobernaciones/alcaldias/etc.), plus Govt. corporations {PDVSA/CANTV/CORPOLEC/privatized disasters like coffee-Andes, and military (FANB/militia/ and their families, plus millions of pension/Mision/Communas monthly stipend receivers, plus weekly Mercal beneficiaries, make a formidable obstacle, particularly at the local level, to an Oppo Assembly electoral victory, notwithstanding recent poll results. Even if the Oppo were to squak by an Assembly win, from experience, in an Executive/TSJ-dominated Govt., their effectiveness at accomplishing anything significant is questionable. And, even if Maduro could be impeached in 2016+, the resulting even-if Oppo President, with a large Chavista Assembly contingent, would find it extremely difficult to impose even harsher economic conditions on Venezuela’s terribly impoverished population. The best solution would be a popular uprising completely discrediting the entire Cavista movement/personages, with a subsequent popular willingness to accept the harsh sacrifices in the present necessary to attempt a better socioeconomic future.


      • I agree with most of what you said, except that winning the Assembly is key.

        And popular uprisings are never really the answer.

        Winning a majority in the Assembly is more important than winning the presidency.

        Budgets, public office appointments, investigations, etc. all pass through the Assembly.

        Who gave Maduro his “habilitantes”?

        Who approves CSJ appointments?

        Who fashion the laws?

        The Executive power executes, the Corte Suprema interprets, but the Assembly drives them all and controls them.

        The best way to cut the Vicious Circle is by winning there on December 6th, and winning a majority (preferably 2/3rd, but 3/5ths would be OK, although not as overwhelming)

        Which is why, despite all the crap we know can and will be pulled that day, we have to go out massively and vote.

        Vote=we may have a chance

        Don’t Vote= hand it to them on a platter.

        2005 was the worst of all oppo losses, Chavez was hampered until the CD handed him the assembly by calling for abstention.

        When people call for a “popular uprising” I always ask: Y cuantos muertos vas a poner tu?

        People need to realize that shortcuts and dictators are short term, win today/ lose big tomorrow options.

        Does it suck? Yes!

        Are we all ready for the nightmare to end? Yes!

        Is this all extremely frustrating? Claro que si!

        We need to bear down, work hard and use wisely whatever advantages these leeches (the govt) give us.

        Whether the MUD is capable of doing so is another story.


      • Fellow Buddhist-Political Wizard, the 4-5 Million public employees is probably correct: private industry is 90% dead. The ensuing indirect government Leeching that comes with the 5 million is exponential in nature: extended family&friends of the actual Corrupt Enchufado Leeching Thieves (CELTs.)

        That would begin to explain Masburro’s astonishing 30% support, plus the additional 30% anti-opposition.

        But you know what I think about the best solution, just look at Chile after Pinochet, or my own beautiful country.


  7. One time, I asked a Chavista what does “Pueblo” mean? am I not part of the “Pueblo”? is “Pueblo” only the people that agree with you?
    His response was, what about Civil Society? isn’t that the same? I really didn’t realize we use the term for our purposes like they use the term “Pueblo”.
    He didn’t answer my question but made me realize we tend to do the same. so, what is “Civil Society”?


    • I’ve never heard any opposition person using “civil society” as a term to separate themselves from chavistas, ever, and I can bet cold, hard cash on that.
      chavistas use “pueblo” to define themselves, so everything that’s not “pueblo” is everything they hate and want to destroy.


      • This is a really interesting point, one I had never noticed. Civil society must seem like some code for “opposition, eastern Caracas elite” or something. I can stil lremember Luis Miquilena saying “¿Sociedad civil? ¿Con qué se come eso?”

        We should probably be aware of these types of codes before using them. I’ll be more careful in the future.

        Having said that, Pereira *is* civil society no matter how you slice it.


        • “Civil society” in a largely “uncivilized” country–an interesting concept–Miquilena knew his Pueblo….


          • Wasn’t Miquilena a chavista agent when he said that? It would have sense, since they were attacking and demonizing everything that displeased them since 1998.


          • Luis Miquelena came to realize, sadly, that in the end Chavez was no better than those he came to replace.

            I’m sure he deeply regrets to this day the role he played in getting Chavez to Miraflores


            • Yes, he does, and largely thanks to him/his electoral platform (none of which was implemented, but rather the opposite), Chavez was initially elected.


            • How could LM be so blind? He was no spring chicken, back in 1998. And surely he was aware of the overtures between Fidel Castro and Chávez. Finally, how could anyone in their sane mind excuse Chávez’s principal role (when not hiding in the military museum) in the coup attempt of 1992?


              • sorry for the OT to the semantic slices on ‘sociedad civil’, aka gente decente. Somehow I do recall that term ‘sociedad civil’ used as code, waaay back in the late 90s/early 00’s. But my memory might betray me.


        • ” Civil society must seem like some code for “opposition, eastern Caracas elite” or something. ”

          Got to keep insisting on this, but, I’ve never heard anybody using that “code” as something to refer only to opposition people while leaving chavistas out, while they use “pueblo” as a synonimous to “chavistas”.

          Trying to tie “civil society” to “elites, whities, sifrinos” and all those racist bullshit seems like a cheap chavista asspull to justify an attack on non-chavista people, which is what they do all the time.

          Fefe, you needed to be swifter and answered his question about “what is civil society” stating the truth: “civil society are those who are not military, period, now you tell me what means ‘pueblo’ for you, it’s only the chavistas or not?”, there’s no hidden meaning on it, unless people are willing to accept yet another chavista brainwashing into demonizing everything the rest of the country does.


        • Semiotics aside, I agree many terms are used in code by different communicators.

          IMO the real division in society shoud be between “dolientes” a.k.a. ciudadanos, and the “indolentes” aka passive inhabitants without exercise of their political rights and responsibilities.

          In Venezuela, unfortunately the social thread has been broken and political advocacy and participation of the citizenry has been systematically co-opted by governments by action and inaction through out time.

          Examples are the lack of more real education drives for population groups and rather electoral return based investment in “la cuarta” and recent creation of the “el pueblo” myths and empty “Participatory democracy” drives by ‘la quinta”:both examples have taken away real participation potential.

          Media also has failed to play a part, and where hegemon inc. and various propaganda labs hide one scandal with ten new ones until all sensitivity and “poder de asombro” is lost.

          The worse IMO has been the cultural repulsion to talking accountability , and demanding performance measurement in government affairs. With a resulting pueblo/ sociedad civil/ public servants roles and responsibilities breakdown.

          This regime ” no teme ni responde al pueblo (ni a los intereses de la nacion).
          Cuando esto comienze a cambiar iremos por buen camino”.

          The realpolitik response this regime understands is a mob ready to burn it down, no less.

          Political mediation is possible whereby the hopefuls threatens with this reckoning and is able to offer negotiated exits to the incumbents as an alternative to decapitation, mob lynchings , firing squads and the like.

          It sucks but some high level negotiation is necessary or this ends on the worst possible terms.


        • “Civil Society” was coined as a response to the fact that venezuelan government and society have been militarized.
          Is a way to make a statement; that we will not to obey or dress the same or belong to the militias or even to abide a military government.


  8. One explanation ( there can be several) is the divide between civil society and marginal society , the first includes people in the middle class or close, who have jobs , steady incomes , belong to well constituted families , some level of education , lead orderly lives and participate most actively in the good things that social life has to offer . Marginal societies are at the perimeter of civil society , they usually dont have steady jobs , steady incomes , well bult homes , a web of strong and protective family connections , lack education etc . the key element in civil society is inclusiveness , order and stability , the key element in marginal society is social alienation , disolution and precariousness. People is the embellished term used to refer to the inhabitants of marginal society .

    People historically comes from the latin populus which some ethymologist suggest come from the name given to the citizen army formed in Republican times when all Roman ´’cives’ or citizens were summoned to the camp of Mars to bring their weapons and armour and horses (if they had them) to organize themselves into an armyto prepare for an impending war to be waged by Rome against an outside enemy . I believe this account of the term can be found in one of Hannah Arendts books .

    During the first years of the US , the preferred term used was the Public , then when it became politically important to romanticize the concept they replaced it with the term people in the early decades of the 19th Century. In latin america sometimes its been customary to distinguish between pueblo (meaning all the people of one country) and the pueblo llano or the part of the pueblo which belong to the lower rungs of societies ladder of social hierarchies.

    Gloria Alvarez has a nice account how left wing populist now understand the term Pueblo .


    • I always used the term “marginal” as a synonymous for “douchebag”, a marginal person doesn’t need to be a poor one, that person might be swimming in hard cash, but if he/she behaves aggressively against the society, then that IS being a marginal, because that person is isolating himself/herself from the society by attacking it.

      Marginal is the imbecile who blasts reguetón at hundreds of decibels at 3:00 am; or the idiot who drives like he owned all the street; or the douchebag who treats people like garbage because he holds a tiny chip of power (public workers have this on steroids); the swindling bastard that keeps screwing others with cheap tricks; and all the way up to the fucktard malandro who steals, rapes and kills just for the lulz; or the red rotten pig that has destroyed Venezuela in these 16 years.

      Those are marginals, regardless of how many zeroes they have in their accounts.


      • Absolutely right Ralph ultimately its not about money , in the sense that if anything its a state of mind , a way of looking at things which is usually imposed on you by the social environment and the world of ideas in which you dwell . It has to do with certain values which dont form part of your daily life : Its about civility in the treatment of others , about concerning yourself with building a future for your self and your family (not just living your life from day to day) , its about responsability in discharging those duties arising from your personal, family and work relationships, its the valuing of stability and order in the social milieu which you want to surround yourself with . Father Alejandro Moreno also dislikes the term marginal , he prefers popular but then the later is also a loaded word , sentimentally too spruced up . I use marginal because I dont know what better word to use . I would prefer one which is neither peyorative nor encomiastic , just neutraly descriptive …unfortunately I havent found the right one yet.


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