Leopoldo speaks through the cracks

For the first time in more than a year, Leopoldo Lopez spoke to Venezuelans in a video smuggled out of Ramo Verde prison. In it, he announced the beginning of a hunger strike, calling Venezuelans to take to the streets this coming Saturday. Prior to the video being made public yesterday, the government entered into full freakout mode. López’s co-prisoner,…

A good day for the opposition

Most opposition insiders were viewing today’s primaries to select opposition candidates for Parliament with a mix of fear and dread. Many voters were not informed of the election, the media was looking the other way, and the funding was short. The goal was to get 350,000 voters to show up (out of around 7 million eligible…

They should have drafted Felipe González

The opposition will be holding a primary this Sunday. In 35 electoral circuits around the country, anyone able to vote will be allowed to select the person he or she prefers to be the unity candidate(s) for those circuits. This webpage, and this article by Puzkas, are a useful reference for the interested voter. Sadly, you probably haven’t…

Fighting the windmills of abstentionism

The 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…

Our horrible candidates are our only hope

The date for the Parliamentary elections has not been announced, but for the sake of argument, let’s say the CNE will follow the law and hold them this year. If that assumption holds, we’re getting closer and closer to another election in Venezuela. As the date nears, we’ve begun hearing the same voices we always hear, saying…

Sobremesa Chronicles

Some of you know that I live in a house as the sole male surrounded by four wonderful ladies. Yet as a man happily subdued, I have been trained to see sexism everywhere I turn. Sometimes I see sexism even in places where nobody else sees it, which makes me extra cautious about making a comment. But this…

Of consensus and primaries

Here’s what we know so far about the MUD primaries for National Assembly nominations: they will happen on May 17th, and only in 38 out of 87 districts up for election. Compared it to the previous parliamentary elections, we had primaries in 22 out of 87 district. The fact that there will be more primaries now is an improvement, but given…

A tale of two oppositions

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief it was the epoch of incredulity…”. Those of you who have read “A tale of two cities” surely recall the memorable opening paragraph of Dickens’s masterpiece,…

Luis Vicente on the crackdown

I liked this article on Prodavinci by pollster / economist Luis Vicente León. He says there are three main reasons for the government’s recent crackdown on the opposition: generating fear of protest in the face of a sharp deterioration in living conditions; changing the topic from an economic crisis to a political one; and increasing…

Coup = toucan’s saliva

There’s an expression in Venezuela: when something has been put together in a flimsy, temporary way, we say it is “glued with a parrot’s saliva.” In the past few months, opposition unity has been anything but united. Infighting and bickering between various factions had left the opposition coalition floundering. So, in a way, yesterday’s accusation that…

Managing Impotence

Over at the Transitions blog, I try and sympathize with our opposition. I try to focus on the numerous challenges they face – short on funding, locked out of the media, and with an unmanageable internal structure, it is a small miracle that they still exist and are strong in opinion polls. Just for comparison’s sake,…

Deconstructing Capriles

(Apologies for the source of the above video, it was the only version available on YouTube) The bloggers of Caracas Chronicles held a cyber-conversation on today’s announcement by Henrique Capriles, where he abandoned infighting within the opposition and called for unity together with increased street pressure on the government. Juan C: So … main takeaways? To…

Regarding Henry

(Disclaimer: A few weeks ago, AD leader Henry Ramos Allup wrote a stinging op-ed claiming that some overseas bloggers were supposedly part of a “disgusting dirty war laboratory” looking to defame certain sectors of the opposition. The whole thing is demeaning – full of baseless allegations, innuendo, and even homophobic slurs. Without naming them, we all knew…