What do you make of Roberta Jacobson’s remarks before US legislators last week, a reader queried.
MUD is flat, I wrote in January 2013. The only change within the MUD since that comment 15 months ago has been for the worse.
The US congressional hearings on Venezuela last week were disastrous for the MUD.
The US government won’t impose broad sanctions against Venezuela’s regime for the time being, US Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta Jacobson said.
Jacobson also disclosed that some in MUD reached out to the US State department explicitly pleading that the US not impose any sanctions on Venezuela’s gangster regime. But Jacobson did not disclose the names of these MUD officials.
Then Jacobson opened another can of worms when she subsequently tried to clarify her remarks to Congress, adding that the outreach had come from MUD officials engaged in “dialogue” with the regime in Caracas.
Jose Guillermo Aveledo, MUD’s executive secretary and thus THE authorized authority (at least he thinks of himself as such), muddled initially but finally owned up to to the MUD’s officially opposing sanctions because they would hurt Venezuelan people and economy.
Aveledo didn’t explain why or how the MUD believes that US sanctions would hurt Venezuelan populace more than it’s suffering now.
Aveledo also didn’t name names, even to disclose who in the MUD supports his official MUD position of not imposing any sanctions.
Then Carlos Ortega, a co-conspirator in the events that culminated with the slaughter of 11 April 2002 claimed the State Department was approached by three MUD figures, two of which reside in Caracas and the third in Washington, DC.
But Ortega didn’t name names either – because Ortega doesn’t really know their identities. Ortega, a political dinosaur stuck in a tar pit of his own lifelong corrupt manufacture, is clueless.
There are only four individuals in the MUD with direct access to the Jacobson in the State Department, a Washington-based friend tells the Gringo.
This quartet includes Ramon Guillermo Aveledo, Ramon Jose Medina, career diplomat Edmundo Gonzalez (Aveledo’s bagman, it’s said), and Leopoldo Martinez – though this last personality may not have as much access as the first three.
Why did one, or all of these individuals ask the State Department not to impose sanctions on Venezuela? Very likely, because the Maduro regime pressured the MUD to reject US sanctions or ele the dialogue would be terminated immediately.
The MUD cannot afford a suspension of its “dialogue” with the regime. If the “dialogue” stops, the MUD loses its last shred of circumstantial evidence that it actually represents some kind of united and organized opposition that speaks for a majority of the pueblo.
But it’s not clear if Aveledo, as executive director of the MUD, was speaking for the entire MUD when he reached out to Jacobson, or only part of the MUD or possibly none of the MUD except himself and a handful of associates and some of the moneyed Venezuelans funding the MUD – like dirt-bag banker Victor Vargas.
The MUD has cracked like Humpty Dumpty – there’s no putting it back together again. But that won’t stop its various wannabes from continuing to beat the drum of (fictional) MUD unity as they posture for the public.
Aveledo was the senior MUD spokesman for the Capriles presidential campaign for the 2013 elections to replace Hugo Chavez. But since the elections it appears everyone has gone his or her own way in the MUD.
Henrique Capriles is doing his own thing. Capriles opposes the violent street protests and counsels peace and dialogue, but recently it feels like every time that Capriles speaks he proves yet again that he was good municipal mayor but is only a so-so governor, which hints he would have been an ineffectual president.
Other MUD leaders have adopted confrontational positions against the regime, urging permanent nonviolent street activism to force regime change. So far it hasn’t worked, but almost 50 people have died violently, hundreds have been injured and at least 1,500 have been arrested, by some approximations.
Leopoldo Lopez is still isolated in a military prison. He’s a symbol of peaceful democratic resistance, but little else at this point.
Maria Corina Machado, who has responded with extraordinary courage, integrity and dignity to the regime’s relentless abuses and attempts at intimidation, has been stripped unconstitutionally of her elected seat in the assembly.
Antonio Ledezma is in the streets protesting.
Julio Borges of Primero Justicia continues to make boring power point presentations at press conferences called for that purpose.
It’s also said that Henry Ramos Allup of AD still “confronts” the regime with the interests of his banker suegro always in mind, because suegro’s cash butters Henry’s bread. But that’s another tale.
The month-old “dialogue” between the regime and the MUD is a two-faced farce. Neither side is serious. The “dialogue” is bad Bolivarian Kabuki theatrics, devoid of any significance, relevance or authority.
Maduro so far has not made any concessions or compromises whatsoever.
The MUD characters “participating” in the “dialogue” are trying desperately, above all other considerations including the wellbeing of Venezuela, simply to project themselves as individuals who are relevant, that they are real, true, legitimate political leaders speaking on behalf of the “pueblo que reclama un cambio.” But it’s bullshit, of course.
The presence of Jose Vicente Rangel at the “dialogue” also reveals the Unasur foreign ministers brokering the talks to be fools, or worse hypocrites depending on the angle of view.
Speaking of hypocrites… Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos is actively lobbying regionally and in Washington, DC for the Maduro regime.
Colombia’s foreign minister and ambassador in Washington, DC have asked the State Department and White House repeatedly through back channels not to impose any sanctions on Venezuela.
Perhaps the decision by Santos to quietly cover Maduro’s ass in Washington is based on practical geopolitics: Colombian exports sell a lot of goods to Venezuela, which no longer makes much of anything thanks to 15 years of State gangsterism.
Alternatively, perhaps Santos could be running interference for the Maduro regime because the Colombian leader’s balls have been floating in a jar by Fidel Castro’s bed for quite some years now, my Colombian suegro opines.
Back to the MUD…
It’s clear that the various personalities and groups presently clustered around the MUD like flies on cow pie – including some who in the past clustered around the regime until their personal ambitions or chances for amassing fortunes were deraile – are very upset that the three-month-old street protests have been a self-sustaining popular event spearheaded by the country’s students.
They’re upset because the protests have proven beyond any doubt that the MUD characters and groups now engaged in the “dialogue” claiming to represent the pueblo actually don’t at all.
The students dismiss MUD’s efforts to project “leadership” anyway – knowing after 15 years that the “organized opposition” is light years removed from the affections and respect of the “pueblo” and particularly from the country’s youth.
Where are things going? Downhill, evidently, but don’t expect a glimmer of light soon. Countries can go downhill indefinitely, without ever hitting bottom. Ask Zimbabwe.
What are the odds of a peaceful regime change in the foreseeable future? Precisely ZERO.
Venezuela is broken, but it has incredible reserves of oil, gas, bauxite, iron, coal, gold and much more. There’s lots of $$$ to be won.
Corrupt business elites entrenched in Venezuela for generations backed this or that presidential candidate for many long years before Chavez was first elected at end-1998.
In fact, many of these same elites backed Chavez when Carlos Andres Perez was sacrificed politically among other reasons to cover the collective corrupt keisters of some folks associated with gangster banks (Latino, Progreso, Consolidado, Union) and various prominent names (Tinoco, Alvarez Stelling, Vargas, Gil, Castro).
Alek Boyd at Infodio has relentlessly exposed the gargantuan corruption of the Chavez-Maduro era in which many of the most active and thieving players either are descended from “auld names and money” or are themselves longtime players who always have profited hugely regardless of who was in power.
Take Victor Vargas, who amassed a huge fortune before Chavez and a bigger one during Chavez, and now also helps fund the MUD. Or Gustavo Cisneros, who reportedly now pays American policy experts to promote strategies and plans to rescue the Venezuelan democracy he did so much to undermine during the 1970’s-early ‘90s when the banking system finally drowned in its own corruption.
How about the pueblo? The ongoing protests prove that a lot of Venezuelans, particularly the youths who are coming of age with nothing in their short personal histories but Bolivarian gangsterism, are sick and tired of the misery the regime continues to inflict every day.
Yet at the same time there appears to be a terrible passivity across the population.
“I don’t understand why people are so passive with everything that’s happening…the food shortages, violence, repression, shortages of everything, inflation, the abuses….everyone’s angry, but no one does anything…they stand in line with resentful eyes like cattle being led to slaughter,” my dad-in-law remarked.