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"Your Move Capriles"
Maduro Stymies His Enemies

Like Hercules attempting to slay the the Hydra, Venezuela’s opposition is finding that for every head cut off the Chavismo power apparatus, several more take its place. Reuters has the story:

Venezuela’s national election board on Wednesday dashed opposition hopes of holding a referendum this year to remove unpopular socialist President Nicolas Maduro.

If the opposition next month successfully collects 20 percent of total voter signatures requesting the plebiscite, then it “could take place halfway through the first quarter of 2017,” the board said in a statement. […]

Conditions around the next phase toward a referendum, the collection of 20 percent of voter signatures or about 3.9 million in total from Oct. 26 to 28, also appeared designed to stymie the opposition.

Opposition members had wanted the 20 percent threshold to be at the national level and 19,500 vote machines to be placed around the country to maximize Maduro foes’ ability to register signatures.

But the board approved only 5,392 machines and said the threshold had to be met in each state.

This development could be a serious blow to the opposition. With a festering economic crisis crippling the country, “hoarders” being sent to Food Gulags for squirreling away scarce goods, and images of President Nicolas Maduro being chased through the streets by citizens banging pots and pans ending up a runaway social media sensation, opposition leaders could be forgiven for raising their hopes that the next step was within reach. Their frustration is palpable

Opposition leaders met yesterday to debate next steps, with observers worried that hardliners might force divisions to the surface. Opposition leader Henriqe Capriles said that he would not comment further until Monday, while hardliner Maria Corina Machado called for “civil disobedience”.

We’ll be watching.

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  • ljgude

    If anyone thinks Maduro can’t say in power indefinitely I have three things to say to you. Mugabe. Mugabe. Mugabe.

    • TGates

      More likely Castro, Castro, Castro, after all the Cubans are running the security service.

      • Blackbeard

        And Cuba is our friend now so the impetus to change is gone there.

        Funny, when South Africa was practicing apartheid the world was united in condemnation and in pressuring them to change. But Communist countries like North Korea or Venezuela can literally starve their people to death and there isn’t much of an outcry. Why is that?

  • Y.K.

    Lets recap:

    * The incompetent Venezuelan regime is starving its own people.
    * The only political avenue for change has been blocked.
    * The problem worrying “observers” is “hardliners” within the opposition, which dare to call for (incredibly bloodthirsty and extremist action warning) civil disobedience….


  • Kevin

    The key factor is the security services. If they are united behind the regime it will endure. If they split Maduro will go.

    Focusing on the technicalities of recalls is to be distracted from the only thing that matters.

  • LarryD

    A little historical reminder; the whole point of the democratic process is to allow the people of a polity to change their government without having to resort to violence! When the government throws the democratic process out, and is intolerable to its populace, then violence will follow.

    The advantage to the government of the democratic process is; they get to survive being thrown of of office, and if they figure out what they were messing up, maybe they can convince their people of this and get another chance. Although just the first part shouldn’t be undervalued.

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