By Alberto Zambrano
Bloomberg’s piece of news revealed that key opposition parties –Acción Democrática & Primero Justicia– aren’t pleased with Interim President Juan Guaidó’s asinine performance.
After promoting a poor behind-the-scenes imitation of Jack Ryan’s second season antics, an operation featuring a private contractor with dubious credentials and with the collaboration of nefarious Chavistas –of the Cliver Alcalá variety–, the adventurous project got infiltrated by Venezuelan intelligence services and subsequently failed spectacularly, unleashing a backlash of criticism and the morality of black bag operations.
After these unfortunate events, the controlled opposition in Venezuela raised lots of eyebrows and once again began with their never-ending, relentless –and tiresome– litanies of the electoral roadmap as a solution to the Venezuelan crisis.
Juan Guaidó has the unconditional support of the United States, mainly because Donald Trump blatantly uses the political capital of Venezuelan ex-pats –mostly located in Florida, a swing state known for its leanings towards the GOP–.
Right after the botched Operation Gedeon, some Venezuelan lawmakers wish for a political change of winds regarding the Guaidó administration: namely lifting sanctions to benefit some hefty government contractors, solving Venezuela’s energy crisis & ultimately entering yet another political negotiation with the Chavista tyranny with the hopes of holding rigged elections. The man behind this orchestration is none other than Odebrecht’s patsy, Henrique Capriles Radonski.
Alex Vasquez’s cryptic note on Bloomberg hides the identity of Capriles. Describing him as a “veteran opposition leader that states that Guaidó’s leadership is over,” another couple of journos –of the Poleo kind– blew the lid on the source, confirming that the former governor of Miranda went out his way sending some emissaries to the US State Department –to have some preliminary talks regarding the withdrawal of US support to the interim presidency.
Right after the Jack Ryan-Esque failure, the interim government used political advisor Juan José Rendón –a political consultant with a knack for playing with samurai swords and consulting for Mexican politicians with strong links to El Narco– as a sacrificial lamb to save face on the still unclear way to the end of the usurpation that saw many transformations since it was first presented to the public.
It seemed like a three-pronged route: Ending Maduro’s reign, having a transitional government, and fair and free elections have morphed into invasion attempts, political scandals, a military movement, and bananas & .50 calibers included– and behind the scenes election talks with chavismo.
An internal conflict for money, contracts & privileges arises once more, a drag on the Venezuelan political system as the citizenship of that nation witnesses the thirst for power of many political party leaders as they scramble for the scraps that the tyrannical regime of the Havana-Caracas axis leaves for the controlled collaborationist opposition.
It’s a sad reflection on the quality of Venezuela’s political leadership that the same group of people –Primero Justicia & Accion Democratica– that benefited from hefty government contracts and privileges over the course of 20 years, having sidelined with Capriles, and then went with Guaidó –as hardcore supporters– begin to trash-talking the latter after his administration’s catastrophic military incursion.
Capriles’ supporters were the chief opposers to the “Quick Exit, ‘la Salida'” of 2014 –an initiative of Leopoldo López & María Corina Machado–, many of them –like Olga Krnjajski– snitched on political dissidents carrying out demonstrations –young millennials & Generation Z’s. Some of them are still in jail six years after this, and others died at the hands of brutal repression– in their neighborhoods with the Intelligence Services and police forces in service of the Chavista communist tyranny.
Politically convenient leanings according to the conditions, rather than consistency & coherency mark the course of action of former Capriles’ shills –Capriliebers– turned Guaidó-lovers. These Juan Guaidó shills are now heart-broken and wish for the interim president to step down and glorify their previous object of desire and admiration, something so evident and palpable that even within the same Guaidó family clan, Gustavo Guaidó –one of Juan’s younger brother– is a hardcore Capriles supporter and aid. In this free for all match of political hacks, Venezuela’s impoverished citizenship is the great loser of this power struggle.
It’s pathetic to see a man devoid of moral character like Henrique Capriles Radonski asking for elections in the context of a political system that banned him from participating in any electoral process. Given that Chavismo routinely creates Manchurian candidates and bends the rules in their favor –and Capriles being the quintessential ballot patsy– it wouldn’t come as a surprise that the former governor of Miranda could have his ban lifted to participate in a sham election.
The Political elite in Venezuela cannot fathom a lifestyle without being financed by the political perks that holding public office gives because none of those hoodlums ever held a real job. Lawmakers like Interim President Juan Guaidó & Freddy Guevara used their political positions in crucial legislative commissions –like the Comptroller Commission Guaidó spearheaded, signing ethical conduct recommendation letters to crooks like Mauro Libi & Alex Saab so they can avoid OFAC sanctions–, others used their office to set up sham NGO’s asking the world for money to feed starving children without a hint of transparency or accountability –Lester Toledo–.
In Venezuela, the average citizen experiences frequent shifts in political opinions; one day, they agree with no-good hoodlums of the Capriles kind, only to accept hours later with Guaidó’s asinine administration. A voluble trend that has the citizen identify in the key figures that arise from the internal –and closed to the public– processes by which the political parties choose their leadership. In that sense, the Venezuelan voter has a tribalistic penchant by which they shun any criticism of their political leadership –regardless of incontrovertible evidence–, a kind of groupthink and echo chambers by which the commitment to the sideline with those chosen by political parties to face chavismo in the ballots or political actions.
The blind following of the Venezuelan elector of the political opposition leadership is pernicious because it hampers and limits the capacity of reasonable criticism towards the course of actions politicians take. This proneness to opinion shift makes of the Venezuelan elector, not an ideological one, instead of an opinionated and emotionally driven voter, a lousy profile for a country that tends to have a knack for caving to Führerprinzip –, convalidation all policies, decisions subjugating them to the current leader.
When Ricardo Ignacio Sánchez Mujica emerged as a student leader in Venezuela’s political petri dish –Universidad Central de Venezuela–, the author called him out on his Chavista leanings. Only to be ridiculed and ostracized by his peers as they rallied around the idea that the political platform set up by Alberto Federico Ravell Arreaza’s platform for student leadership –100% Estudiantes–, Sánchez Mujica and his cronies ran for congress, with him being Maria Corina Machado’s alternate. The political alliance would last only a couple of years, for, in 2012, Sánchez and many others went to show their true colors as they changed a blue shirt for a bright communist red one.
A typical opposition-leaning Venezuelan will shun & disqualify any rational criticism of the current oppo-leader by deeming the observations presented to them as a fabrication, because of cognitive dissonance, a psychological phenomenon characterized by inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, attitudes regarding behavioral decisions and attitude change.
Politicians have the goal of finding a spot for themselves in the public sphere so they can hold office, that is a common trend. In Venezuela there’s a group of plain low-life flatterers that occupy consultancy jobs within the structure for the politicians: Advisors, those within the pop culture & entertainment outlets who actively seek for the next political leader begging for perks under the wishful thinking –derision– that when their favorite politician reaches public office, they will get a job at some government institution.
The Chavista technique of having paid moles within opposition coalitions gives a lot of wiggle room for the communist tyranny to control the political actions of the Venezuelan opposition. It’s a successful stratagem that keeps all opposition activities in check since the early 2000s.
After The bloody events of April 2002, the political orchestrators of that singular Putsch –Primero Justicia party– chose to set up a political strategy of promoting “sanity.” Venezuelan opposition leaders began with the narrative that violent ways to oust chavismo “were not ideal.”
The Teodoro Petkoff Doctrine of the normalization & accumulation of political forces blatantly rejected an armed attempt at seizing political power from Chavista hands, a theory embraced by the Primero Justicia criminal gang: Julio Borges, Leopoldo Martínez Nucete, Gerardo Blyde, Henrique Capriles, Leopoldo Lopez & Carlos Ocariz got hellbent on promoting a “constitutional, peaceful, electoral & democratic way out of chavismo,” a proposal that paved the way for the most significant political chicanery of our time, the recall referendum of 2004.
Before the Recall election of 2004, in 2003, the Primero Justicia clique organized a non-binding political consult with the National Electoral Council where they gathered & compiled a significant amount of signatures which Chavista Lawmaker Luis Tascón used to harass, lay off & prosecute citizens for their political ideals, the infamous “Tascón List.”
When the political opposition chose to pursue a binding recall election in 2003 after the botched consult, chavismo imposed draconian ex post facto criteria to regulate the collection of signatures and had Ismael García compile the infamous Maisanta Software –used by Chavismo to systematically ostracize law-abiding citizens– during his tenure –under the direct command of Hugo Chávez– alongside María del Pilar Hernández.
Without the armed –and final– solution to the Venezuelan conflict, the electoral option placed on the table by left-wing politicians in charge of the political parties made out of Eleazar Díaz Rangel & Teodoro Petkoff political stakeholder warrants of a “balanced” –not independent– National Electoral Council directorate with relation to forces of 4:1 in favor of chavismo.
On the other side, the Chavista dispensation was to cajole the opposition into controlled, fraudulent elections with a patronizing tone, prone to democratic values. They systematically eroded the very fabric of what a “liberal” western democracy is. encompasses –that of independence between the branches of power–.
The public blatantly rejected the course of actions of the political opposition refraining from following them, a fact of significant importance in the decision by the debate to abstain in another fraudulent election set up a year after the 2004 referendum. The political leadership of the opposition chose to refrain from participating in the 2005 parliamentary elections. Thinking they might’ve had the upper hand capitalizing the discontent of the public, only to have them appeased with sporadical fiery speeches in monotonous albeit massive political gatherings.
The opposition in Venezuela has a penchant for never accepting the responsibility for their colossal mistakes by shifting the guilt & blame towards the voter. A factor capitalized by Teodoro Petkoff’s followers that follows a three-pronged approach: First, the immediate disqualification of any intention to promote abstention, second, the denial of the influence of the São Paulo Forum in Latin American leftism, and third, the rejection of the brutal dictatorial nature of the Chavista regime by using euphemisms to describe it as an “imperfect democracy.”
The Petkoff doctrine of democratic chavismo is a naif approach to capture disgruntled lefties. He presents the notion that Chavistas are a legitimate political of well-intentioned albeit poorly focused human beings –blatantly disregarding that Chavismo erupted in the public sphere by staging two bloody & violent coups d’etat in 1992–.
The idea that guiding Chavistas by the example of moral righteousness would lead them into acquiescing that free gameplay is their raison d’ être in the political game. That novel way of looking at chavismo, paired with the Ramos Allup notion of the “Political Brothel,” forced a patronizing opinionated way with deep roots in the cultural & entertainment industry of Venezuela. A paradoxical reflection of a group that also included the terrorist guerrilla leaders of the 1960s who went up in arms against the Ancien Regime.
The notion that chavismo can adhere to democratic rules inherently denies categorizing that regime as tyrannical. The same Petkoffian train of thought exalts the idea of “unity” as a political opposition force –regardless of the components of the coalition–, dressing up political failures as successes, like the Manuel Rosales candidacy in 2006.
The concept of “Unity” –to put a single group of politicians & special interest lobby groups in charge of every decision aspect– in the mainstream Venezuelan opposition forced citizens to cast their vote in support of characters they despised –like Ismael García, Raúl Baduel, Henri Falcón & Luisa Ortega Díaz are cardinal examples– to gain political forces and cajole “bad” Chavistas into the rule of law, something that Ramon Guillermo Aveledo also capitalized –nearly a lustrum after the landslide victory chavismo to an unopposed congress– as he ran the Democratic Unity Roundtable with Ramón José Medina –personal friend & employee of corrupt Chavista banker Victor Vargas Irausquin–.
By missing the diagnosis –by either ignorance or deliberate action–, the result remains the same: a controlled opposition with skeletons in their closet that blatantly rejects any other way to rid Venezuela of the red plague hailing from Havana, a radical paradox in the Teodoro Petkoff mindset, for he was a man that created the insurgent line of the Communist Party of Venezuela, fracturing it by creating breakaway groups –that wreaked extraordinary havoc in the country’s nascent democratic years– and then promoting and ideologically governing the movement that saw the integration of the radical left into the legal, political system –all thanks to the hefty sums of money that a petrostate provided to appease them by letting them enter into crucial niches, academia, and entertainment–.
The Petkoff doctrine forces its adherents to be critical of chavismo in a unique way: That which can be said of chavismo, could also be said of him when he and his criminal clique “converted” to the creed of electoral, and that the public should give its support to reformed democratic values. In that sense, the opposition had to admit the democrats within chavismo and shun the violent autocratic radicals.
The view of the political action of opposition and government has had over the course of nearly 16 years the imprint of the Petkoffian doctrine, and here, at Cultura Política we are hellbent on destroying that doctrine to make way for an alternative that puts sovereign interests first.