The Venezuelan regime, through one of its main spokesmen, threatened by shouting that “who does not vote, does not eat.” The bulk of the population decided not to vote on D6, at the risk of not eating. Multiple explanations can be given for what happened, but none benefits the regime and just to mention a few: (a) you already are hungry, (b) you do not have the ability to fear punishment, (c) you do not have the possibility of avoiding being hungry in the future. The vaunted social control system that the regime boasted so much and that many in the opposition considered impregnable proved to not work even under extreme threat. The reality is that the poverty that the regime has generated is such that diminishing resources reach fewer and fewer people anyway. The elite who enjoy high income is minimal and diminishing.
The main lesson to be drawn from 6D is that the vast majority of people know that the regime can only offer more poverty in the future and this weakens even the repressive apparatus. All of this also increases the chances of future internal conflicts among the groups in power. The economic contraction continues, the new National Assembly has no international recognition, the regime does not have any financial capacity. If you add that the opposition is divided and weak, the political situation in Venezuela becomes very complex. It could however also be an interesting opportunity for some of the more daring in the opposition to connect with the people at large.
Social control questioned
The regime made an extraordinary effort to attract, interest, and force Venezuelans to vote. It fed the market with bolivares and caused the enormous November’s devaluation and hyperinflation, generating collective stress and confusion among the entire population. Finally, the CNE announced an abstention of 70%, which suggests that the abstention was possibly in the order of 80% and maybe even more. Abstention in those enrolled in the Patria Program exceeded 65%. Maduro’s change of voting center at the last minute, transferred to Fuerte Tiuna, demonstrates the fear on the side of the regime. The communist regimes similar to the Venezuelan, through the fear generated by the repression usually achieve participation close to 100%. In the Venezuelan case, applying repression and using the sophisticated system of social control (including Artificial Intelligence) that was bought from China several years ago did not help to get people to go out to vote. It was not even possible to make it up with photos of past events since you had to cover too many mouths in the images. The regime’s weakness was reflected in every corner of the country, it was impossible to hide it. It remains in the air as a question, those “opponents” and businessmen who have considered that it was useless to fight against the “almighty” regime, and that therefore it was necessary to bow to it, will they continue to think the same? The Director of Insight Crime Portal assures that Maduro remains in power due to the fees of the Cartel de los Soles, the Tren de Aragua and the ELN.
The economy impacts politics
Ecoanalítica presented its perspectives for the year 2021 and in the economic sphere it stated that there are external restrictions that: limit the capacity for growth, impede progress to improve competitiveness and stagnate growth and income capacities for the public sector. However, curiously, it places a lot of emphasis on the political issues, and on problems associated with the various weaknesses of the regime and its growing internal tensions:
- Tensions in power groups.
- Impossibility of overcoming hyperinflation: There is no capacity to provide public goods and services… Destroying the growth capacity of the emerging private sector… Inability to achieve fiscal sustainability… Increased possibility of internal bankruptcy and conflicts between factions.
- Sanctions and international isolation.
- Increase in social tension (collapse of public services): ungovernability and repression.
The deputies of the AN after the 5E
Now begins the wait for the 5E vote then Venezuela will have two National Assemblies. This will make it difficult for the 60 countries that recognize the NA elected in 2015 to decide the course of action and, on the other hand, they will have to wait for the regime’s reaction to this situation. Reuters published a very important article Exclusive: Venezuela opposition discussing scaling back interim government and among the highlights are the following:
- The Venezuelan opposition is considering reducing the interim government of Juan Guaidó.
- Guaidó’s allied deputies have said they will continue to insist that they are the legitimate parliamentarians after 5E, arguing that the constitutional mandate remains intact since Sunday’s vote was rigged.
- Parliament is discussing a reduction in the number of ambassadors and some want to even reduce the legislature to a minimum number of congressmen and women and also cut back on day-to-day functions.
- Privately, some in congress express concern about the possibility of being arrested or their homes being raided by the police if they claim a mandate after January.
- Even though Guaidó does not control state institutions in Venezuela, he has allies who oversee PDVSA assets abroad including CITGO.
- The interim government has nominal control of US $ 342 million in funds in the United States seized from the Maduro government. However, restrictions imposed by the US Treasury have become a source of frustration in opposition circles.