Poking… Uncle Sam’s eye

Mad Maduro’s definitely bucking for a fight with Uncle Sam. After making nice by participating in a prisoner exchange and making promises at a US backed Barbados meeting with his opposition for this years elections to be “free and fair”, he had sanctions lifted. Most importantly for Chevron to start pumping and shipping oil. But with his support dwindling internally as the economy continues its inexorable implosion after passing the tipping point a decade ago, he realizes his chances of getting reelected in any fair election is absolutely nil!! So he launched moves to facilitate his rigging.
His main ploy was to block his strongest opponent from the Opposition – Maria Machado – by having his lapdog kangaroo court bar her from participating because of “anti-national” activities and “corruption”. This is a well-known ploy by dictators the world over and while it doesn’t mean Machado’s an angel, she like everyone else must have due process!! He thought he was clever by having his Court clear some other banned small potatoes opposition candidates. Another maneuver is to ensure the elections will be held late this year – even though the Barbados Agreement specified by mid-year. He obviously needs more time to prepare the necessary massive rigging apparatus!
As he’d done with his “referendum” in December to give him “legitimacy” for Essequibo’s annexation, he launched a “nationwide dialogue process” to craft an electoral schedule. The groups “consulted”, of course were all carefully curated to guarantee a late election. So earlier this week, National Assembly President Jorge Rodríguez announced that the consultation had yielded an agreement endorsed by all participating parties. Signed by 152 representatives from “diverse sectors of Venezuelan society”, the document proposes 27 potential dates for this year’s presidential vote and will be formally presented to the National Electoral Council (CNE) today for its review. They’re expected to announce an electoral calendar by the end of March. We know what’ll be, no?
But most significantly the opposition Unitary Platform, including Machado – which had negotiated the Barbados Agreement – was not part of the “diverse sectors” consulted!! They’ve compiled a list of Maduro’s violations of the Barbados Agreement and sent it to the Norwegian mediators. So now we have a standoff: the US insists that Machado must be allowed to run, while Mad Maduro insists otherwise. He, of course, is turning hoops hoping that a weak opponent would demand less blatant rigging –and is also hoping that the Unity Platform might also dump Machado!! What all of this boils down to is that, in the words of Rowley after Granger was refusing to concede the 2020 elections: “This will not end well”!!
Meaning that tensions in Venezuela for the rest of the year, will inevitably dull our rosy prospects!

…democratic change
Some very smart fella once pointed out that “democracy ain’t instant coffee”. You gotta be patient to enjoy it!! American launche their democratic revolution since 1776 and they’re still busy straightening out kinks. And it’s not even a matter of what the Yanks are doing – it’s more about whether we want to live in a democracy or not!! If we don’t – like China, for instance – that’s fine especially since they’re doing so well!! But we can’t run with the hare and hunt with the hounds, can we??
So we gotta accept that if we don’t win an election we gotta “take our licks like a man” – as one CariCom PM advised and try again next time. And until then, fix what went wrong and get ready. For instance, is the present leader of the PNC the best that they can come up with?? We can’t have folks promoting rigging elections and even using violence to stay “pon tap”
This is just guaranteeing that the opposition might all lose “corn and husk” in 2025!

…the thug image
Hamilton Green acquired a well-deserved reputation back in the day for political skullduggery against the Opposition. It’s rather disconcerting that today, some whose leader suffered at his hands, are now sycophants!!