In Venezuela, the avalanche is cracking...

Something is cracking in Venezuela. Something is different. And it sounds like the start of an avalanche.

 

Something is cracking in Venezuela. Something is different. And it sounds like the start of an avalanche.

 

 

Yet it's not the scary violent change event you might expect.

It's more - and more - like a Velvet Revolution.

Across the country, hundreds of towns, the kind that never hold demonstrations - demonstrated against the dictatorship of Nicolas Maduro - calling on it to just leave. Here's the big emblem of it in what's probably Caracas.

 

 

But here's the kind of places it's also taking place in, which the Venezuelan state-controlled press isn't reporting:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yet demonstrations alone, at the end of the day, are nothing new for Venezuela, whose demonstrations against its socialist regime have been so big over the past 20 years they've been called 'avalanchas.'

There's one very important difference, pointed out by Caracas Chronicles:

Yesterday's was not violent.

In the past, an anti-regime demonstration has always meant someone or other getting assalted or shot by organized Chavista motorcycle goons or else the Venezuelan military. It's meant hundreds of people hauled off to Chavista dungeons, where, yes, some disappear, and others are tortured, and none get due process.

This time, the men with guns and Molotov cocktails are ... staying away.

 
The Caracas Chronicle's summary is perfect.
 
He doesn't dare. Maduro and his state apparatus are clearly scared as heck to fire into these crowds now, the cost of it has now exceeded the benefit of it. That signals a gigantic change for the regime which has always used violence as its first-go tactic, dating at least as far back as 2002. This time, they didn't. It's a sign the men with guns know something is coming and they don't want to find themselves in the next Nuremburg dock for crimes against humanity. That's their keisters on the line now, and whatever the worth of the Maduro regime, they aren't risking it. It also signals that Maduro doesn't dare order shootings or thuggery anymore, he's likely to get a mutiny. They just don't dare.
 
And by coincidence, it's accompanied by the first big military defection, that of a top sitting air force general, Francisco Yanez, urging the rest of the army to rebel against Maduro, and joining the recognized government in waiting. That is a first sign of a shift of power to the legitimate democrats who stand ready to run Venezuela. The sanctions from abroad are having an important effect. But nothing matches the actions of the people, who are scaring the potential oppressors into now looking after their own hides.
 
The general came out for the democrats because he was placing his best bets on his own interests. If he's doing that, it's very likely there will be more. Military moves such as this signal chain reactions ahead. And with the military no longer willing to fire on demonstrators, it seems the ground is primed.
 
Maduro does seem to be on his backfoot as a result of this. Having been warned by Europe to hold free and fair elections by Monday, he's offered up early National Assembly elections as his sacrificial lamb to placate his international critics in Europe. That's quite a joke, given that the National Assembly is already a powerless outfit based on Maduro's appointment of a constitutional super-legislature to rule over them, meaning any new elections are meaningless. What's more, it's a joke because this sacrificial lamb he's offering up to placate Europe is the Venezuelan democrats, not himself or any of his cronies. Nobody sees the National Assembly in place as there fraudulently, the fraudster is Maduro. And what's more, Maduro, who's in power by fraud, is someone who knows how to rig an election. It's pure garbage he's offering, but the fact that he's offering it is a sign of defense. 
 
Now it's a matter of how fast the men with guns abandon Maduro and join the democrats. One has started. There will be more.