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Venezuela: The Start of Reconciliation?

[All links lead to Spanish language websites unless otherwise noted]

In the midst of the confusion [en] and clashes [en] that set the standard in the streets and on the Internet after the elections [en] on 14th April, citizen media were also the stage of much reflection.

In this way, while many bloggers have discussed the next steps under the mandate of Nicolás Maduro, others have shared their questions about what the loss [en] of a large number of voters in such a short campaign period could mean. People are commenting on errors and strategies that could be followed and bridges are being held so that dialogue may reach citizens on the other side.

Many of these opinions were shared by the site Aporrea, which has opened a space in support of Chavism, but many others have been shared in addition by bloggers and Facebook users identifying with the opposition.

Fotografía compartida por ClubVenezuela en Facebook

Photograph widely shared on Facebook

Juan Gómez Muñoz gave a written example of these thoughts, in which he emphasised the need of communication:

Otro tema que está en el tapete es el de la “reconciliación” y ciertamente, es hora de reconciliarnos, primero porque YA NO SOMOS MAYORÍA, pero a lo que me quiero referir es a la reconciliación con buena parte de los más de 7 millones de venezolanos que votaron por Capriles, esos compatriotas, ni son oligarcas (no la inmensa mayoría de ellos), ni son apátridas; no solo hemos sido incapaces de promover y entusiasmarlos a ellos con nuestro proyecto, es que hemos espantado de nuestra propias filas a varios que antes nos acompañaban!

Another topic that is out in the open is that of ‘reconciliation’ and certainly, it's time to reconciliate, firstly because WE ARE NOT THE MAJORITY ANYMORE, but what I want to refer to is to reconciliation with a large part of the seven million Venezuelans who voted for Capriles, our countrymen, they are neither oligarchs (the overwhelming majority aren't) nor stateless; it's not just that we have been incapable of promoting and making them enthusiastic about our project, it's that we have frightened many from our own ranks who used to accompany us!

With converging ideas and based on analysis of some of the figures, Nicmer Evans, also published by Aporrea, says:

Todo ese juego de números se resume de la siguiente manera: hubo sumas que no sumaron. Una campaña cargada de elementos que no contribuyeron a satisfacer las expectativas del capital político heredado el 7 de octubre, con ausencia de contenidos claves que permitieran convencer a nuevos sectores sociales a incorporarse al proceso revolucionario, pero sobre todo, el abandono de los sectores propios del chavismo, en especial a los sectores lealmente críticos y comprometidos…

Entre las elecciones del pasado 7 de octubre de 2012 y 14 de abril fueron 615.626 votos menos para los partidos del proceso revolucionario, mientras que alrededor de 711.337 votos incrementó la opción política antichavista en apenas seis (06) meses

This numbers game can be summed up in the following way: there were sums that did not add up. A campaign burdened with elements that did not serve to satisfy the expectations of the political capital inherited on 7th October, with the absence of key content that could have convinced new social sectors to join the revolutionary process, but above all, the abandonment of the sectors of Chavism themselves, especially to loyally critical and compromised sectors…

Between the elections of 7th October 2012 and 14th April, votes for revolutionary process parties decreased by 615,626, whereas the anti-Chavist political option gained around 711,337 votes in scarcely six months.

On the other hand, in the same self-critical manner, Adriana González (@Adri021) responds to the statements of Henrique Capriles, in which he accused leaders of violent acts committed against Chavism activists during the clashes, as ‘spies’:

@Adri021: Ahora, lo de “infiltrados” en las manifestaciones opositoras es generalizar, sí hay radicales en estas filas… un poco de poravor también

@Adri021: Now, talk of ‘spies’ in opposing protests is generalising, there are indeed radicals in these ranks… a bit of common sense please

Likewise, Héctor Palacio shared an answer on his Facebook account to the numerous calls made by many Venezuelans living abroad to gather signatures for a petition seeking a recount of votes on a website backed by the US White House:

Por cierto, no voy a firmar ninguna petición de reconteo de votos en ningun sitio de la Casa Blanca. Un poco de sentido común con la otra mitad del país.

By the way, I am not going to sign any petition for a vote recount from the White House… a bit of common sense for the other half of the country.

And in that regard, he published a post titled '10 Pieces of Advice on how to Talk’ on his blog, among which the second point stands out:

2. Escuchar. Obvio, ¿no?, pero no tan fácil. No es escuchar para poder atacar más fácilmente. Sino escuchar porque realmente uno puede estar equivocado en ciertas cosas. Lo más difícil es escuchar al otro de verdad, entre líneas, incluso entre gritos. Escuchar incluso para establecer un nexo, para tratar de saber como se siente el otro y porqué. Más importante si somos contrincantes en una de esos campos de batalla que salen día a día. Si uno no escucha de verdad, está condenado a no aprender, a seguir siendo el mismo.

2. Listening. Obvious, no? But it's not so easy. It's not listening to be able to attack more easily. Rather listening because one really can be mistaken about certain things. What's most difficult is listening to one another, between lines, even between shouts. Even listening to establish a link, to try to know how the other feels and why. It's more important if we are opponents in one of those battlefields that arise on a daily basis. If one does not really listen, he is condemned to not learning, to not changing.

Once again from the Chavism side and from the YouTube account Rio Agua de Vida, a video was published in which a female follower of Hugo Chávez asks Nicolás Maduro for a recount of votes, either to tell the truth about the results, or to reaffirm the majority in the elections. The video has been widely spread and backed on social networks and is underpinned by personal data given at the end of the video in order to support the veracity of the testimony.

Finally, from the site ProDavinci, Luis García Mora points out the pressing needs of the socio-economic situation, which he considers as an inheritance from the Chávez years, but which is being imposed as an inescapable common denominator to all Venezuelans:

Todos estamos inmersos en esto. Ésta es la herencia de Chávez. Una bomba de ingobernabilidad. Una bomba económica. Una bomba social. Y no hay tiempo.

We are all in the thick of it. This is the inheritance of Chávez. A bomb of ingovernability. An economic bomb. A social bomb. And there's no time.

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