Caracas Or Catalan - Nightstick Democracy At Its Finest...

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by Simon Black via,

The last several days in Venezuela have been absolutely mind-blowing.

Pretty much all the stories you’ve heard are true– countless people eating out of garbage cans, the appalling shortages of basic staples like food, medicine, and even soap… and the lines.

Oh boy, the lines.

The longest lines I saw, in fact, were not at grocery stores, but at banks.

Hundreds of people were queuing up, many of them to pull money out of their accounts to exchange cash on the black market.

Lines snaked through a bank’s cavernously large lobby, continued outside, wrapped around the entire building, and terminated at some point down the street.

Making a simple withdrawal can be an all-day affair.

Perhaps most surprising was how much Venezuela deteriorated since the last time I came here. And I’m concerned that it will continue to get worse… perhaps even much worse… until it gets better.

As I mentioned last week, long-term this place is a veritable gold mine. The natural resources, cheap hydropower production, port facilities, low-cost workforce, abundant factories, etc.

Venezuela is a manufacturer’s dream.

But none of those opportunities can come to pass until this government collapses and there’s a complete reset.

Undoubtedly the Venezuelan government will eventually run out of money, probably within the next two years. It’s nearly a mathematical certainty.

And when they’ll no longer be able to pay the scumbag police and military who shoot peaceful protesters in the face, it’ll be game over.

But until then they’re doing everything they can to strengthen their grip.

A few months ago the government held a sham election here, where citizens exercised their ‘democratic’ right to choose among a bunch of puppet candidates hand-selected by the government.

You can still see the billboards up across Caracas telling people to go vote between the choices given to them by the government. Freedom!

You’d think that such oppressive tactics to keep a population under control would only exist in brutal dictatorships like Venezuela or North Korea.

But then we witnessed the events in Spain over the weekend where millions of people in the Catalan region went out to vote on independence for their region.

Caracas? ... or Catalonia...

The Spanish government loves democracy so much that they sent tens of thousands of police around the region to confiscate ballots, shut down polling stations, and beat-up peaceful citizens.

This is ‘Nightstick Democracy’ at its finest.

And in a most Orwellian statement, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy told reporters later on Sunday that “there was no referendum in Catalonia today. . .”

It was like some Jedi mind trick trying to hide the fact that more than 2 million Catalans voted for independence.

I’m reminded of that old quote, often attributed to Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, that basically says “It’s not the people who vote that counts, it’s the people who count the votes.”

(According to the memoirs of Stalin’s personal secretary, the actual quote was “I consider it completely unimportant who in the party will vote, or how; but what is extraordinarily important is this– who will count the votes, and how.”)

This is pretty pathetic: we are ‘free’, as long as we only vote when they give us permission and choose among the options that they provide us.

A few months ago when writing about Venezuela, I concluded that blockchain technology could fix this.

Think about it– in 2017, it’s pretty ridiculous that people have to go down to a polling station to stuff a paper ballot into a box, all of which will be counted by hand.

Blockchain technology would ensure that everyone registered has exactly one vote, and that every vote is counted once.

No more lost ballots. No more tampering. No more miscounts and recounts. No more voter fraud.

Plus, blockchain voting can be cryptologically hashed to ensure secrecy, as well as provide an easy way for ANY candidate to be nominated.

And compared to the cost of legions of human beings required to supervise and count votes, in addition to the logistical cost of printing and moving all that paper, a Blockchain vote is MUCH cheaper.

A blockchain vote would be a clear, independent, indisputable expression to the world that millions of Venezuelans reject their government… and that millions of Catalans desire independence from Spain.

This isn’t some far-fetched idea. These tools already exist, as do the means to implement them, including identity validation to ensure that every registrant is eligible to vote.

When the game is rigged, there are really only two choices available: stop playing. Or change the game.

And this is absolutely game-changing technology.

Do you have a Plan B?

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MANvsMACHINE's picture

My plan B is to move in with Simon. He seems to know EVERYTHING!

ParkAveFlasher's picture

Gold watches, Chilean orchards, blockchain, sounds like a plan I can get on top of.  Soon as a pay off my Lord & Taylor card!

Yen Cross's picture

  The euro is going to get hammered!

   I wouldn't be surprised to see the euro @  1:1  eur/usd  next year.  There's such a massive carry trade that's going to unwind.  [Most of it will be synthetic]

 My own Mother was yelling at me today. She said that I was investing in/on the failures of banking and society.

   Silence for 30 minutes.

   I'm investing in Hope and Humanity~

Slack Jack's picture

You've been fooled into war before,... This article outlines roughly how the second world war was run:

Proof that Adolf Hitler was a double agent.

It seems pretty weird when you first read it, but its clearly true.

Yen Cross's picture

  Demented comment.  Your soul is lost

Yen Cross's picture

 I've been doing very well  playing the 1.16 handle assclown

  Stay on topic, dumb -ass

venga periquito al torno's picture

Tyler must have a squeaky Catalan cousin, otherwise this constant flow of bullshit is not understandable.

Bottom line is this:

The supreme justice tribunal of Cataluña declared the use of any public building ilegal to prevent the voting of this also ilegally declared referendum. Had the Catalan local police intervened following the law and prevented this from happening Im sure the Spanish police would have held back from using force. You see, there is something called the law, and when you break the law shit happens. Did shit get out of hand? maybe, but there were no deaths. And the media exploited to the maximum the 3 photos of blood there was. 2 of which were very dubious by the way, I showed links to them.

But lets recap. These people were taking part in an ilegal referendum completely outside the law, that would give consent to a declaration of independence.

Do you understand the concept of law? 

Do you understand the meaning of a Constitution? the same one that 90% of Catalans approved in ´79

Do you even talk about the circus of a referendum that was held? where some people voted 4 or 5 times. Where people of other parts of Spain could also vote. I can prove this too.

None of these things are addressed here. this constant flow of bullshit is of the lowest investigative work there is. You even showed fake photos !!!!!

You either accept the rules of the place you live in or you fight them. If you fight them you can either try to change the law or you fight with your fists, but you better be prepared to go all the way.

Do you think a single one of those Catalans is prepared to die for their country?  

They dont have the need for it, beacuse ultimately they enjoy more freedoms and rights than anyone in the whole world. That is a fact. The rest are lies.

Go on prove me wrong.



Overflow's picture

ZH is now a SJW hole, devoted to NWO propaganda.  


In a weird fashion, sure, but just the same spam with different taste for different sheep.


It's very common to realize your new sources are corrupt the day they talk about something happening around you.

Cloud9.5's picture

We understand the concept of the law full well.  The law is a tool of the state.  The Enabling Act created a legal dictatorship in Nazi Germany.  Hitler became the law. The extermination of undesirables by his regime was perfectly legal. Stalin made it illegal for Ukrainians to possess food.  Food was the property of the state and millions starved to death.  In many states, the law forbids the individual from possessing the means to defend himself placing that individual at the mercy of criminals.


To steal a phrase from Martin Luther King Jr, “It is moral to disobey and immoral law.”

venga periquito al torno's picture


Are you advocating a return to a state of nature because your conception of the term “law” is subjugated to a series of unjust laws from Nazi Germany and Stalin´s USSR ?

The legitimacy of authority of the state over the individual was existent in Cataluña the day before the ilegal referendum was held, was it not? If you committed a crime you most likely would be arrested a tried. 

The head of the local police committed a crime by failing to act accordingly to what the Catalan highest justice Tribune (Tribunal Superior de Justicia de Cataluña) declared. And now hopefully he will be brought to justice.


Nice quote but perhaps the Catalans should focus more in understanding why Socrates did not escape once he was sentenced.


The central government has received plenty of criticism for the method and style with which the police acted with these pacific protestors who wanted to vote - illegally - but vote non the less. Rajoy has been asked to resign by groups such as Podemos and the MSM has questioned the way all this was handled. Not exactly a parallelism to be drawn here with Hitler´s and Stalin´s prerogative.


At the same time and paradoxically, based on certain info, I would consider the idea that the central gov and the Catalan indepes are actually just pawns in a game and that this whole thing is an experiment put in place by the promotors of a New world order with the objective of legitimizing police violence and crushing democracy. 



But either way, all you find in Zerohedge with regard to this topic is a tonne of sensationalist bullshit.

London..unfortunately's picture

You appear to be an apologist for the gratuitous and unnecessary violence used by the Spanish state. Go on prove me wrong.

Yen Cross's picture

  Let's talk about you?  

  I don't know you,  Nor, do I have an opinion of you.

  If you chose to converse, enter at your own risk.

Nobody For President's picture

YC, Please don't encouage this thread hijacking asshole.

ZH may be the only place he has conversation with other human beings, which is a sad thing, but his only conversational tone is argumenative asshole. I know it's Fight Club and all, but it gets tiresome watching the same asshole lose.

Cloud9.5's picture

I always have.  Now she listens to me.

dchang0's picture

Your mom should be yelling at the bankers and politicians that are causing banks and society to fail in the first place (intentionally, for their own gain). But it's easier to yell at you than go after the oligarchs who would just have thugs beat her down like the Catalonians.

GooseShtepping Moron's picture

Blockchain technology will do nothing to improve the voting process. If the government cannot manipulate the votes, it will simply dispense with voting altogether.

Escrava Isaura's picture

Biological determination in plain sight.

Here’s a serious case of nature taking over nurture.




StackShinyStuff's picture

If voting mattered they wouldn't let us do it, or something like that - Maybe Mark Twain

Internet-is-Beast's picture

If blockchain were used, couldn't the government just have a big power outage or kill switch the internet in Catalonia?

Pernicious Gold Phallusy's picture

??? Why are the people complaining? It's for their own good.

Aristofani's picture

Another cia article plant against Venezuela in zH. Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiittttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt!

RedDwarf's picture

Spain broke out the fabled Stick of Fascism I mean Democracy.  Too bad the Catalans didn't have the Guns of Freedom to negate it.

As for blockchain for voting, yet it would be fantastically better as a voting system.  Reliable, verifiable, practically tamper-proof, transparent, the whole nine yards.  So we won't see it until we have a revolution.

Yen Cross's picture

 If you can't define the risk, don't make the commitment.

  A very smart financial person uttered those words of wisdom.

Quantify's picture

<!-- @page { margin: 0.79in } p { margin-bottom: 0.1in; line-height: 120% } -->

Guns are much more valuable than votes.

TeraByte's picture

The turning point comes, when the army finally realizes, it is easier topple the regime than swap the people (Romania December 25 1989)

ZorroHedge's picture

This is still nonsense. The Catalan politicians don't care about democracy. The referendum was a mess. Children voted, people voted more than once and only 40 % of people voted. Based on those figures, you can't call for independence but the Catalan politicians still claim that at the end of this week or the beginning of next week they will declare themselves independent. They will just ignore the NO "vote" of those that didn't go to vote because they agreed with the Spanish government that this referendum has no legality. 

I agree that the police violence was not necessary and I hope the EU punishes Rajoy for it, although I doubt they will. But if the Catalan politicians declare themselves independent, they should be impeached and heavily punished too. You can't just declare yourself independent based on some laughable referendum in which 60 % of people didn't consider it legal and therefore didn't bother to vote. 

JustUsChickensHere's picture

You do not know what the 60% wanted. They chose not to let anyone know. 


You are suggesting they all intended to vote NO - it is equally possible (and unlikely) that they all wanted to vote YES, but were afraid of the very real threat of violence.

Overflow's picture

"They chose not to let anyone know"




You are talking about something you don't know a word, or your'e a desperate catalan separatist burning the last rounds now you know your fascist game is over.


Fireman's picture

Spanish fascism is alive and well inside the evil EUSSR. Meanwhile lame duck STASI "Erika" Merkill trying to cobble a rag tag government of globalists together has nothing to say about the resurgence of Franco style fascism. It is obvious that democracy is dead in Urupp and that EuroPeons are going to be feeling the stomping of jackboots more and more as the collapse approaches.

God bless Catalonia and her people.

The Franco fascist sewer that is modern Spain.

Sunday's fascist display by citizens in Madrid.

rphb's picture

The following thing is going to happen.

1) The "president" of Catalonia is going to declare independence

2) the supreme court of Spain is going to declare that unconstitutional

3) The government will order the state government in Catalonia to stand down and obey the courts ruling

4) The state government will refuse

5) The government will use §155 of the constitution to disband the state government and take direct control over the state

6) The state government will be arrested, and Madrid will take direct control

7) Riots will start in Catalonia that will be struck down

8) By Christmas things will have calmed down and be back to normal.

Overflow's picture

Yes, but faster, I think.


8) in less than a month, all is back to normal.

rphb's picture

Christmas is to be on the safe side. Before things can get totally back to normal, there also needs to be a new election in Catalonia, one in which "unconstitutional parties" are not allowed to run. Bascailly all parties needs to swear loyalty to the king before even running.

By december all of this have been done and it is over.

Cloud9.5's picture

You assume that there are no outside players who have an interest in perpetuating this conflict. And you assume they do not have the means to escalate the violence.  The South thought the war was over at the first battle of Bull Run.  They could have walked into Washington and arrested Lincoln but they opted not to. Four years later, starved, burned out and defeated, the survivors turned around and walked home.  

rphb's picture

The South was a secessionist movement, not the government, and they were always in an inferior position, their only upside was better generals (Lee) that granted have been essential to winning most wars, but it was always a race against time for the South.

Capturing Washington wouldn't have been enough, Lincoln would have escaped the capital before they could approach and remember what the man said:

"If I could save the union by freeing every slave I would do it, If I could save the union by not freeing any slaves I would do it, if I could save the union by freeing some slaves while not freeing others, I would do it" Abraham Lincoln.

Basically this man was devoted to the unity of the union above all else, and would sacrifice anything, and everything to see that it returned whole.

The confederate troops would have had to march all to Boston, taking control of everything in between, in order to break the union, because Lincoln would never surrender.

If the confederacy could have done this, the North eastern states would likely have independently surrendered. The condition would be that they would also all secede the union and form their own (New England),  that would be recognised by the CSA and become neutral. Taking that away would be more then the union could bear, but Lincoln as I said, was a fanatic so the CSA would likely have to go around the entire country, making one state after another surrender until Lincoln was simply president of nothing at all.

And still after that he would likely continue to lead a guerilla war until he was captured or killed.

BritBob's picture

What chance have the Catalans got when Spain refuses to recognise that the people of Gibraltar have the right to self-determination?


Spanish Foreign Minister Dastis: "The existence of a colony in Europe in the 21st century is an anachronism. We want to get back our territorial integrity. "This debate comes from the 18th century – it's a remnant of a bygone time. A matter of colonialism.'' (Daily Express 30 Sept 2017) He added Spain would never drop its claim over Gibraltar...

Even after effectively ceding the territory 3 times...

 Gibraltar – Spanish Myths and Agreements (1 pg):

Overflow's picture

Definitively, ZH is a hole of vitimistic SJW babies.


What do ANY country do when a hundred radicals storm a Police Station?


Have anyone here ever seen riot police in your country facing demostration at G20 meetings, ecologist or commies performan onces?  That's violence, not what we saw in SPain las sunday

What would UK do if Greater Manchester "decided" to leave England unilaterally?   Germany with Bavaria?  USA with Cali?


Yeah, ZH is the new Huffington post. 

Overflow's picture

Hey, look these Zero Hedgers storming a grocery store yesterday.

rygar's picture

"It's not the people who use blockchain to vote that count, it's the people who control blockchain and count those votes'

When people like mr. Black will understand that 'blockchain' is nothing more than a database, it does not have any magic propeties that prevent fraud. You can say that Bitcoin's blockchain is immutable (which is not tested assumption) but not 'any blockchain'

estebanDido's picture

This is the biggest piece of crap article I have ever tried to read.