Monday, August 09, 2004

Why Chavez might win the Recall Election

OK, now that I have caught your attention, no, I do not think that he will win but I am afraid that the opposition will not get the 1 million more votes it need to have a chance to form a stable government if it wins. More political unrest in perspective no matter what the result is.

But this morning during coffee I thought that I should at least entertain the thought as to why Chavez might still pull it out. If anything for the readers of this blog to remain well informed.

The Venezuelan electorate has a populist tradition, well honed over the last 45 years. Indeed, the "masses" for lack of a better word, are used to get stuff at election time. Chavez with his "misiones" has found a way to project an image of "giver" even if this was not really the case for his first 4 years where his cronies were rather the "takers" of public monies....

To the average Venezuelan, the end result is that they are getting something, or they think that they will be getting something. And that perception is what has been driving Chavez numbers up to the point that some serious polls are now in a too close to call situation.

How does this work? Very simply: the average Venezuelan does not care if the "misiones" are actually dismantling the state that Chavez should be running instead of taking it apart to distribute to "his" supporters. Or they do not understand the consequenes of such policies, the divisiveness that it creates in the country, the political resentment that it will create eventually as some will always get more than the other. Think Animal Farm of Orwell: Some animals are more equal than others.

This is the curse of Latin America, where Peron has been the biggest representative of this trend to the point of wrecking Argentina to the core.

I am afraid that with Chavez we are entering the final step in that degradation in Venezuela. While pseudo intellectuals abroad from the peanut gallery think that this about the welfare of the people. It is all about keeping power. Very simple.

Back into regular blogging on Wednesday afternoon.

Only 6 days
until the Recall Election
on Hugo Chavez.

Do I want him out?

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