Well, things must be worse than I thought.
I just heard the latest message (or was it an add?) from Enrique Mendoza. But before some background.
The abstention has been the specter of this election and I have already described some of its consequences (1, and 2).
There are real reasons to promote abstention and some important figures/op-ed-folks have done so.
Meanwhile chavismo has made a campaign without pair in our history as far as using public funds for particular interest, negative campaigning, character assassination, and what not.
To the point that the CNE had to make a timid and fake declaration yesterday, barely 24 hours before the campaign closes. In that declaration Rodriguez decided to "investigate" Chavez abuses, and the opposition and media one for good measure. It is stunning how impartial the CNE is in such situations...
But the CNE has been caught red handed in partiality: his on the hour cadenas that have been harassing us for the last few weeks do not take place when Chavez makes a campaign speech on the state TV, VTV. Tonight again Globovision Alo Ciudadano was telling one of his guests to keep talking that there was no cadena coming as Chavez was in some proselytizing act. All illegal acts of course for a sitting president.
Now, Mendoza's message.
After a lackluster campaign, if one could charitably call that a campaign when comapres it to the efforts deployed by Lapi in Yaracuy or Rosales in Zulia, Mendoza started reacting a couple of weeks ago. Today, even Milagros Socorro in El Nacional recognized that Diosdado Cabello campaign in Miranda was more effective and willful than she would have expected.
Thus I am not quite sure to interpret tonight's message by Mendoza. Either it is a last ditch effort as he feels himself lost. Or it is the surprise counter attack from the opposition. What was the message:
It was an indictment of the cheating CNE. It was an acknowledgment of the faults of the CD leadership on August 15. It was a call, a strong call to order, to the abstentionist wanna-be that they would wake up to a chavista administration nightmare, with a dramatic picture of what such an administration would be. The terms used to detail all of these things are basically illegal in a campaign, though obviously less illegal than what Chavez is doing, by far, if there were a real electoral umpire in this godforsaken country...
I was stunned!
Pretty much it suggests that the campaign will not close tonight at midnight and that the opposition is defying the CNE outright! Is this a test strike before a pitched battle on Sunday? Or is it a desperate move to bring abstention back to the ballot boxes? If I could only have access to real opinion polls, but my private ones indicate that there will be abstention, though on both sides...
On other matters. I was not planning to write today, too tired after the extensive posting of this week. It is draining. But I thought that this development was of interest to people reading Venezuelan blogs.
Although I will keep my "election coverage", for the next few days I will keep monitoring the two long posts that I did on the electoral motivations and the possible outcomes (which I might update some as needed), reminding folks the links at each new post so that the discussion can continue if people feel like to. These posts will be as valid Monday morning as they were when I posted them earlier this week.