Monday, November 28, 2005

Chavismo in disarray? Hysterics, weapons deals and Congressmen on the tarmac

The day has been rife with rumors, declarations and what not. Basically what we are all waiting for is to know whether the opposition will withdraw its candidates for the Sunday contest. Whether the rumored acceptation to remove the finger printing devices will be enough, rumored as it has not been confirmed by the CNE as I am typing this.

Perhaps, in my opinion, the most remarkable development of the day is an INCREASE in the intention of the NOT VOTING option. Venezuelan people are not that silly, if the CNE cover was blown away so completely last Wednesday, well, what else is there? What additional skeletons remain in the CNE dirty closets? Alo Ciudadano, the popular and highest audience talk show on TV had its lines busy with people saying that they would not go and vote no matter what the opposition leadership decided. The “informal” daily poll was on such intentions and the final result was a stunning 95% on not going to vote next Sunday!!! No matter how unscientific that is, there is a message there.

Alo Ciudadano had also Ezequiel Zamora on the air. The ex director of the CNE was quite clear not only about all the problems of the voting system, much worse than what it used to be, but also reminded the opposition leadership that they were paying the price of neglect in the post August trauma when they should have fought for better elections, where they should have picked up on the leads left behind by Sumate, the OAS, and even himself when he resigned. Chickens always come home to roost and the opposition leadership is harvesting years of neglect. Or is it?

It seems that in fact the opposition has been doing a lot of homework to be able to expose all the CNE treachery (is there a better word for a state organization which deliberately set up a system to kill the secret of voting, this moist sacred principle of what a democracy should be?) Perhaps what we are seeing is a fine strategy that came to fruition none too soon. We shall see, but one thing is certain: there is no point for the opposition to do a serious electoral campaign, to offer a serious program to rebuild the country if there is no point in going to the ballot as the result is, now for all to see, pre ordained. Some groups are quyite clear on the next steps already. Copei vice president, former High Court judge, Roman Duque Corredor was on TV to announce that Copei would nto run if the overhaul of the system is not contemplated soon. It is vox populi now that Primero Justicia is the brain behind the operation to uncover the CNE in front of the international observers (certainly in collaboration with Sumate). AD is gathering tomorrow at noon to take a decision. Other organizations have indicated their intention to withdraw their candidates and even if MAS, PV and other are still silent, when you read that Zulia’s Rosales movement is about to quit when ti si assured of the only opposition victory, you know where the tide is flowing.

If you want to see how discomfit chavismo is, you only need to look at some of its infamous hacks trying to do some damage control. Ever so clumsily, ever so infamously.

Ismael Garcia on TV this morning at 6:30 PM was in such a hysterical state that the interviewer was unable to even ask questions. He went to Globovision, a rare visit for a chavista, only to spit out as fast and as hard as possible the chavismo line, without giving the journalists a chance to probe, what all chavistas who go to Globovision always do anyway. If there was nothing new there, the despair to thread the line was rather fascinating to watch.

Another one hitting the air waves hard was Maduro, the hack in charge of the national assembly and who was rumored to be traveling for leisure instead of campaigning. Well, he had nothing else better to state that this all was only a US financed ploy against Venezuelan democracy. It is hard to be more unoriginal this day. Could it be that they really were caught by surprise by last week audit failure? Whatever it is, one wonders if this had anything to do with a US Congress delegation which was not allowed to leave the plane in Caracas airport. They had to fly back to the state. What a curious development, no?

Not to mention that the outburst of Lara yesterday was commented around, in rather ridicule in his attempt to pass as an outraged catholic wanting to force the Roman Catholic church to take a stand against Sumate. His declaration today that "the CNE was too lenient with the opposition" woudl made anyone laugh if they were not so pathetic.

Meanwhile Chavez was signing a weapon deal with Spain that is not flattering on Zapatero foreign policy even if it brings him, or so he thinks as he hopes Venezuela will be a good payer, a few jobs to Spain. But this another story of Chavez buying foreign sympathies with the oil money of Venezuelan people while his CNE henchmen are being exposed. I sure hope that during his visit the defense minister of Spain will read about the CNE “problems” to get an idea about what crooks he is really dealing with, before he either gets associated with these crooks in Public opinion, or, worse, he and his Zapatero boss pass for the fools that they seem more and more to be…

Thus we remain wondering if this is the begining of the "real thing" or yet another trap set for the opposition. For once I am not so sure. It is too convoluted and too risky. Observers are watching everything and counting on them closing their eyes on such irregularities just as to get contracts for their countries can only go so far in the rarefied world of conspiracy theories. However we have grown so used to the opposition self destructive actions that there is no room for optimism.

Amanecerá y veremos.

Unbelievable developments! (later this evening)

In a most infamous "cadena" Jorge Rodriguez had to swallow hard to announce that his very own baby, the finger printing machines, rumored to have brought him great riches, were suspended from use for next Sunday vote. In a normal country such an annoucement of a personal failure from the guy that forced such an incredible expensive, and useless, state expenditure and policy, should be followed by his resignation. But in the Bolibanana Republic, Rodriguez, a moral crook, will retain his job instead of being submitted to investigation. His explanaitions were pathetic. Instead of just going ahead and announce the suspension on some lame excuse such as public concern or international suggestion, he added a ridicule, if not pityful, justification including mystery polls that allegedly ranked the CNE high in confidence in Venezuela. Only a failed shrink would believe a poll contracted by himself!!!

On the other hand I found very disturbing the OAS communique asking people to go and vote next Sunday. Interference? Appeasement? Outright help for Chavez? Someone should remind them that appeasement NEVER works. This communique IS NOT GOING to help.

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