Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Petkoff to throw his hat in the race

El Universal carried this afternoon and item as to Petkoff launching his candidacy for the December 2006 presidential elections. No real surprise there, except that it was filtered to El Universal instead of El Nacional, Globovision or Union Radio. I prefer not to read anything in that at this time, preferring to look at what this candidacy means.

As readers might know I like the idea of Petkoff as president. In a short list, without any particular order, some of the reasons (there are many, Chavez been such an easy target).

  • Petkoff has had a good experience in government. He almost single handledly saved the Caldera administration from an ignominious collapse when this one sensing the ship sinking reluctantly called him to direct the economic cabinet.
  • As the editor of Tal Cual he has shown to have a clear mind, a clear understanding of the problems of the country.
  • His sharp tongue would be very effective against the vulgarity of Chavez. By the way, Petkoff would be the only opposition candidate able to use vulgarity on occasion without the degrading effect observed when Chavez uses vulgarity, starting with his own degradation.
  • As a Liberal (US sense), I gravitate naturally toward social democrats, which is what Petkoff has become from his communist past, having rejected long ago silly Marxist ideas. Petkoff is probably the only opposition candidate able to articulate a political platform that can reach the poorer classes, the one that Chavez would have the more trouble when safeguarding his flock from Petkovian encroachment.
  • He does have electoral experience, though it remains to see who will he chose to run his camapaign as it will be announced tomorrow officially.
  • Petkoff is not a corrupt politican and he knows how deleterious corruption if for a country. Yet he does not have any absurd sanctity, naïveté, on this matter: corruption is inevitable in government but it should be kept in check to avoid the big robbery that is taking place in Venezuela these days.
  • Chavez is unable to delegate, wants all the glory for himself. On this repsect Petkoff can only be an improvment. Petkoff at 74 year old cannot have more than a one term ambition, and as Reagan was, is old enough to measure what real glory is (e.g., leaving a functional country behind) and old enough to not only know the value of delegating power, but on how to do it, on whom to delegate.
  • Petkoff is much less messy, probably much more efficient than Chavez though admittledly this is not difficult to be.
  • Petkoff has a vision for a country. Chavez has a vision for himself only. This is perhaps the main point in favor of Petkoff.
Tomorrow should be the official announcement. Then we will see if Petkoff is able to articulate his vision.

PS, 24 hours later. A reader, Raul, points out that El Nacional is in fact the first one to have announced the Petkoff run. I stand corrected, and I am happy that EL Nacional, as I would have expected, was the first one to leak the news.

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