So, after weeks and weeks of traveling, after millions and millions of US dollars of the Venezuelan people given away, after months and months of misplaced silly anti US rhetoric, Chavez gets only 76 votes to Guatemala 109. But it gets worse: the second round saw Venezuela lose two votes to get 74 while Guatemala went up to 114.
And it got even worse as, very symbolically, Spain announced at the last minute that it would vote for Guatemala ending officially the Spanish support to Chavez, a support that has only brought problems to Spain.
And it is still worse because Chile got entangled in an unnecessary internal political struggle that forced it at the last moment to announce an abstention (showing that it is always a risky proposition to support Chavez, even discretely).
And to top it off the Ecuadorian openly pro Chavez came in second with barely 22% when polls were predicting a possible first round win at 40%. It seems that the last minute Noboa anti Chavez rhetoric paid off handsomely and gave him 27% (1). A difficult second round for both of them whereas it was predicted 2 weeks ago that Correa would either win outright or have an easy second round.
Bad day for Chavez. I cannot wait for Alo Ciudadano on Globovision this evening.
Is somebody going to account for the most expensive diplomatic defeat in Venezuelan history? (except for the territorial losses of the XIX century, that is)
ADDENDUM: The vote rounds continue and Venezuela total bobs up an down but always trailing Guatemala. I RESENT THIS. I cannot accept that my country is thus humiliated just because the megalomaniac fool who made it to president wants so badly such a seat that amounts, when everything is said and done, to very little. I RESENT IT; I CANNOT ACCEPT THAT MY COUNTRY IS HUMILIATED INTERNATIONALLY BY SUCH AN IRRESPONSIBLE JACKASS!!!!! Why can't he just for once in his life realize that he will not get that toy he wants? Can he let the little guy play with the toy? Can't he find better ways to piss off Bush? Would it not be more courageous to cut oil supply to the US than this cheap and demeaning charade?
Explicatory note: the constant variation on votes could be due to 1) countries who feel they have fulfilled their commitment to a given one (for example Guatemala has been campaigning for years, as protocol obliges, and some countries were already tied to Guatemala) 2) diplomatic shenanigans go behind stage trying to find ways to have Venezuela and Guatemala withdraw in favor of a third party. In this case all sorts of shift can happen.
Thus it is possible that the late upsurge of Venezuela (now ebbing some by the way) could be due to people trying to get out of an impasse. But my bet is that neither Venezuela nor Guatemala will make it: that much is now clear. The only question is: how much humiliation is Chavez willing to endure?
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1) Amusingly the not so amused Guardian title the Ecuador news: "Billionaire leads Ecuador poll, forcing Chávez ally into run-off" never minding that Noboa lead Correa by a full 5% difference!