Friday, April 23, 2010

Maria Corina Machado for Caracas representative

I have written little on elections lately, avoided it would say certain considering my track record.  But tonight I write to endorse wholeheartedly Maria Corina Machado of SUMATE fame for the Eastern Caracas #2 Miranda district seat which will be decided in a primary next Sunday.

First, let me make this clear, I do not vote in Caracas.  I used to vote in that district until I moved to Yaracuy where I vote today.  Thus, in a way, since in Yaracuy I have been deprived of the primary experience, and since I am pretty sure we are going to lose big time here due to the extraordinary incompetence the opposition is displaying at least in this state, I take for myself the "right" to give my opinion on the Baruta-Chacao-El Hatillo primary of Sunday.

The other consideration which gives me further right to give an opinion on my old district is that this is the safest opposition district, that the opposition could run a red dog there and still win without the need of a campaign.  I wonder if actually chavismo has a seat as safe as that one is for the opposition.  That is, it does not matter who I endorse, the opposition is winning.  Just in case my opinion hurts some reader's feelings.

Tonight Globovision held a debate for the primary candidates of that district.  All were ill at ease, all showed as fake a smile as you can find, proving that the primary system is far, far from becoming the norm of Venezuelan politics.  And considering that Caracas is a media city where Globovision is the main media today, they all knew painfully well that a mistake could be fatal for their chances a day from tomorrow.

The 4 candidates were Carlos Vecchio of Voluntad Popular, Douglas Leon Natera president of the medical association of Venezuela, Alfredo Romero as the speaking voice of many NGO human rights organization and Maria Corina Machado ex president of SUMATE and running endorsed by UNT and AD among other.  Let's start by saying that Natera is a token candidate, with no chance of winning who is running to illustrate the plight of health in Venezuela.  Whether rhe is elected  is not going to be a problem since he represents the largest federation of MD of Venezuela, and thus has a secure presence on any medical discussion of future assembly controlled by the opposition.

The fight for the nomination is thus between the other three candidates though Vecchio and Machado are the obvious front runners.  Most attention was those on these two candidates even though Alfredo Romero is also a deserving one and had a presentation tonight that put him ahead of Vecchio.

Vecchio tried to promote his community organization background and the message of Voluntad Popular and its leader, Leopoldo Lopez who is counting on Chacao to carry the day.  But it will not be easy because the mayors of Baruta and El Hatillo have endorsed Machado.  Vecchio is an appealing candidate, I have even met him once.  But in my opinion his campaign suffers from a major flaw: it really does not address the fact that the next National Assembly will not be about fixing potholes and empowering people.  It could become such but first it needs to confront Chavez, stare him down and force him to accept the democratic ways of managing a country.  If this does not happen, all the best intentions of Vecchio and Voluntad Popular risks soon to become a pathetic charade and the laughing stock of most Venezuelans.

I think that Vecchio knows how critical the situation is and what a cheat Chavez is, he cannot be that naive, but he is choosing not to show it.  Why?  Because the strategy of Voluntad Popular is to go after the Ni-Ni vote and at this point I am not sure the time is right, even less in the district where it runs.  If Vecchio were running in La Pastora or La Candelaria his display tonight would have made much, much more sense.  In Baruta and Chacao people have long ago chosen between Chavez and the opposition and few votes are to be obtained threading studied ambiguity.

And thus we come to Maria Corina Machado.  Of course she would be a natural for me since she is articulate, intelligent, capable, worldy and what not.  Vecchio and Romero too, but she is more of it and with more established credentials in the big game politics.  And that is why after tonight I hope she is elected.

Maria Corina Machado showed tonight that she has no illusions about the undemocratic nature of the regime and that an opposition victory in September would only be the start of a protracted political battle.  She is ready for it, she is prepared for it.  She reminded the audience that she has five political trials against her, that she was banned from leaving the country for three years and that thus, by running and not being afraid of confronting Chavez she knows exactly what are her risks.  An unusual frankness after the constant platitudes of the MUD who pretends that September 27 a new National Assembly will just seat down with Chavez to negotiate.  A battle is coming, we need warriors.

Maria Corina Machado knows the beast from inside.  She is a realist.  She is strong and determined.  She is not afraid.  We are going to need many people like her to seat down at the next National Assembly to take on the Cilia Flores and and the Dario Vivas that will try to sabotage it at every single step.  Let's make sure that we get at least her voice inside.

PS: this endorsement cannot be translated to the parties that support Maria Corina Machado.  I have endorsed her strictly on her personality, political talent and offer as compared to the other candidates.  In fact, as far as UNT is concerned, I resent some of their actions in Zulia or the Los Salias district.


  1. Anonymous1:46 PM

    What actions in Zulia?

  2. hoarding all the list seats in zulia or forcing marquina in los salias, for starters.

    unt like pvzl think their home state is there exclusive domain. but unt and barboza at least were much, much less offensive than salas romer. barboza was praised a few minutes ago for being a conciliator, but he is no campaigner. i do not see how his whim to run in zulia at the top of the ticket is going to help really. at least borges is a better campaigner and deserves the top of the ticket in miranda.

  3. Anonymous4:08 PM

    Any comments on the Julio Borges vs. Enrique Mendoza negotitions in Miranda ?

  4. mendoza had worked very hard for the election of capriles and for the failure of the reforma. the way they tried to push him on the side is ungrateful. on the other hand he should have used his name recognition to run in a difficult miranda district. he wanted an easy one.

  5. Anonymous11:26 PM

    i think UNT have earn the right to hold those votos lista to them, they are the biggest political party in zulia, getting almost 90% of the opposition votes, something that only happens here and the reason is something many seems to forget, UNT here is not the same thing as in the rest of venezuela.
    It was born here, as a political party for the zulianos, back when all the rest of the opposition parties were almost dead, UNT was emerging here and it became the only political party being able to defeat chavez, it didn't started when rosales ran for president as it did in the rest of venezuela, and now you have results as all of the previus election where UNT gets most of the votes, the rest of the parties are all reduce to almost nothing... and eventually they only seems to work against the opposition common goal, like the last elections, where the rest of those tiny parties, gave the municipalities of cabimas, urdaneta, valmore, colon and san francisco to the chavesmo.
    It happened because those parties didn't fully understand the place of UNT in Zulia... anyone can check the result, and they will find that in those municipalities where the opposition got 2 candidates, UNT always got second, and not just a close second to the third, but loosing becuase of a small portion of votes that when to the third candidate (that had the support of Copei, Primero Justicia, Proyecto venezuela, etc)

    I even think that UNT gave more than it should have, 5 of the 15 seats went to other parties (1 each to Pj, Ad, Copei, and 2 independents and also gave the indigeous candidate to podemos).

    I do think Zulia is UNT exclusive domain, not because they Own it, but because we, the zulian people, have said so, several times already.
    if people forget that even in this case, Zulia is a case apart, well... there not much one can expect.

    AND by the way? who do you think wasnt included in the candidates list that did deserve it?

  6. anonymous

    it is not really a matter of who "deserves" it but who "earns" it. to dispel such confusions a dozen more primaries would have been very good, including one or two in the city of Maracaibo itself.

    you earn your seat through a primary and a general election, you rarely deserve it.

    and let's not forget that if UNT gave too much in zulia, according to you, it is becasue it also got some stuff elsewhere.

  7. Why bother? the UNT candidate would win, and specially if it is in Maracaibo.

    Forget about rosales, forget about barboza... it is us. me and my neighbor, and all of the people in the opposition in Zulia that identifies and vote for UNT.

    I know it is strange, most venezuelans are afraid of political parties... but that doesn't happens here.

    Why do you think Guanipa didnt push for a primary in Maracaibo?
    because PJ knew that at the end it wasn't a matter of popular support, it was a matter of negotiantion. that here poppular support lies with UNT (at least in the opposition)
    and thats what happens.

  8. dsonant

    because of course with primaries in miranda UNT ojeda and marquina would have breezed through.....

    gimme a break!

    UNT needs to leave zulia to show it is a national party and for that it had to accept that others come to zulia.

  9. Anonymous10:24 PM

    Yeah, others should come, but what do you do when you are not needed and you try to impose yourself by force, there's been precedents...

    And by the way... results are out, Juan romero of UNT won the primary in Machiques with 76% of the votes, i wonder where was the great popular support of PJ candidate that was suppose to be THE candidate?

    Dont get me wrong, there's a lot of things i don't like about the MUD, about the unity candidates, i think Marquina shouldn't be there, as well as Barboza or Salas Roemer, and specially william davila. but for me that's insignificant when you have for the first time unity in the opposition.


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