This week had all the elements that could have sunk Capriles campaign. And yet he came out of it stronger and this Saturday it all ended in a rathef teary eyed Chavez in San Fernando.
Chavismo threw at the Capriles campaign one of the oldest dirty tricks used in a campaign: giving campaign money from a dirty source and going public with it when convenient. Representative Caldera accepted 40k bolivares (4k USD) from Ruperti. Nothing wrong you may say, after all that amount of money only would pay for the posters of a municipal councilman campaign. But it was dead wrong and even more, idiotic.
First, Ruperti is a crook, one of the most famed bolibourgeois, that caste that made billions within the first half decade of Chavez tenure. Any self respecting opposition person would try at all cost to avoid shaking hands with these people, and even less receive money from them. That Caldera did so is an act of idiocy that proves he does not have what it takes to exert any public function in a post Chavez era where ethics or at least their appearance are going to be essential. Justifiedly so, within hours of the publication of the entrapment video, Capriles had expelled Caldera from the campaign and his party, Primero Justicia, did so too.
This is where the story becomes interesting. First, the lousy quality of the entrapment was not a plus, too obvious and thus less effective than one might think. The more so that it came in the heels of the failed attempt at disgracing Capriles through well known losers de Lima and Ojeda. And the more so that it played right after a fascist chavista mob (redundancy intended) tried to beat up Capriles at the Puerto Cabello airport making him enter Puerto Cabello by sea. That strong picture of a determined leader in a "peñero" making its way to his rendez vous in spite of a red shirted chavista horde will be one of the two pictures that will have decided the election along the one of Capriles chest deep in flood water in 2010. IMO, anyway.
Clearly chavismo was not expecting such a swift firing of Caldera. Discombobulated they started saying all sorts of idiocies. Diosdado Cabello, head of the national assembly, called for investigation of the unacceptable corruption when investigations for millions of dollars against him gather dust. No credibility here. Then Jorge Rodriguez comes around to say that Capriles was harsh, not giving Caldera a chance to defend himself. Too bad that during Rodriguez tenure at the electoral council he had no problem in collaborating in the victimization of millions of Venezuelans through the infamous Tascon List.
And unmoved Capriles charged on to Lara state where a spectacular rally in Carora Friday and another one in Barquisimeto Saturday proved that Chavez lost Lara and probably the election with it. No wonder that Chavez was so melancholic today. Not only the dirty tricks seem to backfire and benefit Capriles, but their clumsiness leave chavismo with a nasty whiff.
Just for this I am lifting Capriles bottom level from 300.000 to 400.000 more votes than Chavez.
Note: the opposition is now bereft of candidate for the very important municipality of eastern Caracas, Petare. The primary winner Caldera is fired. The runner up Ojeda is totally discredited and fired. New primaries are thus needed.