Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Capriles in San Felipe

I played hooky from work to have a feel about the welcome of San Felipe to Henrique Capriles, as he was visiting to close his campaign here. I was not the only one, it seems. After the triumph he got yesterday in Monagas I wondered what would be the reaction here. I mean, I would have never guessed a year ago that an opposition candidate, ANY opposition candidate, could have had such a triumphant  reception in Maturin. But then again, even in Monagas, 14 years of corrupt chavismo and weeks without running water due to PDVSA take a toll.
Warming up the crowd

The format of Capriles visit was simple. He would arrive at the local private airport (no regular flights, only private small crafts) and have a caravan through San Felipe until he reached a central downtown spot for a speech. Then off he goes to another state (Aragua), as he is making closing appearances TWO states a day.

I called my contact in Caracas for some info but soon enough I realized that whatever happens in Caracas has not much bearing with the local organizing committees. So I went on my own, but still with the general description of the event. There were, I think, about half a dozen rallying points around San Felipe. That way people would be spread around the town and have a better chance to come and watch the guy as he went by. And those who wanted could go to a short speech on 5ta Avenida. I chose the big intersection of Ravell and Cedeño, where the McDonald and Burger King are located. Good parking, cold beverages guaranteed. It is the tropics, you know and at 11 AM you think about such stuff.
Avanzada Progresiva parks next to McDonald

The wait was a tad long and unfortunately there were less interesting pictures to take than usual. It was, after all, possibly the most bourgeois rallying point though from the entertainment picture on the right the crowd is quite mixed. Yes, writing a known blog allows you to climb on stage for a picture. My contact were not that useful but good enough for that. I did send some tweet pics here, here and here.

The atmosphere was really cheerful. Though not free of incidents as an asshole chavista felt compelled to drive through the intersection with his Chavez posters plastered car. The car stalled, screams came and eventually oppo folk had to push his car uphill to clear up the intersection. He did not look a happy camper and I wondered what would happen if the situation were reversed...  Surely tonight he will regale his red shorted comrades with tales of oppo violence even though he was the perfect agent provocateur.

He will arrive that way
Finally Capriles arrived and hysteria took over. You really need, if you can, to attend such a small town event where the celebrity is much closer to you than at a big city rally.  I have tried to capture it in the short video at the end, where you can even see Capriles catch the symbol cap of his campaign, wear it for a second and throw it high up in the air for anyone to catch.  Some must treasure that more than a bridal bouquet I guess.

I think that after what I saw today (including what I saw in the streets on my way there) Capriles is going to win San Felipe handsomely. Maybe not Yaracuy as a whole, but San Felipe never looked so enthusiastic in the 14 days I have had to observe it.

By the way I finally got my own baseball cap today. It is now at 100 BsF, up 40 from the original 60. A sure sign that the Capriles value is going up.

Added later. The video of Capriles speech downtown San Felipe. You can see the huge crowd for such a small provincial city.


  1. Keep that cap, someday it might be worth something.I had a CAP(C.A.Perez) porfiao but it got lost in the move...don't know if anybody remembers those.


  2. Island Canuck4:34 PM

    "You really need, if you can, to attend such a small town event where the celebrity is much closer to you than at a big city rally."

    I've been trying to convey this point since I attended the Capriles rally in El Tirano here in Margarita a few weeks ago.

    It really impressive the effect he has on people. I'm more convinced then ever after seeing the photos of the last couple of days that he's going to win with a comfortable majority - more than 1 million votes.

    Wait for the Caracas rally on the 30th!!

    1. Personally, I think it's time you rolled out the Island Canuck poll :-)

    2. Island Canuck8:53 PM

      And compete with Daniel. never :-)

      I'm just more optimistic than the other bloggers.

  3. Anonymous4:36 PM

    Amazing. Thanks Daniel. Jorge Rodriguez said today that the oppo "is manipulating the polls". El que tenga ojos que vea, I say.


  4. Anonymous8:28 PM

    I am sure that capriles wins Oct 7. My biggest worry now is what stops the government from bankrupting the country in the 3 months before capriles takes power? How can they be stopped? What are your thoughts?

    1. Fear not, we are already bankrupt.

    2. Charly10:01 PM

      Not to worry, Capriles already got a rehersal. When he got elected as governor of Miranda, Diosdados Cabello left him an empty shell.

  5. Great post, Daniel.

  6. Anonymous4:46 AM

    Has anyone recently seen the Chavez daughters ? There was a time when when their presence was as common as muck.

    Since the Cuban cancer crisis no sign of them.

    Knickers and gold spring to mind.

  7. Anonymous10:46 PM

    esta rodando por twitter que no habrá cierre de campana en el zulia, según dicen por la apretada agenda del candidato y que se sacrifica al zulia por que es un estado "seguro" para capriles... que clase de locura es esa? me parece que el mensaje q nos mandan a los zulianos no es muy bueno, si es por lo seguro, por que se hizo el acto en tachira y otros estados "seguro"?
    que chimbo! me parece un error fatal. saben algo al respecto, es cierto?
    si es cierto, espero que se arrechen no sean muchos, aunque conociendo mi gente...

    1. mijo, primero no le pares a todo lo que rueda por twitter. si no sigues al twittero que mas concierne, no le pares. en este caso de noticias los unicos twitters que valen la pena seguir son pablo perez y henrique capriles. lo demas es cuento.

      segundo, pablo perez anoche en el cuidadano dijo que si habia el cierre en zulia.

      el cierre-cierre de campaña, el ultimo, y me parece muy, muy acertado, es en barquisimeto porque con quitarle lara a chavez se gana la eleccion. caracas y maracaibo son efectivamente seguros pero lara ni tanto y es EXCELENTE estrategia cerrar en barquisimeto, por mas que le duela a uno que otro caraquista o aguilucho.

  8. Anonymous3:32 PM

    falsa alarma, es cierto, twiter es como una vieja brollera, ya se sabe q el cierre sera en 5 de julio el miercoles... y si, me parece excelente q el cierre sea en barquisimeto... aunque debieron dejar a monagas también para el final.

  9. Anonymous12:03 PM

    You in Venezuela know far better than I perhaps, but there were decades where the right in the US got its hopes up to be crushed in the end. The lay of the land was that they needed everything to go right to win by 53% or so, and there are very few election seasons when everything falls in line your way. So those on the Vz. right are incredibly enthusiastic and desperate to see this as the time, and maybe it is. But there is still a reasonable chance that people will vote their pocketbooks and hold their nose and vote for Chavez. Nobody here, perhaps, but I remember those decades in the US, and conservatives coming up with many explanations that were not exactly the real reason. It was structural and required a lost war, the civil rights issue, and the loss of private-sector unions to change things.

    1. Anonymous

      Do not transpose your notions of right and left to the current Vnz situation. This is a battle between fascists and democrats, not between right and left.

  10. Anonymous1:33 AM


    You see it as fascist/democrat, but do the majority? All those conservatives in the US thought it was a battle between a democratic republic and Communism. Obviously, the American New Deal coalition was not nearly as dangerous as Chavez, but I was just pointing out that it is not really the number of folks who are motivated to protest that matters, whether it be in NY City, China, the Middle East or Caracas. Anyway, best wishes for the campaign and peace and a decent government afterwards. It would be incredibly good news if Vz could help lead Latin America out of the choice between a rotten oligarchy that is irrationally close to the US and a rotten left that is just viscerally anti-American.


Comments policy:

1) Comments are moderated after the fourth day of publication. It may take up to a day or two for your note to appear then.

2) Your post will appear if you follow the basic rules. I will be ruthless in erasing, as well as those who replied to any off rule comment.

Do not be repetitive.
Do not bring grudges and fights from other blogs here (this is the strictest rule).
This is an anti Chavez/chavismo blog, Readers have made up their minds long ago. Trying to prove us wrong is considered a troll. Still, you are welcome as a chavista to post if you want to explain us coherently as to why chavismo does this or that. We are still waiting for that to happen.
Insults and put downs are frowned upon and I will be sole judge on whether to publish them.