|Lopez, between Reuters and RCN|
I certainly was interested. Not only Miguel had the chance to talk with the guys in charge of making sure that chavismo does not steal an opposition vote, but when I interviewed Lopez a few days before the primaries he told me that his function in the coming campaign was going to direct all the effort to organize the logistics for election day. In politics one should never miss the opportunity to do a follow up, the more so if it comes from the big boss.
I am not going to bother you with the details. First, Miguel has an excellent account published in three parts when he was last in Venezuela (part 1, part 2 and part 3). The more relevant part for today's press conference was part 3 of Miguel, on how to defend the vote. Second, it would be too long. Lopez speaks fast, with a high data intensity, and at one point they asked him to slow down. Besides, articles are starting to appear and I am lazy (already here, here and here).
|Explaining the danger zones|
To this you must add that the opposition has identified more than 800 remote sites where there is no cell phone coverage, and where sometimes there is no roads to begin with. But it gets worse, there are about 300 centers which have a high risk of violence, that is, centers where the opposition witness could be, well, hurt. This is no joke, Lopez being willing to state that the regime was playing the violence card. At the rehearsal of two weeks ago, the witness at Caracas 23 de Enero where threatened with death if they dared to come back. Interestingly, the EFE dispatches that are the first to circulate on this reunion forget to mention any of these facts, focusing on those that make the election look like a normal election.......
According to Lopez, Venezuelan election are way worse than Russia in state abuses. He all but dared anyone to prove him wrong.
But if this was the negative part, the meeting had also plenty of positive news. First, the opposition has nearly 100% centers with at least one witness. Even in Havana! If I got it right, the two witness centers are getting close to 90% and they are still hoping that they will make it to three witnesses almost everywhere by election day. You need to note that it is not just a matter to sign up, you are trained for that. You can imagine the logistics behind of all of this and all on a shoe string income when compared to the billions wasted by the regime in vote buying and what not.
Also I really liked Lopez tone. It feels confident, that the opposition will win, that we are all doing our best. This is perhaps the best news of all, that this time the opposition activists are really motivated, as political activists have never been in decades. I know, I know, he is a politician, but there is something about the way you behave, the way you reply to questions over an hour that betrays how confident you are. Lopez is at least confident that all that was possible has been done. And that, my friends, is already priceless.
PS: I did a live tweet so for those interested I pasted it below as more details appear.