Thursday, November 01, 2012

Some days I want to cover the elections and most days I do not want to

I wrote a single post on the December regional elections hinting that I may not want to cover further than what I did, silly arithmetic prediction included. But the debacle in the chavistas candidate "nomination" process is so tempting...  then again the ongoing slow motion suicide of the opposition keeps apace so why bother covering what may be the final set up of the totalitarian regime of Chavez whose end can only come through open rebellion? Started by chavistas themselves, mind you!

Let's start with the chavista mess.

Not only Hugo Chavez was the single voter in the PSUV primaries but he went against the vocally clear wishes of the natives, as seen for example in Carabobo and Aragua during his own campaign visits. His nominees were required a single quality, lapdog fealty to their master, and they were named to a given state even if they did not vote there. Furthermore  some were named for ulterior motives which took into no account whatsoever the well being of the natives.

For example, as far as I am concerned, the nomination of Erika Farias to Cojedes and Rodriguez Chacin to Guarico states is to prepare a rearguard hiding place in deep countryside for the FARC guerrilla once some agreement is achieved in the Havana "negotiations" between the Colombian government and the FARC. The Southern part of these two states is remote enough and already the victim of massive expropriations which lands could easily be transferred to "retired" guerrilla control. Far enough of the Colombian border, not too far from modern facilities, hidden enough until better days come for the FARC. No wonder some in Cojedes are already bitching at the true radical bitch sent their way. In Guarico I have not heard yet anything for sure against the nominee but the openly avowed friendliness of Rodriguez Chacin with the FARC and his more than obscure past is an ill omen for the natives who may want to act on that.  Then again they voted massively for Chavez, screw them as far as I am concerned.

At any rate, the chavista mess has got so bad that Chavez had to withdraw his initial nominee to Trujillo state (and it is expected that as many as two other states may change their candidates mere weeks before the election). In Trujillo, "bowing" to the natives who say the sitting chavista governor is one of the most corrupt and arrogant they ever experienced, Chavez has dispatched his sitting minster of defense, promptly retired from active duty. The only problem with Rangel Silva, besides his own poor personal qualities  is that he is listed by the USofA as participating or at the very least not taking action against the increasing drug traffic through Venezuela. This is a possible future state governor that would face arrest if he were to go on vacation outside of Venezuela. Must I read also there a future drug/FARC route through Trujillo to Cojedes and Guarico?

Unfortunately the late timing of Rangel Silva implied that the electronic vote would have to be done under the face of the dismissed candidate. No problem, the electoral ministry of Chavez, CNE, promptly violated its own rules which are forcefully applied to the opposition but never to chavismo. The face of Rangel Silva will be on the ballot and the CNE loses yet more credibility, if it had any left.

Now, such mess inside chavismo should prompt in me some guarded optimism and motivate me to cover the elections more closely. But no, because the opposition is a mess itself.

First, the opposition is absolutely unable to find a response to all the recent abuses of the CNE. Since the CNE is working against the MUD, since the deliberate maneuvers of the CNE are dooming the chances of this one, why not take a stand? I truly cannot understand why the MUD is not only threatening NOT to recognize the results of December 16, but why it is not adding the threat that considering the recent decisions of the CNE they have decided to evaluate again whether the result of October 7 should still be recognized?  Instead we get a Capriles so afraid of losing Miranda defending what he should not be defending at this stage. And we get even the incredible counter-performance of Leopoldo Lopez when he defended his work of October 7, completely misreading the mood of the opposition:  we know that Chavez has more votes than us, what we want Lopez to do is to protest vigorously at the ways he got more votes instead of telling us to deal with it, forget about it, and go like sheep to vote on December 16.

Second, the opposition is unable to resolve its own divisions. In Tachira it is now all but certain that the state where we got the most votes in October 7 will go Chavez because we are running two tickets. In a way I am comforted because even though I support primaries I have always said that they do not solve everything. The MUD et al., went all hog from no primaries to primaries for all and we are going to pay the result in Tachira.  By refusing primaries there and by not giving a fair compensation to the ex mayor of San Cristobal, then the opposition is divided between the said ex mayor and the sitting governor. That losing the state is in the end the fault of resentful the ex mayor is no consolation.

Same problem in Monagas where born again dissident "el gato" wants to run in spite of the existence of a winner of the MUD primaries  No solution is on sight, ensuring that Monagas will go Chavez. And yet the compromise is easy: one side gets the governor mansion and the other gets all of the legislative council. Roll it on dice if you must. But no, each sides wants all...

Yes, I am not giving proper names to all of these creeps because they do not deserve to be mentioned in this post, all being about to join the opprobrium annals of Venezuelan history.

And there is a third! Today, 4 second fiddle players have announced that they were leaving the MUD because their opinion were not taken into account.  Certainly the MUD has become quite a club, but is it the moment to bail out? Can't they just express some discomfort and wait for December 17 to blast away?  Do they really think that the second fiddle (or even third or fourth...) that they really are can change December 16 outcome? The arrogance and self inflation of so many opposition characters truly never ceases to amaze me.....

I trust you now understand why I really do not feel like covering much this campaign. Certainly the pro Chavez side is repulsive but when I look at the misguided actions of the opposition I wonder if my time would not be better spent figuring out ways to survive on my own the onslaught of the communal councils to come until I can find the way to leave Venezuela. Because truly, there is no hope form the MUD politicians, more concerned with crumbs than the country's fate.


  1. Hi Daniel: Is there a chance of publishing an spanish version of this post? You put all my thoughts about the political mess Venezuela is. Thanks for writing. It gives me a sense of calm that someone else is asking for the MUD to stand up and stop begging for crumbs

    1. If the MUD were reading bloggers in any language maybe it would be in less trouble. I doubt very much that any translation will reach where it should reach.

      This being said I do not want to be overcritical of the MUD. Overall they did a good job. Their problem is that some of their premises were wrong and they do not seem to see it.

  2. Sorry I had put this comment in the wrong place.

    If it were not for Daniel, how would we take the pulse of certain aspects of Venezuela? Impossible for most of us.

    In a country where authoritarianism has always been at the forefront or else lurking in an influential way in the background, we see that things do not exist in a vacuum.Authoritarian leaders co-exist along side the perfect people to enable them.In Venezuela the common trait we see in abundance that so enables Chavez is the trait of allowing our thinking the quality of becoming inconsequential.

    Normally we might try to review the evidence , decide our position, see the consequences,and take appropriate actions on said decision and stick by a result.Instead most people are assuming positions that are not well thought and easily changed depending on WHO is saying something instead of concentrating on WHAT is being said, which could bring a greater independence .

    People choose certain authority figures, accept their statements without working out possible contradictions.Example: Chavez is a dictator who plays dirty in everything except the elections.

    And here we are seeing the crazy contradiction where Chavistas claim to love democracy and live in a Democracy but accept that Chavez behaves like a dictator , and they will vote for a candidate they thoroughly dislike and reject just because Chavez appointed him.

    Many in the opposition similarly wait for the orders from the bosses, and accept wholeheartedly their opinions without thinking things out


  3. Daniel,
    At what point will you decide that all is lost, to the point of leaving the country? You seem to suggest some moment in the process of the creation of the communal councils. Is this, in your view, the point of no return? Why not some other moment such as the increase in repression (possibly when they start with the firing squads a la Che Guevara), or the takeover of banks, etc?

    1. Antonio

      I do not think we will reach the firing squad stage though through communal councils we could reach a concentration camp like stage. My objective is to be able to organize my retirement outside of the country because living as a retiree in Venezuela is very hard: payment on time of pension is not enough an achievement to allow you a quality retirement in Venezuela. And not all get on time payment, no matter what the regime claims.

      The thing is that my home and my business are in Venezuela and I must put up with it as long as I can. It is a delicate balance between what you can tolerate and what you can make. I am too old to go and flip burgers though I could serve lattes at Caribou.

  4. reading this blog i'm a little confused, in indian press chavez is pictured as a positive figure, the co-ops, slum development, welfare actions out of oil money, sustainable agriculture, workers' management, community councils, we saw him as a charismatic leader thogh a little authoritarian, may someone give me details of his crime =

    1. This blog has 3500 entries over 10 years describing some of the crimes and abuses of Chavez and his followers. I invite you to read the archives and forget about the Indian press who mostly compiles news from the regime news agency.

    2. may i ask for one help, rummaging through 10 years, 3500 posts is a difficult task, would you please refer some select posts, 20-30, from this huge mountain to give an idea, in english, i don't read spanish

    3. yes and no. right now i am busy but i have planned to do that next year. if tags do not satisfy you i am afraid you will have to wait. and more than 90% are in english so fret not.

  5. Daniel, a wee bit OT: does the Yaracuy candidate for Chávez a military brother or other close military link?

    1. Yes, his brother is a retired military.

    2. Thanks.
      Look at this map then:

      Yellow (light and dark) represents governor candidates that are closely related to military or military themselves (yellow is a former adeco)

    3. Kep

      Are you surprised? It has been a long time Venezuela has become again a military dictatorship. The 1992 coup eventually succeeded.

    4. No, I am not. I have referred to the military regime several times. I still feel shock when I realise it ain't getting anything less military-green, not a bit.


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