Monday, April 08, 2013

Last week Venezuelan electoral evaluation

The Capriles event yesterday in Caracas forces us to revise our assumptions for the result next Sunday. Let's go with the hard data we have.

Yesterday's march and rally in Caracas was the biggest one ever in Caracas history.  I dare anyone to post a video of the Bolivar Avenue as packed as it was yesterday, as seen in the video at the end of the post. Never mind my own pictures of those or others available everywhere. You need to understand that what you see in the video is roughly a hundred K folks, and that you had still a many marching from Plaza Venezuela and before. At any given time, for at least a couple of hours, there were 300K people in the streets plus all those that came and went. A million did march at least a few blocks? More? Even Chavez never managed such a march in his best years. And certainly not for free as Capriles did, because let's not forget that the opposition is penniless, cannot hire buses besides those needed to transport organizers for the march. People that showed up last Sunday were people that wanted to be there. Period. No pay, no booze, no nothing: they came because they are sick and tired, really sick and tired of the regime of abuse. Wait for next Thursday to start counting the buses clogging Caracas streets with public workers forced to attend from outside Caracas Maduro's last stand.....

Certainly this does not mean Capriles has won. He bested Chavez in Caracas last October and yet Chavez won. The only thing we can safely conclude from yesterday is that the opposition is motivated and that Capriles is all but certain to recover his October number. Not only the volume of the participation in Caracas or anywhere Capriles shows up these days is bigger than last year, with LESS means, but the enthusiasm is palpably higher at every rally or march or gathering. Opposition abstention will not be very high, if at all. Thus now I confirm that what I wrote on March 28 has gone from optimism to certainty: Capriles will get no less than 6.6 million votes. Any increase in opposition abstention will be compensated by chavismo cross over (though the absence of real exit poll may never tell us how much is that cross over).

The next fact is that Maduro as a campaigner has proven to be a disaster, gaining ridicule in the middle of an economic crisis, a deadly combination for any politician in a normal country. The lone thing that Maduro can count on is Chavez link, and the blackmail of Mision beneficiaries and public employees. Maduro is not going to get more votes than Chavez. Period. It will not happen.

If this does not convince you yet, let me remind the electoral blunders of the regime. The first one was the obvious pattern of lies around Chavez sickness and death. The second one was having two devaluations in a row. The third one is that with an inflation that summed around 10% since Maduro took charge in December the regime has done nothing to soften the blow, not even a raise in the minimal wage. Regardless of his personal flaws, or Chavez post-mortem boost, these have a political cost.

The two true questions are thus:
How many chavistas will abstain?
How many chavistas will dare to cross the line and vote for Capriles?
As far as I am concerned there are no more questions to define the result of next Sunday 14.

Again, if you doubt me look at how partial to the regime the CNE has dared to show itself this time around. Look at the violent attacks, including the one tonight against defenseless protesting students attacked by throngs of fascists on motor bikes. Listen to the tone and choice of words of the ones in charge of the Maduro campaign: these are not the actions of a regime sure of its victory. This is a regime that is contemplating with utter amazement what they could not even conceive two months ago, that the massive state abuse this time around may not be enough. Note: winning is not all for such a type of regime: they also need a "margin of victory" large enough.

Now I write that Maduro is not going to get more than 7.2 million votes.

There is thus the matter of whether Capriles can gain an extra 600K, or Maduro lose an extra 300K.

Now the best for Maduro is 7.2 to 6.6, and the best for Capriles is 7.2 to 6.9. Recent trends seem to be pointing to a 7.2 to 6.9 result but I doubt it will be better than that. Or rather, since we cannot predict abstention at this point though we can be sure it will be higher than in October, Maduro cannot expect to win by more than half a million votes with an abstention no more than 25% while Capriles can hope to win by half a million if the abstention reaches 30%.....Note: this is not a prediction; after my last burn in October  even my better guess for December does not give me the confidence to predict a Capriles victory just yet.

Onto something else.

When I see what a lousy job Maduro is doing I am wondering if indeed Chavez did not mean it to end this way, through a defeat. After all, the best way for Chavez to secure his religion would be for him Maduro/chavismo to lose the election so that all the shit hits finally the fan under Capriles. A victory of Maduro would force him either to face the music and become deeply unpopular, dragging down Chavez with him: or even worse, push Maduro toward massive repression so that Chavez and chavismo descend outright into widely acknowledged fascist rule. Chavez was reckless and egomaniacal enough to have entertained that thought, the more so when he started seeing how his followers were already position themselves for his succession.......


  1. margareth7:27 AM

    Daniel, Capriles will get more than 7.2 He wasn't that aggresive in his speeches last October and gained 6.6 Furthermore everybody will be very alert how the voting process will take place, especially the Students. Followers of Capriles can't be fooled this way!!!

  2. Milonga8:26 AM

    Dano, I don`t trust Tibisay Lucena. I don't trust the Unasur observers, headed by Cacho Álvarez, a corrupt argentinian who is there to make sure Maduro wins and Cristina doesn't need to pay off the 98% Venezuelan-owned debt; and so on. Will Capriles be signing today that he will accept the ballot results??? That'll be his death sentence! God, I'm nervous! Please let it be Sunday night!!

    1. Milonga,

      Good points, and there are other good ones as well.

      I have felt that the opposition was greater than Chavismo for years now, especially since the opposition mostly( not entirely) consists of true opposition whereas Chavismo has so many purely 'interesados'...which is the curse of Venezuela.

      But what is behind the elections supporting them? Do people actually trust ? How many in the opposition will continue to take to the streets and demand clarity and honesty if Chavismo steals the elections? Until I know the answers to these questions, I have no prediction.

      Besides, predictions are useless.Only determinations will make a difference.


  3. Daniel, the regime's last stand will happen with its final rewrite of the April 11th events, which happens to be the last day of campaigning in Caracas. In his speech, he will name Capriles over and over, as the intellectual culprit, the one that removed Chavez from office and was giving Orders to Carmona. That i didn't happen this way doesn't really matter. They see Chavistas as faithful, in a religious sort of way, so they figure that the flock will get back in line by reminding them that they should hate Capriles. Would that work this time around, I really have no idea but I figure our bet shot is to go on the attack on Wednesday and Thursday morning to make Maduro react to our accusations and deviate him from his game plan

  4. Anonymous8:48 AM

    When maduro continues to hold a microphone up to a plastic bird and reinact the apparition of chavez during his campaigns as in Nueva Esparta last night, fewer people will believe or care what he says.

    1. Anonymous,

      Chavez said and did so many stupid things over the years and it never made a lick of difference to the people who were expecting freebies and lucrative contracts.

      The difference will not come from the stupidities that Maduro has to say.It will come from( if it comes):

      1.the people believing they will get freebies and lucative contracts from another populista

      2.seeing the tide turn and being afraid of being left out and of going against the grain ( the famous herd mentality)

      3. or the willingness of the opposition to stand up and stay up for what it believes in


  5. Dr. Faustus10:23 AM

    "There is thus the matter of whether Capriles can gain an extra 600K, or Maduro lose an extra 300K."

    After 14 years of virtual insanity, it all comes down to the quote above. That is exactly correct. It's that simple. It most certainly can be done!

  6. margareth10:53 AM

    Milonga:"Cacho Álvarez, a corrupt argentinian who is there to make sure Maduro wins and Cristina doesn't need to pay off the 98% Venezuelan-owned debt; and so on"

    Milonga Cristina la Vieja will never ever pay any debt. She will find other ways!

  7. If the enthusiasm gap emerges for Maduro even if he wins, it bodes well for assembly elections, no?

  8. kernel_panic1:14 PM

    Daniel, you forgot the ~150K votes that capriiles lost due to marañeo on 7-O!

    If you ask me , the absolute least capriles will get is 6.8, lets just hope that the chavista voter stays home...

  9. Absolutely impressive march! I have never seen anything like that ever. 300k no way. I have been to the Calle 8 Fest in Miami back when they were breaking the 1 million record and i can safely say that what i saw on TV in Caracas was way over 1 million people.

    The people came to see/hear him out of their own free will and using their own means. To get 1 million+ to see anything anywhere is a feat very seldom done. Venezuela is truly fed up and the CNE is playing with fire this time and they know it. I feel the regime is trying desperately to hold on and the CNE majority is all in with them this time around.

    What would they do if a million man\woman march setup shop right in front of the CNE and demanded fair elections? See Egypt and Lybia.

    1. That may still happen.

  10. Milonga2:51 PM

    Lo and behold!! I think Capriles reads VN&V and our comments. In his rally this afternoon he said he will recover the 13 billion dollars owed by Argentina to Venezuela. Said "that's why they come here to take photographs". We will use that money to build hospitals here, buy ambulances here, make roads here, etc. Hope he makes it!!! And he did not sign Tibisay Baba's trap. Sent him a "you better defend the Constitution or else". I love this guy more and more each day!!!

  11. Milonga2:55 PM

    Another thing he said today: "I´m not the same person as the one in October. I´m through standing abuses. If you think I am a "pendejo" (pls translate that Dano) you'll be disappointed, Tibisay."

    1. Pendejo has a variety of translations. It may mean pubic hair, or in this case sucker.

  12. Anonymous4:31 PM

    Does Argentina really owe Venezuela 13 billion (with a B) dollars? Really?

    1. Argentina owes its shirt.....

  13. Anonymous8:06 PM

    Anonymous Canadian

    Also Haiti owes about US 940 million, Dominican Republic owes over 2.3 billion and Jamaica owes over 2.5 billion, plus Nicaragua, Ecuador, Bolivia and almost all of the Caribbean. I would hazard to guess that between Petrocaribe and ALBA well over US 25 billion is owed and outstanding, never to be collected!

  14. Anonymous9:38 PM

    That is the money owed Venezuela. Now, how much money does Venezuela owe China, Russia, etc. How much debt has chavez piled up over the last 14 years?

  15. Anonymous10:23 PM

    How many billions are owed for expropriations? Exxon, Conoco, Venmex and down to the smallest farm. Speaking of farms...How much land does the chavez family own in Barinas? An amount equal in size to the state of Merida? I am sure they deserve it...Not.

    Does anyone know where the gold reserves are now?

  16. Anonymous8:53 AM

    Does anyone know where the gold reserves are now?

    One of the guys who knows recently died of cancer. Here is a photo of him with a shit-eating grin holding some bullion.

    1. NorskeDiv7:48 PM

      Given that at the end of last year, Venezuela's report to the IMF revealed it had already sold 1% of it's gold reserves, I'm sure that has continued apace. It's just a question of how quickly they can sell it without everyone knowing that they are doing so.

  17. Anonymous3:31 PM

    Nice analysis but this will not play in ideal world.

    Voting machines can be programmed to swing elections and they will

    Is someone thinking that the PSUV and its affiliates give up the "teta " of PDVSA , get real!

    The government structures, including military are completely useless and corrupted making impossible a change without the equivalent of a coup or a Caracazo

    How can we even visualize a Capriles government with a country virtually bankrupt and tied to deals with Russia, China, etc for free oil and goods , electrical system completely requiring reconstruction , productive sector decimated

    The average population still thinks that maybe if we change president, esto se arregla, sadly not ,but is the oposition responsible to be the "messenger"

    They will throw out or kill the messenger

    A potential scenario could be that the opposition wins, states are still in Chavistas hands, there is an economic explosion (devaluation, gasoline rate hikes, etc) within 18 months and there is another Caracazo. Then the Chavistas could have their "I told you so " moment and if that is allowed you could see another 20 years of PSUV controlled government

    If Capriles wins he needs to open pandoras box see what is inside, call for a referendum to obtain support on drastic changes and also start putting people in jail based on corruption charges etc

  18. Anonymous11:40 AM

    Look this:

  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. And of course it would not be a complete thread without our idiot chavista in residence who though yet another handle comes to give his usual mail bomb before vanishing again. This time proving that not only he did not read or understood what I wrote (I am still writing that Maduro wins so there is certainly no agreement among commentarists here) but also his poor information since at least one pollster gives Capriles ahead. But of course, when did accuracy ever torment chavistas?



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