Monday, April 15, 2013

Maduro gets a non-mandate and Capriles does not buy it

Well, let's start from the beginning. I am not happy but I am far, very far from the funk I was last October 8. See, I purged myself from the oppressive knowledge that a majority of Venezuela were non democrats, people too easily blackmailed, too easily satisfied with government handouts, too willing to exact revenge against imaginary or real ills. Today with an alleged 50.6% we have an accurate number of Venezuelans that do not have democracy in high regard.  The bulk of the people who voted for Maduro today voted for one of the following reasons: Chavez told me so, I am not going to risk my public job even if the regime is a dictatorship, I am not going to risk my position where I can skim a lot of commissions,  I am going to keep my drug traffic racket, I am think that we have not punished X enough, I do not care about justice or freedom of expression as long as I get Z, and the like. None of these options is leading to democracy, and a coalition of them negates democracy. Because fret not: with 50,66% of the vote chavismo will feel equally in its right to impose its views of the country as if it had gotten 70%.

At least I see something positive in that 50,6%. The last batch of semi decent chavistas bailed out, they did not want to follow such a flawed character as Maduro. Now the country is perfectly cut in two: a half that has no free will and a half that contains a mysterious portion of people with free will. I like that clarity, that certainty that half of the people I see in the street I have no need to deal with it except for the polite forms. I do not mean that in any pejorative way: I simply have nothing in common with them. For all that I know they might be right, happiness may reside in surrendering your free will to a gang of thugs that secures you a basic subsistence in exchange of your silence. Heck, becoming corrupt might lead to happiness for all that I know!

Now let's get down to business. Maduro got his very worst possible victory. And his aggressive  unforgiving victory speech confirms to me that he understands it very well.  Let's not forget that overseas votes have not been counted yet and that 50,66%, if real, is going to go down lower, to maybe as low as 50,3%.  He claimed that Capriles called him up to "negotiate" and he gloated on how he put him down. More later: suffice tonight to observe that Maduro starts his tenure with an aggressiveness that can only bring him trouble, and repression for the rest of us.

Maduro lost about 1 million of Chavez votes, IN SPITE of an incredible abuse of state means to get the vote, IN SPITE of being the appointed heir.  Now, what do you think his little friends inside chavismo, bypassed by Chavez, are going to say?  Are they going to respect him the way they respected (or where afraid of) Chavez?  See, Chavez for all of his abuse was never sabotaged, he inspired too much fear. Do you think Maduro is going to pull this trick starting with a bare 50%, with a unified opposition that could ally tomorrow with any breakaway chavista group that counts, say, 10% of the votes? No wonder that in a further act of necrophilia Maduro finished his "acceptance" speech with a recording of Chavez singing the national anthem.........

Now, we must also visit the problems that Maduro inherits, some of his own making already. For example, the private sector is stunned by the retroactive devaluation that has cut any possible growth this year,  any possible investment as meager as those already were. The price of oil has been going down recently. The people whose promises from last year have been postponed re now going to demand them. And some of these promises lately have started including real jobs with real wages, something that the state cannot provide. Agricultural production, the only way that the regime could find some relief fast, is prostrated and can only recover if Maduro does a U-turn. And more.  Combine that with what I wrote in the preceding paragraph and Maduro has his work cut out for him.

If the economic disaster has already reached me, there is something I can look forward to in the immediate future: news are now going to be fewer and self censored more than ever. Globovision sale will go forward to the economic group close to chavismo that offered its purchase  The only media left where real news can be find will be limited to some newspapers ever more vulnerable as ad revenue goes down with the economy.  In short I will lose what is precious for me, access to semi decent information.  It is also possible that my status as a blogger will now become an issue, a problem for my security as I am the last blogger writing in English from Venezuela (breaking all my records today, by the way). I need to start thinking about that seriously now.

But I am not afraid. I am going to be consistent with myself and announce that I do not recognize the election of Maduro anyway.

First, I need to remind readers that I was winding down my blog last December. But then in January the TSJ made a constitutional coup and as far as I am concerned the regime issued from that decision was not legal and even less legitimate.  I had to restart in full my blog because Venezuela had become a dictatorship.

The regime today did not recover any legitimacy  The campaign has been particularly dirty. The electoral umpire, CNE, has been dramatically in favor of chavismo and thus I cannot recognize that result.

It seems that Capriles confirms my suspicion as I wrote the above before hearing his own words: he announced that he is not recognizing the claimed victory. He also started his own speech by saying that there was no such pact offered to Maduro, that this one lied!!!! In fact Capriles seems angry about the distortion made by Maduro of his words.

In his speech Capriles challenges the results. Not only he wants a recount but he seems hell bent on including all of the irregularities suffered. In short he is about to call for a repeat of the election, and the F word was used.

Capriles calls Maduro the great loser tonight! And the regime fascist.

Hard times ahead, whether Maduro gets to rule, or Capriles claim prospers.


  1. Sorry. There has been a few attempts at rude chavistas without any point at posting. So for a very few days I am restoring full moderation of comments. No free pass for the first day.

  2. Anonymous3:53 AM

    I have watched this election from afar, from Australia. I have read all of information written in English that i can find. How is it possible that Maduro was able to break the rules of the electorial campaign - all of his cheating must have account for at least 5%. Any votes made after electorial boothes closed should be discounted.

    The worst thing from my perespective is that Western Media has become so lazy in their reaearch and reporting, that they seem to think they are reporting on fair elections, and im surprised they are letting this happen when surely the world media should be labelling this as a farce. From the get go - I have been to venezuela , I have seen, and i hope the opposition supporters gather for the mother of all protests of all time - 49.1% is enough people to bring about a a new election, without the bias and abuses of the chavista's.

  3. Milonga5:11 AM

    Looking back at last night, nothing looks funnier or ridiculous than that pitiful and unelegant speech by Maduro. First thing I read today was he doesn't look ripe (maduro) for the challenge he has ahead! And that is the most elegant thing one can say about him... Thanks for being there! That was a great post as usual! Good luck! I think you are going to need a lot of it! :-(

  4. Daniel I'm with you, out and out obvious thievery.

  5. Well said Daniel, as usual.

    I am very happy that Capriles is not going gentle into that good night.

    Perhaps in purely practical terms it is not a victory for Capriles, but politically it is huge.

    Unfortunately it does look like we will have to crash land at the bottom of the pile before we can look up.

    Thank you in advance for doing what you do best, blog about this ex-country of ours.

  6. Ronaldo9:24 AM

    Venezuela will be in a painful period that could last years. Your blog and opinions are appreciated. Thanks for writing the essays and maintaining free thought.

    With Chavez big wins, I could just say Venezuelans are getting what they asked for. With yesterday's farce election, I feel Venezuelans could use help. Information such as found on this blog is the key to returning Venezuela to freedom.

  7. Richard P.2:55 PM

    "with 50,66% of the vote chavismo will feel equally in its right to impose its views of the country as if it had gotten 70%."

    I am afraid that is how democracy works, Daniel. Are you aware that under the leadership of your heroine, the rightwing authoritarian Margaret Thatcher, the Conservatives won between 42 and 45% of the vote? For example, in 1987 they won just 42% of the vote, but under the UK voting system, this gave an absolute majority of 102 seats to the Conservatives - in other words, Thatcher's party had 102 more seats than all the other parties combined, yet it won these on a minority of votes. (True, sometimes Labour wins elections and the benefit of the unfair system flows in the opposite direction - though the Conservatives are guilty of being the only party which has consistently and virulently opposed any attempt at reforming the voting system.) Quite simply, in a constitutional system you have to abide by the rules, even if you think they are unfair. Thatcher's opponents recognised the results.

    And let me assure you, with 42% of the vote, she felt equally entitled to impose her views as if she'd won 70%.

    1. Richard

      I can assure you that I can take down your argument piece by piece. However right now I have other pressing matters such as defending my vote. I wish you would be more concerned by fair elections than old rehashed.


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