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.