The competition was tough. There were at least two women, Maria Corina Machado for her brave defense of democracy which got her a broken nose and Luisa Estela Morales who allowed for the constitutional coup which was the only way Maduro could make it to the the coveted seat at Miraflores Palace. Honorable mention for Tibisay Lucena who brought electoral fraud to new levels of sophistication.
In the men categories there were more to chose. After all this is a machista country where women are only allowed to serve, "cachifas" one may say with the intended prejudice, for the ones inside chavismo.
We could consider Antonio Ledezma who is man of the year for flame thrower magazine Zeta. But if resisting in this country is enough of a feat it is not enough for VN&V to get the coveted award.
Maduro cannot get the award because I would have to to acknowledge the tie with Cabello, as their pas de deux has been the political true motor of the year. Which discards even Chavez who dead managed to steal one election in April and win another one in December. Awards go to the living in this blog. Others within chavismo could compete like Giordani who is about to get his dream of transforming Venezuela into a communist mis-economy.
Capriles had good merits to be man of the year. He was a shoo in on April 15 and he has been going down ever since. Simply stated, when you yourself destroy the capital you earned in the same calendar year, well, you cannot win the man of the year award, no matter how much self sacrifice you offered. And along him, we lost self disqualified interesting options like Aveledo.
We are thus left with a single candidate worthy of the award: Leopoldo Lopez. In short, to justify his award, we must realize that the regime almost did him in by unfair electoral disqualification which forced him to risk his political career by supporting Capriles for the primaries of 2012. And yet he never lost his primary goal, to create a viable political party. He managed to prove this point this year by being the high note of the December 8 election and picking up, in a tough fight with Primero Justicia, the symbolic town hall of El Hatillo. The regime has wasted no time in underlining this growing threat by, for example, already sabotaging the mayor elect of Voluntad Popular in Aragua state.
Thus, regardless of my sympathies for his cause, I think it is fair to see Leopoldo Lopez as the political man of the year because he survived like Ledezma, he did not flounder like Capriles, and he built for the future which people like Machado or Maduro have yet to do. And of course, an unusual politician for Venezuela deserves republishing an unusual picture.
|Always courageously swimming against the tide|