As a supplement of yesterday's post where I explained why there would not be a Recall Election , or any election for that matter, we got some declarations today that definitely rule out a recall election in 2016. That is, these declarations technically do not rule out such a referendum but they describe very well that chavismo simply will not accept a recall election before January 10, 2017. After, we'll see but do not get your hopes high and at any rate it would be useless, ta-ta...
Now let's look at what is "new" today. Nothing really, just more clarity, so to speak.
First, we had one of the electoral board CNE rectors coming out to defend the speech of Lucena yesterday. Sandra Oblitas repeated all the same crap that they cannot be pressured, that they respected all the rules (it is a matter of public knowledge that this is a lie), etc... But what is important here is that she took a potshot at Rondon dissent yesterday. That hinted at a surprise for the regime 4 CNE agents. The dissent was hard enough, surprising enough for them that they sent Oblitas for some desperate damage control. When I mean desperate I do not mean this as a mark of them feeling threatened, but that their lies were so easily exposed that they had to attack Rondon lacking any other argument.
At any rate, the threat that Oblitas also mentioned that the MUD would be outlawed is the favorite theme of Jorge Rodriguez, mayor of Caracas West and former real boss of the CNE at the time of the first fraud systems circa 2003. I am not going to comment on what is now the calculated hysteria Rodriguez exhibits as his assigned role (could it be otherwise, that he was assigned such a role?). The point of commenting him is that he said that the earliest date for any referendum is late February 2017. This is interesting. First, by late February the opposition will have lost any interest in the referendum and something else will be at the forefront. Second, his subconscious admits that there will be an election next year and the only one I can think of is the governor election (which are due in December 2016 and are quietly forgotten by the regime). That is, the regime knows that sooner than later it will have to face a poll of some sort that it will not win.
What Rodriguez truly hints at is that the failure to hold the recall election this year will be seen by the country as a political defeat and thus they will gravitate back toward chavismo as the only force available. That is exactly what Maduro hinted at last night in one of his vile cadenas (in English here). This poor and vulgar soul had the temerity to gloat over the failure of the opposition to collect the signatures for the recall vote on time. Apparently he is blissfully unaware that no sitting president in Venezuelan recent history has polled as low as he does. Were he aware he would have the good sense not to gloat while his regime is so blatantly cheating.
Certainly the coordination between all these post Lucena declarations is no accident. However the rather hysterical combination of outburst indicates to me something else. The regime is not even intent on postponing an eventual recall election, what the regime truly is seeking is to stop the collection of signatures. By discouraging such activity the regime does not hope to void the recall election (for this it has the high court annulation of the opposition party in the works) but it hopes that were the signature collection to become a must the 20% would not be passed too badly. The problem for the regime is that the way things are developing there will not be 20% signing to recall Maduro: there will be more people signing for his recall than actually voted for him. And this political disaster is simply too much for chavismo.
At least if the recall is held after January 2017 there is the hope that discouragement of the populace will yield no more than, say, 30% signatures of the electoral body. Enough to oust Maduro in a vote but not enough for regime change.
The opposition truly has its work cut out.