What legacy will Henri Falcon's stunt leave us? His ulterior motives at this point are of little interest. Many a speculation swirls, from him being Raul Castro choice to do the transition government, to him being an overambitious military a la Chavez.
Rather, let's look why his candidature was fraud since day one, and thus why his campaign is so flawed that even his victory will not be recognized. Next, as concise a summary as possible for those late in the game. (1)
First, his bid was born outside of the opposition electoral alliance MUD. His argument that there was no time to run a primary falls short. He could have sent an ultimatum to the MUD as to whether they decided to run and name a candidate or he would run anyway. Instead he registered discretely almost at the end of the registration period.
Then, instead of wooing the opposition and fighting hard to improve electoral conditions he spent time trying top convince overseas that the elections were legitimate. Any stunt was good enough. But, ill advised, he perpetrated the fatal mistake to go to the UN accompanied by one of the most repugnant regime's representative, Moncada. This was on March 13 and as far as I was concerned there was no need to follow his bid anymore, lacking absolutely of seriousness.
Maduro plastered the country, and only expensive billboards for Falcon appeared late in the campaign. To late for being of credible money. And certainly not enough to position him so late in the game.
His bid never attracted any serious support. From the very non PSUV left to María Corina Machado, they all called his game. There was rumor that Capriles would throw his lot with him, but in the end he wised up. The only people Falcon has been able to attract are failed and has been politicians, some of them already convicted of betrayal by the MUD as Pedro Pablo Fernandez. Actually someone bothered to add up the recent vote tally of the parties supporting Falcon. The sum barely reaches 1.5 million votes when Falcon would need at least 6 million to beat Maduro by a hair thin margin. With a MUD opposed to him and the effective blackmail of chavismo I do not see where he can get 5 millions. Surely him and his staff know that and yet the only argument that Falcon has advanced is that if he loses it would be the fault of the abstention, not his.
Speaking of losses. Falcon has never taken responsibility for his defeat in Lara last October. He has never accepted the fact that his meek actions of support in Lara during the protests of 2017 discouraged his potential, and even brought scorn on him.
Falcon also lies. To win an election he needs to staff with witnesses at least an 80% of electoral centers. Even the head of the electoral board CNE Tibsiay Lucena complained that no party was registering enough witnesses. The PSUV because they do not need to since the machinery works for them, and Falcon because without the MUD and a real campaign cannot make it. Why is he pretending that he has the witnesses instead of begging the opposition to help him at least on that count?
His demagoguery is par with the one of chavismo. Among his promises we read a dollarization of the economy with wages guaranteed in dollars. Where is he going to find them? That he does not tell us. Serious economist like Ricardo Hausmann are actually saying that it is too late for dollarization, that the problem of the Venezuelan economy is that production is blocked by the regime policies and as such dollar or not we will continue eating shit for a while. As a producer I know he is right in his assessment. Yet less serious economist like Francisco Rodriguez of Torino Capital keep insisting, raising even suspicion that he works for funds that have no nice ambitions over Venezuela's debt. He is touted as Falcon's future fiance minister. Enough said.
But his worse offense, the one that truly is killing him now is his promise when he signed up for election that the would remain in the race only as long as electoral conditions were to improve. They have not. In fact the blackmail of Maduro over the electorate has made things worse than ever. And yet Falcon clings to technicalities and does not withdraw. Falcon manages the feat of a politician breaking his promises BEFORE voting day.
Finally to stop a list that could be longer, there is the reality check of election time. Even if on May 21 we learn that Falcon has won, he will not be sworn in before January 2019. That leaves 6 months to chavismo to annul the election, to annul his power, to put him into jail if necessary since the opposition will not go to defend Falcon as he did not earnestly defend opposition leaders thrown into jail. Do not forget that there is an illegally elected constitutional assembly that is very much in existence and that can pop out a new constitution before January rendering moot the election of Falcon. It is strongly rumored that the constitution under preparation will be of fascist corporatism nature and as such the president would not be directly elected anymore. That or some other artifice. Falcon has not tackled that crucial problem that I know of.
You will understand that I see no reason, no circumstance, no need, no hope whatsoever to vote for Falcon. I would rather vote for Maduro to make sure the crisis comes faster and then we will see. A Falcon election would only be the prolongation of a never ending crisis, amazingly giving more time for chavismo to hide its ill acquired gains and even negotiate a "pardon" with Falcon. Such a pardon is not a good option because the failed people that follow Falcon just want to have a share fo the pie and in fact, well, they do not care much about Venezuela. That would be Falcon's legacy.
I am staying home Sunday.
1]) For the record, considering that chavismo or Maduro would conceive of letting Falcon win for whatever dark purpose they may have is simple idiocy. People that suggest that forgot that absolute power corrupts absolutely. If I mention that putative outcome here is strictly for the sake of the argument.