Thursday, January 15, 2004

Catch up posting!
Part 4: A division between the opposition files?


Last Monday I reported on Primero Justicia (PJ) move to re-center the Coordinadora Democratica (CD) priority on the Recall Referendum. It seems to work so far and certainly the newspapers and air waves are full of the CD diverse component irate declarations. The "traditional political parties" such as Accion Democratica, Copei and MAS just "cannot believe" that people will think that they would give priority to the regional elections of July rather than to the Recall Election in May! Besides there is no need to prioritize one or the other. I think the lady does protest too much!

The truth is that the old establishment was already showing too many signs of worrying more about which governor and mayor candidacies they will be able to get, under a single candidate form. That is probably what was going on through December. If this is fine for democracy, what was not fine was to sort of forget about the Recall Election through the holidays while Chavez was busy claiming "Megafraud!". The suspicion enter the people that if necessary some of the old parties might actually make a deal with Chavez for a few townhalls.

In a press conference yesterday the general secretaries of PJ, Proyecto Venezuela (PV) and La Causa R stated quite clearly that they would not avail closed doors shenanigans and that there was one and only one priority, the Recall Election on Chavez. Interestingly these "insurgent parties" have been born no more than 12 years ago, as a reaction to politics as usual.

PV is the only significant regional force that has emerged from the decentralization process of the 80ies, ruling the fate of the most industrial state of Venezuela, Carabobo.

Causa R was a rather leftist organization coming out from powerful dissident trade unions of Bolivar state that almost won the general election of 1993.

PJ was born under Chavez from a successful NGO trying to bring judicial redress to the less favored sectors of the population, carrying in their first run in spite of the Chavez high waters two of the Caracas town halls and the assemblyman elected with the most votes in the Assembly. Today they have become the "bete noire" of chavismo, becoming the choice target for any insult that can be hurled at them.

I do not think that the CD will break up, but a shaking up of its structure and actions will happen and that might be very good. Of course, traditional politicos never look favorably at political upstarts and that could be seen on their faces these last two days. One would think that they would get the message that the people hold them responsible for the mess that allowed Chavez to win office. Instead they look like ready to make shady deals with chavismo. Curiously, in his interview Chavez did target PJ and PV but praised Copei once and now current leader, Eduardo Fernadez. Imagine that!

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