Saturday, January 24, 2004

El 23 de Enero: the 2004 scorecard.

Friday 23, January 2004

Globovision showed the pics from both marches today in downtown Caracas. The opposition one looked as usual, perhaps smaller but definitely significant and comparable to many of the previous marches. In spite of months of pinata gifts from Chavez, no significant result is observed in his aim at demobilizing the opposition supporters.

The chavismo march shots were actually a surprise: we had aerial views! Since the opposition started hitting the pavement early 2002, the government banned aerial surveys on marches days for "security and safety reasons". A misnomer by any standards... Since chavismo rallies are usually held at night, aerial views are not very useful for propaganda purposes (not to mention that overflight of Caracas at night is forbidden).

Today, the state TV, VTV, showed a tight packing of about 2-3 blocks next to the High Court building where the chavismo march was supposed to start. Interestingly it was quite clear that many stands had been set up in the middle of the street and that it had all the characteristics of a street fair-rally rather than the starting point of a march. The first conclusion of course is that it takes them quite some time before gathering critical mass to start marching, and in fact the chavismo march started late, almost AFTER the opposition march finished. Possibly that way no direct comparison could be made. Or am I again seeing evil in the wrong places?

Regardless. State TV did not broadcast aerial views of the opposition march although this one had been surveyed. How come?

Enough said. We know the comparison results without having to ask for the numbers.

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