Friday, December 15, 2006

The Venezuelan election of 2006: epilogue

After finishing last night's post I could not help but feel that I have missed something. Then I recalled the picture that I am re-posting above.

This picture was taken during the last Rosales rally in Caracas, where some say we reached near 1 million people in the streets but where I gave a more conservative estimate of half a million. It seems, if the results are indeed accurate, that whomever was going to vote for Rosales must have been in that highway that day. But I digress. What is important is that this picture, as I sensed then when I wrote about it, was premonitory.

In the streets we have all the middle class of Venezuela, technified, educated, professional, self reliant. They are protesting against the guy on the poster, pompous, primitive, starting his own personality cult, whose silly uttering are now glorified as deep truths for all times. And we have the Banesco sign who reminds us what is really going on, how the big oil piñata is shared around, but not how it should be shared around.

This picture summarizes so well the Venezuela that was born last Sunday 3 that I should have limited myself in posting it from the start as the best possible election result analysis. How will Chavez develop the country without the help of those people chanting against him? Who can he rely on them for the task ahead if wherever these people reside in Venezuela they voted massively against him? How will Chavez resist the cult of personality now that he has 63% of the vote?

And what about that Banesco sign? This bank, the largest one in Venezuela, has benefited obscenely from the fiscal policies of the government. So much in fact that its president, Escotet, declared to a Milagros Socorro in a recent interview that he was not afraid of socialism. When a banker stops disliking socialism you now something is not right. I have no reasons to suspect any wrong doing from Mr. Escotet, but his reply is the confirmation on how many people are getting immensely rich from the financial manipulations of the regime (Argentinian bonds anyone?). In fact, the salary gap in Venezuela seems to be at an all time high for the last 50 years. For the first time in contemporary history private sectors pay check cannot compete with public sectors paychecks, and certainly not when we look at the work demanded from public employees. Never have seen so many luxury cars in Caracas streets since the last couple of years. And the folks buying are not from the opposition.

And thus this picture, the perfect summary to it all.

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