Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Venezuelan 2008 election: update 16 - Holding Margarita

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Excerpt from “The Second Coming” by WB Yeats

I must start with an apology: Chavez does not deserve any verse from Yeats (or any major poet for that matter). In fact, ten years of shoddy revolution have failed to generate any work of fiction, poetry or any visual art that is deserving of attention. You may count “uh!ah! Chavez no se va” as the epitome of chavismo creativity.

But as we are reaching the last stretch of a local election turned national from Chavez involvement I found these extraordinary verses of Yeats quite up to date since their writing after the bloodshed of the “Great War”. I suppose it is the fate of great poetry, to always speak to us and to always find applications for our days.

I was thinking of that as I learned that today Chavez was once again traveling to Nueva Esparta to try to unseat the current governor, Morel Rodriguez, standing for reelection and a sure winner according to all polls. Why is Chavez so intent in unseating the governor of the smallest state of the country, I cannot fathom except for his very own arrogance. Would not his time be better spent in traveling through Miranda or Guarico or Bolivar? Are not those states more important for Chavez if he were to seek ways of reelecting himself?

But no. Today he is coming to Nueva Esparta to hold his own meeting a couple of hours after Morel closes his campaign with a rally at “Calle del hambre”, the late night playground of Margarita Island. Really, Chavez is lowering himself to vicarious dick size measurement through crowds. I am not sure where Chavez his holding his meeting (I say Chavez because the name of the PSUV candidate for Nueva Esparta has long ago stopped mattering, as did the name of the candidates in the states that Chavez haunts these days).

I do not know whether Chavez crowds will be larger than Morel’s. One thing is certain, we will know whether the attendants are from Margarita: the ferries to Margarita will be full of bus of people waving red flags. In fact callers at Globovision mention that ferry service was “suspended” today to the general public and that PDVSA workers in Anzoategui got a free day to travel.

But all that is folklore and must be read with a half smile. What is more telling is that indeed the center is not holding anymore for Chavez and that he is desperate in trying to patch it back one way or the other. Polls in this last week of reporting seem to guarantee at least 6 states for the opposition. That number is enough to come across as an opposition significant victory considering Chavez self exposure in the campaign. More states and it becomes a major defeat for Hugo Supremo.

I am not sure about the best lacking conviction, but if we are lacking in best man at least we have some average men that are showing more backbone than we had been excepting from them. Morel today was unperturbed. Rosales called the National Assembly bluff saying that only when they follow rules to convoke him and only of the hearings are public will he go there. Mendoza hit the media with a flurry of serious pollsters results.

The worst do have passionate intensity as they feel their ill acquired jobs wavering. Chavez might have become the governor candidate of 32 states but nullities like Mario Isea are vehemently asking folks not to vote for any of the UNT candidates. The poor thing became a mess when a journalist asked him whether that consign not to vote for corrupt officials also applied to suspect PSUV candidates. And Merentes played pollster from his corner.

The last argument of chavismo is to promise anarchy if the opposition wins, the last argument conservatives use the world over. Even pseudo-revolutionary governments become conservative when they hold to office for too long. I wonder if Yeats has a stanza on that.

-The end-

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