Monday, March 01, 2010

Electoral update: blackmail everywhere? Poltical prisoners, PPT, the Carabobo Salas...

Some people may have wondered how come I have been rather silent since last year on the matter of the September election.  Very simple: the ground keeps shifting all the time and it is too early to really predict much, even though some of my colleagues try to do so with maps and all.

However there seems to be a recurring theme in both sides: blackmail to get good positions on the electoral list, and I find it rather shocking and irresponsible in the opposition, while it is rather meaningless inside chavismo but equally nasty.

Political prisoners

If you expect Political Correctness skip this section.

The latest ploy is that the election should be a mean to free the political prisoners.  The poor souls have suffered enough and we owe it to them to stop their suffering by putting them on top of the lists, to make sure they get out of jail.


There, I have said it.

I remember a long ago story from the multimillionaire Paul Getty who had one of his grand kids kidnapped for ransom.  There were even body parts sent from the kid to force the old gizzard to pay.  He simply replied something like "I have too many grand kids.  If I pay for one, then all of them will be in danger".  This is in a way what is happening today.

If certainly we should do our best to free them, the best way is not running them for office, it is to pledge that the next National Assembly will vote as its first law an amnesty law or some equivalent tool that will end up in freeing all the unjustly arrested for political reasons ASAP.

Let's imagine the following scenario: 8 political prisoners run, 6 are elected, the opposition only gets a two seats majority.  Do you think for a single instant that just because the prisoners have been elected chavismo is going to release them?  In fact the departing Nazional Assembly could vote a law, validated speedily by the courts, that force the inauguration of the new assembly only with the main elected Representatives, that is, barring the "suplentes" (in Venezuela we elect a representative and its substitute to avoid partial elections) from inaugurating the new assembly.  As a consequence chavismo retains enough seats to elect at least the authorities of the first year assembly until finally it seats the suplentes.  This is just a scenario, but the regime can come up with many more.  The new assembly cannot waste a second discussing legal imbroglios due to such "nice" measures, supported in an irresponsible way by people such as Miranda governor Capriles  who should know better since being mayor of Baruta never stopped the regime from jailing him for months!

But this proposal is obscene in more ways.  OK, so we free these 8 guys.  And how do we free the other ones that will go to jail later?  Are legislative elections the only way to get people out of jail?  How do we protect those that we know will go to jail soon?  Ledezma, Falcon, Ravell, Granier, Castillo, etc, etc....  What about the exiled ones?

The solution here is to have these political prisoners decide among themselves the only one of them we will offered a safe seat where campaign is not required.  A symbolical one.  But all the other candidates should be people that will be able to seat at the assembly on day one and able to face the tough battles ahead without any personal or legal distraction, no matter how unfair that one is!!!!!

The Salas in Carabobo

The Salas dynasty of Carabobo, directed by Salas Rohmer the patriarch who put his son at the governor's mansion, Salas Feo, is causing trouble in the state nomination process.  It is essential to remind folks that the arrogance of the Salas clan leading the small regional party Proyecto Venezuela is the cause why Carabobo was almost lost in 2008 while all but two town-halls were lost for the opposition, amen of the state legislature.  The most scandalous case was Valencia townhall where the chavista candidate won by a narrow margin because the Salas did not like Cochiola, the leading candidate.  They run a PV woman who lagged far all along in the polls but whose small amounts was enough to hand Valencia to an incompetent ideological chavista that should not even preside over a condominium meeting.

And yet the Salas pretend to lord over the nomination process of Carabobo, threatening to go alone, wrecking the opposition unity, and thus making sure chavismo carries almost every seat of the state.  Their arrogance is astounding!  No regrets, no apology for past mistakes!

I would be very tempted, if the stakes were not so high, to forget about Carabobo and lose all of its seats to get rid once and for all of Proyecto Venezuela and the Salas who have failed at their original promise. They have become mere local caudillos only too willing to pact with chavismo, as the rumor tells us.  Unfortunately it is not that easy as AD and Ramos Allup are not innocent bystanders and are letting their own animosity toward the Salas aggravate the situation.  In truth it seems that neither one of them is willing to risk a primary as none of them is certain to come ahead.  Since this blog is always willing to help people, even when they are as morally questionable as AD/PV, what I propose is a state wide primary by political party.  Then they each get a percentage of candidates, the districts being attributed through some form of lottery.  Sounds silly, true, but we are dealing with silly, and irresponsible, folks here....

The squeeze on the PPT

Inside chavismo blackmail is also rampant if not as visible as factions fight it out happily no matter what Chavez do, even though we know in the end his people will prevail.

We got a recent evidence of that with Falcon leaving the PSUV and joining the sister party (?) PPT.  Was that a blackmail actually being accomplished?  Or the start of a new one through the PPT?  Time will tell but right now we can see the tug of war.  The PPT will be blackmailed hard from the PSUV, to be threatened by national erasing if necessary.  But PPT, through Falcon, can take as many as ten seats, enough, they think., to become the gravity center of the next assembly, the one where all must go to get a Yeah vote.  With silly actions like PV mentioned above, on can understand their strategy.

The beauty of this system is that Falcon is also in position of blackmailing the PPT, while that one can blackmail Falcon through offering some protection, and moral cover to avoid dealing with the official opposition, a NoNo when you are so fresh out of the PSUV.


This being said this blog returns to more interesting topics than the sorry spectacles he has been forced to read about lately, as people think that the only thing that matters is an Assembly seat with steady income for 5 years...  Shame on most of them, and from  from each side!!!!!


  1. This American agrees; Good luck passing amnesty when your majority is in the gulag.

  2. 23235433:27 AM

    Amnesty? You can only grant amnesty to actual criminals (as Caldera's administration did to the former FALN), not imagined ones; these political prisoners should simply be released. There is little the legislative power can do here except change the laws regarding the sentences and those who keep political prisoners in jail (the courts, the executive).

  3. 2323543

    this is why the opposition goes nowhere because it gets lost in red flags over and over again. inasmuch as we find scandalous what has happened to these political prisoners, they are "legally" in jail because the high court allows it. whether we like it or not, an amnesty law that goes above the courts is the only way to release them fast, no matter how innocent they are and no matter how chavismo will use it to pretend that they are guilty.

    that is why instead of debating how we are going to confront chavez on september 27 when he refuses to give up the national assembly we are discussing stuff that distracts us from the real objective, no matter how important that stuff is. as long as we remain an emotional reactive bunch, chavez is going to play us like a fiddle.

  4. Anonymous5:03 AM

    well... i still remember the last time salas romoemer came to maracaibo, el gran estatista came here to support his winning candidate for governor, Bijani.
    Imagine that.
    El, salas roemer siempre ha sido el gran divisor, su principal problema, es su Ego, el se cree la solucion.
    y sim yo tambien soy de los que a veces les provoca que se pierda carabobo para ver si se sale de ese karma que significa ese clan.

    y por cierto, que los grandes promotores del fiasco de los presos politicos es primero justicia, de verdad no se que andan buscando con eso pero dudo mucho que no sepan lo que todos sabemos que va a pasar con eso...

  5. It is absurd to think you can free political prisoners by playing legal games with someone who doesn't have the least respect for the law.

    I think politicians who make these kinds of gestures, just want to improve their own image by pretending to be enormously compassionate despite the consequences.


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