Thursday, September 30, 2010

Coup in Ecuador?

[UPDATED] At work I have to, well, work, but also we have no radio or TV and unless I am plugged on the web, events pass by and reach me at home at night during Alo Ciudadano.

World Elections: the Venezuelan election gets great analysis elsewhere

Please, visit the World Elections blog where you will find very complete analysis of elections in many places of the world but also a great flawless analysis on the Venezuelan one. 

Simple considerations as to why last Sunday was an electoral fraud and what to do about it

I will be brief and to the point

A reminder of the immense wisdom of Chavez and the extreme sycophancy of his hanger on

From my latest French post a reader reminded us about this video where Chavez states that human species is 25 centuries old and some French supporter taken aback cannot muster the courage to correct him.  First he says that no, we are more than 20 centuries and then when Chavez states 25 he just accepts it.  Think about Chavez and Andreina Monday night, this was no accident....  there is nothing worse than an ignorant that thinks he knows it all.   PS: by the way, I never heard of that François ever again.  Maybe he knows better now.

I think I posted it once upon a time but it bears re-posting.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Carta abierta a Socorro Hernández, Rector Principal CNE

Querida Socorro,

Con curiosidad leímos tus declaraciones del día de hoy, en las que dices, con la precisión de un reloj suizo, que las circunscripciones electorales fueron diseñadas por un “método” basado en la “ley.”

¿Cuál es ese “método” Socorro?

Los únicos estados donde hubo modificaciones fueron Zulia, Distrito Capital, Miranda, Carabobo, Amazonas, Barinas, Lara y Táchira. Qué casualidad que siete de estos ocho estados son bastiones de la oposición, y el otro (Barinas) es el estado natal del Presidente. Cosas de la matemática, dirás.

There is really something wrong with the neuronal connections of hard core chavistas

We had the visit of a few PP representatives during the election.  The Partido Popular Español is certainly no friend of Chavez but it seems that it is now cured of residual Franco remains and has embraced democracy.  After all Aznar refused to run for a third term that he would have won without much trouble (though one can question why Rajoy is so determined to hold to the helm of the PP after two defeats, but I digress).

The truth about Chavez "victory"

Weill goes to the jugular after all the pantomimes of Chavez yesterday dodging questions, insulting journalists, explaining why he won, etc, etc....  The fact of the matter is that he did not show up Sunday night at his Miraflores Balcony to celebrate with "el pueblo".  First time ever he fails to do that.  There was no victory, there was no pueblo under the balcony....

How Chavez tries to humiliate the journalist of Radio France International

The courageous journalist of RFI, Andreina Flores, asked two fair questions to Chavez. This one dodged the questions, speaking for about ten minutes trying to ridicule her, minimize her, insinuate that she is not a good Venezuelan and what not.... But she held her own very well!!!! A new press hero!! The only one that appears like a true ignoramus of electoral systems is Chavez as he pretends to explain that the Venezuelan one is "normal". Pathetic!!! By the way, since when those who claim they won must spend so much time explaining why is it that they won?

Observe behind Andreina the changing faces of Eva Golinger, Caracas Rose, sucking up to her beloved leader.

Chavez is making a double mistake. By insulting Andreina Flores he also insults RFI which is a rather tolerant radio towards leftist like Chavez.
UPDATE: RFI replies to Chavez
UPDATE 2: Yesterday performance of Chavez and his abuse toward Andreina is reaching far. Already EL Pais has a devastating article by Pablo Ordaz on the inability of Chavez to hide is discomfiture when his cheating is exposed.  It is only starting Hugo, the ignorant is you, not Andreina.

Fue así como el PSUV le robó 5 diputados a la MUD en 3 entidades

En la tabla arriba puse los votos por lista del Distrito Capital, y los estados Miranda y Carabobo.  Estos representan 32 de las 165 sillas de diputados a elegir el domingo 26 pasado.

En esta tabla se indican los porcentajes de voto lista obtenidos por cada bando, se indican el numero de diputados obtenidos en cada entidad para cada bando y el porcentaje que representan.

Al final se suma todo y se calculan los porcentajes totales.  Así se puede ver clarísimo que con solamente 45,3% de los votos el PSUV  saco 59,4% de los diputados de estos tres circuitos, en efecto robándose 5 diputados a la alianza de la MUD.

Autopsy of a cheating

Before entering in the details of the results I wanted to make a simple and clear post that illustrates the extent of electoral cheating that has taken place in Venezuela Sunday 26 September.  In the slide above I have put together the results of Caracas, and the States of Carabobo and Miranda accounting among them for 32 of the 165 seats in play last Sunday (19.4% of the seats at stake).

I have added the vote list obtained by both the opposition and chavismo in the vote list, the total seats obtained and calculated the percentage.  That is right, between these three areas chavismo got ONLY 45.3% of the vote and yet got 59.4% of the seats.  Please, point out to me of any other electoral system in an alleged democratic country which is as unfair in its results as the Venezuelan one is.  We are talking here of 3 of the 4 most populated areas of the country, not a selective sample I have taken to make the regime look bad.  This is the exhibit A of how the CNE designed electoral laws and gerrymandering to screw the opposition and under-represent it dramatically.

Chavez in cadena

So he started his cadena. After all he did not show up yesterday and he certainly needs to do something to stem the bad press.  So he does a cadena where he explains arcane numbers without addressing the crux of the matter, that is, the gerrymandering that gave him the majority he has today.  But he certainly senses that this would not do in front of the foreign press, even if sympathetic.  So, as usual refusing to take questions from the press which he subjects to a prolonged sit-down while he perorates at will, he comes back to elemental fantasies such as challenging the opposition to call a recall election.  Like a stupid kid dare.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Claiming my own little personal victory: 64 to 69

OK, it is still a little bit too early to claim my own personal victory in that result guessing system but overall I am pretty pleased with myself.  Considering how daunting it was to go case by case in the different districts, and how unforgiving turned out to be my variometer I did pretty well, predicting that the opposition would get 69.  It will get, if all is as I assume it will go, 64.  As such I do not know of any other prediction that got as close to the final number.  Note: I did my prediction without safety net, that is I assumed that PPT and chavismo are the same and forgot about the indigenous representatives, only MUD direct seats were counted.

In no particular order of hits and miss, a list that might require further revision as final data finally becomes available:
  • The total number of votes.  For those of you who got my last minute simple variometer you will read that when the default variation is set to 0 the opposition is getting 5.033.249.  The CNE gives for the Parlatino vote 5.054.114. The model gave chavismo 5.140.275 and the Parlatino count is 5.222.364.  Kind of spooky if you ask me...  But of course these are not the final numbers nor are they those one could deduct from the individual districts which will likely be higher.  What maters is that I got the spread between the MUD and the PSUV, the heart of my study (the claim fo 52% for the opposition comes from adding PPT, MUD and whatever else, a valid claim but requiring adequate qualifications, to be discussed in future posts).
  • In individual states I got with high scores 11 states, with passing grade 4 states and I really flunked only in Anzoategui and Bolivar.
  • But if I go to some of my intuitions and educated guesses that I reported in my regional studies, but that did not show up in the strict harshness of my model, I did better because I can include my hunch that Cumana would go opposition, for example, or that in Lara I was not certain that PPT would make it, that it should not get more than 4 out of 10 when it got 0 (I did predict the three opposition seats it would gain in Lara, by the way, it was only the difficulty at judging the PPT-PSUV contest that I had trouble).  I also like my Guarico prediction: [Guarico] is a very interesting case as it is the only other state outside of Lara where the PPT has a chance to do something. That is, if it manages to make a pact with the opposition because divided, even with a calamity like William Lara as a governor, the PSUV can still get it all.As it did.
Thus I am leaving it as is right now because I have lots of data to pour over until I can decide how good I really was.  But bear with me if I can already be a little bit proud with myself.....

      Stealing an election: Venezuela 2010

      The abject lesson of yesterday's vote is how chavismo managed to steal shamelessly an election. From now on Chavez and his followers are just a bunch of cheats that use all the tricks in the books to steal a "legal" electoral majority at the expense of a democratic majority. If you do not agree with me, well read the world press in general which does not understand how an opposition which gets MORE than the regime's share of the vote, gets not much more than a third of the seats at stake.

      Or wonder how come that for the first time that Chavez "won" an election he did not dare to go out to his Miraflores balcony to celebrate. The cheat knew he had been exposed and could not take the limelight.

      I am going to give you an extremely simple example that can be seen in the Caracas Libertador district. Already on the CNE page you can read that in Caracas the united opposition got 484.844 votes and the chavista alliance 484.103. And yet of the 10 seats at stake the opposition gets 3 and chavismo gets 7. You simply cannot explain this in democratic terms. Such a flagrant manipulation of an electoral system leaves far, far behind other well known "manipulations" like the Gore defeat of 2000 or the recent troubles in the UK where the Tories were stopped from an outright majority, in a system which already is comfortable with the winner not reaching 50% of the vote.

      Another example in cheating  is next door Miranda State where the opposition got 57% of the vote and yet got "only" 50% of the seats.

      Should I keep going?

      That is why Chavez did not show his face last nice: he knows he got caught, he knows the world is unto him, with the FARC in Colombia, with his snake potion economy recipes, and now with outright electoral cheating to disguise the fact that now 52% of Venezuelans, in spite of all the threats, the cheating, the blackmail, the cheating, the insults, the cheating, did not vote for him.  And going....

      Chavez last night got in fact the very worst result he could have gotten.  Had the opposition won he would have blamed every problem on them and get back a shot at 2012 re-election.  Had the opposition lost in votes and seats, well, the rest of the world would have forgotten that business and kept doing more "rewarding" business with Chavez.  But losing the popular vote and winning DRAMATICALLY the seat count is simply not acceptable in polite democratic society, and even less from a pseudo revolution which presents itself as the epitome of democracy, with the safest, best electoral system in the world.

      Chavez cheating yesterday even managed to make the lousy victory of 2005 dignified in comparison.  Then he won 100% courtesy of the opposition mistakes.  A lousy victory but a legal one.  Last night his victory was deprived of any legitimacy, in addition of any legality when the new electoral law was passed in open violation of the constitution.  Think about the consequences.  For example, what serious country will negotiate with Chavez now that the opposition can claim with all reason that they will not honor future fulfillment of the contract unless they are consulted and also approve that contract?

      And if you think that such a cheating victory will offer stability to chavismo, think twice.  For example, an amendment to the constitution can be called by a mere third of the National Assembly.  Amen of other type of referenda that the opposition is now able to call for, and get the votes for considering the outage that is already seeping everywhere.

      The emperor has no clothes and the consequences are coming fast.

      Venezuela has officially ceased today to be a democracy

      And its constitution is dead.

      In Bolivarian Venezuela the opposition gets MORE VOTES than the regime, probably 52% when all is said, and yet it is beaten at least 90 to 65 seats!!!!!!!!!!!!

      The delay of the CNE and the cheating it allowed to ensure a majority for the regime will go into the annals of electoral infamy of the world.

      Trouble ahead in Venezuela!!!!!!!!

      Sunday, September 26, 2010

      The 2010 election day post

      Going to bed. Exhausted. Worried sick about a country that is able to rob in such a shameful way the popular will. More analysis tomorrow but we need to wait for the CNE to fess up some more, not like in 2007. At least now the opposition mood is combative and chavismo is on the defensive, no matter how many seats they robbed us.


      60 seats so far for the MUD with the possibility of some more. SO my pessimistic prediction of 69 seats was actually optimistic. We will need to wait some to see how off I was.


      psuv 5.222.364 46.62%
      MUD 5.054.114 45.10%

      In other news, the vice president of Venezuela and a VTV "journalist" harass a Globovision journalist

      There has been plenty of rains this week and even people died because of the flash floods and landslides.  The vice-president of Venezuela (1), Elias Jaua, went to visit one of the affected areas.  The state of mind of chavismo, its intense paranoia and sectarianism makes Jaua unable to grant a brief interview to the Globovision envoy even if such a rare interview, during an election time, would benefit him greatly.  The man just cannot help it, he oozes hatred.  And never mind the state VTV journalist who tries to block the lens of Globovision, proving once again that she ain't no journalist, just a propaganda maker.

      1) Vice presidents are appointed by Chavez, not elected. It is just a prime minister of sorts to the imperial presidency. Still, if Chavez croaks at night, whomever is sitting at the vice president becomes president until elections are held.

      When will we have a first world election?

      Well, it certainly will not happen under Chavez who certainly gets mileage from pretending that elections are risky, controversial and that he is there to make sure the poor get to vote.

      Saturday, September 25, 2010

      Fine tuning VN&V 2010 predictions

      OK, this is the last one.  I am not changing my predictions for next Sunday, I am just fine tuning them, and bringing down my optimistic scenario to a more realistic position.  Also, I am trying to give the final distribution, political party wise. (UPDATED)

      The realistic scenario

      Having completed my "variometer" I went back to my original predictions, introduced political party affiliation of candidates (for whatever worth they are inside the MUD) and built up this new half moon chart of what the next National Assembly could look like.  That is, I am ruthlessly following my numbers even if some of them should in my opinion be different.  Remember also that polls are not good and are confirming my negative calculations.

      Realistic result, based on VN&V predictions, for September 2010
      From this chart we can observe the following things (if it were to happen, of course!):

      Friday, September 24, 2010

      My electoral prediction variometer is ready!

      But I will not make it freely available, you will need to write me to get the Excel sheet if you want.

      How the opposition won/lost on Sunday 26

      Courtesy of another long time reader who appreciated that I published my negative thoughts before the vote, even if risking to discourage a few people, I got inspired to write up already the post-mortem of the opposition.

      How the opposition won the 26-S vote

      Daniel Duquenal will punch the "Unidos Para Venezuela" card (plus electoral survey )

      In spite of all my pessimism I will go out and vote.  As such I do not share an iota with such people that do not want to go and vote because they consider the voting act a farce AND YET NEVER OFFER A CREDIBLE ALTERNATIVE PLAN.  And do not forget one thing: if we do not know how many votes our side did gain in the end, Chavez does know and that will painfully gnaw at him.

      Thursday, September 23, 2010


      Warning: major cynical and overly long text/rant follows.  Read at you own peril.

      Sunday, September 19, 2010

      Star Wars at the bolibanana

      If your Spanish is OK, do not miss "Estar Cuar" at the Chigüire Bipolar!!!!

      The Venezuela News and Views final 2010 vote prediction (well, maybe)

      Well, it is time to make a final prediction, and I am afraid that most readers of this blog will not like it.  And I may add that never was I so keen to be proven wrong.
      Seats to be taken by the two sides in the legislative elections of 2010, according to the 2008 votes, the 2010 estimated potential and the rosy scenario with at least a 6% swing from chavismo to the opposition
      In the figure above in red we have the number of seats the PSUV and allies will take and in blue what the Opposition will take.

      How did I reach this?

      Saturday, September 18, 2010

      September 27

      September morn
      We danced until the night became a brand new day
      Two lovers playing scenes from some romantic play
      September morning still can make me feel that way

      Thinking about what will happen the day after the 26-S vote I remembered that old song which was not very good but that somehow was successful enough to sit in a corner of my memory. Serendipity being what it is, it comes in handy to illustrate how the love affair of Venezuela with Chavez might crumbling. I do not know whether 26-S will be the final break up but one thing is certain, whatever the result is we will have crossed an inflection point, as important at least as the one we crossed on August 15 2004.

      Friday, September 17, 2010

      We must be winning 'cause zombies are emerging!

      In perhaps the safest sign that the opposition truly thinks it is winning the current electoral contest we are seeing what was simply unthinkable 6 months ago: electoral ads for AD and COPEI!!!  The one below has been hitting TV this week when AD is celebrating its 69 anniversary (you cannot make things like that up!).  It comes with AD anthem included, an anthem I had not heard in, well, I better do not tell......

      COPEI also has its ads, no music (AD has always been the one with the catchy jingles and solemn pomposity).  But in one Enrique Mendoza is starring.  I remember when he run for election in 2000 under his own vehicle pretending that he was not COPEI anymore.....  Now he is the camera  huger of COPEI ads.....

      I am not too sure what to make of this except that the united opposition must believe in its victory strongly enough that even old parties like AD and COPEI have decided to run ads least the votes go all to PJ, UNT and other "upstarts".  As for the value of the ad, well, let's forget it; though I am sure it has a nostalgic appeal to those who are 40 or older, probably the target of AD this time around.  What matters here is the daring of putting up such an ad.  Heck!  It even includes faded red shirts!!!! (PS: imagine the conniption fit of Chavez if AD gets 15 seats!)

      Thursday, September 16, 2010

      The next National Assembly?

      After the series of posts on electoral analysis this is my prediction for the composition of the next National Assembly, as a summary of all of these posts.  NOTE: they were written in an early August perspective and today I would already change a few things but that will have to wait a few days for a new post on the matter.

      The final assembly, maybe?  Situation August 2010.

      The graph above was obtained with the following parameters:

      Wednesday, September 15, 2010

      The 2010 election predictions: Aragua and Carabobo

      When I started this project I did not know if I was going to have enough time to finish it.  Thus originally I had planned to leave for the end Bolivar and the Llanos, the regions that I know less about, hoping that in case I lacked time the rest of the discussion would be enough to give a good idea of the September 26 election result.  But as I plodded my way through I realized that the election will be decided in the two states of Aragua and Carabobo, the industrial heartland of the country, and thus found the motivation to write it all and leave that discussion for the end.

      With 18 seats these two states represent 11% of the representatives to be elected in the new assembly.  If everywhere else in the country results can be guessed more or less accurately, in these two states it is where we are more likely to find interesting and significant shifts.  That is, Zulia is for the opposition: that the PSUV gains 1 or 3 seats really does not affect much the overall picture.  Same story in the Llanos where the PSUV is going to win and where the opposition gains will not be enough to imperil a putative chavista majority.  But in Carabobo, through gerrymandering, the opposition is not certain at all to fulfill its potential and in Aragua, the chavista bastion will still be carried by the PSUV but will be quite damaged.  For the opposition to win the National Assembly it is a must that it resists the gerrymandering of Carabobo AND that it breaches the PSUV monopoly in Aragua, and for chavismo it is essential that the Aragua hegemony is preserved and that the opposition does not reach half of the Carabobo seats otherwise its majority will be too thin for comfort.

      Tuesday, September 14, 2010

      Who does Weil has in mind?

      Cilia Flores?  Diosdado Cabello?  His wife?  Dario Vivas?....

      Vote for him!

      Chavez in campaign

      Chavismo electoral campaigns are not what they used to be.  This picture in Tal Cual tells us how distant the president is getting and how sloppy his staff is getting.

      In no particular order:

      How many more Messiahs?

      This is the cover of Tal Cual today, and I just love it!!!  The title in Spanish is "¿Hasta Cuando Mesias?"  Another case of pictures worth a thousand words.  And of course you know who is missing....  and you wonder how long it will take his PSF supporters to come to grips with it....

      Monday, September 13, 2010

      De héroes rebajados

      Luis Tascon murió. William Lara murió. Guillermo Garcia Ponce murió. ¿Que los une ademas de su lealtad a Chavez?

      Of heroes and stuff

      Luis Tascon died.  William Lara died.  Guillermo Garcia Ponce died.  What is common among them besides their loyalty to Chavez?

      Sunday, September 12, 2010

      The 2010 election predictions: Oriente

      Oriente, the North Eastern part of Venezuela, used to be Accion Democratica land.  As such it had no problem to become chavista land within a few years.  In 2008 chavismo took everything but the small island of Margarita, a sweep that left me quite surprised.  After all, we are not talking here of a region with particular affinities for a Llanero president: people of Oriente are a little bit different than the rest of the country, speak faster, swallow the ending of many of their words and look at Caracas like some alien city.  Since the Monagas brothers, if memory serves me well, the 4 states of Oriente have only given Venezuela one president, Lusinchi, in 1983-1988.  Their last attempt was the disastrous candidacy of Alfaro Ucero from Monagas that did so much to bring Chavez to power.  That does not mean Oriente has not participated in Venezuela history: it has its shares of heroes, ministers, writers and artists.  But perhaps there is some lingering effect that the Spanish province of Nueva Andalucia was attached quite late in the XVII century to Caracas and Orientales like to stay among themselves.

      Saturday, September 11, 2010

      Blackmail as the last electoral tool left for Chavez

      Numbers must not be good in chavista polling rooms for Chavez having to resort to the crudest form of blackmail.  Today he announced that he would stop sending any funds to Miranda state and Sucre town-hall because they are ruled by bourgeois officials and that it is impossible to work with them.  His exact words:

      Thursday, September 09, 2010

      A quickie economic post

      I am rather busy these days, among other things fighting back an extortion attempt from government employees who need to fulfill a quota of extortion so they can finance the PSUV campaign (and line up their pockets along the way).  Details do not matter because were I to go to a court of justice my options would range from nothing happening to me be thrown in jail, never the bureaucrat.  Let me put it this way, on some technicalities the bureaucrats involved want me to give them the amount of the fine, not letting me pay it to the state as it should be.  That is, they can delay the legal solution of my problem forever, even if I am willing to pay the legal dues, unless I pay these to them and then they sign up all the paper work in a jiffy.  Needless to say that this "incident" is giving me a particularly clear, raw look into why Venezuela economic recovery is not going to happen anytime soon.

      Monday, September 06, 2010

      The 2010 election predictions: The Orinoco States

      There are three states in Venezuela that really cannot be fit together except that their daily life is based around the mood of the Orinoco river of impressive water flow.  Being able to sail it is pretty much what decides the everyday life of its people.  Until the 60ies there was no bridge to cross it.  President Raul Leoni opened the first one at Ciudad Bolivar.  Since then a second bridge for Puerto Ordaz finally opened after much delay by Chavez (though apparently it is still not quite complete).  Chavez in great fanfare started work on a third bridge at Caicara and that was that, amen of the justification for a bridge where local traffic can be managed quite well with ferry.  But that is OK for Chavez because every so often he goes back there to pretend work is speedily advancing.  The natives are not holding their breath until completion.

      Friday, September 03, 2010

      ¿Quien mató a Franklin Brito?

      Creo que es justo que empecemos a hacernos esta pregunta ya que Franklin Brito quien murió de huelga de hambre, finalmente descansa en su lugar de nacimiento. Usted puede leer el editorial del Tal Cual de ayer, por una vez en lectura gratuita por su importancia: ¿Quién mató a Brito?

      Teodoro Petkoff no puede dar nombres en su editorial, pero este blog si puede hacerlo.

      Trying to pass the buck on Brito's murder

      Weil today on the silly attempts by the regime to do a Pilatus

      Chavez: We had to expect that these traitors "escualidos" would use that for political motives

      Thursday, September 02, 2010

      Who killed Franklin Brito?

      I think it is just that we start asking that question as Franklin Brito who died of hunger strike will finally be put to rest in the next hours in his birth place.  You can read the editorial of Tal Cual today, put for once on free reading for all: ¿Quién mató a Brito?

      Since Teodoro Petkoff cannot name names in his editorial, this blog can.

      Wednesday, September 01, 2010

      Chavez public confession that he is not a democrat: consider yourself told once and for all

      Yesterday Chavez was campaigning in Maracay, violating several rules of the electoral law.  Among them is that a public official cannot campaign actively during the official campaign.  Another one is that it is forbidden to use national symbols: Chavez does not drop anymore his Venezuelan flag jacket.  There is a video you could see for that in this Minister of Communication page (they say it, they post it, it is not me making this up).

      It is not that Chavez says absolutely directly without a doubt that he will not recognize the result if September 26 if unfavorable to his side, but all the implications of his words, his attitude and his tone betray him exactly as his real sectarian nature was betrayed when he refused to send funds to the hospital Perez de Leon in Petare.

      From El Universal today we have these choice words:

      "Ese es nuestro plan, aquí no está planteado acuerdo alguno con la burguesía traidora, con esta oposición apátrida" This is our plan [radicalizing the revolution], there is no plan whatsoever to reach an agreement with the treasonous bourgeoisie, with this fatherland-less (?) opposition.

      There you have it, the opposition can win whatever it wants to win, the revolution goes on.

      Three more idiocies for you today, directly from Chavez himself

      In the last post I gave you two chavista idiocies.  Coming back home tonight I can add three from the big man himself.