Wednesday, November 30, 2011

PPT, PPT and ppt

Yesterday the High Court (TSJ) ruled on a matter where they should not be ruling: they decided that the PPT direction was not kosher, dismissed it, allowed for three "groups" and barred all of them from supporting any candidate until they sorted matters out. That is, if one of the fractions has enough money to block the other two they could manage to make sure that the PPT cannot present Henri Falcon for reelection in Lara. That other parties can sponsor him is irrelevant, in a perverse way.
What to make of this?  First, we can dismiss out of hand an elaborate theory as to the ever dividing left.  That constant splintering of Venezuelan parties is not an appanage of the left.  After all, the left itself started as a splintering of AD....  Never mind that UNT and PJ are splinter groups of sorts, having a conjoint splinter in VP.  This is just the way political parties live in a country where caudillos are the hope of any grouping to reach power, except that they cannot ever agree on a caudillo making that disagreement pass often for democratic debate.

No, this is just an act of vindictiveness from chavismo who after beating and abusing the PPT for years are all surprised when the majority of its members decide to leave Chavez.  It is nothing else but the syndrome of the battered spouse.  If anything we should give credit to the PPT to break up with chavismo when it was yet far from clear that the opposition was going to build a unity platform solid enough to challenge Chavez.  And a credit to the Unidad that the PPT decided after a lot of reflection to cast its faint future with them.

If to this you observe that chavismo latest attempt at building a grand coalition of el pueblo for Chavez is not finding any serious taker beside the Communists (and with reticence), then you can understand that the idea grew to pay the lawyers of a malcontent faction of the PPT in order to try to get the PPT to join the (still?) born again Polo Patriotico.  With side benefits such as weakening the standing of the most hated governor of Lara behind which more and more pepetistas are rallying as their only chance to scratch the few scarce electoral seats available to them.  See, no matter what the discontent PPT achieve, one can be certain that Chavez will not give them a single governorship position, and probably no mayor seat either.  But money?  Very likely....

This is not the first time that chavismo has tried to butt in what is not its concern (I mean, if stolen money inside a party was the matter we could understand the TSJ getting involved at some point).  But in all democratic history when a party splits the largest group gets to keep the name.  Even in Venezuela although there might be a legal battle for the name (1).  But forbidding the PPT to even run candidates is simply ridiculous and yet another demonstration of how low chavista thugs are willing to go for revenge, for political expediency, just because they can get away with it.

In practical purpose it may mean nothing much: the wronged side, the one of Henri Falcon will run for office anyway and if needed will create a movement or something for which I will obligingly sign just as I did for Arria or Machado: small but significant movements should have the right to run for election and get trashed if they so do wish.  And if it is a matter to stop the ridiculous minority side to run under PPT colors I am pretty sure lawyers will manage to stop the PPT-Chavez to join the Polo Patriotico until it is meaningless.  Which is probably any time soon as the Polo is turning out fast into a fake grouping of people wanting money for something.

1) famous divisions of Venezuelan history

1962 with Leoni who had to run under the black color instead of the traditional white of AD.

1967 when the MEP left AD but AD kept its colors and flag and name.

1992 when Causa R, one of the multiple splinters of the left grew big enough to almost win the election next year.  Causa R promptly split to give birth to the PPT.

Etc...  If you feel confused I have already written the field guide of Venezuelan political derivatives.

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