Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Capriles at El Ciudadano

El Ciudadano is the flagship talk show of Globovision, from 5PM to 8 PM.  The political who'swho of Venezuela has to go through its demands, like it or not.  Chavistas have stopped going there years ago because, see, the guests receive unfiltered phone calls from the audience which can be quite nasty on occasion.  Yet, the strength of the show is in its anchor, Leopoldo Castillo, who is tough but fair, not tolerating nonsese or "guabineo" (dodging the issue, failing to give at least a partial answer to a given question).  Hate it or love it, it is the one and it has privileges that no other talk show has.  Such as organizing a one hour for each candidate of the Unidad starting tonight with Henrique Capriles Radonski (HCR).  None will miss the date (then again all have gone there at some point so they are used to it and not afraid anymore).

I am not promising to watch all of them but I'll try to do so and give as brief a possible a comment on that because, well, there are bound to be better to know the candidates than the stupid debates we have been subjected to so far.  Unfortunately at best a 20% of the population may end up watching the shows because of the hour and because of Globovision limited to cable TV outside of Caracas and Valencia.

Without further ado, let's comment on HCR tonight (remember, I am not even pretending to be objective, but I will try fairness).

The governor of Miranda appeared quite relaxed (good poll numbers still).  But he was cautious enough to wear a rather awful shirt but in the COPEI green which means that he feels that he needs to work on attracting the Copei vote away of Pablo Perez. COPEI should be in theory a natural fit for HCR since he started his political career as a COPEI representative in 1998. (Juan has posted a partial video of the performance at his blog which I have lifted for the bottom of this post)

He did not say anything that he has not said before (jobs, fairness, justice, whatnot).  However he said it with more conviction than I have seen him saying it since he started.  At least he betrayed some awareness that his nice speech is part wishful thinking when the reality of January 2013 comes rolling in at inauguration day.  He is not as comeflor as I was starting to believe he was.  Still, when a caller confronted him on why he would not pursue Chavez in front of courts (second debate "highlight"), he failed.  He took the tangent that it was not his duty to judge anyone (true, and fair answer) but he was unable to explain what plan he has, if any, to make sure the judicial power becomes independent enough to dare to prosecute corrupt chavista officials on its own.  In other words, he may believe truly in separation of powers, that he should not interfere, but he pretends that all will be solved nicely without his intervention.  No deal, for me, because you do not go from a chavista fully owned judiciary to a fair one without some significant measures. Not even in Oz.

This being said, and I do not want to be negative, it was his best presentation so far, and for the first time I liked the guy, really.  Yet, it is very likely that I will not vote for him in the primaries though I would feel much better about voting for him in October if he wins the primaries (I would have anyway, but now I will feel better about it).  Again, my major grip with him is that he would make a fantastic prime minister, a great manager.  It is about the presidential job I am less certain.  Still, if he wins in February, HCR can count on me and this blog without any misgivings from me.


  1. Juan Cristóbal3:46 AM

    That's fair.

    I agree with you about the horrible shirt.

  2. but oh so copei......

    i used to have one like that but with long sleeves from abercrombie when it was still a good store for winter clothes before it went for twinks. mine of course was a tasty deep Bordeaux (unwearable today but i still keep it). and better fabric.

    the question i really wanted to ask all along was "where on earth do you get such shirt?". he is definitely sartorially challenged and the only thing he looks good in are polo shirts, in particular if the water reach his nipples. then again, those are the pics that win elections and we would not have it another way :)

  3. CharlesC4:57 AM

    I love the sincerity and energy of Caprilles. He makes me believe that he captures the essence of good things for Venzuelan people and is extremely likeable.
    Caprilles makes me feel good as a human being. He is not corrupt.

  4. Chales C

    I do not think he is the only one that is not corrupt. Not enough as a selection tool :)

  5. Anonymous5:13 AM

    On the subject of taking Chávez to court, why he doesn't point to the fact that already in Miranda they (through the state's Procurador) brought a whole case against Diosdado?

  6. He did not point it but the case was brought and he reminded the audience that Diosdado took it all when he left, even pencils.... That was a better comment, more to the point, the more so that when he added he hopes that PSUV office will not be ransacked the way Miranda offices were.

    Heck, I reproach him his evasiveness in many things but on that one he got it right.

  7. Anonymous5:57 AM

    No es un superorador, pero se le vé las ganas y trabajar por la gente lo sabe hacer, acuerdense del año pasado cuando en Miranda tenían el agua al cuello. No necesitamos quién rompa todo, sino quién sepa temperar los anímos de los caidos en el 2013.
    La Maga Lee

  8. "guabineo" (dodging the issue, failing to give at least a partial answer to a given question)"

    One of my favorite, authentic Venezuelan colloqialism ("saliva e chivo, todo lo que toca lo seca" is another, lol..)

    I happen to know exactly what it means, because I grew up going to a "finca" over in Barlovento (8 hectares which are probably expropriated by now by this freaking regime..) and we would go fishing on "el canio" or liver river there. We would mostly catch the delicious and feisty "Guabinas", armed with impressive teeth, besides the Eels (also delicious when cooked properly) and the occasional turtles, which we would usually let go..

    The guabinas are sliperry as hell, and can bite if you're not careful, must like your average politician..
    Not sure exactly of its scientific name, since many local people call anything looking like a wolf-fish in a river a "guabina" but here are a couple of informative links on this fascinating subject:



    I know for a fact they do walk on land and disappear after you catch'em, much like our esteemed politicians:


    Carlos I.

  9. Island Canuck1:48 PM

    In the time leading up to the election he has to be very careful who he openly denounces.

    Even though we all know what the truth is in the "Alice in Wonderland" of Hugo Chavez' Venezuela you can be jailed for saying things about judges, ministers or the president.

    I have no doubt that the MUD & all the candidates have a plan for January 2013 but are not publicizing it now to avoid giving excuses for reprisals.

  10. Este muchacho Capriles parece tener buenas intenciones, y un cierto nivel de educacion.. pero le falta elocuencia y claridad mental.. esta tratando de referisse a vainas como la separacion de poderes en el estado, delegacion de responsabilidades en individuos capacidos y especializados en ciertas areas, etc.. el chamos tiene que aprender a expresarse mejor y delinear sus planteamientos mas claramente.. y que vaina es eso de "cuidadano" cada 15 segundos?! think about it..

  11. I watched the video you posted. I liked the message, I liked his presence, what I did not like is the fact that he makes Spanish syntax and grammar errors when he talks.

    He misses sometimes the conjunction "a", and in other cases the construction of his speech is plain wrong.

    He should be more careful with his speech.After all, Chavez is a great orator.

    The rest, I liked. The message is quite good "I am the orchestra chief", I liked that. I also liked how he rebutted El Ciudadano.

  12. CharlesC4:08 PM

    O/T -today on Babalu:
    Congressman David Rivera (FL-25) joined three of his House colleagues to express concern, and call for action from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton regarding the Consulate General of Venezuela in Miami, Livia Antonieta Acosta Noguera.

    “It has recently come to our attention that Ms. Antonieta, assigned to the Venezuelan consul in Miami since March 2011, has been linked to a potential cyber attack on the United States involving affiliates of the Iranian, Cuban, and Venezuelan regimes,”
    What abunch of maroons!!

  13. bruni

    el ciudadano is a provocateur. he challenges on purpose his guests so that they can rebuke him. it gets sometime to be used to it but in the end they all love it, at least if they are able to rebuke him. it is part of the show :) i can assure you that capriles was waiting for that moment though he did not know at what point el ciudadano would try to corner him.

  14. Just keeping it simple,my gut reaction to Capriles is that he is a decent and gentle man and I like him.

    However, I sense( here i am not referring to his words but rather to his body language) that he is not strong enough to manage a country like Venezuela...however:

    I one million times prefer him to Chavez.

    As for the shirt: what do I care???

  15. Cerdita,
    you should remember... in Venezuela fashion crimes are the worst! :D

  16. Liz, hehe...then I am in jail :)

  17. CharlesC7:34 PM

    Guabinoso"-thanks Mr.Sledge.
    (I am sorry for agrueing with you
    in the past.The more I get to know the better I like you,thanks for informing me about so much culture, news, etc.)
    I think Caprilles handled the show perfectly and fearlessly!!

  18. "Etymology
    Anglo-Norman, from Old French citezein (spelling altered by influence of denizen), from Old French citeain (Modern French citoyen), from cite (“settlement (regardless of size), later meaning cathedral town”) (Modern French cité, English city), from citet, from Latin civitas (“citizenship, community of citizens”), from civis (“townsman, citizen”) (English civil, civilian), from Proto-Indo-European *kei- (“to lie, homestead”).
    (UK) IPA: /ˈsɪt.ɪ.zən/, SAMPA: /"sIt.I.z@n/
    (US) IPA: /ˈsɪt.ɪ.zən/, /ˈsɪt.ɪ.sən/
    Audio (US)

    citizen (plural citizens)
    A person that is a legally recognized as a member of a state, with associated rights and obligations.
    When the rebellion broke out, the United States promptly evacuated its citizens from the area.
    (dated) A member of a state that is not a monarchy; used as antonym to subject.
    A person that is a legally recognized resident of a city or town.
    A resident of any particular place to which the subject feels to belong.
    Citizen of the World: The Life of Pierre Elliott Trudeau - a book written of the former Canadian prime minister by John English, 2007.
    A civilian, as opposed to a soldier, police officer etc."

    So el famoso "Ciudadano" is just another mediocre, and biased "city dweller" talking -arroz con mango- ? How about "Ciudadano Ilustre" Sounds even funnier.

  19. And I cannot refrain from some pertinent, yet perverse correlation/pun : Cuidad/ano.. Nasty combination. sorry.

  20. People,

    Leopoldo Castillo's show is named "Aló Ciudadano". Hence, his nickname is "El Ciudadano"! His guests call him like that.. and address him by the formal "usted" (instead of informal "tú"), even thou in real life they might be their personal pals. It's just part of the show.

    Even his twitter account is "El citizen" or something...


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