Saturday, September 29, 2012

When Chavez recognizes his defeat: tales of a rudderless campaign

Yesterday we had two quite extraordinary events that really reflect how bad is Chavez doing and how clueless he has become.  In chronological order.

Chavez had the bad idea to make a provocation in Monagas. True, it was the state where he was the most voted in 2006, I think, but after the major PDVSA oil spill over in Maturin's drinking water and the clumsy attempt at the regime to hide the ecological crime and force people to drink it anyway, he all but lost the state. That is, it might still be chavista enough for him to squeak a 1% victory but with the governor running against him now, and a lot of the local pols that know better, Chavez chances are dim.

Capriles a few days ago held a massive rally in Maturin, the battered capital. Even folks like yours truly were stunned. Thus Chavez felt the need to reply.  It is always a bad sign when one side feels compelled to campaign in the final days in what is supposed to be their turf. Usually, when that happens it is because they want a smashing victory and thus try to increase their margin there.  This is not the case with Chavez, his campaign is trying to avoid the humiliation to lose Monagas.

And Chavez made things worse.

First, it became known quite fast that the turnout at Maturin, as respectable as it may be, was made by at least half of out of towners when not out of staters, so to speak, if you forgive my made up words.  Not only Maturin at large snubbed him, but apparently army Hercules like planes where used to ferry in a few people.....

If that were not bad enough, to be so clumsily found out in bringing people to Maturin that may have never set a foot in their lives in Monagas, the speech made things worse, way worse.

"El 7 de octubre no se trata de cualquier cosa lo que está en juego. Puede haber gente nuestra que pudiera estar inconforme por fallas de nuestro Gobierno, que no arreglaron la calle, que no llegó la luz, que se fue el agua, que no conseguí empleo, que no me han dado mi casa. Eso podrá ser cierto en muchos casos y yo asumo la autocrítica (...) y uno de mis compromisos para el próximo período es mayor eficiencia en el Gobierno [...] no está en juego si asfaltaron o no la calle, si me han dado la casa o no, o si peleamos o estoy bravo con los dirigentes regionales. ¡No! Lo que está en juego es mucho más que eso camarada: Nos estamos jugando la vida de la patria".

"On October 7 is not a small thing at stake. There might be people who might be unhappy about our failures of our government, that we did not fix the street, that there are power outages, that the water is gone, that I got no job, that you have not given me my house. That may be true in many cases and I assume the self criticism of the governmet[...] whether the road was paved is not at stake, if I have have been given a home, or if I'm angry at and fighting with regional leaders. No, what is at stake is much more than that comrade: We're risking the life of the fatherland. "

That is, not only Chavez recognizes that his government has not been very good, but he asks people to vote for him for the sake of it.  A little bit as if Carter had asked the US to vote for him because next rescue operation in Iran would turn out differently.  Chavez knows he is lost.

With a cheap and tacky look......
Wiser men would have taken to bed after that, but not Chavez. To make sure he nailed his point he returned to Caracas to spend until the wee hours of the night in a link to China which was sending a satellite for us in space. Already wits asked whether the satellite was going to be used to count the number of potholes in Venezuela's roads.....

I will spare you the dythirambic account of the regime of this satellite launch, you have AVN for that if you can stomach it.  The point here is that I wonder if Chavez, really, really thinks that people are stupid enough to think that a new satellite will solve their problems when the launch of the first one has done little to improve their lives, unless they  went to play video games at the regimes cyber cafes....

I am sorry, but people, even the chavista lumpen, cannot be that stupid all of the time.  Chavez is losing it, and not only at the ballot.


  1. Anonymous1:27 PM

    Very interesting.
    And out-of-towners is a perfectly good word choice.

  2. Charly2:08 PM

    And on top of these snafus, we have the following:

    When Capriles campaign called home a couple of days ago, they did it around 10 am. Definitely those PSUV turkeys are clueless.

    1. In fact, it is SO inept as to force one to wonder if there are elements in his campaign who are deliberately throwing the game.

    2. I have thought that for some time Roy..and it makes sense is you think about it on some levels

  3. Island Canuck2:31 PM

    Just received a call from Capriles on our CANTV business line from a number outside of Venezuela (we have caller ID).

    2 PM is a great hour to receive a call. 3 AM is not. Thinking that it is a crisis in the family it would give us quite a shock.

    1. You would also better remember a 3 a.m. call, as opposed to a 2 p.m. one. So perhaps those psuvistas aren't so dumb, after all. (Or maybe they are.)

  4. Boludo Tejano3:33 PM

    Sin nombre @ 1:27 p.m.
    And out-of-towners is a perfectly good word choice.

    Yes, "out-of-towners" is a perfectly good choice. Another possible choice would be ringers. I first encountered the word in reading sports stories from a century ago. A college team or a town team would hire out-of-towners, a.k.a. ringers, to play for the team, in order to have a better chance of winning the big game. When as a Harvard student, Ted Kennedy hired the services of someone to take his Spanish exam, he was using a ringer.

    Ringers here would apply, as they were out-of-towners brought in to help the home town team of Maturin do better in the battle of campaign p.r. I doubt that the Chavez campaign compensated these ringers very well, though.

    Good articles on the campaign.

  5. Anonymous5:28 PM

    I think out-of-towners is good, but he said in the end "patria" which means "Fatherland", not pais - country. And like he said once "La patria soy YO". And what he is talking about HIS life, HIS power.

    1. Good catch. Fixed it.

    2. I submit for your consideration (I just felt like Rod Serling there) that "homeland" might resonate more with most gringos than "fatherland."

    3. He's talking about HIS life, HIS power. He has tied the CHAVEZ surname to a venezuelan *heart*, not with 8 white stars, but with a large, solitary white star, as it appears on the Cuban flag.

      Chávez is preparing to be remembered, after his death, to have his surname be associated with Venezuela, and to prepare for even greater ties with Cuba. Enter Adán Chávez, the only logical choice to complete this picture, in the event that Hugo Chávez bows out on Monday. (Or dies subsequently.)

    4. I think fatherland works good in this instance for patria, because it brings to mind Hitler and his booted stormtroopers marching. Not an unfair comparison of the hooliganism, depravity and fanaticism of Chavismo.

  6. Anonymous5:55 PM

    "Already wits asked whether the satellite was going to be used to count the number of potholes in Venezuela's roads....."

    A satellite that is claimed to be used for ground surveillance in Venezuela has 2 possible uses:

    (Primary)- To monitor the opposition during the inevitable civil war that will erupt after 7O.

    (Secondary)- To send information to the FARC regarding the movements of Colombian troops.

    Either way, the satellite was clearly intended for military purposes.

  7. Anonymous8:19 AM

    Apparently on some ballots Capriles' image has replaced Reina Sequera's face, tricking people into voting for her when they think they are voting for Capriles. This is on Devil's EX.

    1. Island Canuck8:48 AM

      The small party, “Unidad Democratica”, withdrew their support at the last minute from Capriles & gave it to a fringe candidate.

      The problem is the CNE won't change the voting ballot.

      If someone pushes that button the vote will go to the fringe candidate, not Capriles, even though the ballot has his name & picture.

      A complete fraud.

      The big question now is what will the paper ticket say that comes from the voting machine?


Comments policy:

1) Comments are moderated after the fourth day of publication. It may take up to a day or two for your note to appear then.

2) Your post will appear if you follow the basic rules. I will be ruthless in erasing, as well as those who replied to any off rule comment.

Do not be repetitive.
Do not bring grudges and fights from other blogs here (this is the strictest rule).
This is an anti Chavez/chavismo blog, Readers have made up their minds long ago. Trying to prove us wrong is considered a troll. Still, you are welcome as a chavista to post if you want to explain us coherently as to why chavismo does this or that. We are still waiting for that to happen.
Insults and put downs are frowned upon and I will be sole judge on whether to publish them.