Closing his campaign in Lara's capital, Barquisimeto, is a stroke of genius for Capriles. There is no other place that would have carried as much symbolism than Avenida Venezuela, the largest of Venezuela, that only La Divina Pastora can fill up. Well, from the night shots on TV she now has competition, or maybe she is sending her blessings.....
I could not go to Barquisimeto today and even if I missed an intense moment it is also true that the TV show is not to be missed. Heck, Chavez in Caracas could not fill today Bolivar avenue in spite of forcing employees to attend. At least he got a pity rain from heaven to serve as an excuse. The Venezuela avenue of Barquisimeto is wider by two lanes and bigger side walks, and longer. Not only he filled up half of it, but the stand is placed in front of the cathedral which offers plenty of open spaces around that he also filled up with crowds. This the biggest venue in Venezuela.
But the symbols do not stop at religious marian statements. Not only Capriles is there shoulder to shoulder with the biggest religious crowds of South America, but he is in a chavista ex stronghold, a place where never anyone would have thought it possible for an opposition candidate to have such a reach.
Tonight success of Capriles is the starkest evidence at how badly chavismo has screwed up. 4 years ago Henry Falcon was elected with a major landslide. Today, he is offering Lara to Capriles by at least a 10 point margin (and after tonight I am willing to raise this to 15). The litany of the sabotage that chavismo did to Falcon is besides the point now: the night pictures of Barquisimeto are the price paid.
The delirious crowds that welcomed Capriles arrival on stage can only mean one thing: his coronation has started.