Friday, October 05, 2012

Coronation in Barquisimeto?

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.


  1. Island Canuck1:42 AM

    Daniel, I know I've been posting a lot but in truth I'm so wound up that the arrival of the election is sort of an after thought.

    Right now in Barquisimeto it's just so overwhelming that it's hard to grasp. Tied with the failure of Chavez in CCS today I agree that the coronation is coming.

    There will be problems on Sunday & early Monday morning but I have faith that by daylight Monday we will have a new president. There is no stopping the avalanche that's coming.

    Thank you for providing a space for us to release our thoughts.

    1. The failure of Chavez in CCS and the rain were godsends. So, too, have been the 'apagones', to name just one, visible failure of the chavista years (bye-bye phony socialism!). Goliath has not had just one David, but many. Unless he's totally delusional, Chavez is now experiencing his comeuppance. I suspect he and a host of others are packing their bags, just in case.

      Btw, what for you was the primary, telling symbol that this government was crashing?
      For me, it was Maduro driving the truck, the other day. The circle is now complete. But at what enormous cost.

  2. Anonymous1:45 AM

    "Chavez in Caracas could not fill today Bolivar avenue in spite of forcing employees to attend."

    I heard they were bringing employees from EVERYWHERE in Venezuela. 18000 buses or something. Maybe the employees managed to scape before having to listen to Hugo "Weekend at Bernie's" Chavez. Then again, it might just be another example of the chaverment's incompetence biting it in its own butt. Maybe it was the bad roads that prevent the buses from making it. Maybe those supposed to hire the bus drivers simply pocketed the money...

    Now the only thing left is to guess what kind of dirty trick will Chavez try next? Will they threaten people (especially government workers) with physical harm if they vote "the wrong way"? Will they tell their own people to vote for Capriles so he can win by 20% and they'll claim "obvious fraud"? Will they have a few hundred people on election day claiming the machines changed their votes from Chavez to Capriles?

    1. Anonymous4:45 AM

      Will they have a few hundred people on election day claiming the machines changed their votes from Chavez to Capriles?

      Answer: Yes. Many citizens justmight want to appear to support Chavez to protect their job and other benefits. If they get caught voting for Capriles, the first thing they will say is the machine changed the vote to Capriles, it wasn't me.

  3. Javier2:19 AM

    As Lara votes, Venezuela votes, so if in Lara Capriles wins, he will win nationally

  4. pure gold -- Capriles en Barquisimeto.
    Island, I enjoy reading your consistent positive messages. With your feet on Venez soil and caution to the wind, you obviously got it, where many of us were slow, maybe still are. I knew that in a highly dynamic electoral process, as is this one, anything could happen to public opinion, beyond the pollsters, working on expired information and coy answers. But until now, I was cautious. Capriles is going to bring home the bacon on October 7th. He has planned and executed his campaign brilliantly. And while I don't get impressed easily, I am with Capriles.

    Funny how preparation, positive energy, and confidence (with a little humility) can generate sympathies from others, who in turn, feed the wheels of change. I'm blown away. Can't wait for the results.

    p.s. you may find hopeful what Capriles' mom says in her answer to Carla Angola's first interview question:

    1. Syd, that is very encouraging isn't it...imagine that across all the ministries and civil servants and I think (hope) Chavismo is in for a shock. Ojala.

  5. Merci, merci, merci, Daniel, pour tout. Estaré en contacto desde Toronto!

  6. Syd

    A blog cannot be only a self indulgent intellectual nitpicking. On occasion it should also be catharsis for its readers, and why not, offer them a little bit of chicken soup for the soul. Otherwise one might as well stick to newspapers.


  7. Do you guys believe what I do?
    That this has to be the best political campain in the history of Venezuela, and maybe of the continent?
    I bet Chavistas were laughthing some weeks ago knowing they would close the campain at Caracas at Campriles somewhere else. Guess who is laughthing now?

  8. Charly3:42 AM

    Daniel, just got home from the Barquisimeto march. Saw the Big Man about twenty feet away. My brother-in-law managed to take a pretty good picture. It was pandemonium, crowd delirium, better than the Rolling Stones at their peak. However, since I was in the crowd, I have no idea how big the event was. In any case, it was lots of fun. Also was informed that it rained on Chavez parade. What a pity!

  9. Sad that you didn't make it Daniel. I was close to not going but my dad changed my mind. Thank God.

    Biggest political rally in Barquisimeto's history, period. Un-be-lie-va-ble.

  10. Great coverage Daniel. You may say that I'm all cold and analytical, but I'm really excited about this weekend. Something good is happening...

    1. Worry not; I am absolutely certain that you are.

    2. Anonymous8:21 AM

      We all know JC.

      Thanks Daniel. Now, everybody doubles the effort. We will make this happen.

      Voto castigo + voto esperanza = landslide.


  11. it is good to read all the optimistic articles.. However, I still do not believe the average Venezuelan citizen is up to it yet... there are too many loyal rojitos that gather gov't salaries, benefits etc. I wish and pray it all will be true that Capriles wins. I am hopeful, but would not bet the farm on Chavez losing.
    And as you addressed so well in your article, if Chavez did lose, will the chavistas peacefully accept? I doubt it! WOW! this is really some great history we are all witnessing.. thank you for ALL your posts and links over the past year- it is greatly appreciated!

  12. Dr. Faustus4:19 AM

    May God protect and defend the Venezuelan people in the coming days. Hope and optimism is sweeping across the country. May it be reflected in the polling booths on Suday.

  13. The government was paying 18,000 BsF to take people from Merida to Caracas for the rally that Chavez was holding. I know this because I spoke to a bus owner that parks his bus as my wife's family property. They must have been trucking people from all over for this, and to hear it flopped is a hopeful sign.

    I know of several Chavistas that say they aren't voting for chavez this time around. They aren't going to vote for Caprilles, as they don't trust him, but they are angry at Chavez. This is a big thing if those numbers add up.

    I hope Venezuela turns itself around. I left it, and am working on bring my wife and son to Canada because I saw no future in Venezuela under Chavez. Now things may start to change.

    1. My sister-in-law's boyfriend works at a Mercal on Rubio(Tachira) and he was "ordered" to go to Caracas tuesday night, along with all the co-workers. It's a long way from Tachira.

    2. I'm getting information third-hand about chavistas, at least, those in Caracas. The scuttlebut is an interesting take that I had not considered. It seems that they're mad at Chávez because he no longer speaks to them, as before. His talks are short (thanks, cancer, or whatever!), rather than long-winded, as before. Worse, the talks are almost pure arengas.

      Chávez ya no enamora a sus oyentes. Y muchos estan desencantados. I suspect much abstention. More so if there's rain. And ... whaddya know, there will be, at least in Caracas:

    3. Kyhber, if you have already invested that much into moving to Canada keep doing it regardless. Change won't come overnight. Venezuela was no picnic in 98, it has been 14 years and Chavez has made it much, much, worse IMO. It's going to take Two Capriles Terms to begin undoing the damage. I don't see Venezuela fully healed from this debacle for at least 15 years.

      I'm not planning on holding my breath that long. I'm planning on giving my family the best opportunity to succeed in life reasonably safe from harm and hardship. That place is not and won't be Venezuela for at least a decade.


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