Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Is there something worth rescuing from yesterday's debacle?

I think there is really no point in discussing yesterday's results in detail. Eventually in a few days I may write an additional post about it, but whether PJ did well here and bad there, or whether AD resisted better than expected in Tucusiapon is totally irrelevant. The game has changed dramatically:  we are all waiting for Chavez demise and that is the game in town for the next 6 months. Unless of course Cuban medicine is finally shown to be all that is cracked up to be. One sure thing, the Chavez example is not going to be Cuba best medical advertisement...

The bad is overwhelming  no matter what punditry you can read or see on TV today. The opposition will be in a very diminished situation if elections come in a few weeks from now. No states to rely on for basic campaign logistics, no income, no reserves left after two expensive campaign and a regime that has shown yesterday that the times of nice Chavez are over: frontal electoral cheating is going to be the norm for the next elections if we base ourselves on what we saw Sunday. Diosdado Cabello is not about the niceties of Chavez.

Can we possibly see something positive?

The short answer is NO, but the longer answer points to some stuff that is not that negative.

For example we know now that abstention hit equally chavismo and opposition. But in a presidential election will it be the same? I doubt it very much if Chavez is not on top of the ticket and abstention then will hit more chavismo than the opposition.  What brought a surprisingly large victory of Chavez last October was a record low abstention. But the regime has spent a lot of money too and I have a feel that the economic situation will not allow it to spend as much for Maduro (or whomever)  at a time where it should in fact spend more than last October. the good news here is that chavismo knows that and it is psyched out. The bad news is that chavismo knows that and it will manipulate results outright if needed.

Another paradoxical thing is that chavismo overwhelming victory yesterday is not to its benefit for the next presidential vote. As of now chavismo cannot pass the bucket anymore. Even in Miranda it seems that Capriles won but was denied a legislative majority courtesy of Socorro Hernandez fraudulent gerrymandering. Apparently the CNE is also trying to pull a fast one in Lara and has cheated outright of its seat the winner of Bolivar, Andres Velasquez. But that is for another post. Problems are going to pile up fast and if Chavez was able to put the blame on his followers, or even the opposition, this is not possible anymore, just as problems are going to pile faster and faster. This is good for the opposition if elections are held in March or later, bad if they are held earlier.

A third "positive" would be that the opposition which was experiencing some centrifugal forces post October 7 is chastised on time. The abstention creeps can already see the consequences of their apathy and a few I am sure are having regrets already. And the centrifugal forces see clearly again that outside of unity there is no hope. There is of course the presidential candidate problems as many people, including yours truly, think that Capriles chances are dubious. He did what he had to do but getting a bare 4% spread over Jaua and losing his legislative council is not a sterling victory. Henri Falcon more solid performance in a more chavista area gives him claim to the title. And if we think big, if we think a transition president as we should, then we need to look at Aveledo or someone who will promise not to stay more than three years while he deals with the troubles.

But an Aveledo transitional period would demand the opposition do a truth campaign and denounce crudely the disaster that Chavez is leaving. I really do not think it has yet the guts for that even though finally the tone is changing as of yesterday, realizing that, well, the being nice strategy failed twice in a row. At least this slight increase in tone can be called a fourth "positive".

That's it, that's all I got. Sorry.


  1. For JC. I hope this helped if you read.

  2. Charly2:16 PM

    If that is all you have got, then, yes, we are in deep humpah. Let us be positive and start preparing the beatification of Santa Evita Chavez.

  3. Chavez can be held responsible to a degree by Chavismo staying in power until the physical meltdown of the country arrives. Of course, many had predicted this would have happened by now. There is no certainty as to how long the government can maintain this illusion of well being but I sure wouldn't want to be an oppo in power when it the curtain comes down.

    1. Charly5:12 PM

      Glenn, everyone and their sister talks about the cataclysmic economic short term future of Venezuela. For a guy whose has lived in Zimbabwe, let me tell you one thing: there is no bottom to the barrel. And that is even more true for a country whose monoculture is oil rather than maize.

    2. Anonymous6:01 PM

      Chavez has expressed a favorable opinion of Mugabe's economy. Could this be where Venezuela is headed next?
      Holy Crap.

  4. Can you imagine? They're going to bury him side by side with the Liberator!


Comments policy:

1) Comments are moderated after the sixth 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 polite rules of discourse. I will be ruthless in erasing, as well as those who replied to any off rule comment.