Sunday, March 31, 2013

Third week campaign roundup: Capriles at the beach

This was "Semana Santa", Holy Week, when we are supposed to do penance for our sins and prepare for the major Catholic Holiday of Easter. Instead, too many of us hit the beach in a display of secular serious partying (Thursday and Friday are national holiday). Though I assume excess alcohol and sun on your head could lead you to out of body mystical experiences.

So what is a candidate to do if he does not want to offend those still practicing their religious duty or those in serious reveling? Well, for Capriles, you pray at church and visit beach goers.

Capriles went to do his Semana Santa devotions at Petare church  where we are told he usually goes. I am a lapsed Catholic, I certainly cannot confirm you that info. However what we can confirm is that Capriles visit this year was preceded by a scuffle as local chavistas thought it would be a good idea to create trouble for a religious visit. Electoral visit too, of course,  but it was a church and Capriles was not going to hold a meeting. Just your average photo-op. It goes to tell you the degree of nervousness chavismo is experiencing these days.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Should Capriles win?

As threatened in the previous post we should look at the worth for Capriles to win next April 14, whether he can win being a moot point.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Can Capriles win?

Maybe that should be two entries: "Can Capriles win?" and "Should Capriles win?". Since tonight is Maundy Thursday let's assume that we have met some form of redemption and that indeed there is a chance for Capriles to win. What would be the conditions?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

April 15 2013

Whomever wins the April 14 vote in Venezuela will receive a desolate landscape, made it worse by a never ending campaign. The blame needs, of course, to fall on chavismo or whatever political ersatz comes after two decades of romantic robinhoodery blended with mean political expediency. Though the weak-minded pusillanimous opposition leadership of the first decade is also to share the blame. But they are less guilty because in the end they were nice people, educated, polite and thus woefully unprepared to the onslaught of thuggery that Chavez unleashed on Venezuela. By the time they realized who they were dealing with they had lost any capacity of response and the electorate had become dependent on Chavez for its self esteem sustained on the occasional social handout.

Whistling over our graves

Two items today. oh so telling...

Monday, March 25, 2013

Electoral numbers for 14/04: trying to look at the rock bottom

Now that we have looked at the December result of state elections, we can try to evaluate the rock bottom total for the oncoming April 14 flash election.

But first let me give you the caveat. This flash presidential election is extremely volatile  On one side you have a triumphant chavismo which won two elections in a row but with a dead leader which is milked for all its worth to obtain a sympathy vote so as to secure a succession. On the other hand the economy slide that started in the last quarter of 2012 is forging ahead, with a renewed inflation, two back to back devaluations and a scarcity index on the rise while the regime has not even made a pretense to fulfill any of the promises of the dead 2012 candidate. Condiment this with an opposition whose unity seems resilient and a way more combative candidate playing on a background of doom.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Second week campaign round up: singing the Cuban anthem

And thus we come to the end of the second week of campaign.  I waited until today because Capriles was supposedly coming to San Felipe but if he came, he was drown in the rain today. And yesterday I was in Barquisimeto where Maduro is today. Whew! I escaped!

The week has been good for Capriles over all. Very good maybe, as Maduro committed at least two major mistakes.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Electoral numbers for 14/04: December 2012 reality

In the post October funk, followed by the January 9 coup, I never got around to analyze the December 2012 governor result. Not that it mattered much but if we want seriously to evaluate any chances Capriles may have in three weeks, we need to understand the most recent results  namely the comparison between Chavez October victory and December sympathy vote. A single graph will suffice, comments after the jump.

Numbers from CNE, rounded up, in hundred of thousand votes, including or not "dissident" candidates depending on how big their vote was. Excluding embassies and Caracas which did not vote in December.

Transfiguration in Naguanagua

I am watching for the first time a full speech of Capriles campaign-bis, tonight in Naguanagua. Well, it is a transformed man. No more mister nice guy against Chavez. Now it is a truth a minute. He holds no punch against Maduro. From accusing him of being a machista to telling folks he is lazy and does not wake up before 9 AM. In a way he manages to come closer to be a Chavez heir than Maduro himself. At least Capriles can claim to have been everywhere in the country, like Chavez did, and waking up early, like Chavez did (even though it was more likely due to insomnia than actual desire...).

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Chavismo paratroopers

So today about 300 hundred students tried to go to the CNE, Venezuelan electoral board, a.k.a Electoral Ministry, to present complaints and requests on the electoral abuse of the regime. Not that anyone was expecting Chavez election minister Tibisay Lucena to comply, but it would have been nice for a change that she dispatched a secretary to receive the letter. Or at least earlier than what she eventually did.

Chavez trek

They placed Chavez in the old barracks turned Military museum. The S.O. went. It is a trek  you need to go through rather bad neighborhoods, or go up a steep staircase. And when you reach the place  you cannot take pictures anyway. Yet, there are some pictures on the way to the museumified Chavez.

The stakes of April

Today I got two stories from real life. [UPDATED]

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Yet another devaluation

One of the big problems of the devaluation of February was that the SITME, the lone system to obtain foreign currency for those shun by CADIVI, was eliminated. So, for example, non essential imports as decided by the regime, who could not use CADIVI, still had a shot at SITME but for a higher price.  Today the SITME substitute was announced.

Still very foggy, but we can gather a few things already.

The electoral umpire

Rayma, cartoonist of El Universal, has a deadly cartoon today that explains best than anything what a bunch of cheats the CNE is (Venezuela electoral board). For those who do not know anything about Soccer/Football (England) I will explain after the jump (you are about half of the readership after all).

By the way, Tibisay was outraged by the words of USA Roberta Jacobson at the State Department, who was merely stated what we all know. But Tibisay seems not aware that we call her the Minister for Elections of Chavez.

Our daily fascist dose: fascismus turismus

Apparently Laureano, the Friday satire column of Tal Cual, was going to do a stand up in the Venetur hotel of Puerto Ordaz. Some local chavistas got wind of it, made a ruckus and had the show canceled.

An absolutely undemocratic campaign in Venezuela

I wrote in previous posts that this campaign would surpass easily all the treachery of Chavez campaigns. After all he had charisma and he only needed to pat his victory with some electoral cheating.

We did not have to wait long.

Already this week end the regime decided to close the La Grita airport so Capriles could not land his plane. He landed elsewhere and lost precious hours of campaigning to reach his final goal where people waited patiently and gave him the ovation he deserved.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Three countries

The wake is suspended, Chavez rests for the time being in a military museum, an old barrack to ensure past presidential safety at Miraflores, now unable to ensure safety in an area that has been overcome by slums. For a military that was never able to understand what the civilian world and democracy meant, it is a fitting resting place for Chavez, unable to find permanent ways to diminish poverty, and even less to insure the safety of the people in the slums where crime rates are maybe the highest in the world. Eventually someday the wake will be restarted  when his remains are either taken to his wished for resting place, Sabaneta where he was born, or to the Pantheon where political expediency may want him for his final home.

Now it is time, when abject electoral campaign allows, to ponder what these two weeks of "grief" and its two months prelude when we were deliberately lied about Chavez real status, meant.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

First week campaign round up: Chavez to the museum

We are Friday night and it is fair to evaluate how the first week for our flash elections went.

Needless to say that the marking moments have been the use of Chavez never ending funeral until today when he has been finally placed, for at least a few month, in a museum. How fitting for his backwardness of mind.....

Today images were quite disquieting as to the increasing fascist tone seen all around. I am parsing this post with a few images that show the clear Nurembergish concept,  including a very fascist arm band that even Tibisay Lucena, head of the electoral board CNE wore a few days ago. So much for an impartial umpire. You'll find her in a white shirt in one of these pictures.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Chavez madcap wake

If you did not know better, you would think the country is drunk. It is not, alcohol sale of any type has been banned since Chavez died. You cannot even get a cold beer with your pizza. We do not know whether the regime banned alcohol sales until next Saturday at least because they wanted to make sure we all mourned or because they did not want the world seeing chavistas drink in the street....

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A few points on the April 14 election

Before we start discussing the short lived campaign it may be good to establish a few facts that, from pollsters to journalists through blog readers of this or any other blog, all may want to keep at hand at all times.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

BBC radio podcast

I finally found the podcast from last Wednesday at the BBC. But it is only up for another 48 hours. I downloaded it but now I have to figure out a way to put it up for good somewhere. Meanwhile if you are still interested go to the BBC page where you can find it going down the page at
WHYS 60: Are you mourning Hugo Chavez?
Wed, 6 Mar 13
WARNING: my audio was rather lousy, apparently I was the only one on skype......
Now let's see if the TV one comes on someday....

UPDATE And there is the permanent link!

Goodbye Globovision, goodbye freedom of information

Tonight we had final confirmation that the sale of Globovision has been accorded, to a group of financiers that are rumored not to be too distant from the regime. I am choosing the link from El Pais in Spain to announce it so that we detach ourselves a little bit of the local emotion, one I refused to participate in as soon as the first tweets popped this past week end. And also because as far as Venezuela is concerned El Pais, mistaken Chavez picture in its cover or not, has the best track record on Venezuela info overall in the last decade.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Of course I am going to vote for Maduro....

Unacceptable words of Maduro "I am one that likes women and yes, I have children". Someone from the left would never say such a thing.

And the homophobia card has been used a few minutes ago, when Maduro registered his name for the April 14 vote, as already reported in twitter.

PS: never mind the time stamp, when you embed a tweet in blogger it seems to pick up a fantasy time, in the future this time around....

De la enmienda panteonica y otras necedades

Resulta que antes de acostarme leo que Maduro, que aparentemente no creé que las tiene todas consigo para ganar la presidencia, quiere incluir un voto para una enmienda constitucional el 14 de abril. O sea, quiere movilizar el pueblo chavista a votar por él porque por lo menos irían a votar para meter Chávez al Panteón Nacional antes de los 25 años reglamentarios.

Pues bien, vamos a darle el gusto. ¿Se imaginan ustedes lo que pensarán los chavistas cuando Capriles les diga que el no tendrá ningún problema en poner personalmente a Chávez en el Panteón Nacional como signo de reconciliación una vez que el sea presidente? Allí termina el ardid de Maduro....

The presidential-bis Venezuelan campaign started strong, real strong

Well, Capriles words a couple of hours ago had such an effect on Maduro that the guy felt compelled to reply on the spot, something that Chavez rarely did, and when he did was to dismiss the other side without much of a response  His replies came later, in repeat cadenas, using them to do more than just respond, attempting to preempt the counter reply.

Capriles spoke tonight

And he spoke like a statesman.

People know how such speech is important for yours truly, even if dumbed down for general understanding. In English already here. Excerpts anyway.

Oh, by the way, he is running, he trashed Maduro as I could not hear my ears how well he did and let it know clearly that the CNE was not going to have it easy this time around. He also gave the right words, to bring back into the fold even people like Diego Arria.


Which means that he is going to run on principles, the only way to have a fighting chance against that crowd of thugs. Which he called them today that too. Well, not thugs, but liars which is just one step before last.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Why Capriles needs to think about it

Capriles did this tweet a few minutes ago:

where he tells us that his decision will be announced this evening. Why? (1)

Visiting the Chavez mummy (or whatever it is they are doing with the body)

The S.O. went today to inspect the surrounding areas of Los Proceres, the ceremonial avenue that leads to the military installations where Chavez body is on display  He could not access the inner sanctum even for some photos only: for that you need to make the whole line, that starts from the bus station of La Bandera and snakes through Los Proceres until the end. So he told me he will try tomorrow morning early. Meanwhile we get quite a few scenes....

We start with a "panoramic" of three pictures of the line, about half a mile still from Chavez. Note that it is a dry, dry season and the trees have few leaves to offer shade.

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Election date April 14; Capriles candidate with a single unity card

I am at a family event and no time to dig all the info. But it is important to drop a note to state that this is momentous and needs a longer post later. For now:

1) chavismo chose April 14 because once the campaign closes they will keep campaigning anyway under the excuse of celebrating the return of Chavez to power April 13, 2002.

2) that Capriles runs under a single label indicates that at least the lessons of the last two defeats have been processed and we may get a true unity campaign.

3) the tone of Aveledo a few minutes ago and Capriles last night indicate that all is not settled and more surprises are on the way.

See you later.

One down, two more to go

A reader sent me this picture from his TV today during the "state funeral". No comments needed.

Quick summary of the completed coup d'etat in Venezuela

It has been a long week, a lot of posts, a lot of stress. So forgive my brevity and no proof reading.

Como sobreviven las dictaduras

Lo que pasó hoy fueron una serie de desgracias, donde el único momento de dignidad fue inmediatamente saboteado por un diputado de la oposición, Pedro Pablo Fernández. Más que polemizar lo que quiero es aprovechar el momento para explicar cómo es que las dictaduras logran sobrevivir por mas años que los que se merezcan.

Friday, March 08, 2013

All the creeps in Caracas

Boutersee, Obiang, Lukashit (and heir), Ahmadinejerk, Raul (without his own mummy), Zelaya,  and more...

Will the decent ones sake hands with them, appear in pictures with them?  At least Christina Kirchner had the good taste of bailing out before those arrived.

On BBC World News TV in a short while

Supposedly I will be on BBC word news in a little bit less than half an hour. Venezuela Direct TV 768.

Or try to see if your country has a feed from here

After thoughts. I think it went much better than on the radio though for my first appearance on TV ever I understand now why they say it adds 10 kilos and 10 years....

I am off to Caracas now, traffic should be light. If anyone saw the show, please comment, on the content, not on how tired I looked ;)

Cry, my beloved country

That is all that is left to you.

Today has to be one of the most awful days that we have had since El Surpemo reached power, and there have been quite a few of those dreadful days. Maybe today we need only miss those scores that crime targets every day, every single day. After all, the only death that mattered to us all has taken place two days ago. But what we lost today was any pride that our forefathers ever tried to build for us. Today is the final triumph of the  vulgarity that chavismo is and wanted us to become.

The beloved leader of the masses, of those at least that are waiting in line for hours under the sun to see him dead, will be embalmed and displayed as a trophy in an anachronistic museum, to serve of lightning power rod to the mediocre thugs that are attempting to retain office at any cost, and any ridicule.

The mediocrity that would be had waited for their island master to arrive today and pay his respects, and settle the succession. The Constitution has thus been violated further, unrecognizable even by those who wrote it. I never liked that Constitution but I think it deserved better fate than toilet paper. The victims, but idiots nevertheless, stand in line praising the winning leash while mourning the old one.

The wake was prolonged for 7 more days, where it is expected that the country slows to a grind so that the new masters can secure everything and get rid of whatever they dislike. After all, they are counting, they explicitly said so, on the discretion of the independent voices during the long wake to be able to complete their deed in the dark.

We are left to cry, to help drown our decency pangs.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Chavez to be embalmed

Words fail me....

Not playing nice with the dead: Chavez main crimes

The last three days of rounds from blogging world to the official media has revealed one thing at least: supporters of Hugo Chavez still exist  that are only too willing to ignore all of his misdeeds, only too willing to start the processes of beatification to secular left sainthood. It has already been done successfully for Che (remember his crimes?) or Fidel (remember he ordered Che's crimes?). Thus I am not playing nice and even though Chavez is still not buried I want to be on record that no matter what the grieving crowds number, I cannot forget some of his personal crimes. A short list follows.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Blogging the day after Chavez exit

I have the feeling there will be a lot of stuff to say today....  So a single post, updated regularly  but this time from most recent to least recent, avoiding the mistake I did yesterday, sorry.

11:00 PM (final)

Time to close down this day long post with a summary.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Live blogging the last day (?)

As of now and through the evening I will be live blogging haphazardly  That is, as fancy and time allow me I will jot down news and thoughts as the evening progress. Come back on occasion and let's discuss it all together. (Final Update midnight)

Hugo Chavez 1954-2013

As we all anticipated yesterday the denouement was at hand. It came at 4:25 according to the cadena right now. The cadena earlier today must have been a preemptive strike, to start pushing the burden of guilt away from the regime.

May he find the peace that he missed in all his life.

And thus we enter the year of all dangers.

It looks like the hour is coming for Chavez

I am not the one saying it, it comes from the government, that Chavez disease has taken a turn for the worse. I am giving you the Telesur link of Villegas, the communication minister and tonight's cadena.

Monday, March 04, 2013

SIBCI (Seebcee), rhymes with wheeeee!

The latest creation of the regime is a centralized portal to make sure that they all toe the line, stay in tune, and have the message reach all. Portable loud speakers are included in the deal.

Of white ass cheeks and Capriles: looking everywhere for Chavez

When arguments fail, anything is a raft
The regime is managing to reach new lows of ridicule on a daily basis. Today it reached two, TWO.

The first one is from the ex-interior/security minister, noted failure at his job, now governor of Aragua against any logic. Well, he called the student protesting in front of a dependency of the High Court "nalgas blancas", white ass cheeks. El Aissami was talking at a counter rally with chavista "students". Now, in addition of the diverse insults hurled at the opposition students protesting, we need to underscore that El Aissami has in all likelihood very white ass-cheeks  unless he is adept at nude sunbathing. Because he is as white as they come for all of his chavista love.

Friday, March 01, 2013

First 2013 Electoral Survey for Venezuela

ABC of Spain strikes again. According to their latest report, he is in his last throes, was sent to La Orchila, a presidential island that he has set up already in 2011 with a mini hospital for his personal use (modeled on the ones of the Castro's?). I do not know whether ABC is on the mark but in the past they have been proven right more often than wrong and the conspicuous absence of relatives visiting Chavez at the Military Hospital has made too many suspect that he is not there to begin with.

Never mind that for all practical purposes Maduro is on campaign trail since early January; though wits would point out that Venezuela has been for all practical purposes a permanent campaign since mid 1998.....

It is thus time to start a first formal survey of the electoral situation, even though I have been using the tag "2013 elections" for quite a while already.  Fear not, it is going to be rather simple.

El Universal starts editorials

El Universal is the most venerable paper in Venezuela today. Beyond any remarks on its quality it is the longest serving national paper, it is the paper of reference if you will. El Nacional may do better on culture, but the constant editorial line, the circumspection of El Universal sets it apart from other papers of the country. And also, it has been the lone Venezuela paper that can claim to have opposed Chavez regime since the start, since 1992.

And yet El Universal has a strange characteristic: it does not publish a proper editorial. Other papers such as El  Nacional have their daily editorials as happens with papers in the US. And one has its editorial as a cover page, as its main draw, in Tal Cual. But El Universal has not published an editorial in years, that I remember, anyway.  This has changed this week as El Universal published two editorials "Nuestra Tribuna", on its front page (in red in the picture next, for today's editorial; English version here).

It is a refection of the gravity of the situation in Venezuela that El Universal goes out on a limb and starts its editorial with the following sentence, risking the wrath of the regime:

El Vicepresidente Ejecutivo de la República no es un funcionario de elección popular.

The vice president of the republic is not an elected public servant.

I think there is no need to elaborate.