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.
The first mistake was yet another botched devaluation. The problem was not the devaluation per se, we were all expecting it since the defunct SITME had to be replaced. The problem there is that the substitute was announced but not announced and was supposed to start tomorrow and we do not know for sure if it will start or not. Maybe el pueblo does not understand much on devaluation and how it affects their skinny wallet, but they certainly can see the mess in the announcement and that Maduro does not seem to be very much in charge.... At any rate, whatever the regime tried the message received in the end was clear: things are going to get even more expensive and there is no sign of wage increase in the horizon.
The second mistake is a little bit more ethereal but real nevertheless. In some act in Zulia shown in cadena (remember, forced simultaneous broadcast over ALL the airwaves), Maduro sung the Cuban national anthem. I mean, it is OK to pass foreign anthems when a head of state visits. But even if your intention was to thank Cuba for its help in social problem, it is not a good idea to sing its anthem when you pretend to be the president of your country. Or any foreign anthem for that matter, unless like yours truly you have dual citizenship, something by way that disqualifies me to run for president of France or Venezuela.
Meanwhile Capriles keeps his discourse in the forefront in spite of an abuse of public media against him. He is the one setting the agenda and Maduro seems unable to reply except attacking him, and badly. Last October Capriles was already setting the agenda but Chavez could afford not to reply at every turn. It is quite remarkable that in spite of much less resources than last year Capriles is able to pack impromptu large crowds to his meetings. These folks come on foot whereas the ones going to Maduro's events are clearly dragged in and even bitch at him as it happened in Zulia where a woman told him that what they needed was jobs, real jobs (more than social programs? Imagine that! An awakening of the a 47% fringe?)
To end this round up it is important to signal two things: the mean factor in Maduro's camp seems to be increasing, a sure sign that the campaign is not going the way they would like it to go. And also, an increase heat on the CNE which is called more and more on its unfairness The students assaulted this week when they were on their way to submit a petition must have rattled the sacred halls where Tibisay and Soccorro fancied themselves out of reach....