Of course, one must try to evaluate what may happen next Sunday. I, for one, am nonplussed. I still stick to my "47% Venezuelan style" theory and think that we are a lousy people and that we will vote conservative, namely for Maduro. Yes, Maduro is the conservative vote, the one that wants nothing to change, the one that wants to keep receiving stuff for free from the state even if it means accepting precariousness and blackmail as a way of life. In that 47% many consider Maduro a beast, a Cuban mole, but as long as I hold in my hand the little piece of paper where I was promised a home for free I will vote for him anyway, or for anyone there for that matter.
The country sees the private sector in ruin, and yet the bulk fails to associate this with the state policies, fail to understand that if there is no jobs for them it is because of the 14 years of disastrous economic policies which meant the slow and deliberate reduction of the private sector as the only group possessing free will, the real danger for any regime with a totalitarian bent. So they know that the only food they will get is from the government. The paradox here is that they have internalized this and blame their dependency from the government, because they are not happy about the crumbs they receive, on any one but the government and themselves. This goes beyond the Stockholm syndrome, chavismo charts new roads for psychiatry.
Yes, of course, there is all of that self esteem that the brown classes have won against the self sufficiency of the white social elite. Was I cliché enough? Should I lay it thicker? Does it matter that my pictures of last Sunday in Caracas were eloquent as to racial mix that marched for Capriles? after 14 years, from the Carter Center to too many in the world press are only too happy to wallow in those images. But let's face it: any achievement on this respect one could credit chavismo was gained in the very first years of his regime. If by 2004 your regained self esteem was the only motor to keep voting for Chavez then your problems went beyond self-esteem. Now you are oppressed but at least you are oppressed by brown skinned thugs against which the regime does not dare act. Those thugs maybe those down your street or the uniformed ones at check points, they are one and the same. I suppose in a way choosing your oppressor can be called progress.
When a country has fallen so low, when social-hatred-pass-the-buck is now the accepted state policy, what can we really expect? Can Capriles change anything?
I certainly hope Capriles wins and I certainly hope that he can change things, but going to vote next Sunday with any illusion beyond the "it will at least not get worse" is a folly. We need to go and vote for Capriles but with the clear understanding that whoever wins very difficult years lay ahead of us.
A Maduro victory will mean that tensions within chavismo among those who want a further march toward the totalitarian state and those who want to enjoy their larcenies will reach a breaking point and thus create a real risk for civil war. It will mean that the chavista followers will increase their demands at a point where the state cannot even pretend to fulfill them anymore. Thus the only way to satisfy them will be to throw to the dogs what is left of the private sector, of individual property. And that is why the civil war will be started from inside chavismo, when the radicals decide to have it with the corrupt.
A Capriles victory will mean that chavismo will unite to sabotage him. True, maybe, just maybe, some will "defect" to his side but I can assure you that starting Monday April 15 people like Arreaza and Jaua and Rodriguez and Ramirez will start planning a Caracazo 2. That they succeed is another matter, but their preparations certainly will be a major thorn in the social fabric of Venezuela. A Capriles victory will also demand, literally, a lean military and the corrupt generals, fat on corruption and narco traffic are not going to like that. And I mention these two sectors only because I could go on the many groups that have become parasites and are not going to take it lightly to be cut off.
So, when you vote next Sunday, fret not. The result in a way is immaterial. We are screwed. Monday 15 is when we start paying for all the mess Chavez left us, whoever wins.