I will vote for Capriles, and you should too

I am going to vote for Henrique Capriles on February 12th, and I am asking you to do the same.

This will come as no surprise to frequent readers, but I would like to lay out my reasoning explicitly so, hopefully, you’ll come to the same conclusion.

1) He is our best candidate against Chávez. These are not just conjectures. It’s not a subjective appreciation. Polls show that Capriles’ position in a head-to-head against Chávez is better than that of any other candidate.

This trend has not changed in the last few months. With only a few weeks to go, it seems like Capriles is our best bet for October’s election.

2) He is the most experienced of the serious candidates. Compared to Leopoldo, Pablo Perez, and Maria Corina, Henrique is by far the most experienced. With 13 years in both legislative and executive office, Capriles was first elected before Chávez was.

But it’s not just the amount of experience, but the kind of experience he has.

Pablo Pérez took over the governorship of Zulia, a state that his party has governed for a long time, from his political mentor. Leopoldo López governed Chacao, not exactly a hotbed of revolutionary fervor, and even that was a few years go. Maria Corina Machado has barely any public experience at all.

Despite being the youngest of the bunch, Capriles has amassed an impressive résumé: congressman, mayor, and then beating Chávez’s dauphin in the race to run the crucial Miranda State.

Let’s remember that when Capriles took over the governorship of Miranda from Diosdado Cabello, he had to deal with an entrenched PSUV bureaucracy, negotiate the numerous roadblocks thrown his way, and untangle the disaster he inherited, all the while losing competencies one after the other.

In those adverse conditions, he’s run a government that puts his anti-polarization rhetoric to work day after day, building bridges and trust with his chavista constituents on his way to becoming one of the most popular governors in the country.

Capriles is the only candidate who could go to a Consejo Comunal in Caucagüita and slowly grind down their resistance until they start to work together with him. Neither Leopoldo, nor Maria Corina, nor Pablo have proven they can do that.

This is important because dealing with the tangled legacy of chavista mismanagement constructively will be one of the biggest challenges any new President will face. Capriles has shown he knows how to do this, and do it well.

3) He has been the best campaigner. Capriles understands better than any of his competitors that campaigning is as much about what you don’t say as it is about what you say. His message discipline has been nothing short of remarkable throughout.

True, his delivery is not the most engaging. Yes, he frowns and scowls a lot. But if you ask anyone on the street a simple summary of what Capriles’ campaign is all about, they will be able to tell you.

That doesn’t happen by chance. It happens when you know yourself, know your message, know what you’re about, and set out to communicate it relentlessly. His discipline is nothing short of inspiring.

Most importantly, his strategy in this primary has been pretty close to impeccable. Faced with a big advantage at the start, he is running a general-election campaign. Understanding how difficult it is to cement a message in Venezuela’s red, very red airwaves, he barely talks about the opposition, focusing instead on a message of unity and results. It’s not a coincidence he’s so far ahead in the lead: Capriles gets strategic messaging, his competitors don’t.

4) He has forged smart alliances. Coming into this campaign, there was a chance that Capriles would be framed as a rabid right-winger. That hasn’t happened, in part because of Capriles’ smart endorsement seeking.

He didn’t actively pursue the adecos, or the copeyanos, or Proyecto Venezuela. Instead, he focused on two key players, both of them chavistas until quite recently: Ismael García and his Podemos party, and Henri Falcón, the popular governor of Lara.

Those alliances reinforce Capriles’ message of unity – a unity not just within the traditional opposition, but one that reaches out into the swelling ranks of disaffected former chavistas. If people like Ismael García and Henri Falcon – men who worked for Chavez tirelessly for 9 or 10 of the last 12 years – can trust him, how right-wing can he really be?

The ability to forge smart alliances is crucial going into the post-February 12th world, when the MUD and the Capriles campaign (if he wins) begin a complicated merger process.

5) He needs to win big. This last one is kind of tautological, but bear with me.

You should consider voting for Capriles even if you don’t think he’s the best candidate for the job, simply because at this point, he’s very likely to win. And given that he’s likely to win, we are much better off if he wins big.

A small victory for Capriles (say, a 35-30-25 scenario) would send a mixed signal going forward, empowering the losers and making the formation of the necessary alliances more difficult. A strong win would leave him much better placed to rally the base, win over the middle ground and win in October.

So if you’re still on the fence, I say vote smart: support the front-runner so our candidate has the strong mandate and undoubted legitimacy he’ll need take the fight to Chávez this fall.

There you have it: he is the best chance we’ve got, he has the experience, he campaigns well, he knows how to forge smart alliances, and he needs to win big. On February 12th, I’m voting for Henrique Capriles.

148 thoughts on “I will vote for Capriles, and you should too

  1. And remember: Capriles does not have “un pelo de pendejo”, he knows very well what he is doing. A new generation, with new software, is taking over!


      HE HAS, OF COURSE, THE BEST TV SPOTS, BUT IS THAT ENOUGH? YOU SAY THAT if you ask anyone on the street a simple summary of what Capriles’ campaign is all about, they will be able to tell you. WELL, I MADE THAT AND I FOUND NO ONE ABLE TO ANSWER THE QUESTION.



        Why, yes! Of course it does matters! If the next president does not listen to his citizens and improve the quality of life, he’s toast. Have you forgotten about something called “fOURTH rEPUBLIC”?



        I’m not attacking your arguments, but just the style. Makes them look like they were written by an angry person.


  2. I will vote for Capriles because I have seen how he can listen to the average Venezuelan, not talk down to him as the military Chávez does.

    I will vote for Capriles because he was personally engaged in making the PISA programme be implemented in Miranda state, he looked for the money needed and managed to get it in spite of the military Chávez government dirty tricks to stop him (like blocking the aid from the Latin American development bank).

    I will vote for Capriles because PJ, even if it isstill too Caracas-UCAB-centered, is the party that is trying to get away from the caudillo approach that so much has plagued Venezuela and towards the essence of what a party should be: a group of people with a project.

    I want to see a guy like Maragall as minister of education.

    I will never “marry” a party, but given the circumstances, I think Capriles is the best choice.


    • A bit OT: Kepler are you voting in Germany? My cousin lives in Cologne and not sure if the consulate in Frankfurt will host the primary election.


  3. A post-script on this post: I felt like I needed to come out and be honest about who I’m supporting in this election, and I hope those of you who support other candidates don’t hold this against me. It’s my opinion, simple as that, just like everyone has their own.

    Quico had a great phrase when he read the post the other day: it’s too much “I’m eating my vegetables, and you should too!”

    That’s probably right, but it’s done on purpose. My goal is not to inspire – those of you who have yet to be inspired by the Capriles campaign are not going to be lit up by someone telling you how great he is. Rather, my goal is to stimulate the mind, the strategic vote, by outlining the rational reasons why he has earned my vote.

    But I do want to make clear that I have been pretty inspired by the Capriles campaign. The people that are working close to him are good people. The honesty when he speaks about his background and his faith speaks to me. And his message of unity and reconciliation has made me a believer. More than the others, I think he knows who he is and has a vision for the country, one that we can all share in and work toward.

    True, the other candidates are all good in their own way. But Capriles speaks to ordinary Venezuelans about their day-to-day issues in a way that the others don’t. It’s very impressive, and it’s a skill he is only going to improve upon.

    And a final note: I don’t know the man personally, so this is not a “he’s my buddy” kind of support. In fact, of all the candidates, the only one I know personally is Leopoldo, who I hope can forgive me for not voting for him. This is also not ideological – if I were to vote for the person who is most closely mirroring my policy preferences, I would vote for Maria Corina Machado, the best debater of all the candidates.

    Capriles’ strong campaign trumps all that.


    • Great reasons JC, and well presented.I almost agree.I just have one exceptional but compelling thought.I think when people are too compromised ( like most politicians are in the sense of forging allies with people who might not be in the people’s best interest or who are very contaminated), there is a great risk of falling back into old established patterns, rather than forging a truly new path.

      Venezuela has caudillistic tendencies, and the people who supported Chavez in his path would have to support them as well for supporting an ex golpista and authoritarian personality.Not only that- but the opposition has remained passive throughout all these years showing a strong cultural tendency to allow cuadillismo to flourish.This has to change if want to improve Venezuela.

      For this reason I would prefer the power of M Corina’s message which is quite possibly transforming in the sense that she inspires people to be strong and not accept authoritarianism.I think when a country has been oppressed as much as Venezuela has, and when the people are so used to it to the point of hardly protesting at all, the likelihood that the soft and compromised personality of Capriles could truly lead the way out is somewhat doubtful.

      But I hear power in MCM’s delivery. just as I did in that of Martin Luther King .Below we see a similar message…quotes from King that are ringing bells.:

      1.A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.

      2.He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.

      3.A man can’t ride your back unless it’s bent.Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom

      4.Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.

      This is the only message that I think could truly transform Venezuela.Without its inspiration, we are in danger of falling back into old patterns.

      But maybe Venezuela is not ready….maybe the interests groups are just too powerful, then the second best option might be Capriles, the great compromiser.


      • FP, I second your feelings. I moved from HCR to MCM for those reasons. I think Venezuela needs the level of sacrifice that MCM has shown. JC is right that MCM doesn’t have many of the qualifications that HCR has. But it strikes me a she is doing all this out of a “moral obligation”. An obligation that I don’t see in any of the other candidates.

        I would’ve prefer for people to vote for whoever they think is best and then let’s figure out how can we make the best beat Chavez.

        I agree that HCR seems to be the most straightforward right now, the easiest way out of this. But not sure if the easiest is what we need now.

        But perhaps we are still not ready. We haven’t hit rock bottom quite yet.


      • What firepigette writes is the reason why I’m still undecided. HCR wins on electability, experience and his capacity on bringing the country together. But MCM is running on making real change, stand on true principles and asking people to do what’s necessary to help the nation.


      • I’ve got a question – a difficult one, perhaps, but an honest one. I am trying neither to convince nor be convinced, since I do not have a vote in Venezuela, but rather am trying to raise an issue I think all Venezuelan voters should consider.

        Is MCM or HCR the better choice looking towards the next presidential election? (Assuming either one wins, of course. If Hugo wins again, this point is irrelevant.)

        I worry very much about a non-Chavista President having such an unpopular term that it enourages voters to usher Chavez (or a similar enough demagogue) back into office next time around. In Latin America there is a long (much too long) tradition of new Presidents veering so far to the opposite of their predecessor that they make little actual forward progress, leading to dissatisfaction. Little by little (or sometimes by leaps and bounds), the whole country falls behind, increasing dissatisfaction, which perversely makes it more difficult for a new President to succeed, even with the best of intentions (which is unfortunately far too rare). I consider Argentina the best example of this I know, but Venezuela also fits the bill.

        So in that light, who is the bigger risk? MCM deserves kudos for facing up to Chavez in person, to be sure, but as President, would she be too different, which would lead people back towards the “good old days” (remember, negative perceptions fade faster with time!) of Chavismo? Is a middle-of-the-road, comprpomise path like that of HCR more likely to stabilize things? Each of those questions must be weighed against the alternative, in a risk/reward way. Would the HCR path bring too little change, while MCM would create enough?

        One irony of this consideration is that, should MCM become President, HCR could be a reasonable choice as successor. But if HCR succeeds, MCM’s present strengths become less relevant by the next election.

        Like I said, I don’t vote in Venezuela, and maybe this helps me take the long-term view. I don’t have the answer, but I absolutely believe this factor must be considered.


        • You bring up a very important point and I’m amazed that nobody has commented on it yet. I believe Chavez is the best example.
          My point remains: the next government has to be a transitional one. A government that brings peace and starts the colossal task of bringing the people together, so it can build the proper foundations for a better democratic system. The only one, in my opinion, that is trying to bring the people together is HCR.


        • AIO, always a pleasure to have insight into your thinking.

          Along those lines I also wonder which of the candidates is least likely to take advantage of the power position into which chavez has turned the presidency. Let’s remember, the petrostate is now handling more than 5 times the budget to which CAP had access. Money is power, and with great power comes…


        • Carolina, yes indeed. The next President has to be less focused on undoing everything Chavez has done than s/he is on laying the groundwork for future political generations to do what needs to be done. They need to be thinking about the former constantly, but not committed to doing so at any cost.

          Extorres, back at you, my friend. But when you talk about power there, I’m inclined to think about political power, instead. Which is the one most likely to take the power they receive and use it to make sure future Presidents don’t have the same amount of power, but can truly be limited by checks and balances? The petrodollars may well be essential in that process.


      • FP,

        You make some good points, however, I don’t think Venezuela is yet ready for any radical shift. HCR, if elected, and if allowed to govern, would be the agent that starts Venezuela on path to healing the damage done to its national identity. I think he has the best chance of allowing Venezuela to avoid a civil war.

        I personally like MCM’s message, but Venezuela is not yet ready for it. Maybe after HCR’s term, it will be.


        • You might be right Roy, sometimes I think the same thing, only if we were ready MCM would be the best option by far I think.


      • Comparing MCM to MLK makes me fall out of my chair in laughter. One was a black pastor and descendant of former slaves fighting some of the worst violence and racial repression ever seen on the planet, the other is a rich girl from one of the richest families in the country who has never seen the slightest bit of violence or repression in her life.


        • I agree with what you say that the comparison might be a little too much. That can pass as an argument. The fact that she can’t be a person that pursuits social justice because is a “rich girl” is not an argument.

          Also, you don’t have to be the victim of the repression or violence to be against it.


          • You’re right, the fact that she is a “rich girl” doesn’t prove it. What proves it is her support of the dissolution of Venezuelan democratic institutions and brutal repression of popular uprisings during the 2002 coup, her relationship to mass-murderer George W. Bush, her receipt of funding from CIA front organizations like NED, etc. etc.

            I mean, she’s almost exactly like MLK, right?


            • We wouldn’t want to support a coup-plotter, someone who receives assistance and support from outside organizations that use violence and repression, someone who engages in the dissolution of democratic institutions, and someone who associates with mass murderers, would we, Get a Clue? That would be a big mistake. Right?


        • If she had not seen violence and repression in her life, the Chavista bikers sure gave her a primer on it. However, comparing her to MLK is ludicrous indeed.

          Keep away from ridiculous arguments, please


        • Get a Clue:

          I am not comparing the 2 people as much as I am comparing their messages- that is my point.Their messages are similar:She is telling the oppressed in Venezuela to stand up straight, and not let themselves be oppressed.We are talking about different concepts of leadership here.


      • Firepigette,
        How dare you to compare MCM to MLK. She does not hold a candle to him and the comparison is offensive. She does not have one millimeter of the oratory skills that MLK had. What “freedom” are you referring to in your post? Comparing the struggles of African Americans in the 1960s to what you believe is happening in Venezuela today is absolutely ludicrous. Measure your words and thoughts.


    • Hola Juan Cristobal,

      Me llamo Bernardo Garcia, y escribo de parte de VICE TV. Busco comunicarme en relacion a un documental que nos gustaria realizar en Caracas. No he podido encontrar un correo o telefono donde localizarte pero te dejo mi email, que es bernardo.garcia at vice dot com. Gracias por tu atencion y espero que estemos en contacto.

      Un cordial saludo desde Nueva York.


    • JC,
      I guess that what bothers me is not your endorsing, but the absolute lack of vetting so far. After these so called “debates” are we sure that Capriles is the right guy for the job? I am not so sure, and you even concedes that MCM was the better in the several presentations.
      As you mention, all the candidates are good, but I DO actually hope that we get not only the less controversial, but the absolute best of them.
      Like you mention, HRC has several strong points, but he is far from perfect. He lacks Arria’s mature perspective, Lopez’s charisma or the bravery of Machado. Unfortunately we cannot glue the 6 candidates together to make our ideal candidate.
      Can he improve? I hope he does, because Miranda is not Miraflores, and these jackals do know what is at stakes. They’re not gonna play nice, and I hope he actually is prepare for what’s coming next.
      Is he prepared? I hope he does, because we are going to need someone of the stature of Betancourt to outmaneuver the mess he’s getting into.

      Like I said down here. I am not concerned just because HRC is the front-runner. Were Lopez/Machado/Arria/Perez the front-runner, I’d be asking similar questions… I do hope we’re picking the right guy for the job…


      • “He lacks … the bravery of Machado. ”
        how do you figure?

        “because Miranda is not Miraflores, and these jackals do know what is at stakes”
        maybe i just don’t get what you mean but: venezuela is not miraflores?. I get the impression that people are iffy on Capriles because they think that he needs to win an arm-wrestling contest or a shoving match or something on october 7th and not an election and he doesn’t seem macho enough for the part. The thinking seems to be “he is not strident enough, he must be a pendejo”. Of course, this is a sophisticated audience so we hear about HCR the cypher and how “vague” he seems.

        The following should not be news: the only way to win the election is to win by *at the very least* 60-40. The opposition has to deliver the streets and, among other things, JC argues that HCR is the likeliest oppo candidate to do so(*). If the contest were only or even mostly about being deft at making sure the right military beaks get properly wet, then sure, Arria or even PP could be considered more suitable. But that’s the kind of thinking that brought us the Carmona presidency.

        (*) Although I agree with JC’s assesment, I do think that MCM’s capacity to mobilize voters (in the alternate universe where she happened to win the primaries) is being underestimated a bit. That could be part and parcel with an overestimation of how “sifrina” she comes across (and yes, that has been discussed plenty here already). In any case, to consider her potential mostly in light of her recent popularity among the
        marialexandra lopez set is to do her a disservice.


        • “He lacks … the bravery of Machado.” – Yes, I know that HRC’s campaign strategy is to defuse any polarization-bomb that might come his way. But is it THAT hard to call things by its name, just like Machado did in her brief intervention last week? If you don’t want to call things by their name, fine, that’s politics. But to pretend that Franklin Brito’s death was meaningless is a shame…

          “because Miranda is not Miraflores, and these jackals do know what is at stakes” – I stick to my guns. What happened when HRC won Miranda? They stripped resources and competencies away. from him Can they do the same if they lose Miraflores – i,e, FONDEN, International loans and PDVSA aka Chavez’s piggy bank? No. They could afford to lose Miranda, but they CANNOT lose Miraflores under any circumstance.

          “If the contest were only or even mostly about being deft at making sure the right military beaks get properly wet, then sure, Arria or even PP could be considered more suitable” – I just finished reading “Gobierno en Mano”, Tejera Paris’ memoir. It’s very interesting stuff to learn – at least partially – about our first democratic government: the conspiracies from left and right that led to El Carupanazo, El Porteñazo and the magnicide attempt against Betancourt, the internal quarrels inside Pacto de Punto Fijo and AD/MIR, and the efforts to prove democracy as a better alternative to dictatorship – not only inside but outside the country.
          Reading that, I realize how difficult is going to be. Do you actually think that the military are going to just sit in their bayonets? Do you think that chavismo might not as well conspire AGAIN to bring down an oppo government in the name of El Pueblo? Do you really think they are above that? What about the internal quarrel inside the MUD? Do you really believe that Borges can play well with others i.e. AD and Copei? Will be HRC capable of overcoming that?
          I insist, I might be splitting hairs here, but we need some serious vetting. If nobody else does it, the least I can do is to play some Devil’s advocate here…


          • “Will be HRC capable of overcoming that?”

            Will *any* of them? We don’t know! The answer may well be *NO* for *all* of them! However, the MUD could send Chuck friggin’ Norris into Miraflores , gun down the whole “derecha endógena” while they’re at it, and it won’t matter one bit if 45% or more of the people are still intent on seeing their Comandante remain in power.


  4. Capriles has my vote, PJ does not. They have improved their ways, but not long ago Julio Borges had caudillo tendencies and handled the party as such. Good thing he has taken a step back and decided to let the younger guys run for office.


    • younger guys?
      Julio Borges has the same age as Leopoldo… just one year older than HCR.
      you should read more.
      the problem with Borges is not his age, maybe his lack of charisma… nonetheless the guy has a very clear sense of what the state should be.
      nobody recognize him for voting in 2005 election. in fact, back then almost everybody said he was just being stupid… now, everybody acknowledge that 2005 was a big mistake.
      read read read read


      • Wow, I guess I should read more, lol.

        I may have some facts wrong I guess, I do believe PJ has changed for the better, leaving Borges in working the backrooms and letting HCR, Ocariz, Caldera (whom I downright despise, and would never vote for) get more involved.

        My problems with Borges are:

        1) His clear caudillo tendencies, he wanted to run for president independently of the rest of the parties and run PJ by the finger (IMHO).

        2) His questionable links with Víctor Vargas (through Ramon José Medina), and Wilmer Ruperti (corrupt red billionaire business man).

        And I´ll leave it there for now for the sake of the thread, HCR has my vote, he is our best hope, hopefully he´ll bring some of his corrupt family members before a judge, but that would just be a bonus.


        • Sorry Feto but you’ll have to grow up beyond the Zygote stage on this issue. Accusing Julio Borges of caudillismo is downright mental.

          Borges must be the least protagonismo-seeking political leader Venezuela has seen in many years. Here’s a guy who mentored a generation of some of the most talented, innovative politicians Venezuela has seen in a generation – not just Capriles and Ocariz but Blyde, Dinora Figuera, A. Briquet and Leopoldo himself, plus a dozen others you haven’t heard of but WILL have heard of before the decade is out – then did the exact opposite of what a caudillo might have, getting out of their way, letting them develop profiles and styles of their own, never insisting on making himself THE candidate or THE powerbroker but instead pushing them to take on those roles…and he has “clear caudillistic tendencies”!??!?


          • He has changed, thankfully, not long ago he ran for President based on the fact, that well, he wanted to, and dragged his party with him… Let´s not forget the debate and power struggle within PJ and how it paned out.

            Borges realized that he is by no means a popular politician, hence he changed, he adapted himself which I comend him for, I still think he has done a lot of stuff wrong and that his past handling of Primero Justicia was Ramos Allupesque at best, the fallout with LL, Liliana, Blyde and others gave the party, and specially Borges a huge black eye, although I am sure there is a lot more to that story than we know.

            One very positive thing we can thank PJ and Borges for is that the middle/high class of Caracas (and now in other urban areas) became much more politically active, which is huge. PJ has changed the way politics are seen by many people and gave politics a fresh face, at least for me it did.

            I still think there is a lot of oportunismo and corruption going on in PJ, but then again, every party has their “financial arm”.


            • Hell, even if he had the caudillo bug he forever endeared himself to me by grabbing the mostly thankless job of going on TV and try to teach Venezuela about the rule of law. We may need TV-judge Borges more than ever if a post-Chavez era ever comes.


  5. I don’t know. I always considered the primaries as an opportunity to vote for the person I consider would do the best job as president. I don’t think the winner has to “win big” if there truly is unity in the MUD. If there is not then Chavez is on for another term. I also don’t believe that his alliances are so smart, but there again isn’t the MUD and it’s integral individual political party machinery dedicated to support whoever wins in the run to October? I don’t live in an area that has been affected by HCR’s political past, I have only seen and heard the guy on TV. I am going to vote for the person I think would be best for Venezuela, if she doesn’t win then I will support in October whoever does.


  6. When I think of Radonski I remeber that were upon a time when Arias Cárdenas was Chavez contender. What piss me off, is the feeling that it´s concentrated in winning the chavist vote and take the opposition vote for granted. I want to know what it´s his project to Venezuela in a way I can agree or disagree with him. But so far it´s just a pretty speech. He says that he is going to generate jobs by making grow the industry, but he doesn´t say how he is going to achieve this. He is going to raise or lower the taxes? How he is going to manage the international relationships? Is he going to eliminate the monetary control right away? I just want to know this things in order to agree or disagree with him, but in the meantime I can do neither. The only candidate that is telling (By my point of view) what is his plan with concrete answers wasn´t even named in this article. And it´s by far the most experienced candidate of the bunch.
    I can’t vote for example for the (popular capitalism) of MCM when even she can’t explain it. I have the same feeling for HCR, only he can explain his plan but as you say he don’t say it. I will not vote on february 12. It’s my only way to protest for the way I feel the candidates had insulted my intelligence by appealing my emotions and not my reason.
    I will vote however on october, for the one that got victory in february, but i’m going to vote my fingers pinching around to nose in order to outstay the stench.


      • Is that the way to make me think otherwise? Matándome a coñazos? It´s just a dumb commentary or a real treat of a metaphorical beat up? Why is that? This was my first post on CC but if I’m not allowed to express my opinion and tell you all that the situation is that even i’m totally disagree with Chávez and his corrupt goverment I don’t representated by any of the candidates of MUD I will stop follow the blog. It’s not a treat because obviously I’m not going to be missed, but just encourage me in the belief that the time is darker that it seems. If is true what you say then maybe you just want to read your opinions in a different redaction.


        • oh don’t take yourself so seriously, for godsake…I was trying to lure Raul into this part of the blog because he can be tremendously entertaining and vituperative when he lays into the “this-democracy-stuff-is-sooooo-far-below-my-dignity” crowd.

          To get at the substance – all six candidates are pledged to a minimum common platform that MUD is going to unveil on 23 de enero. You can read the basic outline here:


          Obviously the common platform is more a loose set of guidelines than a rigid governing program, and there’ll be room for the winning candidate to stamp his or her own style on the actual governing platform. But the basic thrust of gradualist economic reform is one that will be kept even if the government spikes the nation’s drinking water with LSD on Feb. 12th and Diego Arria wins.


          • Sorry for my over reaction. It’s just that I have been in so many fruitless, stupid discussions where I have been treated with arguments ad hominem and not so metaphorical beatups that i’m prejudiced about everything. This was my first commentary And yours was the first response I get. With my background didn’t cause a good impression don’t you think?


            • Reinaldo Chacon:
              Your decision to vote or not on the 12th is yours to make, for whatever reason you think is best.

              However, by not voting you sell yourself short, and you lose a chance to send a message to Chavez y sus 40 ladrones.

              It is almost as important to vote on Feb 12 as it is to vote Oct. 7th. You may feel insulted or whatever by the messages from the candidates, but surely you can see that this is the time for a certain way to message certain sectors of our population, because we are not in Switzerland yet, mi pana.

              And yes, it sucks it is this way, but it just gives us something to work towards, no?

              So hold your nose, or whatever, and cast a vote for the person you think should be president next October, and let the Chavistas know that their time is up.


            • I agree with Roberto N. Voting on Feb. 12th is important because it sends a message to Chavez and to the world that we can do better than him, that Venezuela needs something different, that the mess we’re in can not continue.

              I understand your reservations about the options available, but this primary is not just about choosing who will challenge Chavez on October 7th, but about starting to take the country back to a more stable, peaceful and better place.


          • Absolutely hilarious that you have to go to Bloomberg and read it in English to know what the Venezuelan opposition’s political platform is. People in Venezuela certainly don’t know what it is, and they aren’t supposed to, because it is basically a return to the IMF shock treatment that created riots in 1989. Good luck with that!


        • Reinaldo, welcome. It’s a pleasure to see you here. I have been waiting for you to show up for a while.

          It was an obvious joke, but I understand your reaction. However, Quico es un gran mamador de gallo. After all, our motherland is a joke, isn’t it?


          • Yes I get it now. But like I was saying i’m so prejudiced know that I i’m getting serious problems telling jokes apart. It’s funny that even when this site is in english I can’t stop reading our slang and from your post I realize for the first time that we can’t translate mamador de gallo to english without getting an insult. And about our motherland of course its a joke, a dangerous, dangerous joke.


            • Thank you, Reinaldo.

              For the first time in 48 years I just realized how dangerous it is to literally translate mamador de gallo into English!!


            • @Roberto N. I know this it’s overtwist the idea, but imagine an scenario were the primary doesn’t get the amount of votes to send a message to Chávez, partly because people like me, that does’t like the propositions of the candidates, and doesn’t believe that the debate wasn’t a debate at all (more some sort of “Who wants to be a President”), but will vote against Chávez everytime needed. Is it not a better picture to run against an overconfident Chávez because a faliure on February, that one that it´s an upside down cat for an overwhelming attendance and voting for HCR


    • You say this: “It’s my only way to protest for the way I feel the candidates had insulted my intelligence by appealing my emotions and not my reason.”

      Sadly, not only are Venezuelan voters much more about emotions, but so is everyone else. Anyone who knows anything about political communication will tell you the same thing. Political marketing is aimed at moving your emotions first, reason comes much later. Of course you’ve got to put your money where your mouth is, but you’ve got to feel it first. Chavez does it extremely well. Creating an emotional link with his average voter. So much so, that our best hope of beating him is having his electoral base so estrange that they don’t go vote at all. Its the only thing they will do, lest they betray the emotional link they’ve acquired with Chavez.

      Everyone knows that’s the way we won the constitutional referendum back in the day, and everyone knows that’s how we got 52% of the popular vote for the national assembly.


  7. As I wrote on an earlier post, I haven’t decided my vote for Feb. 12th, narrowing the choice to HCR and MCM. The arguments for HCR that I have are similar to what have you described.

    Great article, JC. This kind of posts help to clear any doubts.


  8. I give you 1 and 2. I can give you 3, just because the numbers in the polls say he’s the front-runner. I personally believe that LL and MCM have done better so far, but that’s probably because they’re better speakers and HRC has played it safe and kept dodging wedge issues.
    Regarding 4, I hardly agree. Have we forget how Ismael Garcia got wikileaked? Just a reminder: http://www.semana.com/mundo/wikileaks-venezuela-opositores-venezolanos-pidieron-ayuda-eeuu/159110-3.aspx
    I don’t like Mr. García. I don’t like Mr. Borges either. And no matter how hard I try to forget it, I cannot ignore that they’ll play some role in HRC’s government. YUCK.
    About number 5, well, that’s just wishful thinking. HRC might as well win 9 to 1, but AD, Copei, UNT will not relinquish their share of the cake. As for rallying the base, it’s up to the winner and nobody else. I would prefer someone not as bland as HRC, but what the hell. I hope he gets better as speaker…


  9. JC,
    I praise your efforts for trying to keep it as neutral as possible. Although your laudatory comments on HRC were a bit annoying a couple of times, I wouldn’t go as far as to ask to change the name of the blog to PJ’s chronicles (like someone suggested in the past).
    Unfortunately, I cannot say the same about some comments made by Mr. Toro, who seems to enjoy throwing darts at every candidate not named HRC. So far, the harshest criticism on HRC was that he doesn’t smile so easily… really?
    Normally the candidate who is leading in the polls is the one that we should be analyzing more critically, don’t you think? Otherwise, how can we be sure that this guy will resist the shoots coming from the blahblah commander??


    • Let me just assure you that it’s not as though I’m holding my fire on HCR out of some kind of tactical calculation – the guy just hasn’t done anything to set me off yet.

      He doesn’t pander, he doesn’t promise impossible things, he doesn’t fall into no-win confrontations, he doesn’t go off on self-aggrandizing rants.

      The moment he does any of those things, I’ll be on him.

      But then, that’s the point about message discipline – he knows how to use strategic silences to build a coalition.


      • Yeap, HCR doesn’t say or do anything. :)

        That’s precisely what is setting a bunch of people around here off.

        I agree that silences are required, but he has to tell his electorate where he stands in the outstanding issues that the country has.


        • Those of you longing for more policy detail should consider something: this primary is about style, not about substance.

          If the Programa de Gobierno is being worked on by the MUD, why should Capriles drown us with specifics? It’s not like he will have much elbow room if he wins. El programa es el de la MUD.

          No, this primary is about style, about *how* he will govern, not what he will do when he gets there. We may not like it, but that’s coalition politics for you.


          • Wait, what? If the MUD has already a program and there’s no maneuvering room for the winner, why would we bother even going to the primary? That’s a silly argument. Yes, there’s some general program being worked out by the MUD, but we’re not picking a “style”. We’re picking someone to fix this mess we’re in. And that means someone capable of making tough decisions and fight against a congress, a supreme court and a very tough opposition. We need someone not only capable of creating consensus, but someone capable of twist – or even break – the opposition’s arm. Kumbaya and wishful thinking sometime won’t cut it.
            Sorry, but we are not picking Miss Congeniality here, are we? Yes, before dealing with these problems you need to win the elections, but they’re not going to dissapear just because you ignore them, are they?
            Sorry, but no matter how much people dislike Arria, he has a point there…


      • So it’s better to vote for a “diente roto” than for someone who actually speaks out what he/she thinks. The points made by JC are valid – at least 1, 2 and 3 – but to vote for him because he is the least controversial candidate is not something that I can embrace.
        You might call it “strategic silence”, but what I see is a different form of pandering: there’s no need to promise impossible things, because that’s the status quo! He just need avoid saying that the next government will stop the giveaways and that should be enough.
        Yes, he has some generic proposals, but I see no content whatsoever there. Do you see something there that I don’t? It doesn’t matter if you want it or not, but in the next months the MUD candidate will be under hard scrutiny. I would prefer it to take place BEFORE the primary and not after it.


          • You’re right, and that’s one of the point I concede to JC somewhere else in this comment section. He does have a track record and that’s probably his strongest point. However, I have my doubts about how is he going to face the problems I mentioned above: a congress and a supreme court that will do anything to sink his government and Chavez as leader of the opposition.
            Yes, HRC might as well defeat Chavez, but does he have the mettle to withstand a full frontal attack – not from Diosdado – but from Chavez himself? Because the chavismo can afford to lose Miranda, but not Miraflores. That’s an ENTIRE different game.
            Honestly, I would be as concerned if the front-runner were Perez, Lopez, Machado or Arria. None of them is perfect, although each one has something I like. Probably I am just splitting hairs here. I do want to get the right person…


            • Hahaha. Yeah, I know that I might sound like your regular Maria Alejandra Lopez, but somebody has to play Devil’s advocate here. Like I said before, HRC has some pros, but the guy is not perfect. Should we blindly go vote for HRC in the primary just because he’s the less controversial candidate and current front-runner? When it comes to political content, he comes to my as an empty suit, and I find that a bit iffy. If he wins, well, I do hope he’s up to the task, because it won’t be a walk in the park….


  10. Thanks JC, it may be quite clear for you, but I’m not convinced, yet.
    If I were more of a pragmatist I should say I see the need for inclusion, and I see in Podemos and its figures a lot of the adecos of ca.1945 (minus Rómulo), something I do not dislike. (That would make them now the adecos of Punto Fijo if the cycle plays itself out, again, without someone of Rómulo’s stature). Yes, Capriles does not fit the mold of anyone-but-that-Ladrón that will drive many hardcore opposition voters (or “primero la mona del Pinar”, as was the case with Arias); but I do not see his experience the same way you do. Being the youngest of the group is no argument either way. One could say that from an actuarial point of view all four of them are the same age, and I tend to avoid those romantic judgements that put such an onus on age. (Being facetious) his political career (and I know I’m not being fair) reminds me more of Being There or even Stand by Me, definitely not The Agony and the Ecstasy!
    Which reminds me, Capriles’s constant reference to religion makes me wince, even more than Pablo Pérez’s calling himself the daddy of us all. It reeks of Opus dei, a matter of taste perhaps, and yes I could not vote for a mormon elder either.
    En fin…
    Thanks again, you make a sincere endorsement, and it’s appreciated.


    • capriles is jewish, so how can it reek of opus dei?… i haven’t seen him grow the curlies that orthodox jews use… yet.
      you see? maybe it’s because i’m a girl but everytime perez calles himself my daddy, my innards shriek like nails on a blackboard. to each his own. i like all of them, they have a lot of courage and they will all be of great help in the new democracy. but i will vote for HCR ’cause he has a better chance of winning. to me that’s the focus of my goal. i want my country back. i want my grandchildren and daughter’s to come and visit me here, and stay at their home, and enjoy their stay in a democratic country. con sus defectos pero con sus virtudes.
      even though i enjoy traveling, i don’t want to be part of the errant grandparents posse jumping around the globe to connect with my dispersed family. but that’s me. to each his own…


      • Sorry but he is no jew. Part of his family is jewish, yes even some of the Capriles; but he’s often said that he’s catholic. Now, if you want to go Talmudic, fine, yet, that is not what he claims…
        And we agree on Pérez’s comments, although I do not think you need to be a girl to feel that.


        • well, i know his family is jewish, sooo the opus dei simili really scared me, what can i say? the opus dei does scares me, always…
          well, the girl part of a sugar daddy connotation got me….besides i’ve had this caudillo machista, wanting to tell me if i should dye my hair or see or read during the last 13 years. no more…
          i’m glad your innards also shriek like mine ;)


          • Lavici, just STFU and put your Chavista racism and class hatred back in the commode where you got it. Or emgrate to Iran and kiss Amendinajad’s behind if Chavez can make room for you. Or move to Lebanon where everything Hezbollah does is based on hate again if Chavez leaves you room.


            • “whoa. overreaction anyone? what’s that all about? precisely?”

              wha, you didn’t see the davinci code? those opus dei guys are not to be messed with!


            • What the hell does that have to do with racism?
              What? Is to be a Jew something different than being Venezuelan or Japanese?
              Is Jewishness a genetic group? (I have the “Aaron chromosome”, by the way, Aaron my foot)
              Or a religion? Or either? Or a cultural group, a bit like Latinos? Whatever anyone might choose, it doesn’t matter. I do hope Capriles, if elected, doesn’t turn just the opposite to Chávez when it comes to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, but gets a more neutral position.

              Hezbollah’s reactions, as criminal as they are, are nothing more than what terrorist organisation Irgun did for many years, until well after United Nations recognised the state of Israel and Irgun merged with the Israel army.


        • the capriles are all originally a sefardite jewish family name, of the many who originally fled europe, escaping to curacao, from the catholic inquisition. from curacao to coro, edo. falcón.


          • my dear syd: me myself and i can joke with and about my own club if i choose to, isn’t what democracy is all about? i have a sense of humor regardless of my origins. now, do you??
            en fin… el patio desde ayer está intenso!


      • lavici:
        Jews are no different than those who embrace other faiths/ways of life. Within orthodox jewry, there are several variations in beliefs and practices. And orthodox judaism is only one segment of judaism. There are also reform jews and modern jews. All these have sub-categories, some categories being related to geographical origins or racial differences (eg., the sephardic vs. the ashkenazy). But I digress. To get back to your “curlies”, not all orthodox male jews use sidelocks (aka payot). Though you could probably say that all male Hasidim (a sect in orthodox jewry) use them.


        • what’s eating the kindergarten patio ? ronaldo or whatever you are… my god!!! how crass and vulgar can you be? maybe it’s PMS? take some ibuprofen, and a hot water bottle… trust me, it always works!
          my comment has been taken WAY out of context so i’m recanting for the extremists:
          – i commented on fombona´s post when he said HCR was always talking about religion and he positively soreeked of opus dei.
          -i answered: “capriles is jewish, so how can it reek of opus dei?… i haven’t seen him grow the curlies that orthodox jews use… yet.” he can’t be opus dei ’cause his family is jewish meaning- have i got to spell this out to the young and bright? he professes the jewish religion, so he can’t be opus dei, right? same way one can’t be buddhist or hinduist, or protestant or baptist AND opus dei at the same time. got it?
          this has nothing to do with religious extremism, iran, ahmadinejad’s ass or was it chavez’s i was sent to kiss?, nothing to do with the hezbollah, racism, classcism, gender, sex or all of the above…
          -i mentioned curlies comparing the extreme right orthodox hassidim custom, with the extreme right opus dei.
          -syd + kepler: thanks for the patronizing lesson in jewish religious discrimination, but my father, my maternal grandfather were jewish. 0:)


          • lavici: Given your family background, your flippant toss of “the curlies” surprises me. You’re one to label others as patronizing..

            Otra en el patio …


            • besides, ya que nos estamos sacando los trapos en el kindergarten patio, i don’t take myself or any of the religious clubs that seriously. so that’s why i toss the curlies…i hope this doesn’t start a pissing competition. the point is i will vote for capriles regardless of what religious club he originates, suscribes or worships in.


  11. well guys and gal: i agree with JC, and i also agree that we NEED to vote on feb 12th and oct 7th.
    i’m sure MCM will be great addition to any post in the government, ans will give her the CV government experience she needs for the future. and also LL, if he agrees to climb on ship. and by the way i can’t forget LL was one of the instigators of abstencionism when the AN went red, ’cause out of our no show. >:(

    the primariy votes will let chavez know we are not majunches at all… not voting as a protest in the here and now circumstances, seems to me a big waste of a good momentum and nothing gets accomplished by it. abstencionism as a protest, to me feels void. what do you really gain by staying home? when people´s movements around the planet have toppled autocratic regimes, it’s not done by staying home because i don’t like so and so’s scowl’s or campaign…is it?
    giving chavez the pleasure of making fun of the number of voters? to what end? if we win big it’s the best start on uniting and focusing our common goal like a laser: to steer venezuela back on to democracy. he dicho…


  12. Sorry JC, but I do not buy it. The reasons why Capriles will be elected are the reasons while they will get rid of him within a couple of years.

    But do not worry about it, I will add to my previous posts on that matter when the time is right. Heck, I will even link this post :)

    And yes, if he wins the primary I will help him in anyway I can, so worry not on that.

    Unidad! Unidad chérie! Que de crimes commet-t-on en ton nom!


    • “The reasons why Capriles will be elected are the reasons while they will get rid of him within a couple of years.”

      I can’t wait for this post. Speculative Kreminology (er, Fuertetiunanology) is becoming downright fashionable.


  13. may be if one saw this as a crusade or star wars or the lord of the rings? anyone that wins the presidency will have such a hard time making everybody happy while getting out of this mess of a government, that he will burn himself in the altar of this quest. so those who don’t like capriles or x do not worry the chosen one will become cinders, a necessary martyr in this epopeyic return from the evil sauron’s or darth vader’s grip ;|


  14. Voy en español, pues me sale más fácil. Casi me convences, JC, pero HCR tiene algo que no me termina de convencer. Es posible que responda a una estrategia, pero eso de decir casi nada (pues el hombre no habla mucho y no se le da bien la retórica), para terminar diciendo vaguedades del tipo “comeflor” indica una falta de substancia que preocupa. Conozco a algunos de sus colaboradores, y sé que son personas preparadas y con ideas claras, pero tengo dudas sobre lo que verdaderamente piensa HCR. Sus méritos políticos están a la vista, pero sus ideas no. Ese es el problema. Insisto, es posible que esas vaguedades “comeflor” sean parte de una estrategia, que parece estar funcionando, pero alguien que aspira ser presidente necesita comunicar un poco más de substancia, más de profundidad en su visión.


  15. Living in Miami, I don’t know the opposition candidates well at all, except for the occasional U-Tube video, noticias 24, or reading the 3 musketeers’ blogs here (Daniel, Miguel and this one)

    I tend to believe that the next government in Vzla will be more about transition from Chavez’s totalitarian 12 years of disgrace, back to something a lot more democratic.

    And, as in the USA or Europe, there is no huge difference between Capriles or Leopoldo, MCM or the others, adecos, copeyanos, democrats, republicans…. historically.

    And I don’t have high hopes for the first few years after Chavez: perhaps Crime will goo significantly down, or inflation, at some point, foreign investment will quickly pick up. But don’t expect any miracles. What did we have for decades with adecos y copeyanos before Chavez? Tons of corruption, poverty, crime, poor educational system, huecos en las calles, falta de “viviendas’, no new infrastructures practically since Perez Jimenez., etc.

    So now, are we to expect that these new “anti-Chavez kiddos will turn Venezuela into Chile or Switzerland in a couple years? Or even Colombia or Costa Rica? Of course not. Corruption will remain huge, crime will continue, the economy will still be a mess, education won’t get much better.

    Why? Because that’s who we are, and have proven to be for decades, before, and after Chavez.

    SOOOOOO, I agree with the poster/author of this article here:

    The main goal for voting now is to dethrone Chabruto and his putrid regime.

    It’s going to be a close election, with lots of cheating and fraud. So we should all put our eggs in one basket, and vote for the guy / gal with the best chance to beat Thugo Chavez.

    If that’s Capriles, he’s got my vote. What the heck..


  16. I have to be honest and confess that I am baffled by the little support MCM gets after her impressive campaign! That woman has legitimately WALKED THE WALK. But, in Venezuela, land of the macho caudillo and PIP implants; being a strong, convicted woman, is often counter-productive. I see HCR and LL as softies that are just going with the flow of things, conversely; MCM has thrown herself into the thick of things and has been the only candidate the get under the Emperor’s skin. So much so, that he has found the need to publicly bash her ad naseum. It’s sad to see how in Venezuela sexism and prejudice have become so entrenched and institutionalized…to the point that talent and initiative are dismissed in lieu of what’s familiar and what “seems to work”. We will only break this cycle of pity, poverty, despair, and under-development when we begin to think outside the box. That is, in my opinion; one the the biggest failures of our educational system: we rely on the obsolete, on the familiar; and condemn innovation and any breaking away from tradition. I can’t see HCR winning in October against Chavez…I just can’t. Conversely, I can see MCM becoming the major darkhorse that can beat the Chavez’s rhetoric and actually leading the country through a transformative period.One can only dream…


    • She has walked the walk, and with a little more substance than most of the other candidates, but she looks and acts insufferably sifrina. She’s brave, and may be suited for the post, but maybe it’s a class thing, not sexism.


  17. I was shocked by the underlying thought, not explicitly expressed by Kepler in one onf his earlier posts above: “I think the optimal candidate is someone who manages to get elected, sends a message of peace, but performs the necessary changes.”

    The way I read this, is, the neccesary changes will bring down the end of peace!.

    Interesting thought, since we are by no means at peace. Murder and criminal rates are out of wack and the $$$ (trillions) embezzled by this regimen will come back to play a role against the new goverment (assuming there is one).

    I am following the play form afar. I have ovbiously made my bet, and left the country.

    I wish Enrique, Leopoldo, Maria corina (disclaimer: all which I know personally), and all the important number of people working behind their campains and future teams success. But in my mind the issue here is lessons learned, and I do not see any effort in discussing the lost opportunities, the wasted resources, the cost of societial dessintegrations, and the future threats of ill aliances this goverment has brouth forward.

    No one is discussing this, fearing polarizing the populacho. I am afraid tat we are far from hitting bottom and as leaders we should be calling it as it is. Agreed, one has to get elected.,but then…

    Todavia muchas manos es ese caldo, y muchas de las mismas manos de antes.

    Venezuela no sale adelante sin Justicia, La justicia comineza por imputar, enjuiciar y juzgar todo el latrocinio y la corrupcion, comienza por sentar bases de verdaderos valores republicanos y morales; comienza por dejar el disimulo, el quitate tu pa ponerme yo, mantener las estructuras de incentivos del petroestado populista, ahora narco-militarizado- y en realmente hacer un cambio de timon.

    Quizas aro en el mar!. mi voto, si pudiera votar, es para Maria Corina, quien mas se hacerca a mi intencion.


    Excelentes argumentos kudos to all.


    • inexcusables errores de ortografia, en ingles y en espanhol, mis disculpas.

      -errata: “comienza por desmontar las estructuras de incentivos…”


    • Hey, that was a joke; you should watch the video, if you didn’t.

      I am aware we are sitting on a mine field. We need to neutralize the mines. This is a hard task.

      I know Capriles lacks the rhetorical skills. He is too much of a technocrat, even if he seems like a down-to-earth guy. His religiosity scares me a bit. I do hope the conservative religious groups – the ones in particular who think contraceptives and the like are not to be distributed or education about them given- do not get much of a clout.

      Our new movement needs to speak out, be courageous and talk plainly about what Chavismo and the Boligarchs are, which is actually a continuation and further distortion of the 4th Republic: the superficial varnish of civil power was scrapped out and replaced by the worst of our military, caudillo past. It will be hard to talk about this because we will be touching a lot of groups, in the long wrong: the wobbly ones who are just movable leeches.

      One of the biggest problems is that Venezuela still doesn’t know – I ‘ll say it again – a proper debate. Some don’t even want to have a debate because their authoritarian ways are completely opposite to that – and others simply are afraid that by talking about the basics missing in Venezuela they are going to destroy unity, stir skeletons, whatever.

      What can we do but try to push our media and everyone we know to talk about why Venezuela has remained such a caudillo, personality-obsessed, underdeveloped society with no real national identity but images.

      We need to show examples of real debates.


    • Absolutely agreed 100%.

      The next government, assuming that the opposition will manage to beat Chavez, would be a transition, no question about it, regardless of who wins the primaries.


  18. You forgot to say that he is the only one that speaks about “us”, and not about “me”. For all your reasons and this one, If I could vote, he will be the one that takes my vote.

    Sorry to the MCM supporters. My vote couldn’t go to someone that might bursts into tears at the first REAL confrontation. Some of you keep saying that she is a good debater, except we haven’t got a real debate yet, and as I said before she still needs to control her emotions. No questions about the seeds she is planting, but she is not ready yet.


      • I disagree Rodrigo. MCM is the only one that has lost the temper and showed tears (almost) so far.

        What I am not understanding is why so many people think that the only way to fight Chavez on his own field with his same rhetoric “tira piedra”. I understand that the frustration level runs high, but really, are we thinking we can fight a white shark in the water? We have to take it out of there first!

        What gets on Chavez nerves is absolutely what HCR is doing, not paying attention to him. Chavez can’t take not being the center of attention, and he feeds on confrontation, like MCM’s.

        Ignore the caudillo, and he’s hooped.

        I’m confident that when the fight comes, HCR will know how to defeat him, with numbers, documents and actual proof, and not by yelling back.


        • Carolina,

          There is a difference between aggression, and assertiveness.It is my opinion that Ma Corina is strongly assertive, which is appropriate when dealing with a criminal like Chavez.If she were dealing with an normal person, I would say her behavior is inappropriate,but she is not.To maintain the same behavior in all situations is highly inappropriate.

          Chavez is not feeding on her confrontations…he was visibly weakened….there are few people who have affected him like that…it took me back to the King of Spain.

          One of the most bizarre aspects of Venezuelan culture is this idea that many beleive that only passive behavior is good…..but then again that is why we have caudillismo.


          • FP – we might have not seen the same video of MCM in the assembly since we are disagreeing so much.
            I didn’t see an assertive woman. I saw a frustrated one, with a trembling voice, improvising words. I have said it many times.
            And if I recall correctly, Chavez threw the last punch (the eagle and the fly) and shut her off. With the king’s episode, Chavez just couldn’t find any words. The two episodes have no comparison.
            I do have a question for you though: with that of “…if she were dealing with an normal person, I would say her behavior is inappropriate,but she is not…” are you saying that the only way to beat the caudillo is to become a caudillo too?


            • Frustration and trembling with anger is a normal and HEALTHY reaction under the circumstances…sociopaths would remain calm under the same circumstances Carolina.
              Chavez’s punch was childish and showed his caudillo- self- centeredness…

              Aguila no caza mosca? haha le vamos a recordar eso aqui en EEUU ,la proxima vez que nos tiene miedo y se pone paranoica! Lol !!!!!


  19. PP said this today :
    “Pablo Perez será un presidente que, en primer lugar, respetaremos la propiedad privada”
    Many things bother me of the previous statement. The way he refers to himself in third person, instead of saying “I will be a president…”. Second thing that make my balls swell: mixing conjugation of the verbs from third person of singular to first person of plural. It is either “I” or “he” (that guy that he refers to as Pablo Perez that happens to be himself), or “we”, but not all three at the same time for freak’s sake.

    Sorry, it’s just terribly annoying.

    1:16 on this video:


  20. It’s about defeating Chavez.

    There aren’t many differences, really, between the opposition candidates. They would end up surrounding themselves by essentially the same people; corruption will continue, as always.

    We should all support whomever has the best chance at beating Chavez. It would be a transitional, brief tenure anyway.


    • and precisely because of the brevity of that tenure, the oppo incumbent should not aim to rock the boat with strong undercurrents of massive change. Shock therapy of that type would only serve to throw the population into convulsions, in a manner of speaking. HCR’s platform (piano, piano si va lontano) seems to have understood that.

      Disclaimer: I’m undecided.


  21. My winning ticket for the general election would be Maria Corina Machado as president & Capriles as her Vicepresident. Im neither a fan of the PJ party nor do I support Capriles. Here are my reasons:
    1) Capriles may have a respectful curriculum both at a local and national level in Venezuelan politics, but that doesn’t mean that he is suitable to take the office of presidentcy.
    2) Experience may come in handy in politics, but if that would be the case none of the “lesser” experienced politicians would have a space in politics, which is why I move on to my third point.
    3) Violeta Chamorro (former president of Nicaragua) didnt have any experience whatsoever, apart from being tthe widow of a notorious journalist in Nicaragua. She was an upper-class housewife who had no experience in politics. In 1990, she clinched the nomination to run against Daniel Ortega (which I believe that you know him well) and beat him in the general election, in a country divided under the maelstrom of civil war.
    4) those traits in Chamorro’s bid are resembled in Maria Corina Machado, a woman who has shown courage, leadership and above all decisiveness. Among the tv debates we have bear witnessed to her wit, wisdom and bravery.
    5) As for Capriles, in those TV debates he could barely speak as a statesman, and masquerading his coloquial language as if he grew up in the shantytowns does not convince me enough. If he is the candidate against Hugo Chavez (a charismatic leader) he wont be able to unite two separate ideas together in a speech.
    With all due respect to pro Capriles bloggers, I do not believe that he is fit to beat Chavez in a general election. Yet if he’s elected as the candidate for the opposition I would work hard for him so he can prove me wrong.


  22. It’s a shame that Venezuelans are still not prepared to be ruled by a woman. I voted Irene Saez and I regret that because those votes could help frijolito to win. Now I have to give the chance to HCR as I don’t want PP to win.

    A la final, se tiene que votar por el menos malo…


  23. MCM has claimed a very attractive sector in the political landscape which had been abandoned with the gold rush towards the left.  She is a self-declared Capitalist, and proud of it. 

    Wow!  When was the last time that any Venezuelan politician has been this clear?  Chavez has not declared himself a Comunist, just a Socialist, and this was half-way through his presidency.  

    I think it’s great, and I wish her well. She needs to form a political party, and sell her ideas and get people elected on this platform. Her fruits will bear in the future, but not now.  She lacks the experience of having to govern and deliver results in the current environment.  We already tried her confrontational approach with el firmazo, and the failed revocatorio. 

    Besides, she already has an important position which will be key regardless of what happens on 10/7.  She needs to show how she can get laws passed with a red assamblea.


    Try being a governor, or alcalde mayor in the same circumstances.  


  24. Henrique Capriles Radonsqui es un foking duro!

    Aqui, más de la mitad de la gente lo odia, pero de pana personalmente, y de todos modos van a votar por el! Nojoda, esa es la unica razón que yo necesito para votar por el.

    Riqui! Riqui! Riquii!!!!!!


  25. “Did they really think a manifesto written essentially to capture a mood, and whose details were deliberately and necessarily limited, was going to be enough to govern a country?”

    Good old Tony, he describes the fear of coming to power after many, many years in opposition. His book “A Journey” should be mandatory reading to all aspiring presidentas/es. But the question is: will HCR turn out a Tony, or a Gordon? Is he equipped to deal with the monumental fuck up he will inherit? I think not. None of the candidates are. Unlike Juan, I have been unlucky enough to meet all of them. In the predicament Venezuela’s in at this point, we need someone with the clarity of vision of MCM (meaning enough of fucking leftist, state-welfare populism and get every money loving Venezuelan to actually look him/herself in the mirror and admit that socialists we ain’t, the temerity of LL, and the contacts, experience and diplomatic abilities of DA. A hard worker that comes from below, like PP, and someone who can get along well with chavistas, like HCR (his cousins Michu and Pelon will surely help towards that, won’t they?)

    Utopic expectation, I know. Will I vote for HCR? In October, with mascarilla y guantes quirurgicos. In the meanwhile, what are they all doing, what’s the MUD doing, to ensure that every mesa, in every colegio, is covered? Guillermo?

    Failure to do that will mean Chavez will walk with it, regardless who wins, and even then, it’s going to be a tough one. The next government, if not chavista, has to be necessarily a transition one. Aplicarle al Chavez su propia medicina, refundacion de estado, etc. After that, let the kids play “I want to be president.” Not before. For Chavez in the opposition is even a more fearsome prospect that Chavez in government.

    PS: FT, your article about a “real race” in FP was, how was it, a few time zones away from el perol?


    • Este pana se pasó unas vacaciones electorales en 2006, después de medio millón de años fuera de éste país, y a partir de eso se cree un experto en la esfera política vernácula…pobre loco


      • Si vale, cómo se atreve este pobre loco a opinar? No joda, cuando los que se las saben todas, i.e. los que escriben este blog, se las han mamado completicas en Venezuela, desde el dia que Chavez asumió el poder? Dígalo ahi Bobby!!


        • 1)
          “Good old Tony”
          “His book “A Journey” should be mandatory reading to all aspiring presidentas/es.”

          “Unlike Juan, I have been unlucky enough to meet all of them. ”

          No comments.


  26. there will be NO 07/10 without THE 12/02… so vote for the guy/gal you prefer, or better yeT, the candidate “with the mostest” possibility of winning, regardless of your own personal preferences. think about venezuela, think about transition, whatever makes you happy…the thing is VOTE!


  27. I’m watching him now and so far he’s good; better than before; more convincing, as far as I’m concerned.
    But can’t they do something about that deadly Nixon 5 o’clock shadow? Wide open eyes help but I wonder (sorry) how this plays elsewhere, if at all.


  28. I was completely convinced that Capriles was the best candidate before reading this blog. I have told relatives and friends to vote for him. I even convinced a few undecided ones to do so such was my certainty in Capriles and his campaign. Now I am even more convinced then before lol. Totally agree with all of your points Juan. Hes the best chance we have to rid ourselves of this nightmare. Se ve, se siente, Capriles Presidente!!!


  29. Hey, I wish I could vote for the guy who was arrested in the April 2002 affair – for inciting the lynch mob that he successfully stopped.


  30. OK. LL drops out and endorses HCR. To me LL would’ve endorsed anyone who was leading the polls but let’s say this:

    Kudos to HCR for actually creating consensus and bringing other into his bandwagon. He gets some points there.

    Sadly, since I really think LL is terrible, I find myself a little less inclined to vote for LL.

    Could this endorsement hurt HCR? How much people was willing to vote for HCR and disliked LL to a point that now HCR is loosing his appeal with this merger?


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