Grow some sack

Put that in a museum

Put that in a museum

This article by the inimitable Ibsen Martínez points to a very serious problem any eventual Capriles campaign would face: the restlesness the hardcore opposition feels toward any sort of “chavista light” approach.

The money quote:

“And the worst part is having to listen calmly as St. Henrique Capriles tell us his soul hangs on a string, that his heart has stopped when contemplating the trial that God has sent Fidel Castro’s disciple. To say that I am sorry for having voted for that model of christian charity falls short, so I will say it again: I am sorry for having asked people to vote for such a franciscan monk, worthy imitator of Juan Corazón.”

“Hay un camino”? Like hell there is.

Martínez is talking about Capriles’ attitude toward Chávez’s death, but one could easily translate his message into a potential run against Maduro. Capriles, in case he runs, would have to transform himself into a pitbull. No more pussyfooting around the fact that Maduro and Co. are thugs intent on driving Venezuela into a brick wall and running away with the loot. There is no other way to win: make the election about Maduro and his cronies.

Let’s face it – there is nobody that voted for Chávez that we are going to be able to convince at this point, not with the pity factor entering into play, not with the compressed election schedule we will face, and certainly not with economic conditions remaining the same as they were two months ago.

The only way Capriles has a chance is if he puts away the “Progreso para Todos” crap and recycles himself into the Rottweiler of Venezuela’s opposition. The only way he wins is if a few million of the people that voted for Chávez stay home – like they did last Sunday – and do not vote for Maduro because it would be … icky. The only chance he has is if he keeps his base in his pocket and drives the soft chavista vote home. And the only way he does that is if he tells us clearly how horrible a Maduro+Diosdado+Jaua government would be.

If he’s not willing to do that, then we’re better off with Ledezma.

93 thoughts on “Grow some sack

  1. This is again your “We’re inelectable” idea right? it’d be great if it worked, except this will get picked up by the red media and converted into something that would get light chavistas out of their homes. While it is true that he should explicitly point his finger at maduro this time, appealing to his hardcore base means the return of dinasour politics we saw with the candidates for 16D , and that didn’t go well…


    • So you think he could continue doing what he did the last time? How is that going to produce a different result?


      • What he did last time, neither chicha, neither limonada.

        And many, many people voted for him without supporting extreme oppo views. Be careful, or you might lose even harder.


        • What is “extreme” about calling things what they are? About saying who Maduro and Diosdado are, and what their plans for the country?

          What I’m talking about is taking the fight to chavistas, about making the election about “them” and not about us. What I’m proposing is effective negative campaigning. But all some of you hear when I talk is “right wing radical right wing radical” as if you had some alarm bells or something.


          • At some stage the price of winning is really too high.

            The reason people hear right wing radical when you talk about the opposition base is precisely because the opposition base is composed in a non-insignificant proportion of a bunch of right wing radicals.

            Chavez, through populism, disproportionate spending in campaigns and -most importantly- tapping into widespread dissatisfaction with inequality through his divisive discourse has time and again secured the majority of the vote. I may disagree with how he has done it but the guy, and increasingly his political party, represent the majority of Venezuelans. What you propose is that we ignore that fact and move straight into gaming the system so that a ‘righteous’ minority takes power back.

            Now not only do I disagree with the type of discourse you propose but I also think its bullshit to think that ideas such as ‘the 8 million people that voted for Chavez are his criminal accomplices’ are going to generate anything but a bigger ass whopping come election day.

            Then again, we just might need a bigger one of those palizas for people to realize that Chavez is in power because he does *something* for *someone*. Until we figure that one out we are not only unelectable but rightly so!


          • You are saying two different things.

            First, and I agree, call them on their bullshit, attack, they are not Chávez (And for all we know he still might return) and are vulnerable. Be bold, state the facts.

            But, attacking Capriles because he shows empathy for a sick guy? Gee, Juan that is extreme and nuts. Martínez is completely deranged. Look, I hate Chávez with all the strength I able to muster. The guy is a despicable tyrant, an asshole who deserves no mercy. But… I am not a politician. I am a private citizen. And I understand the need to be circumspect about gloating that he is dying. I can sing “ha ha you’re dead” when he kicks the bucket. The leader of the opposition has to be above that.

            Are we going to lose the vote of Martínez just because Capriles is mild mannered? So be it. I doubt there are many more like him. But we could lose the votes of many more who would be horrified for something like that.


            • Well, I don’t agree with that part. I wanted to highlight, however, a problem for Capriles in the extreme portions of the opposition voter base, not so much having to do with sympathies for Chávez, but more having to do with his inability to channel the rage at seeing the kleptocrats win yet again.


              • Then you need to separate it from his apparent empathy for Chávez. Truly, it’s two different issues.

                Yes, he could be bolder in the attack, but attacking a man sick of cancer would be go Marialejandra López.

                Puppies are clumsy and endearing. Adult dogs can be fierce and lethal. Henrique needs to stop being a puppy, sure, but a guardian dog should not eat your furniture or bite your kids.


              • Sorry, I thought I made that clear when I wrote,

                “Martínez is talking about Capriles’ attitude toward Chávez’s death, but one could easily translate his message into a potential run against Maduro. Capriles, in case he runs, would have to transform himself into a pitbull.”

                Obviously, I failed in conveying that. I have no problem whatsoever with Capriles showing sympathy for Chávez and, in fact, it is a must and would be deeply disappointed if he didn’t. But sympathy toward Chávez can coexist with sharp criticism of Maduro and the 40 thieves.


          • “Danger Will Robinson, Danger!!!!” Ha! Juan, I have to agree with you to a point. Softcore campaigning will get the opposition nowhere. Now that after two elections we know the country is basically Chavista -stop moaning people!- it is time to go campaigning on principle and say what is really on their minds, and damn the torpedoes! The only way that people will prefer Chavez light to Chavez full strength is if and when they are put on a diet, and despite what many are expecting, that hasn’t happened yet.


  2. El Santo Capriles won, but think of it, he could have lost. And if you think of it more, his coward attitude towards the pre and post defeat of October 07 somehow affected the defeats of other governorships.

    Let’s face it. Very few voted. People went on vacations. People don’t see the purpose of voting anymore, not when the CNE and the government steals elections through fraud and when the opposition basically accepts it and doesn’t act against it, when it LIES to the people and promises them that the path is clear towards a balanced, fair election.


    • When people say “fraud” what I see is denial.

      It is an un-leveled playing field, and the oppo camp continues to demand that it is more leveled, but mean while we need to play, because if we don’t show up we still loose.


      • There is no way out of it, I agree. BUT…

        To me the biggest problem is the “who cares, this is a dictatoship anyway” attitude. I suppose that in order to offset that train of thought the country needs a leadership that first of all accepts this is no regular democracy and that the steps to be taken must embrace such reality.


    • “…the CNE and the government steals elections through fraud and when the opposition basically accepts it and doesn’t act against it,”

      I agree. You are dealing with political thuggery here. These are bullies. In many cases, criminals. If you allow this to go unnoticed and unchallenged, you don’t deserve to win.


      • Again, so you think “hay un camino” continues to work and no changes are necessary? Please, illuminate me with how that works.


        • Venezuelans are repelled, for the most part, by negativity. This is where the chavistas hurt themselves. The public likes father-figure chavez, not “angry revolutionary” chavez. Am I right? (or have I just invented a stereotype?)


          • They are repelled by negativity, and yet they vote for Hugo Chávez overwhelmingly every time. Yes, that makes perfect sense.


            • I agree it makes no sense: a Janus-faced president, with a majority that sees one side of all that.

              The opposition has no doubt focus-grouped the crap out of this and determined that their guy won’t get the benefit of the doubt if he goes stark raving angry. I credit them – and HCR- with balls, discipline, and superhuman restraint. Maybe they will focus-group a negative campaign on Maduro and find a different result.


      • And yet you were so overjoyed the first and second time he mentioned you by name, and your little blog, in his columns, you even reported that here… Then, HE was a name… now, he is despicable… ’cause you think your name is bigger…


  3. Juan, I am part of a large group of people that, like yourself, oppose the chavernment with strong conviction. However, I -along with several others in the opposition- am far more to the ideological center than you and dislike profoundly the idea of an opposition pitbull, and believe that it would actually be counterproductive for HCR or any other political leader to assume such a stance.

    Yesterday I attempted to dissect chabe’s 8 million votes from 7O in the following way: 2M hooked up to the all-giving chavista apparatus and not willing to risk losing their status quo; another 2M who are socially disgruntled and hate middle-and upper-class Venezuelans; and a fervently religious group of 4M that view chabe as a deity. IMHO, any candidate who bases their political platform on ranting aggressively against the saco de gatos that is chavismo-sans-chabe would not “drive the soft chavista vote home” as you claim, but would instead stir up feelings of fear and hatred and alienate ALL of the above, guaranteeing that their 8M votes transfer whole to Nicky Mature, or Godgiven, or even the guy who dresses up like Che Guevara if he were the PSUV candidate. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the opposition lost a few votes in the process (such as mine, who was unwilling to travel back to Venezuela to vote for any candidate other than HCR, whom I strongly believe to be currently the best choice Venezuela has for a president).


    • So you think a light approach works? How will it work this time when it didn’t work the last time around? What is your strategy for victory?


      • I believe that in a non-chabe scenario a light approach would be more effective than a radical one, yes.

        nobody in PSUV has the pull of Hugo Rafael to make people leave their homes and vote for their non-chabe candidate, so I believe abstention will be high UNLESS the opposition gives these people a strong motive to vote against them.


        • Unles we give chavista voters a reason to stay home, they will come out and support Maduro and we will lose again.


    • Here’s another question, because I’m honestly baffled by this

      “dislike profoundly the idea of an opposition pitbull”

      So … Capriles *shouldn’t* tell voters what a horrible choice Maduro would be? He should continue campaigning without mentioning his oppoonents’ name? Make the campaign about his experience in Miranda? Please convince me how this leads to victory.


      • Yes, Capriles needs to toughen up and be more confrontational, I believe, to win. The question is only to what degree. The David (stomped by)/Goliath approach didn’t win. He must keep in mind, however, that the Chavista electorate wants here-and-now concrete crumbs (Government jobs/Misiones/Mercal/Pensiones), as well as some Promises (Viviendas), not Oppo platitudes about a :better future for them/children/family under a different system.


      • ok, so the opposition doesn’t know much about Maduro… but it seems that neither does the average chavista voter.

        I believe that an all-out “damn Maduro to hell” campaign is going to be replied to by PSUV by simply saying “see? they hate him just like they hated chabe, so the guy MUST be as good as King Hugo was, right? right?”

        you might not like HCR or the way his campaign was run, but it DID bring in 2.3 million votes more than the opposition got in 2006 (that’s +53%) while chabe only added some 800 thousands votes over that same period (+12%)


    • I’m going to jump in here and say that I like it when HCR is firm in his convictions (more about this later), not when he’s trying too hard to please as a namby-pamby altar boy. I’d like the latter arena to be kept as his interior life. The kissing of virgins in eery town has its limits for me.

      Near the end of his presidential campaign, HCR started hitting some fast balls with elegance and composure. As a well-trained lawyer and as a rather consummate politician, he should have no difficulty using some of these veiled comments against Maduro.

      I trust HCR will know what to do when the opportunity presents itself. Until then, I’m not going to worry what Ibsen or la Cucarachita Martínez say about the matter.


      • me cago en “restearme” con naidennnn, si voy a ser así de dogmático me vuelvo chavista y dejo de pensar por mí mismo.

        I already wasted my first two presidential elections by voting on people I didn’t like just because they weren’t Chávez, and if these are once again my two options I’d rather not vote or vote null and shut the hell up afterwards.


  4. The candidate who can convinvingly rise above never-to-be-victor Mature and leave him eating dust in the process with a challenging exhortation would have a fighting chance: that candidate can say outright, “Ladies and Gentlemen, the present situation is a monumental coque-up: much is critically wrong and very little is right and that has to be faced; I invite you to a new departure, to accompany me in that building process, which will not be painless but will be worthwhile if you value your job – or want a job; if you value your childrens’ schooling – or would like them to have one; if you value your self-respect – or would like to recover it; and if you want to eat better next Christmas – or indeed, at all. That is my invitation, to take part in your family’s Venezuela, your village’s Venezuela and, ultimately, the Venezuela that was always meant to be! ‘¡Echemosle pichón!”.

    Practical, feasible details and oil and industrial plans can be included in speeches, manifestos, publicity campaigns and so forth but the emotive challenge has got more appeal and can generate more mileage than pharting about with how to do the other challenger down.


    • Neddie Do you really believe this people really want Jobs and education? If there is something I learnt from this past 2 elections is that many in Venezuela are complete sinverguenzas that just want Misiones and gifts. Work? que flojera, Education? para que. They love that Chavez has hurt and f**k up business man. Que se jodan los ricachones.


    • There is no time for such a campaign. Besides, we tried the “rising above it all” approach and it didn’t work.

      You want a campaign you can be proud of. I want a campaign that has a shot at winning.


      • I am really not trying to pick a fight here, JC.

        I believe your point of view is very valid. I once agreed wholeheartedly with what you say but now, after many frustrations, I prefer to vote for a candidate that, win or lose, I can feel pride to have voted on 12 years afterwards (and yes, that is a direct shot at myself for having voted on the current governor-elect of Zulia).

        as the same Ibsen quotes Barre T. just a few lines below those you quoted here, “you don’t vote only to win. You do it to say who you are, what you like, what you prefer or what you oppose. Voting is an act of self-affirmation.” You voted for HCR in order to win and now want to vote on someone you actually believe in, I felt the same after the Rosales debacle and still do.


  5. Chavez and company have been fu***ng Venezuela up and any one who opposes then for 14 years, we keep loosing election after election and people still believe peace and love is the way to go. This stupid Christian attitude towards life drives me crazy.
    I have been asking for a long time for the MUD to have some balls and maybe not become a killing pitbull but at least a barking one. Capriles is like a french poodle that just had his bath and trim.
    I am not saying that we will win against madura/cabello this way, actually I am pretty sure we can’t win against any chavista this time, but at least we will go down fighting, not running around the ring.
    Also, please stop the we will hurt light Chavistas if we protest. First, this people love that Chavez calls everyone corrupt and that he plays the Machito de Barrio character so well. I believe Capriles becoming one will actually help him with the way Chavistas look at him. Second, and most important, What Chavistas really want is for Capriles to stop promising work and education (Que flojera they think). They want crums and Misiones. Will Capriles promise them Heaven in other to win?


    • Yes, I agree with all of this. I don’t think we have a chance at all this election, but please-pretty-please don’t let us try the same thing we tried last time. To me, the first thing we got to get rid of is the Crime/Inseguridad angle. A huge problem that affects all of us. But while it may be the oppo’s mayority main concern, it is apparently not a big deal for the rest (and 80%) of the country. Yes, they feel it too, but they have felt it the same way for the last 30 years. That is has now permeated into the upper 20%? Not their problem, let us deal with it, like they have been dealing it with since forever. Second, we need a less oligarca candidate. Capriles with his sterling silver last name, and matinee idol good looks does not look like the 80% of the pueblo we are trying to attract. I cringe every time they call Maduro a “MetroCanciller” or “Chofer de Autobus”. We are alienating the very people we need to get to our side. The very people we drive away every time we hear: monos, marginales, mico-mandante and all that nonsense. Perfect example: there was a very circulated email/facebook post during the 7O campaign, it showed Capriles’ perfect, Pepsodent smile, next to Chavez’s crooked, gap-filled, not-for-tv smile… it said: “¡¡Cambiale la Sonrisa a Venezuela!!” Oh my. How many smiles in the poverty stricken Pueblo of ours do you think look like Capriles’? And how many, due to years of no health or dental care, look like the one in the Chavez picture? Who is the 80% gonna identify with? I think the oppo suffers a bit of Preaching to the Choir Syndrome.


      • You can’t change the leopard’s spots. The opposition will always be closet prejudiced about the poor underclass because only the elite set is fit to rule the country. If you don’t behave or talk like them, you must be stupid.

        The crime question is very much related to all this. The opposition complain most about crime yet are least affected by it. This fact is obvious to somebody that experiences it often, while at the same time the elites are being ferried around in their air-con vehicles from secure location to secure location.

        In short, the crime issue is essentially telling people what their main voting concern should be. But voters like to decide for themselves.


      • I thought it was interesting that several Chavista commentators thought that Capriles missed a great opportunity in not using the “niño bien que en ves de disfrutar su fortuna esta aquí resteado con nosotros ayudando al pueblo”.

        Btw, the reason to not attack Chavez does not apply to Maduro. You do not win over many Christians by attacking Christ. Maduro, on the other hand, is fair game.

        I do wish that the right wing of the opposition would clearly organize into a party so they can come to grips that they are not the majority by competing in elections so we could count them.


  6. Ok, let’s see if I get it right. When “Caracas Chronicles” became “Comando Capriles” (just to keep the initials “working”, I suppose), about a year ago, before the primaries, Capriles’ reposed style was good. More than 3,000,000 votes confirmed the “perception”. Arria was an old fashioned barking rottweiler, and M. C. Machado a too elegant and pure-bred doberman (doberwoman, in her case) to win the election. CC was in favour of the “not so hot, conciliatory” style of Capriles… 6,500,000 votes confirmed that, somehow, his style got something attractive…

    Now, he has to become a pitbull and “grow a pair” because Ibsen says so… The same Ibsen that was a “criptochavista”, then a more or less “ni ni”, and now has become a hardcore antichavista…

    Think whatever you want, but “pitbull” is not Mr. Capriles style. It won’t wash, not even among his followers. He would sound as phony as Maduro praying… Besides, when you take the weapons and style of your enemy, you become him. Period.

    About his “wishing Chávez’ would get well”: did he had, politically and diplomatically speaking, any other option, like saying “I hope the SOB dies soon?” Did he? He is not Ibsen Martínez: he is a politician than cannot risk saying what he actually feels without alienating the mostly Catholic population of Venezuela…

    And, well, about Caracas Chronicles “next candidate” endorsement, I suppose the less than 800 followers you’ve won in over twelve years, with their strength and specific weight in the final outcome, are just sitting tight waiting for you to decide… You see, 800 voters, most of them living abroad, make all the difference in Venezuelan presidential elections…

    If you want to get real, start by a good treatment with “Ubicatex”, the sooner the better…


  7. We’re better off with Le..GUAT!!???? #Drogas. HCR no será santo de tu devoción y sí tiene que reinventar un poco su campaña, pero el hecho es que fue preso político, diputado, presidente del congreso, alcalde dos veces, gobernadores 2 veces y sacó el doble de los votos q el 2do en fila q se le midió en primarias. Prohibido conejear ahí.
    También verás pronto que esa idea de que los gobernadores y alcaldes en ejercicio no se midieran en primarias ha demostrado que sale cara y verás en pocos meses que Ledezma, el patético “coordinador nacional de campaña”, está en esa factura y va pa fuera…


        • Por que en AD esta Ramos Allup, uno de los personaje mas viles que ha parido Venezuela. Que por cierto se opuso a Ledezma et al en las reformas que han podido salvar al partido, se opuso a la descentralizacion y defendio a los golpistas del 92 en el congreso. Ramos Allup ademas fue uno de los arquitectos de la salida de CAP del gobierno.

          Que no te quieran en el AD de Ramos Allup es un cumplido.

          Ojo, no soy un fanatico de Ledezma, pero no creo que tu descripcion de el tiene ningun fundamento.


          • I’ll stay at the margin of this particular discussion, but, oh boy, how true is this:

            “Que no te quieran en el AD de Ramos Allup es un cumplido.”


              • Not even the people at the US Embassy can stand Ramos Allup, remember the Wikileak. What bothers me the most is that the guy fails is his arrogance, the failure to see his own irrelevance and dinosaur status. He and Rafael Poleo should buy a home in Boca and retire from public life for good.
                Ledezma is an excellent politician and, under the circumstances, has been an outstanding major of Caracas and has surrounded himself with the best team. But I think that, he is, (although perhaps only nominally) responsible for Sunday’s debacle and that should bar him from being presidential at the time being,


              • He is relevant withint the MUD, politically he represents no one. Perhaps the fact that the Jurasic Parks of AD and COPEI have so much leverage within the opposition, helps to partially explain Sunday’s results. Specially results like Táchira, Nueva Esparta o Anzoátegui.


          • Tienes un punto válido con lo de la reforma de AD, pero eso no cambia su realidad como lider hoy. Su mini-target del social demócrata que no es adeco ni de UNT, que para todo el país es un cuartarepública que le jala bola a AD aunq AD no lo quiera, que fue el primero en lanzarse a las primarias y primero en arrugar, y que no está rodeado de otros líderes en el país a excepción de los ya mencionados y el partidito que formó en las universidades públicas -más unidad- para competir con “100% estudiantes”, que muy sospechosamente está bien financiados pero nunca da pie con bola… Lo siento si te lo tripeas, pero no lleva vida. Ni en la oposición ni el país.


  8. The great defeated the past sunday was the old-fashioned oppo…

    So… Are you recommending to retake old-fashioned ways? Are you suggesting to stay with Ledezma?



    • I see here a lot of anti Ledezma sentiment around here and I don’t know where it is coming from. Is it because he is old? Because he was among those that tried to reform AD to reconnect with its base, was a big supporter of CAP, founded ABP and has proved to be a very effective mayor in spite of having no resources and his style has nothing to do with what one would call ‘old’.


      • Do you think that he’ll survive the next election?

        Pérez Vivas did it well too, instead of the constant shortage of public funds, managed by Caracas. But peló bola.

        Nagel is suggesting that Capriles must sacar las garras y ponerse serio. An agressive attitude from Capriles or any big oppo leader will remember chavistas the oppo atitude of 2002, with the obviously payback “a defender la Revolución de los golpistas!” style. That WILL GET OUT the chavista vote.

        Capriles and Falcon had survived the sunday massacre, both of them aren’t too mixed up with the old parties. The another caudillos, every of them, had fallen: Morel, Pérez Vivas, Pérez, the Pollo… And Ledezma came from that old school. He’s doomed, unfortunately.

        That doesn’t mean that the old politicians don’t be necessary on a new rule, but they should be under the table, letting that the new generation earn the voter’s hearts (and cursi blablabla). Si nos vamos a poner en una de “vamos pa’ Miraflores” con un amnistiado Carmona Estanga al frente, nos van a joder como nunca.


  9. I will have to agree with Juan in this one. I like the idea of making the election about Maduro and his cronies, but not because they are crooks (that they are), but because an idea deeply rooted in chavista psique: the chavista nomenklatura is simply not up to the task. For ages they have been repeating the meme “if only Chavez knew!” making everything that does not work an automatic product of the incompetence of the chavista entourage. Well, these are those guys…I agree with Juan, the election is more about turning off the soft chavista vote than making them voting for us.


  10. La diputada María Corina Machado
    “No podemos culpar a la gente de los resultados del domingo… la responsabilidad es nuestra, de la dirigencia política que no hemos logrado plantearle a los venezolanos un plan, una estrategia, unas acciones de lucha para que nuestro voto elija”, dijo. “El silencio del domingo es un grito que tenemos que escuchar”.


  11. While Chavez is alive, Capriles must be polite about him. Anything else would offend the voters who worship Chavez.

    Once he is gone, Capriles can attack Maduro, Cabello, Jaua, and the rest with ferocity, and forget about Chavez. The Chavez worshipers won’t be offended. Many of them despise Chavez’ henchmen. But not till he is gone.

    As for attacking the CNE et al for vote fraud: what good does that do if it cannot be proven? It makes the oppo look like sore losers. It convinces many oppo voters to abstain. It even causes some potential oppo voters to vote Chavista because they think they are being monitored. That is not going to win an election, nor delegitimize the regime for a revolution.


    • But right now, the guys with the “political acumen” in this site are asking for Capriles to turn into a “hell hound”… on a bilious attack of Ibsen Martínez, who, I’ll swear, stills toast with Barreto on how they “escaped” from the destiny of Venezuela…


  12. One thing nobody has thought, or at least, discussed at the moment.

    Suppose that capriles goes out with everything on his former platform plus some changes, but basically the same, and voila, he wins the elections.

    Then he’ll find himself with an ungovernable country, the national assemby, the supreme court, and all the states but 3 (or 4) all against him, the financial situation, unbearable, judicial situation, impossible, crime rampant, nazional guard, worthless drug dealers, and on top of that, maybe a little FARC.

    What will he do? Will he continue the mess in which we’re in just to keep his word during the campaign? That’ll be as if maduro won, but with tons more conflicts…

    And not only capriles, anyone running on a platform similar to what the government offers has that fate, the complete ruin of venezuela (yes, even more), because it doesnt matter if oil is at 100$ a barrel if you don’t produce enough and on top of that you import.

    If the opposition wins under that platform, then when everything crashes the chavista will say “look, they destroyed our beloved country and now they want to sell us to the yankee, the FMI, the capitalists!!! we must preserve our sovereignity” and then you can imagine what will happen, make him resign in the best case, and a coup in the worst, then they get back strengthened to power and the opposition is now “proven” to be evil.

    No, I think the opposition’s only choice is to be frontal about our situation and say “fine, you dont want education but you want lavadora? ok, we WON’T have money for that because of <>, so it doesnt matter who wins, he wont be able to deliver”, tell the truth and tell how’s the only way to get our country back in shape, and by doing so take advantage of that point “look, they (maduro, diosdado, jaua, etc) are screwing things up, they’re not up to the task” (play their inefficiency card without mentioning chavez), and also, by pointing fingers at them at how obscenely rich they have become, the much hated burgoisie.

    Then, if the oppo wins, they would have already said what they were going to do (what needs to be done to fix this craphole), so no surprise when things get ugly. If maduro wins, he’ll have to handle all of those problems, and with the whole country rojo-rojito, the’ll have no excuses. If maduro implements a paquetazo, then the oppo can tell el pueblo how psuvismo cheated on them, promised wonders and not only didnt deliver, but did what they hate the most: neoliberal measures, and the message should be focused in saying that maduro et al are TRAITORS (subliminally using whatever loyalty to chavez might still exist).

    The opposition should not focus on winning and just that, but what will it do if it wins, and if it’s in the best interest that it wins next year,

    A long term tactic could be to take advantage of this now confirmed unelectability (not because it can’t, but because it’s not their best interest in the short term) and actively make people face the situation, make them make maduro accountable (he may be the dauphin, but he’s not neverwrong-chavez), make them destroy themselves while defending what needs to be done, and then, only then, we can truly claim that we can guide the country in a completely different direction, and people would know what is ahead of them and that because of their stupidity, it’s the only thing left to do.

    One might say that by doing the previous we’re gambling the whole future of venezuela, if we wait, then the opposition might atomize again and lose everything, but, wont that happen were the opposition to lose presidentials anyway?

    As tyler durden would say: “only when you have nothing left to lose, then you are truly free”

    P.S.: I knew maria corina wasn’t going to win, but she has the biggest gonads in the primary pack


  13. I don’t agree with the whole Ibsen piece, but I do agree Capriles needs to cut down the “el tiempo de Dios es perfecto” and all that crap. Yes I know it appeals a bunch of girls from Caurimare but at the same time makes other people cringe.


  14. OT: Idiota chronicles

    Just another tale of oppo idiocy from pablo perez.

    My relatives work for the regional government, in Zulia, they were not payed their christmas bonuses (as well as everyone else, obviously :p) and, for what I’m told, since pablo lost he said that “since he’s not the governor anymore, then it’s not his problem to pay them” and now it leaves “the problem” to arias.

    What a stupid imbecile, not only makes him, his party and anything that looks like UNT look even WORSE, but now arias will be the savior and everyone will say how great is to be a bolivarian state.

    On the other hand, thank you, thank you pablo perez, you have been the brightest star at purging zulia from UNT forever (honorific mention goes to eveling). Let me thank you in the most appropiate way possible: FU! :)


    • If that is true, he behaved like a sore loser. Is not the kind of behavior that you would expect from a democratic leader, and PP shot any possibility to run as candidate again.


    • But… but… but… But you needed to vote for him, otherwise we would lose the political spaces! Christmas bonus, trash, roads, all that can go to hell, we need political spaces!

      (Sustituya espacios políticos por ‘patria’)


  15. Really, the money quote IS the best I have seen in a long time. The opposition should only BY THE BY concern itself with Hugo Chavez’s personal well being (isn’t that HIS problem, damn him and his suicidal wishes seconded by chavismo) only insofar as his completely insane and autocratic decisions regarding his sickness and Presidential power make Venezuela a mess and an international laughing stock, a banana republic is there’s one. It’s the same opposition that should be asking ONLY hard questions and showing ONLY concern for Venezuela as a Republic and for the life of it’s citizens.

    To show seriousness for a change. That would be the ticket to an eventual opposition victory. To show that THEY are there to solve problems WITH the people and are there to find WORKABLE solutions that they can ACCEPT. Not to bolster a BS Revolution charade in Venezuela or Latin America. Not to support Cuban, Bolivian, Ecuadorian, Nicaraguan, Argentinian, Russian or Chinese pimps. Not to make some well-connected crooks rich. That if an official gets ill, he or she should come clean about it, and show professional concern first and foremost for the citizens that trust him or her, like he or she should ALWAYS sick or not, not laugh at the citizens for any reason.

    We, they don’t need to resort to BS official Venezuelan language either. One thing Capriles did well was to say things in plain language. Too bad he did not say enough things.

    “Mire dentro de usted, amigo lector, pregúntese y respóndase si, al igual que Henrique Capriles, usted en verdad desea que al paciente habanero lo den de alta para que venga una vez más a jodernos metódicamente la existencia.”

    NO! I want him to recover, and leave Venezuelan politics. It’s either or. If you give me a choice (which I don’t have for I am not God) I would have him die rather than mindrape my country into goodness knows what. Now that he is THAT sick, I can only wish him a quick and painless demise because he chose suicide.


  16. Es una verdadera perdida de tiempo questionar la “valentia” o las “bolas” de una persona por la actitud politica que tomen en Venezuela. Se necesita igual de corage y valentia tomar una posicion conciliadora y abierta en un pais polarizado como Venezuela, como lo ha hecho Capriles; asi como tambie se necesita bastante valentia tomar una posicion de ataque como la de Maria Corina. No agrega nada al debate cuestionar las “bolas” de Capriles o compararlo con Juan Corazon. Este debate es viejo y se esta pareciendo a las acusaciones de “come flor” que se le hacia a aquellos quienes pensaban que el paro o el boicot de las elecciones tan solo daban mas fuerzas al gobierno de Chavez. Hemos avanzado mucho para ahora caer en ese debate tan superficial de quien tiene “bolas” o “ovarios”. No seamos tan “bolsas”.


  17. Your article was ok until this single phrase… “If he’s not willing to do that, then we’re better off with Ledezma.” Then the temperature in my room suddenly drops and my skin started to crawl.

    Seriously, Ledezma. o___o


  18. So, we know were we stand with this “influential” site…


    Caracas Chronicles just made a choice, dudes.

    I’ll rather bet on Capriles or Machado…

    Writing about Caracas from Santiago and Montreal is such a pleasure…

    How do you “earn” that?

    I’ll save my money and buy a “peñero” in Sucre…



      Caracas Chronicles just made a choice, dudes. ”

      Hey, that’s Juan’s personal opinion, not “Caracas Chronicles”.

      I also disagree for ledezma as candidate, in a support role, fine by me, but as the man in the front, na-ah.

      And I write this from Maracaibo: overall, I agree with juan’s point that the “barney approach” is not the best strategy.


  19. The last consensus regarding why we lost on 7O revolved around the idea that the government had acquired enough lists and information on beneficiaries of all of their programs to be able to reach out into their homes and bring them out to vote. The perfect political machinery, if you will.

    But, where was this machine on Sunday? Not in Miranda. It was crucial in their plans to beat Capriles. Had they succeeded the opposition would be destroyed for a least a couple of years while we figured out how to select a new candidate.

    So, if the big bad wolf is not that powerful then why did we loose on October 7?


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