Did you know there’s an election today in Venezuela? It’s flown under the radar, hasn’t it?
I would ordinarily assume Chavez would win—by hook or by crook. But a blogger I respect, Daniel in Venezuela, confidently predicts an opposition victory.
If that happened, I would be very pleasantly surprised. I don’t see how Chavez would allow it to happen, and if it did happen I don’t see that he would allow it to stand. Daniel in Venezuela has explained his reasons for thinking challenger Capriles has mounted a brilliant campaign:
…I remember that I was mocked about suggesting that the winner of the primary shall visit every one and each of the 300+ municipalities. That is why I complained that the primary date was too late because it would not give enough time to do it.
Today on TV you see politicians admitting that they were surprised at the success of the “casa por casa” which was nothing else but an excuse to visit all Venezuelan municipalities. That was successful because 1) Chavez was not going to do it, even had his health been better and 2) the media empire of the regime only left the option of a close and personal visit as the only way to compensate. Amen that it was taking advantage of the regime mistake in its campaign, to rely more on its media control than actual street campaign. and to contrast more the unbound energy of the challenger again the semi dead president.
Today I can write in all confidence that we would not be discussing a Capriles momentum if he had not done what he did between November and April. Which brings us to the other two things that made all the difference in the campaign.
Capriles has been a formidable campaigner. For a city kid, well educated and cosmopolitan, he morphed spectacularly into a kisser of any frog on his path. And many of these frogs became pro Capriles princes and princesses. He displayed a remarkable energy. True, he is thin, short and athletic, but still, his campaign was nearly herculean. Well, was herculean. And it showed how tired the revolution was.
In other words, Capriles has managed to vault over the obstacles presented by the Venezuelan press—sound familiar? But can he vault over the extremely distinct possibility of fraud?
In a televised interview two nights ago, the president said he would honor the will of the people—as expressed in the results announced by the National Electoral Council. However, the opposition will remain on high alert until the last minute of balloting, and if the result is suspicious, it could be called a fraud. On the other hand, Chavistas have never accepted the possibility of losing, and if they do lose, they could also make accusations of fraud.
I know on what side I think the fraud will be occurring.
[ADDENDUM: Daniel in Venezuela has some reflections on what he plans to do if Chavez wins and what he plans to do if Chavez loses. The "if Chavez wins" may strike a few harmonic chords in some of you:
I have written for ten years against the bastard, starting when hardly a few suspected his fascist nature. If after 14 years the Venezuelan people do not get it, if they prefer subsidy at the price of much degraded living conditions, so be it. I cannot waste any more time blogging, I do not have that many years before retirement and that is now my priority, becoming a bolibourgeois if needed. You want it? Have it! I cannot keep caring and fighting anymore. If what you want is to be screwed, I‘ll try my best...The blog was started to educate intelligent folks outside the country. This has been done successfully. Others will write the downfall.
Well worth reading.]