The nadir of the comecandelas…


Today, I woke up peeved at all the radical opposition talking-heads who have been laughing at us comeflores for months for thinking there will be a recall vote. If you’re a comeflor, you’ve doubtlessly met the haughty, “sobrao”, style of people who stand around and scoff “por eso es que la oposicion nunca logra nada, está llena de gente comiendo florecitas…así no vamos a ninguna parte – es que acaso no te has fijado que Chavez es un totalitario neonazi barriga-verde asesino? Entonces? Que referendum ni que referendum? Bajate de esa nube!”

If I had Bs.100 for each time I’ve heard some variant on that little speech over the last few years…I’d have a few thousand Bs, anyway. It has been a leitmotif of comecandela thinking for years now…

It’s particularly entertaining, in this regard, to read today’s editorial page in El Universal. Obviously, the pieces were written a few days back, and María Sol Pérez Schael, Carlos Zubillaga and Carlos Raúl Hernández all unanimously and confidently predict that CNE will not acknowledge there are enough signatures. They then proceed to heap abuse on the “culprits” of a crime that was never committed. Wonder how they’re feeling this morning. Only Gerardo Blyde, happily, gets it right – insisting on the importance of the secret ballot on Aug. 8th.

And the comecandela leaders, where are they now? Where’s Salas? How about Weil, who I love but who kept editorializing that a referendum was a pipe-dream? Where did Robert Alonso scurry off to? How about Nitu Perez, and Ibeyise and Boccaranda and their ilk? And Rafael Marín, well, we know where he is (in hospital, after being badly attacked by chavista cabilleros last night) – but once he gets near a microphone, what is he going to say? “Sorry I pushed you towards an insurrectional strategy bound to lead to civil war when democratic means worked just fine”? It’s the least we could hope for.

What last night shows, folks, is that comeflorismo is not just an ethical position. It’s also, just as importantly, a pragmatic stance – one you adopt because it is more likely to actually work than any of the alternatives. We’ve learned since April 2002…well, some of us have learned…

There are lots of obstacles ahead – but over the last few days we’ve seen why the moderates had it right all along.

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