For the past 10 years, Teodoro Petkoff has helmed the consistently impresive daily, Tal Cual. In the process, Petkoff has evolved from the opposition’s enfant terrible to its moral compass.
Deservedly or not, he is an oracle for the opposition’s intelligentsia. Politicians left and right, foreign news reporters, and intellectuals all frequently fall over themselves over-praising Petkoff’s insight. It’s hard to find a single foreign-made documentary about the Chávez era that doesn’t quote him.
Me? I’m sort of on the fence. I like Petkoff, and I think he contributes mightily to the malnourished national debate. Lord knows I agree with him most of the time.
But this tendency of our opposition public opinion to give him a pass even when he doesn’t deserve it means that Petkoff can sometimes get lazy with his reasoning. En tierra de ciegos…
Petkoff goes to great lengths to blast the PSUV’s primary, notably because turnout (between 30 and 40%) was low in spite of all the government’s resources being put to use. He also criticizes the fact that candidates were not allowed to have witnesses at the tables, and that votes were counted in secret.
On paper, that’s a valid criticism. But the reality is that our own opposition, the MUD that Petkoff has so often lionized, has yet to produce full results from its primaries. Not only are we in the dark as to what our overall turnout was, in some places we don’t even know how many votes each candidate got!
Listen, I don’t think it’s that big a deal that the opposition didn’t publish its own detailed results. But it’s simply inexcusable to sneer at the PSUV for failing to produce transparency when our own side fell way short of the mark. You can’t have it both ways.
He deserves the monicker Teodoro the Great, but sometimes, he’s just Teodoro the Wrong.