Yesterday, Congressman-elect and Primero Justicia President Julio Borges made a rather startling announcement. In a morning TV show, Borges a) said that he would not be a candidate for President in 2012, and b) endorsed Miranda Governor Henrique Capriles Radonski.
Never mind that Capriles has yet to say he wants the job. Forget for a second the fact that, after a long and expensive congressional campaign, opposition voters need a bit of a breather before launching fully into 2012 mode. Disregard for a second the dubious wisdom and the questionable timing of Borges’ opening salvo.
The announcement itself was enough for chavista forces to begin the 2012 campaign in full force. How else can one read this hilariously-worded press release from state news agency ABN?
The money quote:
“The man called today to be candidate for President by representatives of right-wing party Primero Justicia actively participated in the 2002 coup while he was mayor of Baruta. During his tenure as Governor of Miranda, he dismantled the Regional Cultural Institute located in the Guaicaipuro municipality, thereby depriving Miranda’s people of spaces for cultural activities.”
They forgot to mention he eats babies for lunch.
Mind you, this wasn’t a PSUV press release – this was an ABN joint. The person writing this treacly, patently false piece of spin … gets a check every quince y último, courtesy of your tax bolivares.
The sense of dread in government circles is palpable in this pathetic over-reaction of a press note. Do they really think they are going to convince people with this stuff?
For a government secure in its “majority,” these people sure are edgy.
Update: Henrique Capriles, in his first comments on the issue, tweeted two things: it’s too soon, and whoemever is chosen, has to be chosen via primaries. Interesting.Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.