The master plan


Eugenio Martínez, aka Puzkas, has an interesting article in El Universal on the chronology of the primary date.

Contrary to common sense and the opinion of a majority of Venezuelans, the MUD decided to hold the opposition’s primaries on February 12th, 2012.

Not only is this date unnecessarily late, it is also the last possible date to hold them. Puzkas tells us why – the following weekend is the beginning of Carnival, and the weekend after that is the continuation of carnival. So that shoots down the following two weekends altogether.

After those two weekends comes March, but the CNE had already told the opposition they couldn’t organize primaries in March because it collides with the planning they have to do for the other elections – God only knows why they can’t plan things when they have nothing to do, like right now.

So February 12th is the absolute last possible date for a primary. And you know what that means – if the primaries are sabotaged or if something goes wrong, for any reason, there will be no primary. And guess who gets to select our candidate? The MUD, aka, Henry Ramos Allup.

It’s the master plan of that treasonous little midget – and he’s going to get away with it. Forget about primaries people, the devious Ramos Allup is going to pick the candidate.

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  1. One of the reasons that Ramos Allup wants primaries delayed for as long as possible is that the moment we have a candidate, he — and the rest of MUD — become much, much less important. The victor and his party will be running the show, as it should be — who wants a fractious coalition in charge of a presidential campaign?

    Henry Ramos can only be important in one way: he can make things harder for the younger parties and politicians he resents.

    Keeping his name in the headlines, keeping himself in the room — he’ll do whatever it takes.

    • The question then becomes: how does he get away with it? What bargaining power can he possibly have? Is it that the media is backing him?

      • isn’t his bargaining power to threaten to break up the MUD? maria alexandra lopez will still vote for him porque con AD se vive mejor

        • No. What people can’t understand, or refuse to i sthat Maríalejandra López will vote for anybody that opposes Chávez, but the people from the barrios won’t. Yet, all the fucking campaign revolves around Marialejandra and tries to appeal to her!

    • Yes, we will have to march to kick-out Allup from the MUD and hold primaries now…Otherwise, Chavez will win again in 2012

  2. Por eso estamos como estamos.
    Los politicos opositores no tienen nadie,no tenemos a nadie que nos beneficie.
    Ya solo con esa fecha nos jodimos. No comprenden que no hay segundas oportunidades ni “bueno vamos a tener que arreglarnosla con lo que tenemos”. No,todo tiene que ser perfecto.En cambio,todavia estan haciendo quien sabe que coño, visitando centros comerciales sera.

    Ya perdimos el 2012.Listo. Espero que los blogueros digan las cosas como son porque de verdad no hay mas nada que decir ni hacer.

  3. I have not lived in Venezuela for 20 years, but I still don’t see why an early primary was such a good idea. Less time for one candidate to campaign, sure. But a later primary would also postpone and minimize how much time Chavez could take aim. Lots of different people creatively campaigning against him, for a long time, seems like a good thing.

    • Steven, it is a very bad idea because the CNE had already told the opposition they couldn’t organize primaries in March because it collides with the planning they have to do for the other elections.

      In case something happens and the primaries can not be held in February, then Allup picks the candidate, not the people. Then we will have a re-play of the previous presidential elections, where the opposition candidate did not have the support of the majority of the Venezuela = Chavez forever.

  4. ” God only knows why they can’t plan things when they have nothing to do, like right now.”

    God only know why we can’t work on a platform and a vote protection plan when we have nothing to do, like until Feb 12.

  5. El Universal’s journalist has professional links with a known analysis firm, which has links with a big polling house, which has contractual links with a candidate and shares a bloodline with another. I am unsure whether he even knows this (considering that his political acumen is very superficial).

    So, even though his analysis of February is correct, the rest of the information he provides (March and the CNE’s refusal) might not be true, and so his analysis of intentions might also be skewed. It would not be the first time. Moreover, if his incorrect information would veer all over the place, that would only mean he takes the risks of a journo who also wants to be kingmaker and political pundit. But no, they always lean in favor of a particular political trend.

    Good for him (that might help him professionally), bad for the readers.

    • Why am I not surprised?

      Plus sa change, plus se la meme chose.

      I guess, GTA, that naming names is not an option, but if you have a few clues you can share it would be much appreciated.

    • What infuriates me the more is that this guy is becoming a sort of electoral Guru for the general public opinion. At the beginning, I thought it was a phenomenom of the not-well-informed. Even this blog has served in the past to unmasked Puzkas as the joke he is. But now, we know that even JC is under the influx of the puzkamania..;)

      • So, is he lying? Would it be possible for the primaries to be held after March?

        There is not blanket banning on this blog by the way. I’m not a fan of his, I simply thought his article was interesting. Even doofuses can say interesting things once in a while…

        • “resulta obvio que cualquier imprevisto en la organización de las primarias del 12 de febrero provocaría que las consultas de base no se realizaran, dejando en manos de los cogollos la selección del candidato a Presidente y los aspirantes a gobernadores, legisladores regionales, alcaldes y concejales”. Is this obvious? Maybe only in the head of Puzkas, he is only parroting the conspiracy theory involving AD and HRA.

          “el 12 de febrero favorece a todos los que, al día de hoy, no aparecen en las encuestas”, so Leopoldo a Pablo Perez must be the most irrational and dumb politicians in history, since they supported Feb 12th.

          “El primer round de la carrera presidencial de la oposición lo ganó AD” Oh! GMAFB, the vote was 13-2, from the Leopoldism to Bandera Roja, passing trough COPEI and PV. How is this a manipulation of AD? Me no understand…

          “decisiones como la celebración de primarias el 12 de febrero hace que la cuesta a recorrer sea aún más alta”, perhaps if you repeat at infinitum this mantra it could become true, but the reality (as Miguel said) is that there is both advantages and risks to have an early (late) primary, it is not clear (at least to me, but I understand is a revealed truth for the rest of the world) that electing our candidate in December is something good for our aspirations.

  6. I still see no historical evidence that early is good. In fact, history suggests early is bad and might be even worse with Chavez in power blasting the opposition candidate day after day. Alvarez Paz won his primary April 25th. 1993, Caldera was not even in the map at the time. He deflated quite fast as everyone began attacking him as the frontrunner and the chirepero flew to Caldera when he arrived in the country in June/July, the elections were in December, Caldera won.

    • Agreed. The primary date does not win or lose the election; the candidate and the coalition/campaign preparedness does. I too wanted an earlier date, but now I just think all the naysayers are doing more harm than good complaining about 12F.

      While MUD now has to be ready for a potential July presidential election, they probably need the 11 months to prepare for the primary, considering all of the shameful infighting that is going on. In addition, having a late primary gives petty and envious opposition primary losers less time to sabotage their own candidate. Sad but true.

    • I think the idea that the candidate needs to go to every godforsaken town and connect with people is what makes people believe that an early primary is better. We doubt that he will be able to do it in 9 months. No one has argued the contrary in convincing terms.

      Also, you can’t compare this elections to those you mention. Those were not polarized scenarios. Now rural areas don’t have radio or TV showing the opposition candidate and you don’t have the party powerhouses with the structure to organize in remote areas.

      But the worst part is how the choise was made, it was a negotiation over personal/party interest, not over what date was better to improve the chances to win the election. That’s the biggest problem, it shows that they are doing politics as usual when the situation is nothing but usual.

      If 73% of the opposition wanted a primary earlier, they should have explained why the think February is the best to increase our chances. They didn’t because that’s not what happened. What happened is that AD has the MUD hostage and 50 years of experience doing the politics of backstage deals. It sucks and sends a terrible message.

      • Just a wee comment:

        A city of 100,000 inhabitants is not a God-forsaken town. Venezuela may culturally be particularly challenging outside the main 3 cities, but most people in Venezuela live outside the main 3 cities and in places with more than 100 thousand people.
        It seems the likes of Borges and the UNT head think those places are “jungle” and you need to select The New Hombre
        to go there. Nobody can do that else, unless he is a pre-candidate.

        Look at this:
        (the figures for the three main areas are inflated)

        The opposition needs to go to every single one of those cities and a couple more. They do NOT NEED to go there with a candidate. They need to go there with a vision, a plan, as a front, NOT as a party of set of parties. As a front.

        • The opposition need to show a plan about how they will make things better for the people. A campaign saying, basically, “we can live better, with power, with housing, with security”. Ideas, realistic plans.

          They shouldn’t focus on criticizing Chavez, because this is going against emotional state of people, who will plainly reject the idea. And simply shows that you are void of ideas.

          Anyway, if a “negative campaign” is used, it should be focused more in letting people themselves to question chavismo.

      • Excellent response. Time to get to know the people of Venezuela is essential to candidate and political party success. A late primary makes it difficult for MUD to do that work together. However, I would argue (as others have above) that they are incapable of doing so anyway, and that the weight of the upcoming presidential campaign will fall principally on the shoulders of the chosen candidate’s own party.

        In that case, the primary date is irrelevant to potential candidates’ ability to “meet the people”. PJ, UNT, VP, AD, Copei, BR, MAS, PPT all have good reason* to get out there and build relationships with communities and present their candidate. Developed party organizational structure will be needed in the campaign. Candidates should be on the ground in rural and urban areas, building grassroots support now.

        If on February 12, the voters elect a candidate without developed party infrastructure behind him or her, the opposition has absolutely no chance of victory against Hugo Chávez and his mammoth PSUV/State machine.

        So, come on pre-candidates! Get out there! Follow Leopoldo’s lead and go meet the people!


        *Besides winning a somewhat important presidential campaign in 2012, political parties have a lot of work to do building local party organization and facilitating victory in other elections. Will consejos, asambleas and alcaldías simply be left to the chavistas?!

        • Moraima: I’m sorry… I’ve read every single poll by every major polling company that has been published this year. I might have failed to notice which one said that 73% wanted primaries this year.

          Moreover, the only one which even had a question on the opposition’s mode of selecting its candidate was IVAD, which said that those potential voters polled wanted primaries over consensus by a margin of 73 over 20 %… However, they did not mention a proposed date.

          I’ve tried to find the oft-quoted Datanalysis study, and I have not found it anywhere. Have you got it?

      • Moraima Garcia: “I think the idea that the candidate needs to go to every godforsaken town and connect with people is what makes people believe that an early primary is better.”

        I think that’s where the premise may fail. It’s not the candidate that needs to go everywhere, it’s the platform. Imagine telling them desde ya that they will each be receiving about 10USD/day unconditionally within a year. Do you think they’ll be asking for a picture or a name, or just for “where to sign up”?

        • In order for people to believe in this — or any other political promise — they have to believe in the guy/gal promoting it. In many countries, people don’t have a chance to see or meet presidential candidates — but they get to know them through regular exposure on television — they feel they know them well enough to measure their credibility. The opposition can’t count on regular or fair television coverage….the opposition candidate will need to cover lots of ground. Don’t evaluate this in terms of a modern campaign — Miguel, this means you — turn back the clock!

          • It cannot be just THE bloke/lass.
            It has to be a FRONT. One of the differences between the movements in Eastern Germany and Czechoslovakia and what we see in Belarus and Venezuela was that they got a FRONT, not a myriad of parties. Of course, they had it “easy”: the average citizen of East Germany knew, in spite of it all, much more about the outside world than the average Venezuelan (in spite of wearing 99% of imported stuff and using a mobile and drinking whisky).

            One person cannot go everywhere.

            Now: do not count on Adecos or Copeyanos. They (not only they, but particularly they) think in Spanish Middle Age terms. They think feudal. You don’t need to care about them. Let them follow you. You go to the “countryside”, to those cities as Maturín and Guanare where now PJ has 1% of the vote intention, you just go there and spread your message as those mayors of Bogota were doing last decade.
            You don’t go as PJ but as a Front…even if you cannot expect AD to do anything because they would just screw it up. They will have to follow and learn.

          • Lucia,

            Yes and no. They do have to believe in the guy or gal telling them, but it does not have to be the guy or gal that is the candidate. In other words, if MUD sends believable guys and gals throughout the nation selling a believable platform that will be supported by whomever they choose as a candidate, the platform still sells.

            Or do you think most Venezuelans would never buy a good product from a lousy salesman and always buy a lousy product from a good one?

            Think about it, do you honestly think poor people would not want all the oil money distributed equally to each of them, regardless of whether it is chavez or Allup or you proposing it? If yes, then there is no reason to not start selling the platform today. No need to wait for a candidate. If no, then there is no platform that will win this election so there is no action we should be working on other than finding a candidate that people prefer over chavez (good luck with that).

    • Miguel, do you think someone in chavismo looked at the historical pattern and saw the same results you did, and that’s behing the CNE decision? (Since the CNE can’t even add numbers correctly, I’m going to consider such thought as occurring outside of that so-called “organization.”)

      BTW, I certainly agree with Moraima that the MUD owes those 73% a better explanation. Not just them, either, because if you’re going to convince the ni-nis that you’ve got a better way, you’ve got to prove yourself more democratic than chavismo. Otherwise you seem like the same person with a different-colored shirt, which will win you precisely zero votes.

  7. JC I do not understand how you came to your two conclusions: 1) there are not going to be primaries? and 2) if there are no primaries then Ramos Allup is the one choosing the candidate?

    WTF are you talking about? the MUD is not a model to follow, but do you think that Ramos Allup has the other members of the MUD under a spell or something?

    This post reads like 1 + 3 = 99. Arturo sure is proud of this post.

    • Cutilo cutiú cutini cutico cutique cutique cutire cutimos cutiha cuticer cuties cuticon cutifun cutidir cutia cutilos cuticha cutivis cutitas: cutique cutire cutimos cutique cutipien cutisen cutique cuties cutita cutimos cutiper cutidi cutidos, cutipe cutiro cutien cutirea cutili cutidad cutito cutido cutilo cutite cutine cutimos cutiba cutijo cuticon cutitrol.

    • This is like “circular reference”. It seems to me that there is no way to explain how HRA is so “powerful”.
      One answer is that HRA does not really have such a power.
      Have we ever be willing to accept, at least, the possibility that Capriles, for example, is not “pendejo”? A very successful guy, former President of the National Congress, former mayor, Governor of one of the most important states, deserves a better positioning than “pendejo in HRA hands”. I prefer to think that who could be the next venezuelan president is using his cards well.

  8. While I personally dislike HRA as the next guy, and personally would have proffered the primary election ASAP, I think the image of the MUD as a table full of powerless, easily to manipulate, idiotic puppets in hands of the adeco cacique is just not true, it probably belongs more to the land of JC’s prejudices.
    There were 15 the parties presented at the meeting that took the decision: UNT, Primero Justicia, AD, COPEI, Proyecto Venezuela, PODEMOS, MIN, Causa R, ABP, Cuentas Claras, Bandera Roja, MAS y Convergencia. From them, only PJ and Ismael saved the vote, the other 13 were in favor of Feb 12th. I don’t know you guys, but I think UNITY is the only thing we can’t afford to lose in the equation for 2012, and 13/15 (and 80% of the vote) looks pretty solid for me.
    For the argument of the “people wanting that” or is “the people wanting whatever”, we rather cut the BS: The reason why PJ wanted early primaries is EXACTLY the same reason UNT wanted late primaries: Beacause it could help the candidate of their preference. So we can save the moral and “alignment with the people” BS.

    • Agreed. The only thing I criticize is the lack of explanation of the decision. You see, I believe that sometimes leaders have to go against what the people want. The best example is the abstention of 2005 lead by the media. An opinion matrix was created to undermine the participation of the opposition in that election. The opposition did what the people wanted to do and it was WRONG.

      But even so, I believe we deserve an explanation on why the date of February 12th 2012 is better than December 4th 2011.

  9. I hope that this election will mean something. However, if Chavez is willing to deploy his militia to keep power, then disqualifying the opposition candidate would be easier. It certainly would break any hope of change through democratic process.

  10. This “debate” about when to hold the primary election for the opposition candidate is so typically “opposition” – that is a complete waste of time – that it turns into a media show just to have the spotlight on it.

    Whatever happens you all should know that Ramos Allup will be pulling the strings all the way along this route. He will have more influence on the choice of candidate than even the voters.

    Now, with the infighting going on in all sectors of the opposition what are the odds that there will be more than one canidate – perhaps two or even three? Who has billions of dollars to pay someone off to be another candidate and split the opposition vote into two or three. With no second round of voting in Venezuela as there is in Peru, well this is the ideal situation for el Comandante.

    In a nutshell – the opposition is screwed even 19 months before the elections. Better to go and live in Miami now. Hahahahaha……

    • Whatever happens you all should know that Ramos Allup will be pulling the strings all the way along this route.

      The oracle has spoken. Between hamburgers.

  11. Life is much easier following the dictates of an autocrat Arturo than in a democracy, where people like to talk and discuss things. But it is hard for you little fanatics to understand this. Chavez worries about strategy, but he does not talk with peons like you, he talks to friends, Cubans, some Iranians, one Spaniard, makes his decision and you follow orders. If you only had two neurons for a good synapsis.

  12. February sounds like about the right date for primaries.As it’s better not to have them too soon so we can keep the attention focused on Chavez and also have all the primary candidates go around promoting the cause of the opposition.This way they will have a wider reach and also present a more dispersed target for Chavez’s election.The moment the oppo candidate has been chosen, Chavez will unleash his shock and awe against him.This is more relevant than the fact that the oppo candidate will have less time to campaign for himself.Ultimately it will not be about what the oppo candidate can say or promise but rather about the people deciding they have had enough of Chavez.

    The message of the opposition should be:

    Chavez is not really a candidate.The democratic candidates are only those running in the primaries.Those will be the real elections, and its winner will be the only alternative to dictatorship.

    The opposition candidate cannot count on having anything approximating an honest debate.It would be the equivalent of being in a televised debate with your opponent where you can make a 2 minute remark followed by a half rebuttal of your opponent.The imbalance of money, TV and other media outlets in favor of Chavez is so gigantic that the debate cannot really developed.

    Everyone knows that if the opposition candidate wins the elections, he is not going to be allowed to just step in and become president.Chavez and his generals have stated very clearly that if this were to happen, the army, and the Chavez militia would take over.So basically what is being done is an act of resistance where the winning candidate of the opposition becomes a focus against dictatorship and exposes it as such.

  13. “The democratic candidates are only those running in the primaries”, then if something happens in February and the opposition can not hold primaries, we end up having no democratic candidate for the 2012 presidential election.

    We will not be able to delay the primaries beyond February…then, do you still think that “February sounds like about the right date for primaries”? Even if that date has the huge risk of leaving the opposition with no democratic candidate?

    • Heck, if he’s doing that without my ever trying to convince him, and I still have a hard time here after so many years, maybe I’ve been talking to the wrong side.


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