Enter the lady


Congresswoman María Corina Machado has apparently entered the opposition’s primary fight.

Her campaign slogan? ¡Viene María!

I’m in no position to judge whether or not that slogan is going to work. It’s either brilliant or disastrous. Either way, it’s catchy, and it gets people talking.

Machado has a few things going for her, namely:

a) She’s the only female in the group, and a smart, good-looking one at that;

b) She’s the only one in the group who can seriously claim to have never been a part of a political party, either old or new; and

c) She is adored by a segment of the opposition’s base that has been feeling a bit neglected the past few months.

Say what you will, but many successful campaigns have started off with a lot less than that.

I also hear that she’s hired a slick publicity team, and has incorporated a promising young politician into her inner circle.

She’s a long-shot, and she appears to be a polarizing figure, but she should not be underestimated.

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  1. The slogan, against the background graphic/colour of a sun, is brilliant. I give her points on that alone. Lo del resto, pues ya veremos.

      • You’re right about the red: inclusive of chavistas. I hadn’t thought of that. Maybe the orange accent represents a little flame, the spark under the ni-ni’s (or god forbid, “fosforito”). .
        So Mary’s coming forward, out of the shadows, followed by a lemon-yellow sun that alludes to holiness, while also representing astringency (She’s gonna clean things up!).
        Did these thoughts form part of the subliminal message? Perhaps one or two. In the meantime, it’s fun to analyze!

    • Not only that, but Maria definitely appeals to a more humble target,like “Maria la de la bodega” or “Maria la que limpia en el 9”, etc. This could definitely help her de-emphasize her “burguesita” background: I am not crazy about the colours or the lettering, but I admit that the premise by itself is a trenchant move (in contrast to being the main candidate from AD from day 1, like the people below me have suggested) .

  2. From TalCual today:

    “Fuentes extraoficiales adelantan que Maria Corina será la carta de Acción Democrática para las primarias, que se decantaría por la única mujer postulada hasta el momento. El pasado jueves 7, el secretario general de la tolda blanca, Henry Ramos Allup, reveló que Machado se había reunido en su oficina para confirmarle sus aspiraciones”

    Kaboooom!…. missile to the flotation line of the Dinosaurs Vs. Young Turks debate…

    • I think this would be her death knell. It reeks of Irene Sáez becoming Luis Herrera Campins’ dauphinette.

      But what do I know…

      • An unholy alliance with AD? Well, I first thought about that like the kiss of death. and Irene came also to my mind, but… MCM is not exactly a softy like Irene, so the parallelism is not very accurate.

        I don’t know if that rumor is real or not, but I think that we’re probably underestimating AD. Somehow AD got a bunch of representative and I think they were the second most voted party in the last election. Probably for us, caraqueñitos snobs and upper-middle class political junkies, AD is anathema, but it may as well be that those guys still have some traction in rural areas. That could help MCM and improve her chances.

    • Guerra sucia?!

      Though, come to think of it, maybe it makes sense: MCM DESPERATELY needs some kind of party machine and Lord Volderallup certainly has that…

    • Circumstantial coalition? I´m not so sure. MCM beating the crap out of Leopoldo´s Chacao machinery with the back of AD and UNT comes to my mind…

    • I can neither forget or forgive that she was the Abstention Queen. Sorry. That was a huge mistake that cost us a lot. No way I trust her decisions.

      • Do you have a link of MCM calling for abstention? I found Ledezma and Alvarez but not Machado.

        El ex gobernador de Caracas Antonio Ledezma, quien apuesta por una abstención del 90 por ciento, y el ex gobernador del Zulia Oswaldo Alvarez Paz encabezaron, cada uno por su lado, el movimientoabstencionista, al denunciar el supuesto fraude electoral que se va a cometer en el sistema automatizado de votación. «Es mejor quedarse en casa y observar por la tele la burla de las elecciones», recomiendan Ledezma y Alvarez. «De nada sirve ir a votar para que los sufragios se desvíen en las máquinas a favor de los candidatos oficialistas», añaden.

        • I also found that “un sector representado por Leopoldo López, Liliana Hernández, Gerardo Blyde, y Delsa Solórzano proponía la Abstención” (in fact, that’s the basis for the PJ breakup), but no MCM.

        • I rememeber mostly video, but here is her calling to not to vote:


          Machado justifica la decisión de la oposición de no concurrir a la elección, aunque subraya que Súmate no llama a la abstención. Dice que el proceso electoral venezolano adolece de muchas irregularidades. Como el resto de los opositores, critica el sistema informático de registro de voto, que permite saber a quién eligió el votante. “La gente tiene miedo a votar ante la posibilidad de que el sistema no sea secreto. Hubo empleados públicos que fueron intimidados o castigados por el gobierno”, afirma. Cuando se le recuerda que el gobierno aceptó ante los veedores internacionales retirar el sistema, Machado replica: “Es el proceso total el que está viciado. No sólo las máquinas. Ninguno de los veedores aceptaría este sistema en sus países, pero pretenden que lo hagamos aquí”.

          • Guido, from that link it seems that she is *not* calling for abstention. In fact, “subraya que Súmate no llama a la abstención”. The word “justifica” seems to mean that she understands those who call for abstention, or sees why they are doing it, but she herself is not calling for abstention. Besides it’s not a quote. Do you have anything where she actively calls not to vote, as LL, AL, and OA did?

  3. This campaign could be good, as long as she dons a baseball cap, t-shirt and jeans and heads to the barrios.

    Did I just describe the outfit of Lina Ron? Why, yes. Yes, I did.

  4. Women run Venezuelan society. This is an extraordinary development since Chavez and his cronies won’t be able to attack Maria Corina just as they would a male opponent (because of several factor, chiefly cultural norms), which is an added advantage to Maria Corina. The only thing they can cling to is the visit she paid to Bush…which please…whatever. It would be an awesome way to close a cycle and start a new one…although I would prefer Lorenzo Mendoza, Maria Corina is in my opinion leagues ahead of the power-hungry Capriles and Lopez.

    • OK, you may have a point there but for “power-hungry Capriles”…as opposed to Machado? I really don’t know if you can see one is power-hungrier than the other. Don’t all politicos in Venezuela want to become the next president?

      • Absolutely! But to me the level of restrain that one is able to execute vis-a-vis political opportunity is a great indicator/precursor of character/ credibility. Capriles seems a bit too anxious and he’s biting way more than he can chew. To be super ambitious but at the same time lack political teeth is in my book an extremely bad combination. I met Lopez in Harvard couples of years ago when VP came to Boston, and the guy appeared so insincere…it was sad…handsome sure, but he had an aura of “politiquero” that I don’t will ever jibe well with “el pueblo”. 🙂 Maria Corina looks like a sifrina…sure, but as a woman I feel that las ciases populares would be more inclined to listen to what she has to say…she is also attractive and assertive. Her interventions in the National Assembly have stood out to me as well.

        • “Capriles seems a bit too anxious and he’s biting way more than he can chew.”… Can you substantiate this a little more please?

          Right now Capriles is less of a public figure than Machado because either a) Her publicity team is better/ His is nonexistant and she has recently done more controversial things, like the count the days thing, b) Her speaking skills are better than Capriles.
          Either way, Capriles has recently had so little public exposure if compared to Machado that I think it is unfair for you to call him anxious and too ambitious under Machado’s light. That being said, maybe in the private Capriles is different from what he portrays himself on TV….

          I personally find them both appealing, but I think we can all agree that Machado can sometimes come across as too anxious to be the focus of attention (e.g. telling the camera man to focus her more while speaking in the AN)…some might find this daring, but I think it is too much. I agree with you, Lopez seems fake to me, but in the Capriles vs Machado race, I would say she seems more anxious and ambitious.

          • I also have the impression Capriles can communicate better with the general population. Machado can talk very well at the National Assembly, but that is another thing. When she talks to the guys in the streets…it just doesn’t catch.

          • “When she talks to the guys in the streets…it just doesn’t catch.”

            Were do you get this from? -I mean, you are stating that as a fact, and to tell you the truth we still know very little on how the public reacts to her (which is for a lack of campaigning/experience). For all we know they might love her, or loathe her, we´ll really see that come primary time.

            What makes MCM so interesting is that she´s a wild card, hopefully she will be more of a JFK and less of a Sarah Palin (electorally speaking).

          • I get it from what people tell a friend of mine who is a doctor at a public hospital, for instance. I get it from my already classic tía de zona chavista (actually, I have several tías in such a condition). Perhaps they are not a representative sample, but they are rather average Venezuelans: don’t speak English, live in secondary cities, never have been abroad, went to public schools, did not finish bachillerato. They find her too “coye, coye, coyee”.

          • Capriles less public than Machado? I have to respectfully disagree. He’s been in politics as long as I can remember and he always gave away this vibe of wanting to be President since like ages ago. I would also argue that being the mayor/governor of the richest county/state of the nation shouldn’t accrue as major experience advantage over MCM’s Sumate and Congress stints. I think that Maria Corina can be much more relatable than Capriles (motherly vibe maybe). Capriles also wants to wave the flag of being the youngest Presi ever, which is a very bad choice if you ask me. If he wins the primaries I’d support him, but I dunno of he is our best bet.

  5. I’d translate that as “Here’s Mary!”
    But “viene” can mean “welcome” (well-come) as well as “arrives”,
    and “welcome Mary” is pretty close to “Hail Mary”!

    Ya gotta love it. I always liked her.
    At least you’d get fair elections if she were the boss.
    She might even count up those paper ballots Carter endorsed.



  6. I think this aggressive slogan plays up her most attractive characteristic in terms of confronting the challenges ahead: boldness.She is my choice for this reason and the only one I see capable of truly cutting thru the cr….p.

    I hate the colors but I think they are necessary, especially since she is a woman.

  7. Which reminds me:
    “viene Maria” is identical to “Ave Maria”!

    Now, that’s genius! – Maybe folly, but it’s great folly.
    Hopefully Benedicta su in Mulieribus.

      • Well, she ran an organization that was supposed to protect our votes and I was there when she said we won the referendum.

        What happened? Who was at fault? Who did not do his/her job? Wasn’t that a huge #FAIL?

        I think it was, before and after. In days there were scientific studies showing strange things happening, Nothing was said or done.

        Again, she was in charge.

        • For this reason, and because quite frankly running an NGO IMHO doesn’t qualify a person, man or woman or beast, to run for president in Venezuela.

          I think she has charisma, charm, doesn’t hurt she’s good looking, heart’s in the right place and all, but ZERO experience in positions of responsibility and governance.

          If she ends up being the candidate, she just might win. THis after all is Venezuela we’re talking about, we certainly can’t expect the average voter to vote on record, or qualifications even. Hell, we elected Chavez, CAldera twice and CAP twice for chrissakes!

          • Throwing Caldera in that menage seems inappropriate to me. The man was a true politician and a intellectual. Not going nostalgic for La Cuarta here, just setting the record straight. Now Chavez and CAP…que venga el Diablo y escoja.

          • Caldera, apart from some seriously stupid policies relating to business development, was the one who pardoned Chavez thus allowing him to run. “Nuff said.

        • I don’t think Sumate was supposed to protect our votes. The Coordinadora Democratica was supposed to be in charge of that. Sumate did not have its own witnesses, as I recall.

          • A first party chooses a random sample. A second party analyzes the sample and finds that it is not random. A third party comes out and counters that the sample was chosen in a random fashion so it must be random. A fourth party falls asleep. The second party tries to explain that samples can be chosen randomly and still not be random, that this can happen by mere chance, or by fraud, but that either way that this particular sample is not random. The fourth party says, zzzzzz. The second party still in disbelief claims that the randomness of the sample is irrelevant, that what matters is that the data it represents is believable. zzzzzz. The second party repeats that the sample does not represent the total of the data because it is not random, that the difference is sufficient to change the results. But, ok, they analyze the data with statistics specifically designed to detect fraud and find that something is screwy with the data, too. The third party uses statistics that would not detect fraud and finds that nothing is screwy with the data.

            Yup, it’s SUMATE’s fault. zzzzzz…

          • Torres, when did you become extorres? Does it have to do with unconditional cash transfers? Don’t you back the idea anymore?
            I’m a bit confused here… What made you become ex you?

          • WordPress merged with gravatar and gave whoever used torres with wordpress the username, and left me to choose a new username. I thought extorres would be along the lines of Theartistthatusedtobecalledprince. So, no, I have not turned away from my support of unconditional cash transfers. If anything I support it now more than ever, and I can’t for the life of me understand PJ’s silence about it after they mentioned it.

          • Gosh. I sure thought the CNE was supposed to protect your votes. If they didn’t, does that make it Maria’s fault?

          • That’s my only point, she had a good share of responsibility in the failure, but nobody mentions it, if we are to hold Chavez and cronies responsible for all their failures, so should she.

            We were supposed to have people in all mesas, be witnesses to tallies. We had a parallel exit poll and a parallel count of actas. Both said we won.

            Again, what happened?

          • I agree and my impression is that she had a very good performance in 2003/2004. They protected not the votes but the signatures, and that’s what made the referendum possible. I don’t think she was ever in charge of protecting the vote. SUMATE did organize some exit polls that from what I heard here (in ccschron) were not well organized so that may be questionable.

            Regarding SUMATE and the referendum the CD was in charge of the whole business and whatevere SUMATE did they did on their own. The CD didn’t seem to want to “coordinate” anything with SUMATE. They welcomed their help but didn’t want it.

        • Miguel, we worked together during RR and Sumate/MCM was never on the list of reasons. You want answers now? I would like to get the shelved OAS report for starters!

      • Sorry, they counted the votes and said we won, did they ever say we did not?

        BTW I think we lost by a small margin.

        • They cannot override the CNE. They said something was screwy and nobody forced the CNE to allow verifications, nor investigations. How is that the messenger’s fault?

    • moctavio, I think MCM became president of SUMATE in 2008, not 2004. I also can’t seem to find any links on internet regarding her calls for abstention. I’ve found many of people attributing abstention calls to her, but no direct links to her abstentionism. If you have any links, please share.

  8. AND she’s a LATINA – a child of Latin!
    Gloria in Excelsis et Ave Mariae Mater Venezuelorum in saecula saeculorum!
    I have to stop this – it’s too much fun.



  9. As every Venezuelan knows well, when everything else has failed, “llamar a María” is your last resort; now we know that María has been summoned by the Venezuelan people… and she is coming!!!!!!

  10. I believe it could very well take a woman leader to bring Venezuela back into the world and more importantly to demolish the wall of machista that Chavez has so carefully cultivated. The bastard has put your country back 40 years on equality issues and has built the tough son of a bitch culture of a caudillo. That has to go.

  11. Just a bit to the comments. Have no one notice that “Viene María” has more to do with the very criollo saying “Hay que llamar a María” and very little to do with virgin mothers?

      • No problem…, now that you’ve mentioned it, do we know what “llamar a María” really means?, maybe it has something to do with religion.

    • yup. and yet that big ole sun also adds a halo-like effect to the name. I think it’s strategic, as is the double entendre, aimed to gather as many followers as possible from more than one camp.

  12. The BIG problem with her slogan is it’s all about HER, not about voters.

    More generally:

    She’s very smart, and has more energy then everyone you know put together. Tenacious as hell.

    She inspires fanatical loyalty among those who work for her.

    All that being said…is she really ready to run a very screwed-up country? I haven’t seen any evidence that this is the case.

    I thought Sumate failed at least twice, in important ways. The first time was going along with Doug Schoen’s catastrophic exit poll in 2004…in which the exit polling was done by inexperienced Sumate volunteers (and identified as such!) at only some polling stations. Exit polls are problematic under the best of circumstances (ask John Kerry)…and these were not the best of circumstances. Given the importance of her NGO at that time, the plan showed she had not done her due diligence or thought through the aftermath. The second major failure was when Sumate took a partisan stance and recommended that the opposition not participate in Asamblea elections in 2005. It was the wrong thing for the opposition to do, and it was an inappropriate (partisan) recommendation from an NGO which pretended to have participation in the process as its highest goal. They should have been clear about the flaws in the process and recommended that voters decide for themselves.

    Both the flawed exit poll and the boycott of the elections had very negative consequences for the opposition.

    AND, if she’s going to run on the AD ballot….that’s a really bad decision.

    • good points, Lucía. Yes, the slogan is all about her. But, by incorporating a verb, the slogan becomes a rallying call for all who want to journey with María. That call to action, as any seasoned marketer will tell you, is crucial when jumpstarting a goal. And if the verb implies the gathering of many, then the slogan becomes less about María and more about her followers.

      As for aligning herself with the AD ballot, I’d have to agree with Quico. She needs to. I suspect that MCM, alone, would not have the finances or the infrastructure to launch a successful campaign as an independent.

    • Listen to Lucía, she knows her stuff.

      I had forgotten about 2005. Oh well, as Ricky Ricardo used to say, María has some ‘splainin’ to do.

    • “The BIG problem with her slogan is it’s all about HER, not about voters.”

      she is the one running, not the voters

  13. I think MCM has best shot at presidency because country needs mommy figure that can bring both sides together… I see the alpha-male candidates as too polarizing. I hope MCM takes over AD and I hope AD still what it takes.

  14. How about “viene maria” as “le toca a maria”? Chavez has worn the red mantel long enough, ahora viene maria…?

  15. Woops, the link got removed but the organization which rated Venezuela number one in democracy is the foundation for democratic advancement.

  16. Judi, where’s the link to your PSUV membership sign-up? Or even the “organization which rated Venezuela number one in democracy is the foundation for democratic advancement”? Um…you can’t, can you? Because there is no such link…

        • BTW, that’s not a dildo, it’s a vibrator…see? this imperialist running dog blog has no credibility!


        • This is probably the best part:
          ‘The FDA does also recognize that “electoral laws and regulations may not necessarily correspond to the implementation of those laws and regulations or the public’s response to them” and that “a further study which tracks the actions of mainstream media and the enforcement or non-enforcement of electoral laws and regulation, for example, would provide a more reliable overall determination of electoral fairness.”’
          Yes, the law is great and all, but that’s the least of our concern. The problem is the unfair arbiter (CNE) and the stooges running it

          • Entire sections of the report were google translated and appeared in freaking spanglish…. unbelievable

          • p. 14:

            The following excerpts were identified by the FDA researchers as relevant. The FDA researchers
            made some excerpts bold to emphasize high relevance:
            Article 75. Do not be permitted electoral propaganda:
            1.Se occurs outside the electoral campaign period established by the National Electoral
            2.Atente the honor, privacy, intimacy, self-image, confidence and reputation of individuals.
            3.Promueva war, discrimination or intolerance.
            4.Promueva disobedience to the law.
            5.Omita data allowing identification of the sponsor or promoter of electoral propaganda and the
            Fiscal Information Registry (RIF).
            6.The hired or performed by natural or legal persons other than authorized by the candidates and
            7.Desestimule the right to vote.
            8.Contenga and degrading obscenities against the bodies and entities of public power, institutions
            and public officials or public servants.
            9.Que use the image, sound in the presence of children or adolescents.
            10.Use national or regional symbols of the nation or the image of the Founding Fathers of the
            Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, or the colors of the national flag or regional.
            11.Use the image, name or names of any citizen, as well as colors and symbols that identify an
            organization with political purposes, groups of citizens or citizens without their consent.
            12.Violente the rules laid down in legislation on animal protection.
            13.The publicly funded other than as provided in these rules.
            14.Sea funded from abroad.
            15.Sea privately funded not declared to the National Electoral Council and the National
            Integrated Customs and Tax Administration (SENIAT).

          • Get it?

            The formatting in the original – with a numeral and a period directly before the first word in the “aparte” totally threw GoogleTranslate for a loop, so the first word of each aparte didn’t get translated…and nobody noticed that before they published it!

            Oh man, this one is for the ages…

          • I wonder if they know who can fix the air acondicinator? Mine broke down and boy it’s hot here!

          • Hey, guys: Daniel Duquenal has been writing a lot with the “directo” of such an “organisation”.

            Said director uses a gmail address. He is nonetheless quoted by the ABV and VTV as “another international recognition of the high standards this government blabla”

            Waste of time. And this Judy thing…I am not even sure she is a she, unless she is a weird character like a German woman who is blogging about how Gaddafi and Chávez are the most democratic leaders in the Universe, only followed by such stars as al-Assad

          • heeere’s judi!
            It was pure coincidence. I found her when I googled “Alek Boyd + London mayor”, in order to get my facts a little straighter on Alek’s published wish, that if he were Genghis Khan he’d decapitate, torture and throw bodies (of his political enemies) from a plane.

            But never mind that. Here’s an arching question: Does Judi Lynn sign her name with a circle over the “i”. It would be a crowning touch.

  17. Yon no sabe en que palo ahorcarse, ha militado en mas organizaciones que leopoldo en menos tiempo. BTW bien por María Corina


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