Strong rumblings from the rumor mill


Sorry for not posting for a while, but I’ve been pretty overwhelmed with life stuff.

I guess we can start a thread discussing the latest from the rumor mill in Caracas. Apparently, Chávez’s cancer treatment is not going so well, so the Electoral Council is seriously considering holding the elections in March of next year. They are supposedly going to make a decision some time soon.

The opposition’s primary has been scheduled for February 12th of next year. But rest assured that if the election were moved to March, the opposition would either move the primaries forward or, perhaps, forego them altogether.

As for the opposition, Datanálisis confirms Henrique Capriles is well ahead of the rest of the pack in terms of voter preference, and would give Chávez a run for his money in the general election. In fact, he’s the only competitive candidate we have at this early stage.

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  1. The number that jumps out at me from that Datanalisis poll is the self-identification question. 29,2% self-identify as oppo? That’s huge! And tied with pro-Chávez self-identification. massive.

    Pretty much ever since 2004, pro-Gov. self-identification had been running significantly ahead of oppo self-identification, though Neutral self-identification always dwarfed both. I saw poll after poll with NiNis hovering around 50%, pro-government around 25-30% and oppo around 15-20%.

    35-30-30 is a massive shift from that pattern.

    • The same thing jumped at me when I read it; first time in awhile that we equal these bastards; unfortunately, our fate will only be clear once we clearly outnumber them.

  2. Auto-Reply: Sorry, we Venezuelans are watching Miss Universe. Please remind me to comment tomorrow!…no, tomorrow we will be talking about Miss Universe!… I’ll be back next week!

      • you can’t really be a socialistcommiefascista and like watching miss U, injecting oneself with all kinds of petroleum derivatives, and going shopping to mayami, can you?

          • believe me when i say our being so superflous, superficial, fun loving and irresponsable, has been the kryptonite to this “socialist” project. the boliburguesía imitating the rest of this country, only serves to exaggerate and prove my point.

      • Come on Cristobal… We all need our psycological escape from things, Miss Universo is one of them, just for a day or two Venezuelans can forget about the shit reality we live in and actually cheer for our country in something other than fútbol…

          • Thanks JC, I am with you.It is demeaning.Would also note:

            It’s very phony to boot.I live in an area where women rarely use makeup, never have plastic surgery, wear loose, modest and simple clothes, yet many are more beautiful than any of these Barbie robots.

          • Nothing would depress me more than living in a (U.S. university) town, where women go out of their way, trying to be Mother Earth types. The social suasion in that group is as absurd as that in corporate-induced competitions based on false standards of beauty.

            Unfortunately, these beauty contests are a way out for some women. And unfortunately, much of the media, in bed with the corporates, has helped promote all aspects of these false standards.

            Venezuela’s educational infrastructure and petro values created a platform that was ripe for Cuban-born Osmel. He, in turn, contributed greatly to even greater pretense and shallow waters. So much so that a fantasy begins to take shape. It’s this:Might Osmel have been a Trojan horse, helping to create a crumbling social fabric, to make it easer for the likes of Chavez and FidelCo? It has the markings of a sci-fi tale.

    • Now that Miss Venezuela has been eliminated, I add this:

      @AlbertoRavell: Me informa un “amigo”de VTV que mañana el CNE tendra un importante anuncio al pais a la 1pm.

  3. As time goes by more information is coming out-Fondren for example.Nothing but bad news. And, bad news internationally-Qadaffi for example.Qadaffi will either be tried or dead soon..
    Chavez will not be travelling anymore -it appears-even to ALBA countries.
    So, how does Chavez keep his popularity up- he doesn’t. So, since there is obviously a
    “fix” in the works- it should be sooner rather than later for all the mentioned reasons.
    If he waits- it will be clear to everyone that it was a fraud when the “fix ” occurs. Watch out
    for dirty tricks from chavistas coming soon to a neighborhood near you..
    No, Chavez can’t wait. They are really scared that suddenly people are waking up and will demand
    Chavez leave now. The biggest news possible would be for Chavez to be thrown out- run to Cuba and suddenly Cuba awaken. I can dream this every night until one day it becomes true!!

  4. I think this scenario of elections in March is very dangerous… With no primaries, the MUD may not back HCR, the best candidate by far…the parties will look after a more potable-to-them candidate.

  5. OK, first off, what is “elections in March” supposed to mean anyway? Does it mean that the new president till take office in April or May? Or are they going to pretend to justify making the elections in March and then making everyone wait until January 2013 to see the winner become president?

    Of course, there’s absolutely no way to justify it either way. If they move the elections even a few days prior to December 2012, everyone’s going to know that Chavez is dying, and there’s no way they can pretend otherwise.

  6. I think it will be set when the government can extract itself from certain international treaties and complete moving the reserves to friendly countries and the gold back to Venezuela. Not sure how long this will take but believe it implies the fix is in. He’s not going anywhere unless it’s in a casket and then his chavista machine will remain in place. Remember they don’t want to go to jail either.

  7. According to our member of the CNE the elections can not be held in March.
    April or May wouldn’t surprise me.
    This will surely indicate that his majesty is declining rapidly.
    Can you imagine the scene where the MUD wins an election in April & then has to wait until Feb. 2013 to take over? The country will be totally raped & then they won’t leave.
    We will know today what the dates are.

    Vicente Díaz: No es posible hacer las elecciones en marzo

  8. es, there are certainly a lot of rumours floating about about HCh’s health and the move of the elections timetable. We should get some clarity around the later today after the CNE meets. I did see that the MUD plans to move the primaries if the elections get moved…

    A few people, including Juan Carlos Zapata (in an article in Bocaranda’s Runrunes), seem to be making quite a bit about what J V Rangel said on his show this past Sunday. I didn’t watch the show and had to go to Youtube to find what was said. There are two relevant sections, first, the introductory remarks where JVR warns against an escalation in the aggressiveness of political discourse, fearing that it would lead to actual bloodshed. This call for moderation is surprising.

    The second section is during later in the show during JVR’s Confidenciales, and he discusses the use of the use of the “possible” death of HCh as a campaign banner. Zapata was quite surprised that JVR would mention HCh’s possible death, even in the context of criticizing the opposition, and wondered if this foreshadows the leader’s actual demise, and thus, the necessity of national reconciliation to avoid a civil war.

    Links (Spanish):
    Confidenciales: (See 3:34-5:22)

    Zapata’s write-up:

    • “JVR warns against an escalation in the aggressiveness of political discourse, fearing that it would lead to actual bloodshed.” This call for moderation is surprising.”-
      but, it’s not Chavez’s fault. He’s never been aggressive or abusive, never…

  9. Hola Juan,

    One small point. The polling was done in mid-July, two months ago, (long?) before Pablo Perez entered the fray. It’s not so clear to me (no inside knowledge whatsoever) that Capriles is going to win the primaries, from a far it looks like PP has started strong.

  10. Speaking of rumors- I don’t understand the physical appearance of Chavez -if he really is getting
    chemotherapy. A known strong side effect is -weight loss. Maybe steriods are over-compensating for this..
    Other known side-effects are emotional-depression, anxiety, and impaired cognition(-well -the last one- we may not notice any difference- ha…been this way all along.)
    Obviously Chavez is being treated by a psychiatrist (Fidel -ha) and of course various religious
    figures are involved. We note how the family gathered around…anyway- I have noticed much less
    appearances and screaming by Chavez- and no travel is planned of course- also-no visitors of
    late…ie ALBA minions for example.

      • I know he does whatever he wants with it, but the question remains: is there any provision in the constitution that allows for such a change?

        • Does the constitution actually specify a date for presidential elections?

          HCh said today, via phone interview, that December elections had become a “custom” during the IVth Republic, but that the CNE would choose the dates of the presidential elections on “technical” factors rather than political in view that there are a number of elections (e.g. governors+mayors) and the CNE would have to decide how to make the calendar work…

          You can hear the audio here in Hugo’s hoarse voice:

          • Nope. The constitution only specifies when the president takes office.

            Artículo 230. El período presidencial es de seis años. El Presidente o Presidenta de la República puede ser reelegido.

            Artículo 231. El candidato elegido o candidata elegida tomará posesión del cargo de Presidente o Presidenta de la República el diez de enero del primer año de su período constitucional, mediante juramento ante la Asamblea Nacional.

  11. What is the logic behind Chavez being very sick for advancing the election?

    If he is that sick, he needs to groom a successor, not get himself elected fast. Under the Constitution, if he dies in the first three years of his term, there have to be elections within thirty days of the President;s death. Thus, in the absence of someone else within Chavismo, you would have a very quick election if Chavez becomes either very sick or passes away. I would think in that scenario an opposition candidate fresh from an election would have an advantage.

    In any case, I have argued before that a long campaign is bad for an opposition without much money and a Government with too much money, as well as for a single target to aim at for the Government.

    But what do I know?

    Let me add to things to the “rumors” Jose Vicente’s TV program on Sunday was weird, caling for understanding and the like.

    Similarly, Carlos Blanco wrote an article about Generals preparing a coup…

    • The thing is that Chavez doesn’t act by logic. He follows his gut and if he’s sick, maybe he wants to go out in a triumphant way. That’s his ego talking. Me first, screw the rest.

    • I guess the feeling may be that without Chavez there is no hope of winning an election. Even with him there is a doubt.

      What would happen if there was an election, he loses, but the MUD can’t take over until Feb. 12. 2013? If he then became really sick the Chavistas would have “x” months to prepare a new leader or plan the autogolpe.

      For sure there wouldn’t be a 2nd election as there is already a designated new president. Probably the VP would take over until Feb. ’13. With control of the AN & Supreme Court the MUD would have no recourse..

    • Ok, my guess is that he really is very sick, but it is undetermined that he will actually die or when. Thus he can take a few months to campaign, maybe “win” the elections with whatever means necessary, and then take a looong recess for recovery while someone else keeps an eye on things.

      In the event that he does indeed recover, well, the seat will be there just waiting for him. In the event that he does not recover I guess that the ailment will be slow enough to claim him that the rest of chavismo can figure out what to do and how to do it. Unfortunately this could very well be pretty well thought out. But what do I know…

    • Let me paint it to you this way: if Chavez is sick, he may be betting on getting the election out of the way as soon as possible. That way, if he dies in the first few years of his term, or even before assuming office again, the vice-president would hold office, and they would hold an election that would surely be won by the vice-president out of sympathy votes.

      But if they wait until December, Chavez may be too sick to even campaign. He might not even be a candidate, in which case chavismo has to run with someone else.

      It’s not logical, it’s chavista.

  12. Interesting date – still gives them almost 3 months to play with but is far enough ahead that speculation on his health is not as prominent.

    Now the fun starts.


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