In the wake of news about the Supreme Tribunal’s bizarre decision saying Leopoldo López is allowed to run for president, but is not allowed to execute the office of the presidency, I’m going to share a conspiracy theory of mine. Be warned: it’s totally unfounded, but aren’t they all?
Imagine you’re a highly experienced, utterly unscrupulous macchiavelian chavista political operator, and you’re tasked by the big guy to wreak some havoc on the opposition’s primary process.
How do you play it?
You could go out and do something obvious like disqualify the front runner. But only a rookie would play it that way. The front runner is a remarkably normal guy with a weirdly normal ego. If you disqualified him he’d probably bitch and moan for a few news cycles and then accept the inevitable, bowing out in favor of the rest of the field. That doesn’t cause anything like the level of chaos you’re looking to unleash.
Instead, what you want to do is pick on the stand-out megalomaniac in the field, the guy with an ego so out of control he’ll go to extraordinary, unity-wrecking lengths to stay in the field. And you’ll be sure to put layer on top of layer of confusing double-speak into his disqualification – even to the point of declaring he’s allowed to run, but not to win.
In other words you’ll play this in the way most likely to wreak havoc with the opposition’s unity – in a way that keeps a crippled, but not entirely disabled – charismatic candidate in the race. You’ll give him just enough rope to hang himself, and the rest of the MUD along with him.
And then you’ll stand back, popcorn in hand, and laugh as you watch the opposition struggle to climb out of the deep hole you’ve dug for it.
The point here is that they’re not targeting LL because he’s the one they’re most “scared of.” They’re using his ego as leverage in a maneuver to wreck the MUD’s primary process.
It takes a special kind of twisted genius to see clearly that this was going to work.
Which brings me back to my (totally unsubstantiated) conspiracy theory: there’s only one man who could have conjured up a scheme this wicked.Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.