What happened at tonight's debate?

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Pablo Pérez, in debate prep mode.

OK, here’s our inst-analysis. Tonight, María Corina Machado wiped the floor with her opponents, though that probably won’t do her any good when the votes are counted. Henrique Capriles cemented his position as the guy most likely to unify the base, rally the Chaca-Chacas and win the election. Leopoldo López and Pablo Pérez underperformed once more. Diego Arria and Pablo Medina wasted everyone’s time. And Venevisión showed the depth of its soullessness and inanity to genuinely depressing effect.

I thought Leopoldo López’s performance was especially interesting…and not in a good way. The guy clearly got the message that he needed something to differentiate himself from Pablo Pérez and Henrique Capriles Radonski. That’s the good news. The bad news is that that something consisted of repeating his isn’t-crime-terrible theme in every single answer, though without projecting any sense that he had a clue what to do about it.

Mentioning his legal problems in his concluding statements and not offering anyone but Henrique a cabinet post are the sorts of moves that could come back to haunt him. It made him come across as somewhat petty and unlikeable. And the paleolithic “Hecho en Venezuela” economic message?! Puh-lease.

I have a hard time putting my finger on just why the entire package seemed so underwhelming. The guy’s whole image gives every sign of having been focus grouped, hair-dried and consulted to within an inch of its life, sucking out any vestigial trace of his actual personality and leaving behind a kind of animatronic facsimile of the man. Ugh.

Pablo Pérez was obviously coached on body language and over-learned his lesson. His messaging is still very, very HCR-like, but given he’s behind, failing to differentiate himself is lethal. His awkward use of hand gestures and his constant use of the third person to refer to himself is cringe-inducing. That tweet about him being like Buzz Lightyear before he realized he was a toy really ought to go viral…

Henrique Capriles Radonski had a minor wardrobe catastrophe with that hideous neck-tie, but he was relaxed and projected the kind of optimism that always wins elections. I know of fewer people whose entire appearance changes so much when he smiles as his does. He scored several home runs, particularly when responding about his position on plans to have Chávez prosecuted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague, and when correcting the journalist mistaking his ad for PP’s. Personable, precise, and passionate on his central theme on education, he seemed comfortable in his role as front runner. And when you’re the front runner and you improve on your last performance, you can go to bed confident you had a great night.

María Corina Machado would have won by a very wide margin had this been a college debate, but her framing at the end was perhaps too caustic. Her answers on a whole range of topics were bold and impressive – much, much more substantive and precise than those of her rivals. In many ways, she commanded the night – at times, we really had the eerie feeling she was pitching her candidacy directly at us (which, we should note, doesn’t seem electorally smart.) But her final statement, where she tried to draw a contrast between herself, Capriles, and Chavez, went a bit too far. She reminded us that, perhaps, she is in this more to say her bit than to win it. Still, she’s the best reason to watch the debates.

Diego Arria’s 15 minutes of fame are clearly up, and poor Pablo Medina was just embarrassing to watch. About Venevision’s gawdawful, gimmicky staging, pointless computer graphics and pathetic, clueless foreign questioners the less said the better.

Now, if we ask nicely, pretty please could we ditch the 1-minute time limit for the next debate and have a single, smart, incisive questioner who encourages the candidates to engage with one another’s responses?!

1 COMMENT

  1. I think they all want to look presifential. Engaging another human being directly to justify a position makes you look un-presidential. Ergo, I don’t think they will ever agree to a debate like that.

  2. Who would that “single, smart, incisive questioner” be? Just curious in your mind (all of you in the forum) who is that. To be honest nothing comes to my mind. Miguel Angel Rodriguez? Just to throw a name out there.

  3. College debate but caustic? your analysis of MCM sounds as the usual catch-22 for women: damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Go away and think about it. If she was a guy, wouldn’t you be voting for her, endorsing her even?

    I agree HCR went home ok, he’ll probably win. I’m not enthusiastic though.

    • Hey, we’re ga-ga over MCM. I’m still gushing at the fact that a Venezuelan politician can go on TV and discuss the internal oil market in Iran – and sound rational in the process. So impressive.

      • That answer in particular, citing a Chavez ally as a “successful” example of raising gas prices was brilliant, I never saw that one coming.

        All in all I agree with you, MCM was the best, HCR was brilliant in answering the Hague question, generally he´s doing what he needs to do, hold a steady course, unless something catastrophic happens he will get the nomination.

        I would really like to see the latest polls, PP has become a HUGE dissapointment, LL has been underwhelming to say the least. I´m curious if MCM can break the top 3 in the polls before it´s primary time.

      • Did he mention PISA? Did he mention PISA? Did he mention PISA? Did he mention PISA?
        OK, OK, I’ll watched the recorded video.
        I hope he hinted at PISA and what they did in Miranda on PISA, not that I were PISA-obsessed, but I told Arocha, jod…they should mention PISA.

        Seriously: I am happy Machado is bringing that part to discussion. I had the hunch she was going to keep shining. Our Venezuelan ladies are not Bachmanning or Palining around.

    • Totally true and half the battle-well we still haven’t won it- because half the problem is coming from women’s attitudes as well as I am sure ya’ll have had plenty of chance to see 🙁

  4. I agree with the idea that MCM is saying what she thinks even if it wont get her votes. But style wise her last answer was superior to that of HCR, who needs to learn when to raise his volume. It’s easy: Q. why do you want to be president? A. anything, as long as you don’t speak as if you were being asked about what kind of gas you use for your car.

  5. I’m not sure whether PP is really a disappointment. He did not make any major gaffe (no “father”, no “poverty has a woman’s face”), and he seemed to be in control of his answers.

    He could’ve loosened up a little bit (but you could argue the same about MCM and even for LL), but perhaps the crux of the matter is that he’s not wonkish enough for this audience (or, dare I say it, too old school).

    Personally, I thought PPs answer on Oil was good (almost on MCM’s level): PDVSA is not going to be privatised, but it must remain a viable business (so no more fuddy-duddy accounting, unprofessional management, populist petty cashing and politicalmongering); moreover, we must debunk the myth of Oil riches: they’re not good for everything. Hence, he gave a priority for the Oil rent: fund Social Security (and there are a number of means which implies tradeoffs and should have lead to a follow-up question). Add to that the necessary reckoning on oil prices by MCM, and you have part of a revolutionary -if not solid- Oil platform.

    HCR was looser this time around, and though his Hague reply will surely anger a number of voters, it showed he’s not an automaton or preacher to the choir. LL added that cute bit on her daughter -does he never go to the supermarket himself, though?- toward a “real world issue” (of course, how can you use your daughter to talk about, say, your relationship with China); and he was being good-natured about naming HCR as Minister of Education. As for DA and PM, they did raise a number of legitimate issues, but it was a less interesting take than before (and how can a journalist say that PM is an obrero; he hasn’t been one in 28 years, and even then, he was only an obrero as a mean to foster a political organisation).

    IMHO, the candidates outperform the Debate’s rules and limitations. And the people in the street was much better than the seasoned journos invited, whose facts were all over the place. And most candidates did not fall for the journalists’ long-winded and patronising fallacies (sincerely, I cannot blame PM for dodging the questions; they were mostly uninteresting, even if he came off as having a loose screw, or two, or six…).

    Which topics would I like to see asked in future debates? Agriculture reform and compensation for taken lands; Cultural policy; Human Rights; Science and Technology; Ecology… Some people on my TL missed tourism, and I guess that having Arria there could justify a question on the matter.

    • I didn’t see the debate but maybe what made PP lose it to the eyes of everyone was the comment of him looking “like buzz lightyear before learning he was a toy” 9or something like that. I couldn’t stop laughing at the guy since that moment on. Poor PP…

  6. Totally agree about the set-up: 1. They could have chosen better journalists; 2. the Q&A format was frustrating at times; In addition to that: 3. the roulette system to pick the journo-candidate couple was LAME; 4. the moderatorwas better suited for a quiz Tv show than for a political debate.
    Regarding the candidates:
    Capriles: he looked really good. I am not a fan of HRC, but I am getting used to him.
    Lopez:yes, you are NOT inhabilitated. yes, crime IS important for you. we get it. now, can you answer any of the questions, please? And he should definitely think about rebranding his Hecho en Venezuela”: it sounds so 1980s…
    Machado: the best by far. answered the questions very well, a lot of content and ideas. If just the other guys could learn from her… Do I sound like a 2nd grade teacher praising the whiz-kid?
    Perez: I hated when he adresses the tv audience. it felt phony. He looked also very disarticulated. Nothing but an empty piñata filled with catch phrases…
    Arria: he might be a valuable asset as part of the next government, but not as the president…
    Medina: Can someone take this poor guy out of his misery?

    In short: They are far from being the charismatic monster the blahblah commander is, but Capriles and Machado looked very well. It was not a very good night for Lopez or Perez. They should probably stop listening to their advisors and follow their instinct… I regret wishing for Medina’s inclusion, because he’s not offering nothing to the left-leaning voters.
    It’s hard to say whether the debate will actually influence the voters or not. But if that’s the case, Machado should get a big bump.

  7. I have not seem the debates, but reading your analysis, I am pretty happy with the results.

    I just hope that HCR picks MCM as his VP instead or PP or LL, that would be a great team to go against Chavez and whatever clown he picks.

    Please LL and PP, go quietly into the night, thanks for your services and I wish you two the best.

    • I’ve just watched Machado giving an interview to Globovision. She would be a waste as VP. She MUST be in charge of MinInformacion. She’s incredible persuasive and we are going to need someone like her to explain why the next government will do what must be done, i.e. get rid of CADIVI, gas subsidy, etc.
      Assuming that Capriles wins, I’d give Machado MinInformacion, Arria’s experience could be used in MinExt, Lopez could go to MinEnergia if he actually knows how to increase oil production. Finally, Perez as VP could add some lightheartedness to counterbalance Mr Capriles’ gloominess.

  8. Morning everyone! Here are my two cents:

    Winner: Maria Corina Machado. She can answer questions about issues with detail and coherence in 60 seconds. Fearless, committed to her ideas and not afraid to take Chavez on, she’s been formidable so far. Even if she loses the primary, she’s the biggest political winner.

    Runner-Up: Henrique Capriles R. He improved a lot from the last debate. His answer on the ICC & Chavez was brilliant. Even if his tie was a little bit distracting, he was more focused. His performance will reassure his position as the front-runner.

    Bronze Medal: Diego Arria. He was more calmed this time. Still, he stuck to his plan (a transition government of 3 years and a constituyent assembly). The question about the Chinese showed his diplomacy skills. Not bad.

    Dissapointment: Leopoldo Lopez. He focused too much on himself and his strategy on using stories fell flat. Tried to shake the game and lost. The “inhabilitacion” issue is hurting him.

    Loser: Pablo Perez. Pablo Perez is the future of Venezuela. Pablo Perez is a secure future. Pablo Perez is on twitter. Pablo Perez’ constant mention of Pablo Perez hurts Pablo Perez badly. Pablo Perez tried too hard last night. Pablo Perez needs a major rethink.

    #FAIL: Pablo Medina. When you look for the definition of disaster in the dictionary or in Wikipedia, his performance should appear. Half angry, half crazy. All horrible. Shameful.

    The debate’s format: Terrible. An unremarkable panel, with the Sainz guy as the only exception. The host was trying to imitate Gilberto Correa (Hell, no!). A bizarre method to decide the questions. That annonying buzz from the 80’s. Compared to this, the debate of the students was a masterpiece.

    Hugo Chavez: Throw the gauntlet this week for the CELAC summit. Put him in the headlines again. Kind of backfired a little bit (33 dead on Caracas this weekend and the rest of the country suffering floods). Brazil is waiting the right time to hijack the organization and tell everybody who’s really boss. He left the debate alone, which was a good thing.

    And the other big loser: Winston Vallenilla. You probably know why. EPIC FAIL.

    The next debate should wait until next year, because in the next few days, all the country will be on “holiday” mode. A couple more should be made. One should be done in a “townhall meeting” style and at least one should be held in another city different than Caracas. I think Televen should prepare the next one. Bringing CNN en Español is other option. However, they should allow a longer time for the candidates to answer and some interaction between the candidates.

    That’s all from me. Thanks JC and Quico for the liveblog. Good day.

  9. I know it’s a long shot and it’s risky (double shot of sifrinismo) but putting MCM on the ticket as a VP would be fun to watch. In my mind she has the humph HCR lacks.

  10. ‘Niego la mayor’, as they say in Spain. By which I mean this: why all you guys and everybody in Venezuela insist that a series of one-minute straitjacketed monologues is a ‘debate’? Huh?

    • This is true, Ana. Calling those one-minute presentations a debate is false. I think these presentations (so far, to students and now to journalists and members of the public) are a way to reveal the platform of each of the six candidates, with minimal risk. And there is risk as the coalition of candidates moves forward under a unity banner, against a strong man in office for over 12 years. So the formats used to present these candidates combine that low risk with as much public involvement as possible. Could a true debate satisfy these two tenets? I doubt it.

      • You make a fine point, here. Provided one takes for granted that low-profiling best serves the MUD strategy and maybe, maybe could defuse, at least at this stage, the same olde aggressive one from the chavista powers-that-be.
        But isn’t that preventive-strike strategy precisely the one thing that, up to now, has so nicely played into the hands of the chavista ‘nebulosa’?
        I mean, really. We all know a showdown with the CNE or the TSJ or whatever other institution hijacked by chavistas is inevitable. And will take place any time.
        So what are we doing here? Beating about the bush, while waiting for the comandante to maybe die of cancer? Or praying for a thrust in the regime’s entropy?
        Not to mention the fact that most Venezuelans deserve better than these paternalistic sleights of hand.

  11. Oh, and by the by.
    It’s 13:09 local time in Caracas and Venevisión still hasn’t uploaded last night’s ‘debate’. Right now on YouTube, ‘El Gran Debate en Venevisión’ leads you to a blank screen, with this proviso inserted in it: “The live recording you’re trying to play is still being processed and will be available soon. Sorry, please try again later.”
    Jeezz… more than twelve hours later…
    I’ll say it in Spanish, ‘cos it sounds better: El gran problema en Venezuela no sólo es quien gobierna, sino lo rematadamente flojos que son los venezolanos.

    • Are you Venezuelan? Are you lazy then? Sorry Ana, but I don’t like your comment.
      I’m Venezuelan and i am not lazy. I take pride on working my butt off to make a living. So does my brother, and did my parents and my grandparents. So are many, many colleagues and people I have worked with.
      I also must say that a lot of people in Venezuela work with their nails due to the lack of resources. They do as much as they can and most of the time they are forced to improvise to get things done. Yo don’t know what could have happen to VV for not had posted the video yet, and you throw a whole country under the “lazy” label?
      Shame on you.

      • 1. I’m Venezuelan. Born in Caracas.
        2. Far from it. I’ve founded, co-directed, co-edited half a dozen enterprises. Not in Venezuela actually, but in Spain. Amongst them, a political party.
        3. Go check Google next time, before you indulge in any ad hominem reaction.

        Yours sincerely,
        a Venezuelan who knows what she’s talking about and doesn’t practise ritual Venezuelan murder when confronted with an opinion you dislike.

          • Thanks!
            And yet. Yet and yet.
            The ‘debate’ was seen on Venevisión. So I do say, yet again, that we’re f… lazy.

          • Ana, I have a big problem with your statement of laziness (quite a generalisation!), mainly because I find a more obviouos reason why VV did not upload the video: VV already pushed their government supporting position quite far, and as a damage control tactic delaying or avoiding the upload saves them from people using the dabate and VV name for indulging in discussion involving the opposition candidates, which at the end are exactly what the government would like to silence.
            DomingoL

        • Not that she needs defending, but someone as smart and accomplished as you should know that generalizations such as calling an entire “gentilicio” (demonym?) anything is just looking for trouble.
          Saying Venezuelans are lazy because a video hasn’t been posted on You Tube is as asinine as saying all Catalanes are a bunch of “Cabezas de Huevo” because the last time I was in Barcelona a cab driver refused to make a legal U-turn to take me to my hotel and drove an extra 5 miles to get to a round-about (apparently u-turns made him nervous).

        • Ana – I don’t need to google you to tell you that I don’t like your comment that Venezuelans are lazy. I don’t really care who you are or what you have done and I am not interested one bit in feeding your ego with a search.
          I called you lazy based on your own statement: You are Venezuelan, therefore you are lazy, right?
          Take that stupid statement back in the name of the many Venezuelans that work their asses off, and maybe, if I have time, I’ll take a look at who you are.

        • Is bragging another Venezuelan trait or is it just YOUR particular ? Though I will agree with you that on this blog if you make an unpopular opinion, they will often gang up against you like kids in a grade school,which makes a debate rather difficult.

          But then again in this case people might feel hurt that you call Venezuelans lazy when we all know there are so many who work their fingers to the bone.I could think of other truer general defects( like difficulties with debates)- but that one of laziness is just not that true..

          I have no interest in your credentials. Your words stand alone, as it should be.If you say something as an uneducated housewife, or if you are a PHD, holds no interest for me.You words are the same.Your thoughts are the same.If I were to allow status to interfere with my appreciation of the truth, then i will be slipping quite quickly into authoritarianism.

        • Hahahahaha! Sinvergüenzaaaaa! You’ve just issued a provocative statement to get a few folks to look you up, you narcissist. Get a grip and google the debate yourself, rather than wait for someone else to do it for you, while you create your platform and lambaste a nation.

          Pedazo ‘e…

          • my comment was meant for the sh*t disturber from Barcelona who thinks she’s someone, since she left her home turf.

            Es que a veces hay que hablar claritoooo.

  12. Ah, qué bueno. Y perdonen ustedes que escriba este último comentario a sus últimas paridas en la que es, a prueba de lo contrario, la lengua materna de prácticamente todos los que participan en este espacio con sus sapientísimos comentarios. Eso sí: del por qué se esfuerzan en hacerlo en otra lengua, supongo que les dará razón su psicoanalista.
    Pero a lo que iba.
    Ahora resulta que no se puede hablar, in toto, de Venezuela y los venezolanos. ¿Pero de qué otra cosa va este blog, sino de una muy personal, por más inteligente, generalización?
    ‘Caracas Chronicles’: ahí es ná.
    Y para más inri, con un epígrafe que si lo escribiera un extranjero -y no digamos ya un español- les haría a todos ustedes, tan patriotas, desempolvar la proclama de guerra a muerte bolivariana. Algo así como qué se puede esperar de un país donde las cucarachas vuelan… A Miami, claro. O a Nueva York, Londres, París, Amsterdam, Berlín… o Barcelona.

    A ver queridos, menos lobos. Que el que más o el que menos, sobre Venezuela, una de dos: o podemos opinar todos, o sólo opina un grupito de niños de papá, que decide en qué términos y cuándo se habla de Venezuela.

    Y ahora, como dicen los catalanes, apa nens.

    • Hola Ana. Hizbollah? Institucionalmente en Venezuela? En la zona del Amazonas? Financiando escuelas que promueven segregación entre niñas y niños? No entenc…

      Sources? Please?

    • Creo que si no podemos ni siquiera acordar que las generalizaciones son malas es poco lo que se puede hacer al responder pero aquí voy de todas maneras:
      1. “del por qué se esfuerzan en hacerlo en otra lengua, supongo que les dará razón su psicoanalista.” Particularmente no creo que sea un esfuerzo, este es un foro de Venezuela para extranjeros. En mi experiencia es bastante común que por simple cortesía se hable la lengua en común de todos los participantes de una conversación, aunque una mayoría tenga una lengua madre diferente. Interesante comentario viniendo de alguien que sintió la necesidad imperiosa de obtener un Phd en English Studies.
      2. “¿Pero de qué otra cosa va este blog, sino de una muy personal, por más inteligente, generalización?” En mi opinión el valor de esta comunidad es su falta de generalizaciones. Los dos moderadores y los foristas que se toman el tiempo de participar y opinar generalmente lo hacen sobre temas de los que saben y están dispuestos a discutirlos hasta la saciedad (CCTs, UCCT, the role of the state in the welfare of people and the best way of reaching the vast number of venezuelans that are ni-ni’s are some examples of topics that are covered in depth in this forum)
      3. “Algo así como qué se puede esperar de un país donde las cucarachas vuelan… A Miami, claro. O a Nueva York, Londres, París, Amsterdam, Berlín… o Barcelona.” Le falto decir que todos los Venezolanos son cucarachas… Si no me equivoco el tema de las cucarachas voladoras en un “inside joke” de Francisco en referencia a un comentario que dejo un individuo en una página para turistas sobre Venezuela.
      4. “A ver queridos, menos lobos. Que el que más o el que menos, sobre Venezuela, una de dos: o podemos opinar todos, o sólo opina un grupito de niños de papá, que decide en qué términos y cuándo se habla de Venezuela.” Estoy casi seguro que el punto de los que se han tomado la molestia de responderle es que decir que todos los que podemos llamarnos Venezolanos somos flojos es una generalización que no lleva a ningún sitio productivo. Para ese tipo de debates hay otros sitios en la web.

      • Siempre es pesado quien dice algo que te retumba. Hija, hijos queridos, lo vemos todos los días, a los cinco minutos de salir de nuestras casas, a menos que veamos TV o escuchemos radio, en cuyo caso lo veremos bastante antes… Como dice el gran filósofo: “el que quiere ver, que vea”.
        You could even say it’s one of our greatest assets in these dire circumstances: We are SO lazy that the castropelele hasn’t been able to completely overpower the country. I dare say that on the one hand his people are (thank God!!) plain lazy and getting filthy rich as it is, so why bother, they might say. On the other hand, nobody (on either side) obeys anything, nobody feels like enforcing any law, nothing goes beyond the token grandilocuent statement. I’m aware some would call this ressistance, but there’s always a way to make things seem more acceptable. There’s the castropelele way, and there’s our side’s.

    • Ana, Ilustre Foro

      Con respecto a por qué el foro va en la de Shakespeare, creo que es para poder servirle a un poco más de gente que, aun cuando está interesada en nuestra Tierra de Gracia, no habla el idioma, pero que me corrijan Quico y Juancho si me equivoco. Aquí te respondo en la de Cervantes y Bello.

      Acerca de aquello de que las cucarachas vuelan, pues creo que se refieren al hecho muy literal de que en algunas partes de Venezuela (mi referencia es La Unión-El Hatillo en las afueras de Caracas) algunos individuos de la especie Periplaneta Americana, Phylum Artropoda (la cucaracha común, pues) son efectivamente proclives a lanzarse al vuelo… Una de ellas, aterrizando en mi cara con un zumbido infernal a las 3 am mientras trabajaba en mi tesis de grado (allá por el 97) me hizo proferir un alarido en Falsetto que bien hubiesen envidiado Freddy Mercury, Farinelli y hasta Rudy La Scala, y eso que normalmente me comunico en las octavas de tenor. Así que Cockroaches DO fly in Venezuela querida, aún tengo pesadillas a veces.

      Respecto al tema de la diatriba: como quizás buena parte de quienes escriben, soy también un hijo de esa pequeña clase media ejecutiva-comerciante-empresaria a quienes nunca les regalaron un mango, ni porque estuviera tirado en el piso bajo el árbol. Mis viejos, y mis abuelos antes que ellos, se partieron el proverbial lomo para darnos a mis hermanos y a mí mejores oportunidades que las que ellos recibieron. Así que puedo entender y hasta identificarme un poquito con quienes se indignan y corren por sus picas y antorchas ante la mención de la flojera como un defecto fundamental de Venezuela.

      Sin embargo, Ilustre Foro, tengo también que decir que se pasan… Si la “flojera” (llámenla ineficiencia criminal, “cleptocracia”, incuria) no fuese uno de los PRINCIPALES problemas que enfrenta Venezuela, y eso desde hace muchísimo más que los 12 años y pico que suelen ser el foco primario de esta discusión, pues muy probablemente no estaríamos hablando de estos temas, muchos de nosotros desde el extranjero a donde las oportunidades que no hallamos en casa, o el cansancio, o el pánico, o cualquier otro motivo nos han llevado.

      Hablo, principalmente, del hecho de que la falta de supervisión, la ausencia de procedimientos claros y auditables causados por el clientelismo político fosilizado han creado un sector público incapaz en su casi totalidad de ofrecer soluciones al día a día de los venezolanos y por ello -mucho más que por tal o cual discurso de quienquiera esté de turno en Miraflores- tenemos los bajos niveles educativos, el poco competitivo sector privado (y no me vengan con lo de los últimos años, es de muy vieja data, y las excepciones son eso, excepciones), el poco trabajo y por tanto el alto nivel de criminalidad que tenemos.

      Y en un país donde el sector público ha sido y es tan enorme y TAN influyente como en Venezuela, esa actitud permea al resto de la sociedad. Así que no seremos TODOS flojos, pero la “flojera” y la corrupción sí son problemas severos que tenemos como país. Si no estuvieran tan difundidos, no serían un problema.

      Y por cierto Ana, tampoco te “googleé”… tu tono me sonó un poco al nefasto “¡usted no sabe quién soy yo?!” que tan pocos favores le hace a quien lo profiere. Espero que no haya sido ésa tu intención.

      “Auribus tenere lupus”

    • …”del por qué se esfuerzan en hacerlo en otra lengua, supongo que les dará razón su psicoanalista”.
      Debe ser que te dio FLOJERA ver la pagina de inicio en donde esta el Blog “Crónicas de Caracas”, el blog hermano de este, en español.

  13. I think Ana’s main point is perfectly valid: this is not really a debate, and we should demand a real one. Maybe we can get back to that.

    • Well, she had a point with her second point, a rant produced to call attention to herself. She really should get back to Barcelona if the whole of Venezuela’s population causes her that much mental imbalance.

  14. Ok.We agree it was not a debate. I enjoyed it as a presentation of some information
    regarding some important issues and the feelings and opinions of the individual candidates.
    Some saw this as an opportunity to try and sell themselves while others brought out
    many interesting plans to correct major missteps by Chavez. Example-Cuban troops.
    Machado hit a homerun with that one. Not enough praise for her standing up and telling
    the truth about that…

    • Think about this- many questions mentioned Chavez by name and this and that-kind of provoking the opposition participants to respond directly to Chavez programs -one after another
      and Medina esp. expressed a high level of anger. I thought Machado answered with a high
      level of firmness, too. Not outright anger. Others much less so..

  15. I know this is totally OT, but, has anyone thought of some number doodling by the CNE to make chavez the winner?

    The REP is a black box, in the last years there have been two spikes in the number of total registered voters (which is different to the total number of votes) and two sinks on the same parameter: peaks = 2006 and 2009, presidential and indefinite reelection referendum, both were crucial to keep chavez in power, the two sinks were 2007 and 2010, both are elections in which chavez lost (well, kinda on 2010 due to gerrymandering :p). Also, there is a very strong correlation between the rate of variation of total number of registered voters and rate of variation of pro-chavez votes, stronger than the same but for the oppo field.

    I fear that with all this “hidden registration centers” the chavistas are setting up here and there that number ramps up again and verrhuguin holds on to power (seriously, I saw how they set-up a CNE registration machine inside a shanty in the very centro del medio de la mitad de un monte de pomona (translation: in the middle of nowhere) with my own eyes.

    This kind of maraña is “perfect” because it’s a kind of fraud impossible to trace, sorry for the paranoia, but it’s a perfectly valid possibility, and possibly a very necessary one to make chavez the winner and has hit me from a while, by looking at election results :p

    Oh and <3MCM<3 🙂

  16. I’m not sure if there was a clear winner, but there was definitely a clear looser: PP.

    He came in as a member of the top tier. Did he leave in the same position? He did exactly what his coaches told him to do… and it hurt him dearly. He seemed fake, hollow, just like the toy. I honestly cannot remember anything he said, as it all sounded so generic. I guess the “Adios Presidente” was memorable.

    Maria Corina se la comió. The bit about raising the oil price in Iran was fantastic! She was well prepared, focused, and enthusiastic. I was impressed that the hacker that stole Luis Vicente Leon’s twitter account focused almost exclusively on attacking her. El que se pica es porque aji come.

    She is taking this seriously!

    As opposed to Arria, who thinks he can wing it. His answer on any policy question is that he will find good advisers alo CAP. The idea that a President could detach from the details of policy is so cuarta.

    Medina, on the other hand, is just happy that he gets to be heard for 9 solid minutes, even if one at a time. I thought he was going to have a nervous breakdown, or reach orgasm, or both. By taking a position further to the right of Arria he has pushed MCM to the center. She almost looks like a colaboracionista, as the people from “el comando de la resistencia” would say. Btw, has anyone heard what happened to that group?

    Leopoldo executed his strategy: challenge HCR, and always pivot back to security, which is voters most important issue. I’ve really had high hopes for him, but his proposal, a derivative of Roberto Smith’s failed “Venezuela de Primera”, sounds like one of those self-help motivational programs. It is a shame that Leopoldo did not get the chance to obtain the experience of running la Alcaldia Mayor. The lack of experience in running a challenging district showed.

    Capriles, by default, came out winning this thing. His political experience came through, and as he relaxes more, his personality can emerge. Cornered by the ICC question, he handled it by hitting a home run with his answer and throwing a punch at Chavez without mentioning him… brilliant!

    I am getting more and more comfortable with the idea of HCR as the candidate!

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