Live-blogging the Facebook forum


Henrique Capriles is having a Facebook online forum tonight. Details here. We’re live-blogging the thing…

8:23 – Wrapping up, it felt oddly like one of those Primary season debates, only shorn of all of the cranks and obsessives. Practice makes perfect, and Capriles has gotten a lot better at this sort of thing. His central message is still clear: voting for me is a low-risk thing to do – the sky won’t fall the next day. He’s worked tirelessly to make that message stick, but how many are listening?

8:22 – Closes on an unambiguous pledge to bring back RCTV.

8:21 – Pushing the secrecy of the vote thing hard. It’s a tough argument for him to make on Don’t-Think-Of-An-Elephant grounds, but somebody has to make it.

8:18 – Are the ODH kids getting paid overtime for this?!

8:16 – After 19 citizen safety plan, who can really believe this government has the solution to the crime problem?

8:14 – Paraphrasing: El censo de la Gran Mision Vivienda Venezuela es mio es tuyo es tierra venezolaaaaaaana…” We’re going to build those houses, and we won’t hand them out on political grounds.

8:13 – On Housing Policy, he acknowledges that the government is building tons of housing – but says it’s too little, too late, because it’s all just an electoral gambit. It’s a sensible defense, but will it wash?

8:11 – It’s really all down to credibility – Chávez says Capriles will fire zillions of public employees, Capriles says he won’t. Who do you believe? That’s what it comes down to…

8:10 – Wow, they’re broadcasting from RCTV studios!

8:07 – Mayor theme: the government’s just out of touch because they don’t get out into the communities. Capriles’s discourse is really the same it was during the primaries.

8:05 – The obligatory confrontation question; “if today you’re falling back on confrontation and fighting it’s because you have nothing new to offer.”

8:01 – The IACHR’s rulings are in favor of individuals who don’t get a proper response from state authorities, so leaving the court only hurts Venezuelans who can’t find justice in the country. It’s irresponsible. So we’ll go back. These organizations are to place limits on the power of the state, and that’s what this government can’t stand, to have limits placed on its power.

8:00 – I don’t agree with unilateral decisions on things like leaving the Inter-American Human Rights Court, with bravuconada-based policy-making.

7:56 – 700,000 families are in extreme poverty – hungry people. The government’s out of touch, you can see it because they say nobody in Venezuela is hungry, or lacks running water. Again, misión mentira.

7:55 – Venezuela had 0.68% of Latin America’s tourism market, less than Aruba. Points-for-caletrating the stat.

7:54 – Falcón is great! I love Falcón!

7:52 – There 9 million Facebook users in Venezuela – who knew?

7:51 – We are not considering selling off our phone company – we’re considering improving their management. Watch Nagel howl!

7:49 – First proper tough question from the hipster kid in the Seinfeld hat – how are you going to broaden internet access without privatising CANTV? Capriles says – you can have well managed firms in State hands, but not in the hands of these jokers.

7:47 – In two minutes there’s no way to press Capriles on the difficulties facing a diversification plan in the face of Dutch Disease

7:45 – Capriles’s campaign has been clear all along: I’m here to lower the cost of voting for me.

7:44 – The government is running a Misión Mentira and a Misión Insulto. We want to give people title to their own land and to their own homes. The point is that nobody can later on come in and take away the homes that have been given to them.

7:42 – INCES has been turned into a political party’s indoctrination system. We’re not here to waste time, we need INCES to help older workers who’ve lost their jobs.

7:42 – Chavismo is the outcome of a system that imploded.

7:41 – I like his awareness that you need to tackle all four fronts at once: Prevention, court system, jails, and cops. There aren’t any partial solutions.

7:39 – 20 year old guys who are in jail today were 7 or 8 when this government came to power.

7:36 – First things first: citizen’s security is the President’s responsibility, no one else’s.

7:35 – 4,409 viewers. That’s a rally!

7:34 pm – Two minutes per question.

7:32 pm – Ramón Pasquier is hosting. Expect lots of questions about nice places to vacation.

7:29 pm – Quico here ready to kick off.

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  1. It starts in an hour from now. Chavistas, however, already started their extremely “progressive” questions against HCR asking whether he’s gay

  2. Many questions via Twitter to Capriles. #PreguntaACapriles

    Among the serious questions:

    Are you going to raise gasoline prices?
    How will we be able to verify your ministers are doing their jobs?
    What are you going to do about politicians that have gotten rich?
    What are you going to fix first? Roads, Hospitals, Security?

  3. First question:

    Asking about security, can’t play soccer at home anymore.

    What are you going to do about security?

    Answer: It is one of the great themes for us. Today is the anniversary of the founding of CCS and we are one of the most violent cities in the world.

    The president always puts off solutions.

    I will place all the power of the state towards reducing crime. Prevention comes first. Education, Sport, Culture, recovering public spaces. These are key. Youth that only know this government are the majority of the criminals

  4. Impunity is absolute

    Prisons suck
    Judicial system is compromised
    Crisis in jails, and no government assuming responsibility, only silence.

    We need Police, to pay them better and have more of them. We have the worst salaries and least # per capita

  5. Next question:

    What will you do regarding technical schools?

    Our government has created a model that imploded

    There was a lot of expectations in 1998 when this govt came to power, however these have not been met.

    Included in these expectations was INCE (tech/trade schools). What supplanted INCE has gone nowhere

    WE will enable tech/trade schools again and make it work

  6. Once you win on 7-O

    Are you going to take away the houses that have been assigned? Are you going to force those living in them to buy them at high prices?

    This govt. has created “Mision Mentira”

    I will grant title to all those houses. I will propose a law of transition to take care of this.

    Any Venezuelan waiting for a home will receive a home. No one can take them away.

    I will not make threats, I have never taken anything from anyone. I am here to solve problems.

  7. What will be the principal source of revenue for Venezuela?

    Venezuela needs to diversify. WE cannot continue this.

    THis govt. came in claiming we were a rentist country. Today we are more rentist than ever.

    We need to be able to export food, steel, aluminum. We need to be self sufficient.

    Our land is blessed, all we need is good govt.

  8. Next question:

    Telecoms and Internet sux, and is costly. What are you going to do about it?

    Public service companies (utilities) can be run efficiently by a state. Here at home, efficiency is not key, but politics are. You can be non efficient in your position, but as long as you are loyal to the party you are fine. Not for me, I will not tolerate this

  9. I liked the format and Capriles’ overall performance. Agreed with Quico that he’s keeping the same message discipline from the primaries. The image of the guy with the Leones shirt and the Seinfeld hat was priceless. Pasquier was good because he knew what his role was.

  10. Regarding insecurity…I don’t suppose anyone has run across the Economist article from a couple of days ago? More of the same, but looking at it from whether or not the “crime surge” is sensationalized or not.

    I wish Capriles had said that, for a start in a return to the integrity of the institutions that real and honest numbers would once again be published and that those would provide a metric to reforms of the judiciary, prisons, police, crime, etc. How can you possibly know if something is being repaired if you have no idea how badly broken it is in the first place.

    Capriles could move mountains I think, if he promised a return to the truth and not fanciful numbers made up during a cadena or thrown out as a press byline (such as the previously mentioned “illiteracy begone!” proclamation. Its true, no one might initially believe them, but if they really are as bad as the NGOs portray and anecdotal experiences indicate, the horror alone of the numbers would provide their own legitimization and provide a basis for creating reforms.

  11. Heh, the “hipster kid in the Seinfield hat” is my friend Yimmi Castillo.
    Great guy, smart, ex-chavista. One of the former believers, but always trying to be balanced. And, as you see, not friend of soft balls. He’s a journalist.

  12. Didn’t catch the forum, grateful to Quico and Roberto N for kicking off the commentaries. Where can one access a replay? (I’m not very familiar with facebook processes.)

  13. “Practice makes perfect, and Capriles has gotten a lot better at this sort of thing. His central message is still clear: voting for me is a low-risk thing to do – the sky won’t fall the next day. ”

    HMMMM…So people will be allowed to keep stealing for some time longer?


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