“Hay un camino, y para emprenderlo, no hay que dar ni un paso atrás”


In my latest piece for Foreign Policy, I wrote,

“[Capriles] doesn’t have firm positions on anything other than reconciliation, efficiency, and problem-solving. This means that all the different factions of the opposition have a slightly different idea of him, one they tailor to their own ideological pre-conceptions: He’s a blank slate upon which a heterogeneous opposition projects its values and aspirations.”

I should have probably credited a friend for that idea. See, last week I was privileged to attend a talk by Ramón Guillermo Aveledo (more on the speech itself in a separate post). Aveledo was introduced by said friend, formerly of Gente del Petróleo.

As you can imagine, he and I don’t always see eye to eye. He has long been skeptical about Primero Justicia and Capriles’ message, and I think he voted for Diego Arria – though I can’t be sure.

Regardless, he is now firmly in Capriles’ camp. The phrase in the title comes from him – in fact, it was the way he ended the forum.

I thought it perfectly meshed the message of the intransigent opposition of 2002-2003 – of which the Gente del Petróleo were founding members – with the message of our … its Presidential candidate.

It also highlighted for me what I tried to convey in the article – that by staying above the fray, Capriles has allowed each group in the opposition to imagine him in a different light.

I honestly believe that the “ni un paso atrás” group are enthusiastic about Capriles’ chances, just as much as anyone in the opposition, and that they firmly believe that “hay un camino” means what they think it means.

Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.


  1. I like the fact that Capriles has become a Rorschach test for the opposition. Very similar to the way people saw Chavez as who they wanted to see back in 1998, when you could still tell apart the naives from the PSFs.

  2. intransigent has a negative connotation. It means refusal to abandon an extreme position, to compromise. I would say the Gente del petroleo stood firm on their convictions and principles, something wich is becoming all too rare in our country. What they stood for was to protect the oil industry fom what has now taken place.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here