Capriles as Juan de Austria

A visitor from time

My last post before the election over at Foreign Policy.

As Quico said, it’s difficult to write many of these without sounding repetitive. On this one, I gave a different spin on the issue of fear, which is the Capriles camp’s main concern:

“Fear is what is behind Chávez’s threats of a civil war were he to lose. He wants to make the act of voting for the opposition a subversive one, something appalling and treasonous. He hopes that by making a vote for Capriles a huge deal, people will be dissuaded from doing so. After all, nobody wants a civil war on their conscience.”

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  1. I urge everybody who can vote to go and vote. For the first time in the Chávez era it will be impossible for me to vote because of work-related travel. I feel bad about it, with a big hole in my heart, so the least I can do is send this message of encouragement and hope.

  2. Dear Juan!

    I am surprised of how far you went to find a comparison! I’m sure that recent events with some similarities abound…
    A nice piece when diving into the specificity of polls state by state though.

  3. With a resopectful nod to G.K. Chesterton, we swipe a couple of chunks of his “Lepanto”*:

    “The last knight of Europe takes weapons from the wall,
    The last and lingering troubadour to whom the bird has sung,
    That once went singing southward when all the world was young.
    In that enormous silence, tiny and unafraid,
    Comes up along a winding road the noise of the Crusade.
    Strong gongs groaning as the guns boom far,
    Don John of Austria is going to the war,… ”

    BUT, ‘we’ won, so, later:

    “Vivat Hispania!
    Domino Gloria!
    Don John of Austria
    Has set his people free!”

    Yes, I checked my voting station; and yes, I and family will be at the foot of the cannon at sun-up.

    (*For them as so fancy, the whole thing is at

  4. You and other bloggers are real patriots. As a gringo, who has observed from afar your country’s sufferings, I have been buoyed by your steadfast reporting. If I ever doubted the resolve of the Venezuelan electorate, that is no more.

  5. Talking with my family about how fear will affect this election, some of them think that, from the opposition point of view, the key factor is to beat the fear of the secret vote; I doubt.
    Although is important to convince people that vote is secret , more important is to beat the argument that there will be a “civil war” only if the opposition wins. When the officialism says that Chavez is a warranty for stability, I believe they are really saying “we are terrified!”. From that point of view, I think Capriles gave them a liver punch. We will see it next sunday. It wont be easy, specially after 6pm, but a the end, the fear, one of the most powerful feelings, will be defeated!

    Great post! has dado justo en el clavo.

  6. I don’t fear a civil war, but post election violence. We live near the Panteón in Caracas, and this morning we hear about the shootings in Las Mercedes last night and see the broken glass and garbage on the streets following the closing of the Chavez campaign. That is why after voting on Sunday, we’ll be safely locked in our apartment until whatever happens blows over – with 5 days of food, 3 bottles of Santa Teresa and 24 bottles of Solera Verde!

  7. Venezuelans have turned into a habit stocking up on foodstuffs and other essentials (caña) on occasion of presidential elections in these past years, but this time people are really going berserk. Friends and work colleagues that ventured to supermarkets these past days have reported throngs of people. Tomorrow should be wicked! And yes, the missus and I have also created our cache of food, water, etc that will get us through several days of uncertainty if the minions go trigger happy.

  8. Beating the fear factor: When everyone in the Opposition goes to the polls tomorrow, they should remain friendly. When you encounter Chavistas, greet them and acknowledge them like you would any stranger you encounter. Healing the divisions and distrust in this country is not going to be easy. Let that work start now.

    • Roy, that was one of the things Capriles said last night that I liked the best, we are one, of different colors, but we are one and he will work with everyone who wants to work with him. This is the only way to heal this country that Chavez has shredded to bits!

  9. On sunday October 7th, 2012 evening Venezuela will have “a new birth of freedom” La noche ha sido larga y obscura pero pronto amanecera. As Henrique Capriles Radonski stated in his last remarks in the closing speech of his campaign ” When the Electoral Council announces that we have won, thank the lord and then knock on the door of your opponents home and give him a hug”


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