My kingdom for a baseball cap

The Chavernment sometimes uses the mandatory simulcasts on all TV and Radio stations (known as cadenas) to promote its image and political agenda through elaborate infomercials, but last night they went even further: an entire cadena in primetime to reclaim the political ownership of a baseball cap.

The “tricolor cap” has been around for years, but it came into prominence during the last presidential campaign after opposition candidate Henrique Capriles Radosnki started to wear it and the electoral board tried (unsuccessfully) to stop him.

The tricolor cap became “Capriles’ cap” and a powerful visual symbol for the opposition all the way to October 7th. But guess what? We’re not allowed powerful visual symbols.

Well, a whole new chapter of “Gorragate” begun this week with the presentation of a brand new model by Nicolás Maduro, who says the tricolor cap has been “…a symbol of the Bolivarian Revolution from quite some time”. The day after, during the infamous last session of the National Assembly, both sides staged on the floor “the war of the caps”.

Chavismo wants now to expropriate the tricolor hat for themselves. After all, the idea of banning it didn’t work and simply ignoring it wasn’t an option. This is not about changing its own symbol, but to simply taking from the opposition everything that could help them. Capriles himself has already made clear he won’t give up the cap anytime soon.

Chavismo has decided to raise the stakes this week. Polarization has worked for them before and think Chávez’s long absence won’t hurt. Even one of its main pollsters concurr.