Holy cow, the campaign already started

Diego Molero Bellavia
Del(m)irante Diego Molero Bellavia

In comments, Birdman chimes in: Meanwhile, back on the streets of Caracas: Our dear defense minister (speaking in his capacity as member of the military-civilian junta that rules Venezuela) has just invited all Venezuelans to vote for Nicolas Maduro in the upcoming elections and ‘darle en la madre a todos esos fascistas’. (I don’t think there’s an easy translation for that, but how about, ‘give all those fascists a good thrashing’?).

This follows his cheery remarks in the early hours of the morning on VTV to the effect that the armed forces ‘mission is to put Nicolas Maduro in the presidency’. So we’re all headed for a ‘free and fair’ presidential election in which the guys with the guns in charge of logistics and security have ‘thrashing the opposition’ and ensuring the government candidate’s victory as their official policy.

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      • Francisco, what happened to the cake blog post? I linked to it in a number of other places and people are complaining it’s gone….

      • Lo que pasa (y lo que un buen y honesto periodista deberia saber), es que hoy en dia, como nunca antes, estos paises latino americanos estan al fin conociendo lo que es la real libertad de expresion: Que la “libertad” de expresarse no significa la libertad de mentir simplemente (o especialmente) porque alguien es periodista! Libertad de expresion significa tener un cuerpo de informacion que reporta la verdad, a fin de Educar a un pueblo, no de Enganarlo. Es lo mismisimo que pasa en mi querido Ecuador, donde EL UNIVERSO ya aprendio – por las duras – que no pueden mentir descaradamente, y que si lo hacen, entonces hay consequencias severas, no como ha sucedido por siglos antes de estos Grandes Lideres como Correa y Chavez, entre el monton de otros en Sudamerica. Estos “periodistas” no son nada mas que sensacionalizadores…buscan explotar el sentimiento de la gente (como demagogos). Bien, cuando esto pasa, bajo el LIDERAZGO – no LA DICTADURA – entonces hay consequencias. Como bien se sabe, la prensa en Venezuela, muy particularmente, es extremadamente balanceada en el sentido de que hay tanta publicacion privada y opositora que diariamente da sus interpretaciones de lo que ellos llaman “corrupcion del gobierno”; y asi mismo hay muchas publicaciones publicas o gubernamentales que tratan de presentar el otro lado. No digo que es perfecto, si no que simplemente conociendo el correcto significado de las palabras ya es razon suficiente para darse cuenta que entonces – cuando hay tanta publicacion opositora y hasta calumniosa – eso es, por definicion, NO UNA DICTADURA. Todo esto, un periodista movido por el Ideal – por la busqueda de la verdad – bien lo sabe. Y el Pueblo, hoy mas educado que antes, tambien lo sabe. Solo preguntaselo…como un buen periodista!

  1. No guns needed, this is likely going to be a thrashing. Not sure why Capriles is so quickly offering himself up as the opposition’s candidate. Its hard to imagine that getting beaten a second time, and probably much more emphatically, will do much for his political career.

    • I wouldn’t be so negative. We will see if the can move as much people as they did on 7O. Maybe they were planning the mobilization already. If that’s the case we are screwed, if not, there is a fighting chance. As long as the oppo goes out and vote.

      • I’m not up on who’s getting their polls right and who isn’t but according to Leon of Datanalysis the last poll before Chavez died gave him a 68% job approval rating.


        And the guy wasn’t even getting out of bed for months?!?!?!

        Now, does all that translate to support for Maduro? I think almost certainly it does. Just look at the crowds today. If former Chavistas who had fallen into being Ni-Nis go back to voting for the “Chavista” candidate, which I expect they will its not inconceivable Maduro could get mid 60s percent of the vote, right up there with Chavez’s best performance.

      • Dam it!
        You guys don´t get tired of being bitten badly. Whoever is thinking there is a chance to defeat chavismo right now is not only naive, is a lunatic.
        Besides, who would want to be president with a looming crisis waiting for everyone to pour out all their tears, to bring them back to reality with harshness? Just Capriles et al… Seriously.
        Not only they are going to ride the wave of Chavez the myth, remember me, Maduro will have the easiest presidential campaign in history. Just repeating every five minutes the last will of Comandante, nothing else. Not even meetings are needed.
        I insist, Chavez popularity is for real. We can analyse why and have all reasons in negative fashion; but hard facts are hard facts. The conclusion of this blog was: We are unelectable. What has it change? That Chavez is not around? He hasn’t been for almost 80 days. Smooth transition… Golazoooooooooooo…
        BTW, I’m not going to vote anywhere, and I’m not alone. So an emergency landing is much better than a crash. Estan puestos en autos.

        • “BTW, I’m not going to vote anywhere, and I’m not alone. So an emergency landing is much better than a crash. Estan puestos en autos.”

          ^ and with this,… its already over… sadly.

          …and I am still going to vote.

        • Spot on, absolutely right with one small correction. It’s not Gooooolazo, it has always been Gooooolazo Polar. Pa que sepan, no juege

  2. This is why Chavez’s death is nothing to cheer about. Myself, I was depressed this morning, and I am a fervent anti-Chavista.

    It is obvious there is an alignment of all Chavismo to remain in control at whatever the cost. That includes Cabello, the whole armed forces and millions of Venezuelans who are Chavistas for the convenience of receiving a free bag of Harina Pan every month.

    It’s a simple issue. These people are all receiving benefits – in different shapes and sizes- and they don’t really care who the president is as long as they continue receiving them.

    • depressed bc he didn’t die in jail as he should have, right? I kinda feel the same, still … Dios castiga sin piedra ni palo…

    • Agreed, Venezuela is a train wreck, better to not be in charge. Let the opposition win the next legislative elections.

      • Think I agree. Anyway, Without the legislative it will be hard to do anything. Of course there could be a new constituyente if presidency was won, but it is better that chavismo gets too handle the BIG paquetazo to come soon. My main worry though, is that nothing will be left of the republic as an institutoon by the time we reach the next legislative.

    • Literal translation would be more like the result of averaging “insult their mothers” with “fuck their mothers”

      I’m just going to agree with Miguel

  3. two comments — for those commenting here and elsewhere that it’s best for the opposition not to win with an economic crisis unfolding…don’t assume conditions stay same — things can become even less free and less fair — ie don’t assume an opposition candidate with majority support in the future will actually be given an opportunity to win an election.

    second — unrelated pet peeve — foreign correspondents, listen up: there are plenty of non-professional non-wealthy opponents of Chavez and his regime. the same pattern is followed in each story: quote from tearful, humble Chavista, followed by quote from engineer/lawyer/advertising executive opponent. more than six million Venezuelans voted against Chavez last October — they were not/are not all wealthy professionals residing in Los Chorros. Por favor…

    • “two comments — for those commenting here and elsewhere that it’s best for the opposition not to win with an economic crisis unfolding…don’t assume conditions stay same — things can become even less free and less fair.”
      Buchstabieren sie bitte?

  4. Though I am sure he is an officer and a gentleman of the highest order as befits his rank, for some reason all that comes to mind is Heart Attack Man.

  5. I think Capriles would be wise to run knowing he’s going to lose. If Venezuela ever becomes a place worth governing, he’ll be at the top of the list for popular candidates.

    • I agree. I don’t see how essentially giving up is a sign of leadership or sends any useful signals to anyone. Someone has to represent the people who don’t want Maduro, who don’t want- for example- this kind of spectacle from an officer- and it should be the best candidate, whatever the outcome.

      It is a poisonous environment to run a campaign in, though. Exhibit “A” above…

      • Capriles gave up already when he decided to run for governor again. He decided so because his PJ pal was not going to hold the line against the “otro beta”.
        People was expecting a man in permanent vigil, visiting every town’s opposition representatives, giving press conferences every Monday, as the clear, visible, leader of the opposition.
        Instead, we still have the MUD, tantamount to 5 politicians and 3 or 4 businessmen deciding for everyone else; whilst Capriles offers cheap and bad versions of Chavez misiones…
        With friends like that foes are needless…

        • Agree one hundred percent. Miguel at Devils Excrement thought the same when this was an issue that was being discussed. I was yelled at by family members and friends by expressing it.

          The problem with Capriles is he doesn’t run any risks . He didn’t face the government when it was obvious fraud was committed in October, he didn’t risk presenting a coherent government plan to the nation during his candidacy, he decided not to risk his political career when he ran back to the governorship.

          This will have a toll on the Opposition’s union. Capriles is not the obvious candidate to all parties.

          • Good points. Capriles is damaged goods for the Oppo; many who believed in him will abstain in the coming election.. But, the alternatives are even worse for the Oppo, so that after Maduro wins some 65/35 (hopefully only), Capriles will be toast, and the Oppo will be left even more high and dry….

          • I propose Mr Arias. Seriously.
            We’ll lose by millions, but at least the line is clear. Communists against Capitalists.
            And make no mistakes about it, I´m from the left, and I´m completely clear this country is “as is” because we have never had a government from the right.

          • Well Alex, I don’t believe in fraud but, I truly believe that the ventajismo is absurd and insurmountable.
            Until we don’t disarm that CNE we are doom. Many people don’t vote because they don’t see how to win with such advantages for them. With a new CNE, people will change their mind and the fight will be different. But until then, no way…

  6. Wow. There’s a lot of pessimism lurking in these posts.

    OK. There is no need to pass~out the cyanide capsules yet. The damn campaign is about to start,…and next week! However, if they’re going to lose, they may as well go down swinging. This campaign should be about the truth, especially the economic truth. No more Chevez~lite. It should be dramatic. It should be Cassandra~like. Warn them! Capriles should be pounding away at the economic disaster around the corner. He should be throwing fire and brimstone at the Chavistas. Tell the simple truth! Go down swinging fer Chrissakes.

  7. Opposition needs to start campaignin fiercely! Waiting for next time around just because things are about to get ugly makes no sense. Next time around there might not be a country to save. Who is to say there will even be elections next time and even if there are elections they won’t be any more fair or transparent.
    Yes, odds are against us but, believe it or not, this is an opportunity. Capriles needs to adopt an attack dog strategy and needs to do some serious negative campaigning against Maduro. It is our only chance. I don’t think that ninis or Chavistas light will not necessarily vote for Maduro, after a couple of weeks after the emotion dies down, hopefully they will see that the choice is more of the same except without the charismatic figure of Chavez. Maybe this is wishful thinking but I don’t think it is completely off base.

    • Two things, I think Venezuela is going to be essentially ungovernable for an opposition president over the next few years. On the other hand, I completely agree it’s important for the opposition to take the election very seriously and to be honest in pointing out the situation of the country. Tell everyone what Maduro is going to be forced to do after winning the election, let him deny the truth, so when it comes it will be all the more painful. Even if the opposition loses the election, it’s important to show Venezuelans there is an alternative to Chavismo.

  8. Let them mourn his passing.
    Life will move on.
    May God give us, the vzlan citizens, a christian society….
    For every storm give us a rainbow,
    for every tear a smile, for every care a promise
    and a blessing in each trial.
    For every problem life sends,
    a faithful friend to share,
    for every sigh a sweet song
    and an answer for each prayer
    [inspired by an irish wake quote].
    With his passing,
    Our patria can still flower
    into a just society.

  9. Don’t be surprised if in the near future they sign some ridiculous law decreeing Chavez president for life ala North Korea.

    • And president for death.
      Don’t laugh. The AN has still not declared Chavez as ‘totally incapacitated’.
      They still fear him. Maduro might be channeling Chavez.

  10. Two things, first running a campaign saying what needs to be done so that when the paquetazo comes *after maduro denies it during the campagin* so what? Look what has just happened (me remito a los hechos) they denied the cancer, and then the severity of the situation when the inevitable day came they convoked a cadena and blamed it on el jimperio *yes with J* / second there is no Constitution there never was it doesnt get any more rampant than the bypassing of Cabello. / Third (ok I said two) no one cares. The funeral and the soundbytes and the clches (interview poor Chavista / professional anti) is what the stupified global masses want to see. Fractal theory, the dumbing down of the massess is a global phenomena. In two days it will all be about the Pope election bla bla bla. The Chavez fuenral story won’t make it past Friday. Word of advice for any young professional in Venezuela: get out now.

  11. QUICO, please explain how these comments *retroactively* invalidate the past elections, turning a democratically elected government into a military-civilian junta.

    • The last election was won by Chavez. Who the fuck voted Maduro in?

      Chavez died without having been sworn in. Cabello should be president now, but instead Maduro has made himself president, in the best Carmona style.

    • Why would you assume it retroactively invalidates the last few elections? As I understand it, Maduro didn’t run for president. Nor did Jaua. Nor did Molero. Nor did Cabello. They were subordinates of the man who did run for president, who won, and who has since passed without ever having been sworn in to office. You might argue that the TSJ determined this was unnecessary, but considering the ideopolitical slant of said jurist body, in most countries adhering to democratic norms, this would be viewed askance.

      Even if you accept the TSJ ruling on its face, consider that the verbal ratification of Maduro by the foreign minister Jaua followed by the Presidente Encargado signing decrees rather than the head of the AN, (which if I understand the Venezuelan Constitution correctly, it should be Cabello who has been MIA under the guise of a death in the family) does pose something of a conundrum given that when you violate your constitution, you really are no longer adhering to democratic norms.

      Or, there’s that other pesky little article which kind of disqualifies Maduro in any event if you accept him (as part and parcel of what the TSJ did) as Executive Vice President or as Presidente Encargado (or, as my wife calls him, Presidente En Cagada). You know. Article 229, which says that the Executive VP is more or less disbarred from running for office. I’m sure that’s normal behavior in a democratic country.

      How about them thar military folk. You know, like the Defense Minister referenced above who goes out of his way to incite ideological and political polemic? Is that part and parcel of the military’s role? Is this normal behavior in a democratic country when the highest ranking military officer more or less declares war on his on countrymen? As far as I know, in most democratic countries, the military tends to support individuals voting their conscience, but not so much making incendiary statements that cast a segment of the population that they are sworn to protect as enemies of the state.

      Is all of this part of the democratically elected government from previous elections wherein they violate a constitution that they more or less wrote? Or is it indicative of a powergrab by both ambitious civilian and military personages? You know what they call these sorts of behaviors when viewed as a whole? Several terms come to mind, but a civilian-military junta seems to cover them quite nicely with fewer four-letter words.

      The venom is classic Chavez, who was elected by the people. But these men tossing it about? Sir, they ain’t no Chavez.

  12. The chavistas are like children, pick up a child-psych book and start reading to prepare for the campaign….
    The 55% enjoy being brainwashed, existing in the emotional embrace of Big Brother
    They need food and a home and safety, like children.
    They need someone to tell them what to do: “I vote for Maduro because Chavez said so” WTF!!!
    But both the upper crust scum and the 55% are pissed because they know how wrong they are and that their toolbox has failed miserably, and that their best friend is more bankrupt than they.
    Total cognitive dissonance.
    The scary thing is that in the absence of know-how they could turn to ever more primitive methods of keeping power, stealing and fooling people. Imagine that: more primitive methods.
    When they say, there is no going back, it really might mean venezuela is headed for the precipice that Quico is talking about, if it didn’t go off already 14 years ago.

    So how do you convince a child to turn on his parents? Read their playbook, read some STASI manuals, ….
    Yikes, this is all too much.

  13. Macho displays + hysterical displays of grief = Drama + Fail.

    Let the cameras catch this brown-nosing fake when he does his obligatory fake display of hysteric grief.


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