Liveblogging HCR's Campaign Launch (Updated)

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Miranda-Henrique-Capriles-Prensa-HCR_NACIMA20130309_0491_6El año pasado habia un camino… parece que ahora habra una lucha por el pais.

Henrique Capriles just gave one of the ballsiest, most effective political speeches any of us have seen in years. Tough, uncompromising and brutally blunt, he looked straight at the heart of the radical opposition and said “I get it.” Then he pivoted to his poorer supporters – the 70%+ of his voters in classes D and E – and told them “I’m doing this for you.” The oppo twitter-roots ate it up.

He called bullshit on a ton and a half of bullshit we’ve been itching to see called, beginning with a frontal attack on our appalling, neanderthalish, openly dictatorial new Defense Minister. And he made one thing abudantly clear: this is not a guy interested in glorious, noble self-immolations. He’s in it to win it.

This campaign won’t be a re-do of “Hay un camino” theme of last year. This is a new, much tougher Capriles. Game on.

UPDATE: Here’s the full speech available from YouTube. HT: 513crcMD

The liveblog is below.

8:20 p.m: Mentions all the places of the country he visited before. He will go again.

8:17 p.m: “Those who dissent from me, you’re welcome to build this country together”. He says the government’s intention was to force him to decline.

Tomorrow he registers his candidacy in the CNE. There won’t be a rally to support him. He will start his campaign on Tuesday. Details about his campaign in the next hours.

8:14 p.m: He’s admits he can make mistakes. “I want to call all the country: parties, unions, students, men, women, granmas, my fellow ex-candidates”. He tells Chavistas: “Nicolas ain’t Chavez. You know it”.

8:13 p.m: “I will fight. With all of you. Nicolas, you will have to defeat me.”

8:12 p.m: He remembers the devaluation of weeks ago.

8:08 p.m: Chavismo don’t have the monopoly of poor people’s support. This situation won’t collapse on its own. “What can I tell to those who trusted me months earlier?”. He will fight for Chavistas too.

8:05 p.m: He mentions the struggle of mothers, of students, of those starving or those who lost their businesses. “What can be tell to those still living in misery?”. Mentions the case of Miami Consulate and the struggle of those who went to New Orleans to vote by bus.

8:02 p.m: Thanks the MUD for its offer. Acknowledges the multiple obstacles he could face. “What we can tell tell to those victims of violence? That we won’t want to fight?”.

This Capriles is very different that the one we saw last year. He’s not holding anything back. He’s going fully frontal against Maduro, even calling him by his first name.

7:57 p.m: “Nicolas needed time because him and Diosdado didn’t get along”. The delay was to get support inside the Armed Forces. “Looks like everything is against us”. Calls out CNE’s president for using political slogans during her statement yesterday. “Don’t threat us”. “You’re sick of power and you’re afraid to lose power”.

7:55 p.m: “Only God puts and takes away”. Tells Chavismo’s supporters Chavez is not coming back and his legacy is there to be judged. Maduro is violating the Constitution and the TSJ’s decision transformed him from Vice-President to takeover President, following the Cuban model.

7:53 p.m: “I always have respect Chavez’ supporters”. Using death and grief for political gain is unacceptable. “Nicolas, are you now using what you learned in Cuba?”

7:49 p.m: “I don’t play with death, with people’s pain”. Insists Chavismo had this all planned in advance. “Just after the president’s death was announced, the CNE’s schedule was already done”. Rejects the Defense Minister’s statement and calls him a disgrace.

7:45 p.m: “Weeks ago, they told us Chavez had a five hours meeting with ministers”. Leaves aquestion: Who knows when Chavez died? Accuses the government to being weeks in campaign and using Chavez’s body for political benefit. “Chavez never signed those decrees”.

7:43 p.m: He mentions TSJ’s decision and Maduro’s sworn-in ceremony and points they didn’t have a minute of silence then. “Nicolas (Maduro) is on campaign right now”. All of this was already planned. “Nicolas lied to this country all these months”.

7:41 p.m: Before he announces his decision, some reflections. “The country is still on a period of national mourning”. He mentions that his granma always told him to be honest.

7:38 p.m: Here we go, folks. HCR is on stage.

7:35 p.m.: HCR will speak from the Caracas neighborhood of Bello Monte.

7: 30 p.m: Good evening! This is GEHA here. Miranda State Governor Henrique Capriles Radosnki is about to announce his decision either to accept or decline the MUD’s offer to be its presidential candidate for the upcoming election of April 14th.

In case I don’t update soon, that means my electric power has been cut off, so Quico will have my back if that happens. Henrique won’t take any questions from the press.

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1 COMMENT

    • both, but tending to the former. Lovin’ it. Love the direct approach. Nicolás les mintió…lo tenía cuadrado desde hace tiempo.

  1. ustedes sometieron al país a una mentira. .. ustedes no son mejores que nosotros .. yo no juego con la muerte .. yo no juego con el dolor …

  2. anjá. me gusta. afiches, franelas, etc. … milimetricamente planificado .. conograma del consejo nacional electoral .. salió en cuestión de minutos ..declaraciones de un ministro de la defensa (molero) … el penúltimo de su promoción .. usted es una vergüenza… todo esto para tratar de desmoralizarnos .. para hacernos creer que este país es un grupito y este grupito va a decidir el futuro de nuestro país…

  3. I’ve been reading CC for a few years now and I’ve never commented… but seeing Capriles today makes me just want to stop by and say “This guy has a lot of balls”. He is going all out… maybe, just maybe this can put us in the competition? It’s an uphill race but with this kind of rhetoric I’m feeling a little more optimistic

  4. para nadie es un secreto que nicolás y diosdado NO SE LLEVAN.. (no wonder the embrace was so surreal and unnatural looking)

  5. If it’s true that Globovisión is going rojo-rojito imminently, then I guess better start pushing a bit harder now on these thugs.

  6. But I’m sorry as i read in twitter “what a paiin should be capriles breaking up with a girlfriend”….he could be more concise and say exactly the same things because is annoying me…with all the “flowers” the message…you are liars, you have cheated about chavez, you are the ones that are making everything difficult and even you are not complying with chavez desires…and now you created the Bodies exhibition of chavez

    • ErneX, I did not find Capriles’s God references to be overbearing. Vzla, after all, is a country where religions, mostly R.C., are deeply held. That has to be respected. And it’s been too many years that the country has been inside a rudderless ship of little faith. I say, bring on a little God, HCR. It won’t kill us.

        • Get off that horse.
          If we wait until we have a perfect candidate we are screwed. But hell, I guess this show off of dialectic materialism, rationality and secularism the last week managed to convince you…

          • That I don’t like Capriles usage of god and religion doesn’t mean I’m voting for the thugs. Don’t get doña del Cafetal on me.

          • I don’t like it either. And you barely can get more public as an atheist/rationalist than I am.

            But, that’s nitpicking. And not doing it would hurt us. Sad but true.

          • “That I don’t like Capriles usage of god and religion doesn’t mean I’m voting for the thugs. Don’t get doña del Cafetal on me.”

            Not sure who’s being M.A.Lopez here. Si les da flojera ir a votar, si las elecciones les arruinan un viaje a la playa, admítanlo. No se vengan ahora a decir que no votan porque el discurso no es lo suficientemente laico.

  7. Good start, now this has to kept up until April 14 non stop, “Nicolas is not Chavez “.is a good tag line. Disclosures, constant attacks from everywhere, the attacks on Nicolas’s credibility should not be difficult, The same goes for the rest of the pack, A lot of dirty laundry is out there, No much digging required. Most of the stuff is out in the open.

  8. Capriles perfect as usual. The bit where he questions Chavez’s support of the devaluation was perfect: Mentira!! That should be the tone of the campaign. He will not win, but he should take this opportunity to warn chavistas clearly about the economic difficulties to come and emphasize that they all are the result of Maduro’s incompetence. Maduro, after all, cannot use the Luis Herrera defense (“I inherit a bankrupt country”).

  9. So I guess we are no longer “ligando” for a Maduro victory so he gets to deal with the economy? I need to know what to do.

    • Maduro will win alright. And if it’s true that “los tiempos de Dios son perfectos”, oil prices will not rise in the next two years. Then we’ll see what Maduro is made of.

  10. Capriles found his cojones. He gives quite hope for this fight.
    Now he can point out his opponent he looks quite better.

    • word will get to them. After all, there’s more than 6 million who voted for Capriles. That means something, even though it the number is purposely diminished by the chavista apparatchiks.

  11. I hope he´ll keep the same tone during the election. He has to continously communicate the unfair conditions that the opposition we´ll face in these elections. He has to emphasize that we´re fighting against an authoritarian regime.

  12. This speech suggests something else: Capriles is getting information from within the inner circle which is giving him certainty. He is going to drive that wedge. They protest too much. Game on is right.

  13. Capriles should focus on making C R Y S T A L clear el peo económico. El ajuste is coming. Y todo es culpa de Maduro por traicionar el legado de Chavez. Diosdado no tiene mas remedio que apoyar a Maduro, asi que él también es un traidor.

      • Yes, not quite, but something like that. Capriles objective is to sow distrust in Chavistas about Maduro (and Diosdado)’s ability to preserve Chavismo. And God willing this time the economy will help us.

      • He is the one to blame, but chavistas don’t see it that way. Chavez is no longer around, so “Chavez ahora es de todos”. Our objective should be to dissociate Maduro/Cabello from Chavez in the mind of voters and portray them as power-hungry traitors of the revolution.

  14. Capriles: Completely Presidential, with cojones. Admirable. It’s going to be a very interesting next year or two. Venezuela, the Land Of The Unexpected.

  15. Maduro: “Este golpe fue calculado, por favor, compatriotas, no caigamos, se los pido por nuestro jefe redentor!” jajajaja Si las cosas salen bien Maduro va a parir si gana

  16. Maduro: “No va a haber ruptura porque no va a haber traición!”
    Ahí es donde les duele y ahí es donde hay que darles con TODO. Si les toca devaluar nuevamente, como quizas ocurra, el chavismo se tiene que acordar de estas palabras. Doble devaluación para llenarle los bolsillos a la boliburguesía.

  17. Chavez was the shield of the chavernment – neither he nor his policies could be attacked directly without offending voters who were emotionally attached to him.

    But he is gone!

    HCR understands this and adapted his tactics to the new situation.

    The chavernment will pull every string to stifle the oppo and suppress its votes. The oppo campaign must find ways to outflank the state media blockade – and that must include ways to reach the masses who don’t have Internet.

    Pamphlets, billboards, miniDVDs. The problem will be getting the attention of the low-information voter, so that he will read or watch oppo material.

    The oppo must also prepare to defend voting against chavernment tampering. It seems clear that the actual casting and counting of votes is secure – but that could change. The oppo must insist on verifying the count – and document all obstruction by the chavernment.

    And the chavernment may try to obstruct voting in oppo areas, or coerce votes. Both must be resisted – and documented accurately.

  18. Maduro announces a constitutional ammendment to take Chavez to the National Pantheon ASAP will be approved on Tuesday. Don’t be surprised if that vote will be also on April 14th. No brainer.

  19. Just listened to a “cadena”, Among the many thing outlined in the brief presentation was that school teachers are expected to censure discussion between students and discourage the dissemination of non-official information . Interesting…

    • And the cadena had a fancy new state-of-the-art CG intro, using the National Coat of Arms. If you wonder where the money is going instead of hospitals, there you have it.

  20. Juan, how on earth do you say “who cares?”

    I care. There is a reason why there is a law that states that it takes 25 years for someone to be considered for the Pantheon. It is precisely to avoid the short-term feeling of lost from the people to take over when making the decision. It takes 25 years for the collective memory of the country to decide if someone deserves the Pantheon or not. That is why the article was stated in the Constitution to start with.

    Your not caring can be equated with the chavista way of thinking:…the law is not important, the time frame is not important, the rules are not important as long as we achieve our short term desire. That is how institutionality was lost in the country.

    • You’re missing the forest for the trees here, Bruni. They’re trying to use the Panteon as a wedge issue, a way to put Chávez right back in the Tarjetón and making people feel like voting against Maduro is betraying Chávez on behalf of those evil oligarchs who hate him. You can shortcircuit all of that so so easily, and visibly display to people who love chavez but hate maduro that you don’t have to be a traitor to Chavez to vote for Capriles.

      • I disagree guys, and quite strongly. This is independent of the fact that Cipriano Castro or Hugo Chávez would be in that building. It is a matter of institutionality and rule of law. There is a law that is there for one purpose and that is to not give so much importance to the short term and provide more weight to the long term. It is there for a reason. Now, once you decide that we do not care because Cipriano Castro is there or because it would be such a wonderful short term campaign strategy, you are violating the spirit of the law, just as the chavistas have been doing for 14 years!

        Do we want to build a country with institutions and the rule of law or do we want to live in Chavista wonderland even after Chavismo is out?

        • I think Bruni is making a very good point about why it is important to wait, especially given Juan’s comment about Cipriano Castro. Even though Chavez is loved and adored by a significant percentage of the population right now, we know that many of them are simply buying into the “Corzon del Pueblo” BS that is being scripted by the Chavistas and Fidel y Co with the help of Brazilian advisors.

          We also know that the country is going to suffer greatly over the next 6 year term, regardless who wins this election, because of the gross mismanagement of the economy over the last 14 years and, above all, because of the polarization in Venezuelan society that Hugo is directly responsible for.

          In 25 years, will the majority of Venezuelans still think that Hugo’s contributions to Venezuela were positive or will they think, as a significant percentage of Venezuelans do today, that his legacy was more negative than positive?
          If the latter, perhaps Capriles would be best not to support the Pantheon play and/or stay out of the fray.

        • Bruni, the institutions per as today are in name only, the only thing that should be focus is on having a campaign that can show very clearly how Chavistas have taken all the “democratic” institutions. Because, for more that everybody will vote for HCR he is not gonna win, because what I said previously. That’s how I think anyway, so in that regard, the Panteon is really not a priority (not that is not important, it is).

        • Bruni,
          I deeply agree with you, but strategically one must pick the battles. Resources are thing at the moment. We will fight that fight when the moment comes. But now is the moment for a different battle.

  21. Maduro’s calling Capriles a “racist” over his accusations, all the while railing against the “oligarquia mantuana”.

    It’s official: Les dio en la madre, if they’re jumping to the race card this quickly.

  22. excuse the intermission, but anybody have a link to the full speech and not a bunch of 2/3 minute clips? gracias. love the clitoris remark

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