The rare political argument ended by a single knock-out punch


knockout-muhammad-aliWhen you think about it, it’s rare to see a true knock-out moment in a political debate, a single statement that just ends a conversation decisively.

In last night’s hangout, Juan Cristobal landed one such punch squarely on yours-truly’s jaw. We were talking about chavista Get Out The Vote machine for April 14th. Watch me set out a whole long-winded pile of crap only to be totally demolished in 12 words at the end of the clip.

Watching it now – and pardon if I mix my sporting metaphors – I feel sort of like an England fan in 1986  watching Maradona run past their entire midfield and defense to score that famous goal – yes, it’s awful that it happened at my expense but man, that was a thing of beauty. 

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


  1. Is the argument strong because of Ramirez “extraordinary” management skills? Or because he will pour any amount of resources into seeing it happen?

    Not yet convinced that they will be able to pull what they did on 7-O. The resources seems to not be there.

  2. Here is my view.
    I dont know if you ever work in a “movilización” but as you figure is expensive takes time and it must be “aceitada”
    The people that vote in this scheme is people that ALWAYS will vote for you
    You only assure that this people vote, securing this vote you “win” the elecction.

    How big is this number?. I bet is no bigger than 16D, so there is that number
    that leave a number of Chavistas who move at the own expenses and can separate Chavez of its candidates, there where we place our chances.
    And dont soy they did not try in December, if 20 of 23 is not trying.

    So is true they will use it machinery but they know it is not enough, who do you think is all the TV propaganda.

    I think not so much as a Kamikaze misión but as a very low risk high win gamble, with a small chance that must be consider as the price is high enough.
    I will coincede that Maduro has the upper hand and is most likely to win.

  3. There are two phases in how people are movilized to vote as explained to me by someone who participated personally in the exercise , first the government gives you something you really need or want ( in this case a farmers planting loan ) on condition that come election day you get 10 people to accompany you to the voting booth ( it can be family, friends , an acquiantance , whoever) , the recipient of the government loan is really interested in complying to avoid being black listed the next time he needs the loan. Second phase , if the person recieving the loan doesnt have the transportation , the government will fix it so he gets it ( be it a govt bus or paid txis or whatever) , this is where Pdvsa resources come in. Often the person is not able to meet his her quota , people get sick, or go missing on the appointed day or just plain prefer to stay home . Its a highly effective system but its largely dependent on some form of patronage being given beforehand . If there is no prior benefit given to the person or if his not given what hes promised the whole scheme falls flat. Many Chavez sympathyzers are lukewarm in that they will not inconvenience themselves to go vote or participate in some mass gathering unless they get something in return .

  4. In the game you referred to Maradona committed the most blatant act of cheating known to humankind. The referee allowed it and what we see next is a demoralised & demotivated defence unsurprisingly collapsing when the cheat presents himself in front of goal. There is no comparison.

    Besides which, to revere Maradona is like worshipping doggie do. It stinks!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here