My immediate reaction

¿Ganaste? Miii!
With this pinky I subdue you

Here’s my take, posted on Foreign Policy’s Transitions blog. An excerpt:

The inherent tension in Venezuela’s economic situation is that a government that believes in socialism uses promises of capitalist consumption to win elections. Maduro will soon learn that it is hard to preach communism and austerity when you’ve been giving away apartments, dishwashers, and cell phones in order to get people to like you.

As for Capriles, his narrow loss cements his leadership of the opposition. As he leads his forces into an uncertain recount process, he will continue shedding light on Venezuela’s grossly unfair electoral system. He will need to use his considerable political capital to steer opposition Venezuelans through the turbulent times ahead. Judging by the early reaction to his speech, the opposition — officially, half of the country — seems to be coalescing around him.

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  1. The silence from the Capriles camp is driving me crazy. Meanwhile, Maduro seems to be reenacting April 11th moving his proclamation to today. Guy is definitely nuts. I hope we have los pelos en la mano. Otherwise we might end up playing seven people crazier than Charlie Sheen.

    • We don’t have los pelos en la mano yet, but early signs are pointing to the fact that the 100% audit both candidates want will either not take place, or can’t take place.

      • I used to live in Venezuela during the good times and I’m a bit pissed off too with this charade.
        But as I listen to the reputable news channel in my country all I hear is that “Maduro won the election in Venezuela”, then on to the next story about some insignificant story.

        And the rest of the world seems uninterested. Castroism, latinocommunism, has been an unwanted guest on the doorstep of the USA for years. And not a word from them. No reaction to their missed golden opportunity, no support for democracy in their back yard as it were.

        No mention of the corrupt Generals and their management of the cocaine trade destroying the lives of many of the citizens from the west.

        No mention of the destruction of a once thriving oil industry and it’s global impact under the control of incompetents.

        No mention of Venezuelas’s support of wayward nations intent on expanding guerrilla warfare.

        The only mention is that Maduro won. Seems strange to me. A bit like an orchestrated reaction for what reason I know not why.

        • Did you watch the Google hangout with david frum on this blog? He explained it pretty well, the US is in no position to get involved in Venezuela, not since the end of the cold war. At the most Venezuelans can expect some small donations from the national endowment for democracy.

          • Communism, Drugs, Oil, Guerrillas, Terrorism, Political Manipulation are all present in Venezuela.

            Normally only one of those factors has been the catalyst for war or at least aggressive democratic support for the “victim”. It would appear that with all of the factors present in Venezuela no one gives a shit.

            And Maduro is about to be sworn in !

          • Did you listen to Maduro rail against “el imperio” last night, insinuating that the US actually had influenced the vote? I think that it’s wise that the US hasn’t said anything, and really, only Venezuelans can resolve their deplorable situation.

        • The only thing that could reverse this result would be a Venezuelan court. That will never happen because there is no rule of law in Venezuela.

          This is an unsettling situation, but the opposition understands its role as a democracy movement, and Venezuelans are uniting behind that.

          The world is not interested in this struggle because what the world cares about is Venezuelan oil.

    • They are gathering all their evidence now. Don’t worry…

      The government is trying to rush the certification, but Capriles is working hard right now…

  2. Ok Nico, you won. Now tighten your ass up, even better “inoculate” a cork in it, because what you are about to experience is going to be the “time of your life”…

  3. I find the “irreversibility” of the CNE’s declaration, alone, a perversion of duty. If the declaration is irreversible, what’s the point of recount they have agreed to do?

    • The fact that the CNE called the results irreversible is a very strong indicator of fraud. Tibisay Lucena Ramírez used the word irreversible over and over again. This was not standard procedure in past announcements of election results? Lucena wanted to stop all possible changes to her announced results, irregardless of their validity.

      There is no way the word irreversible would be said for a Capriles victory.

  4. Great article Juan – so do you basically think the opposition is going to have to accept that Maduro won? Is there a way of proving that voting stations were open after 6pm or anything else that could point to illegal actions during the voting process?

    • I doubt they will recognize the government won unless there is a 100% audit that both candidates have agreed to.

  5. If the results for state are the results from Smartmatic counting and NOT a projection, even if they haven’t been audited, the government should have been able to show results per parroquia, in fact per voting centre where counting did not proceed manually.
    They haven’t done so. I think they made up the state numbers and now they are trying to see where to add or take the numbers per centre.

    • Kepler, I have not done a full search, but at least in the CNE page I looked at my voting center results and they are up. Have you had different results?
      I am in Venezuela – but other people have complained they can’t reach the CNE page. (As I write this, yesterday I did hear some rumors of Arreaza saying that they were imposing some restrictions because some had hacked Maduro’s account – but I really ignore whether this has anything to do with that).

  6. So, anybody knows how the formal procedure for the audit is suppose to be carried on? What do the rules/laws say about it? Is there ANY mention about manual audit in the rules? Shouldn’t they do the audit ASAP? Acta mata voto? Voto mata acta? Tibisay’s Laptop mata acta? How it is decided?

    The CNE/chavismo is rushing things up and are going to proclaim Maduro winner in a few hours:
    Was it THAT fast back then in October?

  7. I’m only certain about one thing, there won’t be a new Isla Presidencial episode anytime soon. Everything else is still up in the air.

  8. My bet is that the CNE had three options:
    1. Declare Cabriles winner and face consequences of unknown past crimes.
    2. Steal the election outright and face the upheaval that fallows.
    3. Declare Maduro winner and agree to a recount that will never happen because the rage of the abuse will wear down over time, and the upheaval will be more manageable..

    In other words, it’s up to the people from here. The people have spoken and were not heard… the people will have to stop speaking and act. We knew this might happen, and the fact that it has will need a response as soon as the shock wears off.

    • The inauguration will happen regardless of the recount. The recount will be obliterated from news… even Globovision! It would be better if thousands of protestors surrounded Miraflores to block the inauguration until the recount is completed.

  9. Here is how I see it. The Opposition is the majority and knows it, just as Chavismo knows it is the minority. The only way that Chavismo can stay in power now, is to convince a sizable portion of the Opposition to leave. That is how Fidel was able to consolidate power in Cuba. He made it so difficult for anyone who opposed him, that they left Cuba. Those who left were the ones that counted. Those who remained were the sheep and were easy to pacify. I predict draconian repression measures starting immediately and targeted at the Opposition. The message will be, “if you don’t like it, you can leave.” They will encourage you to leave. They will not hide the repression. They will want the U.S., Canada, Colombia, and Panama to be forced by public opinion to accept massive numbers of Venezuelan refugees.

    So, for any non-ovine (non-sheeplike) Venezuelans, you have a clear choice to make: Fight or flight. Honestly, flight might give you a better life and is certainly safer. Most of you have family abroad already. However, to fight is more noble, and you won’t end up being bitter old men and women sitting around waiting for Chavismo to end, so you can come back and try to re-claim your property (sound like any Miami Cubans you know?).

    Así que me digo a la gente, que son ovejas o lobos?

  10. Hasta cuando?!!! El acto publico que garantiza resultados confiables se llama ESCRUTINIO. I havenot heard it being mentioned in a long time, not yesterday or today for sure.

    The venezuelian electoral system has been stripped of the central act of ESCRUTINIO. Let me spell it again E-S-C-R-U-T-I-N-I-O.

    Conteo manual, auditoria, voto a voto, long etc. euphemisms for the central act that makes any election polling public and trustworthy. Major democracies in the world carry out manual ESCRUTINIO and then, automated agregations (totalizacion) of local poll scores/results.
    Results are available in a couple of hours and actas are available for legal actions/ complains etc.

    El fraude electoral venezolano es sistemico. Qeu bueno que nos hemos puesto los pantalones largos finalmente. Asi parece. Buen movimiento para Capriles, seguira evidenciando al regimen castrista.

  11. WOW,Maduro has been on Cadena for a long time now, and there are concentrations and tear gas all over Caracas and other states.


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