8-D Races to Watch: Petare, Eastern Caracas (Sucre)

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escudosucre1The Sucre Municipality of Miranda State isn’t just one of the five parts which conforms the capital, Caracas, but it has also recently become a major political battleground, with both local and national implications.

Chavismo has put Petare as one of their biggest pick-up targets for the 8-D election but they had trouble finding a suitable candidate, forcing them to take an “out of left field” choice. Meanwhile, the MUD is quite confident that they can retain this important mayorship.

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Mayor of Petare Carlos Ocariz, candidate of the MUD

It was expected that the incumbent mayor Carlos Ocariz would easily run for a second term. But several developments last year complicated things a little bit. 

Even if he has governed these five years with the municipal council controlled by Chavismo, and with the constant pressure of the communicational hegemony, Ocariz is still considered the favorite in the polls.

Former Mayor of Petare, Jose Vicente Rangel Avalos (2000-2008)
Former Mayor of Petare Jose Vicente Rangel Avalos (2000-2008)

But Chavismo faced a serious problem: who should be its candidate for mayor?

Ocariz’s predecessor, Jose Vicente Rangel Avalos is now the Executive Secretary of the Peace and Life Movement and PSUV’s 2008 candidate Jesse Chacón is busy as Electricity Minister. And what about talanquera-jumper MP William Ojeda? The PSUV is more than happy with just keeping him in the AN.

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Antonio “El Potro” Alvarez, candidate of the PSUV and most GPP parties (expect for VBR and MEP).

So, they had two options left: going with either a low-level local, or just dropping a complete outsider. They chose the latter.

And he’s is one political outsider alright: Former baseball player/musical artist Antonio Álvarez, also known as “El Potro”.

What his plan for the Sucre Municipality? Pretty simple. Just apply a local version of the late comandante eterno’s Plan de la Patria. Ta-dah! Piece of cake, right?

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Jose Luis Castañeda, candidate of VBR and MEP

Well, some local Chavistas were more than unhappy with that decision. So, they broke ranks and launched an alternative candidate, Jose Luis Castañeda.

Castañeda presents himself as the true Chavista on the race and had some harsh words for Nicolas Maduro. His plans include serious industrial development but denied rumours about his withdrawal.

1 COMMENT

  1. No good as a baseball player (didn’t even reach Triple A). Worthless husband (2/3 divorces…). I doubt he finished high-school (like a number of MP and other officials in the govt’). What to expect of him as an executive official (Mayor…).

    • According to my chavista uncle, they picked him for they want people in barrios to go vote since he’s famous. I don’t really know whether abstention in barrios is high for municipal elections

  2. This reminds me of something I’ve never quite understood, I’d be very grateful if the writers or the other readers could help me out. How is Caracas organized politically? From what I’ve understood, bits of the city are in Miranda and I’ve also heard there are different municipalities within the capital district. Is there like a Super Mayor for the whole city?

    Admito que leí wikipedia y no entendí.

    • OK, caveat this is all from memory.

      Caracas used to be Libertador District, Sucre District and Vargas District way before Chavez. All under the Governor of the Federal District.

      Vargas District used to be a source of income before the 1999 flood because it had the main sea port of the time and the main airport (La Guaira and Maiquetía). But they saw none of that revenue, so they pushed to become a separe State, and had their way in 1998 or 1997. They remain a Separate State, though their current revenue is a joke.

      At some point, Sucre District was split and the Municipalities of El Hatillo, Baruta and Chacao were created along with a Sucre Municipality around Petare basically. At some point all those Municipalities were merged into Miranda State.

      Libertador District became Libertador Municipality, without any territorial change of note.

      The 1999 constitution didn’t mention a Federal District but a Capital District to be defined by law. For some reason, instead of a Capital District, the the Metropolitan District Act was passed around the year 2000, creating an elected über Mayor with jurisdiction over what used to be Libertador District and Sucre District but not Vargas District. This Metropolitan Mayor was above a regular mayor but not quite a governor, kind of a primus inter pares.

      What used to be Sucre District was de jure part of Miranda State but under jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Mayor kind of some weird extraterritoriality. Regular State level services like Police, Firemen, registries and infrastructure were under the Metropolitan Mayor instead of Miranda State.

      Then Ledezma beat Aristóbulo for the Metropolitan Mayor office. Before leaving office, Ledezma’s predecessor ceded the Metropolitan Police to the National Government. Then, the government nutured the office with the Capital District Act, which created a presidentially appointed Chief of Capital District Government (think viceroy). This new district only has territorial jurisdiction over Libertador District, and provides most State Level functions. Interestinglly enough, it also took over some services like firemen, outside of the Capital District. So now the Capital District Firemen answer to the Capital District Government but services the whole Metropolitan District. Ledezma was stripped of 90+% of revenue, the Capital District took all the juicy parts (lomito) and left Ledezma with all the dead weight (useless employees, retirees, debts, etc).

      I think Miranda State is providing all State level services in former Sucre District that weren’t usurped by the Capital District.

      So that is Caracas: Vargas State on its own; the Metroplitan District and Capital District share oversight over Libertador Municipality; Miranda State, Metropolitan District and Capital District provide different State Level Services to El Hatillo, Baruta, Chacao and Sucre municipalities.

  3. I think this PSUV campaign is going to be 100% star power 0% issues: Diosa Canales endorses Potro Alvarez if he takes her show to Petare.

    She mentions that those who can’t afford it also have a right to enjoy her shows. Since I don’t think anybody is preventing her from setting up a show in Petare and not charging people, I think she is asking that the Municipality should pay her with public money for her to do her show in Petare.

    Public discourse is always finding new lows in Venezuela.

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