Capriles in his labyrinth

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Henrique Capriles’ press conference yesterday is perhaps, much more than Jorge Rodriguez’s or Diosdado Cabello’s tweet-feed, the most sour note of an otherwise glorious weekend. If it wasn’t because, by blessing or design, it went largely unnoticed during yesterday’s celebrations, many people would find it difficult to forgive him for it.

And I’m not going to lie: my own party, after watching it, was over.

His general message was fairly straightforward and uncontroversial: the Opposition (which we can now call the New Majority) must show maturity, serenity and humility in the face of unprecedented victory and power. It should seek to prioritize solving the economic and social crisis our country is facing, before deciding to retake control of the country’s political institutions, calling a referendum on Maduro or, God help us, a Constitutional Assembly. It should be conscious of the fact many who voted for us did so only in order to vote against the government.

In a nutshell: we should harvest this great opportunity to bring the political debate up a notch and prove to the former chavistas that we can indeed work for them also.

After Sunday’s alleged vindication of the Caprilista doctrine of patiently coming to power through the polls, he claims this is something he is the best at doing. He is also boosted by the fact that his party, Primero Justicia, won the most seats for the opposition coalition (33), many of these in traditionally strong bastions of Chavismo like el 23 de Enero (where el eterno’s body lies, for crying out loud) and in the poorest circuits of Miranda.

With all of this so far I agree whole-heartedly, and I’m on record for espousing those very ideas.

Yet in politics, alas, form often matters more than substance. And the more sensible and pertinent his words yesterday sounded, the more appalling and impertinent was the way, context and timing in which he said them. In a few occasions he simply just let his tongue run away, betraying perhaps his true motives for calling such a speech.

It is odd for Capriles, to begin with, to talk about the Unity of the MUD while being surrounded by people (mostly) from his party only. It makes the audience question why, in fact, he was not in the news conference that declared our victory Sunday.

Yet that is nothing when you consider the timing in which he decided to talk to the country: at 10am, just as the MUD itself had called for a news conference. It was realpolitikal sabotage: to force the hand of the MUD to postpone their conference to listen to his, or to go ahead and make their own parallel to his.

After 40 minutes of postponement, that is what actually happened. And the most appalling thing of all is that when the MUD went ahead and started their own conference, the MUD Youtube stream, in an unprecedented and eerily reminiscent move, abruptly cut Capriles’ words from the channel. Yes, for an hour yesterday, at minute 1:50:30 in this video, la oposición se encadenó a si misma.

A day after victory, this was almost too painful to watch.

And here you can start to imagine what was the tone in which he spoke. It was one of defiance.

When asked (at 25:00) why he did not go to the Comando de Campaña victory on Sunday, he replied by saying: “many people think politics is about marketing… it is not about the photo, or the snapchat”.

What people want are ideas, he insisted. He then went ahead and reminded us all that many people in the “radical” opposition had “called him a traitor and a swindler just two years ago.” He even mentioned he heard people say yesterday he was not at the Comando because he was negotiating a 3/5 majority at Miraflores. Not content with that, he commented that the visiting foreign ex-presidents had done us harm Sunday by speaking too much.

According to Capriles, last Sunday was the final death match between #LaSalida and himself. Even though he claims to have won, one could tell from miles away he was upset, wounded.

I can only speculate what he was upset about, but what is now clear is that there were internal altercations in the MUD political elite Sunday night. Maybe it was all the Leopoldizing of the victory (“the 6D is when he started the hunger strike”) or Lilian’s infamous #NiñitasGanamos selfie-video that did the trick.

But the bottom line is that this is something no one, bar chavismo, wants to know about through a press conference a day after victory. Why make something that is in essence private, and that has to be solved in private, through realpolitik in the corridors of the new National Assembly, be exhibited to the public? How does forcing this fight on us help in the solution?

Maybe it is because the solution is complex. Maybe the intransigence is deep-rooted in both wings of the Opposition. Maybe it is that, after this election, the political landscape has changed forever. Capriles was far from being the only one Monday appealing to the center. Did you hear Freddy Bernal, for example? A country split in one in three versus two in three, can easily just split in three.

Capriles’ defiance may signal the beginning of a less polarised new chapter of Democracy in Venezuela. This is something I could one day be comfortable with.

But that day is not today, and it certainly was not yesterday. Maybe in a few years’ time, after Maduro’s term ends. Until then we cannot afford defying unity. Until then, we need to wash our dirty laundry at home.

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M.A. in Economics from the University of Edinburgh. Madrid based. Wealth management, roots in banking and microfinance. Voracious reader of Classics, specially the Russians, and History. Caraqueño and Caraquista, inescapably a lover of Salsa, wheat talk and Rum. Fascinated by South America's indigestion of modernity, owes his political understanding mostly to Octavio Paz, Ivan Karamazov and dad.

77 COMMENTS

  1. Thinking back, I was very impressed when Capriles the presidential candidate was able to stay completely on-message despite the crazyness around him. I have faith.

  2. Great post. Just a comment:

    “After Sunday’s alleged vindication of the Caprilista doctrine of patiently coming to power through the polls, he claims this is something he is the best at doing.”

    If he excels at it, why did we lose in Barlovento and Valles del Tuy?

  3. There is clearly a split there, and it has been there since early in the election. I am not a fan of Capriles. He strikes me as a Chavista Lite in his ideology. In any case, it was not Capriles’ fuzzy rhetoric that galvanized the public. It was Lilian Tintori and her keeping Leopoldo Lopez alive in the public’s imagination. At the moment, Capriles seems desperate remain relevant. After the presidential election 2 years ago, he decided that his best strategy was to bide his time and wait for “God’s perfect moment”. Well, now he needs to bide his time again. This is not his moment.

  4. Very good article. It explains quite well the tensions of the MUD. Having said that, I believe the press conference of Capriles is quite unfortunate for the timing, but he was forced to do it in order to try to maintain his power and most importantly the vision he proposes against the course of action Voluntad Popular, for example, proposes, as you well point out in your article. An interesting fact is the convenient absence of Julio, well noted by Capriles, who can not afford in this moment be in the middle of an internal altercation if he wants to rule the AN… The tensions will continue, let´s see if they can find better ways to manage it now that the power of the MUD increased…

  5. Good grief… it seems like some people in the opposition camp are bound by ego,
    Seriously, if Capriles wants to go further to the left, maybe he should just nominate himself as the new presidential candidate of PSUV.

  6. The Politics of poor judgement strike again. We all need to understand that deep changes require all of us not some political Messiah to come solve all our problems. We had more than enough with Chavez and we sure don’t need a new one without the mole. The Capriles vs Leopoldo, Guanipa vs Maria Corina etc etc etc are part of the never-ending “chivo que mas mea” competition to become the new Cacique.

    You say this is not the right time for such behavior, I agree, and would like to go a bit further and say there is no room for such behavior EVER!. Capriles and all the other Presi-wannabes should eat their egos and work together in order to do what people elected them for, fix our country and stop this childish demonstrations!

  7. It seems that Capriles is still very salty that a faction on the oppo wants Leopoldo to be president instead of him.

    Even if he is, is like the Guanipa snipes at MCM. Dude, we just won, who cares? Also, the chavistas are going to try to stop the new National Aseembly as hard as they can, that seems like a priority.

    Thankfully, almost nobody but die-hard Capriles fans watched that. Everybody else is watching what the chavistas will do now.

  8. Look, like it or not, Capriles is the main candidate to become the next president and he needs to act like it. Obviously CC has become anti-Capriles since even before the 2013 election, that is no secret. But the truth is that he garners support from the lower middle class and middle class sectors more than any other feasible opp candidate (at least now, future contenders may arise).

    Don’t you think Chavistas have noticed his anti-La Salida position all along, as well as his more recent calls to be humble in victory, as opposed to the conduct of others like Henry Ramos, who is already alienating chavistas by calling for the firing of ANTV employees (what’s the point of this fiery rhetoric?!).

    I know there is an illusion that Leopoldo Lopez can currently run and win the presidency in the near future, but we cannot risk him being the opposition candidate at this point. He is way too polarizing, might as well just have MCM or Ledesma run for president.

    • Who should be the Presidential candidate is a question for Primaries. Let “el pueblo” decide.

      Also, is a very dumb question now since the oppo has the duty of starting to fix this mess with the new Assembly.

    • Last time I checked the candidate is chosen in primaries… and I doubt that anyone in the unity camp would vote for any self imposed candidate.

      If Capriles keeps on getting further into the left and appearing as a mild version of Chavismo, he would simple lose a sizable vote of the people who are looking for alternatives to this whole craziness that Chavismo represents.

      For many Chavistas and for people in general, if the choice is between two candidates with almost same proposal, then they will rather vote for the one that sounds original, not the one that seems a copy of the other, a fake, and that is what just Capriles represents. He lost two presidential elections because of it.

    • Let’s put it this way, I’ve voted against Chávez every election, my parents have voted against Chávez in every fucking election, I’ve been anti-chavista since I was 12 and not because of my parents, I was even more arduously anti-chavista that them, probably knew more about politics that them even at that time. I vehemently hated the anti-politic of those times, specially that motherfucker piece of shit of Caldera that I hate more than Chávez, him and Uslar Pietri I hope are burning in hell.

      But after how Chavismo completely destroyed my country, I’m at war for life against socialists, then again I’m also pragmatic and realize this is Venezuela but Capriles went too far to the left and there’s now way I’m voting for him, I’d rather Chavismo completely bleeds out what little is left than see a Chávez lite in power. I may vote for Leopoldo López even though he was a moron thinking civil protest would accomplish anything andI don’t like VP all that much. TBH the only likely (remotely I know) candidate I actually would like is Lorenzo Mendoza.

    • CC is *not* anti-Capriles. In fact, some of our writers are Capriliebers. Andrés Miguel wrote piece critical of Capriles that should be judged on its merits, and it represents his views and his views alone.

      What some of us are turned off by is this attitude by Capriles and some of his followers of a constant chip on their shoulders. Whatever happened to Hay Un Camino?

      • Just because I was critical of the form and timing Capriles gave his press conference does not mean I did not agree with everything he said.

        If the Opposition was ever to split you can count me as a member of the Caprilista wing from day one. Still, a critical member thereof.

      • I do not understand the fuzz, dudes. I think most people are over reading the moves we observe.

        Apparently, everybody around here agrees with something in the lines of “after Sunday’s alleged vindication of the Caprilista doctrine of patiently coming to power through the polls”, he is not allowed to exert the status of winner, because of sensibilities.

        As I see it. This is totally normal dynamics within a diverse coalition like MUD. Winners acting like winners, collecting benefits and positioning for the next move, and losers trying not to appear as losers and minimizing costs. Unity has endure much more tensions like these, folks. Do not forget the tactical split during La Salida: That was a really extinction moment for the MUD, and we endured united and stronger.

        Plus, I really tend to think Capriles deserves some slack after a shit-tsunami he had to put up with during 2014, when after the tactical split, he faced a very powerful-well-oiled-and-funded machinery of character destruction, whose effects still can be seen in this very thread.

        I also agree that the best for the new majority is to set the presidential candidacy in a primary election. I look forward for it.

          • Anyway, I don´t think is nonsense. An honest review of winner/losers of 6D, will have to put Capriles in the winners column, just as the 6D was a vindication of the tactics he has been stubbornly advocating. Winners and Losers of the 6D, that would be a great column for you to write, Nagel.

          • The opposition won, chavizmo lost. Right now there’s no room for individualism. Those who try to shine above their “team mates” just sound needy and arrogant. That type of comments don’t have public.

          • Actually, Capriles didn’t win. He advocated for a “deslinde” during 2014, which he didn’t achieve (thankfully).

            In fact, 2014 – 2015 can be regarded as the time in which VP achieved formal recognition inside the MUD bureaucratic structure. That recognition was earned through pure demonstrations of power both on the streets and primaries. Had Aveledo and his friends successfully “deslindado” VP, we would be enduring very different electoral results.

          • I concur that Capriles won, at least his doctrine did.

            But …
            he won’t get much recognition or love for it.
            But the MUD will, and that is just as well.

            In the mean time Capriles needs to remain calm and patient.
            Desperately jockeying for recognition does not help him.
            His moment may come still.

  9. Yes, thanks for contextualiazing Capriles’ news conference. As I watched it some of the points he went out of his way to make were not entirely clear to me. The issues you raise also underscore the differences between the last presidential campaign in which Capriles was the single candidate and the recent AN elections where Capriles is one among the various and diverse political stripes that make up the MUD. The hope is that the incoming National Assembly will sidestep internal squabbles and conflicts and work as an united front. I suppose it’s an issue of leadership, of who will lead the deputies in the AN, and what role Capriles is to have there.

  10. The fact that this press conference was held with only PJ does bring up the notion that it wasn’t just because of the beef against VP, but also at PJ’s own internal issues that he seemed upset. Once again, Julio Borges is relevant and publically elected. Capriles is no longer the only sheriff in town, and maybe, part of his rather touchy atittude has to do with what’s gone on behind closed doors at his party, which he no longer has by the cojones.

      • Correct. But a diputado raso just isn’t in the same league as the governor of the country’s second most populous state. But the (possible) president of the AN? That’s some serious competition coming from within his own party…

    • charism: LL>HCR>>>>JB

      better speech to the pueblo´s ears: HCR>JB>LL

      prepared to be president: ???

      guaramo: LL>HCR>JB

      who worries most the duo moustache/paprika: LL>>>JB>HCR

    • The press conference wasn’t only with PJ. I saw it live, and I remember at least three people from UNT were there sitting with Capriles (Solorzano, Stalin Gonzalez, and Blyde). I don’t know if there was anyone from another party. It was presented as a press conference of the Miranda candidates/deputies/officials.

    • El rollo es que cuando haya que escoger a un candidato, será a lo loco y apurados y no habrá chance para una primaria.

  11. Pana, siempre te he leído porque me gusta leer opiniones encontradas, escuchar opiniones distintas y te respeto. Pero me he dado cuenta en el tiempo que tus opiniones dejaron de ser análisis, siento que te obsesionaste cada vez más con Capriles y sólo opinas en lo que crees.

    Creo que tienes que alejarte y ver el problema desde más arriba o desde otra perspectiva… En la política cada movimiento importa, pero no todo es una teoría de conspiración, a veces las cosas son mucho más simples de lo que son. Una perspectiva habría sido que la rueda de prensa de la victoria del Mud es para los diputados y el como gobernador, él no pintaba nada ahí. También podrías concluir que la mud se fortalece si se maneja de manera más institucional, marcando distancia y que solo hable ante la Mud el designado de PJ, si no me equivoco tengo entendido que es Borges.

    Te recomiendo leer la teoría de liderazgo adaptativo, es muy buena y explica porque nos cegamos a la hora de hacer una evaluación o análisis.

    Por último, porque escribas en inglés no te hace más conocedor de la realidad política del país… Espero que no te lo tomes personal, pero tienes un tono algo egocentrista, no eres el único con la razón, porque cada parte en un conflicto tiene su teoría y versión de la razón, eso es lo más relevante.

    Saludos,

    • Hay varias cosas que aclarar desde un principio, yo creo que Juan no piensa que el conoce mas de politica porque escribe en Ingles. A lo mejor no conoces la razon por la cual estos muchachos escriben en Ingles, y es para alcanzar a una audiencia global, que este interesado en conocer la realidad politica venezolana. Y viendo los comentarios y posts, creo que podemos coincidir en que en su mayoria son balanceados y bien pensados, en comparacion con la de los medio oficiales y opositores.

      Pienso que Juan da en el clavo con este post, porque la gran mayoria concordamos es que fue desatinado hacer la conferencia de prensa el mismo dia que se iba a hacer la conferencia de prensa de la MUD, en especial por el contenido, para empezar el no fue electo diputado, asi que ni el pintaba en la conferencia de prensa de la MUD, ni mucho menos debia hacer una suya propia con su propio partido. Bueno estamos en un pais “libre” y cada quien tiene la libertad de expresar su punto de vista, incluso si cae mas pesado que un helado de sancocho.

      Si empezamos cada uno, con nuestro egoismo a tirar para nuestro lado y tirarle piedritas al otro, entonces perdemos la unidad y el triunfo conquistado.

      Todo tiene su tiempo, claramente para Capriles no era el momento apropiado.

  12. I think a common mistake to make per the Chavistas is that on the whole they were normal, capable folks who acted poorly or perhaps were overmatched for their task. From that perspective Chavistas and MUD gente are basically equals. But this is not remotely true. Chavistas were snake bit by almost preternatural imcompetance and economic stupidity. You might not like Capriles, especially when he starts acting like a slippery politician, but he’s a highly trained tax attorney by trade and can in no wise be compared to Chavista wankers. When the tales of shocking mismanagement are laid bare once the assembly reconvenes in Jan., when the banking, energy and petro sectors are held up to the light, Capriles is gonna look like genius.

  13. Woot woooot, Capriles!!

    Capriles: Solid governance experience (facing central government denial of resources), solid track record in education, known for conciliatory attittude and interest in how chavistas see him. Member of RIGHT-WING LEANING Primero Justicia and may have actually beaten Maduro in the presidential election right after Chávez died.

    López: Shit disturber, known for disturbing shit and running *ghasp* Chacao.

    If Capriles wants to stake a claim, he has earned that right.

    • You don’t know what you are saying. Capriles es un loco cobarde y vende patria a los chavistas… ni por el carajo ganaría unas nuevas elecciones presidenciales. Ya él participó en dos elecciones y las perdió por cobarde y no pelear como lo hizo la MUD en este dic 6. Si no eres venezolano no digas babozadas

      • The thing about politics, specially if we take it as a sublimized form of war, is that it has to be slightly faster and more violent than the ideal, because if Capriles doesn’t time his move ahead enough, others will get ahead of him. On the other hand, and Capriles is a master at this, it is also important to hold off until the last possible moment of strategic expediance.

        Right now, its expedient because, even though many are panicking and, yes, some like Ramos Allup are overreaching, we have a very high upper hand so there is a lot of loose political capital that will be appropriated by whoever gets there first. Actually, LL got there first with Tintori, who is a pretty smooth political operator. But Capriles has a much bigger stockpile of political capital, and is now investing!

        • Agreed. There is a clear incentive for him to think and act ahead. ((the acting thing he could have done a bit more gracefully, but lets leave that aside for the moment))

          Yet this incentive is only true if the bottom-line is that the MUD WILL split, and everyone within it knows it. It implies getting ahead people who are already eager to rush in for the splinters.

          See my point? His attitude is very telling not only of himself, but also of the other power-players of the MUD.
          And, hey, Im not saying its altogether bad the MUD splits. It is only natural.

          But not this soon, and not with malcriadeces!

          • Andres if we talked about ”malcriadeces”, you should’ve seen Lilian Tintori saying just after the election results were released by Tibisay that this was ”Leopoldo’s” victory because thanks to him we had an election…
            I don’t know you, but that sounds to me very selfish… She is obviously his political operator, but I think she could be more humble

          • On the contrary, the power struggle, in as far as there is one, is for the leadership of the MUD. If it were to splinter, they wouldn’t be fighting over whose victory it is but rather why it isn’t a victory, and whose fault that is (like VP has done in the past).

            No, the Unity is stronger than ever. The struggle isn’t over which party is stronger post-MUD, but for the soul of the MUD itself.

  14. As Juan said, it’s very unlikely there will be any primaries to choose the next candidate for MUD. The most likely scenario is that the next election will be called before the end of Maduro’s term, just a month or two in advance, like when Chavez died. So the candidate will be chosen by consensus. Given the current weight of forces/parties in MUD, Capriles has the best chance to be the candidate. For example, look at the number of AN deputies for each party. There at least 4 parties that would prefer Capriles over Leopoldo a thousand times over: PJ, AD, UNT and Falcón’s party; and this is their deputy count: 33 + 25 + 19 + 2 = 79 deputies. 70% of MUD’s deputies. I’m sure that any other measure -number of majors, votes in past elections- yields a similar result. Leopoldo would only be supported in MUD by VP and a bunch of smaller parties. He’s only chance is in a primary, and there won’t be one.

    As for Capriles’ press conference, I saw most of it live and didn’t like his tone in some answers. Overall, none of it was unexpected. He’s taken a lot of crap in the last two years, and to quote a recent CC article: he’s just not going to take it anymore. The timing of his lashing out was, unquestionably, badly chosen.

    I also saw MC Machado’s press conference. It was similar to Capriles’, in that both were done to promote themselves and claim credit. Capriles’ was about “See, I was right”. MCM’s was about “My contribution was very, very important” (it was largely about an until-now secret project, called Cantaclaro, carried out by Vente and Esdata to bring people to critical voting centers at closing time to monitor and push for its closure). She wanted her share of the credit for the win.

    • Well, sorry to bring this up but the reality is that he ain’t getting my vote if he is chosen by “consensus”, and I think a lot of people will not take that crap either.

      For now most Caprilistas are counting on Maduro’s resignation so that Capriles can bypass the primaries and run one more time unchallenged.

      There is a news flash for you, nor Maduro will resign nor Capriles will get the nomination by consensus. The only way Maduro is leaving office is through referemdum, and there will be plenty of time to prepare primaries for that.

      So to Capriles (and his fans), stop the cheap political maneuvering and get to work. The last electoral win is to actually FIX the problems that Venezuela have, stop using it to propel your selfish political agenda.

      You know there is an actual humility lesson coming from the People of Venezuela, and Capriles failed to uphold to that lesson.

      • News flash for you: if Maduro is removed with a referendum, as you say, then the election to replace him will take place 30 days later. Article 233 of the Constitution. It’s all there.

        “Serán faltas absolutas del Presidente … la revocación popular de su mandato” … “Si la falta absoluta del Presidente o la Presidenta de la República se produce durante los primeros cuatro años del período constitucional, se procederá a una nueva elección universal, directa y secreta dentro de los treinta días consecutivos siguientes”

        So, no, there won’t be plenty of time for a primary if Maduro is ousted in a referendum. And it would be idiotic to have a primary before winning the referendum, right?

        Look, I’m not saying you should vote or not for Capriles, or whether he is the right candidate. I don’t care. I’m just stating the obvious: if Maduro leaves office before his term is over, there won’t be time for primaries. Whoever is chosen, whether that’s Capriles or Leopoldo, it’s going to be by consensus. An, today, Capriles has stronger support in MUD. Simple as that.

        • Word around the campfire is that Padrino gets replaced by Admiral Franklin Asdrubal Montplaiser, a real red MFER if there ever was one.

          Also, looks like Godgiven Hair gets to be Vice President.

          Now there’s a couple mandarinas for y’all to, well, you know what to do with mandarinas.

  15. I agree wholeheartedly with this post. From the beginning his tone was feisty. He got lost several times, not as disciplined delivering a message as he has been many times under more difficult circumstances. The combination of bad tone, occasional rambling and speaking of himself in the third person was disconcerting. Not a good three-day span for those of us who see him and María Corina as the most reasonable options for the presidency.

  16. Interesting how everyone says that Capriles wants to bypass a primary because he wouldn’t have a chance against Leopoldo. Apparently you don’t have idea of how much Primero Justicia has grown as a Political Party all over Venezuela, with a “cantera” on its own (Toro dixit), the Fundación Justicia y Democracia spreading the Social Justice ideals throughout our newest members, a very dynamic team of activism whose work goes beyond simple electoral campaigning, a nonstop effort of expanding our reach in order to stablish connections with people (Didn’t you hear of the “Yo soy promotor del cambio” program in this campaign by which the party got new data from over two million people?) and the widest, most diverse and most recognizable leadership from any of the MUD parties. Meanwhile, Voluntad Popular rests on CNN staff, the blue blood of Leopoldo and his unfair martyrdom.
    No, we’re not bypassing a primary; we’re longing for it.

  17. Although I agree on some things and disagree with others about this post, it is a good post, a good read and it invites reflection.

    Well written, sir.

  18. The question is, does the MUD have a clearly defined, unified agenda for its use of power? While a total defeat of Chavismo would bring a welcomed return to democracy and productive political discourse, a breakdown of this alliance as each party seeks their own agenda would only serve to embroil the country in further chaos and stagnate any efforts of peace and progress.

    • …or even worse, BOTH , the oppositions and the regime factions falling into infighting mode1

      As i have stated before, and continue to believe, the reckoning is going to come very soon, in Q1, 2016 when the new asamblea starts to dig for the proverbial ” y donde estan los reales?” questions and we are faced with the reality of a total FUBAR in the state administration.

      Faced with a dilemma what to do first, advocate for crisis management, seek justice for the criminal activities of the past 17 yrs. or survival mode of its own institution, the asamblea is going to be stressed to the limit and the unity majority better stick together tight.

      I read Padrino’s epopeya of 6 and 7-D as a very strong signal on how the regime is able to hold its own group tight even in the presence of dire circumstance.

      The lesson of 7-D is one of strong unity in the ranks of the regime, all the story telling about safeguarding the democratic institution and other unicorn and raibows, just convenient talking points.

  19. I would not be this worried. I think Capriles has not been precisely, and not precisely this week, the one who has really threaten the Unity.

    I would empathize much more with HCR, specially in these moments of such joy and, why not admit it, personal pride. After sunday results, López and Machado have been proven wrong and what Machado did supporting independent candidates is a more serious threat than Capriles slips of pride. It actually cost one seat in the NA.

    His words are still there, and his actions? Not Ghandi. It might be a bit unsettling to see the man accused of being a silent collaborationist finally open up his mouth, but everybody has feelings. His are natural, and not harmful as others’ very own ideas an agendas, which is what should matter. I trust Capriles’ more than anybody else’s.

    • Agreed. One thing can be said for the man; he sticks to his guns. He’s taken a lot of flack, most of it uncalled for, and deserves to air out his grievances.

    • I do so too, I am criticizing just the tone and time he used to express these grievances with which we both agree.

      Just because hes our best hope does not mean hes somehow not bad at all whatsoever.

  20. Can someone explain me why is Ramos Allup the new spokesman for the opposition?, he seems to be everywhere now, I thought he was pollitically dead even inside the opposition.
    Maybe is the hegemony trying to put him as the face of the mud since he is more demonizable?

    • Exactly, this whole article should be more about Allup in his Labyrinth.

      Capriles can be forgiven due to exhaustion following an intense campaign and recent workload to help the MUD achieve a historic result. Additionally, don’t criticise other hard workers like Lilian Tintori etc for their immediate reactions as they too are probably equally exhausted and exhilarated at the same time (not the best recipe for clear thinking without some rest first).

      On the other hand, Allup can’t be forgiven as I am sure his workload was way less (and less stressful too) and he should be savvy enough to know how his comments and actions can be manipulated (even if on occasion he has a good point to make, regardless of his delivery or timing).

      However, the best thing with this article and the subsequent discussion in the comments is the democratic freedom to have differing views and opinions and the maturity to debate them all in public. Roll on democratic debate and freedom of thought in the public sphere in Venezuela too.

  21. Since time is of the essence, a primary to select the opposition candidate could be organized the same day as the referendum. If the president loses the referendum and no one gets 50% of the vote in the primary, a second vote a week later would determine the opposition candidate.

  22. I reckon everyone is overreacting to the signs.
    Capriles has done a lot of work for this to happen. Actually I’d say the top winners are Capriles’ “Tiempo de Dios es Perfecto” philosophy (which I hate) and Chuo. Capriles just bragged a bit and in a really subtle way that he was right, and to be fair he deserves a bit of that. All the recriminations he had to take because he didn’t go more radical against the fraud in 2013, not supporting #LaSalida craziness, and a long list. Recriminations coming from people and allies, and even from leaders that on Jan 5th will take a seat in the Congress! Even losing the support of many people, he stuck to his idea and that’s admirable.

    • #LaSalida wasn’t crazy. It was civil disobedience at it’s finest. It put Venezuela on the forth front of every major news outlet in the world.

      In a hypothetical primary. Who do you think people will appeal to more? Leopoldo as a galvanized hero who went on a 30 day hungry strike to invoke the elections that the MUD overwhelmingly won or Capriles who has lost 2 elections to el Chavismo and backed down after electoral/voter fraud was committed against him.

      Leopoldo is a married man with a beautiful wife while Capriles doesn’t have a wife and is rumored to be gay ( I don’t buy it), but it would incredible easy to capitalize on his image vs Capriles.

      Leopoldo won his second election as major with 80% votes to his favor.

      Capriles had his shot twice. It’s time for someone else’s turn even if it’s not Leopoldo.

      We don’t need people who are looking to compromise, but rather eradicate and cleanse. The fifth republic needs to die for the 6th republic to be born. I don’t think Capriles could handle that with his tendency to backdown in rough situations. Capriles would still be a remnant of el Chavismo with his mannerisms appearing similar to Chavez with the purpose of attracting his voter base.

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