Dropping Like Flies

With the opposition’s primary field winnowing out fast, there’s all kinds of activity over on our Oppo Primary Field Guide. We’ve added an “endorsements” section to each candidate, gotten rid of the Wildcards (who by now are obviously not running) and added detail to the top tier guys. The MUD’s decision to demand that candidates…

The Oppo Field Now

So Pablo Pérez’s AD endorsement prompted us to revise our Oppo Field Guide once again. Want the short version? The Opposition Primary is quickly settling into a three-horse race between Henrique Capriles Radonski (HCR), Pablo Pérez (PP) and Leopoldo López (LL), with the others struggling to establish their relevance and several likely to drop out…

Henry hearts Pablo

AD has announced its endorsement of Pablo Pérez for President. Henry Ramos Allup made the announcement today. Antonio Ledezma, who has been busy courting AD’s base and all but dived into CAP’s grave, is sure to be disappointed. Both Ledezma and Maria Corina Machado are quickly slipping into irrelevance. As for us, well … let’s…

Libya today, China tomorrow?

El Mundo Economía y Negocios has a nice catch regarding Venezuela’s billion-dollar joint development fund with Libya. Signed just a year ago, partially ratified by the A.N. and published in Gaceta Oficial on December 30th 2010, our bilateral development fund with Libya is undeniably legal in Venezuela. And, within well-established international doctrines on state succession,…

What, another one!???

Jesus, another fake pollster?! En serio!? This one has such a generic name – International Consulting Services (!) – that a Google search just throws back all manner of generic little firms, none of which are remotely related to public opinion research. It’s like they’ve given up even trying to pass these off as proper polling…

Wait until mourning

Live fast, die young, and leave a beautiful corpse. So goes the saying. For politicians, a corollary is in order: use the corpse to secure power. The resounding triumph of Cristina Kirchner in Argentina yesterday got me thinking of Venezuela’s possible (and probable?) transition. A few years ago, Cristina was toast. Deeply unpopular, out of…

Right, yet wrong

Our friend Miguel over at the Defecating Legion’s blog has sort of challenged me to an opinion duel. The argument goes like this: A few weeks ago, opposition front-runner Henrique Capriles said that, if elected, he would not do away with Cadivi until the conditions were ripe for its removal. In other words, he refused…

Why Chávez Will Win

So, writing in a Bank of America Merrill Lynch newsletter, Francisco Rodríguez is straightforward about it: All opinion surveys show Chávez’s popularity increasing over the past few months. Although some analysts attribute this to a sympathy effect, our reading is that this is a consequence of the economic recovery, and in our view is likely…

Gaddafi passed on Turiamo

There are conflicting news reports about the fate of Muammar Gaddafi. Some say he has been injured and captured. Others say he has died. Regardless, he’s toast. [Update: yeah, he's dead.] It’s worth remembering that Gaddafi was offered the very real possibility of exile in Venezuela. Right now, he could have been lying comfortably in…

Aung San Suu López?

More and more, it looks like the government’s gambit in disqualifying-but-not-quite-disqualifying Leopoldo López isn’t going to pan out. As you’ll recall, in a genuinely weird decision the other day, the Supreme Tribunal ruled that López is fully entitled to run both in the opposition primary and in the General Election of 2012…but whether or not…

Recipe for polarization

1. Make otherwise sensible people talk about the death of Chávez. 2. Use the courts to pick on the opposition’s leaders and slowly take away their rights. 3. Poke Globovisión in the eye. 4. Wash, rinse, repeat. Keep this up, and you ensure there is no space in the news cycle to discuss actual proposals,…

- LL = f ‘ ( JVR )

In the wake of news about the Supreme Tribunal’s bizarre decision saying Leopoldo López is allowed to run for president, but is not allowed to execute the office of the presidency, I’m going to share a conspiracy theory of mine. Be warned: it’s totally unfounded, but aren’t they all? Imagine you’re a highly experienced, utterly…

The chatty doctor

I had never heard the name Salvador Navarrete before. A Venezuelan doctor, I now learn. Navarrete was all over the news yesterday. In a wide-ranging interview (in Spanish), Dr. Navarrete was quoted as saying what everyone has been murmuring for the past month or so: that Hugo Chávez is gravely ill with a pelvic sarcoma –…