Why Capriles is not yet on top

Socialism equals stuff!

He is running a smooth campaign. Unity among the opposition’s factions is rock solid. He is constantly on message. His opponent is sick, and has been around for a long time. In short, Capriles is doing very little wrong, and a lot of things right.

Why is this election not a washout for him? How does Chávez remain competitive? Why is he even on top, if you believe some polls?

William Neuman from the New York Times hints at why.

79 thoughts on “Why Capriles is not yet on top

  1. JC can’t even write an objective intro into someone else’s article!

    “His opponent is sick…”

    Last time you said he was “visibly dying.” I guess now you’ll admit you were full of shit when you said that?

    “How does Chávez remain competitive? Why is he even on top, if you believe some polls?”

    Uh, some polls? He’s on top in virtually all the polls, including opposition polls, and even in your favorite Consultores 21 which always distorts in favor of the opposition.

    In other words, the question is not if you believe “some polls.” The question is if you believe THE polls in general, or if you prefer to deny reality and stick your head in the ground.

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  2. This Chavistas like beating the bushes so much that they are ridicolous. The guy is dying and polls are showing a technical tie.

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    • Yeah, the polls are showing a technical tie. Oh, except for all of the most well-known polls, and even those that always favor the opposition!!

      http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elecciones_presidenciales_de_Venezuela_de_2012#Encuestas

      The only polls that are showing a tie are polls that no one has ever heard of, or that have a history of distorted results (C21).

      But, hey, over here at Caracas Chronicles we like to deny reality while staring it in the face. How many times have we been through this guys? How many elections have you lost while claiming you were winning?

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      • Get a clue… Get a clue. Chiabe is tied ro HCR because of: ventajismo, populismo and regalader of our money, houses, washers, driers, whatever. And venezuelans love un regalo y un fiao. So….

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      • Get a clue is a typical aggressive, pejorative, insulting, desk socialist. If people were sooooo happy with chiabe and his revolution, there wouldn’t even be a tie. Or a chance, or chiabe wouldn’t be sending his police to stop HCR from entering the barrios. Go back to Starbucks with your Che Guevara tshirt and don’t patronize us puhhleeeze :p

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        • The fact is there is no tie – not even in the opposition polls. Chavez is well ahead on most of the recognized pollsters by around 20 points. Get a clue is right….reality is staring you in the face and you are in denial – even worse TITAL DENIAL.

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  3. 1) Don’t believe ANY polls, except DATOS, if they were to do a political one; 2) As with Chavez in 1998, few if any polls will show Capriles winning right up to the election, even if he wins by a landslide; 3)The reason is a combination of crooked polls (outright paid-off/crooked methodology) and that most Venezuelans will not say they are not for Chavez for fear of reprisals; 4) In spite of the spotty Chavez giveaways, very well described by the Neuman Article recipient Ms. ACASO, most Venezuelans now know that they’re mostly Bla Bla, but that reality of day-to-day living is: street killings/woundings/maimings; lack of decent jobs; U.S or higher prices for non-Mercal/PDVAL goods; job discrimination by political affiliation; lack of adequate/non-contaminated water; electricity outages; a miserable minimum wage paid to most that doesn’t even cover the food “Canasta Basica”, much less the full Canasta; and now for some, gasoline rationing, added to the lack of replacement parts for many later-model vehicles. Yes, the “Pueblo” may be “Tonto”, pero TANTO????

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    • Good explanation NET, except that it isn’t based on anything, and in fact many polls in the past have favored the opposition long before the election. Whoops!!

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      • GAC, read a little (hurts??): Virtually no poll, if any, showed Chavez a winner in 1998. And your refutation of the state of the Country?? Or are you another Foro De Sao Paulo visitor who missed his plane because he was shopping in Sambil, and who is still living in LA LA LAND.

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        • Sorry NET, but as I said, your claims are not based on anything more than made-up nonsense:

          “The two traditional main parties hoped that the 8 November legislative and regional elections would give them a boost, a month ahead of the 8 December presidential election, but the poll remained a two-horse race.[4] At this point polls generally showed Chávez with a 6-12 point lead over Salas Römer’s approximately 38% poll numbers, though in some polls he exceeded that margin.[4]”

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venezuelan_presidential_election,_1998#Campaign

          I wish you better luck next time in your attempts to make up random bullshit.

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          • GAC, you ARE on cue! Good luck in the future (you’ll need it)…As for random bullshit, I won’t respond to that which you spewed in the previous article, but will from now on.

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              • Uh oh, some one is mad because his nonsense was exposed. Come on NET, tell us about the 1998 polls again?

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              • Get a clue….I am certain taht you would agree that only landowners should be allowed to vote to ensure that Venezuela “gets the government it needs”. Oh, and the people who own the media as well——sorry forgot them as they are sooooooo imp’ortant!!!!!

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    • Yes the haier phenomenon has certainly contributed to pulling Chavez haier in the polls. Face it – this is pure socialist policy and putting the specualtive linea blanca out of business little by little.

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      • Yes, when the Haiers break down sooner rather than later, the “Pueblo” will have to go back to beating their laundry on rocks in the polluted streams. Arturo, have you gotten your modern rodillo semi-automatic unit yet??

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  4. Sometimes it’s best to hope for the best, but to prepare for the worst. I have two conflicting views of either election outcome, because I think Venezuela is probably heading into an economic meltdown which will cause a major domestic crisis. I worry that this is politically a horrible time for the opposition to assume the leadership of the state when I hear Chavez warn the public that the opposition will cause chaos.

    At the same time, I think this may be the last opportunity to seize the control of the state before a Cuban style economy destroys what is left of the middle class.

    Well, I suppose I am kind of ambivalent about this election.

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    • Maybe the revolution has a “scorched earth” strategy that is leaving a disaster for the opposition to deal with and is planning to become an political opposition that makes it even worse!

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      • The revolution has had a “scorched earth” strategy from the get-go, don’t you think? For how else to explain the incremental mismanagement of Venezuela’s economy, the stratospheric indices of crime, the long-winded calls for social polarization, and on and on … . Had this revolution been in competent hands, all-around, it would have been better accepted by a larger percentage of the population.

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        • Syd, I don’t think the “scorched earth” is a strategy, it’s simply the result of the most incredible/unimaginable incompetence and corruption. As for Gordo’s previous comment, not only is the middle class being destroyed, but all classes as well, now fully dependent on a possibly dwindling price of oil, coupled with a soon-to-be unmanageable level of debt.

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          • Net, I do think there have been elements of a scorched earth strategy. Allow me to explain.

            It began with the need to build a cult of personality through charisma, both nationally and abroad. Then came the forced broadcasting, for hours at a time, following the model that Fidel employed for so long. At first, the forced broadcasting cemented the folksy I-feel-your-pain persona. But a couple of things got in the way. For one, the Vargas mudslides showed the government’s inability to follow through on clean up, this after rejecting US help. Not long after, began the harangues, also by forced broadcasting. These took on a menacing tone, moreover when Chávez subtly called to arms his ‘motorizados’, his first line of freebie militiament. He followed up that thought with another Cuban copy: the Círculos Bolivarianos. The social polarization was gaining ground. Chávez was separating social classes and up-ending systems that went against his (or rather, Fidel’s) strategy. But unlike Fidel, who’s a more astute fox, not given to displays of accumulated wealth, Esteban pranced around, drunk on the change in his personal tastes and preferences.

            It took a few copy-cat moves, directives from the International Proletariat, and the whipping up of class hatred to set in motion the deus ex machina that we see today.

            The strategy was social in nature, or the underpinnings, pues. I firmly believe that the thought was to destroy social systems and to exert pressure on private enterprise, so as to allow the government, its allies, and the military to flourish with carte blanche, an accountable and competent government be damned.

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            • I think you’re right to an extent. An alternative possibility is that Luis Miquilena, apart from convincing Chavez to go the electoral route, designed a brilliant electoral strategy based on correcting the many economic/social ills (many fewer than today) of the time. Trouble soon came when Chavez simply was incapable of governing competently, plus Adan’s Castroite influence becoming stronger, and, worse yet, when Miquilena abandoned ship. Of course, there is the “wolf in sheep’s clothing” from the beginning version. I believe that Chavez was simply never very bright, much less well-educated, but he influenced others by his gift for gab. He was always corrupt, from the Military Cafetin to the cattle rustling when stationed in Barinas. He was always plotting violent overthrow, but was protected by Leftist Military officials plus certain Leftist politicians, crowned by Caldera. Miquilena, the original mentor who got him elected, was replaced by old fox Castro, whose advice has kept him in power.

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        • Yes, had this revolution been in competent hands it would have been better accepted by a larger percentage of the population… never mind the fact that the Chavez government won in 2004 and again in 2006 by a higher margin than any government since 1947. Such an unpopular government!

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          • That was then, now is now. The Referendum was a fix (as per the Exit Poll, many statistical studies). The fraud is ongoing. Only Venezuela would have stood the Chavez destruction of the Country (due to an escalating price of oil) Bucaram was thrown out for far less. As the saying goes, “You can’t make this stuff up”, so far as the destruction of the Country goes. And that, GAC, is why you’ve been assigned to this Blog, in a vain attempt to refute the TRUTH!.

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            • Okay NET, take off the tin-foil hat and place your feet directly on the ground. Did you forget to take your medicine today?

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              • If you judge the competence of a government or a governor by its popularity then you really need to open your mind. Poor people are deceived, votes are bought, and so on. As Bolivar said “un pueblo inculto es instrumento ciego de su propia destrucción”

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              • It certainly couldn’t be that middle class folk are deceived by high-tech media campaigns such as the 24/7 campaign on Globovision, etc., much like they are in other parts of the world?? Unthinkable!!

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              • “Yes, those stupid poor people!”
                Wow. Freudian slip from gac. Scratch an idolater of a cult and you’ll find someone desperately covering up demons.

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  5. On GAC, he’s/she’s obviously been assigned full-time to this Blog, perhaps from the Chavez Campaign, or, perhaps, from “Chavez Candanga”, the part that writes the laudatory lies, not the huge part asking for a handout (like the poor souls camped in the street in front of Miraflores). I guess the truths stated on this Blog are beginning to worry the international advisers of the Chavez campaign…

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    • Yes, they are so worried that they decided to pay some guy to argue with exiled spoiled brats on an obscure English language blog that has zero influence on their base. Keep it coming NET, I’m loving this!

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      • You’re not worried about local Venezuelan opinion. You’re worried about how to explain to International Observers why the Election was not fixed.

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        • Yes, and the obvious solution to that problem is to pay some guy to argue in the comments section of an obscure english-language blog with a bunch of exiled hijos de papa.

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          • My God, is it troll season again already? Every election cycle the trolls come out and trample through the garden, gnashing their teeth and talking dirty. So predictable, and so boring.

            Let’s talk about something else. One thing the polls (all of them done in-home, late 20th century style, except for Hinterlaces which does theirs by phone) all gloss over and never take into the account is the fear factor. In the 2006 campaign Penn & Schoen ran parallel polling operations for Rosales; your standard-issue in-home model, and a variant on the mall intercept, conducted in public at 200 demographically representative cluster points nationwide, with the respondent filling out the questionnaire himself, thereby maintaining anonymity. Comparing the data from 4 poll sets, Doug Schoen concluded that a 14-point fear factor was skewing the data: Chavez consistently led Rosales by 14 more points in the in-home polls than in the intercept poill. Keller estimates the fear factor today at 16 to 18 points. Meaning you can take ALL the polls from Jesse Chacon’s to Christiansen’s, and average out the points for each candidate, then subtract 8 points from Chavez’s score and add 8 to Capriles’, and that should give you a damn good idea of where the race stands right now.

            But beyond the horserace aspect of the campaign, doesn’t anybody think it’s weird that the MUD is ferociously defending the CNE’s Orwellian panopticon approach to voter (and vote?) monitoring?

            http://www.el-carabobeno.com/portada/articulo/37704/albanes-rechaza-crticas-a-proceso-electoral-en-venezuela-

            It’s a prime example of how Stockholm syndrome has infected the MUD politburo.

            At least some people get what’s really going on:

            http://www.el-nacional.com/noticia/42547/16/ex-rectores-del-cne-instan-a-desistir-del-uso-del-sai-en-las-elecciones.html

            What’s truly amazing — and shows just how out of touch she is with voter sentiment — is Albanes calling those who dare doubt the integrity of the fingerprint scanner-cum-voting machine combo “radicals” who don’t believe in voting. Keller’s May poll shows that 18% of respondents who identify themselves as chavistas suspect the technology will violate their right to a secret ballot, and 47% of Iindependent and 65% of opposition voters agree. So they’re all radicals itching for a guarimba, Teresa?

            The fingerprint scanners alone could sink Capriles’ campaign. In order to qualify for the Misión Vivienda you have to get your fingerprints scanmned. 3.5 million people have already done so. How do you think these people going to vote when they go to, the polls on October 7? When you think of it, the whole set-up is just one massive voter intimiodation program, because even the technical team in Capriles’ campaign privately agree that the way it’s set up it can’t possibly guarantee the one-voter-one-vote premise it’s based upon. So why not just throw it out, as MUD demanded that the CNE do for the primnaries? It should be a no-brainer. Why, even the presence of the scanners + voting machines set-up violates the constitutional guarantees to free, fair and secret ballotting. And then there’s the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

            No other (ahem) democratically-elected government in the world would allow such a system. I can understand the logic of the CNE wanting top impose it. But for the MUD to DEFEND it (from radical golpistas, no less, who’d rather their vote be secret), that’s pathologic.

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            • Eric,

              Finally a meaningful commentary in a sea of boring trolls and their groupies.

              Very sad , but very very significant what you write here. …Even if the MUD thinks that by not accepting criticism or exposing flaws more people will vote, it is bizarre because with this degree of fear factor and voter intimidation, what positive outcome could we possibly have?

              Is it denial once more ?

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      • A few minths ago bloggers here said that I was being paid to make comments here. There must be more money being invested by Chavez or Izarrita in blogosphere than we think. :-)

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      • hahaha. Noteworthy is the love-hate relationship this troll has to various commenters, as though it were Tom Cruise in need of an auditing session at the Church of whatever. Today was such a day. Poechiiitoo…

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  6. The good news is that Chavez and chavismo are not on top, they don’t have majority. Even throwing a storm of money around like there’s no tomorrow. He can be defeated. How to ensure it? That’s the million dollar question…

    Does Capriles have to offer a better future? You bet. Does he have to offer giveaways? Hope not… Does he have to offer not to trash the present system of giveaways no matter how regressive? Sadly yes.

    Yep, Hugo’s dying or bound to kill himself through campaigning. No amount of BS from anyone, except flat-out denial that the man got cancer, two surgeries, five rounds of chemo, recurrence, surgery four rounds of radio (correct me if I’m wrong), can change that. FACT.

    I will pity the persons who have to sort the mess around after the financial reality sets in, or rather wonder about their sanity in voluntarily taking over in such a situation.

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    • This election is turning out just like all the others, hopelessly optimistic opposition included. Only question is: Will the oppos learn anything new this time?

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      • Nope. For once the opposition has a candidate with the right credentials and the right message who is representative, communicative and quite healthy to boot.
        Chavez is spending a truckload of money again, the same since 2004. He’s not getting the expected results for all the money. He’s desperately sick and might get sicker, or worse. Can anyone deny this? Nope.
        The difference is very small for the truckload of money spent on freebies and campaigning by the government. There are still three months to go and lots to do.

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        • There’s also at least 2.5 million ghost voters in the voter rolls or RE (ex-CNE rectors Roberto Chang Mota, Alfredo Weil, Ezequiel Zamora and Rómulo Lares all agree on this), and they will all vote on October 7, unless you buy Leopoldo’s promise that the Capriles campaign is going to be able to field 200,000 fearless, sharp-witted,well-trained, battle-hardened pollwatchers that day, and make sure no hanky panky takes place in the polling stations, in which case you’re sorta delusional, I’m sorry.

          You can run some numbers based on this, plus the number of voters who will feel coerced by the fingerprint machines to vote against their desires and vote for Chavez. I’d day that’s another 2 million votes minimum, and you can see how Capriles could get 60% of the real vote out there, even more — and I certainly think he can — and still lose 45-55.

          You know what’s REALLY scary though? It’s who’s behind this, enabling it, and speculations as to why.

          The use of fingerprint scanning machines was challenged by the MUD as it went into the primaries. They pled to the CNE that these would frighten people from even going to the polls, let alone vote for the candidate of their choice, and the CNE bought the argument, and they were yanked.

          Why is the presidential election less are important to the MUD than the primaries. Think on that a bit, and I’ll be right back.

          It’s just a regulation. It’s not in the constitution, nor is it a law. The regulation establishing the biometrics system could be revoked with a motion from the CNE. So why is the MUD putting up with it? And why are WE putting up with it! Teresa Albanes and Ramón Guillermo Aveledo are members of the MUD politburo. (So are a few joyitas like Henry Ramos and Omar Barboza, ’nuff said) Which uncritically accepts recommendations from the MUD’s Comisión Técnica. And who’s on the CT?

          First of all, master con-man, Ing Féix Arroyo, who escaped prosecution in the 80s and 90s for using his office for private gain by being a key player in AD’s political and corrupt business machine. He’s a brilliant systems engineer, an elecrical enginer, in fact, who can slice and dice databases, and knows the immigration and national identity offices inside and out, having run (and profited handsomely from) them for several years. .

          Felix mysteriously shows up.as director of the voter roll in the (gasp!) CNE in 2003. In 2004 or 5 then pro-Chavez rector Sobella Mejías tries to get rid of him, and complained she couldn’t because Arroyo, in her words, was “hombre de confianza de Francisco Carrasquero y Jorge Rodríguez.” After fixing the 2004 recall referendum — and no, I won’t put up with no-know trolls or willfully ignorant patriots: please read six academic papers that have been published in the peer review Statistical Science Nov 2011 “Special Venezuelan number” and the landmark (http://projecteuclid.org/DPubS?service=UI&version=1.0&verb=Display&handle=euclid.isr/1165245390 study by Febres Cordero and Marquez in International Statistical Review, that all conclude that the RR was fixed . That’s it. Science says it’s so. Get into the modern world already, and leave that old Venezuelan black magic realism-cum-exceptionalism behind.

          Felix became head of the SAIPE (sorta like the SAIME) division within the CNE, and used his considerable insider skills to fix the system into one flawless perpetual-re-elect-Hugo-Chávez machine. That included back-engineering the 2010 census (final figures coming out in December 2012 — convenient timing, huh?), as well as padding the voter rolls, and almost tripling the number of voting stations to enable fraud at the voting machine level. What the hell he’s doing today working for the MUD is beyond me. (Not really)

          He’s also Henry Ramos’ trusted organization sub-secretary for AD. And served for two years as MUD’s chief communication conduit and negoriator with…you guessed it, the CNE. Have I got your attention? The other three guys on the CT each have their own story, and none of the, believe me, would give you any confidence that they’re really there to represent YOUR interests as a voter. One was a top aide to Barboza and Rosales, another was an MVR-supported regional CNE director and onetime MVR candidate for the national assembly. They’re all very rich these days, thank you.

          So, ask yourself, why does the MUD political leadership always uncritically endorse every single recommendation that emanates from the CT? Why has the CT never suggested to the politburo that since the voter roll hasn’t been properly and successfully audited since 2003, that an independent audit of a minuscule percentage of the voter roll be conducted. After all, the government embarked on a highly questioned Misión Identidad in 2003 to enroll more voters, and 10 years later the voter roll has grown by 58% while the population grew by 14%. Put all the contoversy to rest. Audit the voter role. Nope. The CT doesn’t think that’s a good idea. Arroyo fudges and sidesteps the issue with suggestions that the REAL problem is the SAIME (national identity registry) and that the SAIME ought to be audited, eventually, maybe.

          Why do intelligent people like Teresa Albanes allow themselves to be brainwashed by shills like MUD-CT “expert” Mario Torre, who proclaims to anyone who’ll listen that he has full faith in the inviolability of the fingerprint-voting machine algorithm-driven scrambler (sic) and that he KNOWS, and therefore you should believe, that your vote will be secret. Note that it’s not the CNE and its people exerting themselves to win our hearts and minds. They have people for that already in the MUD.

          So, its a long, heartless and ultimately tragic, all-too-human story about the power of money, the threat of violence and fear of retribution, willfull blindness, stubborn faith, ignorance, indifference, and a cynicism that astounds sometimes, even though I’ve lived here for 30 years.

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          • I will not comment with the amount of depth you offer, Eric, since it’s been a long time since I lived in Vzla. And though I follow Vz news and keep in touch with family, these connections ain’t the same thing.

            Yes, there are worries. Worries about the duplicated C.I.’s (around ‘here’, Kepler’s da man for specifics); the lack of sample audits – if they can even possibly lead to a clean-up; and the uncertain coverage of ALL the mesas beyond the edo. Miranda, LL’s promises notwithstanding. (i.e., who’s covering La Vega?)

            As for your questions: Why is the presidential election less are important to the MUD than the primaries? I suspect the answer has to do with negotiation and pragmatism, as well as the human foibles you describe in your last paragraph.

            P.S. Teresa Albanes strikes me as a conciliator, not a mover or shaker.

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            • So, we need a “conciliator,” or a “kind and decent man” (as Ramón Guillermo Aveledo’s been described to me) speaking for the candidate? We need conciliators and kind and decent people to go out and pick up the pieces and nurse the wounded and reconcile the dispirited AFTER the elections. We need advocates and clear-headed, willful individuals to get out there and stump for Capriles’ genuine interests during the campaign! Why do we always have negotators (Alberto Quirós and “estamos blindados” come to mind) when we need fearless people of principle to stand up for us? Aveledo and Albanes have been listening to Arroyo, Márquez, Bello and Torres’ warped logic (a la War is Peace) for so long now they sound exactly like them when they open their mouths. They’re not DEFENDING Capriles, Syd, they’re contributing to his defeat. Can’t anybody think critically, independently in this campaign?

              Doesn’t anybody else see this?

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              • Eric,

                MC and DA would have been more confrontational here, however that is precisely the reason whytheprimary voters did not elect them in my opinion.They are afraid of creating a situation where the anger of the government might be provoked challenging the opposition to respond.I think they are looking for an easier way out.Unfortunately often the easy way is not enough.

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          • Your posts and admonitions are excellent and eye-opening. I remember before the Referendum when Maria Corina/Sumate stated that, in spite of SmartMatic Machines, the results would be “blindados”. And, while I don’t doubt her sincerity then, she/we were blindsided. Let’s hope that 10/072012 won’t be Referendum redux!

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  7. How could you not read most of the comments on that link and not be infuriated??
    Any Zen tricks?

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  8. Got to love loboferoz – blind optimism and a complete failure to see that Capriles is no more than a tonto útil. Capriles is so far behind Chavez is every sense – in the polls, intellectually, politically and morally – that he could not even win the right to be in the same room as Chavez. Loboferoz hs been sucked into the hope (also blind) that Chavez is going to die before the elections. Man, you were saying this a year ago just as people have been saying – at least on this blog – that the economy is going into meltdown. The fact is that the system you support is at least in semi meltdown. I guess you would like someone like Rajoy to run the country.

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    • If ‘the system you support is at least in semi-meltdown”, where does that leave Venezuela, which depends on that system for 98% of its income?? You really are a refugee from Radio Rochela: Chavez intellectual and moral?? You just lost even your TROLL credentials!!!

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      • I find more sarcastic the intellectual part for someone who can’t even spell the word adquirir or multiply 5 times 3. One of the biggest lies right now being spread by the Chavista propaganda machine is the alleged intellectual stature of Chavez. He is an incredibly shrewd and astute politician, but intellectually he is a very limited and ignorant man. I found it hilarious when he said he wanted to run against Betancourt or other cuarta república politicians, who would have obliterated a hack like Chavez in a debate.

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        • At times like these, the immortal words of Christopher Hitchens come to mind:
          “Chávez, in other words, is very close to the climactic moment when he will announce that he is a poached egg and that he requires a very large piece of buttered toast so that he can lie down and take a soothing nap.”

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    • How does a military golpista, an authoritarian gorilla who got lucky, or rather was advised by the few leftists like Miquilena and Jose Vicente Rangel who know their way in Venezuelan clientelist politics compare to a democratic politician who did rise in politics, in elected positions and doing not a half-bad job all the way? How does Chavez compare to Capriles?

      And I don’t know how deluded you can be, but bear with me quoting the empty generalities Huguito threw about his health: Tumor “the size of a baseball” somewhere in his abdomen, two surgeries, not one in a month, five rounds of chemo in complete secrecy, he self-declares himself “cancer-free, no malignance in my body”, not six months later, recurrence of a “small 2.5 cm” lesion, surgery, four rounds of radiation. Maybe in the mid 22nd. century with technology advanced enough and indistinguishable from magic this will not be much, but even right now it’s DESPERATELY SICK barring miracles. I am not saying he will die before election, your master has hidden and lied as much as he can about his condition, but a campaign is surely not going to make him any healthier, quite the contrary. It would be bitterly ironic if it were not so tragic, how this man commits painful suicide to the applause of PSFs and chavistas.

      In semi-meltdown??? You must be jesting… Thousands of Venezuelans (like Cubans for five decades now) leaving Venezuela whenever and however they can for the “capitalistic” countries, even those that are not doing spectacularly well. If you espoused a third way you would be half-believable. But Socialism! It died in 1991 and nobody has been able to revive it.

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  9. Obliterated in a debate? Dude, a few lines in an interview would have done for Betancourt to get rid of Chavez! Bolivar hisself would have had Chavez digging “letrinas” for the whole of the Independence war! Bolivar was a mantuano, if anything, and Chavez, well, in colonial terms, wouldn’t have made it through the ranks above plain cannon fodder. That’s the gist of it: Bolivar was a racist and as class conscious as a Country Club spinster!

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  10. Syd: LOL. only he was born on the wrong side of the tracks… Pity he wasn’t abandoned ON the tracks!

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  11. “By making a show of delivering new homes to some, he keeps alive hope among many others that they too might some day benefit from the same largess. ”

    Here’s the whole objective of chavismo campaigning: give one washer away, thousands of others will believe they will get it too and end up voting for the guy.

    Unfortunately a large chunk of Venezuelans are too poor and too leftist in ideals so this mechanism of campaigning is very effective.

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    • A week or two before Oct 7th, Capriles needs to ask Venezuelans if they have that new house or new washer. “If after 12 years Chavez has not given you a house, do you think Chavez will give you a house after the election?”

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