Leopoldo, unleashed

It’s a rainy Caracas afternoon. Outside, the city begins to process the results of the recent mayoral elections that left the opposition dazed and confused. But the mood at Voluntad Popular headquarters is exultant. Years of tough political work have paid off with a number of mayoral positions for the young party, some in key…

When two rights make a wrong

Six National Assembly Deputies were elected mayors in last Sunday’s election (five from the MUD and one from the PSUV). But two of those victories will now cost the opposition its seat in Zulia State’s 11th circuit. But why, you might ask? Because both MPs (main deputy Mervin Méndez and his substitute Ender Pino) were elected as…

CC and the election

I’m in Caracas, so sorry in advance for the light posting. This is just a short note to remind you to follow our 8D election coverage. We’ll try to have as much content as possible for you, as we always do. This election closes a cycle that began some four years ago. The MUD experiment…

8-D Races to Watch: Valencia

Five years ago, a split within the opposition allowed Chavismo to win the mayorship of Valencia, Venezuela’s third largest city. This time, the MUD looks favored to regain it, after the incumbent chavista mayor was pushed aside by his comrades and later arrested for corruption. But recently, the entire leadership of Chavismo launched a series of…

8-D Races to Watch: Maturín

Last year, politics in the Venezuelan State of Monagas were shaken when then Chavista-leaning governor Jose Gregorio Briceño (a.k.a. “El Gato”) defected to the MUD. But that gamble didn’t pay off, as internal division was one of the factors that kept the governorship in Chavismo’s hands. Now, the tables could actually turn in the state…

Why vote?

We’ve all heard it: we need to go out and vote on December 8th. But why? What difference will it make if your mayor is red or blue? The answer is: it won’t. With all due respect to the hard-working folks at several of our most important municipalities, the era of innovative public policies at…

8-D Races to Watch: El Hatillo (Updated)

El Hatillo is the smallest municipality in Caracas, and one of the bluest in the country. It’s also the most unusual case of the upcoming election: the MUD is running with separate candidates deliberately. After the unexpected passing of the 2012 primary winner, the opposition tried to rally around an alternative candidate. This wasn’t simple,…

8-D Races to Watch: Barinas

Right in the heart of the llanos, there’s Barinas State, native land of the late comandante eterno. Barinas, along with the other heartland states are still Chavismo’s strongest bastion. However, the capital city (which is also called Barinas) is drifting away from that trend, as the official results of the two most recent elections (last…

8-D Races to Watch: Porlamar (Mariño)

The Santiago Mariño Municipality in Margarita Island is the most populated of Nueva Esparta State. It holds the largest city and economic center of the island, Porlamar. It’s also one of the biggest opposition strongholds in recent local elections. Chavismo has never been able to win Porlamar’s mayorship, even in those cases when they won…

An argument full of holes

Re. the opposition’s strategy to get out the vote, Quico said: “The reason people were able to vote with cédulas chimbas, or to do coercive votos asistidos, is that opposition witnesses were forcibly barred from doing their jobs. By guys with guns. Backed by guys in uniforms. That basic power imbalance is still there. There’s…