Venezuelans have their Primaries on Sunday. I have said it many times but I will say it here again more clearly: I am voting for Henrique Capriles.
Diego Arria is part of our past, not our future. The same goes for Pablo Medina and Pablo Pérez Álvarez. For me, Pérez' party, UNT, is just Acción Democrática for Zulia. The party's name, Un Nuevo Tiempo, is even a synonym for Acción Democrática. Unlike Miguel, I wouldn't have voted for Leopoldo López first choice, though. López is too much about himself. I think Capriles' party, Primero de Justicia, with all its defects, is more than a personality platform. This is a big exception in Venezuela. I am not married to any party and will never be, but that one has worked hard. Machado has done a good job at the National Assembly, but she does not represent the average Venezuelan firstly. When she addressed the caudillo at the National Assembly last January some people from the opposition adored her because she annoyed him. They thought it was either that or being a coward. I disagree. She missed an opportunity to talk primarily about what concerns most people. For more than half of the time she spoke - and she knew this was her only chance in a year to address the military strongman face to face - she was referring to an issue that directly affects 1% of Venezuelans. She could have addressed and attacked him all right, with issues that affect us all.
Capriles has done a good job in Miranda in spite of the dirty tricks the Chávez government has employed to sabotage the opposition's work there: taking away the control of motor roads, taking away the hospitals and region's public media, diverting - against the law - large amounts of petrodollars that should have been allocated to the regions and much more.
I vote for Capriles because he personally was involved in making the PISA programme take place in the area for which he has some control...again in spite of the Chávez government's very dirty tricks. Now a part of Venezuela is able to analyse in detail the performance of the kids there in public schools, compare with pupils in Chile or Canada, Japan or Costa Rica, criticise, debate.
Now pupils in the schools under control of the Miranda government usually get their textbooks (usually because the regional government has big financial constraints)...something that was not done before in Venezuela. The Chávez government has seen that and is trying to imitate that, even if schools under national government control still don't get many books. For Chávez, it is a priority to import weapons, not to buy books, much less books that are not about Zamora or Bolívar or Marx.
Capriles hasn't been confrontational but he hasn't been a coward either. So far he has walked the walk. So I am supporting him. And I am supporting pluralism and every attempt to bring about sustainable development to my country.