Happy New Year! Frohes Neues Jahr! ¡Feliz Año Nuevo!

Tengo la sospecha de que tendremos un mejor tiempo en 2013.

Ich habe den Verdacht, dass wir eine bessere Zeit 2013 erleben werden.

I have the suspicion we will have a better time in 2013.

¡A disfrutar!
Viel Spaß!

Dedico esta canción a todos los boliburgueses

Billo's Caracas Boys

An absolute classic for New Year's Eve

The French the French are not talking about

I found this funny: Frédéric Bouquet is a French Venezuelan security forces detained in 2009 together with a couple of Dominicans. The Venezuelan authorities accused Bouquet of being a member of a foreign security service, of illegally carrying weapons galore and planning some violent action, possibly trying to murder Hugo Chávez. Yesterday he was freed together with some other people like the investors from Econoinvest and Jesse Chacón's brother, Arné Chacón. The Russians, the Canadians, the Dutch, the US Americans reported on that. Iris Varela herself twitted the announcement. In France, only a provincial (although popular) newspaper, Ouest France, reported it. And then French conspiracy theorists from the left started to write about why the mainstream media was so quiet this time. And I have to say: they might be right. Why?

CNN said El Aissami had mentioned back in 2009 Monsieur Bouquet had spent some time in training in Israel. Here you can read more information from the Venezuelan side, and also here.

Est-ce qu'on en va laisser tomber cela?

Dem Chávez geht es sehr schlecht

In wenigen Minuten wird Maduro, der von Chávez Auserwählte, aus Havanna an das venezolanische Volk und an uns, "unwürdige Landesverräter", wenden, um eine Nachricht zu geben. Er war vor kurzem wieder nach Kuba geflogen, um mit dem kranken Caudillo zu sprechen.


Der Führer hat mir den Auftrag gegeben...

Rory Carroll and the Comandante

Rory Carroll, a journalist from The Guardian, came to Venezuela in 2006. He had been working in Iraq for some time until he got kidnapped by Shiah militiamen. Before Iraq he was correspondent in several European countries, in the Middle East, in Afghanistan, in Pakistan and for many years in Africa. He probably thought Venezuela would be easier to report about. He was in for some surprises. He had just come to the region where the myth of El Dorado was born.

Shortly after his arrival, Rory went to an Aló Presidente, one of those shows where Chávez would be talking for hours and hours. Unexpectedly, Rory became the centre of attention on national TV for an hour or so: Chávez wanted a question from him. Rory asked what he thought was a simple question and he got a hell of a Chávez answer.
A different view on Venezuela

Quite a lot of people, whether left or right, have no interest whatsoever in learning about how things are in a given place but how things fit in their scheme of ideas. The Guardian is a left newspaper or rather tends to be on the left and thus there were quite some readers shocked by what Rory was reporting. But criticism also came from the right - a lot. Rory had to deal with the great challenge of explaining Venezuela in the times of Chávez. On one side there are the right-winged fundamentalists or just embittered Chávez haters. On the other side there is the legio-n of people who wanted by all means to see Chávez as the saviour that would finally come from the oppressed nations. 

One of the most difficult parts about explaining Venezuela is that you do have to explain a lot of economic stuff and most people do not give a damn about that. Most people, in fact, have a very short attention span, specially in politics. I believe he did an excellent job. He went to places all around Venezuela. He listened to both sides. To all sides. He analysed lots of material, including stuff most journalists don't want to deal with. This year Rory moved to the States to report mostly but not exclusively about our gringo neighbours. 

Fortunately, he has just written a book about Venezuela under Chávez. The book will come out of press next March. If you want to have a better understanding of what Venezuela has been about, go for it.

Chávez government freed Arne Chacón, the billionaire

Well...what can I say? This guy, Arne Chacón, a military coup monger who is the brother of one of Chávez's friends, Jesse Chacón, became a billionaire in just a couple of years...thanks to certain very murky transactions and connections. He was so obviously corrupt that Chávez had to put him under jail...after opposition people had been denouncing the man for years.

And now Arne Chacón has been freed within the same lot of freed prisoners that had the Econoinvest people.

Isn't the opposition going to say something about this? Or was the trick from the government "we free one of ours and several of yours and you shut up"?

What a shame for a country!

A sweet mutation from Venezuela

No, I am not talking about a Venezuelan politician. I am talking about the Cara Cara oranges.
I love oranges. I drink several litres of oranges every week. My granddad was growing oranges (and cotton) for a living many decades ago. I'm sure my ancestors were eating sweet oranges since they first arrived in Spain in the XVI century. Spaniards brought them to Venezuela from the first contacts on. And oranges grew well. They grew very well in Venezuela. The region around the Valencia Lake is said to be the one with the best oranges in the country. That land is extremely fertile. Unfortunately, most of said land is now urbanized, full of slums, shopping centres, roads. Venezuelans never thought in a sustainable way. But I digress.

Oranges. When I think of my childhood I think a lot of oranges under the sun and the scent coming from their skins. And I think of the discussions that farmers had in the Northern part of Valencia Lake's Basin about what the sweetest oranges were.

The Cara Cara oranges firstly appeared in Venezuela in the seventies. They are navel oranges, with a secondary protrusion Their flesh is reddish and they are particularly sweet, even if according to my tongue there are other sweeter types.

Is Chávez that ill?

Yesterday a French citizen accused of one of trying to carry out a "magnicidios", assassination against the president, was expelled from Venezuela. According to the regime, Frédéric Laurence Bouquet was a secret agent of the French Republic. Do they want us to believe Sarkozy was trying to kill Chávez or do they think he was a mercenary AND an agent?  In any case, the French know very little about this. Is this action part of the usual liberation of prisoners at the end of the year and not as Miguel says, part of a softening, or a change?

One of the self-styled revolution's strongmen, Diosdado Cabello, declared in another kitsch seizure that "everyday we have to be like Chávez and then we will have revolution for a long time".

And Florida-based doctor-gossip star Marquina claims Chávez has had lung thrombosis.

The question is: when will elections take place?

How to promote underdevelopment and autocracies in the XXI Century

If you have a country where the average citizen has very low education levels, whee most think the country is rich just because of its natural resources and you are the ruling party and you have no ethics: what would you do to remain in power? Would you use tanks and police forces to compel people to follow you? No. You just pawn the country's future by selling very cheaply those natural resources to a new colonizing country.
A socialist microwave

That is how the ministry of "the Popular Power for Trade", Edmée Betancourt, is telling us now that the "social" program for household appliances is going to be expanded. 

Venezuela's current government has so far spent over 20 billion dollars in what is called the Chinese Fund. The Fund gives China millions of barrels of oil for many years and in exchange for that Venezuela's ruling party, government and state, which are basically one and the same, get, among other goodies, Chinese refrigerators, Chinese washing machines, Chinese flat screens and Chinese mixers...to be sold at "socialist prices" among would-be voters...sorry, I mean citizens.
A socialist corporation

The Bolivar is overvalued and the currency exchange is fixed so that a Bolivarian mafia has taken hold of the system. That makes imported devices very expensive. The government says prices at the private market are so high because of capitalism...even if the same or better devices are cheaper in Europe or the States or even other Latin American countries. So now Bolivarian employees sell the Chinese devices at very low prices, at "socialist prices", as the Chávez employees claim.

Most people don't know those Haier washing machines and Haier flat screens are actually being paid by the petrodollars that won't be invested in their children's schools and their children's hospitals in the decade to come.

But then: Chávez revolutionaries really want to win next year's elections.

Ethics doesn't matter.

Socialist washing machine, socialist refrigerator, socialist microwave and socialist exhaust fan

A typical Venezuelan region and crime under the "revolution"

Carabobo has about 2,4 million inhabitants. How many of them will have been murdered since 1 December until Monday of next week? If you want to see the trend and patterns, you can check out this.

This is macabre but we need to talk about this. Venezuela's murder rate was about 19 per 100000 inhabitants in 1998, when Chávez was elected. The rate is now over 65. 

New York City, with 3 times as many inhabitants as Carabobo, had slightly over 400 murders in the whole of 2012, a new record low. Military strongman Chávez has repeatedly said crime is engendered by capitalism.

A happy new year for the military in Venezuela?

I am facing a complicated week end and I may not be able to write much until next year. OK, next Tuesday....  Thus, just in case, I wanted to write with some leisure right now to wish you all a Happy New Year and to write some about what is in store for Venezuela.

The big issue is whenever ifever Chavez comes back alive to Venezuela, and if alive, in any shape or form to rule.  Let's state it: his messianic way of ruling can only be sustained if he is able to project vigor. From a wheel chair, halting steps or whatever disability he carries it is going to be very difficult to get away with stuff the way he used to do. In a country of such willful dependency people need to know that they are going to get it.  After 3/4 of our history under a military jackboot the forceful caudillo seems "normal" to most of us.

Certainly chavismo is aware of Chavez demise and has been so for quite a while.  This has not stopped them from speeding it up by forcing Chavez into a campaign that he should have never undertook. Not only it was a fraud against the nation and the good faith of the chavista voter who deserved more respect than that, but it is pushing us into a multi layered crisis.  First it was a fraud that needs to be paid more than just through the mere decease of Chavez. Those who stroke his ego to push him to run, from the Castro mafia to our local one, will have to be exposed for that crime (among the many others they perpetrated). And that they will try to blame each other for that crime is going to make things even more complicated.

Second, Chavez had a chance to settle the issue on his own, with more leisure, had he decided to do so a year ago. But not only his ego got into the way but so many people were afraid to lose their privileges that all pushed for him to stay. Now he had to design a successor almost in a rush, when he could not delay it any longer. As a consequence the apparent heir, Maduro, is already challenged by the military through Diosdado Cabello.

It is essential to understand that Venezuela is a military dictatorship. That so many people still pretend it to be otherwise is irrelevant now.  The dictatorship is pushing itself in the open. Of the 23 new governors 12 are military or related to the military. A majority growing though each election. The military also hold some of the most strategic positions in the government  from ministries to airport and harbor administration, where the money goes through. Through Diosdado Cabello they hold the National Assembly which as expected under a military has become even less of a debating body.

The military has prevailed over an always rather weak civilian component of chavismo because the army is the only thing that Chavez understands and trusts, as much as he can trust anyone in his psychopathology. And he understands even better how the bottom of any military officer promotion is always resentful of the top and he skilfully promoted those who were willing to swear allegiance to him. As a result the military in charge may be wily but they are not intelligent,  not even smart, nor well prepared, nor honest for that matter as out transformation into a narco state has amply proven.  That Venezuela is so run down is due to the mediocrity of the military "establishment" as the military has much less trouble to live in generalized chaos as they have the means to impose order and privileges in their immediate surroundings.  Why should they care about a potholed country when they just can take a chopper to go wherever they want, at state expense of course. Why should they care about lack of electricity of water when they can have the conscripts dig a reservoir or demand the purchase of electric generators for state security reasons?  The high ranking military do not suffer like the rest of us.

Now, there are two kinds of military in power: those that got rich through administrative corruption and those that got rich through drug trafficking (and administrative corruption too, of course). As far as local guilt this does not make much difference since many in the civilian wing of chavismo are delighted at the idea of destroying the USofA through drugs.  The problem here is that if the civilian chavismo has blessed their actions and new wealth, the eventual reckoning will be all for the military alone.  As it is always the case in decadent military regime, there is all sorts of attempts at keeping power at all costs to avoid such reckoning which now has more international possibilities than local ones in what is today a morally bankrupt country. 14 years of chavista crap come with an amoral transformation, it cannot be helped. Even the bulk of opposition politicians range from bland to spineless as the moral fiber of the country, whatever that one was, has dissolved.

The mystery, if you will, is that Chavez chose a civilian.  I think that Maduro, in what was available to Chavez,  was certainly the best choice. But still, why a civilian when the military are already in charge?  We cannot know the final answer yet. Maybe it was because Chavez and the Castro thought that through a Civilian the colonial relationship would be better preserved?  Maybe it was just a matter of Ego for Chavez that thought his glorified memory would have a better chance to survive if his successor was a civilian?  Maybe the army was too divided to push forward an unavoidable candidate?  The thing here is that the civilian side is in fact the weaker one. It is too radical for a long term shot at holding the country because the economic realities will weaken it faster than a military hand that will not be afraid to apply repression until it think it can turn around the situation.

No matter what happens with oil prices there is a 2013 reality that neither civilian or military can avoid. Oil production cannot increase fast enough to cover the ever growing populist needs. The price of gas and of goods in general needs to go up as subvention is not possible, not to the extent it is already happening today. No matter what cooked up statistics are shown, the real productive economy is not growing, real employment is not created, inflation shows no sign to go below 20%. To add insult to injury, the longer transition to post Chavez lasts, the longer it will take to take the measures that should have been taken already last year.

In short, what is at stake here is whether the civilian or the military wing of chavismo will prevail. I think that the military wing is the more determined because it is the one that has the most to lose. It may even be willing to negotiate with a wimp like Capriles and his friends. Then again this may not be that bad: what is more costly for the country: a civil war or "forgiving" a massive looting of the state?  Unfortunately I am afraid that the civilian wing of chavismo is today unable to compromise, too ideological,  too many years insulting the other side, too mean, too willing to cheat. The pragmatic fraction inside the civilian wing is too likely to be swept away when push comes to shove.

I hope I am wrong.

News from Venezuela: rotten economy

Street vendors are selling maize flour - fundamental for most Venezuelans' diet - for up to 15 Bolívares, which is equivalent to 2.64 euros at the official exchange rate. That is more expensive than in Europe. Of course, the Chávez supporters will claim this is some capitalistic plot against socialism. Mind: Polar, the Venezuelan company that industrialized maize flour production, has had to shift most of its production to Colombia as Chávez has kept attacking them.

The official - regulated - price is 6 to 8 Bolívares. Venezuela has rigid price controls for several products and  the currency is highly overvalued as the government prefers to import everything with petrodollars and let the national industry - only viable if in private hands - rot or go to hell.
Made in Colombia for Europe by a Venezuelan company that has to run away from the "socialist" military caste

Chavistas are still trying to see when they can call for new elections if Chávez dies soon or it becomes clear he cannot pop up any time soon. The election time will affect the time when they will be forced to devalue the currency.

The ministers of Finance and Economy declared yesterday that Venezuela had a GDP growth this year of over 5%. Most Chavistas went bananas, believing this is really meaningful. Look how Europe is doing and we have more than 5%! What those ministers didn't say was that that growth was completely based on spending Chinese loans to Venezuela...that during the longest and strongest oil boom Venezuela has had. One day poor Venezuelans will have to pay for the Chinese refrigerators and TV screens they got now at "socialist prices"...but that will be after elections are over and "socialism" well in place...or so the military caste and the old whiskey communists think.

The minister of Information was the one who at the same time twitted that the prohibition to lay off workers will be extended one more year. It has been in place since 2003. How come a government needs to keep this law in place if the economy is doing so well? Of course, as it was the minister of Information who told the story via twitter, the ministers presenting the wonders of Venezuela's GDP growth didn't get that question at the press conference.

On another topic, Spanish oil company REPSOL announced it started production in Orinoco's Belt. It wants to take exploitation there up to 400 000 barrels a day. PDVSA has the majority stakes and REPSOL just 11%, but it seems it is doing its fair share of stuff just to get hold of some of the largest oil reserves on Earth. There are some other minor players from India as well.
Now, my questions are: how does it fit with Venezuela's total production? Isn't Venezuela just fulfilling its OPEC quota? It doesn't plan to do it? Is it just now going to be able to produce the quota it has assigned but was not producing?

Prosperity in the Maduro era

As usual the regime tries to throw cosmic dust at us to make us believe everything is coming up roses.  The more so now that we are in the electoral campaign of Maduro which is going to be a harder sell than the one of Chavez for October. See, in the Caribbean we did not know that Zombie voting was not only reserved for Haiti. Though admittedly Maduro has also Zombie like qualities.

On one hand the Central Bank assures us that the economy GDP last year grew by 5,5%, 0,5% BETTER than expected. Apparently without gagging Merentes assures us that the negative numbers are a thing of the past and that Venezuela has entered a phase of prosperity, the top 5 within Latin America.  He does acknowledge though that the growth is due to massive electoral public spending vote buying although he does not call it that way, just social investment or something like that. Of course, even though the year is not over and we have already the GDP 2012, we do not have the inflation 2012, and even less how that one contributed to the inflated GDP growth...  But I am such a nitpicker, sorry.

Now, today, Maduro, freshly invested with the power over the purse's strings, announces that it will be forbidden to fire people for another year.  This changes nothing, we have not been able to fire anyone for soon a decade. Not only that, but the new labor law announced last summer in great fanfare for Chavez reelection purposes made firing people awfully expensive so we thought that maybe we could start firing people legally even if we risked going bankrupt along the way (it is roughly about 2 years pay check penalty depending conditions).  But no, it is still forbidden to fire folks for another year (though for years we have been negotiating discrete firing with the workers for significant amounts of money, a true racket).

My question, and forgive my naivete, if central bank chair Merentes is right and we are booming at 5,5%, how come we cannot fire workers? Aren't we supposed after all to be hiring like crazy to satisfy the economic growth?  Why is there a need to protect workers against unjustified layoffs?  Am I the only one seeing contradictions in that?

I am sorry, I was not going to write this week but when I am at work in spite of the holidays and I read such idiotic contradictions of a regime in populist overdrive, I find out that I still have not lost my ability to wince.

Presidential Cacophony and the Woes of a Nation

There are two weeks to the presidential inauguration. Do you think the military caudillo will pop up in Caracas for 10 January?

23 24
Maduro says he
talked to Chávez

1) Villegas says 
Chávez presents
slight improvement
2) Maduro says Chávez
is walking and
doing excercices

1) Maduro repeats
his message and
says Chávez
follows normal
2) Cabello says constitution
doesn't say
where and when
Chávez could
take oath in front
of Supreme Court
if he can't make it
to National
27 28 29





New president of
needs to be

15 16 17 18 19

22 23 24 25 26

29 30 31 1 2

5 6 7 8 9

12 13 14 15 16

1920 21 22 23
24 25

26 27 28

Lack of ethics goes beyond "ideologies". El País has an interesting article about how Spain's government has profited from selling weapons to the Venezuelan regime, specially anti-riot equipment. Minister Morenés is not only minister of Defence of the current conservative Partido Popular of Spain, he has also been a big fish within the Spanish weapons industry.

The only general hospital of my birth city, Valencia, is collapsing, but we are the best customer for the Spanish ailing weapons sector. Most of the money does not come from the national budget but from FONDEN, the Fund for Sustainable Development, which the Chávez government uses as personal account.

Take that, Ms Wagenknecht. I suppose you must be very proud of supporting a man like Chávez.

El Chávez multifacetico

Preparando el día de los Inocentes, me imagino

Según usted lea esta es la situación de Hugo Chávez hoy:

Se murió
Está gravísimo
Está estable
Presento leve mejoría
Su familia lo visitó en Navidad
Está ejercitándose y discutiendo asuntos de estado con el Vice

Escoja usted.

Lo único que si es cierto: el saco de ratas que es el gobierno está tan enrollado que no son ni capaces de tener una linea informativa consecuente, aunque sea de puras mentiras.

Feliz Navidad, Merry Christmas, Natale Hilare et Fröhliche Weihnachten!

This is the Green Jay. In Venezuela we call it with the very onomatopoeic querrequerre.

Chávez's big guns: between Scylla and Charybdis

Both vice-president and anointed Chávez successor Nicolás Maduro and the Machiavelian head of the National Assembly and former coup monger Diosdado Cabello are facing a conundrum: when to spill the beans and cast the die, when to say the caudillo won't make it.
Rough seas between Caracas and Havana

Our latest constitution is badly written but still most people will say it clearly states the elected president has to take oath 10 January by going to the National Assembly or by going to the Supreme Court if he couldn't go to the National Assembly. As Miguel wrote, Nicolás could very well ride on the wave of Chávez's persistent popularity, specially as Chávez declared this Sai Baba's follower to be his Petrus. But waves don't last forever, the sooner he does it, the better. Cabello, on the other hand, reckons he or someone closer to him could have a bigger chance of getting the throne if the elections were a little bit later.

Maduro was initially confident - or at least he wanted to show confidence - that Chávez would somehow appear in Venezuela 10 January. Diosdado kept repeating that date didn't matter and Chávez could be sworn any time later on. It seems Maduro has realised Chávez might not be able to go to Venezuela for that date. Now he is suggesting what I thought initially: that Chávez may just as well take his oath in the presence of the Supreme Court whenever the doctors say so. Of course: this might mean, according to Chavista fuzzy logic, that Luisa Estela, Venezuela's Judicial Star, the woman who said separation of powers is a rubbish concept, will have to take a  plane to the Caribbean's biggest island. So, following the US interpretation of the Muhammad dictum: if Chávez won't come to the National Assembly or the Supreme Court, the Supreme Court must go to Chávez. There is another date these people have to pay attention to: the municipal elections, which Tibisay Lucena, the head of the National Electoral Council, said would be 26 May.

Now, bear in mind 26 May may be seen as a suggestion. Although Tibisay Lucena publicly declared that was the date, anything can be moved if it is good for the Chavista strategy.

And yet: they are all tense. They know petrodollars get spent much faster these days, specially in the land of Grace, specially in the hands of fervent revolutionaries. They aren't sure where and when to take the next step between Havana and Caracas.

We have already had a virtual Chávez on several occasions: Venezuelan law says the president cannot pass laws anywhere else but Venezuela. And the Chávez government has created a digital signature that by some outré interpretation of the law makes him physical present in Venezuela even if he is actually abroad in some kind of Bolivarian trnsubstantiation.

Venezuela in Christmas?

Well, it could be everywhere...it's Christmas!

At least 5 Venezuelans will be murdered in the next two hours

This is what the statistics tell us now. The news are so repetitive and people become numbed and nothing seems to happen. 18950 people had been murdered in Venezuela since 1 January and the most of the millions of Venezuelans who voted for Chávez didn't seem to make the connection between murder rate and the caudillo. This is no surprise: most of them would have difficulty trying to explain what "murder rate" actually means. They are still alive, even if their brothers or sons may not.

The Chávez government had activated last year its 21 programme for fighting crime but since it came to power the murder rate has more than tripled, from 19 in 1998 up to 65 murders per 100 000 inhabitants now. The murder rate was about 19 over a century ago, it dropped up to around 8-10 in the seventies and started to rise up to 19 in the nineties and became stable there until Chávez came to power.

These numbers actually include also people - mostly criminals - resisting police intervention. A Chávez official - current Guárico governor and military man Rodríguez Chacín - said those killed by the police do not count. The problem is we should have something like "human rights" and the amount of criminals getting killed in fightings with the police is huge.

Christmas letter to readers

I will be busier next following days and I may not be able to post a Christmas post on the 24. But also it is time for me to come out from an October 7 post as to the future of this blog. As anything in Venezuela, the clean cut scenario of a Chavez victory did not come quite true. Then I wrote that I had no interest in spending more years writing to the world why Chavez was bad and that the blog would not close but evolve into something else, something I care enough to write about, involving Venezuela up to a point.

Then again, under PTSSS on October 8 I wrote that I would try to follow the state elections but after that all bets were open. I did not cover much but I did cover it. Thus my contract with the devoted readers that followed until today has been fulfilled. Yet....

Chavez is more dead than alive and this does affect the premises of the contract. For all practical purposes it should not: if anything I am even more disenchanted today by the people I belong to. The chavista world still allowed to get itself manipulated by Chavez diseases and already forgot about all his promises for October 7 which show no sign whatsoever to be fulfilled, the only thing mattering is how many vertebrae Chavez did lose in surgery.  The opposition missed a golden chance to build some countenancing parapet and woke up worse than ever as too many of its voter thought it was a good idea to abstain, or simply could not be bothered to compromise their vacation of shopping schedule. Things were made worse as the opposition simply used the once defeated message of October 7, showing an incapacity to respond, to evolve, to create. And proving once again that homo sapiens is the only animal to trip twice on the same stone.In short the Venezuelan electorate cares only about the now, the how much is in it for me, regardless of what happens outside the window. Those include more than 50% voters from both sides combined. And it is a conservative number.

I am obliged, of course, to cover the eventual denouement of Chavez and I may be forced to cover the oncoming elections even though at this point I am predicting yet another defeat for the opposition and a Maduro presidency, the more so if the election is held at the latest in March. After it may be not so clear.

Once some provisional conclusion is reached I will move this blog in its next phase, as announced last October.  Let's say that the transition period is going to be longer than expected.

One thing I will start doing these holidays is putting order in the blog. The first text posted was written on December 1 even though in the blog it is dated January 6 2003. Thus the blog is now 10 years and nearing the 4,000 mark faster than expected, the more so if Chavez croaks.

This means that I need to go back in time and select a couple of hundred telling posts. I think that I will open a new blog where I will put them with an introductory paragraph for hindsight and whatnot. Editing will be kept to the strict minimum since I think it is important,  at least to me, to see how I evolved as a blogger.  My changes in outlook are part of the story because they will reflect how many people changed during this past decade. My big regret here is that the first 7 years of comments were lost when the platform changed though I do have a file from where I may be able to dig some. I would have loved very much to include your perspective all along but it may not be possible though it will be an opportunity for you to comment anew, on hindsight. By the way, I have changed the comment policy again as I am slowing down. Now it is open posting for the first 24 hours and then moderation.

Possibly that new blog will be the blog and this one will become an archive for the times in case anyone is ever interested than the idiotic media. After all, when this blog started all found Chavez still quite charming and only few blogs were dedicated to wake up public opinion. We succeeded outside of Venezuela but here....

Thus as of this post my activity will go down as long as Chavez is as he is. I am preparing only two posts until January: an obit of Chavez, whether he dies being irrelevant, and a short review of the 16 D vote. I really do not think it is worth any analysis, I think it is totally irrelevant in the current situation to write stuff like "PJ got more votes than X here but less there". I am just updating my now recurring Caugagüita graph and add some telling observations if I have the stamina to peruse the CNE page.

And with this I wish you a Happy Christmas.

Venezuela: bescheuerter geht es nicht

Maduro verehrte Sai Baba

Nicolás Maduro, früherer Leibwächter und jetziger Nachfolger des Militärcaudillos Chávez, erklärt nun, Chávez habe "eine Ruhepause und erholt sich".

Der bolivarische Sozialismus, erläuterte Maduro, sei vom Christentum geprägt. Darüber hinaus sei der unoffizieller Heilige José Gregorio Hernández auf der Seite des Comandante. Schliesslich rief Maduro die "adlige Seele der Königin María Lionza" auf, mit ihrer Macht das gemeinsame Gebet zu tragen (sic), so dass man lieber früher als später den "Stahlkommandanten auf venezolanischen Erde sehen kann".

Das Leben ist nicht fair: so was lebt und Alexander von Humboldt musste sterben. Schon vor 30 Jahren nahmen wir uns den Aberglaube - insbesondere im Zusammenhang mit Politik- nicht mehr so ernst.  

The recovery of the opposition is far from starting

If you think that after Sunday 16 the drubbing of the opposition is over, think again.  Some of its past decisions are going to come to haunt the MUD. Actually, it is already starting.

The scenario right now, at least if we interpret the cryptic messages from chavismo, is that Chavez may recover but not for January 10. There is already in preparation yet another constitutional coup where the limit date for swearing in of January 10 may be pushed over. Or said swearing be held in a Havana hospital. Then again we are a Cuban colony and this does not trouble me at all, it is logical.

Besides these deontological considerations we must take at face value that the next elections ahead are on May 28 2013 for mayors.  The announcement of Tibisay Lucena, electoral board CNE's chair, should send shivers though every opposition politician that wishes to become mayor or enter a municipal council assembly.

First, let's comment on yet a new delay for that election. It was going to take place around April (never mind that the elections for municipal councils are overdue by 4 years). Now it is the last Sunday of May. Why? Off hand, two reasons. Chavismo is not ready, has no candidates, and Chavez is no condition right now to decide who goes where.  But the good news for chavismo is that by the time elections roll in the 20 chavista governors will have had enough time to set in place an electoral machinery to crush the opposition. Let's face it, their goal is to take 90% of town halls and they can do it: they only need to buy votes in Lara, Miranda and Amazonas. Any positive administrative sign in the other states will be enough to herd the chavista voter. Or so they think, anyway.

I may add that the "comuna" system is not finding great favor even among chavistas, and those comunas which already exist are showing early signs of decomposition and corruption. Why force the creation of comunas as a way to ruin local opposition power when you control 20 states and have a good chance to control 90% town halls?  Redrawing the legal map of Venezuela would be made much easier when local authorities collaborate happily to their destruction.

The paradox is that chavismo will be helped greatly by a 2011 mistake of the opposition which decided then to run primaries in February 2012 for all, from president to mayor. I trust that you can see for yourself the folly of that right now, as the mayoral "nominees" will have been made so almost 18 months before the vote, and with two major electoral disasters in between that have reconfigured the opposition character and strength. Now the counter argument that even this blogger reluctantly embraced  that the mayoral and gubernatorial candidates where available to help Capriles in his October campaign is moot. They did not help as much as planned and now they are under mounting criticism as many think that maybe they should be the ones running for mayoral office instead of the previous nominees. And I concur.  Which means that there is yet another disaster in the making for the opposition.

I suggest one thing to the MUD directorate. Looking at how sticking with the primary result in Monagas helped, where the winner got only 3% of the vote, it is fair to review the mayoral candidacies of the opposition.  If you do not go on vacation and negotiate fast by early January you may solve half of the candidates and you can even call a few SUMATE organized primaries with pencil and paper in a couple of dozens districts where candidates should be obliged to pay for primaries if they really want one.

It is time to grow up and face reality: negotiations and primaries are not the solution against chavismo who has an electorate voting for whatever garbage is sent their way.  What we need is combative and organized candidates and it does not really matter which way they are nominated as long as enough in the MUD support them. Look at what happened to Mendez in Tachira when he went against a MUD nominee, that was not even ratified through primary. Do not worry, at this point there is little to lose.

Unless of course Chavez is not there but then chavismo has more to fear from that.

What are Venezuelans dying of?

Here you can see the data from 2009 about deaths in Venezuela. Click on the image to have a better picture.

One thing that I find very peculiar is the very large number of deaths reported as "other violent". In reality we know most of these cases are simply murders redefined. It's a pity our opposition politicians apparently haven't got the discipline to keep investigating about how the current government tries to camouflage the real data on murder. This is something they urgently need to clarify.

Still, by checking records from hospitals and mortuaries we know there were not "just" 9595 murders in Venezuela in 2009 but at least 14 thousand. Some say about 22% of all deaths in Venezuela of 2009 were product of violence, even though that doesn't seem to correspond to these numbers above...but then Venezuelan media are not known for their consistency.

Things haven't got any better in 2012. Let's hope things do in 2013.

Pobre hijita de Papi...

Es que hay cosas....  La ultima nos viene de La Habana donde nada más y nada menos Maria Gabriela Chávez nos pide respeto a través de su cuenta twitter.

Respeto a la familia y sobre todo respeto a mi pueblo.Basta d mentiras! Estamos junto a papá,VIVOS,luchando y recuperando la salud.CON DIOS


Primero, si de mentiras se trata entonces es muy sencillo: digan lo que está pasando con Hugo Chávez. El será el Papa de Maria Gabriela pero como presidente de Venezuela perdió todo derecho a su privacidad en cuanto este se refiere al interés público. Un presidente enfermo tiene la obligación de informar, de garantizarnos que en verdad la enfermedad no está afectando su capacidad de gobernar. Los rumores terminan donde empieza la verdad.

Segundo, si hay un país respetuoso es Venezuela porque no puedo imaginar ninguna democracia donde las instituciones y los ciudadanos se calarían la grosería de la viajadera a Cuba de centenares de acompañantes pagados por el erario publico. La falta de respeto aquí viene de esa niña que cree que su cuenta de ahorro esta en el Banco Central de Venezuela.

Tercero, no hay tercero porque me parece un insulto a la inteligencia exigir respeto a la gente más irrespetada en Venezuela, desde los que padecieron por la lista de Tascón hasta Luis Brito. Los irrespetuosos son el clan abusador de Hugo Chávez que ni siquiera respetan a sus seguidores.

Escrito esto, le desamos una pronta recuperación al presidente para que pueda enfrentar las consecuencias de sus acciones destructoras del país. No te preocupes M.Gabriela, estamos contigo aunque sea por otras razones.

Will they never do it or only too late?

Some foreigners and I keep telling people within Venezuela's opposition that it is about time to start educating the general population about several things:

  • about how Venezuela is NOT a rich but a poor to middle-income country
  • about how Venezuela is becoming more and more dependent on oil
  • about how Venezuela will only become rich when the average citizen has real education levels that are at least as good or better than the average in the world and when that average citizen can be as productive as the average worldwide
  • about how subsidized petrol is money for the rich and how public transportation should be dealt with differently so that people who have cars pay more and state money can be used for better schools, teachers, hospitals
  • about what debates, real debates are
  • about pluralism and the essence of parties, party programmes and the difference between a programme and a wish list
  • about sustainable development in general - at economic, social and environmental level
If you tell people about these things and you create networks of people in the average Venezuelan city - that is NOT Caracas but El Tigre, Guacara, Punto Fijo or Puerto Cabello - debating about these issues, you will see a real revolution taking place.

We have kept telling Venezuelans about these things for years.

Do you know what they keep telling us? "Not now, we have to focus on the next elections, first things first".

They have been telling us that since at least 2005.

Will they never learn there is no chance Chavismo will ever get out of power unless we depend on oil prices dropping dramatically for a couple of years or we do what I have mentioned before?

Here you have a Russian article from 1983. If you don't read Russian, you can try perhaps with Google Translations. It's about  Caracas back then and how the commies were penetrating the barrios. Some of them are now with the military and thus Chávez. Let's be clear: the current system is not socialist, not communist, it's just a more autocratic form of the usual feudal petro-caudillismo we have had. But the ones in power now are using those methods their extreme left supporters were using back then. What do we have against that?

Will the Chávez Supreme Court fly to Cuba now?

The current Venezuelan constitution says the following:

El candidato elegido o candidata elegida tomará posesión del cargo de Presidente o Presidenta de la República el diez de enero del primer año de su período constitucional, mediante juramento ante la Asamblea Nacional. Si por cualquier motivo sobrevenido el Presidente o Presidenta de la República no pudiese tomar posesión ante la Asamblea Nacional, lo hará ante el Tribunal Supremo de Justicia.

The last part states that if the presidente could not take office before the National Assembly, he or she shall do it in the presence of the Supreme Court of Justice.

Now, we know the Supreme Court of Justice is just a bunch of Chávez's puppets. My guess: they could simply do as if they were going to Cuba in order to guarantee the farce goes on.

Today military honcho Cabello declared Chávez could postpone the formal event of term inauguration...just an idea for the Supreme Court...in the same way as Chávez himself used to "give ideas" to it.

What's next for the Venezuelan opposition?

OK, we have been defeated in October 7 and trashed last Sunday. That those defeats are incomprehensible when one considers the state of the country makes the whole thing harder to stomach. Thus, the first thing the opposition needs to do is to try to understand why is it that the blackmail of the regime was so effective in coaxing people to vote again for them in spite of crime, inflation, constant power outages, lack of real jobs, etc, etc...  It is crystal clear, I hope, that satisfying ourselves by saying we will be more efficient than Chavez is not going to work out, ever. Well, not before the country collapses but do we want to be in charge then? Can anyone even be in charge then when we return to African like political "culture" which is where chavismo is taking us. Guinea Equatorial anyone? Or Guinea Bissau if you prefer?  Congo will do if you go for bigger countries.

Unfortunately we do not have much time to craft a new message that combines the few successful themes of the campaign that ended in October with a more assertive language where we start putting it down clearly that voting voting for Chavez is voting for your doom.  Still, there is quite a few things that should be done ASAP.

No hallacas for nobody

First, I heard that the MUD was proudly announcing that they were leaving in place a "commission" to reply to the power abuses if needed during the holidays.  Nicolas Maduro and his combo are going to work full time during the holidays and their hallacas will be eaten fast, though I am sure washed down with abundant 18 years old scotch (1). AGAIN, the opposition leadership is not going to give up its annual monthly break, just as it did in 2006 when Chavez announced the closing of RCTV, or in 2008 where grudgingly a few accepted to start a lousy campaign against the eternal election referendum.

If the MUD wants to prove that it means business it should close shop only from Saturday 29/12 until Tuesday 02/13. And the rest will be business as usual.  You have a campaign to prepare guys!!!!!!!!!!!

Fast Reconstruction

The MUD should take advantage of the post Christmas week to make any painful internal decision it can do so that by next January some of the pain will have passed. The results are in, some parties did better than expected  some not as good. It is time to review the composition of the main bureau. But it is also time for Primero Justicia in particular who as main party has to assimilate that it is failing to grow as expected and maybe it should focus its interest on post Chavez more than satisfying itself of a worthless primus inter pares title. As for AD it is high time that they stop being offended because their historical status is not recognized. Their campaign advertisement as to "come back home" had not much success with chavista, at best saving AD of its ultimate demise like it happened to COPEI last Sunday.  In fact, AD and UNT and ABP should fast unite if they do not want to become irrelevant later this year, but that is another story.

I take the opportunity to write my heartfelt congratulations to the MUD. Yes, I did criticize it often but I always praised its achievements. There is no other substitute right now and we should be happy that the MUD has not collapsed yet. What we all need to do is to reinforce it, make it look provisionally like a single political party, at least until the next presidential elections. So people, stop bitching and start supporting them BECAUSE there is simply NO TIME for a replacement. That does not mean that the MUD should remain autistic as explained in the previous paragraph. Whether the MUD fails to grow up is not an excuse for us to stay home and bitch at it.

The candidate

If we knew already that elections would be held, say, next June, we could plan a primary for next February  But the only thing we know, and only 98% certain, is that there will be an election next year for president. The PSUV has demonstrated its willingness to use Chavez health and corpse for any electoral advantage and if they need to have Chavez sworn in at the Venezuelan embassyi n Havana, tubes poking from everywhere,  they will do it and the high court will find ten ways to make it suddenly constitutional  After all, is there anyone left in Venezuela that believes the Constitution applies to all?

Whether we like Capriles or not, whether he lost in October and won barely last Sunday is really not the point anymore. He is our best known figure and it is up to the MUD to become his political party, to pry away him from PJ and for PJ to let him go while supporting his actions unconditionally.

If for X reason it is not Capriles then the MUD has to decide NOW who is it going to be by consensus  There is only a very short list of names: Falcon of Lara, Aveledo as the MUD architect and more remotely Lopez and Ledezma. Period. The debate should be short. Any other option is a waste of time that the MUD should have the guts to resist.

A note before anyone cries foul. Lara and Miranda will be impossible to rule because chavismo will make its utmost to sabotage Falcon and Capriles. They are already maneuvering to make sure that even if they got a majority of the vote they will not have a majority in the state assembly, courtesy of obscene gerrymandering. So "preserving those states" is not an option. Which leads me to my second point on the candidate. If in pre October conditions it would have been foolish for Capriles to announce his vice president choice this time around I think it is a good move: the ticket is obvious  Capriles and Falcon, with, if necessary, a notary promise of Capriles to keep Falcon Veep for at least a year after he is sworn in.

Program, schmuckgram

The campaign will not require to present a program. Capriles presented one extensively and little good did it do to him when blackmail and washers for free arrived. It is time to take a stand and tell the country that Maduro or Cabello are a piece of shit, they they are unable to fess up to the economic mess they helped create. At least if we lose once again the country will not be able to claim "I did not know" and when collapse arrives then they will know finally who to turn to.  Because if you think that with three sates we should still talk softly and preserve our "space for action" for better days, wake up! This is not 2004 anymore and with the "comunas" we will be dust in a few months. So we may as well explain to the people what is in store for them so they will vote in full knowledge.

Confront the CNE

The CNE shenanigans in Bolivar this week are the perfect opportunity to call them on their partisanship and threaten already that we reserve our right to recognize any future electoral results as long as the CNE keeps acting as it is.  In other words, start saying that the CNE is a piece of shit but that we have to vote and organize ourselves AGAINST the CNE by flooding every voting stations, either to protest and sabotage the election or to make sure that voting proceeds as it should. Remember one thing: the regime, the more so that Chavez is on his way out, needs international recognition. If there is a time to confront, this is the one.  Demand NOW that there is a real international observation, called at least two months before the election, demand now that the CNE facilitates access to witness in every center and give them a right to talk as the election go, etc, etc...  Not forgetting to protest more forcefully cadenas and other government abuses. IF we do not become militant this time around, we are screwed forever.

As for the parties in the MUD that refuse to confront the CNE, they can be politely asked to leave for the oblivion that awaits them. What do we have to lose at this point?

And this is only what needs to be done by, say, January 15, in addition of having Lopez reactivate his witness protection program, and creating a contributing scheme where the people can anonymously give money for the campaign. I offer to start right now a lottery!!!!!!!!!

Then again, I am certainly not going to hold my breath as no one in the MUD pays attention to such proposals. I know better, if it does not arises spontaneously from someone inside the high circles it will not happen no matter how many people like me write the obvious.

Oh well......


1) Hallacas: national traditional Christmas dish of Venezuela. The glory of our cuisine with the arepa.

The Afiuni judicial story

Still in its wrapping.
Judge Maria Lourdes Afiuni was put into jail on Chavez orders and is still waiting for a fair trial even though the regime has been unable to put forward a sustainable proof of a misdeed from her. It is still in the memory of the decent Venezuelans and of all serious international Human Rights organizations the infamous moment when Chavez asked in cadena for her to be put in jail for 30 years, just after she was arrested, without even being officially indicted of any putative crime.  Since then, December 10 2009, judge Afiuni has been languishing in jail and eventually in home arrest when her medical condition and international pressure forced the regime to pull back some of its rage at her.

I bought a couple of weeks ago the journalistic account of the whole ordeal, not only of Judge Afiuni, but also of the other victim, Eligio Cedeño, whose freedom cost Afiuni hers. Freedom of course being a very relative term in Venezuela since Cedeño, informed that Afiuni had been arrested not even within hours of his release went into hiding immediately and now lives in Miami  in an exile that shall be permanent as long as Chavez is alive. No trial for him either, pure vendetta from Chavez  pure totalitarian working of the Venezuelan judicial body.

The book is a journalistic account but can be read as a thriller.The author is Francisco Olivares, one of the top journalists in Venezuela these days. His investigative work has left no major stone unturned. What makes a true impression when you read this book is his care for the telling details, the ones that prove that we are in a totalitarian regime where justice is at the service of the potentate and that Afiuni's arrest makes France's kings "lettre de cachet" a polite notification of your loss of freedom.  When Chavez or one of his acolytes give an order no forms are contemplated and the already pronounced guilty party is dragged to the worse of Venezuelan jails, handcuffed, surrounded by so many military that s/he looks like a mass murderer. Meanwhile streets lack the minimum police patrolling and crime reigns supreme because security forces are there to protect the chavista high ranking, or jail them if necessary.

What was the heinous crime of Afiuni? To grant Eligio Cedeño provisional liberty. The man had been detained for a couple of years without even any serious charge been pressed against him. Afiuni noticed that all judicial regulations pertinent to such a case had been violated and even though Cedeño had shown himself to courts when summoned, he was arrested as if he were a high delinquent.She put him out of jail but with a biweekly presentation to court and interdiction from leaving the country.  What was Cedeño's crime? In the book he does not come clear as to the rumored reasons: that he refused advances from one of Chavez daughters, or business proposal or something  He limits himself to claim that he has no link to another famous case, "Microstar", where apparently there is involvement of Chavez close circle with Gustavo Arraiz. I suppose one day we will know the whole truth but if Cedeño has more involvement with the Chavez group than he cares to admit we cannot blame him from keeping silent on a matter that could cost him his life. After all, the prisoner of el comandante in the book almost died, more than once, while being put to jail upon a Chavez personal emotion.

But the real interest of the book, what makes it so readable, is that Olivares says about the "legal" part only what is needed, focusing his narrative more on the consequences of the corrupt Venezuelan judicial system not only on the two victims of the book, Afiuni and Cedeño, but on the people that interact with them in jail and in court when they have an audience.  It is to be noted that the Venezuelan law was changed recently by presidential decree so that you can have trials in absentia, that way even if you are exiled, or refuse to appear in a court that you consider illegal  like Afiuni is doing, you can still be declared guilty on all counts and thus justify any capricious mood of Chavez, and Maduro, and Diosdado, and...

The book starts early in this tone. When Olivares goes to begin his interviews with Afiuni once she got home detention  he is surprised at the number of guards in her street and in her hallway as is she were a truly dangerous blood thirsty criminal. But the sad fact is that the guards do fight among themselves to be in front of Afiuni's door because her family gives them drink and food, something that the state apparently forgets to do for its own dispatched personnel.

It all goes down from there. Since I started with the humane degradation of guards, I might as well mention that one of the diverse military in charge of her told her that she was not screwing his expected promotion. The official had noted that already whoever showed any leniency with her got his career parked in a dead end. On the other hand, all the judicial personnel that were not afraid of humiliating Afiuni or publishing judicial trash against her got handsome promotions. The message has been clear: be like a Afiuni and hell is yours. In other words, you need to understand that when you are in court you are serving the regime.

The book is a poignant account on how degraded Venezuelan society has become under Chavez, on how so many have become so insensitive  so willing to what is wrong and be rewarded for it. It is truly a descent in hell to read these pages and brings to us the notion that concentration camps may not exist yet in Venezuela but the personnel to run them is already available.  And from Afiuni's stay in jail at the INOF women's jail where among other things she was raped, we gather that Venezuelan concentration camps will be notable.

This is a must read book to understand why Venezuela has stopped being a democracy. We may have elections still but when a judicial system has reached such lows you know that elections are not even a disguise. Or worse, if people vote for Chavez and now what is going on, then........

"Afiuni. La presa del Comandante", 2012, By Francisco Olivares
176 pages, Spanish
ISBN 978-980-7212-22-9

Note: the book says its first printing was April and yet its release was November. How come?  There is a December 2 interview with the writer of the book for more details.

Most Venezuelan readers think...

Chávez will kick the bucket before the end of 2013.

and meanwhile Velázquez is not recognising results in Bolívar. Ledezma supports him...the others are remaining quiet. Velázquez says he has the actas, the audits, to show there was fraud. Will the military simply take away the boxes and destroy the material? Stay tuned.

(sorry for the typo on "venezolanos")

Is there something worth rescuing from yesterday's debacle?

I think there is really no point in discussing yesterday's results in detail. Eventually in a few days I may write an additional post about it, but whether PJ did well here and bad there, or whether AD resisted better than expected in Tucusiapon is totally irrelevant. The game has changed dramatically:  we are all waiting for Chavez demise and that is the game in town for the next 6 months. Unless of course Cuban medicine is finally shown to be all that is cracked up to be. One sure thing, the Chavez example is not going to be Cuba best medical advertisement...

The bad is overwhelming  no matter what punditry you can read or see on TV today. The opposition will be in a very diminished situation if elections come in a few weeks from now. No states to rely on for basic campaign logistics, no income, no reserves left after two expensive campaign and a regime that has shown yesterday that the times of nice Chavez are over: frontal electoral cheating is going to be the norm for the next elections if we base ourselves on what we saw Sunday. Diosdado Cabello is not about the niceties of Chavez.

Can we possibly see something positive?

The short answer is NO, but the longer answer points to some stuff that is not that negative.

For example we know now that abstention hit equally chavismo and opposition. But in a presidential election will it be the same? I doubt it very much if Chavez is not on top of the ticket and abstention then will hit more chavismo than the opposition.  What brought a surprisingly large victory of Chavez last October was a record low abstention. But the regime has spent a lot of money too and I have a feel that the economic situation will not allow it to spend as much for Maduro (or whomever)  at a time where it should in fact spend more than last October. the good news here is that chavismo knows that and it is psyched out. The bad news is that chavismo knows that and it will manipulate results outright if needed.

Another paradoxical thing is that chavismo overwhelming victory yesterday is not to its benefit for the next presidential vote. As of now chavismo cannot pass the bucket anymore. Even in Miranda it seems that Capriles won but was denied a legislative majority courtesy of Socorro Hernandez fraudulent gerrymandering. Apparently the CNE is also trying to pull a fast one in Lara and has cheated outright of its seat the winner of Bolivar, Andres Velasquez. But that is for another post. Problems are going to pile up fast and if Chavez was able to put the blame on his followers, or even the opposition, this is not possible anymore, just as problems are going to pile faster and faster. This is good for the opposition if elections are held in March or later, bad if they are held earlier.

A third "positive" would be that the opposition which was experiencing some centrifugal forces post October 7 is chastised on time. The abstention creeps can already see the consequences of their apathy and a few I am sure are having regrets already. And the centrifugal forces see clearly again that outside of unity there is no hope. There is of course the presidential candidate problems as many people, including yours truly, think that Capriles chances are dubious. He did what he had to do but getting a bare 4% spread over Jaua and losing his legislative council is not a sterling victory. Henri Falcon more solid performance in a more chavista area gives him claim to the title. And if we think big, if we think a transition president as we should, then we need to look at Aveledo or someone who will promise not to stay more than three years while he deals with the troubles.

But an Aveledo transitional period would demand the opposition do a truth campaign and denounce crudely the disaster that Chavez is leaving. I really do not think it has yet the guts for that even though finally the tone is changing as of yesterday, realizing that, well, the being nice strategy failed twice in a row. At least this slight increase in tone can be called a fourth "positive".

That's it, that's all I got. Sorry.

No mas cuentos: perdimos, y feo

Estuve leyendo y oyendo toda clase de cuentos y veo otra vez toda una maniobra tratando de minimizar la derrota de ayer. Supongo que la mayoría de los comentadores de oficio, o por lo menos a los que se le paga o invita por sus comentarios, no quieren quedar mal. Pero la verdad es otra: salimos mal, muy mal, peor que en octubre.

Empecemos por un cuadro sencillo que acabo de hacer, con las cifras del CNE publicadas hasta el momento. En la primera columna los votos del chavismo de Chávez. En la segundo los chavistas disidentes, pero con Chávez. La tercera son los candidatos de la MUD y la última los disidentes de la MUD que son dos en verdad, el Gato y le gafo en Tachira cuya disidencia no costo nada, Cesar Pérez Vivas necesitando otra escusa para justificar su derrota. No cuento votos muy minoritarios de candidatos evangélicos y otros, polvo cósmico esta vez.

El total porcentual del chavismo y su disidencia sobrepasa el de Chávez en octubre. Por poco, pero lo sobrepasa. El oficialismo sin Chávez no salió perjudicado por su ausencia, no salió perjudicado por la división. Esos son 5 millones de votos super sólidos que tiene ya a su favor Maduro o Diosdado a partir de Febrero, cuando Chávez decida llamar las próximas elecciones.

Digámoslo en otras palabras: la oposición no perdió solamente por la abstención y el ventajismo del oficialismo. Hay también otras razones que explican su derrota y mientras esas no se analicen debidamente nuestro lado no va a ganar nunca, o por lo menos mientras los cobres del petróleo sigan llegando y los chinos prestando.

Adelanto algunas de las causas que hay que analizar y que casi seguro no se harán por temor a ofender a no sé quien, como si eso hubiese resultado en el pasado.

¿Es el mensaje de al oposición suficientemente contundente? Me refiero, por ejemplo, a eso de perdonarle demasiadas marramucias al CNE o rezar por el bien de Chávez cuando el PSUV usa esa enfermedad al máximo, y exitosamente. O eso de no hablarle claro al país sobre la realidad aunque eso resulte desagradable para algunos. Churchill y de Gaulle no ganaron por endulzar el mensaje.

¿Cómo es posible que en algunos estados los electores chavistas sean tan ruines? Me refiero por ejemplo a Monagas donde la mujer que salió a defender a PDVSA contra el Gato, tratando de obligar la gente de Maturín a tomar agua envenenada salió elegida y con la pelusa de 55%. Hay que explicar como delincuentes de renombre internacional tal como Rodríguez Chacin o Rangel Silva arrasaron en sus estados. Quisiera saber si la oposición piensa que se derrota a esa gente con buenos modales, sin mencionar las fechorías registradas que han hecho.