We need to face it, to look at Chavez numbers. Luckily I found a way to make it less painful.
Let's start with the grand total: with 98% of the votes counted (as usual, embarrassing embassies results are not up yet) he got 8.136.964 which represent 43,7% of registered voters. This gives us the first good news: if with 40% of Venezuelans Chavez does as he pleases, I shudder to think about what he would do if he had 1 more vote than the 50% of the voters...
So, what do these 43,7% mean?
I have always said that there is a hard core chavismo that will vote for Chavez no matter what, even if he were found having sexual activities with 5 years old at Miraflores Palace. You think I am kidding? How many supporters did Michael Jackson lose, really?
I put that number at 30%. Let's say not to sound too negative, that this number is still a staggering 25% of the population Look around you in Venezuela if you know enough chavistas: one in two will always praise Chavez, love him to death even if they criticize everything else. This is not Teflon, it is religion.
There is nothing that we can ever say to these 25%: they have a god and when that god kicks the bucket they will simply look for another one.
We are left with 18,7%. Chavismo has been in office for 14 years. It had lefties from the start, I mean real lefties of the commie variety. 14 years of further indoctrination, brain washing, trips to Cuba, etc, have created a population which is around what exists in all totalitarian regimes, a 5%. Yes, it is not that big but it is all what a tyrant needs to rule the country, a determined ideological cadre ready to do anything so that their cause remains in office. With 5% you man security forces, media, neighborhood surveillance, etc... it is enough and you leave management of the economic activities to those who resist indoctrination but are nevertheless sympathizers, either by convenience of some affinity. I am willing to bet that even Cuba does not reach 10% today. It is a special breed of people that fortunately is never too large because they are borderline to full fledged sociopath and if they could grow further humanity would have been wiped out long ago.
Still not getting it? 5% is 931.00 adults working all in politics around chavismo. You can do a lot with that, quite an army, ranging from assassins to the bureaucrats that expropriate you for pleasure.
We are left with 13,7% of the population. That is were you find all the cowards, those who sell their votes for nothing, those who do not give a shit, and also the profiteers, black marketeers and assorted opportunists. This is where we need to work, unfortunately. It is the least palatable group within chavismo because in my experience the "good" chavistas tend to be in the 25%: outside of their religious faith they can be quite decent human beings. But they got religion so there is little you can do to reach them until Chavez dies. And no, the 5% ideological are neither palatable or disgusting: they are scary and you stay away from them, keeping in mind that you get rid of them through Nuremberg like activities at which they will never express any remorse. It is that unrepentant criminal mind set that becomes the best counter propaganda to shrink their group once you remove them from power.
That is it, that the best spin I can put on Chavez numbers. Sorry.
I just may add for a last attempt at comfort that the 13,7% may be the group that can most easily be pried away from Chavez after some natural catastrophe or a coup. Ask Romulo Gallegos and AD circa 1948... Since a major economic crisis is in the works, you better get ready to see them flip over. But of course the crisis will also engulf you.