10 February 2012

Venezuela opposition primary: an exercise in futility

"We need volunteers!" "Will you be my witness?" "Will you help organise the primaries in London?"

Those kinds of comments have been arriving in my inbox for a while now. Having organised and set up my share of Venezuela-related, political events in London in the past, everyone sort of expects that this time too I would be involved in organising things.

Though I am not. While my fellow Venezuelan bloggers have all gone into publishing who will they vote for, and why, I will rather say that I am not going to vote, not on Sunday, not come October, and I shall explain why Sunday's primary will not be the watershed moment every one is "predicting".

No amount of wishful thinking and closed-door politicking will defeat Venezuela's best, wealthiest, and most powerful politico. There's no point, IMO, of beating around the bush on this one. Regardless of whether on Sunday the opposition candidate gets 1.5, 2.5, 3.5 or 5 million votes, Chavez will win, again, in October.

It is utter nonsense, IMO, to even consider that the opposition stands a chance come the presidential race -unless the caudillo dies in the interim- while the electoral power continues to be but Hugo Chavez's Election's Ministry.

The opposition, old and new, is doomed. It is pretty difficult for me, to get all worked up for Henrique Capriles Radonski, when very close relatives of his are up to their ears in gargantuan corruption rackets and, effectively, run Chavez's most efficient propaganda outlets.

And wasting time talking about whether they are center-left, or center-right, or whether they are like Lula or Uribe, is pointless. They should be planning instead how to man every last polling station in the country, especially those in rural Venezuela, where thousands of phantom voters keep giving Chavez 100% of the vote. They should be ensuring that whatever the CNE announces is a true reflection of the people's vote, and not an unaudited, cooked result of CNE-controlled Smartmatics that only a fool like Jimmy Carter would vouch for. Until that happens, none of them stands a chance, and to think otherwise is foolish. Lula isn't the icon figure they should be taking cues from, but rather Alejandro Toledo, the humble cholo who defeated, arguably, South America's first post modern dictator: Alberto Fujimori.


Alan said...

Wow, thank you Alek. One only needs to look at a couple of facts and apply cool, basic logic to realize that participating in this pathetic process actually contributes to perpetuate the horrendous mess Venezuela is into, so that the right thing to do is most definitely to walk the hell away from it. Circulating your post far and wide.

guillermo vogeler said...

Lamento mucho su posicion al respecto, he sido un lector de su blog desde hace unos anios que, buscando publicaciones en el exterior sobre la situacion que vivimos en Venezuela me identifique en una buena medida con ud.en su disputa con el entonces alcalde de Londres.Me produce una gran decepcion que una persona inteligente, elocuente y luchadora,como lo ha sido ud,le de la espalda a lo que quizas sea la unica oportunidad que tengamos los vzolanos de sobrevivir la peor de las traiciones que un individuo le pueda haber hecho a un pais y es regalarlo pagando para ello. No estoy en desacuerdo con Ud. sobre las marramuncias que el CNE tiene y ha tenido en las elecciones, despues de todo es un brazo del gobierno y es dificil ver una solucion a esto que no sea denunciarlo a los 4 vientos y espero que esa sea una tarea primordial en las giras que haga este candidato,tambien conozco la flia de Capriles y particularmente a las Hnas.Radonski, y creo que respetando su posicion,esta Ud equivocado pero cada quien tiene derecho a opinar.Yo solo espero sea menos severo en su posicion que denota una gran amargura, que tambien respeto pero que de nada nos ayuda y espero reflexione e intente dar un poco mas de su valiosa colaboracion aportando soluciones sin dejarnos ese sabor de "que se vayan todos pal c..." en aquellos que leemos su blog

Alan said...

BTW Alek could you please point out the most blatant "corruption rackets" that you mention re. Capriles's relatives? thanks!

AB said...

Well Alan, in Venezuelan financial circles, is a well known fact that Armando "Pelón" Capriles, HCR cousin, is one of the greatest beneficiaries of the Chavez era, humongous corruption racket developed around allocation of Venezuelan bonds. His other cousin, Miguel Angel Capriles Lopez got complete control of Cadena Capriles via illegal means, defrauding the majority shareholders of hundreds of millions of dollars. In doing so, he became effectively majority shareholder and controlling CEO of Venezuela's largest newspaper empire, in which Chavez prints 80% of his propaganda.

So HCR has two cousins who are deep in business with chavismo and have benefited hugely by its patronage, becoming phenomenally wealthy in the process.

Ergo I do have a problem with an oppo candidate whose close family is in bed with chavismo, while the said candidate is promising that many things will continue "as is".

Alan said...

Right, I guess with the media side of the racket would be enough... but I frankly wasn't aware of the financial side of things through "El Pelon", thanks for pointing that out. Suprisingly I can't find much media coverage of El Pelon's dealings, at least with a simple Google search; or perhaps one shouldn't be surprised given the partiality of most Venezuelan media and the fact that El Pelon's dealings allegedly involve both government officials and businessmen supposedely opposed to the regime... if you have links and/or older blog posts on the issueit would probably be a good idea to post them on your blog to remind people who they're dealing with in the upcoming elections, just sayin'...