Archive for June 21st, 2003

Ivan Rincon on referendum

June 21, 2003

Interesting interview in today’s El Nacional (page A-6)  with the Head of the Supreme Court. In it, Justice Ivan Rincon says the Court will not allow the boycott of the referendum. He says: ” We are obligated to guarantee it”…” It is a constitutional right that all citizens have to ask for the recall of any elected public official”..”If the electoral way out is backed, we have to defend it, we have to provide it with custody”…”The right is born on August 19th. and once the signatures are handed in, the electoral commission has to hold the referendum within the next three months. The extension of the periods conspires against the commission itself, in such a way that it would lose credibility”. Very encouraging, particularly saying that the ninety day period has to be obeyed. It ahs always been my fear that there will be delays through legal maneuvering of the date on which the referendum would be held.

Hugo Chavez’ Cuban fixation

June 21, 2003

It makes you wonder when a country has more than 20% unemployment officially (more in reality), when professionals, including teachers and medical doctors are unemployed, why Hugo Chavez brings Cuban teachers to alphabetize Venezuelans and Cuban medical doctors to provide medical care in the barrios. Meanwhile, last year’s alphabetization plan organized by the government did very little and local hospitals have no supplies and doctors don’t even get paid. Moreover, it has been demonstrated over and over that Venezuelan medical doctors have much better training than Cuban ones. Of course, we also sell 2% of the country’s oil production to Cuba with long term financing in US dollars much below what Venezuela can get in international marekts or what Central American and Caribbean countries get under the Pacto de San Jose. What’s next, Cuban prostitutes?

Poll results

June 21, 2003

You can see the latest polls from Consultores 21 here. Among the most interesting results:


-75% of the popualtion think things are bad in Venezuela


-67% think the Chavez Government is a bad one.


-61% plan to vote in the referendum, with 65% voting Yes on the question should Chavez be recalled.


-75% think the opposition should have a single candidate.


Other interesting results are the profile of the typical Chavista supporters and anatagonists.


The poll is fairly consistent with others I have seen as well as those from my favorite pollster.

Assembly agrees on three possible candidates to lead Electoral Commission

June 21, 2003

Pro-Government and opposition Deputies have agreed on three possible candidates to be the “fifth” and deciding member in the Electoral Commission (CNE). The three are:


Eliazar Diaz Rangel: Editor of daily Ultimas Noticias, Professos of Journalism Universidad Central de Venezuela.


Teodoro Petkoff: Founder of Movimiento al Socialismo (MAS), Presidential candidate in the 80’s for MAS, Minister of Planning during the Caldera administration 95-98, Editor of Caracas’ afternoon newspaper Tal Cual


Carlos Delgado Chapellin: Head of the electoral Commission for almost two decades. Minister of Foreign Relations during the brief transition Government after Carlos Andres Perez was impeached in 1994.


Apparently these are the candidates both sides agree to in that particular order, the question is now whether any of the three are interested. I understand Petkoff said no a couple of weeks ago, I think he would be the best of three because he has political weight, is a good negotiator and is the best known of the three to the general public, giving importance to the decision of that body.

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