There were a number of interesting interviews in today’s papers. Two of them are with the new President of the Consejo Nacional Electoral Francisco Carrasquero in both El Universal and El Nacional (the latter by subscription only). Carrasquero says that the recall referendum is the number one priority, promising a ruling on the signatures handed in by the opposition before the end of next week. In discussing whether he is Chavista or not Carrasquero said:
“There are a variety of alternatives to bring well being to the people and not only to the poor. People tend to identify the word social with the poor. I identify it with the collective interest”. Here he is definitely distancing himself with Chavez.
On the recall referendum:
“The problem of the recall referendum is a priority because the collective, or an important part of it, is interested in having it resolved and that right has to be satisfied”. “I want to tell the country not be worried because there will be a decision next week, because we have to fulfill the legal periods”
This contrasts with Chavez’ statements today during his Sunday program in which he said: “The signatures for the recall referendum are frozen; they have no priority because first we have to restructure the Consejo Nacional Electoral. Those signatures are just part of another destabilizing plan”. Chavez even went as far as saying the restructuring would take six months, forgetting the Constitution establishes a 90 day period for the recall referendum.
The other interesting interview is in page A-6 of El Nacional with Eleazar Diaz Rangel, the Editor of local daily Ultimas Noticias. Diaz Rangel was in the running to direct the CNE. After reading the interview I am glad he was not appointed. He blames not being named on a campaign by the media, being careful to be wishy washy about what he says. First he blames the media, and then he says it was certain people within the media. He says what the media wanted was to boycott the possibility of the Supreme Court naming the CNE, which I find to temerary and exaggerated. The rest of the interview is about the many coups of the opposition and the media in Venezuela. (Of course, he says his newspaper is great). The only good thing he says is that the political parties of the country do not control the agenda of the country. After reading the interview Mr. Diaz Rangel comes across as biased against the opposition and I think he would have been a terrible choice for the position of President of the CNE.