To bash or not to bash the opposition: That is not the question

May 29, 2008

In the last two days, I made two posts in which I expressed my concerns about what I perceive are problems going forward for the so called opposition in Venezuela.

The first one is the fact that everywhere I go, it seems like a given that somehow, the opposition will win some 10-14 Governorships independent of what Chavez may or not do, the second is that so far, the opposition has raised only extremely parochial issues which are clearly not grabbing the imagination of the people and despite the hard work of many, the local message is not  playing through and we face very important issues that need to be faced.

At the end of the day in some sense what I am saying is that the opposition did not win nthe referendum, Chavez lost and the poll from Datanalisis shows it.

I believe, for example, that the opposition has handled relatively well the choosing of candidates, in my mind the Chacao race, the only one that some rarified noise, is essentially irrelevant in the larger scheme of things. However, I am not sure the message is getting through that this is not an easy process and people are watching the irrelevant parts and Chavez’ PSUV is only doing something worse than the opposition to those that have followed the details.

Because in the end I am not saying that people are not working hard, what I am saying is that the message is not getting through and the students by focusing yesterday on five demands to the National Assembly were much more effective than all of the opposition candidates in the last two months.

And I stand by what I said.

Because I am not even saying that the candidates to Mayor, for example, have to talk about economic issues or the Enabling Bill, but I do believe parties could have, for example, non-candidates that constantly speak on these same issues.

And if someone tells me  that it is hard to get on the papers or TV, then I must live in a different country, because I find the media hungry for interviews or articles with people that have something interesting to say.

I am not demanding that the opposition make a political project overnight, all I am saying is that they should make a list of the three or four more damaging or dangerous things that the Chavez Government is doing and appoint spokesmen for each and start hitting the media on them.

To me, this is not so difficult to do. This would be my list of the four topics that I would dwell on, day after day with all we have:

–Crime, it is the number one problem for people, it is a disgrace what this Government has done. This has actually been addressed fairly well, but as Rodriguez Chacin says things are improving, they are not. Blast him!

–Attack the nationalization of Sidor, Cemex, Larafge, Holderbank, CANTV and Electricidad de Caracas. The last two are already showing the signs of Government managing, but you can also attack why the money is spent on non-issues rather than in solving people’s problems.

–I believe the Enabling Bill represents the biggest threat to our freedom and economic system since the Constitutional reform was proposed, attack it. Ask what is the Government hiding.

–The recent resolution to force banks to sell their structured notes denominated in local currency is simply attacking the consequence of bad policies. But in itself it may be bad policy again as it may create a financial crisis. the Government does not appear to even get it. Blast them!

–Continue to attack the Comptrollers ban on candidates, the Constitution is the Constitution, defend it.

If I can come up with my five, you would think two or three parties together could find the top five and organize themselves around it.

Because in the end, if the opposition can’t reach the people, Chavez with all his money will and we will not be able to blame anyone but ourselves.

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