Is the Venezuelan Electorate Currently Apathetic or Undecided?

May 19, 2012

I have been getting mixed messages from people the last two times I have been in Caracas about the outlook for the election. And polls seem to be sending the same confusing and inconsistent signals. Remove the “New Age” pollsters and what you get is a mixture of results, the key being a high number of undecided in those polls that give Chavez a large lead. Talk to pro-Capriles people and they tell your their candidate is down 4-5 points, but it can be made up. Talk to pro-Chavez people and they tell you the enthusiasm is just not there among the Chavista rank and file any more and they are worried.

Toss in Chavez’ illness and things become uncertain.

First the polls.The main difference between the poll that gives Chavez a huge lead and the one that does not, is that the first poll sees a huge number of undecided (~30+%), which the second poll does not see. Neither pollster can explain the difference. This worries pro-Capriles people, precisely because they can’t understand it.

Then you go and talk to pro-Chavez people and they do have a possible interpretation and it worries them. Their feeling is that the motivation is no longer there and it will be difficult to get the non hard core Chavista to go out and vote. Chavez being sick worries them, no only because he may not be able to run, but more importantly, because if he can run, he may not be able to campaign and may not generate the excitement required to outvote Capriles. Simply put, the revolution is failing in too many fronts, clearly identified in this aporrea article. But note the additional concern: This pro-Chavez analyst does not see the four million new voters going the Chavista way. In fact, the opposite seems to be true, according to the writer the new generation seems to care little for the revolution and is more concerned with “malls, asses, iPads and phone pins”

Or as another pro-Chavez friend told me more or less: “I know a few states where 60-65% of the people are Chavista, but of those, many will not go and vote for this failed Government. They will not vote for Capriles either, but just their absence on election day, will give Capriles a victory in two or three States where the opposition has never done well since Chavez showed up. Add the populous metropolitan states where the opposition wins, toss in the new voters and Capriles could beat Chavez.:

And El Nacional publishes today statements made privately by William Izarra, father of the Minister of Information, where he says that Capriles is resonating in parts of the electorate with as many as 8 million voters (which he now says is not exactly what he said, likely he did not know his words were being recorded ) And given his scenario that Chavez may get 8.4 million, this also makes it too close for comfort.

Opposition analysts are similarly concerned.They understand that Capriles at 30% seems to make little sense, given the number of votes he got in the primary or Rosales in 2006, but they can’t understand the undecided. Why has the number of undecided gone up so much since the primary and Chavez’ recurrence? Why is 30%-plus of the electorate suddenly shunning both Chavez and Capriles, with both candidates losing support? Can it be Zulia nationalism in the case of Capriles? These last votes will not go to Chavez either.

The answer, I contend, has more to do with apathy and vote intention, than with being undecided. And I think it goes straight into my friend’s argument: Many uncertain Chavista voters will not vote for Chavez, but they certainly don’t plan to go and vote for Capriles, they plan to stay home.

And a similar apathy applies to the 4 million new voters. They registered to vote, but they are not sure they will go and vote for Capriles, they will wait to decide.

Which simply says that Chavez’ physical appearance will be crucial in the determination of these voters and it is hard to predict which way it will go. A weak Chavez may turn off the apathetic Chavistas, while a recovered Chavez may turn on the apathetic new voters, who have yet to be convinced about Capriles.

For now, only time will begin clearing up these questions and it will be a while before it happens. It has been nineteen days since there was a live appearance by Chavez, while Capriles continues to campaign door to door and accompanied by some of the primary candidates. The next important date is June 10th. the last date on which candidates may register for the October 7th. election. Chavez is unlikely to announce way ahead of time when he will register, to wait until he feels right for it. This will reduced the impact of the event. Capriles on the other hand can plan ahead.

But in the end, it will be the hard core that will show up in both sides those days, masking the apathy of the Venezuelan electorate.

72 Responses to “Is the Venezuelan Electorate Currently Apathetic or Undecided?”

  1. Wanley Says:

    The perception on the street is that Capriles is loosing support. The problems is tha a lot of people vote for whoever theythik is going to win. They don’t want to”waste their vote”

    • moctavio Says:

      That would be bad for Hugo if he looks sick, or is absent. In fact, I would say the “people” in the oppo tend to be oo optimistic about their chances.

      • Wanley Says:

        They are trying to convey a winning image through all those polls. Substituting his presence with winning polls.

  2. Wanley Says:

    Sorry for the errors, Ipad typing.

  3. deananash Says:

    Miguel, it may just be me – which is why I’m asking – but doesn’t the tone of this post suggest that you expect clean (legitimate) elections? “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice…”

    There’s no way I could believe that the election will be honest. Well, maybe if Jimmy Carter went down and proctored it. (Pun intended.)

  4. Dr. Faustus Says:

    June 10th?

    I am very confused here. What happens if Chavez registers on June 10th, with his current Vice President, and then becomes extremely ill prior to October and is forced to withdraw? Is everything set in stone,…no changes allowed? The registered Vice President runs as the Presidential candidate in his place?

    If so, that is a very, very important date.

    • moctavio Says:

      There are no rules to what happens after June 10th. The VP does not register, just Chavez, VP is someone the President names once he is in power. If Chavez can’t run after June 10th. PSUV would have to find a replacement, very uncharted territory, the rules allow anyone to be replaced up to days before the election.

      The VP is so irrelevant that if the President elect dies between Oct. 7th. and Jan. 10th. it is the President of the National Assembly that assumes the Presidency.

      As to fraud, there may be fraud with the electoral register, but as we saw in the Assembly elections, we can overcome that. Another fraud is polls with one or two tables, which show no null votes ever. They will be covered.

      Both sides are worried, if it were such a peice of cake, Chavismo would not be.

  5. megaescualidus Says:

    Miguel,

    I think that as October gets closer, many of those who say are undecided, will pick sides.

    deananash,

    Miguel’s article is just about the apathetic mood currently shown by the Venezuelan electorate, pro-opposition, or pro-Chavez. Yes, I couldn’t stop thinking exactly what you mentioned above, but whether either Chavez wins or looses in October is not the article’s main point.

    Having said all that, I do agree with you. I do think that if October’s elections were fair, Capriles would have a shot at it meaning, he could win with a single digit difference. And exactly there is the issue. I also do believe HC will cheat his way, and come on top, and if Capriles doesn’t win with a big difference HC will have no difficulty stealing the result. There’s almost nothing I’d like more right now than this dark phase in Venezuela’s history to be over, but I really think there’s no way HC will loose. He and all parties that are “cuadrados” with him cannot afford to loose in October. I really do think the only clear way out is HC kicking the can, and I really hope this happens before October, otherwise – the after October scenario – the path for a better future is, in my opinion, more erratic.

    • moctavio Says:

      I agree, the question is why did they decide to be undecided all of a sudden, they were not In February.

  6. Roy Says:

    In any long campaign, there is a danger of peaking too early. For both campaigns, the goal, at the moment, is simply to continue to be seen by public, but not to generate too much excitement. This needs to come at just the right moment, because it cannot be sustained. In my opinion, this is what generates the “apathy”. I simply don’t trust polls so early before the elections to predict the result. All they can do is tell you what the hardcore electorate thinks. The apathetic center will not decide until just before the election.

  7. Tom ODonnell Says:

    A thoughtful post.
    As far as apathy about Caprilles: I see many blogs about polls but few blogs or news stories about a dynamic campaign where he is making interesting or appealing political statements. Is he in the news?

    Are young new voters and others starting to think this is just more or less the old opposition, not a new dynamic generation with una imagen? How will a Caprilles admin. reinvent Venezuelan politics and economics?! sMitten, Is Caprilles inspiring anyine with program ideas?
    Petroleum? Rentismo? Crime? Health system? Water system? Pensions? Informality? Prisons? Colas? Where are the daily challenges to chavismo? A new vision of can-do politics??
    Will the election be boring till Chavez starts campaigning?! If so, that’s a very bad sign. What do you think about this, Miguel?

    • syd Says:

      In your mining for a trending topic, Tom, you forgot this one: Did the Diosa Canales ad increase voter registration?

    • moctavio Says:

      Unfortunately Capriles decision is to run like a gentle Chavez, not a “new” thing.

      • loroferoz Says:

        That is simply stupid on the Capriles campaign… Capriles campaign might be based on not wanting confrontation. But being very different from Chavez and his way of doing things and from the “Fourth’s” way of doing things is a must, that has to be asserted vigorously.

        But you must offer better and different, if you want to unseat an incumbent. Otherwise why bother to vote, even vote for the challenger?

      • syd Says:

        Caprilito might be young. He might be a gentle Chávez. But he’s no fool. And I think he’s seasoned enough as both a politician and a governor. I trust he knows what he’s doing, as he sweeps ni-nis and soft-core chavistas to his side, FIRST, before hammering. And we’ve been getting a few little hammers. But I expect more after June 10th. You watch.

        Disclosure: I didn’t vote for HCR, but rather, knowing he’d win the MUD candidature, gave my vote to a needed voice.

  8. Kepler Says:

    Tom,
    Outside Caracas-Valencia Globo has no air wave access. Most people beyond have no cable and no Internet connection. Mobile phone allows you in principle to have some access but it is crappy.
    Few people read newspapers.
    We need more people like Leopoldo going around the country. Oscariz could help but he is, as far as I have seen, limiting himself to Miranda (also for obvious reasons).

    The voters registry is really a mess and I am afraid perhaps we won’t get enough witnesses where it counts, in the secondary cities such as Maturín, Calabozo, Acarigua, Boconó, Punto Fijo, etc.

  9. Alexander Says:

    I enjoyed moctavio note, it seems that he is, like many others, trapped into Hinterlaces and Datanalisis’ prophecy syndrome: since Chavez is not campaigning, so “ninis” are having hard time to choice between HC and HC.

    • moctavio Says:

      I could care less about Hinterlaces, remember Schemel said it was between Maria Corina and Capriles. Datanalisis tends to be good except near an election, when they get wishy washy. But their poll had a change not seen in Consultores. Yes, I study polls, but only selected ones.

  10. island canuck Says:

    Apathy – certainly not here in Margarita. Everyone is talking about it. Not the Chavistas who are generally mum about the process waiting for their deity to return.

    Why are there 30+% no opinion? Ask yourself who in their right mind would admit to voting for Capriles if they work for anything connected to the government or are receiving money for missions.

    Yet these same people will tell you privately that they will vote for him. We have family members who work for PDVSA & ministries who will vote oppo in October. Not just a few but dozens. But they tell anyone outside the family who asks that they vote for Chavez.

    For those of you who don’t actually live in Venezuela anymore it’s hard to understand the dynamics. The polls are not accurate. You read reports from news agencies like EFE, who have been terrible in reporting about Venezuela, that Capriles is doomed.

    Sorry, I live here & feel exactly the opposite. I have renewed hope that we will see an end to this regime.

    • Kepler Says:

      Canuck, how many of them are in the continent? Margarita is a special case, like Zulia, Miranda-Caracas and to an extent, Carabobo. Let’s remember that. I think you are right in part – but only in part.

      • island canuck Says:

        Most are in Anzoátegui, Monagas y Bolivar with a few in Caracas. They work for PDVSA, the electric company & 2 in a major ministry in Caracas.

        I don’t think I’m wrong. I strongly believe that Capriles has momentum. There have been constant electric cutoffs & shortages in the interior of the country, especially in places like PLC & to the south. There are huge shortages of medicines in the farmacias, especially for those with cancer & other serious problems. These are just 2 examples of the collapse of the country – there are many more.

        What I’m trying to get across is that if you aren’t living here you don’t really get the right impression from the Cuban propaganda machine & these false polls. Even the rumours from the Chavistas that the MUD is considering changing the candidate. Not surprisingly this rumour is being fed by the inaccurate polls.

        We need to keep the spirit up & have hope.

        • syd Says:

          Thanks for the specifics, IC. The next few months will be an interesting ride, with nailbiting on O-7, no wait, O-8 or O-9. As I believe Stalin said – and I paraphrase: It’s not how many vote. It’s who counts the votes.

        • Kepler Says:

          Island,
          I have lots of people living in Carabobo. They are all but one voting for Capriles and the vast majority live in C and D areas.
          Still, one should be cautious…that’s why I take things with a grain of salt or two. We have been here before.
          I agree we need to have hope. More importantly, we need to plans things well…but that is something we won’t discuss here for obvious reasons.
          This is more like a Go game; it should not be a caimanera.

          • moctavio Says:

            Yes, Carabobo should be Capriles, Monagas is one of the states I was talking about. Bolivar would be wonderful.

        • Kepler Says:

          Island,
          I put some examples of the CNE records that worry me. And beware: those examples are the ones I detected by doing kindergarten data mining.
          Unfortunately, once many records are in the system, no data mining can detect irregularities or if we can point at some possibilities, but we need people in place to prove it. One of the issues we need to be aware of is we have to have TESTIGOS in the secondary cities and most villages. We need to.
          There are lots of people who want to vote, less people who want to do the hard work of being a testigo…and admittedly, it is a very difficult job in places such as Cojedes or Portuguesa or even Southern Valencia, where I have worked.

    • firepigette Says:

      Island, I am pretty sure you are right about this :

      “For those of you who don’t actually live in Venezuela anymore it’s hard to understand the dynamics.
      The polls are not accurate. ”

      I speak with family and friends all the time.Some are ALL middle classes, some in barrios, some in Caracas,and others in small towns, and I am getting the same drift as what you describe.

  11. Alex Says:

    Ma Corina was here in Miami this week and gave a free admissions conference. During her brilliantly-carried and concise speech she made it very clear: “somos mayoria”. She also said that people in rural or popular areas are afraid to show any intention of voting for the opposition candidate and that this factor clearly affects polls. More interestingly, she explained how totalitarian governments must always advertise their regime winning by huge margins as a strategy to intimidate and demoralize voters.
    I don’t know whether it’s just blind optimism or what but hearing this from her lifted my spirit and surely that of everyone there.

    • firepigette Says:

      Alex, If the people had the power to elect an alternative, they would certainly get Chavez out next election.

      The real question is do they have the power to do so?


  12. Yep.
    Corina draws lines in the sand,
    and she criticises …
    Ella no tiene pelos en su lengua.

    Henrique – vote for me,
    I’m chav, but safer,
    I won’t rock the boat.
    Aguado…

    Venezuelans have a DON’T F*CK WITH ME attitude,
    and they want clear choices.

    cheers

    • island canuck Says:

      Doris, they will come.

      In truth everything is in a holding pattern until we know for sure whether “his illness” will run or not. The campaign does not officially start until July 1. I think it’s June 10 for the deadline for candidates.

      “His illness” is supposed to show up on Tuesday for the inauguration of the Consensus Board. It was supposed to have been done Friday but was postponed. Let’s see if he shows up in public or whether we’re going to get another delay, twit or phone call.

      • syd Says:

        Just a wee note. The Lockerbie bomber, who was freed from a Scottish jail on compassionate grounds, given the medical forecasts of 3-months’ life expectancy for cancer, just died 3 years later.

        • Ronaldo Says:

          The Lockerbie bomber did bad things and died of prostrate cancer. I wonder if Chavez will worry when he realizes he is in the same boat.

    • dorisclubhipico Says:

      A hypothetical case –
      I , capriles, like what hugo did,
      and I will continue spinning the wheel
      and give you your revolution.
      That’s why You, the voter, should join me,
      because I have the Know-How, and
      I also know how to bull-sh*t, and
      my people are also problem-solvers.
      Then maybe by stealing hugo’s farting mouth,
      capriles could win over enough ni-nis to eke out a majority.
      cheers

  13. Dr. Faustus Says:

    Island Canuck wrote:

    “Why are there 30+% no opinion? Ask yourself who in their right mind would admit to voting for Capriles if they work for anything connected to the government or are receiving money for missions.”

    That’s exactly correct. Getting any kind of accurate poll in a country like Venezuela is near impossible. Just imagine living in a rural community and some guy with a clipboard shows-up at your doorstep. “You say you’re from,….what?….again? Er, you want my opinion? …about,….the government? …the elections? Who are you? Where did you say you came from, again? Are you from around here? My opinion? I support it! ….whatever.”

    • Marianne Says:

      You are rigth…. You will said Im undiceded… or worst Ni Ni

    • moctavio Says:

      No, in February they were not undecided.

      • syd Says:

        But, Miguel, you are referring to 12F, no? If so, that was not a poll, but a secret ballot, two separate things.

        • moctavio Says:

          No, I am referring to the fact that the undecided has been going up in polls since December, specifically in the Datanalisis poll, going from 12-15% to 30% plus, with both Chavez and Capriles losing voters.

      • guest Says:

        You seem to be missing the fact that 12F scared the sh*t out of chavistas, and whatever pressure they normally put on their “followers” to continue being obedient followers went into overdrive after the primary.

        Also, there seems to be huge problems with the way Datanalisis handles their polls. It’s simply not normal to get such a high number of undecided people on any type of poll, which suggests they’re asking the wrong questions, sending the wrong people to ask the questions, or asking the wrong people.

        • jc Says:

          I completely agree. I think there was a sense of relaxation before 12F and after that the chavistas put the pressure on seriously hard. There’s your reason for the undecideds.

  14. Marianne Says:

    Also you need to take in account the afraid to said your vote intentions on polls… Are many afraid to talk freely. This are not a tipycal elections….

  15. Kepler Says:

    Miguel, I am sure Carabobo will be Capriles. The point is for how much. We probably got about 52% to 40% (I am sure there was some “optimization” carried out by the military in several places in Southern Valencia, as I got some accounts from there on how the military took away certain boxes, etc, from first sources).
    Now: do we win if we do 52% against 40% in Carabobo, Miranda, Zulia, Margarita?
    We need to see how many votes Chavistas will stuff in Southern Anzoátegui, in Monagas, in Sarare (even people in Lara forget Sarare is not Sanare), in Portuguesa.

    So: I am cautious, very cautious. We need to send lots of witnesses to those places and we need to keep travelling through every secondary city until the last day.

  16. island canuck Says:

    Just to emphasize my point on the collapse of the country contributing to changes in the voting here is a comment from Caracas Chronicles about the subway system being built in Valencia & Maracaibo:

    http://caracaschronicles.com/2012/05/18/the-subway-to-nowhere/#comments

    This is an anonymous post so I don’t know who to give the credit to but it explains exactly why Chavismo will lose in October.

    “FUN FACT> sabaneta, cecilio acosta, etc… *(sabaneta metro area parishes) used to be ones of the most chavistas areas of maracaibo before 2005, then came the metro.. and now they are competing with northeast maracaibo itself for being the more anti chavista”

    Exactly!

    • Roger Says:

      I agree with you. The thing is that the country has been collapsing even before the 1980s oil bust and that nobody believes anything anyone sez anymore. Worse, anyone who has to listen to Bolivarian babble to keep making their few Bs. to live on knows that the country is run by El Comandante and his junta who, promote a Venezuela that is like Cuba that Venezuelans time after time have said they don’t want. Junta vs one Democrat in October. To them, the first is a known factor, the other could make things better or could just be another Caldera II! Regardless, it is going to take all the courage they have just to vote their choice in October.

  17. island canuck Says:

    Carlos Raúl Hernández: Tenemos información muy confiable de que algunas encuestadoras se han vendido al gobierno

    http://www.noticierodigital.com/2012/05/carlos-raul-hernandez-tenemos-informacion-muy-confiable-de-que-algunas-encuestadoras-se-han-vendido-al-gobierno/

    “ND.- El dirigente político Carlos Raúl Hernández rechazó este domingo el uso “inescrupuloso” que ha hecho el gobierno de las encuestas de opinión, y aseguró que posee información “muy confiable” de que algunas encuestadoras “que no son de maletín se han vendido o las ha comprado el gobierno”

  18. Ken Says:

    My theory on the 30% undecided is as follows. They are decided, but considering the distrust, fear, insecurity, and intimidation that is occurring; they are not going to share over the telephone with a stranger, (who may be a Cuban or government spy ) for whom they intend to vote. I believe that quite possibly they will come out of the woodwork and Capriles may win by a landslide in October. They won’t necessarily be voting for Capriles, but they will be voting against Chavismo.

    • Gold Says:

      Ken, that is exactly what is going to happen. In their desperation after the primaries, the castrochavistas went too far with their poll strategy and now polls are losing the little credibility they had (even Petkoff is complaining). The result is that people will tend to trust their gut feeling much more and will ask themselves: do I want to perpetuate this disaster? Ni de vaina.

      Mark my words: Capriles will win by an unstoppable landslide, a combination of voto esperanza y voto castigo.

  19. VJ Says:

    To Kepler and Tom…..
    I don´t agree with Kepler´s comments about that most people beyond Caracas-Valencia are disconnected, misinformed or that venezuelan don´t read newspapers.
    Here are some statistics (Dec.2011) about paid tv, internet penetration and BB users and mobile phones and venezuelan papers.

    Paid tv subscribers : 2.882.520 homes plus 15% of illegal subscribers.
    Internet penetration: 40.27% 11.774.264 users
    Blackberry users: 4.248.620
    Mobile phones users: 28.782.000
    Number of venezuelan newspapers: 100+

    http://www.entornointeligente.com/articulo/1263228/VENEZUELA-Inside-Telecom-minus;-Victor-Suarez–385-de-la-facturacion-de-Movistar-procede-del-servicio-de-datos-moviles-banda-ancha

    http://www.conatel.gob.ve/#http://www.conatel.gob.ve/index.php/principal/indicadoresanuales

    http://venciclopedia.com/index.php?title=Lista_de_peri%C3%B3dicos_de_Venezuela

    • Kepler Says:

      VJ (and Miguel, actually)

      Do you know what the total population of Venezuela is?
      29 million people. Do the maths and compare those numbers with every major or middle-size Latin American country.
      Internet penetration: where are you living? Try to access Youtube (and Venezuelans DO NOT like reading) from Tocuyito, from 1000 metres away of Los Guayos city centre, from
      1 kilometre from Guacara’s city centre (that’s where the average Venezuelan citizen lives, not in Valencia’s North). You will have to wait sometimes literally hours. Rural areas? My foot. Los Guayos is the most densely populated municipio in Carabobo.

      Newspapers 100 000? Do you think that’s good?

      On BlackBerry: almost everyone I know who is from class B or C up to C- has a BlackBerry. So? Does that mean most people of class C- have a BlackBerry?
      The vast majority of those closest to me in Venezuela read El Universal and or El Nacional. Does that mean Venezuela reads El Universal and El Nacional?

      Don’t you get it? Don’t you really get how the distribution of those BlackBerrys go?
      And as for the 40% of those who have Internet access: you obviously haven’t talked to Yulismar Pacheco in the average city of El Tocuyo (a city and average), in Maturín, in Guacara.
      Do you think she has enough money with her mobile and fast access to be surfing there on the El Universal news?

      I have a little blog in Spanish. I seldom update it, it has about 150 unique visitors a day. Still, it gives you an idea. Do you know where 90% of the Venezuelan visitors come from? Greater Caracas, Valencia and Maracaibo. Then you have a few other cities.

      • VJ Says:

        Kepler…..
        I live in Caracas but often travel by road through the “troncal 9″ to the eastern part of Venezuela, to visit heavely populated areas like Barcelona-PLC-Cumana, eastern Margarita and use mobile phone, internet, etc. Always call my attention to see some “ranchos” with the Directv dish on the roof, not meaning they watch Globovision.
        About Internet penetration: Venezuela ranks fifth (5) with 40.27% in South America, behind Argentina (67%), Chile (59%), Colombia (56%), Uruguay (56%). A fifth place is not good but Brazil and Peru trail behind.
        You are confusing “Response time” with “Downloading speed”. Let me explain: when you want to access the Devil’s Excrement or the El Universal web page, to read the posts or news what you need is a fast response time.
        But if you try to access Youtube to download or upload a video, the important factor is the downloading speed and the file size, here I agree with you that the quality is bad: the service to download data in Venezuela ranks 148 in the world.
        I don´t know how the Blackberries are distributed among the population. But everybody knows that in Venezuela the BB has become a symbol of social status, and I suspect that a good portion (25%?) of the 4.250.000 BB users are consumers of lower classes . In Caracas, because of the heavy car traffic I move around using “busetas” and there you can see many “cachifas” and construction workers proudly displaying their BBs.
        About the 100+ newspapers, I think it is to good to have another options different to the El Nacional or El Universal.
        And finally, please send me the link of your Blog. I would like to visit it.

        • Kepler Says:

          VJ,

          I know those areas have all those dishes and phones and so on. Now: what I am saying is people are coming too fast to a conclusion because of superficial observations.

          Look at this map of 2010 elections:

          http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9e/Municipios_Venezuela_Densidad_2010.svg

          Do you notice something? You were driving mostly in already “blue” territory.

          Also notice something else: some of the regions I mentioned of Carabobo where there are already problems with Internet speed are in the blue areas. The big municipio in blue is Valencia, but half of it has crappy connections (and the other “good connections” for Venezuelan standards, I guess like the one you have in Caracas). Guacara has a slightly oppo majority since 2010 and yet most of it (in blue) has awful internet connection beyond the 1 radius around some Cantv centres.

          I am NOT confusing response with downloading time. In fact, that is why I brought in the topic. The people you want to convince now and some others do not read, they just don’t read. They need the hic et nunc, the here and now, radio and TV. So that’s why youtube or Internet radio or the like do count, not so much the amount of time they will read Spanish blogs (forget about English ones)…blogs they firstly have to find after some previous desire to do so.

          “I don´t know how the Blackberries are distributed among the population. But everybody knows that in Venezuela the BB has become a symbol of social status, and I suspect that a good portion (25%?) of the 4.250.000 BB users are consumers of lower classes ”

          One of my best friends in Venezuela is a cleaning lady. She doesn’t have a fancy BlackBerry but she may as well have, I am sure some of her friends do. Her mobile is still much better than the one I carry here in Europe. She lives in the most urban part of Venezuela.
          When you start inquiring about her very extended family, a different picture starts to emerge. And yes, almost all of them, in the secondary cities
          (i.e. more than 100 000 people, less than a million) and in villages have mobiles now. The way they use them is different, though, the time they do spend trying to surf or the like – is radically different.

          People are indeed getting angrier and angrier, even in such places – I take again Carabobo but I could as well take Bolivar or Lara – as Morón, where Chávez got some of the best results in 2006.

          And yet: that shouldn’t make us blind. We still have a lot to do.
          And remember: Chavismo will cheat. The issue is how much they would have to cheat to win and if they can pull up with it.

          Two of the concerns I have:
          1) we need more testigos in the secondary cities, not 10 testigos por mesa in Caracas and Valencia
          2) we need people to use their cars to transport a lot of those people in October. Chavismo will use every vehicle it has at its disposal.
          You should have seen how they distributed thousands upon thousands of PDVSA white vans from Carabobo to Aragua, Cojedes, Yaracuy, part of Falcón (where they also had another base).

          Desarrollo Sostenible para Venezuela.

  20. firepigette Says:

    It should be obvious that people in remote areas have less easy access to information anywhere.Even here in the US , in certain remote mountainous regions, broad- ban internet connections are not obtainable.People have to use dial up connections.

    However, it is my opinion that it is an erroneous assumption to assume that with more information people will agree with the opposition viewpoint.Culture trumps politics any day of the week.

    That’s not to say it is a waste of time to take the message into more remote areas, however I would not count on their votes to a great extent.

    • Kepler Says:

      Firepigette, I am not talking about “remote areas”. I am talking about areas that are less than 5 kilometres from the Panamericana.
      I am talking about the very dense areas that are located around the Valencia International Airport, between Valencia and the Valencia Lake.
      I am talking about cities like Maturín, which has over 800 000 inhabitants.

      I am talking about areas where MOST people live.
      I repeat it: it seems people here are not clear about population distribution.
      Yes, Venezuela is by far a very urban country. But no, “urban” is not mostly Caracas-Valencia-Maracaibo. The average urban centre is about the places I mentioned before. I don’t talk about Parapara or even El Tigrito.
      And in those places where you do have Internet access there, the quality is pretty bad and most people do not have the means to keep a good connection for a TV or radio stream.


  21. [...] Hier vind je nog een interessant blog over de verkiezingen in Venezuela, in het Engels) Share this:TwitterFacebookVind ik leuk:LikeWees [...]

  22. Rojorojito Says:

    Hey gweh, when are the 4-5 weeks up? You fool.

  23. Isa Says:

    As corpses go, not bad, but what do you expect after a 22 day vacation?

  24. Ira Says:

    Hey, Miguel:

    Do you have a story coming up on the VZ-Cuba cable, after Thursday’s announcement by VZ technology minister, Jorge Arreaza, that the cable “is absolutely operational [but] it will depend on Cuba’s government how it uses it … but we know that the undersea cable is in full operation.”

    • moctavio Says:

      it’s a he said she said story and I have no clue who is telling the truth.

      • Ira Says:

        In the rest of the liberal cyberworld (and I’m a liberal which makes these accusations particularly hurt), they’re all blaming it on the company, saying they stole the money via corruption, etc. (Too lazy now to look for the name of the company nor details.)

        However, this company refused to comment, but based on past “agreements” that Chavez has entered into, my guess is that they haven’t been fully been paid yet, and they have to keep their mouths shut if they ever expect to be.

        On a similar note, I would love to hear your interpretations on the oil exploration flop in Cuba.

  25. anonimo Says:

    i-m still trying to figure out the whole zulianos thing in this post… is the author of this blog implying that we, zulianos, are going to abstain from voting against chavez because pablo lost to capriles and its some sort of pay back… WTF.!!!

    Sr. (whoever wrote this) you should write about what you know, about what you DONT know, please research, investigate.. a trip to Zulia should help.

    • moctavio Says:

      That is the interpretation that Datanalisis made publicly about the increase in the undecided right after the February primary. They said that the biggest spike in undecided came from Zulia and that it was significant. At the time they thought this would drop and it was a knee jerk reaction to Pablo Perez’ defeat, but it did not correct yet. Hard core Perez’ supporters may not have been ready at the time or even now to vote for Capriles, after him being the other candidate in the primary. Perfectly normal political reaction.

      • anonimo Says:

        well… first time i hear this, and if that is actually the case then, its all capriles and his people fault.
        Pablo perez has been campaigning for capriles since the day after the primaries, capriles is unt candidate and as such its been promoting all around the states. the problem here is that, that is all there is, capriles comes to the state alone, and the next day he goes, that’s all the interaction between pablo, capriles, and zulia… nobody else comes with him, none of the people that supported capriles in the primary ever comes with him, there are no zulianos in his team back in caracas (los guanipas no cuentan, a esos aqui nadie los quiere), so i think some people may see it as pablo having to support capriles because he said he would do, and capriles using that support but not giving any back to UNT. and as it was proved once again in the primaries, zulian opposition is firmly behind UNT and Pablo Perez,
        seeing all the people from MUD here campaigning together would help (except leopoldo, a ese no lo queremos por aqui ni en pintura, lo unico q haria seria remover malos recuerdos de las primarias), and everyone is supporting each other… not the presidential trip from a dignitary from another republic visiting the state…like it looks like when capriles comes here…

        the slogan people from capriles camp used on the primary dont help either, and its still fresh on our minds… that one that said> un zuliano no puede ser presidente de venezuela…


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