The Devil, The Future, The Past and The Present

October 11, 2012

I started this blog ten years and two months ago. It was a curiosity, but it just seemed to grow and grow and soon it became a night job (I tend to write and post at night). In the first few years, I would post over seven times a week. There was so much to write about. Lately I have slowed down. During the last year, I have posted slightly more than four posts a week. Essentially, it takes a lot of energy and focus to keep the pace up. Moreover, lately if I got the feeling that a post was a repeat topic even if it was “news”, I would skip it.

Well, while I will write about the recent election and the upcoming election, I think I will slow it down a little bit for a while. I just can’t see keeping up the pace for another six years. I know I will not stop, I like writing and the exchange of ideas. But I have lately abandoned my orchids blog (No post since May!) to say nothing of my truly abandoned technical analysis blog. ( A post in May?) I would truly like to revive the first one and see if I can post regularly on the second one. Forget the Devil in Spanish, nobody reads it, the market for Spanish blogs does not seem to work, ask CC or me.

I know the regional elections will make me post and Chavez’ Government dealing with the distortions in the economy next year should be interesting to talk about. But I really plan to slow down. There will be no translation of posts, no posts during vacations and no reproduction of other posts. No boring financial posts where people don’t comment.

So, I will start with this post, in which I will discuss many things, rather than a single topic, just to keep my new election resolution.

Back to the Results

I will go back to analyze Sunday’s results at some point. For now, I will like to emphasize the following graph which I published a couple of weeks ago:

In this graph, I modeled the 2010 Parliamentary elections and asked: If I shift abstention in the more Chavista centers, by how much do I need to change it to make the votes a tie in 2010 when abstention was 32%. I was scared by the answer. It was just 4%. To me this meant that if abstention was below 25%, we were doomed. However, all of the reputable pollsters were saying abstention would be around 27 to 28%. Thus, I was not worried, particularly since abstention in Chavista centers was more than 35% on average in the Parliamentary election. Thus, 25% seemed sooo far away.

But it wasn’t. Chavista money and machinery got the voters to go and vote and abstention was below 20%. Even in the pro-opposition centers, the increase in opposition votes was compensated by Chavista votes. One to one.  Thus, we had no gain from 2010, but they did, they had an increase of almost 16% in turnout. And we were killed, wiped out. Yes, we improved by over 2 million votes, that is the positive.  They only got 600-plus thousand more votes, but they killed us. Please understand the impact of abstention on the recent vote. To me, it is the whole story.

Capriles running for Governor

I don’t like the idea. The “people” elected Ocariz as the candidate in a primary. Ocariz should be it, the people have spoken.I know there is a problem in Sucre, but Sucre is the problem, not Miranda. Capriles should be the leader of the opposition. He should continue going around the country, this time campaigning for all the candidates for Governor, working for unity. He should be above the fray, ready to run for President if the need arose in the next few years.

To begin with, there is the risk that he could lose. Yeah! Laugh at me! Jaua beating Capriles!… Chavez did. And a demoralized or not fully unified opposition may not go out and vote on December 16th., but Chavismo may use the same PSUV lists and Mision Vivienda lists it used last Sunday to screw us.

Think about it!

Better have the man that represented us holding that coalition together. saying he is a democrat and Ocariz was elected in a democratic primary. It was not a conditional selection, it was not “You are voting for Carlos Ocariz, unless Chávez beats Capriles in October” that people voted for. That is democracy. To me, the February primary was a turning point in Venezuela’s politics. on’t go back on it.We can’t be short-sighted and pragmatic. We have to respect the result and the law (Article 67 of the Venezuelan Constitution)

Sure, some opposition parties and people did not help Capriles. He should go out and help them, that is what leadership is about. All out! Capriles going around Venezuela as if he was still the candidate.

I know you all disagree with me, but there it is!

Maduro as the Vice-President

Well, the successor has finally been chosen. Why it took so long is hard to figure out. But Maduro was the best choice in terms of keeping the people happy. There is no other interpretation in my mind: Chávez will start promoting Maduro as his successor from now on. I will only change my mind if the consanguinity limitation is changed in the Constitution.

Nicolas Maduro is liked by all but the military side of the Chavista Government and he talks to them. He has a good image and polls well. Have Chávez start saying he is great and his successor and Chavismo will have a reasonable candidate to go with the formidable machinery and deep pockets. Moreover, Maduro even talks to the opposition, he is less radical than Jaua and a moderate. His only drawback is that the only position he has ever run for is Metro union President. But he makes sense. I never bought the argument Capriles beat Diosdado in Miranda and that shows how good he is No, Diosdado was weak. The proof was that Capriles barely beat Diosdado in Miranda. Think about it!

So, stay focused, don’t get mad, get even and vote and organize in December. It is the only way.

95 Responses to “The Devil, The Future, The Past and The Present”

  1. Kika Says:

    Actually, I do agree with you 100%. He should have risen above it all and become part of a much greater thing.

  2. maocha.b@gmail.com Says:

    Al menos yo, coincido contigo. Yo también pienso que la primarias fueron un paso adelante y que es muy arriesgado que Capriles vaya por la gob de Miranda. La opo está decepcionadísima y ellos muy organizados.
    Espero por las orquídeas :)
    Un beso

    Enviado desde BlackBerry® de COMCEL S.A.

  3. Rafael Says:

    Diablo, yo pienso igual que usted, Oscari fue electo en unas primarias, y debía mantenerse esa decisión a la Gobernación, y Capriles tomar parte acompañando a todos los candidatos para: Alcladias y Gobernaciones, en mi opinión esto es una irrespeto, a la voluntad popular, error que pagaremos con creces, al igual a no ir con la tarjeta única.

  4. PM Says:

    Miguel. I had no idea you had a chart blog! that’s awesome

    In other matters 1) I’m not trying to sound pedantic but Capriles beat Diosdado by 7 points. That’s not barely winning in my opinion. In any case the result of the parliamentary elections in Miranda shows Capriles has done a decent job. Although we got the same number of representatives we defeated chavismo by 200k votes!

    2) When I saw the results I immediately thought of your post. That extra 10% who voted in the election did make a huge difference (roughly the 1.5M votes difference).

    3) As for Capriles. I understand people’s problem with it. But at the same time doing nonstop pre-presidential campaign hardly works in Venezuela. Look where that got Leopoldo! Four years ago he was way more Presidential than Capriles. Not being able to run for office, el pana se quemo. I acknowledge he’s done a great job with a party he started almost from scratch. But the argument remains: How is Capriles going to afford 4 years of traveling around the country? I think it’s smart that he spends more time in the public sphere while ensuring the opposition has a strong candidate for Sucre (William Ojeda with PSUV supports has a very strong chance to win)

    • moctavio Says:

      My $FB post is famous, I told people to stay away until it hits $40 again :-)

      Capriles won by 7% agasnt Diosdado in a State where the oppo wins by 20% in regional elections. Thus my comment.

      We need democracy. We need people voting for candidates in primaries. I have said for 30 years the first party to do primaries all along the food chain would be in power forever. People need to have political power. I still think Chavez is sick. Capriles would be our candidate should he step down.

      Non techincal, buy $FIO

    • syd Says:

      Syd agrees with this: “How is Capriles going to afford 4 years of traveling around the country?”

      So does Elmo.


    • Capriles in Miranda gives him national exposure even as far away as Amazonas. Every single citizen has to know him, his position on politics; not allowing ” La Comuna de Los Teques” and other of equal inconstitucional sign in Miranda, will give him the national exposure that will be needed.

  5. Javier Says:

    Miguel I agree with you on two fronts: Capriles just came from rallying the country where governor cadidates endorsed him, so now with Capriles like the head of opposition, it was his turn to promote these candidates. Also what’s the difference between Chavez naming his candidates without doing primaries and what the MUD has done putting Capriles on the Miranda ballot ?
    I look at Capriles like the bubblegum that united the opposition, now I see it breaking up

  6. BB Cuiba Says:

    _____________________________________________________

    Por qué perdimos…

    Muchos de mis amigos me preguntan ¿por qué perdimos? Para entender mejor frente a qué nos enfrentamos el pasado domingo, paso a narrar una historia (REAL) de lo acontecido durante la campaña electoral en ELORZA (sí, así se escribe), Apure, a 4 horas por tierra desde San Fernando de Apure. Todo durante las dos semanas previas al 07 de Octubre de 2012. (El mismito pueblo de la canción: Un 19 de marzo, un 19 de marzo para un baile me invitaron….).

    Las razones que normalmente discutimos frente a una derrota como ésta, pertenecen al terreno de la imaginación y suposiciones infundadas y no a la realidad de los hechos. Mi intención es ayudar a comprender el verdadero poder del Estado (Chavismo) frente a la voluntad de millones de venezolanos, en contraste con el inmenso esfuerzo de Henrique Capriles y todo el equipo de la mesa de Unidad Democrática, a quienes aprovecho para expresar mi admiración y compromiso.

    Semanas antes de la elección, yo estaba muy preocupado por no haber hecho nada realmente efectivo para ayudar a capitalizar el triunfo de la Unidad, en términos de votos, para ese día: 07 de octubre. Así fue como pensé en pedir colaboración a un joven que trabaja para mi, que llamaré R (algunos de ustedes lo conocen). Con R he compartido los últimos 4 años de una manera muy cercana y es un Apureño a carta cabal, de ese pueblo tan pintoresco y popular llamado Elorza.

    Siendo él un ferviente activista del progreso y la unidad, decidí iniciar una pequeña contribución a nuestra campaña en un lugar al que jamás creí tendría acceso, Elorza. Sabiendo que había un ánimo positivo en el ambiente, imaginé que podríamos entusiasmar a la gente del pueblo. Entonces R se fue a Elorza con una idea clara: conseguir al menos 50 votantes que creyeran en el progreso y que se animaran a votar por Henrique Capriles.

    En pocos días conseguimos alinear a 3 activistas quienes se comprometieron en conseguir al menos 18 electores cada uno. Una semana antes del 07 Octubre ya contaba cada uno con su lista de votantes. El ambiente era muy feliz, todos se sumaron a esta pequeña idea rápidamente. Organizamos comida, transporte, agua, refrigerios y mucho trabajo por teléfono hasta conseguir entre 65 y 70 votos para nuestra causa, en ese apartado rincón de Venezuela.

    Mucha felicidad y noticias positivas fluyeron todo el día: “vamos muy bien”, “todo bien encaminado”, “¡imagínese! si aquí vamos bien, como será el resto de Venezuela”. Se entiende que estas poblaciones son bastiones del oficialismo por encontrarse lejanas y ser dependientes del Estado.

    En todo este proceso de campaña en Elorza, logramos comprobar muchos hechos proselitistas concretos del sector oficial que paso a narrar:

    Dos semanas antes de las elecciones el dinero fluyó de una manera desproporcionada en esa población, dejando atónitos a todos pobladores. El 80% de la población del Elorza está inscrita en una misión. Veamos algunos casos reveladores:

    – El abuelo de R recibió en su cuenta la cantidad de Bs. 5.400 correspondiente a 5 meses de su pensión, una semana antes de las elecciones. Este señor de 82 años, desde el año 2004, intentó conseguir el justo beneficio de pensión de vejez, que de pronto y sin explicación apareció depositado en su cuenta en nombre de la nueva misión “en Amor Mayor”. Esta misión prometió cancelar regularmente a partir de la semana siguiente a las elecciones.
    – La tía de R, se inscribió en la misión “Hijos de Venezuela”, con sus tres niños a quienes corresponde una ayuda de 300 Bs. por mes por cada niño. Este dinero apareció una semana antes de las elecciones. Sorprende que recibió una ayuda de Bs. 1.000 el día 30 de septiembre de un sólo golpe. Un poquito más que lo estipulado. Llevaba meses esperando este beneficio.
    – Todas las pensiones de vejez de los conocidos fueron depositadas, incluyendo los aguinaldos. Es decir, ¡3 meses de aguinaldo en Octubre! Me pregunto cómo será el ambiente en diciembre cuando ese dinero ya no esté.
    – A otra prima de R, que trabaja para la Gobernación del Estado Apure, le fueron pagados, sin aviso Bs. 1.200 de pasivos laborales retroactivos y otros Bs. 900 por otros retroactivos. Todos ellos adeudados desde hacía bastante tiempo.
    – La Misión vivienda entregó a todos empleados las quincenas debidas justo tres días antes de las elecciones, quedando sus empleados relativamente contentos.
    – Dos semanas antes del evento electoral, todas las inscritas recibieron la misión “Madres del Barrio”, Bs. 600 mensuales para cada inscrita.
    – La alcaldía prometió pager la semana siguiente al 10 de octubre, 3 meses de aguinaldo a todos sus funcionarios.

    – A toda carrera se entregaron algunas casas en el pueblo, con el clarísimo mensaje: “Aquí tiene su casa que le entrega el comandante”.
    – La Gobernación (oficialista) prometió el pago aguinaldos la semana siguiente a las elecciones. Comprobamos que un trabajador contratado a sueldo mínimo, recibiría Bs.12.000 por ese concepto. Aún es una promesa no cumplida.

    En Elorza, hace ya algún tiempo, fueron expropiadas casi todas las tierras que pertenecían a ganaderos y agricultores de antaño, alguos de ellos, abandonaron el pueblo. Otros se fueron por la feroz presencia de la guerrilla Colombiana, a quienes las autoridades temen y les dan paso libre.

    Es claro que en Elorza existe un sólo empleador, el Estado, gobierno Regional o Nacional. Hay dos agencias bancarias del Estado: una Banfoandes y la otra Bicentenario. Conclusión: quien tiene empleo, trabaja para el Estado. Aquellos que no tienen empleo, tienen casi un sólo medio de supervivencia: LAS MISIONES. No sólo los ganaderos, sino también los empleadores privados fueron expropiados o ahuyentados del pueblo.

    He escuchado muchos comentarios como: “la gente no piensa”, “esto es lo que nos merecemos”, “la ignorancia del venezolano…”, etc. No quiero pasar a analizar cada una de estas expresiones con las que en principio, no estoy de acuerdo. Lo que deseo es aclarar las circunstancias a las que se ve sometida nuestra población, muy especialmente la rural.

    En una población como Elorza, recibir estas cantidades de dinero, de un sólo golpe, es como ganarse la lotería. Entonces, la gente reflexiona: si no hay empleo, si no hay inversión, si no hay ganaderos ¿cómo puedo votar en contra de quien es mi único sustento? Pensar que la gente es tonta, es sencillamente simplista e inapropiado. La amenaza permanente de quitarte tu único sustento hace un inmenso trabajo en contra de la libertad. Hay un clarísimo temor de enfrentarse, sin recursos y sin ayuda, a la aventura de producir por cuenta propia. Este clientelismo fomenta la vagabundería de algunos que sencillamente deciden apegarse a estas regalías en lugar de trabajar.

    Tras nuestra actividad en Elorza, obtuvimos grandes avances en esta minúscula muestra de la realidad nacional. Veamos los resultados de una mesa de votaciones:

    Estado Apure. Municipio Rómulo Gallegos, PQ. Elorza. Escuela Municipal Número 9.

    2012: Capriles 640 – 38,46% Chávez 1009 – 60,63%.
    2006: Rosales 653 – 30,17% Chávez 1511 – 69.82%.

    Inclusive en este rincón apartado del país, la unidad logró un avance de 8.29%. El sector oficial disminuyó 9,19%. Casi todo el avance se orientó hacia la propuesta de la unidad. Es casi imposible avanzar en medio de semejante desequilibrio.

    Conclusiones finales del evento electoral del 07 de Octubre:
    Es cierto que Hugo Chávez ganó las elecciones.
    Es cierto que no hubo fraude electoral. Sin embargo, hubo un bestial abuso de poder en la campaña.
    Llamar ventajismo electoral a semejante abuso de poder es, al menos, insuficiente e irresponsable. Se trata de un hecho ilegal, inconstitucional e inmoral.

    A este tipo de triunfo electoral es ridículo calificarlo como “voluntad popular”. Eso no es voluntad, es sumisión, por lo menos en una proporción significativa del electorado Oficialista.

    La inmensa cantidad de votos obtenidos por La Unidad, representa un gigantesco capital electoral cierto, presente y comprometido. No puede el Gobierno contar con las mismas calificaciones. Una gran proporción del voto oficialista es: dependiente, abusivo e inseguro. De ninguna manera se puede considerar a esta votación como apoyo de la Ideología Socialista, nada más lejos de la verdad. En realidad, nunca un voto estuvo tan atado a un beneficio económico directo como ahora. Clientelismo político del duro.

    Pregunto:
    ¿A quien favorece la inseguridad?.
    ¿A quien favorece la falta de inversión privada?.
    ¿A quien favorece que no haya empleo?.
    ¿A quien favorece que no haya progreso?

    Todo está muy claro.

    Estas afirmaciones pudiesen colaborar en la definición de un marco estratégico de acción para el futuro inmediato.

    Hay un camino, no nos rendimos.

    Luis C. Uzcátegui
    Twitter: @luiscuzcategui

    Si te parece que esta historia puede ayudar a alguien, entonces pásala…

    • firepigette Says:

      Gracias. Gracias, Gracias!!

    • Carolina Says:

      Very enlightening. I will pass it around.
      Thank you.

    • Luisa Teresa Revenga Says:

      Me encanto tu comentario. Igual me siento yo. Ademas de lo q dices agrego: los centros deben estar mas protegidos no es suficiente un testigo por mesa, debe haber una sociedad ayudando contra el miedo, informando: eso lo hicieron los partidos y ONG en el pasado. Esta vez no.
      Igualmente pienso q algunos partidos politicos deben movilizarse y esto nos guste o no tambien nos toca. Los partidos estan conformados por nosotros. Por ultimo: No es un cambio de gobierno lo q se busca es un cambio de valores. Por ejemplo: no se regala el dinero se ayuda se educa para q las personas puedan ganrselo. Estamos listos para ello?
      Quizas CAPRILES es muy grande
      El fenomeno que estoy viendo es similar al de Argentina..
      Gracias por tu comentario

  7. ErneX Says:

    I agree with you Miguel. Some people are looking forward to some kind of bizarre vengeance from Capriles on december, I believe it’s a mistake and yes he risks getting wasted by Jaua. That’d be losing twice in 3 months.

  8. Víctor Says:

    Miguel your model worked because you had the correct “influence diagram”. The only uncertainty (for us) was abstention levels for misiones and government workers, or how many voters would the government was going to been able to move under threat. The only ones that knew it were government officials. It was their game, their rules and they controlled it all. We had no choice but play, and we will haven to continue doing it.

    There is a very significant implication or learning front your analysis (model), polls are almost worthless. The “value of information” of traditional polls was almost zero. This process was more deterministic than stochastic, or if you wish, the key uncertainty to assess ex-ante was “how many scared people will the government been able to move (force)”.

    Chapeau!

    • moctavio Says:

      To me there were three parameters that a pollst needed to measure: abstention, preferences and low nunber of ubdecided. Many got the preferences right, but the other two wrong, to me that was simple random luck. I will show how abstention changed from hard core oppo to hard cores Chavismo sometime soon, pretty amazing how we were neutralized.

  9. Alex Says:

    My wife is friends with some of Capriles cousins so she was pissed off at me when I expressed in facebook that I did not agree with Capriles running for Miranda.

    • ErneX Says:

      A cousin deleted me for announcing Chávez won with over 1 million votes before the CNE 1st bulletin. People in Venezuela are going insane.

  10. moctavio Says:

    I was given Hell in Twitter for saying it.

  11. Víctor Says:

    By the way, exit polls confirmed that Consultores21 and Varianzas did a professional job, whereas Datanalisis probably knew what you modeled, and played with the numbers. Datanalisis’ clients could haven saved a lot of money just reading your blog instead of listening to LVL’ BS.


  12. Miguel

    I dunno… There is a market for Spanish blogs. But you need to work at it. When I started I was getting 10% the hits than in English posts. But now I often reach 50%. What I noticed is that translations get much less hits whereas original material rate much better. It may be a reflection of the extent of true bilingual readership which if the case is at least 25%.

    At any rate it has been a much greater success than facebook which I am considering to close for the second time as I really cannot deal with their format.

    • syd Says:

      You could try the format used by panfleto negro, Miguel, where guest posts are encouraged, you being the gate-keeper and editor.

      • moctavio Says:

        Editing and the back and forth will probably be more work than my current blog

        • syd Says:

          ok, then only accept those writers whose writing skills are top-notch, while also presenting unique ideas.

          Then, how about teaming up with Daniel on the venture? Just a thought …

          Btw, I really enjoy visiting here and reading your calm, rational views – especially your needed post-mortem, interspaced with appropriate photographs.

  13. Orlando Chiossone Says:

    Random question….
    Is there a way I can check if my vote was casted???? Please advice.

  14. Fernando Says:

    Isn’t it funny that Hugo Chavez is leading since 1999 a crusade against “las cupulas podridas adecocopeyanas” and “los oligarcas” (to read with chavez voice) with the blessing and contribution of the majorety of venezuelans and what does the oppo keep doing for 14 years now? promoting some people who politicaly grew up under the shelter of AD and Copey, come from the best families of the country (with long tradition in politics and old money) and had the privileg to visite the finest universities of Caracas, Europe and the States.

  15. TV Says:

    Well, the ball in now completely in opposition court. If they remain unified and present a credible alternative to Chavizmo, they have a very good chance of destroying it yet. Chavizmo is now forced to spend the money it can’t afford for another two months, and will face the legislative elections with a major recession at it’s hands. It’s hard to see how it could win a free election, even if it is unfair.

    If the opposition fractures, Venezuela will die a slow death.

    Don’t give up the fight Miguel. There are two more battles that need to be fought before anyone can give up on Venezuela.

  16. Fernando Says:

    chavez is not the best, is the worste. he is a destructor, a chief of hordes, the vengance of the people, the heir of Boves and Morales.

  17. Alek Boyd Says:

    Miguel, I applaud your stance on Capriles’ disrespecting the will of “the people”.

    I am on the record saying that I never really liked the guy, and his decision to run for governor again -although understandable otherwise he will become utterly irrelevant- continues to be that of a caudillo. If in doubt, what about his “aqui el que perdio fui yo…”?

    Pathetic. Unreal. But then again, is it? The opposition may change its leader every 6 years, but until it doesn’t change its idiosyncrasy it will never be different than chavismo.

  18. Alexander Says:

    Plain, Chavez got 14 million votes, 8 million for, and 6 1/2 against, as simple as that. What Capriles received were people voting against Chavez, nor for Capriles, the leader. Capriles knows and feels that, he lost, so he is going back to a preferred bureaucratic position, he likes that, rather than go around the country to “certify” any leadership. Leopoldo must take over.

    • Fernando Says:

      Hello Alexander, I prefer by far Capriles then Leopoldo. Capriles is more down-to-earth then Harvard-grad and Simon Bolivar descendant Perez. Neighter of both is the perfect candidat but the oppo can’t be changing faces all couple of years.

  19. Kepler Says:

    About blogs in Spanish: there is a market.

    Don’t underestimate translations. If you do a substandard translation, no one will read it.
    One either writes originally in one language or translates the text, reads it, re-reads it and corrects. One should not use English syntax or English words in a Spanish text.

    That takes time. I understand you don’t have the time

    • moctavio Says:

      Never got readership or comments to be even 10% of this blog and there was a lot of effort involved

    • moctavio Says:

      I tried quite a bit at the beginning, even had some readers help with the translations so that they would be good, never got more than 1/30th. of the visitors that I get here. And more recently I translated posts at the request of readers and they had zero impact. Thus, to me it never showed any impact and I gave up the Spanish Devil. I do have enough to do anyway, hopefully if I post less people will still keep visiting. .

  20. PW Ven Says:

    Just don’t stop…

    Thanks…

  21. Bruni Says:

    Miguel, there is a fundamental mistake that I saw everybody making when predicting the outcome of the election or understanding the numbers from the pollsters; assuming that Presidential elections are like all the others: like the regional or the parlamentary or even the referendums.

    So, I saw comparisons on pollsters looking at how well they did on the different election instances when the only right comparison would have been looking at how well they did in the Presidental elections.

    In Venezuela the real elections are Presidential elections and chavistas get out to defend Chávez. They do not care that much on regional or parlamentary elections.

    As for Capriles and Ocariz and the results of the Primaries.

    Allow me to disagree with you. For several reasons:

    First, you state that Ocariz was the candidate resulting from the primary vote, you are right, but it was a vote where Capriles was not a candidate for governor.
    There was never a context Ocariz-Capriles and de facto, voters voted in a conditional way: we want Ocariz because we cannot have Capriles.

    Second, it does not make any sense having Capriles running around without holding office, he will lose visibility.

    He is taking a chance, I agree, but it is a good chance. True, he lost Miranda in the election but it is not the same beating Chávez in Miranda than beating Jaua. If he wins, and wins big, he has a chance to consolidating his standing as the effective chief of a unified opposition.

    He is taking the gamble. He will be seen again all over the region until december. That will give him momentum and visibility.

    • moctavio Says:

      I think is wrong, short sighted and not democratic. He should be going around campaigning for everyone. Is he going to quit Miranda next year if Chavez quits? Another slap in the face of Miranda voters who want a Governor.

      • TV Says:

        I partially agree with you, it may well be short-sighted and undemocratic to an extent. On the other hand, if opposition does fracture, he’d be both out of spotlight and out of job. Ideally he’d become a leader of unified opposition, but that may not be a realistic proposal.

        Do you happen to know if MUD planned for such scenario?

        • syd Says:

          That was my first thought. That Capriles’ decision was not taken without MUD consultation, and without considering the MUDs finances for the next 6 years. How would they finance Henrique in the wings?

          • moctavio Says:

            He will figure it out. Why not him for Mayor of Sucre if money is all that matters? There is no MUD candidate for that, the elected one quit the party, the one that came in second changed sides. For years I have been hearing that parties could not do primaries because it was too expensive. We had them and they were successful. Maybe those elected Governors can pledge to support Capriles if he helps them out in the campaign.

      • Roberto N Says:

        You could ask what sense the primaries then.

        One could argue that they could not foresee Ojeda or Caldera, but this shows a lack of depth.

        I regret that Capriles is not going to be able to campaign for the governors, we could use all the help we can get

  22. moctavio Says:

    And there was no implicit we want Ocariz because we cant have Capriles, Ocariz has been an extremely succesful Mayor, more than Capriles ever was in Baruta and in a more low scale municipality. This is Cogollerico, the curse of Venezuelan politics. Countries succeed because the people decide, not the powers that be. For once, we elected and once again the people’s decision was short circuited.


  23. I am sorry to read Miguel saying that he is slowing down his blog….but I do not believe a word of it. Miguel is a winner. Miguel has been all is life a winner. Miguel is not going to quit now (or never for that matter). But Why?
    Well, because that is precisely what Chavez and his cronies want us to do: “Tirar el arpa”. While it is true that the times ahead are going to be very but very difficult to all of us in Venezuela, we have to keep going; redouble the pace. No matter how difficult is going to turn for the younger with no future to progress in their country in sight or how tough it turn for us, the older, we have to keep going. I, personally, intend to keep up writing and preaching while there is a breath of air around. To finish the point,
    The issue that abstention favored us or Chavez…. The point is now very clear. Voting favors Chavez and it seems that a ceiling has been reached. The clue lies in the number of Venezuelan living abroad and the restrictions imposed by the CNE to let them be part of the register polling list. They are Venezuelan but second class citizens with no right to vote abroad. The REP is let us say 19 million. a bit less that 20% abstention means that roughly 3,5 million citizens did not vote. Some of the, plainly not interested in politics at all… others sick or death and probably not few of them Chinese, Cubans or fabricated Martians pro-Chavez. But there are also say ONE MILLION Venezuelans in that group that live abroad and are register pollsters that could not exercised their right because the CNE (i.e., Chavez) did not allow to do so. Thus, I do not see the use of setting a campaign of our own of “Arrastre & Remate” as Chavez did last Sunday because almost all of whom living in Venezuela there were to vote in favor of HCR did it. The clue lies then in convincing chavistas that our cause is better.
    That bring us to the issue of the next election. There there is no vote for persons leaving abroad. We have to do it all from here. We were beaten and badly. So, the need to redouble efforts to win. The political situation has dramatically changed from the idyllic times of the “primarias” and the reality is other. WE HAVE TO WIN. WE CAN NOT AFFORD TO LOOSE the governorship we have (i.e., Miranda Ziulia, Carabobo or Margarita). Politics is the art of the possible and pragmatism is one of it tools. Ocariz resigned to head Miranda. So be it. Let him go back to Sucre and win there. Let HCR try to consolidate his leadership showing that he can keep Miranda. Forget about the nonsense now that is the a n ational leader. Let us see. If he wins Miranda then he will be a true leader… But what would happens if he looses it ( or somebody else)?
    We need to Fight to the teeth. We can not let them run over us.

  24. ECG Says:

    I understand the need to slow down and diversify. This must be a tremendous effort and I sincerely appreciate that you share your work with all us.

    I always enjoyed your financial posts, in fact those were the ones that attracted me to your site initially. I hope you can continue to find a place for them here in the future.

    As far as Capriles, I agree with you. I understand the practical considerations but this decision turns his back on his declared core principles ( what about all the talk about respecting the will of the peolple?). And like you, I am worried he could lose. Chavez will certainly pull all the stops to try to ensure a Capriles loss in Miranda. Money, threats, giveaways … Anything goes. This could be devastating por the Capriles leadership and may fracture the MUD. Chavismo was caught off guard with Diosdado, not this time. I hope it works out but it is a big mistake all around.

  25. Pedro Says:

    There is nothing to do but leave Venezuela. Let it fester for a generation in socialism until it returns to sanity on its own once socialism collapses from its own weight, much like what happened in Eastern Europe. Smart people got out or will get out of Venezuela now. Stupid people will stay and will be trapped behind the Bolivarian version of the Iron Curtain.

    • Pedrop Says:

      If Venezuela was that predictable I would agree with you.
      Forever the optimist I will wait until mañana.

    • liz Says:

      Thanks for calling me stupid. Not everybody can leave.
      I’m old, poor, don’t have a second citizenship… I have to stay!

      • Pedro Says:

        Sorry Liz. Obviously I meant to say people who CAN leave and choose to stay, I think are stupid. It’s time to read the writing on the wall.


  26. Maybe Capriles will end up with the Rafael Caldera syndrome, you know copeyanos are like that, look at Enrique Mendoza, they have to run on every election, lets not forget that copeyanos had that famous primary that Oswaldo A Paz won, what Caldera did? run on his own…

  27. CharlesC Says:

    Luis C. Uzucategui beautifully written article.Do you know, honestly I had not heard of anyone receiving money…Factis,there are a few people who do not work for the State. And, a few people who are not part of any missions. All of the people I know are like this and I suppose ” a little free’ although maybe they have higher levels of fear for themselves and their children. I know I do (I don’t have any children but some relatives do and I care very much for them and their future) My sister-in-law had a chance to transfer to Colombia for much more money-but of course could not leave her grandchildren.(My wife and I invite her to come to Fla. with us, but again, she will not.)We are not a “normal/average” group…mostly teachers and accountants who are workaholics and want to stay in Venezuela por ahora. I hate to say it -but I believe they will change their minds one day when things get worse-however they are rather comfortable and secure-even now…
    I can’t say for sure but I believe most supported Capriles..(There is a general rule -rarely ever mention Chavez…

  28. Dr. Faustus Says:

    I miss Island Canuck. I hope he is OK. I hope he can pick himself up and fight the good fight. We all miss him!

    • lazarus Says:

      Thinking the same, and I miss El Yaque. With this I don’t know if I’ll ever return. Not good for the economy..

  29. m_astera Says:

    Truth is, I never could figure out what Capriles’ message was. Or the opposition. Is that their identity? “We are not chavistas and don’t like Chavez”?

    Might be a good idea to have a real message that people can rally behind.

    • firepigette Says:

      MAstera,People hear things differently.For me his message was:

      ” I , just as Chavez, want to hear and answer the needs of the poor, and keep in place Chavez’s efforts to bring gifts to those in need.

      However, I am less corrupt and more efficient and will do a much better job.I want to bring Venezuela together and eliminate the anger and hatred between the people.”

    • m_astera Says:

      Firepigette-

      I did gather that much of Capriles’ message. It could be rewritten as “everything that Chavez did that the poor approve of, I will keep, along with not promoting division and hatred like Chavez has done”.

      There is still no originality or vision in the message. Maybe the poor highly approve of bashing those who are not poor?

      Here would be an example of something original: You, the people, should determine what is best for your own communities, because you know what is needed where you live. You don’t need an out of touch central bureaucracy deciding what is best for you, and forcing you to follow their rules because they have all of the money, and only dribble it back to you if you follow their orders. You should keep the wealth in your own communities. The federal government has plenty of income by controlling the oil money; their job should be to maintain the national infrastructure. They should not be taking any more from you in taxes; the wealth you produce should stay in your own community, and you should decide what to do with it.

      • CharlesC Says:

        Yes, sounds like VeneCuba to me. This is Chavez’s Paradise pleasing
        Master Fidel and everyone else must follow Chavez…

        • CharlesC Says:

          “You don’t need an out of touch central bureaucracy deciding what is best for you, and forcing you to follow their rules because they have all of the money, and only dribble it back to you if you follow their orders.”
          Sorry, I left out your quote. This is classic!!!

        • m Says:

          CharlesC:

          It seems you don’t understand what I wrote.

          In practice, Marxism/communism is predicated on an all-powerful central government. “Community councils” as promoted by Chavez and practiced under Fidel and Mao could actually work, except that they are given no autonomous power or authority; if they don’t follow the central government’s orders, they get no funding or support.

          Power to the people is a joke when the the central government is the final owner of all resources and money and the final arbiter of who gets what. Worth noting, perhaps, is that the all-powerful central government model is the only one presently in operation worldwide, regardless of which ideology it is supposedly operating under: capitalist, socialist, or communist.

      • syd Says:

        I like your reasoning, m_astera, especially your third paragraph. And you’re right. The oppo overall message, as voiced by Capriles, was not as clear as it could have been. I also sensed desperation near the end of his campaign, by his reinforcing all kinds of financial goodies that seemed too good to be true.

        Capriles should have focused more on educating the base population with regard to the finances and economics of the state. Naturally, that would have come at a cost of votes in what ended up as more of a desperate popularity contest between two major contenders.

        Still, the oppo has made formidable inroads and has become a structure worthy of further development. While I understand Juan’s point of view, I’m not so pessimistic over the long haul.

        • m_astera Says:

          Syd-

          I would say in a democracy, when the majority is voting their own personal interest and for their own gain above all, the result will inevitably be to vote for whoever promises the best and largest free lunch.

          I’m pretty sure Plato pointed that out too, and said it better.

          If the “free lunch” is coming from their friends and neighbors who they know and care about, or their own resources are what will be offered to others, it’s likely the majority would vote against that. But as long as the source of the largesse is some impersonal “other”, and especially if the “other” is depicted as an evil oppressor (e.g. the oligarch) the majority will feel no compunction about voting for a redistribution of wealth along with a free lunch; they will feel morally justified in doing so. That’s what Chavez has been manipulating, is it not so?

          If that is the only game in town, then the only way the opposition can gain a majority is by promising more and better free lunch. Or as in the recent performance by Capriles and the MUD, a more efficient and competent distribution of the free lunch.

          The alternative I’m suggesting is taking the power away from centralized government and returning it to the local level, where the majority is not likely to vote themselves and everyone else a free lunch when it would be coming from their own pantry.

          Venezuela is a special case because of the Devil’s excrement, which is why I suggested the central government should be tasked with maintaining the country’s infrastructure, providing fuel and energy to the whole country efficiently and cheaply, but should not be funded by any taxes, and should not be able to manipulate the local level by withholding any goods or services.

        • syd Says:

          m_astera,
          The objective of all politicians is to overpromise. In fact, overpromising was political advice given to the first non-noble who ran for counsel, back in 64 B.C. I’m talking about Marcus Cicero, as guided by a letter from his brother, Quintus. More on that in this interview, which appropriately came on the radio as I drove 250 Km to the Vz. consulate in Toronto, on 7O. http://www.cbc.ca/thesundayedition/shows/2012/10/07/the-whales-choice-cicero-and-modern-politics-hr-1/ (Click the “Listen” button below the political photo.)

          Otherwise, I’m not sure I follow your idea that the central gov’t should not be funded by any taxes.

  30. CharlesC Says:

    Proof of Election Fraud in Venezuela by Ulf Erlingsson.

    http://blog.erlingsson.com/

    • moctavio Says:

      That is ignorance. 54% of the voting boxes were audited, where did the 100 votes dropped in the ballot box go? There have been only very minor discrepancies between the audit and the actual vote, so I don’t believe a word of that article.

      • TV Says:

        It’s not beyond the realm of possibility that the fraudsters knew in advance which boxes would be audited.

        No credible, indenpendant oversight leaves you open to such accusations. I agree it’s best not to dwell, but it’s Chavizmo that should prove they aren’t cheating to the best of their ability, not the other way around.

        • moctavio Says:

          That would require a conspiracy of 39,000 people with magician abilities, because the boxes were chosen with a paper cup and the appropriate number of pieces of paper with the numbers of each box. Then, each paper is put into a cup and one person selected to stick her or his hand into the paper cup to pick one. Not the easiest way to control which tables were chosen, more so, the people there were from both sides in 95% of the tables.

          • TV Says:

            Well, it would require some slength of hand by some people (not 39,000, it doesn’t need to happen in all voting places). It’s not very easy to do though.

            Then again, you’re saying people from both sides were present in 95% of cases. What about the other 5%?

            • moctavio Says:

              I dont have the detailed number yet, I was told 95% plus, but the 5% where we did not have presence were mostly one table polling stations with fewer than 5% of the voters, when I get the numbers I will post.

            • TV Says:

              Miguel, I more or less agree with your co-blogger Daniel. There was a small, detectable and largely irrelevant fraud, that did not affect the overall result. It’s best not to dwell on it.

              The election was stolen through obscene levels of abuse of public resources, not fraud.

    • CharlesC Says:

      “The fraud is so blatant that people understand it took place even though the opposition candidate himself says that “we have found no evidence of fraud.” He is obviously being disingenuous. Why? I don’t know, but I do know that it is typical of electoral dictatorships, where the opposition is in a dependent situation in relation to the regime. It’s a case of the Stockholm syndrome”

      Agree with that. I definitely do not call it democracy.

  31. deananash Says:

    Miguel, thank you.

  32. Kepler Says:

    OT: have you seen that two of the Chávez infantas keep showing up at most events?

    What do you think?

    • syd Says:

      the youngest was nowhere to be seen on ‘victory night’. I suppose her mother was heartbroken. But the show must go on (Rosinés’ quinceañera party — unless it already happened).

      the other two have periodically shown up over the course of the campaign. I think nothing of it.

  33. CharlesC Says:

    My opinion of the opposition. I have been posting many times about this indirectly. Let me explain. Often I mentioned Castro and Cuba, often I mentioned Russia and the billions in loans for weapons, same with China.
    Why did not the opposition focus on these issues? I know. Why did the opposition not attack Chavez “head-on” on these issues? I know.
    Yes, I know because I asked often and a huge chorus said “You can’t do that!
    You will lose for sure if you do that.”Shall I name some names and give some examples. It is not necessary.
    The point is — this type of opposition campaign succeeded in a. keeping Capriles alive, and b.keeping Capriles from being imprisoned or chased out of the country.
    Now, even many in the opposition are saying “Aw, we needed someone more of a “caudillo type” …
    Chavez DID NOT HAVE TO FIGHT-because noone was there to fight with him?
    I know, this is not “Capriles way”.
    But, rarely did Capriles mention any of these issues and then in passing.
    What if he had stood before a crowd for an hour talking about the billions in weapons deals with Russia- or an hour talking about how a vote for Chavez
    is a vote for Castro. But, not must be soft, low profile…

    I repeat these exact words several people said to me going back last year-
    “You can’t do that! You will lose for sure if you do that.”
    Well, the opposition DID NOT do that-and lost anyway. And they did not do justice to “el pueblo” when they had the stage by not bringing up the really important issues.

  34. George Best Says:

    AS LONG AS THE “VOTING MACHINES” ARE IN USE W E WILL NEVER WIN NEVER EVER – WE SHOULD HAVE CANDIDATES LIKE “OSCAR de LEON” “EL PUMA” and similar they might move the masses and will shout FRAUD !!!

  35. David Says:

    Venezuela, Agfanistan, Irak violence records similar. I voted in NO and all the votes where for Capriles except for a few consular votes.People made a huge effort to go and vote in the Big easy as NOLA is called. The atmosphere there was the same as when Rosales ran for president, people exited and hoping to oust the predator of our country. People cried after placing their vote. Of course this is not different than in Venezuela.On my way back to the airport, our driver was a young man from Uzbequistan, he heard our story about voting against a Dictator, and said in my country Uzbequistan we also have had a Dictator Karimov, he has been in power for twenty years and by the way he too claimed he had Cancer. On that note, I felt pretty despondent, it is pretty hard to believe anything Chavez says, especially when it comes to elections, remember Francisco Arias Cardenas run

  36. CharlesC Says:

    As if I haven’t said too much, Venezuela reminds me in some ways of Zimbabwe and their elections over the many years Mugabe has been in power.
    Anyway, the simple fact that Chavez called Capriles all sorts of vile names from the beginning had about a zero effect on voters in Venezuela speaks volumes to me. That sort of language in the public sphere from the “President” of all people is unacceptable.
    This supposedly majority vote could not COULD NOT send a worse message and at the worst time to all Venezuela and all of the world and to Chavez.Yes, I too had tears of hope, but now I have a really sick feeling in my stomach from the obvious large number (whatever that real, true number is) that support and even worship this tyrant.
    Now, Chavez will continue his destructive dreams -unifying with Cuba, ALBA,
    giving away large portions and resources to China, Russia, etc..
    and expropriating more properties and businesses.
    Listen people- for example Chavez I suppose ordered PDVSA not to report true numbers to OPEC for example- and many other international organizations. Guess what,countries like Iran do many of the same things. They don’t report their transactions. Neither does N. Korea.
    I repeat from a previous post here- Chavez government 2011- reported 0 ZERO
    no migrations from Venezuela.

  37. Wanley Says:

    In this week ZETA there is a very good article explaining how the captahuellas were used by the goverment (via the independent cne) to know who voted in real time. In the afternoon they crossed the data with the data from the misiones and started calling each person telling them to vote or be erased from the pinata. Very interesting. That is how they got a surge in votes late in the afternoon.

  38. CharlesC Says:

    Dear Mr. Fantasy, Play us a tune, something to make us all feel happy..


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