absolutely confounded by the numbers coming out of the pollsters. Over the
years I had developed a list of the “good” and the “bad”
pollsters and results tended to bunch up for those that had passed the test of
Not this time. Without delving too much on the specific numbers, there is a 21%
difference between what I consider the good pollsters, which is truly
unexplainable on the basis of techniques, no matter whether you want to argue
fear, sloppy sampling and the like. To top it all of, we find ourselves in the
midst of a poll war where obscure, unknown and non-existent pollsters are now
supposed to be experts on Venezuela.
Add to this that in the past the one variable that even the good pollsters
could not get right was abstention and I do not believe anyone has handle on
who is ahead and by how much. I do try to remind myself of what pollster
Segundo Cazalis, now deceased, used to tell me: Watch the slopes and the
trends, not the levels.
Finally, I also have to wonder where Chavez’ favorite pollster Seijas is? Why
his silence” Where is he? Why no numbers from him this time around, if
everyone knows he is working hard looking at this election?
All of this comes to mind because while Rosales seems to want to emphasize that
he will win, the Government seems to be the one launching the largest number of
obscure numbers, while being very aggressive about not allowing protests on
Dec. 3d.I mean, if you want a fake number, how about Diosdado Cabello saying
tonight that the floor for Chavez in this election will be the 70% level
reached in the 2004 recall referendum.
Hello? It’s OK to lie about the polls, but why does he have to come and lie
about the past, faking a number that did not reach
60%, let alone 70%? Is this simple an attempt at manipulation? Driving away
voters? Discouraging the opposition? Or is it simply trying to create an aura
of invincibility so that no matter what happens on Dec. 3d., they can
convincingly argue that Chavez won?
I just don’t know, but I do have to take offense at Chavez’ words He.
Both Chavez and his VP Jose Vicente Rangel, keep talking about conspiracies and
destabilizations, while the only ones that are calling for institutions to back
only one side are precisely Chavez and his cohorts. All I have heard Rosales
say is that if he wins he will make sure he collects his victory by making sure
the audit is preformed, all votes are counted and no tricks are made. And he
has asked the military to be neutral and institutional, making sure the will of
the people and democracy are respected.
Chavez does not seem to be saying the same thing, forgetting about his brief
love posture and once again being divisive and intolerant. Chavez threatens to
shut down TV stations that allow messages of hate to be broadcast. Then the
first thing all TV stations should do is to stop broadcasting his speeches full
of hate, vile and disrespect for the citizens of Venezuela
that do not agree with him. And when he says that the “Bolivarian
democracy” is to be defended I have to wonder if that is some special
class of democracy, different that the one in which I live in. Because, if on
Dec. 3d. there is an attempt not to audit the 54% of votes promised, or to
connect the voting machines before the tally sheet has been printed, I will be
the first one to go out and defend democracy and the rights of those that voted
And Chavez broadcasts his hate when he says the Armed Forces are “roja,
rojita” and that anyone that is not is not a patriot, as if he had the
monopoly on patriotism, while all he has done since 1992 is destroy people,
lives and the democratic structure of this country only to satisfy his own
And he goes as far as defending the repressive military plans he wanted to
activate on April 11th. 2002 and which the military high command refused to
obey. The infamous Plan Avila, which has been cataloged by human right groups
as in violation of basic human rights principles. That is what Chavez defends today.
Had Plan Avila been activated, we would be talking about hundreds of dead
people that day, rather than the 22 that Chavez is directly responsible for and
should one day be tried for his role in those deaths. And much like that April,
Chavez seems ready to try again.
And while Chavez calls on his people to be vigilant, to fight for their
revolution, Rosales’ campaign coordinator Omar Barboza asks his supporters not
be provoked, to be respectful and friendly to the Armed Forces and to act in a
democratic and peaceful way. Contrast this with the statements by a General talking
about “violent change” or Chavez supporter Lina Ron, calling for
people to be ready and armed, which as far as I know has never been confr9onted
by Chavez, Rangel or any other Government figure.
As I said at the beginning, I can’t rationally say Rosales is ahead today, the
evidence is murky, simply messed up, but Chavez renewed intolerance and
aggressiveness indicates to me he is concerned that his mandate will be over on
Dec. 4th. or that he may have to pull another dirty trick to keep it.
One thing is clear, no one that believes in democracy and what it implies in
terms of respect for others and the peace and dialogue that Chavez asked for
the other day, would even consider saying what the obscene autocrat said today.
His performance is enough to justify getting rid of him on Dec. 3d.