Venezuela: Succesfull rally, strike next?

September 29, 2002

Havent posted for a while, the rally on Thursday took a lot of energy. I actually tried to upload some of the pictures I took, but I am not sure why it doesn’t work. I did it once before and it worked so its strange.

Anyway, extremely succesfull rally on Thursday. The area was packed and in defiance with the Governemnt’s pseudo-permit, it lasted until past 9:30 PM. Clearly, the Government backed out of its threats but it is unclear why. Some say it was the OAS that called the President, others say it was the military that told Chavez he could not do that. Hard to tell, I like the second explanation better.

The next step is to march on Oct. 10th. In some sense, Chavez’ decree has galvanized the opposition, making it realize that individual ambitions should not get in the way of the objective at hand. Let’s hope it lasts.

Perhaps the most significant political act of the week went laregly unnoticed. Enrique Mendoza, the Governor of Miranda State appears to have decided to increase his visibility. Up to now Mendoza has been extremely careful with not looking like a Presidential candidate, probably fearing that he might peak too early. But this week, he said on Tuesday night that he would give the rally a permit, which has no legal basis. Furthermore, Mendoza appeared repeatedly on TV on Wednesday and had a radio appearance on Thursday. I contend that Mendoza is the ideal person to lead Venezuela in a post-Chavez transition term. He is liked by both lower and middle classes, he is a pragmatist and has been extremely succesful as Governor. In some sense, he is the anti-Chavez, unassuming and always has a good word for everyone, including our President!!

Can’t put up my pictures but you can find some here or here, a very peaceful rally. You can also find pictures of the repression the Friday before.


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