Recall and Requiem

June 3, 2004

I was in the streets celebrating, had to cut it short to write something before Chavez speech tonight. I do think there is cause for celebration in the fact that the Electoral Council has conceded that the signatures are there, even if it is by a “hair”, as Chavez said earlier this week. There is a lot going around. Things you can see, as the violence in the streets today, and things you can’t. The violence was directed towards Peña, the Main Major of Caracas. It happened in the center and made people nervous and go to their houses. Then Jorge Rodríguez announced that the projections of the Electoral Council clearly show there are enough signatures.

Among what can’t be seen is a huge fight within the chavismo, but this time is not ideological, it has no principle or money behind it. The fight is for a particular position. The strategy of the officialism is to combined laws with negotiation to delay the recall vote until after August 19. There is a pact that this wouldn’t happen, but that doesn’t matter now, this is for all the marbles, this is for real. The rub is that this strategy makes the vice-presidency a desired position. José Vicente knows he has little chance of staying, he probably was behind the violence today, showing his force. Every chavista and their uncle wants the chance to shine in the presidency for two years. As if they had a political future. Chavez has to chose a vice-president he can trust not to betray him in the next two years, then Chavez will have to betray his pawn in order to have a shot in the 2006 election. There is cause for celebration today, but tomorrow we have to think and fight again.


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