The opposition candidates IV. Part 2. The Candidate for the Job by Paul Esqueda

February 8, 2006

Paul Esqueda gives us his second installment (part 1 here) on the
opposition candidates with the requirements for the job. (I have other writings
by others in waiting, but I have not had time to work on it, my apologies to

opposition candidates IV. Part 2. The Candidate for the Job by Paul Esqueda

To provoke some
thinking about the complexity of selecting an opposition candidate, let us
consider what a job posting might look like.

                                                                Help Wanted

The opposition
groups of the Republic
of Venezuela seek a distinguished
and dynamic candidate for the position of President. This job entails
developing a comprehensive, viable and far reaching plan

to win the elections in December
2006 with at least 50% of the vote to
assure a peaceful transition to a new government preserving democratic rule and

                  2. to bring political and economic
stability to our society

to put Venezuela on the path to economic
growth as fast as possible

to put in place specific actions to
enhance the quality of life of all citizens

Specific skills needed:

    -The candidate should have excellent negotiation skills. He has to
negotiate the establishment of an airtight coalition among dispersed and
fragmented opposition groups in order to develop a shared strategic plan. In
parallel with the electoral campaign, our candidate will have to negotiate with
some existing institutions (i.e. the military for example) either directly
or indirectly to assure appropriate support. After the candidate is
elected and in office, to assure effective governance, he will have to
negotiate with a National Assembly and a Supreme Court which are right now 100%
Chavista. Needless to say, the candidate should be prepared to deal with the
established mindset of populism and opportunism.

    -Excellent communications skills are a must. Our candidate should be
able to articulate a strong and penetrating message together with a vision to
all voters, particularly the undecided, as well as to the Chavistas and
to those who oppose the current government but have lost all hope. A
willingness to learn some lessons from our current President would be a plus.

     -Our candidate has to be a team player. This job is going to be a team
effort, and for that reason he should be capable of setting up and
consolidating a diverse team to win the election and carry out the plan
outlined above.

      -Most important of all, our candidate must have excellent leadership
skills. In this context, he should be able to clearly differentiate himself
from autocratic rule by demonstrating how true democratic leadership can
embrace political diversity.

The candidate should have wide and deep knowledge of Venezuela’s political and economic
history. He or she should have experience in holding office as a public
servant, perhaps in congress, and preferably possess some private industry
experience as well. It is very important that our prospective candidate has
been exposed to other cultures and other economic development models so that he
has an educated view of international issues and problems. Candidates with
military background please abstain from applying.

Your nominations and applications are welcomed. The Venezuelan people
will soon be hiring for this position.

      Compensation should not be a priority for the candidates

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