Archive for August 9th, 2006

A one day collection of Government paid ads promoting Chavez

August 9, 2006

Check out Bruni’s collection of Government-paid ads from only today which either promote Chavez’ name or image in them. Is that fair? Should that be legal? It is simply abusive. And the CNE? Rooting for Chavez…of course.

Manuel Rosales becomes the unity candidate

August 9, 2006

Well, what seemed so tough to attain, a unity candidacy, was achieved last night when Julio Borges agreed to withdraw his candidacy in favor of that of Zulia Governor Manel Rosales. Clearly, Petkoff’s withdrawal last week helped quiet a bit, but what was really important was the fact that with Petkoff and Borges openly campaigning, Rosales’ somewhat stealth candidacy propelled him to the top of the opposition preferences rather quickly. Reportedly, all of the other candidates who had registered for the primary, but barely appeared in the perefences have accepted to withdraw, leaving Rosales, Smith and Er Conde as the alternatives to Chavez.

While I am sorry that there was no primary, I really think we should start having democracy from below in Venezuela, I am quite pleased with the outcome a unity candidate led by Rosales. My initial preference for Teodoro Petkoff was quickly tempered by his terrible campaigning skills and his refusal to participate in the primary, despite initially indicating that he would participate. Since I have never been impressed by Borges or Smith, then Rosales was my preference and I hope his standing in the polls forces Er Conde to withdraw quickly.

As for Rosales, he may not have the economic knowledge of a Petkoff, but he is first of all a democrat. He has shown that he is a good campaigner and can appeal to the population at large. He woudl also try to be a President for all Venezuelans in contrast to the autocrat. He has been an efficient and effective Governor and continues to enjoy the support of the people in his state. That in itself tells you quite a bit. He has proven he can administer, has better economic know how than the top few dozen people in the Chavez Government (not too hard!) and while he has the old style campaign style, this is not a matter of style, but substance. I think he should have been more decisive about running and not worry so much about the Government forcing him to step down. In fact, they still might try it, so in the end there is little difference.

So, let’s see how the Government reacts and how they attempt to disqualify Rosales.The CNE is still a problem, but as we say in Spanish “la pelea es peleando”, something like “you have to fight your fights”.