Mision Vivienda Was Not About Building Homes, It Was A Database For Getting Out The Vote

October 14, 2012

Well, at least Capriles “gets it” and understands that Mision Vivienda was not about building homes, or promising a home, but about constructing the perfect database to get the vote out on Oct. 7th. And it worked, when you registered for Mision Vivienda, you had to give out a very detailed address of where you lived. And you can bet that database will be used again in December and whenever. Someone that advises this Government knows the powers of these databases, from the Tascon/Chavez fascist list to now Mision Vivienda.

Said Capriles in today’s interview in El Universal:

“They have a brutal structure, honestly. On Sunday we saw it, in terms of the structure and the power of the Government. Everything! Which we had never seen used like this, they threw the house out the window (They spared no expense) and they obtained 55% of the vote. I don’t want to use this an excuse, but everyone that was in the Misión Vivienda, those that were in the misiones, they were all called, one by one. I had the voting lines checked and they were all PSUV voters. All of them! With the “Finish off” operation between 5 and 7 in the evening, they went door to door to get the people out to vote. ”

People want to talk about fraud, but it was all about abuse of power and organization. An organization that the opposition did not have the equivalent of in terms of size and or funding. The headline says it all, Capriles also said “A lot of campaigning without Capriles was needed” and that is not what happened. Many parties did not participate fully in campaigning or driving out their voters. Rather than be negative and say who did not, of those that participated in the primary, only Leopoldo Lopez went all out and of those running for Governor in December, Henri Falcón in Lara State did the best job, Parties did a good job in Merida, Tachira and Carabobo. The rest, not a great job, a half hearted effort, including most of the candidates in the Presidential primary, save for Diego Arria, who kept stomping around.

In 2006, abstention was 25%, this time around it was below 20%, that is close to one million more voters than in the 2006 election. Any pollster that said they got that right, is simply lying, because these people were mostly Chavistas. Preliminary numbers indicate that for each additional opposition voter in this lower abstention level, there were five pro-Chavez votes. Yes, five to one, some 900,000 votes for Chavez and only 200,000 for Capriles. Any pollster that was expecting 27% abstention, missed almost one million votes net in favor of Chavez, that is 7% more votes that they missed in Chavez’ favor. Because abstention would have favored the opposition. Jorge Rodriguez, Chavez’ campaign coordinator, even suggested in Rangel’s program today, that the opposition played the abstention card. And lost.

Maybe that is why Capriles decided to go back to Miranda. he may be safe there for a few years, but he needs to be elected Governor first. That Chavista machinery could elect just about anyone as President or even Governor, if they decided to use it fully. Sad, but true.

34 Responses to “Mision Vivienda Was Not About Building Homes, It Was A Database For Getting Out The Vote”

  1. Mike Says:

    Thanks, Miguel

    It figures, except that the writer, Roben Farzad of Bloomberg doesn’t mention this, so I get the feeling he a) is incompetent b) has a 2nd and totally misleading agenda. Anybody with some kind of a reputation would not put a big bold headline: “Venezuela’s Strange Stock Market Rally” out, because there is really nothing “STRANGE” about it at such a ridiculously small volume.

    • bt Says:

      Let ME enlighten you. You Venezuelans are like a frog in a warming pot of water on the stove. Soon it will boil and be too late. You can vote until you’re sick of voting. Chavistas and Cubans control every aspect, that is, they control every aspect of your country including the ballot box.

      You cannot vote him out; he ain’t leaving. NEVER. I SAID “NEVER.” Unless he dies. Then he’ll simply be replaced. It’s a machine that you cannot vote out of office. No matter how hard you try.

      So what do you do……….talk about the new VP, talk about oil, talk about missions, talk about how Capriles was cheated.

      Now, what should you do?

  2. Mike Says:


    Miguel, what’s your take on this?


    I believe the volume on the Venezuelan stock market is so small nowadays that Chavez can easily manipulate it. But still, the behavior of the PDVSA $ traded bonds make sense, this does not.

    • moctavio Says:

      I write a monthly report on the Caracas Stock Market, I may be the last mohican covering it. Average daily volume the last report was all of US$ 47,000 per day for ALL stocks traded in the Caracas Stock Exchange. That’s not even a business, That is a waste of time.

  3. firepigette Says:

    A must C

  4. About your plans to slowdown, this susbcriber asks you to please keep blogging.

  5. Tim Ozawa Says:

    So what? All governments bribe the public or important interest groups. The questions for average voters still come down to things like “Are you better off than last time?” and “Do you think you will be better off under A or B?”

    I’ve been reading blogs from the opposition talking for many years about how all they had to do was educate Chavez voters and those who are in the middle. You should have been able to do well with the crime problem and a generally inadequate performance on problems with the country’s infrastructure. The problem is not that voters are uneducated, it’s that they have too many doubts about the opposition.

    • TV Says:

      So you would say the main problem is in governments’ blatant abuse of power to push through electoral propaganda?

      • CharlesC Says:

        I believe the best the opposition can do as individuals is-a. remind the people every chance you have to speak before a crowd or reporters of the
        constant abuse of power by Chavez,b. remind the voters that laws are broken and give examples- Big ones- using State resources and employees to campaign for Chavez. and on and on. Don’t stop reminding. Chavez should be asked often-Hey Chavez how can you honestly look at yourself in the mirror and call yourself an “eagle”? C’mon man you make Vultures look good..

  6. amieres Says:

    Another important question is: what if anything can be done to counter this formidable machinery?

    I don’t have any convincing answers for this question, so a little brainstorming is welcomed.

    Some ideas:
    – First and foremost is to have a good oppo machinery. The down side is that they’re expensive and require lots of volunteers. So feasibility is an issue.

    – Maybe the opposition could invite those that want to vote for the opposition but are also benefiting from a Mision to vote early to avoid having to do it when the machinery knocks on their door. That way they won’t have someone hovering over them and pressuring them to vote for chavismo. The down side to that is that chavismo applies the ‘operacion morrocoy’ at those early hours so they’ll have to endure long lines.

    – On the other hand those that always vote for opposition, and thus are not the target of the machinery, they could instead vote later to reduce the morning lines and enjoy the swifter process when ‘operación morrocoy’ is not in effect anymore.

    – Those that do not want to vote at all they should just leave their house and not answer the phone that day so that the machinery does not find them.

    Any ideas?

    • TV Says:

      That’s trying to beat them at their own game and rules. They have infinitely greater resources than the opposition can ever hope to have. This approach, while useful in itself and it should be followed, will not work by itself.

      The best thing is, imho, trying to constantly campaign to some extent, by criticizing Chavizmo and presenting alternatives. Something like Caprilles did, but by a large host of candidates for other positions. That way Chavizmo would be forced to totally mobilize for every election in the country. This election cost it dearly, it will take at least a year to stabilize finances, maybe more. Legislative elections take place in about 2 years’ time. It’s quite clear Chavizmo will have to break many, many promises it made in the last year in the meantime. It’s questionable how effective the machinery will be due to that.
      This time they won in a sprint, but they can’t win a marathon.

      • Gold Says:

        I agree. The more I find out about what really happened on Election Day the more it sounds like they had a giant “express kidnapping” operation going.

        I really think this might have ruined the use of the misiones for chavismo in years to come, if they are perceived as the new tascón list for the pueblo. El “chantaje” that Capriles talked about would have become immediate, real and concrete for at least part of the electorate that the opposition does not usually reach.

        The abuse of the misiones might have helped the comandante win this battle, but I feel it could also be a big reason for him to eventually lose the war. If he does not deliver today -now, this minute- on his promises, people will stop registering for the misiones altogether. Nobody likes to be a hostage.

        • TV Says:

          I’m not as optimistic. Venezuelan government has systematically destroyed most opportunities to earn anything more than basic sustenence without absolute loyalty to the government. Chavez has already promised to do more in this regard (“nailing down socialism”, he calls it), it’s quite clear he should be believed. Within a few years it could be either you get government ‘gift’, which you pay through loyalty and obedience, or you’re down to an existence unworthy of a human being.

          That’s the goal of Chavizmo and how they keep power. It may be they will never extend that to the entire country, but will be content to hold 50-60% of population hostage in that way.

  7. Alexander Says:

    Mision Vivienda Database a non-sense issue, just bullshet!!

    “A llorar al valle”, Capriles’ defeat was a remake of Rosales’s defeat, indeed was a “carbon copy scan” of 2006 presidential elections, opposition repeated every mistake, I remember I was at that time working with Diego Arria who was in charge that day at Esmeralda House Rosales’ Head Quarters, we got most exit polls with Rosales wining easily, but between 4 pm and 6:30 pm, everything changed, six years after, chavistas did the same, what they did in 2006. When we can in person see and appreciate what happens it looks very, very different. People abroad understands little to nothing what is really going on in here, sorry about that, one American correspondent from Wall Street Journal remarked me that!!
    Chavez has built as many databases as you like, 5 millions in “misiones” and 3 and a half in the SS pensions, no excuses at this time, Chavez’s electoral rules were known well before the elections, MUD politicians knew them, they were beaten again and again. After 12 years cheating and accommodating the REP -and laws- and not accepting any auditing, they had the time to build its own electoral machinery, they did not do it accordingly, and having the people to do it. In my electoral center, at 12 o’clock when I voted, all electoral personal there were “chavistas”, opposition ones never arrived, I am not sure if my vote was counted properly. Go to YouTube, or to O Globe, Brazilian newspaper, and many others and have a look at the thousands ways chavistas cheated the elections that fatal day. Chavista machinery is prepared to do everything, on the contrary non-chavistas are prepared to sing, to dance, etc., but not to “win” elections. Venezuelans are voting from 1958, nonstop, every 5 years for President, and from 1989 on, for majors and governors, every three years. Over those years there has been a very well-known maxim, which reads like this, and I will write it in Spanish, if someone do not understand, try to ask anyone: “las elecciones se ganan en la mesa, acta mata voto” everybody older than 45 years involved in politics know about it, we had, even, a President which said that publicly!!!

  8. amieres Says:

    No pollster could have predicted such a low level of abstention because it was due to a new element that was not present in previous elections: the new revamped chavista machinery. Usually when people are asked if they are going to vote they tend to over state their true intentions and say they are pretty sure they are going to vote. In the end many of those usually do not vote. That is why pollsters tend to adjust down the participation estimates to take into account the misleading answers. But in this election many that had little intentions to vote were compelled to do so by the new machinery. In a way it’s not the pollsters fault they could not predict the unusually high participation.

    The important question for the future is: how much steam does the machinery have left for the next elections?
    This new machinery is expensive and stimulus like year end bonuses and raises have already been used. For the gubernatorial elections they may not have as much resources left for the machinery and stimulus to produce such a tremendous push as they did in Oct 7h.

    • TV Says:

      Probably not, but Chavizmo has an answer to that – local Soviets, that answer only to president, to bypass the existing democratic institutions.

  9. Tom ODonnell Says:

    Miguel, brilliant. Perhaps Caprilles will learn something very valuable from this. His comments are important. (And, yes! Lopez – and Ocarez – on the social-organizational front, are a positive exception to the rule.)

    Chavismo came to power with weak organizational capacity – with no political party or party cadre experienced in fighting shoulder-to-shoulder for years in the opposition. Chavismo was organizationally the antipathy of Lula and the Workers’ Party, In 2007, Chavistas would report that the Cubans would criticize H. Chavez for “having too much money” and only “throwing it at problems”, whereas”(we) had no money so we had to learn to organize.” Absenteeism in December 2007 was a fracazo for Chavismo.

    Finally he learned the importance of a party, of going beyond pure reliance on mass mobilization (the masses to the street!) as the main instrument of political action. This had been very powerful at bringing down the institutions of the old, disgraced Republic with its dickering/punto-fiijismo parties, etc.and getting a new constitution in 1999, etc. However, one cannot then run a country by simply calling the masses to the streets. The PSUV was a mess at first, in 2008; but, with persistence the patrullo/a (Sp?) system was slowly established. It was not ready in Nov. 2008, and only really succeeded this time.

    This also explains (as you have very clearly shown, even before the elections) why the pollsters were wrong. Indeed, people often honestly do not intend to vote … and the pollsters (at least the competent ones) of course register this. But, then, the patrullo/a (Sp?) shows up at the door and cajoles you to go to the polls.

    By the way, if the opposition comes to power with the weak level of organization and ideological cohesion it now has, it will probably do as badly as Chavismo did at its worst points of disorganization in managing the state and the economy. If you have the organization to not only get out the vote, but then to organize between elections on every important issue in popular and middle class communities, only then do you have the rudiments of the type of party organization you need to run the extremely weak state institutions that you will inherit – to give the hapless and corrupt state organization a backbone.. This will be the case as long as there is no competent civil service.

    This and your earlier posts on absenteeism are very interesting.

  10. JotaE Says:

    I wonder if the captahuellas can tell them real-time who is voting?

  11. extorres Says:

    Add to this the possibility of backtracing (given the seed) the order of votes cast and tying it to the order of voters…

  12. Ramón Peña Says:

    Miguel, that makes sense and goes along with threats to civil servants, bonuses, appliances, and so on. Altogether, it is fraud because is funded with Government money..

  13. CharlesC Says:

    I have been very critical of Mision Vivienda on many levels.
    First- they are tiny- maybe a woman and acouple of small babies can live there.
    No space neighbors are too close. No place for recreation. No place for a garden. How far to the grocery? How far to work?
    No title that can be transferred.
    No room to expand or add on a family room.
    No storage space in kitchen, or anywhere.
    Note they all have burgular bars.
    So what will people do who live there? Live in their rabbit hutch?
    This is very poor planning, minimal, tribal -last century thinking.
    ex. Row housing next to large mines, for example.
    Why not build duplexes, four plexes with large common area and private outside patios that everyone likes to have for relaxing, eating, etc.

    There is no life trapped in a small box with small refrigerator, etc.
    This is something for people who have nothing and must be provided for by the
    These places will be wrecked and ripped apart within months and be unliveable..
    Way way too much money spent on garbage-could have been better spent elsewhere and BUILT BY VENEZUELANS. It is utterly impossible for me to comprehend hiring Belorussians, Iranians, Russians, etc. to build cookie cutter housing. My God, a one- armed blind man could build a house like this easily.
    This is beyond stupid. FRAUD must be the driving force behind this…
    Daniel, thank you for a wonderful article. I know I veered off-but this has bugged me since I first heard and saw about Mision Vivienda.
    These type of things rather than impress me-make me believe Chavez and his minions haven’t any education. A group of junior high students can think better than this!!

    • CharlesC Says:

      Sorry, Moctavio.

    • TV Says:

      The primary (if not sole) goal of Mission Vivienda was to obtain votes. That obviously worked very well, despite the abysmal quality of construction, poor plans and the fact very few housing units were constructed at all. It will probably linger on just barely alive until just before the next election, when it will once again see a massive burst of resources.

    • John Barnard Says:

      “irst- they are tiny- maybe a woman and acouple of small babies can live there.” How many square feet?

  14. Miguel
    You are absolutely right …. Mision Vivienda is and will be just the perfect database for voters. Far better that the REP which as we know is not only inaccurate but outdated. Misison vivienda not only list your phone and address but those of your near family and relatives.
    Regarding abstention, I can not but repeat myself. There are one million voters registered that live abroad and that the CNE did not granted the right to register where they are living and vote there. Miami was just a cruel act to show the power and wrath of Chávez. All because they knew that as it came out 90%+ of then would vote in favor of HCR.
    Now, while it is true that the PSUV machinery is well oiled and ready to repeat the operacion arrastre the issue will be whether voting for aristobulo in anzoategui will be as compulsory for the bases as voting for Chavez. We shall see

    • moctavio Says:

      I dont have the number, but I dont think it is a million, more like 100,000. I worry more about a Presidential race against Maduro, but I fear they will concentrate the machinery in Miranda.

      • colon Says:

        Right on the money Miguel,

        There are 1 million plus venezuelans abroad. There was an El Nacional article, last yr?, about it with a map and everything. I don’t have it anymore.

        Sadly only 100K registered at the most. For example, in the Washington DC area, there are at least 10K venezuelans and only tops 2K registered….

        Abulia? or “acquiescencia” as described by Ibsen Martinez, years ago?


  15. CNDD_in_VZ Says:

    Thanks Miguel for sharing your thoughts and enlighten us.
    Let me just share a little idea here about voters’ logistics:
    My brother came from Spain with his wife just to vote last Sunday. He invested the equivalent of 25000 Bs and the result was two votes. Instead if we redirect this resources to rent five “busetas” it could help moving 250 people to vote
    If we don’t improve our organization and logistics in a voting day, the uphill climbing will be harder to achieve.
    Please keep the good working !!!
    Best regards

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