Even if you believe that Nicolas Maduro won today, today’s slim margin over the opposition places Maduro in the worst possible spot. Despite all of the advantages, all of the Government resources and institutional resources on his side, Maduro barely managed to beat Capriles. This a a 10 point drop in the “revolutions” popularity in six months, showing that Chavismo without Chavez, is just wishful thinking.
And Nicolas Maduro is certainly not the rightful heir to Hugo Chávez and his Cuban cohorts, even if Chávez thought so at one point in his life.
Maduro’s speech tonight was innocuous. He talked as if he had scored a huge win, instead justifying that a one vote win would have been enough.
But it isn’t and it wasn’t, for the simple fact that Chavismo’s party PSUV is divided, even more so now, as those that aspired to succeed Chávez likely think that Maduro was not the rightful successor to Hugo Chávez. And most of them think they are.
And this Pyrrhic victory for Maduro, implies that he will not be able to change course without generating an internal battle. Thus, he will likely try to continue the policies of Chávez Government, which will in the end be his own demise.
And Capriles said it well tonight, when he said to Maduro: “You are the one that was defeated. We will not recognize the result until each and everyone of the votes is counted”
And Capriles was clear: “The result we see are different than the one you see”. Thus, Capriles said: “You were defeated and what you represent was defeated, as more than one million of Chavista voters, voted for Capriles. You have to revert your policies. The Cubans have to leave. The photo of the country is a different one than it was before. We are half and half. We are here to defend the Venezuelans.”
Capriles said that between intimidation and votes abroad, the number of votes can change, Thus, votes have to be counted one by one. Mr. Maduro, said Capriles: “if you were illegitimate before, you are more illegitimate now. I don’t pact with anyone. What the results say, is not what the people want. This is a Government “for the time being” and I will do anything I can so that the country can change”
Capriles also said: “Our witnesses had to see fascism in the eyes today. But this is a system that is crumbling. We did not fight against a candidate. We fought against abuses. This fight is not over.”
I am told that in the count of actas, Capriles won. The tally, according to Capriles’ camp, says that with international votes Capriles won.
What is certain is that Maduro did not win by 1%.
And a full audit, adding the international votes, should and could give Capriles a victory. Very tough times ahead.
BTW, there are no longer pollsters that have gotten the numbers right for the last five elections.