Chavismo Without Chávez Starts Badly

April 15, 2013


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.

65 Responses to “Chavismo Without Chávez Starts Badly”

  1. Mick Says:

    If the price of oil continues to slide $1/day, like it has for the past two weeks, and gold continues to drop off a cliff($230 since Friday), the Venezuelan economy could be in a world-of-hurt very soon. If they crank up the printing presses Chavez style, I bet you could see 50% inflation by years end.

    • NorskeDiv Says:

      Agreed, Venezuela is headed for a world of pain. Gold is returning to its historical values, the chinese economy is cooling off and new sources of oil are coming on all the time. Most of the world is happy about falling oil prices. but it will wreck Venezuela which has no sovereign wealth fund and huge deficits already.

      If I were Capriles I would be thanking my lucky stars I didn’t win, but of course that difference is what makes him a great man.

  2. xp Says:

    today.s sporadic unrest might trigger …

    [On 28 February President Carlos Andrés Pérez suspended a number of articles of the Constitution, including Article 60 (right to individual liberty and security); Article 62 (inviolability of the home); Article 66 (freedom of expression); Article 71 (right to gather publicly and privately) and Article 115 (right to peaceful protest).]

    I can see them salivating …
    we used to stock up on basics then …
    with current shortages, you’ll need to stock up
    on luxuries instead, …

  3. concerned Says:

    You wouldn’t think that banging on pots would make a difference, but when the whole city is doing it at the same time, it is impressive. Loud and clear!

  4. Bruni Says:

    IMHO, the CNE ladies do not want the responsability of the hot potato in case they have to declare Capriles winner. So they rush now, declare Maduro winner and if there is fraud found, it will be up to the TSJ to undo the proclamation….

  5. Johnny R. Says:

    Oil Warrior a.k.a. Dan Burnett, your only interest in this is because you met the man in person during your period of high delusion and activity. Go back to sleep.

  6. LD Says:

    Why the rush then?, he is acting as Presidente anyway.
    There were ca. 500 voting machines not working, that number is very high for the “best voting system in the world”, isn’t?
    And don’t forget closing the border to Colombia for a week without warning! Why? how many people was prevented from voting there? Táchira was over 60% for Capriles, hmm.
    Reina Sequera sadly couldn’t get some votes from Capriles this time, too bad for her, down from 0.47% to 0.02%, ah, always fair this system!

  7. moctavio Says:

    According to the oppo counting center, the total tally of the actas is not what the CNE is saying and there is a minor difference between the two, if you add 60 000 foreign votes, then it says Capriles wins. They counted 54% of the boxes. Last night both sides agreed on counting 100% of the boxes and al of a sudden they are not doing it and proclaiming Maduro. Director Vicente Diaz did not attend proclamation. He says he has no reason to question the result, but why rush the proclamation an down pictures of ballot boxes being burned, isn´t that fishy?

    • OW Says:

      Ok, look forward to seeing that. I agree they should have waited on the Maduro swearing in. Having an interim president for one more week wouldn’t cause any harm. But Capriles himself is not helping matters by making extremely strong accusations without presenting evidence to back them up.
      So far the only pictures I’ve seen of boxes burned are the pictures that someone took straight from the CNE website where they burned the ballots from prior elections, which I believe they are supposed to do.

    • concerned Says:

      They audited 54% of the machines, but did they open and count ticket for ticket, vote for vote 54% of the total vote which is what Capriles is requesting? Please explain, is there only 46% of the paper tickets not counted? I was under the impression that no paper ballots have been checked, and tibesay said today that there was no need to check the paper tickets against the machines as they performed perfectly with no error.

      • jc Says:

        They count 54% of the actual paper ballots after an election to show statistical proof that the digital count matches the paper count (54% is not needed, it could be a lot smaller, but that’s a number that was chosen). There wouldn’t be a need to check if the vote matched with the actas (tallies of said paper counting), but Capriles is claiming that they don’t match and that he has a bigger lead than was presented by the CNE.

  8. OW Says:

    “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%.”

    If that is true, why don’t they compile a spreadsheet of all the Actas and put them on the web along with scanned copies of all the Actas? If the Actas that they have don’t add up to what the CNE is giving why hasn’t the CSB given its own numbers of what they DO add up to and then release the proof?
    Seems to me like they are BSing it.

    • moctavio Says:

      They are working on it, mark my words, they will never count those votes.

      What’s the rush in proclaiming Maduro? If the votes and actas were going to be recounted, why rush this today? That is also a bunch of BS and you know it.

      • OW Says:

        ok, we will see. If they do, and they have the signed Actas as proof then they have a case.
        Didn’t they do the audits yesterday of the 56% of the vote? I’m all for a 100% audit but its not as if there hasn’t already been a pretty thorough audit already.
        Damn close election.

  9. moctavio Says:

    There are many instances of burning boxes and I am told Maduro could not have won by that amount. That Capriles won if you include foreign votes.

  10. Bruni Says:

    Miguel, are they really burning the boxes, or are those rumors?

    If the boxes are being burnt, then it is a matter for heavy protest.

  11. cuervo Says:

    Nobody talk about the biggest news today for venezuela. The price of gold felt 10%….80% or more of our reserves at BCV are in gold….de un plumazo perdimos mas o menos 2 bi en reservas hoy.

  12. Noel Says:

    I never thought that Chavismo would surrender power via fair elections. If there is a rushed proclamation of Maduro as president and no serious vote recount, then we have the worst possible case:

    – Maduro will need to accommodate his most extreme party members, and will have little authority of his own, and

    – It will be clear to all that changing regime can only be done via a coup d’état or other forms of violence. And this will mean that Maduro and the Cubans will crack harder on civic liberties as a precautionary measure.

    Of course there could be an anticipatory coup within Chavismo to try and regain broader support and legitimacy, but I may be dreaming.

  13. moctavio Says:

    the rush to proclaim Maduro in the face of a vote count proposed by both sides, together with burning boxes of ballot boxes indicates there was fraud and they are trying to hide it.

    • gordo Says:

      No, they were just delaying things. When they declared the Maduro the winner was “irreversible”, the count was already DOA.

  14. Alejandro Says:

    In four months the ‘son of Chavez’ will be out. The son in law will be in along with the hija of Chavez. No one will remember that the son was not a real son and the real family will take over, hoping never to release the controls.
    Those results show the educated and not so educated ratio of the country.

  15. concerned Says:

    If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound? After the election coverage, Globovision will complete their sale and we will lose the last true media voice. We will be subject to only propaganda, with little or no fact based coverage of chavismo or opposition actions. Who will know?

    • island canuck Says:

      There will be life after Globo turns into another VTV.
      There are, for the moment, newspapers & Internet.
      Even in highly controlled societies like Iran or China the news does get out.

    • Roy Says:


      People know about the “Killing Fields” and the “Holocaust” now. But, while they were happening, they didn’t know for a long time just how bad it was. Lesson? Better to risk defending your rights now.

      • concerned Says:

        Exactly, after the fact maybe. Without globovision devoted coverage of Capriles marches, campaign anouncements, and even his speach last night, would Capriles have achieved the level of support? Of course you still had to wait last night for maduro to stop babbling long enough for globovision to cut away. One of chavez’s tricks to maintain cadena as long as possible to take the voice away from the opposition, but in the end they were the only ones to show the response.

  16. m_astera Says:

    Anyone else see the problem with simple majority rule? Where 50.001% of the population voting a certain way dooms everyone else?

    • Roy Says:

      I sure as hell do! Especially when I am one of the 49.999%…

      That is why we have “checks and balances” and “bills of rights”. Things that Venezuela has thrown away or had stolen from them through ignorance.

  17. chiguire Says:

    The King is dead. Long live the King!

  18. george Says:

    my opinion is that chavez wanted his son in law to be president to continue his legacy but couldnt appoint him, so he told them to put him as vice. knowing that maduro cant govern in a short time the government will decide that maduro needs to be replaced and will name the son in law as president.

    • Tigerlily2012 Says:

      I agree. That Arreaza looks scary and pretty sure of himself at the same time. He is waiting or Big Bird to fly away with the toripollo

    • Carlos Says:

      Absolutely… Arreaza VP appointment is only a step to have it as President as soon as Maduro will step down for some personal or health reasons ..

  19. carlos Says:

    Thanks to Capriles for running first and challenging results now.
    He showed that chavista population is well below 50 percent. More than 50 percent of Venezuela disapproves this government.
    Otherwise, without Capriles running and the motivated opposition voting the picture today would be like this… big abstention and land rush for Maduro with 91 percent, Maria Bolivar 6 percent, others 4 percent…like Castro elections in Cuba or beloved Saddam in Irak..
    as it happened in the 2005 Assembly elections in Venezuela

  20. Alex Dalmady Says:

    Elected officials tend to have little consideration for the loser’s voters and their opinions, no matter how slim the margin of victory. Maduro will behave as if 100% of the voters had supported him. Like with Chavez, the opposition will be acknowledged only to blame them for things.

  21. el burrito Says:

    In all the posts, nobody mention the horrible world economic crisis that is coming in the next few months. I think it has already started and is coming in to hound all the countries around the world. This will make the situation in Venezuela even worst. .

    • island canuck Says:

      “…the horrible world economic crisis…”

      Wow, I missed that story in Google news.
      Do you have an actual date?

      • Kepler Says:

        Canuck…it’s in Revelations 17.

      • el burrito Says:

        just look at gold today….it is only a preview. Do you know that around 80 percent
        of BCV reserve are in gold. keep reading Google news.

        • Euro Andres Says:

          Actually Gold dropping is a sign of World Economy improving, since the metal is regarded as the safest of heaven, capital runs into gold when there is uncertainty about the World Economy, the Gold Plunge we have seen lately is due to the fact that investors are liquidating their Gold holdings to invest in Stocks, which are performing greatly since the start of the year.
          On the other side, Oil is also decreasing which is far more worrying for the government, since oil is being used as investment protection, we could see an oil price drop that would be critical for Venezuela.

    • m_astera Says:

      The pride people take in not being different or questionable, getting their information only from approved and accepted sources, proudly proclaiming they are 100% part of the herd, shallow mocking of anyone who stands out from the herd: My personal term for that is conformity bias. It works well enough up to a point, that point being where the herd they are so proud to belong to is being led or driven off a cliff.

      What has been made clear over the past five years is that protecting unfunded derivatives held by banks takes precedence over both shareholders and depositors. That is official policy, and I’m sure it has been announced in google news as well.

    • island canuck Says:

      Why is it that the aluminum hat crowd have no sense of humour.

      When the “horrible world economic crisis” does not occur “in the next few months” will you both come back & admit that what I contributed was, in fact, humorous to the grand majority of people?

    • m_astera Says:

      Some remedial reading for those whose trusted source of info is google news, Fox, CNN etc:

      The Super-priority Status of Derivatives

  22. Jeffry house Says:

    The CNE can be instantly discredited, especially abroad where it is presumed to be neutral, by the photos of Tibisay wearing a PSUV armband. That was a very costly mistake on her part.

  23. Dr. Faustus Says:

    I have a very important question:

    Under the current Venezuelan constitution can another ‘recall’ vote be initiated? How many signatures would be needed?

  24. Tomate Says:

    I think this is the worst possible scenario for maduro… The opo has now leader, the reds need to mop up their mess with the economy in shambles with lots of in-fighting and no room to maneuver… they are trapped in a corner…

    • Pedro R. Says:

      Completely agree Tomate. This is “the worst possible scenario for maduro” and by default it is the best result for the opposition.

      It is even better than winning because now we know we have great strength but we will not have any responsibility for the social and economic problems that are going to get much worse regardless of who is in power.

      Let them be destroyed by the mess of their own creation.

  25. Cuasi-Tocayo, any thoughts on the surprising drop in oil prices? What impact is it gonna have on both governments (a Maduro government and a Capriles government)? I would really appreciate your thoughts on this.

  26. Capriles won, Maduro lost. We will know that is a fact in the coming days but dark times lie ahead either way. The only way to move forward is to change the countries policies but judging by Maduro’s speech tonight, the PSUV is committed to the destruction of the country and they still control the AN.
    Neither side can govern without reaching out to the other 50%. Capriles showed he is ready, Maduro is not.

  27. TV Says:

    Hm. What happens if the recount shows a Caprilles victory, but the CNE and courts and so on refuse to acknowledge them? Maduro is due to be sworn in ion April 19th, in a clear break with previous decisions where he would have to wait until January 10th.

  28. moctavio Says:

    we have actas!!!!

  29. Daniel Olban Says:

    The magic of the electoral boxes is about to start. We will see boxes disappearing, etc….

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