Meanwhile, down south, that other election heats up

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Surging opposition threatens Venezuela’s Chavez By Valeria Pacheco (AFP) – 7 hours ago CARACAS —

Hundreds of thousands of backers of opposition candidate Henrique Capriles have thronged the streets in Venezuela’s capital, echoing his rising threat to President Hugo Chavez’s re-election. “I want to thank you all. Because I think this is the biggest rally Caracas has ever seen,” glowed Capriles to the massive crowd as he wrapped up his campaign not far from the presidential palace Supporters roared: “You see it; you feel it: President Capriles!” “Look at that mass of people; Chavez is screwed now,” one young man shouted. “Why does he think he can be president for his whole life anyway?”

The telegenic former governor of Miranda state has compared himself to David fighting Goliath. And he hopes he can emulate the Bible story of the boy who felled the mighty giant before becoming king of Israel. “I ask you, the Venezuelan people, to judge: who is part of the process of change. And who was sickened by power, clung to it and deceived the Venezuelan people?” an emotional Capriles shouted Sunday.

Chavez meanwhile tried to play down the deaths of two Capriles supporters in Barinas on Saturday. “I urge all of you, Venezuelans, not to bring violence into the campaign. It should be done vote by vote, with ideas, and in peace,” Chavez stressed. After breezing through past elections, Chavez entered the last week of campaigning against a rival who has gained ground in opinion polls.

The leftist leader, in power for almost 14 years, is vying for a fourth term in office that would extend his presidency by another six years, but Capriles wants a major upset on October 7. Chavez, who used the country’s oil wealth to reduce poverty, [……Yeah, abolutely no bias here.… ]  brushed aside his last rival in 2006 by taking almost 63 percent of the vote.

But he might be dismissing Capriles too soon.   Continue reading here. For another report go here.   In Spanish, with video,  go here.


8 thoughts on “Meanwhile, down south, that other election heats up”

  1. Ahem. Where is Obama? Here is a democracy movement we can all believe in. Anti communists are in the streets against a communist dictator. What’s not to like?
    So where’s Obama? Ah, is that him on the campaign trail again? What popular tv show is he on this time? What star keeps him company as they laugh and play?

    And btw where is Romney to comment on this?

  2. It’s debatable who wants Chávez ousted more, Cubans or Venezuelans, but only a miracle will get that ape out. We are NOT talking Pinochet here. Chávez cares far more about staying in power than about the welfare of his country or people, despite all the rote lip service (read bullshit) these populist demagogues ALWAYS spew constantly. He cannot let go of his grandiose ambitions to be a “great man” in historical terms, like Daddy Castro. That ambition is his reason for being—he’s consumed by it. So was Fidel, and look what that did for Cuba and Cubans.

  3. Asombra, Chavez is not Pinochet, true, but Pinochet accepted the election results only after the head of the air force, General Matthei, “visited” him and made it clear that the armed forces would not support any attempt to “bypass” those results. The situation in Venezuela is more complex because Chavez is surrounded by “narco-generals”, they will not tell him: “you lost, there is nothing for it”. Lower echelons will have to come into play, but there are quite a few officers who are ready to do that (they are sick of being “supervised” by Cubans). There are other complications: FARC present in Venezuela, Iranians, and Cubans. Nobody thinks it’s going to be easy, but it can be done, even without the support of the big “sister republics”: USA, Mexico, Colombia and Brazil. Many Venezuelans are aware of this and realize that voting is only the first step and that Venezuela could lose what is left of freedom in spite of an electoral victory, but that makes people more determined. It’s going to be tough.

  4. “The situation in Venezuela is more complex because Chavez is surrounded by “narco-generals”, they will not tell him: “you lost, there is nothing for it”. ”

    This is why Hugo Chavez won’t leave power in Venezuela. Him and his corrupted generals have too much too loose. Plus the Castro brothers have more to loose if Chavez is gone.

    I don’t think the lower echelons will revolt, their leaders will be rounded up by Chavez loyalists or bought out by Chavez as last resort.

  5. Pinochet was a “traditional” authoritarian dictator, not a totalitarian type and definitely not a delusional lunatic with messianic fantasies. He also wanted a significantly better, more successful Chile, and he laid the groundwork for that with the “Chicago Boys” who revamped Chile’s economic model. The top military people in Venezuela are all bought and paid for–Hugo made sure of that. It will be very tough indeed.

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