Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Maduro vs. Capriles

I'm quoted in this story on Venezuela. The basic question was how the stand off would likely end, and what the political consequences would be. As it stands, Nicolás Maduro's strategy is to shout Henrique Capriles down and hurl a blizzard of accusations using the words "coup" and "fascist" in sometimes incoherent ways, along with blood, death, murder, etc. Even while Capriles was calling off a protest march (which Maduro had already banned) the government cut him off with a cadena, the forced broadcast of a government message. When Capriles called for peaceful banging of pots and pans, Maduro told his supporters to shoot firecrackers in response.Maduro has even compared the opposition to those in Syria and Libya, as if that was a bad thing.

My take was that at least in the short term this makes Capriles look more presidential than Maduro. The government keeps saying he is inciting violence without showing any evidence of it, while Capriles called off a march that almost certainly would resulted in violence in some way. This is Maduro's chance to find a face saving compromise--even dialogue without promises would calm things down. If he continues to dig in, then there is a much higher chance that protests will happen anyway. Perhaps that's what the government wants, as the violence could then be blamed more squarely on the opposition.

But this is no way to start a presidential term and will be counterproductive for Maduro. Venezuela can't be held together by force alone.

9 comments:

Justin Delacour 9:06 AM  

Capriles' latest strategy of trying to calm down his base is good, and hopefully Maduro will do the same. My only problem with your analysis is that you tend to conveniently leave out details that point to not just one side having acted in somewhat irresponsible ways but both sides.

Cort Greene 9:22 AM  

Capriles unleashed the dogs of war, that was their plan already and had to pull back somewhat because of the response from the militants and grassroots of the Bolivarian revolution.

That is not to say the oppo's have completely stopped or will not try other adventures. Last night another clinic was attacked along with another MERCAL, houses burned and fighting still going on in some places.

Justin Delacour 9:44 AM  

I'm also not sure why Greg leaves out the fact that the State Department is just exacerbating the situation by making a statement that it won't recognize Venezuela's election. Just like in 2001-2002, the State Department is effectively sending signals to Venezuela's opposition that it can do whatever it pleases and the U.S. will have its back. Such provocation indicates that the State Department has no interest whatsoever in rapprochement with Venezuela, despite the fact that Maduro signaled on Sunday that he seeks a normalization of relations with the United States. This is also grossly hypocritical. The U.S. recognized the 2006 election in Mexico, despite a much tinier margin of victory and AMLO's call for a recount. It also recognized the 2009 election in Honduras, despite the fact that the conditions under which the election took place were plainly not democratic ones because of the coup earlier that year. In effect, the State Department is now plainly politicizing its decisions about which elections it recognizes and which elections it doesn't.

boz 11:59 AM  

It also recognized the 2009 election in Honduras, despite the fact that the conditions under which the election took place were plainly not democratic ones because of the coup earlier that year.

It took a little while, but Venezuelan President Chavez and his Foreign Minister Maduro eventually also recognized Lobo's presidency as legitimate. The only government that didn't recognize Honduran President Lobo's legitimacy when it was reincorporated into the OAS was Ecuador's.

In return, President Lobo was quick to recognize Maduro's win and Lobo will be at Maduro's inauguration this Friday.

Vicente Duque 12:07 PM  


Professor Weeks said :


"But this is no way to start a presidential term and will be counterproductive for Maduro. Venezuela can't be held together by force alone."

I agree 100% - The Politics of Chavez and Maduro are based on Envy, Resentment, Revenge, Inferiority Complexes, Hatred, Fascism, Dictatorship, Tyranny, Anti-Democracy, Brutality and Ignorance of Economics, History, etc ...

No wonder that Maduro spent several years in Cuba being indoctrinated by the Castro Brothers. Venezuela is a dictatorship without Free Speech, Free Expression.

By the way : I consider myself leftist and admirer of President Obama. I am not a lover of Plutocracy.

But I dislike Bullies, Thugs and Aggressors !

**************

Justin Delacour 12:38 PM  

The point, Boz, is that the State Department is blatantly politicizing its decisions about which elections it recognizes and which elections it doesn't. I think you know quite well that its current stall game is not about the nature of the election itself but rather about who got elected. As your buddy Francisco Toro just explained yesterday, Capriles has virtually nothing in the way of evidence of fraud.

boz 1:15 PM  

The Obama administration is asking for patience and non-violence while the dispute over the election audit is worked out.

As I wrote today, the Bush administration waited four days in 2006 before recognizing Calderon and even acknowledged there was still an ongoing review process after that. The OAS waited two months before it recognized Calderon. Many other countries waited for Florida's recount before recognizing Bush in 2000. When there are disputes and candidates call for recounts, these things can and should take extra time.

Justin Delacour 1:17 PM  

Ah, yes, I see your post over there, Boz. A poorly argued defense of U.S. double standards, to say the least. Yes, when the final count was in in Mexico four days after the election, Bush congratulated Calderon. The final count is in in Venezuela too, after a much more thorough audit than anything we ever saw in Mexico, and NOW the State Department is playing an EXPLICIT stall game against a government that it clearly doesn't like. And mind you, the vote spread in Venezuela is not nearly as tight as it was in Mexico, as you well know. No dice, Boz.

Justin Delacour 1:51 PM  

And, just to reiterate, one of the better cases I've seen that Capriles has essentially nothing in the way of evidence of fraud comes from an opposition blogger that Greg and Boz often turn to as a source of information. However, somehow the cat's got their tongue about Toro's post at the moment, so here's the link for folks who might want to have a look for themselves: http://caracaschronicles.com/2013/04/16/conjugating-fraud-in-the-conditional-tense/

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