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View Diary: Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 4/15 (278 comments)

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  •  The problem with Venezuelan politics (6+ / 0-)

    I'll just excerpt from a Wikipedia article. Page here.

    The campaign was characterised by insults from both sides. Examples include Maduro calling Capriles "Prince of the Bourgeoisie" and "capricious", while Capriles described Maduro as "Satan" and as "bird brain", "great fool", and "liar". Maduro also "employed comments that were regarded as homophobic, calling Capriles a 'little princess' while declaring 'I have my woman, I like women'." In the campaign, Maduro sang a rap song in which he described his opponent as "the little bourgeois shit who shits himself of fear when the people raise their voice". He also implied that Capriles was gay, referring to him being unmarried. Capriles then said he loves so many women he can't decide. He also declared that Maduro's wife was ugly and asked who wants to be with her.
    Policy aside -- whether you're a fan of Chavista socialism and the Chavez cult of personality, whether you favor the Brazilian-style mixed approach Gov. Capriles claims to desire, or whether you want something else for Venezuela altogether -- the fact that the government and opposition have no mutual respect and indeed seem to regard one another as foreign plots that more than border on treason is deeply problematic.

    The problems with tabulating the vote in a country of almost 30 million people in a matter of hours aside, and assuming Acting President Maduro is in fact the president-elect with less than 51% of the vote in a two-way race, how does he govern this diverse country in a geographic hot spot? How would Capriles, had he won (although I doubt he would have been allowed to take office to begin with)? The Chavistas and the opposition coalition (a broad group in their own right, from bourgeoisie to disaffected poor unconvinced that the state will help them; Argentine- and Brazilian-style leftists to rightists who would prefer to see the country run as a U.S. vassal state; farmers concerned about their security amid the regional drug war and Caracas' frosty relations with Colombia to city-dwellers who despise the uncultured Chavista "rabble") hate and distrust one another. This election may have handed another six years to the Chavistas, legitimately or not, but it would seem to suggest the unifying legacy of Chavez under which Maduro has tried to rally the country isn't so unifying after all.

    •  PSUV (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ArkDem14, James Allen, MichaelNY

      Maduro's party still controls around 55% of the legislature and their semi-allies have around 2% while another 10ish% of the opposition are center-left parties. So Maduro can govern pretty effectively; if nothing is done about crime I don't see him winning re-election.

      We only think nothing goes without saying.

      by Hamtree on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 11:13:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sounds like American politics (8+ / 0-)

      "the fact that the government and opposition have no mutual respect and indeed seem to regard one another as foreign plots that more than border on treason is deeply problematic" <--- Sounds like American politics

      "The problems with tabulating the vote in a country of almost 30 million people in a matter of hours aside"
      Obama and Romney between them had 126,838,980 votes and it didn't take more than 4 hours after polls had closed to declare Obama the winner. This whole notion that because votes are counted quickly, therefore there must be fraud is a serious logical flaw. The Venezuelan electoral system is also very advanced (don't take my word for it: http://www.youtube.com/...) so we shouldn't be comparing Venezuela to some truly third world nation like India or Egypt where it takes days due to bad infrastructure/technology, etc.

      "how does he govern this diverse country in a geographic hot spot"
      Venezuela is neither diverse nor a geographic hot spot. It's in Northern South America, a veritable zone of geostrategic nothingness. There's little US strategic value in the Caribbean and South America so I don't understand this statement. Unless you're referring to earthquakes in which case you would be correct (http://images.mnn.com/...) but it would seem a little odd of a place to bring up earthquakes. Part of the collapse for the Washington Consensus in the 1990s was the fact that the end of the Cold War turned Latin America from a serious strategic interest for Washington (for security reasons like the Cuban Missile Crisis) to Washington completely dropping its interest in Latin America to focus on the Middle East and now East Asia. So it's not a geographic hot spot in a realpolitik kind of way. And Venezuela isn't diverse at all. The USA is in fact more diverse (http://en.wikipedia.org/...). Venezuelans more or less are more equal economically, religiously, ethnically, culturally, linguistically, historically, than the US so it's not diverse in the least. Maybe you could clarify 'diversity'?

      To answer your main question here's my take on the Venezuelan election: Maduro's weak performance upps the chances of him being ousted by the party in the next election by Diosdado Cabello (who actually lost to Henrique Capriles for the governorship of Miranda State in 2008). Maduro has two years to implement his agenda and given the Socialist Party's hold  on Parliament he should have no problems doing so. In 2015 we have parliamentary elections which could see the opposition take control. This will effectively end the opposition as we know it. As you noted the Coalition for Democratic Unity, the opposition to Chavismo, is a hodgepodge of parties with diametrically opposed views on a range of issues. Once Chavismo suffers its first true electoral defeat (not counting constitutional referendums) then the coalition will effectively fragment into everything from center-left to far-right camps. The Socialists will moderate to become left-wing instead of populist left wing and will become a lot less 'cult of personality' based in an attempt to establish some camaraderie with the center-left parties (Maduro has already signaled a reset with Obama for instance). Now it gets fun. The opposition is the favorite I would say now to win the parliament in 2015 but with a high chance of fragmentation. With Maduro in charge for 6 more years they will not have power to do anything beyond block his reforms (ala Republicans 2010-201X) and Maduro will have to choose between moderation (which will destroy his changes of running in 2019) or staying ideologically bombastic (which will destroy his chances of winning in 2019). Capriles will probably hold the coalition together until 2016 and then go for the kill. If Capriles wins, then the coalition collapses and we go back to a more Italy-esque system of multiparty political diversity. Capriles will continue to portray himself as a Centrist to keep the coalition together but he will struggle to do so. If Capriles loses in 2019, the coalition remains a little longer, Capriles leaves the political scene and we have a deeply tumultous intra-coalition war inside the Opposition coalition for control of the movement. I think that at this point the Socialists are the underdogs in 2015 & 2019. I am glad that the Overton Window in Venezuela has been moved so far to the left that Capriles (a rightist) has to call himself center-left to be viable. That's very refreshing.

      I also don't understand the love for Capriles that many have. Let's not forget that he's pro-life, anti-gay marriage, anti-marijuana legalization and anti-euthanasia (all on moral grounds). His party is also ardently anti-choice and it's manifesto states that "Thus, dignity and human life, even before birth, are inviolable" (http://www.primerojusticia.org.ve/...). Even 58% of Mississippians are to the left of Capriles and his party on this issue. Outside of these social issues his party is incredibly vague on economic issues and rambles on about 'justice', 'rights' and 'humanity'. Why? Because Justice First knows its economic policy would be soundly defeated if exposed. I encourage you to read their party's platform. It's nothing platitudes, buttercups and rainbows about the individual and justice. There's nothing concrete. It's like they flew down the board of Americans Elect to write that platform with the explicit wishes that nothing concrete or uncontroversial be noted. Their ideology is even noted as Humanism (how Enlightened of them). So I can see the allure of some other parties over the Socialist Party of Venezuela but Henrique Capriles leaves a bad taste in my mouth and even though I adore Dilma Rousseff or Jose Mujica (my two role models in South America) I could never pull the trigger for Capriles, who I see as nothing but a phony.

      21, Male, Latino-Spanish, OK-1 (Tulsa: The Art Deco, Terracotta, and Cultural Gem of Green Country!); Currently studying in Madrid, Spain

      by gigantomachyusa on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 02:34:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Very well put indeed, thank you (5+ / 0-)

        It sometimes blows me away how disgustingly the US acted to further imperialist economic interests in the 3rd world in the not too distant past, with Chile 1973 standing out in particular but by no means being the only case.

        Imagine if, instead of fighting all of these regimes who wanted to actually keep the wealth of their nations from going to those who didn't work for it (western corporations), we had said okay, we'll support social democracy in return for not allying with the Soviets. Do you think there would have been appetite in places like Vietnam for saying no to that offer? Probably not. Instead we tried to impose crony capitalism on them by force and got: war and revolution and the deaths that followed them.

        I maintain that imperialism is the worst thing that the world has ever done to itself and I have very little sympathy for when these countries turn on us. What the hell do you expect when you put your boot down on their neck for the sole purpose of extracting economic rent to their detriment? Only the United States is allowed to have a revolution in similar circumstances? It's nothing short of disgusting.

      •  diversity (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY

        Wouldn't the part of Venezuela in the Amazon river drainage be significantly different from the rest?

        Tho I expect the pop total there is minimal

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