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Opinion and Analysis: Opposition

Run Oligarchy, Run

Reinaldo Iturriza is a respected Venezuelan political and sports commentator.

On June 25th, 2012, a few days before the beginning of the 2012 presidential campaign, opposition leader Maria Corina Machado was visiting the community of El Cartanal in Valle del Tuy, Caracas. The objective was to continue with her slanderous work against the social missions, trying to poke holes in the revolution’s base of support.

With this goal in mind, Machado made up a belligerent story about the women of the community who, in order to buy food in the government supermarket Mercal, have to “wait several hours in the sun and rain, uncovered, and on their arms they identify them with a number.”

That’s right: numbers on their arms. Like in the Nazi concentration camps. Totalitarianism!

“They are subjected to constant humiliation, division, anguish, and permanent discrimination,” said Machado showing off her characteristic histrionics.

There is plenty of audiovisual evidence of Machado’s visit. Take a look for yourself and search for it on the internet: you won’t find the slightest proof of what the parliamentarian claimed, even though several cameras were following her and could have easily filmed it.


Now, here’s another interesting event: there’s a video going around the internet with part of Miranda governor Capriles Radonski’s visit to the same community of El Cartanal on November 3rd, 2012, just one day after the massive turnout for PSUV gubernatorial candidate Elias Jaua’s visit. You can see governor Capriles all alone, running down the street of a working-class neighborhood, surrounded by nothing more than his bodyguards, cameramen, and photographers.

What was Capriles Radonski running from? And where were all the people of the community?

In October’s elections, 74.47 percent of the population of El Cartanal voted for Chavez.

Do you get what I’m saying?

That is how the oligarchy behaves: the Venezuelan people start to have access to low-cost food and they complain, they are perturbed, they get uncomfortable. The people celebrate and make jokes and they frown, just like Machado does in the National Assembly. Her unforgettable scowl provokes laughter. That’s why when she laughs and says nice things the people get suspicious. That’s why we don’t believe her stories.

That’s why when the people walk, Capriles Radonski takes off running.

They are so much alike, Capriles Radonski and Maria Corina Machado. She has always been warning us of “Castro-communism”, while he has managed to avoid doing the same for some time, but recently we have seen how he failed in his attempt.

There is a small degree of difference between them, but they are of the same nature.

The pertinent question is, mainly for the anti-Chavez electorate, if we will have to settle for this kind of discredited, anachronistic leadership that talks to us as if we lived in the 1950s when Joseph McCarthy persecuted communists in the United States and Marcos Pérez Jiménez did the same here in Venezuela.

“The candidates of the red party,” is what Capriles Radonski likes to repeat, and the phrase is supposed to produce the same effect as McCarthy’s “red scare”. As Venezuelan satirist Carola Chavez would say, “How embarrassing for that guy.”

And what can we say about this claim that the government has a “Castro-communist” plan to eliminate the state governors and municipalities as Capriles Radonski claimed on November 11th in a public event? If that were the case, why go to the trouble of having elections?

Why go to the trouble of having primary elections if later you are not going to recognize the results? Was that what opposition party Primero Justicia had planned all along? To ignore the popular will of the opposition electorate, a majority of whom voted for Carlos Ocariz as candidate for governor of Miranda, and not Capriles Radonski?

When you ask the right questions, they pretend they don’t understand. Maria Corina Machado practices her Cheshire-cat smile and Capriles Radonski takes off running.

Run oligarchy, run.

On December 16th lets do like the people of El Cartanal did on October 7th, with an turnout of more than 80 percent: let’s vote overwhelmingly in favor of the candidate of the revolution, which is the candidate of democracy—a democracy that we will have to keep strengthening and deepening so that we don’t have to keep putting up with a political class that has never believed in the will of the people.

Translated by Chris Carlson for