I am actually afraid for Capriles if he does get elected.
The former ruling elites still behind the opposition have been anxiously waiting for the chance to regain control of the country for the past thirteen years, and they want nothing more than to reverse all developments of Venezuelan society since Chavez was first elected in 1998.
However, after failing every conceivable effort to re-assert control, the opposition has cleverly decided to conceal its reactionary agenda for the time being, and to pursue a wholly cynical strategy to retake power by riding in on the coattails of a promising young ‘left-of-center’ candidate.
They will tolerate his populist campaign promises as long as it secures him a victory in the election; but he’s in for quite a surprise if he thinks those elites backing him will ever allow him to govern in the way he is promising!
If he tries to make good on his promises and follow in the footsteps of his predecessor, they’ll turn on him immediately but unlike Chavez, Capriles will lack the power to stop them, and his rule will be short-lived.
If he swings to the right to please his new masters–as President Carlos Andrés Pérez did in 1989–the people, following precedent, will cry bloody murder and rise up in righteous indignation.
The opposition to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has tried everything to end his long rule: huge protests, a coup and an oil strike.
NPR forgot to mention the Venezuelan opposition’s referendum (conducted August 15, 2004) to determine whether Hugo Chávez, the current President of Venezuela, should be recalled from office.
The result of the referendum was NOT to recall Chavez (59% to 41%).
What else has the opposition tried? Let’s see… Death threats and assassination plots… From Wikipedia:
[In 2004], from his exile in Miami, disgraced former President Carlos Andrés Pérez declared “I am working to overthrow Chávez. Violence will allow us to take him out. Chávez must die like a dog.” […] There were echoes of the 2002 Venezuelan coup d’état attempt in Pérez’s claims that all Chavista institutions (such as the Supreme Court and National Assembly) would need to be dismantled under a junta governing for a “transition period” of 2 or 3 years.
[Look up the Wikipedia article for the sources.]
They’re just lucky that he happened to get cancer (assuming they’re not the reason he’s got it).
I’m pleased to see that the opposition candidate at least claims to be from the ideological “center-left”. Even if it’s not true that Capriles will govern that way, it means something–about Chavez’s success in shifting the political horizon in his country–that the opposition knows it could not win an election if it promised to take the country in a dramatically different direction from the one set by President Chavez.
I think you’re right to be suspicious of what would happen if the opposition candidate becomes elected. Consider the “bait-and-switch” politics of 1988, when Carlos Andres Perez ran a markedly anti-neoliberal campaign during which he demonized the IMF as a “neutron bomb that killed people but left buildings standing”. however, JUST DAYS after taking office, CAP proceeded to implement IMF plans for neoliberal reform, a turnaround that led to massive popular protests, brutal military repression, 500 to 3000 deaths, and, eventually, to two coup attempts, the end of the Fourth Republic, and start of the Bolivarian revolution.
It could happen all over again!
i hope that redditors who oppose chavez recognize the meaning of this pledge: the opposition candidates are conceding that they would have no chance of defeating president chavez in the upcoming election if they were to run on a platform that promised to take the country in an opposite direction from the one set by chavez. what this means is that the bolivarian revolution has finally stabilized to the point that the opposition appears to have accepted the new political reality and will not seek to overturn it, even if chavez were to be defeated.
this is good news for the country.
nonetheless, venezuelans have a right to be skeptical of opposition candidates, given that they’ve been victims of “bait-and-switch” politics before. in 1988, Carlos Andres Perez ran a markedly anti-neoliberal campaign during which he had demonized the IMF as a “neutron bomb that killed people but left buildings standing”. however, JUST DAYS after taking office, CAP proceeded to implement IMF plans for neoliberal reform, a turnaround that led to massive popular protests, brutal military repression, 500 to 3000 deaths, and, eventually, to two coup attempts, the end of the Fourth Republic, and start of the Bolivarian revolution.