Can Capriles really defeat Chávez?
Capriles should not be the one who defeats Chávez. The vast parts of the country that believe the commander president should step down are the ones who should collectively defeat Chávez
This is the question that Venezuelans have most frequently been asking themselves these days. In whatever conversation or daily analysis after praising or criticizing the "dull candidate (the way President Chávez calls his challenger Henrique Capriles)," a doubt inevitably surfaces: "But...do you really think that he can beat Chávez?"
The question, to me, denotes two things: Poor memory and a lack of confidence.
Poor memory because Chávez has suffered several defeats throughout his political career. Let us not forget that the famous "For now" he used to emerge from anonymity was a public recognition of the failed coup of 1992. The referendum to alter the Constitution in 2007 was another loud failure for Chávez, as was his loss of the people's vote in the parliamentary elections of 2010.
The Patriotic Pole's followers feel confident because Chávez has never been defeated in an election where he has personally run for president, to state the obvious. With that being said, just because he has not been defeated does not guarantee that he will not be defeated in the future.
I prefer to rely on the analysis of the quantitative trends and the way both people and institutions around Chávez have come to change. These elements indicate that an important erosion of Chávez's leadership will or has occurred and will open up a gap that will be filled by change.
The second factor behind the doubts as to whether Capriles can win stems from a lack of confidence. There is a lack of confidence in the opposition leadership, as in the past they have led their followers down the wrong path (like in the 2005 parliamentary elections). But most of all, there is a lack of confidence in the opposition's capacity to spur a unified reaction against Chavezism.
Capriles should not be the one who defeats Chávez. The vast parts of the country that believe the commander president should step down are the ones who should collectively defeat Chávez. The candidate should inspire, he should find votes and propose alternative public policies, but whoever wants change, should get active, defend their vote, serve to strengthen a unified message, and participate in every form possible to construct the future they crave.
Translated by Alejandro Osio
Luis Jiménez Alfaro seems to have hidden under the rocks. The last time he was seen was on April 2006 walking calmly around Simón Bolívar International Airport of Maiquetía, located nearby Caracas. At that time, more than five tons of cocaine arrived in Mexico in an airplane which took off from Venezuela, and his name featured as a missing piece of the puzzle of one of the most massive drug shipments that has been witnessed in the Western Hemisphere.