Excerpts of column Runrunes (Rumors), released on October 25
How about some excitement? Much has been said about the lack of celebration or triumphalism by 8,181,122 voters who voted for the president commander in the October 7 election. Thus, it was necessary to find the reasons behind the long and sad faces and especially the silence of the thousands of travelers on Caracas Metro or Valles del Tuy train on Monday October 8. Looking for reasons, I have made several inquiries with friends close to the red ranks. After several meetings, I have drawn some conclusions I have mulled over for two weeks and now I want to share with you. My sources brought me to a voter in the west area of Caracas, a worker waiting for a home on coastal La Guaira town, a homeless person who is living in a shelter in Tiuna military base in Caracas, an employee of a ministry and a bank teller working for a state-run bank. These days, I put two and two together and drew a conclusion that surely some red minions will try to deny. There was no celebration because there was nothing to celebrate. Only about two and a half million people voted in the conviction that the president loves them and has empowered them in these 14 years. The rest did not celebrate because they were forced to vote. They were frightened and thought that their bosses would know whom they would vote, that they would not be awarded a long awaited house or that they would not be moved out of the shelter where they have lived for more than two years, if they were caught voting the other candidate or not casting their ballot. I saw a nearly 90-year old woman who was stretchered to vote and I thought that she was showing an admirable democratic will. However, a relative of the lady told me that he could not accompany her to cast her ballot because the nurse of the hospital where she was hospitalized one of the hospitals forming the state-run healthcare network- had to accompany the woman "to make sure she would vote for (Hugo) Chávez," under threat of being expelled from the hospital. Public servants, who are forced to wear red clothes and attend rallies, meetings and even training courses to fight against a "gringo invasion," are tired and angry, but must vote red "to preserve the income we have." Add to these testimonies those of the people who rely solely on the State, because private industries and businesses have been razed to the ground. They had no choice. These are the reasons behind the sadness, boredom and uncertainty after October 7. This is further evidence that the turmoil happens inside...
REFLECTION. This column is being released 19 days after the presidential election. Over these days, many people have criticized and questioned the alleged errors of opposition campaign team Comando Venezuela and candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski. Such comments came from the ranks and actors who, until October 7 at night, supported the opposition. Little or no politically meaningful criticism has come from the ranks of the government or the ruling party PSUV. It is necessary to highlight the baffling stance of many actors or middle-level cadres in the democratic opposition apparatus. It seems they have forgotten that from six or more candidates, we reached the goal of having one presidential hopeful, who was elected by the rank and file. It seems they have forgotten that from having a thousand views on what to do with the future of the country, we managed to present one single option of progress to Venezuelans. In addition, it seems they have forgotten that from winning 4,292,000 votes in 2006, we obtained 6,566,000 votes in October 7, i.e., a 53% growth. Really, it is strange.
The very early morning after the presidential election (April 15), both candidates requested the National Electoral Council (CNE) to conduct a full audit of the process: one, Henrique Capriles, because he asserts that the election results are different from the ones announced, and the other one, Nicolás Maduro, in order to clear any doubt regarding his victory, and to reinforce his political stance. Nevertheless, as it is already known, President Maduro changed his mind.