The BBC World Service called to get my views regarding yesterday’s indefinite re-election vote. No point in rehashing them here. What I will say, echoing Daniel’s opinion, is that 54% of Venezuelans have decided that Hugo Chavez’s style of politics are legitimate, representative and worthy of continuation. There’s little that can be argued against that. I knew this was coming, in fact I wrote this in Miguel’s blog a full month before the vote:
Miguel, the strategy is brilliant in its simplicity in my opinion: in the land of the caudillo, let them all be. Chavez can be faulted for many things but not of not having a superb understanding of Venezuelanness.
Chavez lost in 2007 because he went against his party apparatchiks and military. This time round, he made sure to extend the possibility of indefinite re-election to pretty much all elected officers, and results show. This time chavismo did mobilize people and got the required majority. Moreover, this electoral result comes to reconfirm my hypothesis that, contrary to wishful thinking consensus, it weren’t the students who tipped the scale last time.
What is patently clear though, is that those electoral observers that deemed the election “free and fair” have a very poor understanding of what democracy is all about. As the international community is ever more aware of Chavez’s many abuses, the majority of my compatriots do not have problems extending a blank check to the “standard-issue autocrat.”