Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Venezuela: If You Believe in Fairy Tales, Believe in the Ouster of Presidential Adviser Rafaél Ramírez

According to The Latin American TribuneVenezuela’s Primero Justicia (PJ) party of two-time presidential opposition leader Henrique Capriles announced for the first time in 15 years since the first triumph of the late president Hugo Chávez, the opposition potentially could win parliamentary elections scheduled for October 2015.

“It will be the first time in 15 years when we will have the opportunity to have the country’s most important institution in service of people, and not the government,” PJ Secretary-General Tomás Guanipa said Sunday (September 14) in reference to the National Assembly [Parliament].

The triumph of the opposition will allow “the changes which the country demands,” Guanipa said in statements to journalists.

The party must win not less than two-thirds of the seats in the single-chamber NA, he explained.

In the previous parliamentary elections held in September 2010, Chávez’ ruling party won 98 out of 165 seats in the AN, and the opposition took 67.

With the Chavista majority, the NA has been “useless to the interests of Venezuelan people,” Guanipa said, adding that this could be reverted if in 2015 opposition comes to power.

Guanipa also said that with a majority of anti-Chavistas he could change the correlation of forces in all powers of the state and censor votes may be cast to the ministers of President Nicolás Maduro, whom he defined as responsible for the continuing political legacy of Chávez, who died in March 2013.

COMMENT: Although a "win" of NA seats would be tantamount to a "dream come true," for the dormant Partido de Primero Justicia, it appears that Guanipa is simply "playing to the crowd" in the hope that saber-rattling may generate enthusiasm.

Admittedly, time will tell whether Guanipa's tea-leave readings are valid or not, yet ousting the Chávez curse is earlier said than done.

The hold that the late President Hugo Chávez and incumbent President Nicolás Maduro structured the presidency into with ideologues front and center mitigate against the opposition securing a majority of seats.

Although the opposition has been successful in "telling itself fairy tales," I offer the ouster of Presidential adviser Rafaél Ramírez earlier this month as evidence of President Maduro's  capacity to preserve the status quo:


Guanipa predicted that “there could be a change in the economic system of the country to fight against corruption, pass laws for the people, release political prisoners and ban the giving away of our wealth.”

“In a year we, the Venezuelans, are going to vote to tell if we agree with the current system,” he added, referring to the model of “21st century socialism," promoted by Chávez and Maduro.

Last week, President Maduro said that the ruling Partido Socialista is already preparing for “a great victory” next year and so would give a “lesson” to those who sought to end the so-called Bolivarian revolution initiated by the late President  Hugo Chávez.