Cartoon via Megaresistencia. The road is long... and arid...
"We have victory - a remarkable and definite victory...Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. but it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning"As any task one commit to accomplish in life, a diet to lose weight, a professional degree, get the job or your dreams or to win someone's heart, there will be many battles to fight in order to win the war.
- Winston Churchill
Yesterday, the opposition against Chavez won a very important victory. Why this is very important?
Because Chavismo realized they have lost a lot of popular support, and they couldn't carry on what they had in mind. Yes, a lot of Chavistas voted for the NO too and that helped the opposition to win, but that is also a defeat for Chavismo too, even if the voters keep calling themselves "Chavistas", maybe they are not in tune with Chavismo any longer, you know what I mean?. Also, a big chunk of Chavez supporters, the poorest of the poor, the people from the Barrio abstained to vote. Why? Could it be they are tired of so many empty promises?
What the opposition and in my opinion any citizen of Venezuelan need to focus now, is two things. First of all, realized that we were very close to be imposed a totalitarian constitution in our heads, and we also were at the edge of a civil war because of the madness of one. And, secondly, how we can implement a electoral council that can be transparent and trustworthy for all Venezuelans, regardless of their political ideas. The CNE is managed in his totality by Chavista partisans, and if we want clear elections and not a civil war, then we have to work on to clean it from partisans. This is the only way if we want to avoid violence in the country.
What happened yesterday wasn't a clean process whatsoever.
There are some points in this electoral process that I have noticed that are not satisfying at all. Moreover, that suggest that the CNE was into committing a fraud with the results, and they could't make it for the SI to win:
1) The results are not what they were expected. As you can see in this graph, made by fellow blogger Quico, you can see that the percentage of the NO was much higher according to the polls. It wasn't at all a photographic finish like Mr. Chavez was babbling yesterday in his conceit speech. Not at all.
2) International observers were taken their credentials out, like Mr. Jorge Quiroga, ex-President from Bolivia. Since he broke some "rules" from the CNE saying that he was invited from the No people. Oh too much partiality uh? But, when the Chavista partisans brake the rules with impunity, it's not a problem at all.
3) In the same line of Chavista partiality from the electoral council, the Partido Popular from Spain had made very important comments about it. Also, Luis Herrero, an Euro-representative from this party, said that Chavez manipulated the results for 4 hours before given the preliminary results, to accommodate a much softer defeat than the real one.
4) The delayed results and the impossibility of the representatives from the NO to inspect and observe the totalization room. The military stopped them to enter that room where the computers were tallying the results. This people had credentials to access any of the electoral council premises. As I was hearing it yesterday live on the radio:
"I am keep listening to the news. The agreement of total access to the representatives of the NO block from the electoral council (CNE), hasn't been met. There is a live discussion that I am listening live on radio right now, with this representative from the NO, and Col. Antonio Benavides Torres, who is the militar in charge of protecting the electoral council (CNE). This militar is preventing the representatives of the NO to enter the totalization room."How come was that possible? What happened in there? We want to to know. We have the right to know.
The problem for Chavismo were two. One, the student movement. The Chavismo knew if they dared to give the SI a victory, as they had planned, they were gonna spark the student movement to move on and they wouldn't be able to stop them. My feeling is that part of the military would follow up too all along with the students. That would have been the end for Hugo. Por ahora, he avoided not going down the hill so fast. But, this is the beginning of the end IF the opposition, the political parties against Chavez, etc, capitalize this win for them and not let Hugo use it for his political sake, as he has done very successfully in the past.