One Newspaper, Two Elections: NYT on America 2004, Venezuela 2013

by Corey Robin on April 15, 2013

In November 2004, 50.7% of the American population voted for George W. Bush; 48.3% voted for John Kerry.

The headline in the New York Times read: “After a Tense Night, Bush Spends the Day Basking in Victory.”

The piece began as follows:

After a long night of tension that gave way to a morning of jubilation, President Bush claimed his victory on Wednesday afternoon, praising Senator John Kerry for waging a spirited campaign and pledging to reach out to his opponent’s supporters in an effort to heal the bitter partisan divide.

“America has spoken, and I’m humbled by the trust and the confidence of my fellow citizens,” Mr. Bush told a victory party that was reconstituted 10 hours after it broke up inconclusively in the predawn hours. “With that trust comes a duty to serve all Americans, and I will do my best to fulfill that duty every day as your president.”

Flanked by his wife, Laura, and their daughters, Barbara and Jenna, and Vice President Dick Cheney and his family, Mr. Bush stood smiling and relaxed on a stage at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center to thank the campaign team that helped him to a decisive victory, outline his agenda and, 78 days before his second inauguration, speak somewhat wistfully of eventually returning home to Texas.

The Times “News Analysis” read as follows:


It was not a landslide, or a re-alignment, or even a seismic shock. But it was decisive, and it is impossible to read President Bush’s re-election with larger Republican majorities in both houses of Congress as anything other than the clearest confirmation yet that this is a center-right country – divided yes, but with an undisputed majority united behind his leadership.

Fast forward to 2013. Tonight, 50.6% of the Venezuelan population voted for Chavez’s successor Nicolas Maduro; 49.1% voted for his opponent Henrique Capriles.

The Times headline this time: “Maduro Narrowly Wins Venezuelan Presidency.”

And here’s how the article begins:

Nicolás Maduro, the acting president and handpicked political heir to Hugo Chávez, narrowly won election to serve the remainder of Mr. Chávez’s six-year term as president of Venezuela, officials said late Sunday. He defeated Henrique Capriles Radonski, a state governor who ran strongly against Mr. Chávez in October.

Election authorities said that with more than 99 percent of the vote counted, Mr. Maduro had 50.6 percent to Mr. Capriles’s 49.1 percent. The turnout, while strong, appeared to be somewhat below the record levels seen in October, a sign that Mr. Maduro may not enjoy the same depth of passionate popular support that Mr. Chávez did.

Update (1 am)

Nathan Tankus just pointed out on Twitter another point of comparison I missed: “I love the focus on ‘hand picked successor’. Pretty sure ‘son of former president’ sounds more nepotistic.” Nathan then added that the phrase was in fact “hand picked political heir,” which makes the comparison even starker!



Brett 04.15.13 at 6:22 am

To be fair, he literally was hand-picked – Chavez said that if he didn’t make it, Maduro was in charge.

I guess Venezuelans will get to look forward to three years of Maduro trying to ape Chavez, followed by two years of him trying to fix everything that’s gone wrong in recent years in Venezuela (hopefully including the crime situation), and then one last year of him turning on the tap in order to get re-elected.


Elyse 04.15.13 at 6:41 am

If Maduro was “hand-picked” then by your definition I expect to see every Vice President who runs in the election after the President they served with referred to in that fashion since it is basically the same thing.


Jesús Couto Fandiño 04.15.13 at 8:44 am

Let me get this straight, the Venezuelan Constitution says that the acting president has to be the leader of the Assembly, and Chavismo ignores his own constitution to put Maduro as acting president & candidate because Chávez said so. And none of that is “hand picked political heir”????

The result is going to be contested, but I dont expect it to matter much. I find more interesting that now according to the hard “doctrines” of Chávismo, half the country is counterrevolutionary squalid scum.


floopmeister 04.15.13 at 10:10 am

Neither of the two previous comments makes ‘son of the former President’ any less nepotistic, IMHO.

Then there’s ‘wife of a former President’ if Clinton wins the democrat candidacy.

We could also try ‘Yale alumni’…


ajay 04.15.13 at 10:21 am

Corey: the difference that you haven’t noticed, though it’s in both the quotes you gave, is that Bush was re-elected in 2004 with a better result than he had got in 2000, while Maduro did worse this year than Chavez did in October.

Nathan then added that the phrase was in fact “hand picked political heir,” which makes the comparison even starker!

Because…. George HW Bush told the Republican Party to run his son for President in 2000?


Katherine 04.15.13 at 10:36 am

Just FYI, ‘hand picked successor’ is the phrase used on the BBC website.


P O'Neill 04.15.13 at 11:48 am

Is it so obvious that America is realigning the way pundits proclaimed after Obama’s victory in November? It would be good if it was, but at the state level, the country seems more loony, not less. For all we know, it’s another 2004.


Jesús Couto Fandiño 04.15.13 at 11:49 am

Amazingly, I just read a friend write that she believes Maduro stole the election “like the other daddy’s son that stole the election in Florida”

But clearly it cant be, you cant be anti-Bush and anti-Chávez at the same time…

I’m not sure a recount is going to find anything different, and would prefer that the opposition capitalize on the ground gained and just waits. I dont think the system is going to survive Maduro.


Mao Cheng Ji 04.15.13 at 11:57 am

‘Son of a former CIA chief’ would sound more interesting than ‘former president’. Who cares about former presidents.


phosphorious 04.15.13 at 12:37 pm

ajay: “Because…. George HW Bush told the Republican Party to run his son for President in 2000?

The hypothesis that W was nominated on his own merits has one serious flaw: he has no merits. The “Bush Sr. ordered it” hypothesis accounts for this.


Jesús Couto Fandiño 04.15.13 at 12:49 pm

Sometime not having merits is a merit in politics. Being perceived as an useful idiot is good in several situations, like “the big bosses of the party dont agree on anybody except this clown because everybody thinks it will be easy to manipulate him”.

Of course that play has got a “surprise, I’m not an idiot!” ending many, many times. But in the Bush Jr case, he looked more like the mask for a Darth Cheney presidency.


UserGoogol 04.15.13 at 12:59 pm

That’s a false dichotomy, and I get the impression that Jeb Bush was the one George H.W. Bush was rooting for anyway. The name recognition and money George W. Bush got from being the son of his father is in of itself enough for a weak candidate to rise the ranks without needing his father to be secretly pushing him in addition to that.


Rich Puchalsky 04.15.13 at 1:03 pm

“The hypothesis that W was nominated on his own merits has one serious flaw: he has no merits. The “Bush Sr. ordered it” hypothesis accounts for this.”

This is nonsense. Bush Sr. would have liked to have had the power to order it, but he didn’t, and if he did have that power he would have picked Jeb Bush. The American electorate likes celebrities, and routinely picks politicians on the basis of them having the same last name as a known politician — Kennedies, Bushes, Clintons. GWB’s 2000 primary opponents were the same kind of crew that got Romney picked as the best of a bad lot in 2012, with the exception of John McCain, and next to John McCain GWB looked better in some ways to the GOP core.


Jesús Couto Fandiño 04.15.13 at 1:19 pm

On the more on topic news, I’m scared of how much “God” is being invoked by both chavismo and opposition of late. Give it a rest and start talking politics, for fuck’s sake.


Uncle Kvetch 04.15.13 at 1:27 pm

The BBC World Service went on and on this morning about how this reveals Venezuela to be a “deeply divided” and “bitterly polarized” society. I wasn’t aware that close elections were symptomatic of some kind of profound societal dysfunction, but then what do I know.


Jesús Couto Fandiño 04.15.13 at 1:34 pm

You have to see beyond the numbers, Uncle Kvetch. A 50/50 split where each side is convinced the other side is pure undiluted evil and doesnt deserve any acknowledgment or respect at all is a bitterly divided non-functional country.


Uncle Kvetch 04.15.13 at 1:38 pm

That was not what they were saying, though — they really were implying that the numbers themselves revealed something more than a plain old close election. I thought it was strange.


ajay 04.15.13 at 1:47 pm

Just FYI, ‘hand picked successor’ is the phrase used on the BBC website.

My God, the BBC are in on it as well!

Reuters: “chosen successor”
CBC: “hand-picked successor”
Independent (UK): “hand-picked successor”
Russia Today: “the heir-apparent to the decades-long administration of the late Chavez”
Xinhua: “political heir of late President Hugo Chavez”
The World Socialist Website (published by the International Committee of the Fourth International, no less): “Chávez’s chosen successor, Nicolás Maduro”

Keep looking, Corey! This goes even deeper than you thought!


J-- 04.15.13 at 2:07 pm

Re: nepotism

Maduro is not family. For that, see Adán Chávez and Jorge Arreaza, for example.


David Kaib 04.15.13 at 2:09 pm

I had no idea a percentage could become larger or smaller depending on all these contextual factors. Boy, did my teachers steer me wrong!


Jesús Couto Fandiño 04.15.13 at 2:18 pm

The percentages are not greater or smaller. What they are is percentages of different situations.

Kerry was not asking for a recount of all votes by hand as Capriles is doing, for example. Right now the opposition insist the election was stolen – and some irregularities seems to have happened in several places. If that amounts to a Capriles victory, I dont know (I fully expected Maduro to win – I’m just “happy” with closing the gap IF it doesnt get into troubles later), but the situation is not closed, and seems not to close in a healthy way any time soon.

I’ve even started reading rumors of the military intervening in the opposition favor, which seems to be wishful thinking or disinformation. But again, comparing the Venezuelan polarized and divided political climate with the US 2004 election is… well, apples and oranges.


Phil Perspective 04.15.13 at 2:50 pm

Rich Puchalsky:
There was only one problem. The Jebster lost his first attempt at becoming Florida’s Governor and W. won his first attempt at becoming Texas Governor. Jebster didn’t have a record to run on yet during the 2000 primaries.


Jesús Couto Fandiño 04.15.13 at 2:53 pm

The Guardian gives, apart from a profile of Maduro, a list of the challenges of his administration. I find it very accurate


js. 04.15.13 at 3:04 pm

comparing the Venezuelan polarized and divided political climate with the US 2004 election is… well, apples and oranges.

“Polarized and divided political climate” describes the US circa Nov. 2004 quite precisely, I’d have thought.


Jesús Couto Fandiño 04.15.13 at 3:08 pm

js. It also describes, say, Spain 1936 even if the 3 cases are different.


Hector_St_Clare 04.15.13 at 3:53 pm

Re: I’ve even started reading rumors of the military intervening in the opposition favor, which seems to be wishful thinking or disinformation

If the military intervenes, it will probably be a coup in favour of Cabello, putting him forward as a ‘moderate’ Chavista leader who can restore order and reconcile the two sides. Chavez had the army thoroughly purged, and I can’t see them siding with Capriles over a disputed election.


Uncle Kvetch 04.15.13 at 3:56 pm

“Polarized and divided political climate” describes the US circa Nov. 2004 quite precisely, I’d have thought.

Is it more or less so today than it was in 2004? Is it more or less “polarized and divided” than, say, the UK or France or Germany right now? For that matter, what would a non-polarized and divided political climate look like?

It just seems like a throwaway line to indicate that some of the people who didn’t like Chavez really, really didn’t like Chavez. Why that’s considered noteworthy…aside from its value as one more black mark to be applied to Chavez’s record…is beyond me. (But then again, I live in a country where office-holders anywhere to the left of the center are compared to Hitler, Mao, Stalin, and Satan on a regular basis, so maybe my perspective is off.)


Jesús Couto Fandiño 04.15.13 at 4:00 pm

That, in English, says that some voting receipts (the Venezuelan system is now electronic vote with the receipts in case of manual recount) were found on the road in Barinas (the “homeland” of Chávez, btw)

Seems not to be the only case but this one at least has enough people looking at it as to testify that something happened.

(I fully expect the CNE to say that oppositors did it)


js. 04.15.13 at 4:46 pm

It just seems like a throwaway line to indicate that some of the people who didn’t like Chavez really, really didn’t like Chavez. Why that’s considered noteworthy…aside from its value as one more black mark to be applied to Chavez’s record…is beyond me.

This is pretty much what I was saying (albeit somewhat obliquely).


marthe raymond 04.15.13 at 7:30 pm

Oliver Stone specifically talked about the NYT’s disinformation and manipulation in regard to Venezuela last week:


marthe raymond 04.15.13 at 8:04 pm

I tried posting a comment earlier today from my phone, but apparently the World’s Richest Man, Carlos Slim, who has a virtual monopply on land and cell service here in Mexico, dropped the ball again.

Rather than try to remember and recreate that post, I will just make a few comments:

1. Those of you who are not Latin Americans, or who have spent very little time in the region, should probably be advised as to why Venezuela has gone to so much trouble to perfect its electral system. It’s not just that the gringo government always denies the possibility of free and fair elections in Venezuela, nor that the opposition always shrieks FRAUD (tantamount to shouting FIRE in a crowded theater, they hope). Jimmy Carter said that the Venezuela system was the best in the world, especially when contrasted to that of the US–but perhaps he should have contrasted it to other systems in the region–that of Mexico, for example, where fraud is endemic and multidimensional, with just these examples: stealing and burning ballot boxes en masse, totalling boxes in a way that in no respect represents how the votes in thse boxes were cast, having the “computerized vote-counting system” fail, burning ALL the ballots when their content was questioned, buying votes with cash, debit cards, supermarket vouchers, cell phone air time cards, and so forth ad nauseum. And they ALWAYS refuse to count the ballots vote by vote, but only make a scanty spot check and declare the results pure. I am sure that many jaws in the so-called “political class”, not to mention the electorate, dropped this morning here in Mexico when Nicolás Maduro said he was all in favor that 100% of the votes be counted again. In previous days he had declared: If I win by only one vote, I win. And if I lose by one vote, I lose. This is an attitude absolute foreign to traditional politics in this region, and I will have to check the paper tomorrow to see if any pols kicked the bucket here from heart attacks.

2. The MSM has attacked chavism from the get-go. The CIA tried to organize a coup in 1998 even before he was elected, in order to prevent elections taking place. And the MSM in the US and its white Eurozone allies always follow the US government party line. The Marshall Plan did a bang-up job at buying loyalties after WWII–yet they complain that Chávez was giving price breaks and/or extended payment time on petroleum to poor countries in this region. And the US doesn’t want to have its long fingers slapped when they extract the natural resources from the countries in this hemisphere that it considers to be its back patio. As Oliver Stone said: I wouldn’t want to be in Nicolás Maduro’s shoes, as the US will be gunning for those world’s largest petroleum reserves with everything it can muster, and I would add the phrase, despite being more than overextended all around the planet. With the latest maneuvers by Russia in the petroleum playing field, the US hot air about energy sufficiency and dominance due to the fracking of North America has been placed in check, and very possibly checkmated, which puts Venezuela in the hot seat big time. Russia immediatedly stated its support of the Maduro government this morning, as it is apparently no slouch at geopolitical analysis.

3. My personal reaction to yesterday’s election was, and I guess is, depression. The voter turnout of 78% nearly equalled the 81% of last October. That’s about a difference of half a million votes–about twice the amount that Maduro won by. But the Chavistas on the right (and yes they definitely exists–the ones who used chavismo as a personal gravy train) decided to hedge their bets and vote for Capriles–and they, along with their family members make up the million votes that were lost to Maduro yesterday. So the groundwork has been laid for the struggle within chavismo in that it officially began yesterday.

I hope those big shoes of Maduro allow him to stand firm and move forward the Bolivarian process that a number of other countries in the region are counting on, for they are part of that.

But when it comes to politics, I am infrequently optimistic. It almost always brings out the worst vices of our vice-ridden species. We humans, in the majority, lack humanity.


SamChevre 04.15.13 at 8:55 pm

Is [Venezuela] more or less “polarized and divided” than, say, the UK or France or Germany right now?

I don’t think that in the US, the UK, France, or Germany, anyone really thinks it likely that losing an election and losing the ability to operate a media corporation, hold a civil-service job, run an import company, or work for a major company automatically go together. It’s Chavez’ institution of that being the case in Venezuela that makes the polarization bitter.


Uncle Kvetch 04.15.13 at 9:08 pm

It’s Chavez’ institution of that being the case in Venezuela that makes the polarization bitter.

Fine, but none of that was suggested in the radio reports I referenced in my first comment. It was, quite simply, “very close election => bitterly polarized and divided society.”


Kenny Easwaran 04.15.13 at 10:07 pm

It looks like Bush’s margin of victory was about 60% larger than Maduro’s. Also, given the peculiarities of the US electoral system, it’s really the state margins that matter. Iowa and New Mexico were close wins for Bush, while Wisconsin and New Hampshire were close wins for Kerry. Ohio and Pennsylvania were also close, though not as close as the Venezuela result. Kerry would have needed Ohio to win the election – Iowa, New Mexico, and Nevada together would not have been enough, and he would have had to hold on to all his other states while getting Ohio.

There were clearly issues of legal access to voting rights in Ohio and many other states, but for better or worse, the electoral college makes small nationwide popular vote margins much more robust in electoral terms.


Flitcraft 04.15.13 at 10:12 pm

NYT has had it in for the Bolivarian Revolution from the get-go. After the 2002 coup against Chavez, the paper ran an editorial praising the golpistas and calling the democratically elected Chavez a “would-be dictator.” Bold added, lest readers miss how the Times regards military coups against democratically elected heads of state of whom they disapprove.

Hugo Chávez Departs
Published: April 13, 2002

With yesterday’s resignation of President Hugo Chávez, Venezuelan democracy is no longer threatened by a would-be dictator. Mr. Chávez, a ruinous demagogue, stepped down after the military intervened and handed power to a respected business leader, Pedro Carmona.

I suspect this is old news to most here. Click my user name for link to the full editorial at NYT’s site.


marthe raymond 04.15.13 at 11:17 pm

Sam: I see you are a Fox News fan. RCTV lost its open signal concession for two reasons:

1. It promoted the April 11, 2002, and unlike Venevision,
2. did not make its peace with the government, but flagrantly continued to violate the media laws. If Granier had done that in the US he would be wearing one of those cute dayglo jumpsuits in Guatanamo and learning Arabic.

As it it, RCTV continued on cable and satellite.

I am fairly well informed on this matter as I was in Caracas in May and June of 2007 when the concession was not renewed and students who protested were given extra points and those who did not were given failing grades. In fact, I reported on the situation from there–where I also heard your comment on Fox News–also available on cable and satellite in Caracas.


marthe raymond 04.15.13 at 11:19 pm

Oh, I lost the phrase military coup after April 11, 2002 while editing.

Next time I won’t try to edit….


Hector_St_Clare 04.15.13 at 11:48 pm

Well, Capriles is calling for protests, claiming the election was stolen, and generally trying to destabilize the country. We should have known better than to think the oligarchs and their dupes would take the results lying down.


Dave Ranning 04.16.13 at 12:06 am

The NYT and the BBC and PBS have been running hit pieces on Maduro and for weeks, and Chavez during his whole Presidency.

I know they are part of the neoliberal elite, but it has been intense.


marthe raymond 04.16.13 at 2:41 am

There’s more than folks protesting in Venezuela:

they tried to burn the house of the father of the former communication minister; they attacked the house of the head of the electoral authority; ditto for VTV channel’s main office, the offices of the PSUV in four states, they are burning cars with people inside .

And Capriles said they were going to bang on pots and pans. Right.

I have seen these vicious folks in action in Caracas–insane with rancor. Previously it was ugly racist rants against Chávez. Now it is still racist rancor against Chávez, as well as classist tantrums.

Tedious shrieking and howling, the show financed in large part by the US embassy, aka YOUR tax dollars at work bringing democracy to the heathens.

Will someone flush the US before its genocidal excrement paves planet Earth?

Film at 11….


Hector_St_Clare 04.16.13 at 4:55 am

Ah, I see. If these people have begun burning cars with people inside, they have shown themselves to be depraved nihilists and would-be murderers, outside the protection of the law. There can be no tolerance for these terrorists who will burn people alive to protest a government they don’t like.

If this sort of thing continues, the government will have no choice but to call on the army to restore order.


roger nowosielski 04.16.13 at 4:58 am

Why can’t we expunge the US embassy, period, and declare it persona non grata?


Jesús Couto Fandiño 04.16.13 at 7:54 am

According to the head of the CNE (the body responsible for organizing the elections), the receipts are just “a voucher”, and pretending to count them manually is “returning to the manual system so easily to vulnerate and that has stolen the public voice in the past”. The votes are “in the machines”, she said.

Considering she went to Chávez funeral with a PSUV band, there is absolutely no space to think there is anything fishy in this. Like, how in hell is the opposition going to “manipulate” the manual recounting with the goverment in power and the CNE on their side.


Jesús Couto Fandiño 04.16.13 at 7:56 am


Barry 04.16.13 at 12:11 pm

Ajay @5: “Corey: the difference that you haven’t noticed, though it’s in both the quotes you gave, is that Bush was re-elected in 2004 with a better result than he had got in 2000, while Maduro did worse this year than Chavez did in October.”

Ask a friend about the effects of 9/11 on Bush’s popularity.


Jesús Couto Fandiño 04.16.13 at 1:15 pm

And in one hand, we have Capriles who has sent a ton of messages on any media possible about making peaceful protests and not give in to violence.

And in the other hand we have Diosdado Cabello saying that Capriles should be investigated for instigating violence by not accepting the result.

I’m having the terrible idea that things may be going to end up in a Caracazo 2.0


marthe raymond 04.16.13 at 2:25 pm

My my–butter would not melt in the mouths of some folks….

The violence which began with snipers shooting community t.v. people Sunday evening erupted full bore last night in several states. While Capriles–another CAPérez so Jésus is right on that point–disingenuously told folks to beat on metal colanders, after having baited the government with the red herring ripped off from AMLO here in Mexico the vote by vote recount demand while Nelson Bocaranda twitted that Cubans were holding votes hostage in the health centers and Leopoldo López, yet another refrito from the 2002 coup hit the streets to foment murder and mayhem–ditto a bunch of police from Capriles’ Miranda state.


marthe raymond 04.16.13 at 2:35 pm

Last I saw: at least 6 PSUV militants murdered, houses of several government ministers attacked with intent to burn, PSUV offices and health centers in several states burned, petroleum offices burned, VTV channel 8 offices attacked, ditto TeleSur, virus fake messages sent from Globovison account in Colombia saying Maduro admitted he lost the election, and so forth. A coup attempt but so far no military implicated.

Unofficially, the 3 instigators are preparing their familes to leave the country, as Cabello is preparing criminal charges against them–and not for beating on colanders with spoons, as Jésus (sic) suggested.

Since I read and hear news in Spanish without editing out whatever I do not want to hear or see, I will try to update this info as the situation becomes clearer.


marthe raymond 04.16.13 at 2:43 pm

To respond to Roger: I forget if it was Evo Morales or Rafael Correa who responded to the question Why has there never been a military coup in the US? with this bon mot:

Because there is no US embassy in the US.

I am against having US embassies. They can start by wiping the ugly bunker on avenida Reforma in Mexico City off the map. It’s an eyesore and an affront to sovereignty.


Jesús Couto Fandiño 04.16.13 at 2:46 pm

Yea, another CAP. Only, you know, CAP was president and ordered the army to be deployed and kill people, and Capriles is not president and keep asking for peaceful demonstrations.

But of course you know it is disingenuous. Like you know I’m in Miami.

Right now, things are heated, people are angry on both sides, and things can get out of hand very easily. The only one I’m looking that is saying “keep the protest but be calm and rational” is Capriles.

Would it hurt so much to do the damned recount, and put to rest any doubts? If the Maduro victory is so certain, there should be no problem at all, and it would calm things a lot.


marthe raymond 04.16.13 at 3:26 pm

1. Yep, CAP was president and he was not only massively repressive, but was booted out of the presidency for stealing money to buy diamonds for his girlfriend. He “escaped” from prison and landed in Miami from where he shrieked Kill Chávez like a dog! Until he finally kicked the bucket.

2. Capriles is not the president but telling his followers to take to the streets and blow off steam means guarimba. I was there during the 2004 guarimbas when RCTV and Globovisión ran the same message across the bottom of the t.v. screens. By your own admission, you were not.


Jesús Couto Fandiño 04.16.13 at 3:34 pm

And how many of those “guarimbas” where started by chavistas, marthe? It is not the first or the last time a “defender of the revolution” decides to intimidate people because hey, you are an squalid, you get what you deserve.

Hopefully, at least for now, my family tells me things are tense but calm over there. Lets hope it remains so.


Jesús Couto Fandiño 04.16.13 at 3:41 pm

He “escaped” from prison… like Chávez you mean, he was released. After serving the whole sentence, not like Chávez.

Not that I have any love for the old guy himself (he wasted 2 presidencies, one by populism and one by pretending to sell neoliberalism with populism, apart from being crooked), but is kind of telling how the same things are named different depending on which side one is looking.


marthe raymond 04.16.13 at 3:43 pm

Don’t try to get cute with me, Jésus. Why would folks affiliated with the government create violent protests against it????!!!!!

Nor were they doing so last night. They marched in support of Maduro, they sang when opposition mobs tried to enter VTV and Telesur to destroy the offices, they put out fires started by your heroes, they were shot and burned by your heroes, their houses and offices were attacked and burned by your heroes.

You don’t seem very concerned about folks being shot and burned alive, Jésus.

How very white of you.


marthe raymond 04.16.13 at 3:52 pm

CAPriles knows full well the voting system is among the best in the world. His demand for a recount was just what I said it was, a red herring to distract folks while he positioned his goons to wreak murder and mayhem in the streets. I have nothing against recounts, and would have liked to have seen them in several US and Mexican elections–where frauds were fairly obvious. I have seen nothing specific in regard to this election that indicates fraud. And if you will notice, CAPriles had no specific comments either.

But, after his destructive release of steam last night, I think he merits criminal prosecution–not a recount.

Here we would call him a pinche junior berrinchudo. And that’s just for starters.

Now you have a Mexican modismo to put in your bag of tricks.


Roger Nowosielski 04.16.13 at 3:55 pm

It was the latter, Marthe, in connection with the Julian Assange saga at London’s Ecuadorian embassy, in an interview either prior to having granted him the embassy protection or shortly thereafter.


Jesús Couto Fandiño 04.16.13 at 3:55 pm

Mainly cause I have not received any confirmation of any of that, yet. And whoever puts fire to a building (with or without people inside) is not my hero. I leave that kind of assesement to revolutionaries who decide who is better burned up or not.

What I remember is the number of opposition protests that happens to find a well armed chavista group in their way in these 14 years, which is not 0.

And looking at twitter, what I see is Henrique Capriles saying

“Henrique Capriles R. ‏@hcapriles 18h
No caigamos en provocaciones,cero violencia!La violencia es el arma de los mentirosos,de los que no tienen razón!Nosotros tenemos la razón”

and Andrés Izarra saying

“Andrés Izarra ‏@IzarraDeVerdad 12h
A nada le temen mas estas hordas fascistas dirigidas por #CaprilesFascista que a los motorizados del pueblo. Habrá que organizar algo mañana”

Of course, that means that Capriles is inciting violence and the goverment is not, right?


marthe raymond 04.16.13 at 4:02 pm

1. CAP did not serve any full sentence. I should have said he escaped from house arrest and fled to Miami. Chávez did not escape from prison, but was given a presidential pardon by Rafael Caldera.

2. If any folks want to follow the situation in Venezuela, besides the English language site there is
which is in Spanish but is pretty fast with the news–and not just from Venezuela, as they had the Boston bombings up faster and with more detail yesterday than what was up on US sites. They put a lot of photos and videos made by community press and t.v. So are less likely to be manipulated. And most of you have sufficient English skills to spot the cognates in Spanish and see what is going on.


Jesús Couto Fandiño 04.16.13 at 4:13 pm

Pray tell how did he escape a sentence of 2 years 4 months of house arrest given to him in 1996 by being released in 1999. And forming a political party. And running for elections.


marthe raymond 04.16.13 at 4:26 pm

Jésus, you are just trying to play us for fools here.

And making a fool out of yourself doing so.

Already there are protests in countries such as Argentina in regard to the murder of at least 6 PSUV militants. But until you decide to believe that they happening you will withold your moral outrage and sympathy?

I do not support the Venezuelan opposition because they always promote violence instead of democratic processes.

You support the violence and try to blame the victims.

I find your position morally unacceptable and I do not accept your trying to play us for fools here. You should be ashamed of your actions and your allegiances.


Jesús Couto Fandiño 04.16.13 at 4:56 pm

No, I will not “decide”. IF I know it is happening then they dont have my support, whoever did do it. Which is, coincidentially, the message of Capriles and the MUP – that anybody engaging in violent protest is NOT supported by them and they reject any and all violent acts . While the Minister of Communication and Information of the “revolution” is calling for the “people bikers” to organize “something” tomorrow.

You on the other hand are always too ready to make deductions about other people postures, positions, ethics, and whatever using your Sherlock Holmes like intellect.


Jesús Couto Fandiño 04.16.13 at 5:03 pm

That was MUD not MUP, now think of all the wonders you can deduce from my typos.


marthe raymond 04.16.13 at 5:32 pm

Jésus, give it a rest. You are too far in denial to be either coherent or trustworthy in your analysis. And with now 7 murdered you continue to blame the victims.

Roger, I checked because I knew the comment pre-dated 2012, and actually Correa said he was quoting Evo Morales when he said it. Evo probably said it after he booted out the US ambassador as well as the DEA because they were fomenting a coup and trafficking drugs to fund it in the style of Iran-Contra.


marthe raymond 04.16.13 at 5:41 pm

Police have been barracked, after the violence last night by the police of Capriles’ state in Plaza Altamira.

Plaza Altamira is in an upscale part of Caracas that is within Miranda state that has traditionally been used by the opposition for guarimbas, meetings, protests by dissident army officers and for fake motorized shootings by mercenaries hired by the oppostion to don red shirts and fire at protestors (and then put on the next flight out of the country).

The army has been given the task to restore and protect the peace.

After the latest violence, the opposition march scheduled for tomorrow is not permitted.

No more posts until I can use a computer–fingers starting to hurt from posting on this phone.


marthe raymond 04.16.13 at 7:06 pm

Does this look like a peaceful person?


Jesús Couto Fandiño 04.16.13 at 7:13 pm


Meanwhile, back in 2012…

Those are nice little boy scouts from chavismo just helping people.

And I’m the one in denial and blablablabla


Jesús Couto Fandiño 04.16.13 at 7:19 pm

Or back in 2007, the reception of some UCV students that went on a peaceful march to the TSJ

but nah, is just confusion. The really scary photo is Capriles with his mouth open.


marthe raymond 04.16.13 at 7:28 pm

Those links you posted are to opinion pieces, not news items. They are just poorly written hatespeech. Looks like at some point you should have taken my workshop How to Detect and Resist Propaganda.

You are not only in denial, you are actively posting disinformation here.

Capriles may or may not be confused. Maybe he is as psychotic as he looks. I don’t know the guy. I only know his behavior, and it is reprehensible.

Just as is yours for defending violent and antisocial people who burn other Venezuelan citizens alive.


marthe raymond 04.16.13 at 7:42 pm

This is a rundown on last nights violence: Number of dead, number of injured, one woman burned alive, and number of arrested folks:

Ah, but our old buddy in Miami, Jesús, will tell us they were all just assisted suicides.

Banging on pots and pans was all they did, he told us earlier.

And he claims he doesn’t support violence and violent folks, but since he supports the opposition guarimbistas, they must really be chavistas in disguise killing each other.

Goofiest crap I have read yet on this thread.


Jesús Couto Fandiño 04.16.13 at 7:42 pm

And what you posted is what? I mean, what? Who is taking people for a fool? Are you scared of a guy opening his mouth? What degree do you have to call somebody psychotic from a photo?

Again, time and again, you just dismiss what you dont want to here with insults and weak “logic” that doesnt resist a second look, while pretending we take as a serious indictment of how “crazy” Capriles is a run of the mill photo of somebody having a heated discussion. Hey, lets play that game! Chávez, calmly asking for some clarification Chávez worried about a friend jaywalking

Seriously, if all your argument is “I look at that photo and know Capriles is a psychopath” and “Even if he keep saying peaceful I know it means violence” because you are somehow capable of mindreading people at distance, you are the one thinking people are absolute idiots.


Jesús Couto Fandiño 04.16.13 at 7:48 pm

Yes, yes, I’m in Miami, I personally ordered all the deaths, I’m with the “guarimbas” (never said anything like it, but you penetrated my disguise!), Capriles, the MUD and myself have said enough times that we dont support or approve of violence (which clearly means we actually do) and all that. And the best proof is that photo of Capriles. Man, thats scary.

Of the threats of Andrés Izarra? Nothing to say, thats pure democratic gold. And any show of previous violence by chavist is “hatespeech”

The Resist Propaganda thing is a bit too late for you, I’m afraid. I’m tired already, if nobody is going to have a rational conversation talking to you is more than enough punishment after a day’s work.


marthe raymond 04.16.13 at 7:48 pm

You just keep digging yourself into that hole, friend-o.

Soon you will not be visible.

For me you just disappeared from this thread.


Hector_St_Clare 04.16.13 at 9:34 pm

I believe it’s been sufficiently proven by yesterday’s events, that the MUD is led by terrorists, nihilists and sympathizers of murder.

I hope Maduro can do what’s needed, restore law and order, and crack down on domestic terror.


Roger Nowosielski 04.16.13 at 9:37 pm

Let’s all have a nice cup of tea, as the Surfer Dude (aka STM) from Blogcritics is so found of saying whenever tempers collide.

We don’t want to loose neither of you.


Roger Nowosielski 04.16.13 at 9:40 pm

. . . terrorists and nihilists aren’t all that bad, Hector.

It all depends on what they’re against.


Roger Nowosielski 04.16.13 at 10:00 pm

And this is one account from the gringo land: Amy Goodman, 4/15

(Stale news by now since the Boston Marathon bombings captured all the headlines.)


marthe raymond 04.16.13 at 10:37 pm

Roger, Thanks for posting that link to Democracy Now. Mark Weisbrot essentially said the same things as he wrote in his piece published on yesterday. As for the Guardian writer, whose pieces have contradicted the info that Amy Goodman quoted from the Guardian that were not written by him, my feeling is his spent too much of his time there drinking coffee with the opposition in East Caracas, where there were many white faces to make him feel as if her were home in the UK and he took on their view of Chávez. He was more subdued in his anti-Chávez rhetoric in the interview, as he knows that economist Mark Weisbrot has the numbers and sound arguments and wasn’t going to let him play fast and loose a la Jon Lee Anderson.


marthe raymond 04.16.13 at 10:51 pm

Hector, I am afraid I have to agree with you. In no way do I wish to criminalize protest nor apply repressive violence to peaceful manifestations, but in this case, as we can see from last night’s murder and mayhem, these folks are not peaceful. Nor is Capriles, when he exhorts them to “take the streets and go to the front”–front always has the relationship to war and violence, and we know from his having lead a violent attack on the Cuban embassy during the 2002 coup that he is not a peaceful, law-respecting guy.


marthe raymond 04.16.13 at 10:55 pm

There is another situation that needs looking at: Capriles demanded a recount, with the constition in his hand, yet he did not submit the formal request for a recount that that constitution requires.


Salient 04.16.13 at 10:59 pm

I read the OP as pointing out how absurd and awful the Times postmortem coverage of the 2004 U.S. Presidential election was (as in, NYT should’ve covered the US in 2004 the way they covered Venezuela in 2013). If we all switched to assuming that the Times’ Venezuela coverage quote is the one that is pretty much ok and reasonable, and the Times’ US coverage quote is the one that’s an embarrassment, does that entire apparent disagreement evaporate?

ajay’s first post is still contentious, the needles really did move in opposite directions, but I can’t see how that could amount to “the clearest confirmation yet that this is a center-right country – divided yes, but with an undisputed majority united behind his leadership.” (I’d think the majority is disputable just because over a third of the population didn’t vote for anybody. If it split 60/40 you could argue that’s quantitatively not sufficient grounds for disputability, whatever the fuck that means, but surely 50.7% of 60.7% is not grounds for ‘it was decisive because shut up shut up SHUT UP.’) I guess the word ‘yet’ is doing all the work in that sentence.


Salient 04.16.13 at 11:02 pm

Things you can’t unsee:

Does this look like a peaceful person?

It looks like someone thinking “OH MY GOD I WISH I HAD MY CAMERA RIGHT NOW”


marthe raymond 04.17.13 at 12:03 am

Oh, really. Well, he must never have his camera then, as I have yet to see any pic of him where he looks different, except for a few where he looks like he’s ready to foam at the mouth. Not that I habitually follow him around with MY camera….

This afternoon he had the nerve to say that the violence of last night had nothing to do with him.

Right. After he sent them out to take over the streets and express their anger.

Not only is he not a peaceful guy, he refuses to take responsibility for his own acts. The guy is a rancorous weasel–at best.


Jesús Couto Fandiño 04.17.13 at 9:03 am

Meanwhile, in this reality…

– Capriles cancels the demonstration march to the CNE to deliver the proof of irregularities and request for recount, calls his supporters to go to their homes, insist no violent action at all should be taken.

– In the National Assembly, Diosdado Cabello says that as leader of the Assembly he will deny their turn to speech to anybody that does not recognize Maduro right now. Opposition representative William Dávila gets beaten inside the AN

– Capriles press conference, that was being emitted after Maduro’s own one, got cut out of the air for… another “all channels” press conference by Maduro. In this he calls for all “cacerolazos” to be met by “cohetazos” (fireworks) by his supporters. All peaceful, just a party with music and dance.

Again one wonders why it is not easier to do a recount and confirm Maduro’s victory and leave Capriles in a very bad position. But well, at this point, the best that can happen is nothing to happen and things going back to calm and peace, or as much as you can get in crime-ridden Caracas.


Jesús Couto Fandiño 04.17.13 at 9:09 am

Ah, and here, in Spanish, what the opposition says are the irregularities that prompt them to call a recount

From violence near voting centers to officialist propaganda near them to witness withdrawn from centers, etc.


Barry 04.17.13 at 12:06 pm

Ajax, another thing about Bush pulling down a higher percentage in 2004 than in 2000: this was in the middle of a war quite deliberately started for political gain. Of course, that’s probably a verboten topic at the NYT.


Jesús Couto Fandiño 04.17.13 at 12:33 pm

And the Socialist International is also a bunch of terrorist nihilists, it seems


marthe raymond 04.17.13 at 1:58 pm

Things are quieter this morning, it seems. So just these comments:

1. I am still amazed by Capriles’ lack of reason and courage and his weasling, as yesterday late afternoon in his press conference he claimed that the 7 murders and other violent acts were not committed on his urging, that he was calling off today’s march to avoid chavista violence–only several hours after Maduro announced that the marchers would not be permitted to enter the center of Caracas–that he was going back to be governor of Miranda.

2. More community media were attacked last night, more health centers burned, no deaths reported and the opposition continues to deny that anyone has been killed or injured. Go figure.


marthe raymond 04.17.13 at 2:08 pm

3. In regard to the recount demand, what many folks probably do not know is that a 54% recount audit was done Sunday before results of the election were released. No other countries routinely do such audits. Capriles claimed that there were more votes than voters because in one center of two tables with voting boxes his people only counted from one table, and the totals did not tie. He still has not submitted a formal request with justifications for a recount.

4. And this to our Miami commentor: Several oppostion folks in the National Assembly refused to recognize the election results. Yet they arrived in the Assembly by the same process. Cabello decided not to recognize them. Can’t say I really blame him: they are trying to have it both ways. We have a dicho in English: What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.


Jesús Couto Fandiño 04.17.13 at 2:16 pm

Exactly, what the hell do you want, marthe? He is “weaseling” by calling off a march to the CNE that the goverment a – banned and b – threatened? Is that lack of reason or just prudent behavior? Do you want the march to go on and see what happens? And he repeated for the Nth million time that none of his followers should engage in violence and thats is proof that he is violent?

And wonderful democratic system where congressmen are silenced because I say so. And get there face beaten too.


marthe raymond 04.17.13 at 2:21 pm

5. The US said it would not recognize Maduro unless the 100% recount was done. That the election was too close.


Jesús Couto Fandiño 04.17.13 at 2:21 pm

I’m out – tired to discuss things with supergeniuses that can diagnose mental illness on a photo and keep insisting I’m a whole ocean away from where I’m sitting.


marthe raymond 04.17.13 at 2:32 pm

In 2006 here in Mexico Calderon supposedly won the election by less than .5%. His center-left opponent demanded a 100% recount. The gringos gave him the bronx cheer and recognized Calderon.

Of course they ran most of his campaign from the US embassy.

This time their candidate came up short in the balloting, so they bully for a recount.

Sore losers, those gringos. We native Americans remember what they did to our elders and women and children after Custer lost……


marthe raymond 04.17.13 at 2:38 pm

As usual our miffed Miami mambo king posts disinformation and lies about what I have posted.

At no point have I attempted to issue a clinical diagnosis of Capriles.

Nor have I published my IQ here.

But I do have better information, and facts to support it.


marthe raymond 04.17.13 at 6:34 pm

Capriles falsified evidence to claim fraud.

Yesterday John Kerry trotted out the politically incorrect term, BACK PATIO, in reference to the need for the US to get closer to Latin America.

Closer? Like with the 4th fleet in La Guaira? Like directing drones to Miraflores? Like offiing an inconvenient former presidential candidate and blaming it on the Venezuelan government–like the gringos did when they blew up their own ship, the Maine, in the Havana harbor so they could declare war on Spain, a decadent power, and grab its remaining colonies?

I’d like to know what that horsefaced diplomatic hawk had in mind.


marthe raymond 04.17.13 at 6:52 pm

I am putting this link to a piece from The Nation by Greg Grandin because I believe it is the best piece I have read so far on Sunday’s election:

Obviously, it is an opinion piece, but it is not apiece of poorly written and hysterical propaganda;it is a very careful and thoughful analysis that to me seems pretty much spot on.


roger nowosielski 04.17.13 at 7:03 pm

“. . .that horsefaced diplomatic hawk . . .”

Well put.

Notice, however, his pacifistic stance prior to now, when in Senate or running vs. GW — drawing of course on his “experiences” in Vietnam.

How quickly do they change once they become part of “the Establishment.”


marthe raymond 04.17.13 at 7:12 pm

They are the folks that are the best evidence that refutes Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, given that they can change direction, posture and stripes faster than the speed of light.


marthe raymond 04.17.13 at 7:36 pm

Now there are 8 dead in Venezuela from the guarimbas of Monday night.

Double the 4 dead in Ohio of Neil Young’s classic song.


NoeValleyJim 04.19.13 at 7:14 am

Don’t look at our Banana Republic, look at that Banana Republic over there! Look! Right There!

Comments on this entry are closed.