Victorias y derrotas del 3D / Oswaldo Barreto

Victories and Defeats of 3D

There, on the surface of things, the ones that fatefully establish with complete clarity the numerical computations, a single victory presents itself to us, the victory of Hugo Chávez Frías, who with 6,191,682 votes gathered from 85% of the scrutinized tables, has been reelected President of the Republic. The vote of 61.62% of that electoral universe has given this triumph to the person who has already governed us for a period with the historic duration of eight years. It is an unquestionable triumph for the reelection candidate, even if the number of voters who gave it to him is much lower than the quantity he visualized when he initiated this final phase of his permanent electoral campaign.

But, if beyond the surface of things, beyond the rigorous quantitative results, we ask ourselves what are the factors that have determined this clear victory for Hugo Chávez, we find they also determine, paradoxically, clear and precise defeats. We see, in effect, beyond the numbers, that the candidate the masses have elected is, at once, the boss of a political current and the boss of the government. And we see—the whole world sees it, his followers and his adversaries—that in the fulfillment of these two functions, Chávez has been accentuating his personalism in a wider and more intense manner each time until becoming an absolute leader and boss. In the field of governance, the man who would initiate himself there with the creation of a new Constitution, where the great democratic principles are confimed (separation and autonomy of public powers, universality and alternance in the fulfillment of positions of obligatory election, free participation of all citizens), has been stomping, each time with greater vigor, on all those principles until becoming an absolute Boss, with all the powers in his hands. And on the political plane, the leader who at first sought out the confluence of the diverse tendencies following him in order to orient his own political action, has ended up assuming himself openly and explicitly the only leader of the "process." The vote for Hugo Chávez Frías, then, clearly represents the support for a tyrannical form of governing the nation and orienting the politics of his followers. The triumph of the supreme leader is a clear defeat suffered by democracy in our country, democracy and civilized life, to put it simply and clearly.

And, in other areas, if we closely observe the figures given to us by the electoral geography, we come across clear evidence that from the very votes that point to Chávez's clear success, the face of another defeat emerges. The states where Chávez obtained the largest advantage in votes over Manuel Rosales are those with the greatest depression and the most backwards economy in the entire country. In both of the most recently formed states, Amazonas and Delta Amacuro, and in both of the states whose indexes of depression and economic backwardneess have traditionally been the highest in Venezuela, Sucre and Trujillo, Chávez obtains more than 70% of the votes. And if we look closely at what happens inside the country's other regions, we come across similar evidence: the poorest and most depressed regions of the country and the capital region have voted with a clear preference for the president who has been able to keep them in those conditions throughout these eight years his government has lasted. Chávez has triumphed fundamentally because of the vote of the poor and the forsaken.

This is also indicated to us by the results. Don't these same same indexes point to the maintainance of poverty and backwardness as a defeat? As we face that victory that hides and masks two clear defeats, the defeat of Manuel Rosales presents itself to us, signified by that 38.1% that make up the 3,830,370 votes of that universe of 85% of the scrutinized tables.

Who can deny this is a clear defeat for the candidate Manuel Rosales? But again, beyond the numbers and the fateful quantitative reason, two large victories for democracy, civic-mindedness and political courage, are also made evident. To begin, the rise of a new type of democratic leadership among us: Manuel Rosales, in barely a few months of campaigning, has been able to agglutinate around his candidacy the free and enthusiastic participation of diverse social, political and ideological currents. And likewise, if we look at the electoral geography, we find what are also the signs of another victory: in the most industrialized and modern zones is where Rosales has gathered the highest percentage of his votes. If we think that politics in our era cannot exist without leaning toward the country's modernization and industrialization, there then exists hope that in the future this leadership's influence will accentuate itself. And that is unquestionably a victory for democracy and civilization in our country.

Soon enough we will find the means for ensuring that this new leadership's action can consolidate itself and make itself more effective each time.

{ Oswaldo Barreto, TalCual, 4 December 2006 }

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