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On the reasons why Chavezīs reform will pass in Venezuela

By Aleksander Boyd

Marbella 27.11.07 - There is a saying back home that mocks wishful thinkers. Pensando en pajaritos preņados means, literally, that somebody is thinking about pregant little birds so as to factor in something which is implausible. To illustrate what I mean I will give some examples. Yesterday I got an email request from a fellow blogger who dabbles into policy strategies for Primero Justicia: the party is troubled about getting some voluntary witnesses for the NO option in the coming referendum on the constitutional reform. "Great!" I would have thought, the parties seem to be getting their act together just 6 days before the vote actually takes place. But where is Primero Justicia looking for witnesses, is it for Chachopo, Bobure, Punta Mata or Elorza? No, the lack of witnesses in London has got them worried... So what should I assume, that Primero Justicia has managed to cover each and every single one of the 33,000 polling centres in Venezuela? Again, great news, only if it had any resemblance with reality.

Then there are other wishful thinkers saying that thereīs something in the air, that the student movement will oust Chavez, that the army will recover its dignity, at last, and get rid of the tinpot dictator as they did on April 2002.

And then some others maintain that the U-turn in perception, on behalf of the international community, since the caudillo was told to shut up and the subsequent fiasco in the FARC - Colombia negotiations, coupled with the not so subtle rebuke of Saudi Arabiaīs king against allowing OPEC to become Chavezīs vehicle for personal vendettas, Uribeīs very clear statement on Venezuelaīs presidentīs legitimisation of terrorism and the fact that his protege Evo Morales is about to bite the dust signals the end of the Bolivarian revolution.

Me thinks that statements aside, internally, which is where it matters to me at the end of the day, Chavez is far from being in a weak position. On the contrary he continues to command, unrestrictedly, all powers in the country be them financial, militar, terrorist, judicial, electoral, legislative, etc.

Former vice president Jose Vicente Rangel announced not too long ago that according to the ever so infallible pollster North American Opinion Research the reform will pass with 52% of the vote. Alas Venezuelans are just too busy thinking in pajaritos preņados to pay attention to the crude reality before their very eyes. At this time next week we will have witnessed this instead, indeed a rare moment of clarity from a firm believer in pregnant birds...

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