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I will observe the 2006 Venezuelan presidential elections with the Bolivarian Circle of Boston.

Thursday, December 07, 2006


Leaving Caracas

On Wednesday afternoon we returned to Caracas and then flew back to the States on Thursday morning. What really struck me both being on the bus back in Caracas and in Caracas is just how over the contentious and bitterly contested elections were. On the eve of the elections in Barquisimeto, we were warned of an opposition “Plan V” (for Victory but perhaps also for Violence) to create civil unrest after their inevitable defeat. But there was no sign of such a plan being implemented. The opposition seemed to be quietly accepting their defeat. There were not the internal recriminations pointing to a collapsing opposition, or a lashing out at allegedly fraudulent electoral procedures, as happened after the failed 2004 referendum on the Chavez presidency. Are the escualidos coming to terms with their growing irrelevance as the Bolivarian Revolution consolidates a socialist project?

Those of us remaining in Caracas went out for one last dinner. I ordered a spaghetti pesto, but it came much more quickly than it should have were it prepared freshly. I woke up in the middle of the nite with severe stomach cramps. My head was already pounding, probably from pressure on my sinuses from the moist warm ocean air along with the fumes from a oil refinery in Puerto Cabello where we had stayed the last two evenings at an executive club in the PDVSA plant. Barfing my guts out, I get on American Airlines. Fortunately, I have a sympathetic flight attendant named Alyce who brings me a club soda, and my stomach begins to calm down.
</Marc> <!--11:19 PM-->

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