Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Snipers, Blasts, and Disinformation Campaigns in Venezuela as Elections Draw Closer

The presidential elections in Venezuela are scheduled for October 7, and by now even the team of Henrique Capriles Radonski, the main rival of the current Venezuelan leader and upcoming poll's frontrunner Hugo Chavez, seems to have given up hope that their candidate will, over the remaining time, make gains that would propel him to presidency.

As of today, surveys steadily give the incumbent a 20-22% lead, meaning that the US and Israeli consultants hired to reshape Radonski's image failed to sell the apparent rightist as a left-centrist capable to pursue and deepen the populist reforms implemented by his opponent. Unless unanticipated developments derail the elections in Venezuela, the reinstatement of Chavez sounds like a foregone conclusion.

The question, therefore, is whether the Venezuelan government is able to maintain its grip on the situation in the country, considering that Radonski's supporters and other radical opposition groups are about to put to work their frightening Plan B. Suspicious projections surfaced a couple of months ago that the prospects for Radonski would brighten overnight if a serious technological disaster Рa one that can be convincingly blamed on Chavez and his regime - erupts in Venezuela. The forecast materialized on August 25 in the Falcón state, the Paraguana Peninsula, when a blast shattered the Amuay refinery complex. According to snap assessments, it was caused by a gas leak, but the causes behind the leak hitherto remain unclear. Read More