Erasmo Calzadilla

Photo from the Venezuelan election campaign by Caridad.

HAVANA TIMES – The fate of Cuba is being played out in the Venezuelan elections on Sunday. From my point of view there are three possible scenarios (as political scientists like to say).

One is for the current president Hugo Chavez to be reelected. This would mean another long streak of slow agony that keeps us alive but on a shoestring.

If Chavez loses, things are going to get very ugly, at least for a while. Without cheap oil from Venezuela I believe that this political system will succumb.

The government would have to apply very strong repression to contain the opposition and that would be its end, especially if the Republicans regain the White House in the US.

The third variant is that Henrique Capriles or Hugo Chavez challenge the validity of the elections and armed social conflict ensues, involving the countries of the region, either directly or indirectly.

In that case it is likely that the leaders of Cuba sent troops: firstly in special secret missions, and later, regular troops if the conflict is internationalized.

For all these reasons I think the average Cuban (except those who know how to fish in troubled waters) has little to gain and much to lose from Venezuela’s presidential election.

Hopefully what happens on Sunday at least won’t trigger doomsday.




Erasmo Calzadilla

Erasmo Calzadilla: I find it difficult to introduce myself in public. I've tried many times but it doesn’t flow. I’m more less how I appear in my posts, add some unpresentable qualities and stir; that should do for a first approach. If you want to dig a little deeper, ask me for an appointment and wait for a reply.

9 thoughts on “Three Options: Which Will Be the Least Bad?

  • I live in Venezuela and now wish to vote against the current government.

    Hold on, someone is at the door.

    I would now like to recant my earlier error of five minutes ago, I meant to say that I love the current government and know that they will take good care of my family, wherever they may be taken.

  • Lawrence w: i have been in the same room with hugo chavez and had the opportunity to listen to him ramble for many hours about their being no opposition in venezuela except for traitors, mercenaries, yes, in venezuela, if you have any reservations about mr chavez then you really are labeled as such. you saying that the opposition in venezuela is only from the ‘1% elite’ is niave. there is plenty of opposition in venezuela, even opposition from the left.
    i am partially happy that he won re election, but only as a face saving result for the left. i wouldnt have been able to handle hearing the u.s. media saying his loss was the peoples rejection of socialism.
    i am a socialist, my issue is not with venezuelan socialism, it is with mr chavez himself. i believe him to be bigmouth dolt and a poor represenative for left wing politics.
    but before being socialist, i am anti authoritarian.
    you are a stalinist hack, who will make excuses for any dimwit tyrant so long as they are sufficiantly anti american. you are proof that in left politics its not even possible for one to be a little bit critical, for as soon as one is, people like you, and hugo and the castros are there, to denounce them as capitalist hyenas.
    fraternally, rob

  • Luis, you seem to be very intelligent. Surely, you can differentiate between what the anticastrista community really wants and want they can legally get. Indeed, they may secretly (or not so secretly) long for adequate remuneration for stolen property but they know that the US government, Congress specifically, can´t give them that. So what they have settled for is Cuban democracy. They believe that with a democratic Cuba, they can use their money and power to influence a new Cuba to give them what they really want. OK, satisfied? By the way, the Special Period was a downward slope for Cuba. If Chavez had not come along when he did in ´98 to save Cuban butts, we would be having this conversation face-to-face at a Starbuck´s in Old Havana.

  • The Venezuelan subsidies on oil aren’t a ‘gift’ as many may think. Cuba trades doctors for it. And it expends a lot of resources forming this qualified workforce. Mr. Capriles, if he had won the election, would commit a political error should he end this program, as Cuban doctors do help the poorest communities in Venezuela.

    You ‘forget’ that Cuba managed to survive without any kind of economic partnership during the 90’s, coupled with the tightening of the sanctions from the US like the Helms-Button law and the Torricelli Act. You said in an earlier comment that the embargo will last as long as there’s no democracy in Cuba. No. What the hard-line Miami exiles who make pressure for the maintenance of the embargo want isn’t democracy on Cuba. They want their property back, regardless of the political characteristics of the Cuban regime. They support the suffering of the common Cuban folk – since they never cared about them when they held political and economic power before the ’59 Revolution – and neither does Washington, causing unjustified suffering for the people living in countries whose international policy isn’t aligned to its will. Like Iraq or Iran.

    Eat this:

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