Maduro & Superstition in Venezuela Vote

Ignacio Pereyra (dpa)

Nicolas Maduro arriving for a campaign rally in Nueva Esparta, Venezuela.. (Photo: Comando Hugo Chávez /

HAVANA TIMES — Interim president Nicolas Maduro warned that if the Venezuelans don’t vote for him in the April 14 elections, a curse will fall on them.

This caught the attention in the media, especially foreigners, but it’s nothing new in politics of that Caribbean country, where religious and mystical references are a firm part of the culture.

“If anyone of ‘the people’ votes against Nicolas Maduro, they’re voting against themselves. The curse of ‘Macarapana’ will fall on them,” said the ruling party’s candidate, who is seeking to become the successor to the late President Hugo Chavez (1999-2013), on which he also said a curse fell that ended up killing him.

Although Maduro was mistaken in mentioning it, he was referring to the Battle of Maracapana of the mid-sixteenth century, when indigenous groups were defeated by the Spanish. Beyond the erroneous reference, the question arises as to whether it will influence the electorate.

“There is no curse of Maracapana, but it’s assumed that indigenous peoples began to decline after the battle. The message is ‘if you are not with me, what will happen to us is the same thing that happened to the indigenous peoples, we will be extinguished’,” he told dpa’s Lizbety Giral Gonzalez, the host of the television program “Creencias Siglo XXI.”

“There are also superstitions. People are very religious and believe in curses. This could influence those who are doubtful about their votes,” said the journalist, who’s trained in social communication.

Political analyst Ivan Serra believes that these messages may not have the desired result, for example, among the undecided or Catholics, “where it could have a rebound effect,” he said in statements to the newspaper “El Carabobeño.”

Although elsewhere these issues produce blushes, spiritual themes abound in the election campaign, in which Maduro said that Chavez appeared to him as a little bird.

But it’s worth noting that such things go way back. Among other stories, many Venezuelans believe Chavez died from the curse of Simon Bolivar, linked to supernatural forces and Santeria.

In July 2010, Chavez led the exhumation of the remains of the “Liberator” [Simon Bolivar] to investigate the reasons for the death of the greatest hero in Venezuelan history.

Since then, in addition to Chavez, another five people died related to the opening of the tomb: Luis Tascon, a member of Parliament; William Lara, former governor of Guarico; Lina Ron, an unconditional pro-Chavez political leader; retired General Alberto Müller, the leader of the ruling party; and Clodosbaldo Russian, comptroller general.

6 thoughts on “Maduro & Superstition in Venezuela Vote

  • Maduro is a simple guy out of the people. So what? Important is , what he is going to do and whther he can grant social justije and peaceful living together in Venezuela. And don`t be so serious about birds. Its a beutiful daydream. So what? Better this than to be linked to the assasination of Danilo Anderson among others. It´s not always the intellectual level that counts. Maybe we should learn to be a little less arrogant.

  • Exactly. There’s much more to success than plain intelligence. Values and character determine one’s political outlook. And certainly, having the right people behind you are crucial if you want to succeed. Bush had his dad’s cronies. Obama didn’t have powerful family connections, but he certainly met the right people in Chicago.

    On that point, Nicolas “The Bird Whisperer” Maduro is not as stupid as he sounds either. He knows what the people in the barrios want to hear. He also has some powerful people behind him, most notably back in Havana.

  • I have an MBA from the University of California, one of the top five business schools in the ‘States. In my graduating class and more than a few of my cohorts at graduation couldn’t pour piss from a boot unless the instructions were written on the heel (I always wanted to use that one) and yet have become titans of industry. It helped that most (not all) of them started out with having Dads on corporate boards or in high elective office. But I reluctantly agree with you, Bush was no idiot in a learned sense. His third-generation silver spoon handicapped his common sense, not his academic skills. And you are also right, his homespun manner and lack of public speaking skills only made him appear more stupid. Point well-taken.

  • How about a part-time lecturer and community organizer? That man had even less work experience than either Bush or Reagan. And it shows.

    By the way, Bush was a lousy public speaker, and there is much to object to in his record, but he was no illiterate. He holds a BA in History from Yale (John Kerry graduated from Yale the year before Bush, in the same course, and with a lower mark). He also has an MBA from Harvard. I haven’t heard they hand those things out to any idiot. He was known to be a voracious reader during his time in the White House.

    I thought you better than those who swallow every silly media meme. Only an idiot would believe the “Bush is an idiot” line.

  • If after making comments curses and talking birds, a majority of Venezuelans still choose to elect Maduro as President, then they deserve the disaster that follows. If Americans can elect B-movie stars (Reagan) and alcoholic functional illiterates(Bush II) to the White House, Venezuelans can do no worse in Maduro. OK, maybe they can.

  • did the little bird tell him to make this statement?

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