American elections with their attack ads and social media outreach are so quaint. In Venezuela elections begin with assassination plots and conclude with ancient curses.
With the Venezuelan economy on the brink, President Nicolas Maduro is desperately trying to out-crazy Hugo Chavez. Considering Hugo Chavez’s antics that takes some doing, but while Chavez looked like a smooth operator throwing out cynical lines he didn’t really believe in, like a Latin American Michael Moore with even worse fashion sense, Maduro is starting to sound completely insane.
In March, Maduro claimed that that there was an American conspiracy to kill his opponent, Henrique Capriles, and blame it on him as a conspiracy to do… something. Capriles said that the only one who would be to blame for killing him would be Maduro.
Now Maduro is claiming that there is an American conspiracy to kill him. This makes a little more sense even if it’s a trifle unoriginal.
In March, the plot was apparently to…
blame his opponent’s murder on the OPEC nation’s government and to “fill Venezuelans with hate” as they prepare to go to vote following the death of socialist leader Hugo Chavez.
In April, the plot is more direct…
“Their goal is to kill me,” said Maduro, who had been designated by the late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez as his heir apparent. “They want to kill me because they know they cannot win free and fair elections.”
Still that’s too simple. So Maduro brought out the voodoo. Because he knows that he can’t win free and fair elections without invoking ancient curses.
Mr Maduro also claimed a centuries-old curse would fall on the heads of those who do not vote for him in next week’s election to pick a successor to late leader Hugo Chavez.
“If anyone among the people votes against Nicolas Maduro, he is voting against himself, and the curse of Macarapana is falling on him,” said Maduro, referring to the 16th-century Battle of Macarapana when Spanish colonial fighters massacred local Indian forces.
Wearing a local indigenous hat at a rally in Amazonas state, a largely jungle territory on the borders of Brazil and Colombia, Maduro compared Capriles and the opposition coalition to the enslaving Spanish occupiers.
“If the bourgeoisie win, they are going to privatize health and education, they are going to take land from the Indians, the curse of Macarapana would come on you,” he added.
Okay at least we’re back on familiar territory with privatizing health care and education. Maybe Obama needs to threaten Republicans with ancient Indian curses more often. It would help enliven his next collection of lies and bizarre claims masquerading as a speech.
But unsatisfied with just hurling ancient curses and assassination plots, Maduro began telling more crazy lies than even Obama could manage.
While he was at it, he claimed to be “the grandson of enslaved indian women.” Venezuela abolished slavery in 1854. Colombia abolished slavery in 1851. His mother was born in Colombia in 1929 and his father graduated from high school, also in Colombia, in 1947, so it is a physical impossibility for Maduro (born in 1960) to have had a grandmother at least 106 years old.
Calling himself the “son” of Chavez, Maduro has more than a 10-point lead in most polls.
Of course he does.