Sunday, July 30, 2006

Venezuela: EL GUACHAR-MINATOR:, A Count For President ?? Chavez Vulnerable?

Can A Comedian Beat Chavez? Why Not?

A couple of weeks ago, the Venezuelan expat paper here in Florida El Venezolano, editorialized on the joke candidacy of well known comedian-actor-entrepreneur, Benjamín Rausseo a/k/a Er Conde Del Guacharo." Global Voices has the reaction in Venezuela's media and blogosphere, where it is generating a lot of noise.
Global Voices describes the Count's character:
Venezuelans will be holding the funniest elections in the country history. Entertainer Benjamin Rausseo, better known as Er’ Conde del Guacharo (Count of Guacharo), announced this week that he will run for President. Rausseo is Venezuela’s most popular comedian, and he has no political background. His character is a working-class man from the northeastern part of the country (by the Caribbean Sea), bearing stereotypical traits such as being a lazy deadbeat and womanizer; he talks in coarse language, and doesn’t care much about either public affairs or family values. Originally, the character satirized negative traits associated to Venezuelan folks, but surprisingly the audience found the character quite affable, and most people liked him.

El Venezolano's editorial, which was a front page article, asked whether or not "Nobility" would work "as a President?" It proceeds to say that in a country where people are murdered on their way to work. Where rumors about Castro's death come out...where the military leaders of the former USSR are paraded on national holidays...where the opposition goes on a crazy race to try to emulate a really bad government. Where the remaining right of each citizen is the right to stay alive. Let the Count enter the race, even if it is B.S. Someone with good humor is positive and worthy of support.

[The opposition ]is a bunch of young telegenic youngsters with good soundbites. Pretty boys with computerized designs to control the truth. A noble editor who waited too long for his candidacy. A succesful governor, but one whose own countrymen acuse him of being too much of a "nice guy."......A Count President Why Not

On-line Supporters, Favorable Press, And Credentials...
And it seems that many bloggers cited in Global Voices, seem willing to go along with the comedian candidate, and have started a whole internet campaign for him. People seem to think that Chavez has made such a joke out of Venezuelan's politics - why not? Specially considering how ineffectual the opposition is. Rausseo seems enough of an outsider, with no ties to the opposition which polls indicate has little credibility. He comes from a humble background, and is known as a self-made man. The guy is a serious businessman with an ownership interest in a theme park resort based on his characters, a motel chain, record and video production companies and pre-paid telephone card businesses. He has a college degree in fine arts, and is in his last semester of law school as his bio states. Seems about as qualified as coup-happy Colonels. As a comedian and actor he has name recognition, charisma and personality to pull off a campaign. Could he be the Venezuelan Schwarzenegger?? The Guacharominator?

Er Conde Interviewed

El Venezolano also published this interview with him, where between jokes he throws down some actual policy proposals.

Says his first measures besides increasing Ostrich meat production, would be to pay the debt,...would organize technical and artisans schools, free education all around, would lower taxes. Would give low interest credits to industry. And would also try to create a more stable monetary policy.

While less impressed with the candidacy, this entertainment writer does present another idea of the Count's:

He plans on building a "Whiskey-duct" running all the way from Scotland, cause if people are lit, they "don't strike, do protests or anything else like that." Makes about as much sense as building a big gasoduct through the Amazons.

Judge Yourself, Who's More Goofy Or More Presidential Looking?

Tip Of The Hat to
Global Voices Online