Comparisons are odious, everybody knows that. However, it´s necessary to make some odious comparisons from time to time so that people who are not in touch with the everyday reality of our ALBA countries understand the scope of the manipulation of Western media.
On June 10th this year, Venezuela’s president Hugo Chavez and opposition right-wing politician Henrique Capriles Radonski registered their candidacies to the October 7th elections. Radonski’s speech was 27 minutes long. Chavez’ lasted for almost three hours. In his speech, Radonski uttered 1317 words. Obviously, Chavez used many more words in his speech.
What follows is a quick statistical comparison of what both candidates were capable of saying in 1317 words.
While it took Radonski 27 minutes to utter 1317 words, Chavez only used 19 minutes to do so. 8 minutes of Radonski’s speech consisted of pauses. There is no record as to how much of Chavez’ speaker time consisted of pauses, but suffice to say that during those 19 minutes, the president-candidate sang about four songs with the crowd and made several dramatic pauses.
When it comes to vocabulary, Radonski used in his speech a total of 355 unique words whereas Chavez used 503 – 41.6% more words than the opposition’s candidate. It is clear that the president-candidate is more verbose than his right-wing contender – to say the least.
There is a quite clear gender bias between the candidates: Chavez used the word “la” (feminine “the”) 82 times, whereas Radonski used it only 28 times. Radonski used the word “el” (masculine “the”) 43 times, whereas Chavez used it 41 times. Radonski’s speech shows no occurrences of feminine pronouns such as “ella”, “ellas” or “aquellas” (“she”, “them”-feminine, “those”-feminine).
Radonski used the word “Venezuela” 38 times, whereas Chavez only used it twice. However, Chavez used the word “patria” (“fatherland”) 37 times (it was indeed one of the main themes of his address, he said “la patria, la patria, la patria” several times). Both “Venezuela” and “patria” are feminine in Spanish.
There is also a quite clear class bias between the candidates: Chavez used the word “pueblo” (“people”) 23 times. Radonski used it 15 times. Whereas Chavez made reference to presidency (“president”, “presidential”, “presidency”…) only three times, Radonski did so seven times.
Capriles used his own name 14 times. Chavez only used it twice.
Radonski used his 1317 words to convey the following ideas:
- I want to become the president of all Venezuelans.
- I don’t like violence.
- All Venezuelans must unite.
- My life is Venezuela, the people.
- I want to serve the people, not the other way around.
- The present is stagnant, progress belong to the future (“me”).
- I really want to be your president, and I’ll also be their (“the reds’”) president.
- With me, there is hope.
Chavez used his 1317 words to convey the following ideas:
- Today, Bolivar is more alive than ever before.
- The fatherland is a woman and he’s come back to love her.
- Somebody said I’m the fatherland’s candidate – we are all Bolivar’s sons and daughters.
- One has to feel the fatherland in the gut – many songs make one feel that.
- The army today is identified with the people – the popular army is Bolivar’s army.
- I thank God – the poor people’s God – I’m here today.
- Thank God and Fidel I’m here today cured from cancer.
- It’s been a hard year, with a hard ideological struggle.
- With joy I shall give my whole life to all of you, specially to the suffering people.
- It is thanks to your decision to reform the Constitution that I can run for re-election today.
- I’m here thanks to you, we are an undefeated people and we will prevail on October 7th.
- Our victory will be Bolivarian, patriotic, socialist and revolutionary.
- We must work very hard, we cannot afford to be triumphalist.
- Unity is the key to victory.
- I invite you all to fight harder, the fight has just begun.
Chavez made many more points that day – his speech lasted six times longer than Radonski’s. That day Chavez mobilized about 2 million people. Radonsky says he mobilized 2 million, too. But pictures from helicopters show another reality – 50.000 at most.
Chavez’ discourse (video):
Chavez’ discourse (text):
Capriles Radonski’s discourse (video):
Capriles Radonski’s discourse (text):
The silences in Capriles Radonski’s speech (video – La Hojilla. 12 minutes. Spanish):
Analysis of Capriles Radonski’s rally and speech (video – La Hojilla. 1,5 hours. Spanish):