Argentina’s football legend Diego Maradona was present on Thursday afternoon in down-town Caracas at the closing campaign rally of Venezuelan incumbent presidential candidate Nicolas Maduro but with a special touch: a red t-shirt promoting the re-re-election of Cristina Fernandez in 2015.
Maradona a close friend of the late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, whom he visited on several occasions, had announced he would travel to Caracas in support of the final leg of Maduro’s campaign for next Sunday’s election.
Standing next to Maduro in the rally’s stage he also played a part by shooting some footballs to the crowd signed with his name.
However the most striking of Maradona presence was the red ‘Chavista colour’ shirt he was wearing with the Argentine and Venezuelan flags and three very clear lines: “Maduro President”; a second, “Chavez Comandante” and finally “Cristina 2015”.
Although not official, but strongly suggested, the most militant supporters of the Argentine president have argued she deserves a third consecutive four year mandate, currently banned under the constitution.
For this an amendment must be passed by Congress, which needs a special majority, enabling her to bid for a third mandate, in October 2015. However first Cristina Fernandez must overcome the October 2013 hurdle of mid term elections when half the Lower House and a third of the Senate seats must be renewed, and thus ensure that her coalition with the support from other smaller and provincial parties are sufficient to pass the constitutional amendment.
Cristina Fernandez so far has not said a word for or against the initiative, but knowing her style and strong character, it is hard to believe that her closest supporters would not fathom the waters without her consent.
Whatever the result, Maradona has made it official: Cristina 2015 and in the land of the Chavistas, the best friends of her and her deceased husband Nestor Kirchner.