Posts Tagged ‘Venezuela elections’

Venezuela, elections rigged?

2015-12-07

So the results are in. And as we were warned time and time again, by officials of the US, its corporate media, and the opposition groups (some 12 comprising MUD) in Venezuela that the ruling PSUV has for years been rigging elections in its favour. Clearly such did justify the US declaring that fearsome Venezuela a threat to its existence?

As the Guardian reports, Venezuela elections: socialists dealt a blow as opposition wins landslide

Venezuela’s opposition has won an overwhelming victory in parliamentary elections in the oil-rich nation, which is mired in economic turmoil and violent crime.

Candidates for the centre-right opposition seized a majority in the national assembly, with most of the results in, marking a major political shift in the country, which set out on a leftist path in 1999 under the late president Hugo Chavez and his project to make Venezuela a model of what he called “21st century socialism”.

The results were not even close for control of the Assembly. And the venal, the corrupt PSUV even refused, absolutely refused to question or complain of its defeat, una derrota aplastante. Clearly, something must be afoot. Ever suspicious minds would wonder at this bit of news from the Guardian, Opec bid to kill off US shale sends oil price down to near seven-year low

A barrel of benchmark Brent crude was changing hands at below $42 a barrel after the oil cartel Opec – heavily influenced by Saudi Arabia – decided late last week to continue flooding the global market with cheap oil.
With global demand weak, traders fear that Opec’s refusal [note: more a failure to agree] to cut production despite the financial pain it is causing its members’ economies will lead to an ever-deeper world glut of crude.

Losers’ revenge? And who would this winning coalition allow to handle foreign policy for Venezuela, the US embassy? And finance, the IMF? And PDVSA, ExxonMobil?

Which brings to mind this useful comparison and learning experience illustrated by Keane Bhatt in Jacobin, A Tale of Two Elections.

Even in defeat the much vilified PSUV has given a lesson in democracy to those countries that preach but practice it only by artful misdirection. Whether the myriad parties of the MUD coalition will reciprocate is the question. (Will there be a return of ‘DameDos’?) Nothing like change to focus the mind and strengthen resolve. Of course, the coffee-with-arepa tradition still goes on, and uninterrupted.

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Venezuela, social progress against all odds

2015-12-06

As is known, Venezuela sits on one of the largest reserves of hydrocarbons in the world. Such wealth is not lost on those who seek to acquire it, by all means fair and foul. Nor was the purpose of the move by ExxonMobil into the Esequibo region of territory in dispute between Venezuela and Guyana not obvious.

To date such efforts have failed generally, and not because of no strenuous efforts to destabilise the government and damage the economy of the country – as damage there has been, other than from the massive crash in oil prices.

Today elections are being held for 167 parliamentary seats, and the government faces a strong challenge, due in large part to shortages and other inconveniences – even as many shortages were exposed as created through private sector failure to produce consumer goods or through contraband of subsidised products heading for Colombia, with one avenue being through Táchira. (more…)