(UPDATED) Venezuelan Elections: Socialists Advance, Opposition Loses Ground Compared to 2000 Elections

By James Suggett – Venezuelanalysis.com


Mérida, September 27th 2010 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – In Venezuela’s National Assembly elections on Sunday, opponents of President Hugo Chavez won approximately 20 fewer seats than they held during the 2000-2005 legislative term, while the pro-Chavez camp grew by several seats, Deputy-Elect Roy Chaderton said on Monday.

Chaderton said the opposition was setting up a “media farce” by comparing Sunday’s results only to those of the 2005 election, which the opposition boycotted, and thus reporting that that opposition drastically increased its presence in the National Assembly.

During the 2000-2005 legislative term, which was marked by an array of party splits and shifting alliances, pro-Chavez parties held between 83 and 92 seats at any given time, while opposition parties held between 73 and 82 seats, out of a total of 165.

According to the official results of Sunday’s election released by the National Electoral Council, Chavez’s United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) won 96 seats, while the opposition coalition Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) won 63 seats. The center-left Fatherland for All (PPT) party, a former Chavez ally that split with the PSUV, won two seats. The three indigenous people’s representatives are not officially aligned with the PSUV or the MUD, but one is considered to be an ally of the PSUV, one an ally of the MUD, and one an ally of the PPT. The CNE has not yet announced the results in the contests for one last seat in Carabobo state.

Both PSUV and MUD officials reported non-official results on Monday. President Chavez said in a press conference that the PSUV and its allies won 98 seats. MUD leader Ramón Aveledo said MUD candidates received 52% of the total number of votes cast nation-wide. President Chavez refuted this claim, reporting that the PSUV and its allies received 5,422,040 votes and the MUD received 5,320,175 votes. The CNE has not confirmed any of these claims.

Officially, the PSUV won the majority of the seats in 16 of Venezuela’s 23 states. This included sweeping victories in the rural states of Apure, Barinas, Guarico, Cojedes, Lara, Portuguesa, Vargas, and Yaracuy; and strong victories in the major industrial states of Bolivar and Carabobo. The PSUV also won seven seats in the Capital District, compared to three for the MUD.

In Miranda state, where the capital city is located, the PSUV and the MUD each won three seats, with the MUD defeating the PSUV by a mere 741 votes out of a total of 968,947. The two were also tied with three seats each in Sucre state. In the sparsely populated and heavily forested Amazonas state, the PSUV won one seat, while the PPT won 2 seats and the MUD did not win any seats.

The MUD swept the border states of Tachira and Zulia, as well as Anzoátegui and the island state of Nueva Esparta.

According to an unofficial Venezuelanalysis calculation, approximately 10% of the 110 deputies who were elected as individuals were women.

Having won a majority of the National Assembly, the PSUV will be able to control the passage of ordinary laws and most other functions of the legislative body. However, the PSUV did not win a large enough majority to control the passage of organic laws, enabling laws that give decree power to the president, and some appointments to other branches of the government.

On Monday, MUD officials claimed victory in the elections, based mainly on their claim to have won the majority of the total votes cast on Sunday.

María Corina Machado, who was elected deputy of Miranda state, said the vote showed Venezuela’s disapproval of President Hugo Chavez’s presidency and its project of 21st Century Socialism, which the opposition says is emulating Cuba’s political system.

“Here it is very clear, Venezuela said no to Cuban-style communism, Venezuela said yes to the path of democratic construction and now we have the legitimacy of vote of the citizenry, we are the representatives of the people,” said Machado.

The PSUV also celebrated what it considered to be a victory. Vice President Elías Jaua, who is a PSUV official, said, “The revolution can count on a comfortable majority in the National Assembly… Few governments on our continent can count on such a comfortable majority of just one party.”

“The opposition does not have any possibility, with this number of deputies, of reversing the legislative processes that have been completed or activating destabilizing mechanisms such as revoking public powers or impeaching the president,” said Jaua.

PSUV Campaign Chief Aristóbulo Istúriz expressed disappointment that the goal of 110 seats was not reached. However, he said this should not distract from the “truly decisive victory” won by the PSUV, which “reaffirms us as the primary political force in our country.”

“We achieved our objective in the sense of being able to guarantee the defense of President Hugo Chavez and the policies of the revolutionary government, and having won sufficient forces to propel structural changes in this era of the construction of socialism,” said Istúriz.

Istúriz, who was elected deputy in the Capital District on Monday, called on the PSUV “to unite more than ever, to strengthen ourselves, because this is a long struggle, it is a daily struggle, it is a never ending battle and these legislators will be an important force in the construction of socialism.”

President Chavez, through his Twitter account, called the election “a solid victory, sufficient to continue deepening democratic and Bolivarian socialism.” He added, “We must continue strengthening the revolution!”

In a press conference on Monday night, Chavez said the next phase of his government will include “the acceleration of programs of the new historical, political, social, and technological project.”

Chavez said the results reflected what was predicted by recent polls and analysis, and as such, “nothing extraordinary happened. Something extraordinary would have been if we won 130 deputies, extraordinary would have been if we lost the majority.”

Polls over the past year consistently showed the PSUV’s popularity as a political party hovering in the mid-30th percentile, with opposition parties much weaker, and a large undecided population.

Meanwhile, the approval rating for Chavez’s presidency remained high at around 55% or 60%. This appears to have impacted the PSUV’s electoral campaign, which de-emphasized individual candidacies and framed the election as a vote of approval or disapproval of Chavez’s presidency. MUD candidates also focused on weaknesses of the Chavez government, such as rising crime and corruption, and made few if any policy proposals of their own.

Published on Sep 28th 2010 at 12.25am


What they want is Venezuela’s oil

YESTERDAY I said what I would do if I were Venezuelan; I explained that it was the poor who were most affected by natural disasters and I gave the reasons why. Further on, I added: “…where imperialism dominates and the opportunistic oligarchy receives a lucrative slice of national goods and services, the masses have nothing to win or lose and don’t give a jot about the elections” and that, “in the United States, even for a presidential election, no more than 50% of those entitled to vote turn out.”

Today I would add that, even when in those same elections the whole of the House of Representatives, part of the Senate and other significant posts are voted on, they do not manage to exceed that figure.

I asked why they employ their vast media resources to try and sink the Revolutionary Bolivarian government in a sea of lies and calumnies. What the yankis want is Venezuela’s oil.

We have all seen during this election period, a group of ignoble individuals who, in the company of mercenaries from the national written press, radio and television, have even denied the fact that there is press freedom in Venezuela.

The enemy has succeeded with some of its aims: preventing the Bolivarian government from winning the support of two thirds of the Parliament.

Perhaps the empire believes that it obtained a great victory.

I believe exactly the opposite: the results of September 26 represent a victory for the Bolivarian Revolution and its leader Hugo Chávez Frías.

In these parliamentary elections, the participation of the electors rose to the record figure of 66.45%. With its vast resources, the empire could not prevent the PSUV from obtaining 95 of the 165 seats in parliaments, with six results still to come in. The most important thing is the high number of young people, women and other combative and proven activists who have entered this institution.

The Bolivarian Revolution today holds executive power, has a majority in Parliament and a party capable of mobilizing millions of people who will fight for socialism.

In Venezuela, the United States can only rely on fragments of parties, cobbled together through their fear of the Revolution and gross material cravings.

They will not be able to resort to a coup d’état in Venezuela as they did with Allende in Chile and other countries in Our America.

The Armed Forces of that sister nation, educated in the spirit and example of the Liberator and which, in its heart, nurtured the leaders who began the process are the promoters of and part of the Revolution.

Such a group of forces is invincible. I would not be able to see that with such clarity without the experience I have accumulated over half a century.

Fidel Castro Ruz

September 27, 2010

3:24 a.m.

Translated by Granma International

Colombian Guerrilla Leader’s Death Confirmed

BOGOTÁ, September 23.— The death of one of the main leaders of the Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC) Victor Julio Suares, also known as Jorge Briceno or Mono Jojoy, during an air raid of the Colombian Air Force, was confirmed today, reported Prensa Latina news agency.

The guerrilla leader was killed in the department of Meta, during an operative of the Army special troops, with the support of the Air Force.

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North Korea: US-South Korean Maneuvres Seek Military Control

PYONGYANG, September 21.—The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea said today that the aim of the upcoming joint maneuvers of the United Sates and South Korea is to grab military control of Northeast Asia, pointing out that it will be a nuclear war drill.

These remarks were published by the Rodong Sinmun newspaper with regards to the anti-submarine operations both countries will be carrying out next week in the South Sea of Korea, and which had to be postponed earlier this month due to a typhoon.

Washington and Seoul undertook similar exercises in July and August.

The report added that the Pentagon is planning to incorporate George Washington aircraft carriers to these maneuvers for the aforementioned purposes.

The source underscored that the situation in the Korean Peninsula is so tense that the smallest accident may set off a war, and noted that “if US warmongers continue to increase the number of troops and military exercises in that burning zone, the situation could have an unforeseeable outcome.”

The newspaper states that the people and the army of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea cannot remain with their arms folded while US actions continue to threaten that country’s sovereignty.

According to the initial announcement of these five-day maneuvers, the Pentagon will employ Curtis Wilbur and Fitzgerald destroyers and a fast attack submarine. South Korea, on the other hand, will use four destroyers, a submarine, high speed frigates and P-3C aircrafts. (Prensa Latina news agency)

Terrorist plans continue from the U.S.

The statements by Francisco Chávez Abarca and the plans that have been hatched against Venezuela reveal that terrorist actions continue to be planned against the island and raise new questions on the complicity of the CIA, CANF, Posada Carriles and anti-Cuban Congress members.

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Coming Up: Another UN Condemnation of Blockade Vs Cuba

By Lourdes Chang

Another global condemnation of the U.S. blockade on Cuba was shaping up on Thursday as an ordinary session of the United Nations General Assembly got underway.

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The truth is being hijacked

• Affirms Fidel during a meeting with members of the Japanese Peace Cruise that arrived in Cuba on September 21 from the Canary Islands

Leticia Martínez Hernández
EVERYBODY in the hall was shaken, including Fidel. They were the words of Junko Watanabe, who was barely two years old on that tragic August 6, 1945. She was playing with her brother in the yard of their home when her mother’s agonized cries interrupted their absorption in the game to warn them that something horrific was happening. Junko does not remember anything about that lugubrious day, but has reconstructed every second of the act that tore her apart like the burns that blinded thousands of Japanese there in Hiroshima, the city which was destroyed when Junko had barely begun to take her first steps.
This woman, wise and sad, traveled together with more than 600 Japanese aboard the Peace Boat, convened to “Learn from past wars to build a future of peace.” In my judgment, this slogan has a special value, Fidel said some minutes before listening with consternation to Junko’s testimony. “I would dare say without any doubt that never in human history has there been a moment as dangerous as this one. This is not about an excursion, this is about a struggle that is real and serious. I hope that these exchanges will enlighten us as to what is being thought, what formulas could be possible, as to realistic solutions, not just a simple expression of a desire. For me the meeting has great importance precisely because of the experience that you have accumulated on this subject,” Fidel told them precisely on September 21, World Day of Peace.

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