Venezuela: Washington’s Latest Defeat

By Ángel Guerra Cabrera on November 24, 2021

photo: Bill Hackwell

Chavismo achieved a resounding victory in the mega regional and municipal elections of November 21. There were 3082 popularly elected posts in dispute, among them 23 governorships, 335 mayoralties, 253 deputies to state Legislative Councils and 2471 municipal councilors, for which 70 thousand candidates ran. The turnout of the great majority of the opposition, including that which, until a few months ago, remained tied to the destabilization and coup ordered by the empire and which had sworn not to participate in elections “with Chavism in power”, gives great legitimacy to the electoral appointment.

The fact constitutes a great defeat for the policy of disregarding Venezuelan institutionality, of disqualifying the prestigious National Electoral Council (CNE) and of regime change sustained by the United States (US) since Obama’s time, harshly escalated by Trump and maintained by Biden.  Also reinforcing the legitimacy of the contest is the turnout of 42.26 percent, a proportion perfectly adjusted to the usual participation in elections of this nature. To give a very close example, on the same day in Chile, in the first round of the presidential elections, everywhere with the highest voter turnout, only 46.7 percent turnout was reached. However, the migration caused by the relentless gringo blockade and the persistent distrust in the CNE and in the electoral path sowed by the Guaido opposition among its followers must have diminished the voting. The blockade also incites apathy among natural sympathizers of Chavismo, absorbed in the solution of their individual problems. But this sector can surely be motivated and mobilized later on by a victorious Chavismo and by the coming economic improvement.

Of the posts that were up for election, chavismo (Gran Polo Patriotico-GPP: the United Socialist Party of Venezuela-PSUV and its allies) has won 19 governorships and the opposition three: Cojedes, Nueva Esparta and the strategic Zulia (home of important oil deposits, the most populated of the country and bordering Colombia), a significant loss for chavismo. However, while the PSUV has forged new and young regional leaderships and consolidated the existing ones, the opposition only wins with veteran politicians and fails with almost all its young candidates, linked to violence and subject to Washington’s orders. Only those seen as supporters of the electoral path have managed, if not to impose themselves against Chavismo, at least to overcome the candidates of hatred.   Meanwhile, in a close race, the definition of the Governorship of Barinas, Chavez’ home state and therefore symbolic, is imminent. The GPP conquered 205 of the 322 mayoralties already awarded by the NEC and 117 were won by the opposition. It is certain that most of the municipal and state council memberships will go to Chavism.

It is worth mentioning that the PSUV will win 9 of the ten most important mayoralties in the country. Among them, the very important Libertador municipality in Caracas, one of the most important elective posts of national transcendence, where the magnificent candidate Carmen Meléndez amply surpassed the sum of the votes of all the opposition candidates, accumulating 360,369. This shows that not everywhere the opposition, “if it had competed united”, would have won, an absurd hypothesis in any case, since the “if it had” considers a static, linear reality, which is not how politics behaves. It does not take into account, furthermore, that the grievances, hatreds, jealousies and personal antagonisms that poison the Venezuelan opposition make the hypothesis of a unification unfeasible for the time being, a situation aggravated by the policy imposed by the US, which is bound to get worse as long as Washington, despite having given the go-ahead to the elections, despite having given the green light to compete, albeit very late, to the extremist opposition, has just recently returned to support the non-existent “interim” government of Guaidó through the mouth of Secretary of State Tony Blinken, an attitude that shows the distancing from the prevailing reality in the White House. For it is not only about Venezuela, it would seem a pathology that prevents him from distinguishing between reality and his desires, whether in Cuba, in Syria, in the Taiwan Strait or the Black Sea.

The election of November 21 is a great victory for the Venezuelan people and the revolutionary and popular forces of Latin America and the Caribbean. Whether the US and the European Union like it or not, it further strengthens the leadership of President Nicolás Maduro, the international prestige of Venezuela and leaves no room for blockade and regime change policies, which, sooner rather than later, will have to change.

Source: La Pupila Insomne, translation Resumen Latinoamericano – English