CARACAS.— During almost two decades of the Bolivarian Revolution, there have been no elections or referendums in which the Venezuelan right wing and its international allies have accepted the results when Chavista forces won.
Despite adversities and boycott campaigns, Chavista forces managed to mobilize important sectors of society on Sunday, May 20, resulting in more than six million votes for the presidential candidate for re-election, Nicolás Maduro.
President Maduro secured three-times as many votes as those cast for right wing candidate Henri Falcón, backed by the Progressive Advance (AP), Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) and Social Christian (COPEI) parties, who won only 1.9 million votes, according to the National Electoral Council (CNE).
“Chavista forces not only recovered their majority, but this is increasing every day,” stated the head of the Simón Bolívar Campaign Command, Jorge Rodríguez, at a press conference held at the Teatro Bolivar in Caracas.
Rodríguez, quoted by AVN, said that the will of the Venezuelan people must be recognized, who voted to continue to defend their sovereignty, independence, and self-determination.
The people “overcame all attacks and issued a clear mandate,” he said.
He added that Venezuela and its people have been the target of excessive attacks and aggression by the national and international right wing, responding to the demands of imperialist powers, subjecting the country to a brutal economic war, accompanied by unilateral and coercive sanctions.
Rodríguez noted that, in the face of these attacks, President Nicolás Maduro has as his goal a dialogue with all sectors, to advance in overcoming the problems faced, and working to protect the welfare of the Venezuelan people and national prosperity.
On analyzing the elections held over the past three years, Rodríguez recalled how the negative result for Chavista forces in the parliamentary elections of 2015, when the opposition secured 56% of the vote, was reversed in the election for members of the National Constituent Assembly (ANC), boycotted by opposition forces, and with a voter turnout of 43%; and in the regional and municipal elections, where Chavista forces secured 54% and 70% of the vote, respectively, all held in 2017.
Rodríguez noted that this trend was maintained in the most recent electoral process, with President Maduro achieving a crushing victory over his rivals.
“It was an immense victory of Venezuelan democracy, of epic proportions, a lesson to the whole world, a powerful message that must be attentively heard, mainly by those who persist in their aggressive intentions against Venezuela: each vote sent a message of peace, of harmony, of respect on the part of a people that was besieged by acts of violence, psychological and media warfare, by groups financed by right wing sectors,” he stressed.
POPULAR PARTICIPATION AGAINST ALL ODDS
After the overwhelming victory of May 20, a group of countries rushed to attempt to delegitimize the results.
Countries such as Chile and Colombia, members of the so-called Lima Group, seem to forget that the abstention in their respective presidential elections also exceeded 50%, without implying a barrage of international sanctions or the withdrawal of their ambassadors.
In other countries such as Switzerland, which is taken as a global example of democracy, only 48.4% of the electorate participated in the federal elections held in 2015.
In the United States, which leads the attacks on Venezuela, the current President obtained less of the popular vote than his Democratic rival, and yet still made it into the White House.
Following a prearranged plan, in a statement issued through the Foreign Ministries of Peru and Mexico, the Lima Group stated that the elections in Venezuela did not fulfill “international standards of a democratic, free, fair, and transparent process.”
The member countries agreed to reduce their level of diplomatic relations with Venezuela, and will recall their ambassadors to Caracas for consultation, “to express our protest.”
Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump imposed new sanctions on the Venezuelan government, signing an executive order on May 21, prohibiting the purchase by any U.S. citizen, institution or company of any debt owed to the Venezuelan government, “including accounts receivable,” which includes those derived from state-owned oil company Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA).
This latest measure adds to a broad set of sanctions with which Washington aspires to overthrow the current Venezuelan government by deepening the economic crisis and fuelling popular discontent.
Meanwhile, the opinion of more than a hundred international observers of the elections on May 20 has been silenced.
“These elections must be recognized by all (...), they are the result of the will of the Venezuelan people,” stated the President of the Latin American Council of Electoral Experts (CEELA), Nicanor Moscoso, one of the bodies that participated as an observer.
As reported by EFE, the observers were invited by the Venezuelan National Electoral Council, and they stressed that polling stations operated without any major incidents, guaranteeing the freedom to vote.
A CALL FOR DIALOGUE
Before learning of his victory, Maduro called for the consolidation of peace and coexistence among all political sectors of Venezuelan society, with a view to advancing toward the solution of the economic problems faced by the South American nation, PL reported.
Meanwhile, former Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, who also traveled to the country as part of the international mission observing the elections, stressed the need to promote dialogue in Venezuela.
During the celebration held at the Miraflores Presidential Palace following the announcement of the results, Maduro expressed his readiness to install a permanent dialogue and reconciliation process with all political, social, and economic sectors, to work to recover the Venezuelan economy.
Opposition candidates Henri Falcón and Javier Bertucci refused to recognize the election result, despite the fact that the winner asked for an audit of 100% of the votes cast.
Thus, opposition forces continue to use excuses of alleged fraud to justify their own inability to mobilize voters.
Political commentators have noted that everything claimed by these sectors is a means of justification for their defeat. They haven’t ruled out the possibility that refusing to recognize the result is part of a predetermined script, presumably written and imposed by powerful external interests, to derail the Bolivarian Revolution.
Nicolás Maduro: 67.8% of the vote in 2018 election
Percentage of registered voters: 31.7%
Donald Trump: 46% of the vote in 2016 election
Percentage of registered voters: 27.3%
Mauricio Macri: 51.2% of the vote in 2015 election
Percentage of registered voters: 26.8%
J.M. Santos: 53.1% of the vote in 2014 election
Percentage of registered voters: 23.7%
Sebastián Piñera: 54.6% of the vote in 2017 election
Percentage of registered voters: 26.5 %