Google “Venezuelan Opposition
Primaries+2015” and you will see several articles in English from Fox News,
Yahoo, International Business Times and this one by Reuters,
All of these articles forecast that “this is the best chance the opposition
has had in a decade to recoup control of the national parliament”. In other
words, they continue to parrot what inept and uncharismatic politicians such as the
Secretary General of the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD), Jesus “Chuo”
Torrealba, says. In a carbon copy of the last national elections for mayoralties
which, according to twice-defeated presidential candidate Henrique Capriles
Radonski, the vote would be a plebiscite and Maduro would have to resign when the
opposition won that particular vote.
In fact, the opposition lost by 11
points to Chavismo and only won control of 24% of the 335 mayoralties in the
country. This was another opposition defeat - number 18 out of 19 - since Chávez won
the presidency in December 1998.
Now the opposition is plunging
headlong to its 19th defeat out of 20 elections since 1998 in key parliamentary elections in the
final quarter of this year.
|Jesus “Chuo” Torrealba|
The corporate media continue to concentrate
on polls about Maduro’s popularity being on the floor at 28%. According to
private media, the opposition is ahead in the polls and if the elections were held
tomorrow they would win a majority of seats in the parliament.
On the other hand, differing polls
have placed Maduro’s approval rating at over 55%. The latest polls on voter
intentions for the parliamentary elections (by leading and reliable pollster
Hinterlaces) indicate that, as things stand now, the United Socialist Party of
Venezuela (PSUV) and affiliates would poll 39% of the vote and the MUD parties 23%. There are 35% undecided 3% who refused to answer.
Now, go back to Google and read the
articles that appear. In not one does this poll appear. Yet an opposition
victory appears very unlikely assuming that the Hinterlace poll - from just before the
recent opposition primaries - is accurate.
Could it be that, after two years
of “economic war”, many Venezuelans have come to realize that shortages,
inflation, devaluation of the currency and other ills are being managed and
manipulated by the opposition and their gringo handlers - as has been the case
in Argentina, Russia, and Iran?
The Opposition Primaries
Of 87 electoral districts in
Venezuela, the MUD decided to hold internal primary elections to select their
candidates in just 34 of these districts. The candidates in the remaining 53
were selected by “consensus” - in secret - by party managers. Not very democratic,
if you think about it, when 7.3 million people voted for the opposition in the
April 2013 presidential election. Why were these voters not allowed to choose
their candidates democratically? After all this is the Democratic Unity
Nonetheless, 34 districts were
contested democratically on Sunday May 17 with the voting managed
by the National Electoral Council (CNE) to guarantee transparency in the voting
On polling day, it became clear
from the start that turnout to select the opposition candidates was going to be
slow. But no-one expected only 7.2% of voters in these 34 districts to turn out
on the day. There were more than 8 million potential voters who could have gone
to the polls and only (approximately) 543,000 actually went to vote.
An abstention rate of 93% is a
national historical record for any election in Venezuela. 'Democratic disaster'
does not even come close to describing this debacle and would seem to indicate
that the total lack of opposition policies for the country did not attract
their voters. What does appear to attract them, however, is to be able to vote
against the Chavistas and use the voting process as a catharsis for their hatred
towards the Chavista majority in the country. Hatred is a great motivator for
middle class, socially racist Venezuelans.
Lying catches up with Torrealba
To make matters even worse MUD
Secretary General Torrealba literally “let the cat out of the bag” early
on Monday morning when the scale of the electoral debacle must have still been
At around 0520 am, the author heard Chuo being interviewed live on Union Radio
on the program of Unai Amenbar. He tried to spin the result into something
positive without mentioning the percentage turnout, the numbers who
voted. This is fair enough but when Unai noted that turnout was poor Chuo
said that the number who voted (640,000 according to him) was double the last
primaries that the opposition held. End of interview.
The last primaries held by the
opposition were on February 12 2012 and, according to the then opposition
spokesmen, over 3 million people voted and selected Capriles as their
candidate. No-one was able to verify this figure as the next day all the
records and voting slips were burned by the opposition in a blaze reminiscent
of the Nazi book burnings so as not to “put the identity of voters at risk”.
Three years, three months and five
days later the truth comes out of Torrealba’s mouth. If, as he claims,
around 640,000 people voted in these parliamentary primaries and this was
double the number that voted in the presidential primaries of 2012, then only
around 320,000 people must voted in 2012, and not 3 million.
With a lie of this scale now out
of the bag, can anyone believe anything the Venezuelan opposition says? For most
rational voters, this would be totally unacceptable - but not for hate-ridden
Venezuelan opposition supporters.
In Sunday’s elections, they voted for convicted criminals - Enzo Scarano in Carabobo state and
Daniel Ceballos (still in jail) in Mérida - as well as student leader Gaby
Arellano who is accused of promoting violence and terrorist acts during the street
protests in 2014.
Despite an ongoing mass negative
media campaign against the Venezuelan government an its socialist policies, Chavismo still enjoys broad based support throughout the country.
The opposition has tried to
destroy the economy; make life impossible for ordinary Venezuelans by hoarding
and hiding basic foods and medicines; tried to use street violence to overthrow
the government; planned with rogue military officers a coup d’état earlier this
year; tried to garner support from Spain, Colombia, and the US to discredit
Maduro and his government - all with the help of the corporate
media manipulating every possible angle against Venezuela.
President Chávez had to face all
these actions, but generally one at a time; Maduro is handling all these
We expect the rest of this year to
be difficult and challenging for the government and the Venezuelan people.
Nevertheless, we do not believe that the opposition will be able to win a
majority in the national legislature as the PSUV and its allies will continue
to work tirelessly, door to door, so that the party’s electoral machinery can
guarantee a huge turnout on internal election day on June 28. And
then they will marshal most of the 7.6 million PSUV members to vote on the parliamentary
polling day, probably in November.
See other articles by Arturo Rosales here.
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