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A lesson in democracy and political consciousness Printer friendly page Print This
By Arturo Rosales writes from Caracas
Axis of Logic
Monday, Jun 29, 2015

At the time this writing begins, there are still two hours to go before voting in the internal elections to nominate parliamentary candidates of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) comes to an end at 6pm.

The PSUV is using 3966 voting stations up and down the country, which is about 20% of what would be opened up for a national election. Obviously, internal elections to select candidates will attract fewer voters than in a true politically competitive election.

Internal elections are taking place in all 87 voting districts to elect 167 candidates out of a total of 1162 pre-candidates that were chosen in mass democratic and political meetings by grass roots organizations of the PSUV. All pre-candidates have signed a binding pledge to respect the results published by the National Electoral Council (CNE) and then support the elected candidates against whom they competed today.

The actual parliamentary elections are due to take place on December 6 – 17 years to the day after Chávez won his first presidential election to spark life into the Bolivarian Revolution in 1998.

This is true participatory democracy at work where candidates are not chosen by the party leadership but by grass roots voters who decide which pre-candidates will compete against the right wing candidates on December 6 in the fight to control the key National Assembly.

Counteracting gender inequality and ageism
What has made the selections of the 1162 PSUV pre-candidates unique is the mix demanded by party statutes. 50% of pre-candidates must be female; 50% must be between the ages of 18 – 30 and the other 50% over 30 years of age so as to bring the next generation of revolutionaries into the political fold. This defeats ageism and gender inequality and ensures that the grass roots party members choose the candidates they consider best to be their spokes-people (note: NOT representatives) in the 2016 – 2021 National Assembly.

The right wing opposition has made it clear that if they win the majority in the National Assembly they will use the power there to unseat President Maduro in an institutional coup d’état as the Paraguayan congress did to Fernando Lugo in 2011, installing right-wing Horacio Cartes in his place – thus negated the political will of the Paraguayan people.

Negating political will is the whole game plan being developed by the CIA, NED and the State Department in tandem with Venezuela’s gringo-worshipping fascists dancing to the tune of US dollars and multinational oil corporations such as Exxon-Mobil and Chevron-Texaco.

The internal elections that took place on June 28

Before entering into detail about the magnificent lesson in participatory democracy taking place today, June 28, throughout Venezuela, we refer readers to the article written by the same author covering the opposition’s internal elections that took place on May 17 to refresh their memory. Click here to read the article in question.

So far, the opposition has not published its list of candidates 45 days later so one wonders what shenanigans are taking place in the opposition leadership. This can hardly be confidence building for candidates who paid Bs. 150,000 per head to postulate themselves in the opposition primaries and the results have not been made public.

Tonight we await the announcement of list of PSUV candidates who will compete in the parliamentary elections on December 6.

The turnout for today’s PSUV internal elections exceeded expectations. Speaking to comrades up and down the country there were lines everywhere as participants stood patiently to vote for the candidate of their choice.

All people interviewed on media covering the event spoke about “huge lines” and this was confirmed by the President of the PSUV, Nicolas Maduro, who stated in a live press conference that turnout at about 2pm had been “much higher” that of any other previous PSUV internal election.

The internal elections held by the PSUV on May 4, 2010 to elect the candidates for the 2010 National Assembly Elections yielded 2,575,484 votes according to a report published on the PSUV web site.  

At around 01:00am on Monday morning PSUV vice president, Diosdada Cabello announced the results of the internal elections. Nationwide 3,162,400 people voted which is a new record for any internal political election in Venezuela.

In the 33 voting districts where the opposition held its primaries on May 17 and polled 543,000 votes, the PSUV actually polled 1,200,000 votes, far outstripping the opposition number in participatory terms.

Final detailed figures will be available shortly on the CNE web site.

Voting was extended by the CNE until 10pm due to the number of people still waiting in line to vote. Cabello apologized that so few voting centers had been opened indicating that the turnout exceeded even the strategic plans of the PSUV organizers.

Why was the turnout so high?

Read the corporate media, either in Venezuela or abroad, and our country is falling to pieces. Yes, there are problems with inflation, devaluation of the currency, shortages of some food staples, crime – and according to the corporate media all this is the “fault” of the government of President Maduro who apparently only has 28% popularity according to opposition pollster Datanalisis.

There are polls that contradict Datanalisis, such as Hinterlaces, indicating that for the upcoming parliamentary elections the PSUV has 37% vote intention and the opposition just 20%. The fact that the chavista vote is more evenly spread nationwide and the opposition has some real thumping majorities in upper middle class areas (85% in some cases) it stands to reason that polls indicate that even at this early stage, with more than five months to go before the election date, that chavismo looks set to retain control of the National Assembly.

And this is despite over two years of Economic War against the people and the economy and an ongoing media campaign at home and abroad blaming even holes in the sidewalk on the President himself.

However, this campaign has worn thin and people have had time to evaluate over a two year period what is really happening and who is responsible for speculation, hoarding and smuggling of basic goods to Colombia and other Caribbean islands. And it is not the Maduro government as evidenced by the results of the internal PSUV elections.

Our analysis is that today’s huge turnout is a punishment vote against the opposition and their business cohorts showing that the mass of voters know what and who are really behind the Economic War. The media has really destroyed its own credibility after two years of this “game” to disillusion people and make them desperate.

Think about it, readers – would you go and vote for the political party whose leaders were to blame for making your life inconvenient, if not impossible on some days, when you had to stand in line to buy food or personal hygiene products for your family week after week and month after month?

Add to this the fact that the opposition has not offered anything positive to the voters except ousting or voting out the President. They have presented no national plan to make people’s lives easier. Nothing but unbridled criticism for 15 years – yes, 15 years – culminating in the ongoing Economic War; street violence; selective assassinations of chavistas; attempted coups; blackening the name of Venezuela abroad and in the international corporate media; being in cahoots with foreign powers such as the US, Colombia and Spain to destabilize the country; finance their activities using blood money from the CIA, National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the State Department.

Voters proved beyond a reasonable doubt that they do not want this type of destructive from of politics but peace and, if possible, harmony in the country for the benefit of the vast majority of the population.

Opposition behavior in the National Assembly
Chavismo has finally started to make it known to the public at large how opposition deputies have behaved and voted in the National Assembly over the last year or so.

Without exception, any funds needing to be approved in a parliamentary vote for:
  • Food subsidies
  • Education credits
  • The Grand House Building Mission
  • Extra funds to support single mothers
  • Necessary wage increases in face of galloping inflation
  • And the whole National Budget which is the backbone of the Bolivarian Social Revolution that benefits at least 20 million people ...
... have been consistently opposed by the 66 opposition deputies in the National Assembly.

With this track record and most funding being voted down, millions would be plunged back into extreme poverty as was the case from 1989 to 1998 – when the right wing opposition was last running the country.

These facts, if well documented and repeated, will stand the PSUV and its left wing allies of the Great Patriotic Pole (GPP) such as the Venezuelan Communist Party (PCV), the PPT, Podemos, UPV and REDES amongst other groupings in good stead as the elections approach.

People are aware that prices will be completely liberated, wages frozen and social funding all but stopped if the opposition takes control of the National Assembly.

Today’s lesson in democracy and political consciousness exhibited by the Venezuelan people is the first step to prevent such a disaster from occurring and its possible lethal consequences for the whole of society – including the opposition voters.

Today’s vote is a direct response rejecting the Economic War launched two years ago that appears to have turned into a boomerang against opposition and the imperialist machinations that are designed to disillusion and demoralize the Revolution and the Venezuelan people.

The slogan in the lines of chavistas waiting to vote at 0530pm was:

“Chavez forever, we’ll see you in December!”

The chavista voters realized that they were participating in a vitally important electoral process and with so many lines, voting was extended nationwide for four hours until 10:00pm.

Rest assured that the opposition media and social networks will try to belittle this triumph in democracy with arguments such as – “public employees were forced to vote”; “the PSUV gave people money and meat to buy their votes” and the old lie that “the CNE is corrupt and working for the government ruling party”.

The latter argument will simply not stick, as a whole team of international observers was present. These observers were amazed at the turnout, the civility of the voters waiting in line, and the efficiency of the voting system that is completely protected against possible voter fraud.

Yesterday’s result is the writing on the wall for the Venezuelan opposition in its plan to take control of the National Assembly. The opposition leadership must already have known this and the turnout has simply driven this fact home. This also explains why the opposition has refused to sign a legally binding document guaranteeing that they will respect the results published by the CNE on December 6.

Yesterday’s election will certainly give food for thought to the Transition Office located at the US Embassy in Caracas and also make people ask why the leading opposition party, First Justice, recently held a party summit conference in New York? Perhaps to receive instructions for its US handlers?

All that remains for the opposition to do now is to exacerbate the Economic War, general destabilization and violence in the country and then, after December 6, cry “fraud” as they have done in the past but never produced any evidence to prove it.

See other articles by Arturo Rosales here.

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