Elections in Venezuela / Rafael León Rodríguez

Capriles, the opposition candidate in Venezeula

If any country in our region has stood out in recent times for its election practices, the country is Venezuela. The Venezuelan people are now engaged in another election process to decide the their political direction that, supposedly, the majority determine.

The campaigns of the two main adversaries are seasoned more by diatribe and disqualification of the other, than by promotion or critical discussion of the sustainability and viability of their programs.

Capriles, the candidate of the opposition, points out in his speeches the inability of Chavismo without Chavez to resolve the problems that the winner will have to have. The grave challenges of citizen insecurity, the galloping economic crisis, and the the interference by the Cuban government in Venezuelan matters, are his principal arguments.

For his part, president Maduro has publicly imitated even to the song of a bird, assuring his listeners that Chavez’s spirit is close to him. The nagging accusations of the aggressions of the right: attempted assassination, coup d’etat, oil strike, a  referendum of revocation, etc., which marked Chavez’s time as Venezuelan president, form the base of the Maduro’s discourse about his electoral platform.

With regards to the mass rallies with the Chavista governors participating, populism overflows, approving emerging site plans, infrastructure projects, social benefits, housing construction, etc., like at a Christmas Fair. And he is always accompanied by three icons: God, the Bolivarian Constitution of the Republic, and Chavez’s family.

It is true that our Latin roots favor the family as the one uniting and central base of society. When it comes to scenarios of power, these concepts are revealed in public. Historic examples abound in our own backyard. Now Venezuela reaffirms this practice, legitimated by the legacy of the late president. The vice presidency, several governorships and other important government positions are held by the Chavez family. On the election of Maduro will enable the continuation of this state of affairs. Hence the unity of populist politicians of the left, with the heritage of Chavez.

In the upcoming April 14 elections to be held in Venezuela, Cuba without a doubt is betting on a win-win. Of course, the candidate of continuity, Maduro, accuses the opposition of trying to withdraw from the electoral process to sabotage the elections. Of preparing a charge of fraud to election authorities so as to not to recognize the results of the vote count.

In recent days they have declared they discovered a plot to assassinate the Chavista candidate. Maduro is likely to win this election, thanks to the emotional burden that the tragic events of the death of Chavez give to the present time; and as for the next, if they are still in power, the people here and over there, certainly they will put into practice, thanks to the cooperation of Cuba, and for the misery of Venezuelans, the method used in Cuba at the beginning of the Revolution called dictators here: Elections… what for?

9 April 2013