“In Venezuela we are preparing for some elections in peace. We are advancing in the consolidation of a powerful labor movement, without neglecting the protection of the health of the people. “With his gaze fixed on an imaginary country, the president Nicolas Maduro The electoral campaign began on Tuesday with a view to the parliamentarians on December 6.
“Here neither Donald Trump nor (Jair) Bolsonaro nor (Iván) Duque elect,” the president added. The United Socialist Party (PSVU), in power, predicted a resounding victory. As things stand, he will compete against his own shadow because the main referents of the Venezuelan opposition have decided to turn their backs on the contest. The former presidential candidate Henrique Capriles decided to get out of the competition because it considered, in line with the European Union (EU), that the transparency conditions. Capriles had broken ties with the deputy Juan Guaidó with the purpose of fighting for the vote even in disadvantaged conditions. In return for the secret negotiations with the Miraflores Palace, obtained the pardon of more than a hundred opponents. But the electoral issue did not allow progress and at this point it seems impossible to support the ongoing process.
In Venezuela we are preparing for elections in Peace. We advance in the consolidation of a powerful labor movement, with the integration of the social forces of the Historical Bloc and in unity, without neglecting the protection of the people’s health. pic.twitter.com/FwL1mS14ZG
– Nicolás Maduro (@NicolasMaduro) November 2, 2020
For its part, Guaidó, recognized as president “in charge” For the US and 54 other governments, the last remaining political capital is betting on boycotting the elections through a parallel popular consultation, between December 5 and 12. Guaidó play a personal race against time. On January 5, 2021, the mandate of the National Assembly he heads ends. An assembly where, in addition and to finish complicating the situation, there is a minority faction that does not respond to Guaidó but to deputy Luis Parra.
Strictly speaking, the current National Assembly (AN) has been stripped of its power almost since it took office in early 2016 and after a broad opposition alliance defeated Madurismo at the polls in December 2015. Its opinions do not have, however, effects because the Supreme justice court (TSJ) declared her in contempt. At the same time, the Government put into operation in 2017 a Constituent Assembly that only legislates. Its own president, Diosdado Cabello, acknowledged that he never had the horizon of drafting a new Magna Carta. Now, the Madurismo believes that the conditions are in place to “recover” the National Assembly.
The questioned National Electoral Council (CNE) assured that more than 14,000 candidates they ran for 277 seats and for 107 parties. The list includes Voluntad Popular – the formation of Guaidó and his mentor Leopoldo López-, the social democratic Democratic Action and First Justice. The miracle of the participation of these forces has been possible because the TSJ beheaded the party leaderships to place leaders complacent with the Miraflores Palace in their place. The Supreme Court did the same with three left-wing forces –Bandera Roja, Patria Para Todos and Tupamaros- who refused to join the official coalition this time.
The PSVU has launched into the campaign as if the background of tension did not exist. It has even held popular sweepstakes to self-finance proselytizing. The Venezuelan Electoral Observatory (OEV) has denounced, however, that in the mock voting, huge conditions favorable to the ruling party have been noticed, among them the transfer of people with public resources.
– Juan Guaidó (@jguaido) November 2, 2020
In this context, Luis Vicente León, the director of the consulting firm Datanálisis foresees a abstention close to 60%. “There is no longer a debate in the opposition about voting or not in parliamentarians. The unsolved problem is what to do after abstention, because it is not very promising in terms of causing change,” argues León.
The anomaly surrounding 6-D is not only related to the new chapter from political dispute between Government and opposition and a pandemic that killed 801 people and infected after 92,000. The depth of the economic crisis, which the Miraflores Palace attributes especially to the North American sanctions, plunges society into a hardship that has no historical antecedents and that could be accentuated in the event that Donald Trump revalidates his presidency.
Gas promise, while still cooking with firewood
President Nicolás Maduro started the official electoral campaign long before its formal opening. He has promised the gold and the moor again. Among its offers is an improvement in the population’s access to gas. On October 14 alone, the Venezuelan Observatory of Social Conflict reported a total of 11 states with protests due to failures in public services and shortages of gasoline. Major General Ovidio Delgado Ramírez, head of Strategic Regions for Comprehensive Defense, reported that a firewood distribution campaign faced with difficulties in cooking. Venezuela has one of the hydrocarbon reserves most important on the planet but food is prepared as in the nineteenth century even in major urban centers. Environmentalists wonder how much firewood will be used in the future and what will be the effects of the systematic felling of trees on an ecosystem that already presents significant damage in the region of the so-called mining arc.