24 Nov 2008

Venezuela Election round up.

Statement by VIC on the results of the regional and municipal elections in Venezuela

The final results of the Venezuelan regional and municipal elections have not yet been officially announced. However, it is clear that the United Socialist Party of President Hugo Chávez and its allies won 17 out of the 22 states and a clear majority of the total votes cast in the elections as a whole. When 95% of the vote had been announced they had increased their vote by 1.1 million over the referendum which President Chávez lost last year.

The Opposition won control of five states and the Mayoralty of Caracas. They boycotted the elections in most regions in the last regional and municipal elections in 2004 and so they were expected to increase their representation in these elections.

All sides accepted the election results as fair and democratic. This shows that most of the coverage in the British media prior to the elections regarding threats of tanks on the streets and so on was sheer fantasy.

Contrary to suggestions in the British media, President Chávez immediately accepted all of the results whether his party won or lost, just as he accepted his defeat in last year’s constitutional referendum and was the first to congratulate the Opposition candidate who won an important state governor position in 2004.

In fact, Venezuela has one of the most meticulously democratic electoral systems in the entire world and a President who has respected every single election result since he was first elected in 1998. This contrasts with the record of the Opposition who attempted a military coup in April 2002, tried to paralyse the economy with a strike of the management of the national oil company and repeatedly boycotted elections they did not think they could win.

The continuing majority support for President Chávez vindicates the social and democratic reforms which have transformed the lives of the great majority of Venezuelan people, particularly in the fields of health and universal education.

Within that context, it should be noted that the victory of the Opposition was successful in some important economic and urban areas, notably Caracas, Miranda, Zulia and Carabobo. This shows that a great deal remains to be done to address the acute problems of housing, crime, transport, waste disposal and other key areas of city life which are the legacy of 50 years of neglect before the election of President Chávez.

As the Opposition spent 50 years creating these problems, there is no chance whatsoever of them solving them. But, having tackled the gigantic problems of healthcare and education with remarkable success, these issues to improve the quality of life in Venezuela’s major cities will undoubtedly now be close to the top of the agenda of the government of President Chávez.

Overall, the elections show that Venezuela is a beacon of democracy and social progress in Latin America and the world.

VIC will continue to explain the truth about Venezuela and challenge the media distortions which, in reality, reflect incredulity that any Latin American country should have the temerity to break free of the tutelage of the United States and use its natural resources to improve the well being of its people.

Venezuela Information Centre



0207 250 0132

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