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Maduro´s socialist PSUV celebrates unexpected landslide in regional elections

Bleipriester

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Exercising the values occupied by those agitating against him: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro

With 54 % of the votes and 17 out of 23 states won by the PSUV, the election result defies the polls conducted by so called independent pollsters. Spare your laughter for the Washington based "Supreme Court" that will surely dismiss the election result. Wonder, how Trump´s horse-like countenance rattled around in the White House in the face of the voice of the Venezuelan people.


"Caracas, October 15, 2017 (venezuelanalysis.com) – President Nicolás Maduro’s United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) won 17 of 23 states in Sunday’s gubernatorial elections, the National Electoral Council (CNE) has confirmed.

According to CNE President Tibisay Lucena, 61.14 percent of Venezuela’s eighteen-million-strong electorate came out to vote, marking a record participation in the country’s regional elections, second only to the 65.45 percent turnout in 2008.

The result defied forecasts of high abstention fueled by the current economic crisis as well as polls showing dissatisfaction with the leadership of both the government and political opposition.

With 95 percent of all votes counted, the governing PSUV won in the states of Amazonas, Apure, Aragua, Barinas, Carabobo, Cojedes, Falcon, Guarico, Lara, Miranda, Monagas, Sucre, Trujillo, Yaracuy, Delta Amacuro, and Vargas.

For its part, the opposition Democratic Action party triumphed in Anzoátegui, Merida, Tachira, and Nueva Esparta, while the First Justice party took the strategic northwestern border state of Zulia.

The CNE has yet to release final results for the mineral rich Amazonian state of Bolivar in the country’s southeast border.

The PSUV won 54 percent of the total vote, marking a significant recovery since the ruling party’s landslide defeat in the 2015 parliamentary elections when it garnered only 43.7 percent of the vote. The pro-government upswing follows on the heels of July 30 National Constituent Assembly (ANC) elections, which saw over eight million people turn out to vote amid deadly opposition protests and escalating US pressure.

The CNE indicated that the right-wing opposition coalition, the Democratic Unity Roundtable, won 45 percent of votes, amounting to a loss of 2.7 million votes relative to 2015.

Speaking late Sunday evening, President Maduro welcomed the result, vowing to work with the newly elected opposition governors.

“I extend my hand to the opposition governors to work with them for the peace and calm of the country,” he declared.

The head of state likewise called on the CNE to carry out a “100 percent audit” of all paper ballots from Sunday’s vote.

Under Venezuela’s electoral system, every electronic vote is backed up by a paper ballot, 50 percent of which are by law subject to recount in any given electoral cycle.

Despite scoring important victories in several key states, the MUD responded to the CNE announcement by refusing to recognize the results, alleging “fraud”.

In a press conference early Monday morning, MUD campaign head Gerardo Blyde rejected the outcome as “not reliable”.

Blyde cited the CNE’s controversial decision announced several weeks ago to relocate 274 voting centers – predominantly located in opposition areas and targeted by anti-government violence during the July 30 ANC vote– which he claimed impacted 700,000 people.

The Baruta mayor called on the CNE to “audit the whole process”, echoing President Maduro’s remarks several hours earlier.

Blyde urged opposition candidates to mobilize their supporters in the streets in the coming days to put pressure on the nation’s electoral authority."

Chavistas Take 17 of 23 States in Venezuelan Regional Elections as Opposition Cries Fraud
 

waltky

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Maduro fiddlin' around while Caracas burns...
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Venezuela’s Maduro is destructive King Herod, warns ex-oil czar
December 31, 2017 - A former oil minister excoriated Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in a newspaper column on Sunday, accusing the leftist leader of behaving like biblical King Herod and plunging the oil-rich nation into economic devastation.
Rafael Ramirez, who was the all-powerful head of the oil ministry and state energy company PDVSA for a decade, has long been a rival of Maduro. In recent months, Ramirez has grown increasingly critical of Maduro’s handling of a fourth straight year of recession that has triggered malnutrition, widespread food and medicine shortages, the world’s steepest inflation, and a surge in emigration. A furious Maduro ordered Ramirez to resign as the nation’s United Nations ambassador in New York last month after an article entitled the “The Storm” was perceived as an attack on his government. Ramirez fled the United States in December for an undisclosed location before Venezuela’s state prosecutor accused him of corruption during the time he commanded the world’s largest crude reserves.

In his sharpest critique to date, Ramirez on Sunday published a 3,000-word column in local newspaper Panorama, comparing Maduro to Herod, the Roman-appointed king of Judea who was accused of mass infanticide. ”You are killing the revolution,” Ramirez wrote, without using Maduro’s name. “With a mix of arrogance, ignorance, incompetence, cynicism, and a lot of irresponsibility, you have brought our people to an unimaginable level of suffering and humiliation,” he added, also accusing Maduro’s inner circle of corruption and authoritarianism. “If our Commander (late leader Hugo Chavez) were with us, standing in line for food, or walking the streets of Caracas seeing children looking through garbage, what would he do? And what would you tell him?” The government did not respond to a request for comment about the article.

The political opposition says Ramirez is a hypocrite who is also responsible for Venezuela’s economic meltdown. They say he destroyed PDVSA by filling the company’s roster with political loyalists and letting at least $11 billion go “missing” during his tenure. Insiders say accusations against Ramirez stem from a turf war among ruling Socialists, especially ahead of next year’s presidential election, rather than a real desire to root out graft. In recent months authorities have spearheaded an anti-graft purge of the oil sector, jailing 69 top managers including two former oil ministers. Critics say the arrests are designed to consolidate the unpopular Maduro’s control of the industry which brings in over 90 percent of foreign currency.

In the latest development, anti-government union leader Ivan Freites, who frequently gave information about problems at Venezuela’s ailing refineries, said on Twitter over the weekend he had been summoned by intelligence agents. Political sources said he had left the country. Reuters was unable to verify the information or contact Freites. In his article, Ramirez urged top government officials to speak out against Maduro’s purge before it is too late. “Today it’s me, tomorrow it will be you,” Ramirez wrote.

Venezuela’s Maduro is destructive King Herod, warns ex-oil czar
 

waltky

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Maduro usin' hunger as an election weapon...
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Venezuela’s Maduro, Clinging to Power, Uses Hunger as an Election Weapon
March 22, 2018 — The country is an economic basket case, but the Socialist rulers keep winning votes by selectively controlling the food supply
Sara Meza is just the kind of voter Venezuela’s opposition could once count on at the ballot box. A 32-year-old teacher, she’s fed up with President Nicolás Maduro’s government. Her salary has fallen to the equivalent of $2 a month with Venezuela’s currency collapse. She struggles to feed her 10-year-old son and is unable to treat the small tumor on her breast because the health-care system is in shambles. Still, Ms. Meza voted for the ruling Socialist Party in recent mayoral elections, fearing that otherwise she would have lost her state job and benefits—especially the monthly bags of rice, corn flour and other subsidized food she says keeps her family alive. She also plans to vote for Mr. Maduro in the May 20 presidential election. “If I didn’t vote, there would be trouble, I was told,” she said in this arid town near the Colombian border. “They are playing with people’s hunger.”

Any government would struggle to win elections while presiding over widespread food shortages, inflation expected to reach 13,000% this year, and an economy falling apart so fast that it will soon be half the size it was five years ago. But the Maduro administration, which has just a 22% approval rating, has developed a broad strategy to prevail through dirty tricks, fear tactics and, crucially, using the lure of food to get the country’s poorest voters to support his administration, pollsters and elections experts in Venezuela say. Last year, the ruling party won three elections for local, state and national bodies.

Food is an enormously powerful weapon in a country where babies die of malnutrition, store shelves are often bare and three-quarters of the population has lost an average of 19 pounds. The grants to millions of poverty-stricken voters might very well ensure his leftist movement runs this country for many years to come. “It’s criminal,” said Maritza Landaeta, head of the Bengoa Foundation, a group that studies nutrition and poverty in Venezuela and has been a strong critic of the government. “The same people that asphyxiated the food industry and generated the shortages are now using food as a political tool.” Interviews with voters across Venezuela, from opposition strongholds in Caracas to remote towns that have long been bastions of government support, found that even poor communities discouraged by the rapidly worsening situation were willing to back Mr. Maduro. Many of his critics, meanwhile, say all hope is lost. “I won’t vote again,” said Luis Alberto Guerra, 83, a retired lawyer and opposition supporter who said he was threatened by pro-government activists in a Caracas slum where his voting center had moved last year. “What am I doing voting if the government is always doing these tricks? They will never accept defeat.”

The leading opposition political parties have said they’ll abstain from the May vote, after talks with the government to organize fair elections broke down on Feb. 9. One opposition candidate, Henri Falcón, has defied the boycott and is looking to unseat the incumbent with a proposal to end hyperinflation by dollarizing the economy and promising amnesty for government loyalists. Adversaries of Mr. Falcón and the government say taking part only validates a manipulated electoral system in which the president effectively picks his opponents, as Latin American dictatorships of the past did. “I don’t want to be part of that so-called official opposition,” said Henrique Capriles, a two-time presidential candidate who the government has barred from holding office. “This country stopped being a democracy a while ago. I never thought Maduro would take things this far.”

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