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realclearworld

Reports from Cuba’s Venezuela: Crucial elections everywhere, dramatic conclusions! Shame and pride for all!

Daniel Duquenal in Venezuela News & Views:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BoaAu1GIAAAzdPw.jpg
Crucial elections everywhere, dramatic conclusions! Shame and pride for all!

Today we had dramatic elections in three areas of the world and curiously, I can put them together in a way that they relate to Venezuela! Not necessarily directly but bear with me.

Since this blog is about Venezuela we will start with the two partial elections held today which have been a major set back for the regime, even though the results were predicted pro opposition. But not that much pro opposition....

Readers may recall that two opposition mayors had been removed by judicial diktat without a trial, as the High Court of Venezuela has become a mere extension of the executive branch, removing out of the way "legally" whatever annoys the dictatorship. The two mayors were in addition jailed because, well, the high court decided it was to be. Since we live under a dictatorship that cares to pass as a democracy they had no choice but to call for new elections for these two cities. Granted, these two cities were going to give new wins for the opposition but the political calculation of the regime was that the opposition would divide and that any drop in its support would be used as a positive news for Maduro. It was not to be.

For full disclosure I have not followed closely those elections because 1) I was busy on matters that I shall talk more about later and 2) I was disgusted by the overall political response of the opposition MUD to the gross coup from the regime. Certainly we had to go and vote anyway, but I think the opportunity was badly mismanaged to score a few extra political points along the way. Then again I am quite convinced that there are those in the MUD that definitely think it is more convenient for them to remain in the opposition. But I digress.

The results fell tonight and not only the opposition retained its two cities but it increases its vote share and percentile numbers. Based on the CNE numbers available (with a few hours late while nationwide elections results in Colombia next door came out fast and uncontested, same old story with the CNE) we can see the following: [number changes from December 2013 to today]
San Cristobal went from 82,794 votes for a 67,7% to 88,991 with a 73,6% (chavismo lost 5,000 votes which seem strangely close to the numbers the opposition got extra, no?)
San Diego went from 29,665 votes for a 75,2% to 33,910 with a 87,7% (chavismo is defeated 1 to 8, in addition of dropping 2,500 votes).

All the efforts of the regime to brow beat these cities, to divide opposition, to promote abstention have failed and it looks like the gains were made more at the expense of chavismo than possible abstention. there is no way around, this is a major set back for the regime, a major confirmation that the opposition is now an electoral majority. Days of reflection for all ahead. Chavismo strategy is a dead end of violence and repression. The MUD cannot possibly win if it does not find a more durable way to tie protest and elections and clear message as it was, miraculously, the case today. Yes, I wrote miraculously.

Continue reading HERE.

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