Friday, December 04, 2015

Venezuelans Vote on Sunday

Venezuelans Vote on Sunday

by Stephen Lendman

On December 6, Venezuelans will elect National Assembly deputies. Polls indicate Nicholas Maduro’s ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) faces its toughest challenge since Chavistas first gained power in 1999.

Hard times from low oil prices and US destabilization efforts give opposition Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) fascists their best chance to win a parliamentary majority in almost 16 years.

They’ll have to win all swing districts to achieve it, no easy task. Whether possible remains to be seen. Unlike his US-supported fascist opponents, Maduro scrupulously respects the democratic process. He’ll accept results however they turn out.

Weak economic conditions are key. Venezuelan GDP is on track to contact sharply this year after a 2014 4% drop. High inflation remains a persistent problem. Most Venezuelans have a hard time making ends meet.

Bolivarian social justice is safe provided MUD fails to win a two-thirds National Assembly majority. Mark Weisbrot explains the ruling PSUV has “millions of members” - able “to mobilize” support for its candidates far more effectively than MUD or other opposition elements.

It won’t surprise if they do better than polls suggest - or that MUD will cry foul if it loses. US-supported fascists failed to prevail against Chavismo consistently, despite its various extralegal stunts and dirty tricks.

Venezuela’s electoral system shames America’s sham process. Jimmy Carter calls it the world’s best for good reason. It’s scrupulously open, free and fair.

Venezuela’s National Electoral Council (CNE) welcomes independent international observers, including Carter Center representatives - US-controlled OAS ones excluded.

Likely on instructions from Washington, its new secretary general Luis Almagro wrote CNE President Tibisay Lucena Ramirez, audaciously claiming electoral transparency and fairness is uncertain without OAS monitoring.

It’s excluded because of its notorious pro-US bias. It arbitrarily contested the results of Haiti’s 2010 elections, lawlessly forcing out a candidate opposed by Washington, rigging things for its favorite, stealth Duvalierist Michel (Sweet Micky) Martelly, an anti-populist former Kompa singer - widely despised throughout his tenure.

US-orchestrated violence may follow if the PSUV wins on Sunday, at least enough to maintain power, keeping Bolivarian fairness safe from Washington’s dirty hands - polar opposite its neoliberal contempt for social justice.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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