rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Bolivarian revolution in Venezuela suffers electoral setback

Please chip in to support rabble's election 2019 coverage. Support rabble.ca today for as little as $1 per month!

rabble is expanding our Parliamentary Bureau and we need your help! Support us on Patreon today! 

Keep Karl on Parl

A national legislative election took place in Venezuela on December 6. The results were a defeat of the governing coalition led by the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) and President Nicholas Maduro. Below is a selection of news reports and background analysis of the electoral defeat. The lead item is an interview on The Real News Network with Greg Wilpert and Alejandro Velasco.

With 22 seats still to be counted for the 167-seat legislature, the right-wing opposition parties have won 99 seats and the PSUV-led coalition have 46. Voter turnout was 75 per cent. The vote split was approximately 60-40.

With a minimum of 100 seats, the legislative opposition will have the power to remove ministers from the presidential cabinet and heavily influence government spending. If it wins more than 111 seats, the opposition would have the legislative power to dismiss judges of the Supreme Court, reform the country's constitution and convoke a recall referendum of the national executive without having collected the minimum quota of signatures required by the Bolivarian Constitution of Venezuela.

That said, the opposition coalition is composed of 27 parties with divergent views on many issues.

President Nicholas Maduro was chosen by the PSUV to succeed President Hugo Chavez, who died tragically on March 5, 2013 following a long bout with cancer. Maduro narrowly won the presidential election of April 14, 2013. His mandate expires in 2019.

Opposition landslide in Venezuela - Maduro accepts results, interview (23 minutes) on The Real News Network with Greg Wilpert and Alejandro Velasco, Dec 7, 2015

Greg Wilpert is the former director of Telesur English and author of 'Changing Venezuela by Taking Power; The History and Policies of the Chavez Government. Alejandro Velasco is an associate professor of Latin American studies and history at New York University and author of 'Barrio Rising: Urban Popular Politics and the Making of Modern Venezuela'.


The following articles are published or re-posted on Venezuela Analysis, a vital source of news and analysis of Venezuela:

News report: Venezuelan opposition sweeps parliamentary elections, by Rachael Boothroyd Rojas, Venezuela Analysis, Dec 7, 2015

Setting the record straight on Venezuela, by Steve Ellner, published in Jacobin, Dec 6, 2015

In many ways, Hugo Chávez’s legacy is at stake on December 6. An opposition victory in Venezuela’s National Assembly elections would undoubtedly fuel an anti-Chávez narrative that is both simplistic and deceptive, jeopardizing the deceased president’s well-earned fame as a champion of the underprivileged…

The roots of the current situation in Venezuela, by Gregory Wilpert, published on TeleSur English, Nov 23, 2015

The current economic, political, and social situation in Venezuela is very complicated, which makes it somewhat difficult for outsiders to make sense of. On the one hand there are many people who defend the Bolivarian revolution, pointing to the successes it has had in reducing poverty and inequality and in increasing citizen participation and self-governance. On the other hand, there is a chorus of critics, not just from the usual suspects on the political right, but often from the left, who criticize the Maduro government’s economic management of the country, corruption, the high inflation rate and shortages, and the trial of a high profile opposition politician, who the government accuses of fomenting violence. How did Venezuela get here? What happened since Hugo Chavez’s death? Did the project derail, get stuck, hit a speed bump, or crash altogether? In order to answer this question, I will first analyze the origins of the current economic situation. Future articles in this series will explore what this history means for the present and immediate future of Venezuela…

 

And read also:
Venezuela: terminal crisis of the rentier petro-state?, research paper by Edgardo Lander (Venezuelan researcher), Oct 2, 2014

rabble is expanding our Parliamentary Bureau and we need your help! Support us on Patreon today! 

Keep Karl on Parl

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.

Comments

We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:

Do

  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.

Don't

  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.