Venezuela’s Election

Reuters photo

 

By

Tom Arms

 

 

The people of Venezuela have voted – with their feet and their indifference.

 

An estimated one million people have left the country for neighbouring Colombia or Brazil. They are fleeing poverty, unemployment and political repression.

 

Those who remained last week were asked to elect a president. The last time presidential elections were held 80 percent of the population turned out to vote. This time the turnout was 46 percent.

 

The winner was, of course, Nicolas Maduro. He won 6.2 million votes compared to 2.9 million votes cast for his nearest rival Henri Falcon. Maduro is now in office until 2025.

 

The result was expected. Most of Maduro’s political opponents have either fled the country or been locked up. The media and the National Electoral Council are now completely controlled by Maduro.

 

The unfairness of the election was so apparent before the casting of the first vote that the European Union said a month beforehand that it would reject the results unless the government allowed participation of all political parties, the plurality of the electoral council and an increased number of international observers.

 

US Vice President Mike Pence called the election a “sham” and said the United States would not recognize the results. “Neither free nor fair. The illegitimate result of this fake process is a further blow to the proud democratic tradition of Venezuela,” Pence said in a press release.

 

The 14 Latin American countries that make up the Lima Group have recalled their ambassadors and announced that they will limit diplomatic relations with the Maduro government. In a statement, the Lima Group said that it “does not recognize the legitimacy of the electoral process in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela for not meeting international standards for a free, fair and transparent democratic process.”

 

Venezuela is now likely to face more international sanctions. As of February this year, inflation in Venezuela had topped 4,000 percent. The average Venezuelan lost 12 kilos in weight in the past year. The economy is shrinking at the rate of 13.2 percent a year. Perhaps Maduro may not last until 2025.

 

 

 

 

Tom Arms

I am a journalist, entrepreneur and historian with extensive experience in print, web and broadcast journalism. I started as a diplomatic correspondent, wrote several books (The Falklands Crisis, World Elections On File and the Encyclopedia of the Cold War), and then in 1987 started my own business (Future Events News Service, www.fensinformation.com) which over 25 years established itself as the world and UK media’s diary. Our strapline was: “We set the world’s news agenda.” I sold FENS in December 2012 but retained the exclusive broadcast rights to all of FENS data. To exploit these rights I set up LookAhead TV which produces unique programmes which “Broadcasts Tomorrow Today” so that viewers can “Plan to Participate.” LookAhead has appeared regularly on Vox Africa, Radio Tatras International, The Conversation and Voice of Africa Radio.

In addition to being a syndicated broadcaster and columnist on global affairs, Tom is also available for speaking engagements and can be contacted on TwitterLinkedin and emailtom.arms@lookaheadnews.com.

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