Wednesday, April 17, 2013

(Politics) Maduro Claims Victory as Political Pressures Increase in Venezuela

The situation in Venezuela the past few months has been interesting to say the least. Notwithstanding the inner turmoil and domestic anxiety felt by the passing of their longstanding former president, Hugo Chavez, the struggle for power has led to much uncertainty. Nevertheless, the Venezuelan presidential race can finally claim resolution as Nicolas Maduro –Chavez’s “next-in-line” guy –secured a victory yesterday by a rather slim margin. This, however, is causing quite a stir.

Henrique Capriles, Maduro’s presidential opponent, is speaking out against the newfound president. The presidential race, which was more of a mudslinging competition than an equally balanced political match, resulted in competitors trying to convince the people how they would reclaim the reigns of the Chavez legacy in order to lead their country into its great destiny. Capriles, on the other hand, was skeptical. Campaigning in opposition to the Chavez regime, and the years of bad politics which he claimed destroyed their oil rich nation, Capriles was not impressed with the statistics that declared Maduro the victor. “It is the government that has been defeated”, he poignantly proclaimed, “[this is] a result that is different from the results announced today.”

Regardless of popular belief, the struggle truly lies in the honest public opinion of who the Venezuelan people want as their president. Although Maduro had been acting as Chavez’s surrogate since his illness and subsequent March 5 death, the actual numbers were not so overwhelmingly in favor of the acclaimed successor. Official electoral votes put Maduro’s number at 50.7 percent of the popular vote, in comparison to Capriles’ 49.1 percent. The rising discontent of the country’s increasingly dismal situation is being coupled with power outages, crime and violence –making the Bush v. Gore drama back in 2000 look like smooth sailing.

In the same way, Capriles is demanding a recount: a fair and unbiased look at the gross numbers. As he calmed his supporters, he said that their campaign would push for a just reexamination, and although the electoral officials may not even permit it, Maduro said he was open to the idea. On this Capriles remarked: "We are not going to recognize a result until each vote of Venezuelans is counted…This struggle has not ended." Contrariwise, the Maduro headquarters is not showing any signs of backing down: "Let 100 percent of the ballot boxes be opened,” Maduro commented back, “We're going to do it; we have no fear."

So what’s next? Although many have been throwing around the terms “conspiracy” and “sabotage,” the consensus is becoming more orthodox among the people. It is easy to look for the “savior” of Venezuela: a one man redeemer to cure all their woes. “This country has learned a lot and today,” commented Jose Romero, a middle-aged layman, “we know that one person can't fix everything." Nevertheless, with the increasing $30 billion dollar financial debt, declining industry, and increasing bankruptcy, the Venezuelans are ready to move towards more practical solutions.

The Carnage Report // // 2013
Brent McCulley on Twitter //

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