Let’s build a workers’ and poor people’s Political Alternative!

Regional elections for governor in Venezuela took place on October 15. The results are a real fraud. The initial announcement by the CNE, body governing the elections in the country, stating that seventeen governorships went to the PSUV and five to the MUD (pending the results in Bolívar,) was unexpected for many working militants and activists that exercised their right to vote hoping to defeat the government. Not even the most faithful government follower expected this result for Chavism.

By UST – Venezuela

 

Later, to complete the scandalous fraud, the Regional Electoral Board of Bolívar design the pro-government candidate as the governor, before the protests of the candidate by the opposition, who denounced the annulment of 3 voting acts that would make him the winner.

We denounce the Anti-democratic maneuvers by the government

From the UST, we have been denouncing the maneuvers and anti-democratic context in which the election took place, and through which the government set the fraud that led to the current results.

We have said on previous occasions that before the establishment of the ANC [National Constituent Assembly] the government carried out a series of anti-democratic maneuvers. The first was to illegalize several political parties. Then, it delayed an election that should have occurred, legally, in December of 2016. It imprisoned and disabled mayors and political leaders of the opposition that would eventually be candidates for governor in the different regions. Then, it called for elections, but through the ANC and the CNE it set the date and times to comply with the pre-conditions to participate. Through this same body, it banned the participation of the MUD as a party in 7 states of the country. Through the TSJ, it opened legal processes against at least 20 mayors that could be destitute and detained, like this impeding them of participating in the election.

Near the election date, it also banned the substitution of candidates and so impeded the opposition candidates that won the primaries to add votes through joint lists. And finally, it modified the map of the polling stations, which the opposition denounces to have impeded important segments of electors to vote. For instance, only in the Miranda State, at least 88 thousand electors were unable to vote because of this measure, according to the opposition.

During the electoral process, the abusive usage of state resources in favor of the government’s option was evident: State buses taking Chavista voters to polling stations; payment to voters that were transferred with institutional and PDVSA money; numerous accusations of harassment to opposition witnesses to impede their participation in electoral boards; fraudulent exercise of voting in favor of Chavismo where there were no opposition witnesses; and in States like Miranda and Bolívar, illegal creation and annulment of polling acts.

The UST repudiates these maneuvers that set a completely anti-democratic, fraudulent context in favor of the government, which forged the results of the election verifying the dictatorial nature of Maduro’s regime and government.

We equally reject and denunciate Maduro and his administration attempt for the opposition governors to swear to the illegitimate ANC and not to the regional parliaments, an executive order that lacks any kind of legality and comes together with threatens of not being able to exercise their role. We also repudiate the transfer of competences to the central government in governorships won by the opposition.

Chavismo is not growing stronger

In this election, there was a high participation. 61% of the electoral list went to vote. But it is important to point out that, despite being the lowest historic abstention rate for governor, if we compare this election with the parliamentary voting of 2015, the abstention rate increased 13 points, going from 26% to 39%.

According to statements and graphics exposed by the Secretary-General of the Democratic Action (main opposition party,) Henry Ramos Allup, in the show Vladimir a la Una, by Globovisión, the opposition would have lost around 3 million votes, going from 7,7 million in the parliamentary election of December 2015 to 4,853 million in the regionals.

However, opposite to what the official speakers, media and journalists, and the entire Castro-Chavism bank are trying to sell to us, Chavism is not recovering continentally nor increasing its popular support. On the contrary, it continues to decline.

If we consider the parliamentary elections of 2015 (last valid measurement base, as the alleged 8 million of the ANC election are a farse) we can see Chavismo going down from 5,7 million votes to 5,561, a loss of over 100,000 votes.

What happened is that, to consolidate the fraud, the government, in alliance with the CNE, counted with the help of the MUD, which prioritized the negotiation, stopped the mobilization, remained ambiguous regarding the denunciation of maneuvers, and submissively accepted to participate in a clear anti-democratic election.

It is evident that the government relied on the demoralization and lack of trust caused by this capitulating policy of agreements by the MUD, which expressed in a reduction of the MUD votes, while the pro-government PSUV ensured its base of voters using mechanisms of pressure from the State apparatus.

An important conclusion is that the MUD lost popular support without those votes going to Chavismo and without a strengthening process of the latest. The popular outrage is still pulsing, and the loss of prestige of both bourgeois leaderships increased.

The MUD betrayed the struggle and pays the consequences

Just like the PSUV, the MUD is a bourgeois leadership, enemy of the workers and the poor people in Venezuela. Thus, its policy and program do not incorporate the main demands of these social segments, and thus, it betrayed the struggle that thousands and thousands carried out from April to July, this year. It is necessary to denounce the MUD, which had a nefarious role in this process, using it only to negotiate with the government in better conditions. They reproduce the statements of Thomas Shannon, imperialist representative to whom the MUD obeys: “we pressure to negotiate.”

Someone might ask: doesn’t the MUD want reach the power?

Clearly, it does. But it also tried to avoid, at all expense, that it is the mobilized masses that defeat the government. Thus, when the radicalized masses were prepared to do this, the MUD took the Out with Maduro out of its slogans, aiming to demobilize and demoralize the masses and so enabling the establishment of the fraudulent ANC and the execution of this anti-democratic election that they used to ensure their quote of power.

The MUD betrayed the struggle on the streets in exchange for a fraudulent election, giving its back to more than a hundred dead people in hands of the governments’ repression, and hundreds of imprisoned for exercising their legitimate right to protest. Today we see the consequences of this policy of agreements.

It is necessary to build a workers’ and popular sectors’ political alternative to resume the independent and unified mobilization of the working class and poor people to defeat Maduro and his famine-causing, corrupt, and repressing government, and to defeat the ANC and the dictatorial regime. Also, no trust in the MUD and imperialist agents of the OAS, UN, EU, and other international bodies. Only solidarity of workers’ and peoples’ of the world can help the Venezuelan to fight this battle.

The crisis deepens

Shortage, hunger, inflation (now hyper-inflation); in other words, all the elements that caused the popular rebellion that exploded in April still exist. On the contrary, they deepen: the basic basket reached 2,938,277.19 Bolívares, so 21 minimum wages are necessary to afford it (not including the basket-bonus, which does not influence the wages). Just during the month of the campaign, the prices increased almost 40%, to 1.768.000 Bs., so 13 minimum wages.

The shortage of products like corn flour reappeared; hunger is common in the Venezuelan neighborhoods; lack of cash makes it even harder to acquire basic products, including the famous CLAPs.

All of this is aggravated by the existence of the ANC that only serves to crown the dictatorial nature of this regime, aiming to perpetuate the government in power without solving any of the Venezuelan workers’ problems.

All these elements indicate that, sooner or later, the Venezuelan masses will go back to the streets, and the workers will gain protagonism in the forthcoming struggles (for example, the SIDOR workers have been on strike for over 18 days).

From the UST, we put our efforts to build unitary spaces to encourage this mobilization and participate in them with a program that starts by the workers’ and poor people’s demands, to overthrow the Maduro government.

Unidad Socialista de los Trabajadores (UST) – Venezuelan Section of the International Workers’ League-Fourth International (IWL-FI)