Chavismo Strengthens Its Power, But Loses Credibility

Chavismo Strengthens Its Power, But Loses Credibility

The Maduro Chavismo lead administration will once again be a majority in the National Assembly (AN) after five years. It will have, from next January 5, when the new legislature is sworn in, the majority of the 277 seats. The range of opposition forces, on the other hand, will be faced with a cadre of fragmented and heterogeneous minorities.

This is how the photograph of the parliamentary elections remained, where the Great Patriotic Pole (GPP), the alliance led by the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (Psuv) obtained 4,277,926 votes, for a total of 68.43 percent, as reported by the second bulletin of the National Electoral Council delivered on Monday afternoon, with 98.63 percent of the votes counted.

The result was not recognized by those governments that had anticipated that they would not, such as the United States, Canada, Great Britain, the European Union, the Lima Group. -without the signature of Argentina- and Uruguay. Consequently, they will maintain the recognition of the “interim presidency” of Juan GuaidóAlthough there is a new NA and the one that Guaidó presided briefly, on which his figure of president was made, fulfilled his mandate.

The declarations of ignorance were as expected. The positions were decided in advance, regardless of what happened during Sunday’s session, in which, with more than 300 international monitors, no incidents or irregularities were recorded. The recognition, on the other hand, came from several countries, such as Russia, Bolivia and Cuba and, it is expected that it will be expanded in the next few hours with some governments that have not yet done so publicly.

The international balance of forces was unchanged, and sSurely those governments that did not recognize the result of Sunday, will recognize as valid the “popular consultation” led within the country by Guaidó, that began this Monday virtually through a website and a mobile application, and that on the 12th will be in person.

The “consultation” will be a mechanism through which Guaidó will seek to show that he obtained a social mandate to continue the “interim presidency” under the argument of the “administrative continuity” of the AN that will end its term on January 5. It will not be the first time that the opposition – now fragmented into four parts – has called for a consultation in a similar vein: in July 2017 the right-wing had held a plebiscite where it asked the Bolivarian National Armed Forces to join in the overthrow of Maduro, build parallel institutions and form a “government of national unity.”

On that occasion, in a context of great mobilization of the right within a scheme of attempted overthrow of the government, several of the ballot boxes of the plebiscite were burned by the same opposition, and the result was not translated into concrete facts. Two weeks later, the National Constituent Assembly was elected -which will end this month of December-, which operated as a watershed at that time of the conflict.

Now, it is also likely that the “popular consultation” will not have an effect within the country, does not raise a call or expectation despite the narrative wielded by Guaidó and the right wing on social networks, a central space for the construction of the illusion of “interim government ”. Guaidó’s ability to mobilize, with some exceptions where it seemed that he could reconvene the street, has been in check since April 2019.

These are the last political movements of a 2020 that was particularly complex, although, it is known, each year presents great complexity within the conflict in Venezuela, which is both national and international. One of the central elements that marked the dynamics of the year was the difficulty, at times critical, of supplying gasoline, water, gas, and electricity -services in the hands of the State- a situation brought to a head within the framework of the United States’ “maximum pressure” policy through the economic blockade.

That situation impacted on Sunday’s vote, where the turnout was 31 percent, cThere is a small flow of votes from an opposition that, to a large extent, entered the electoral field within the reconfiguration of the opposition map. As for Chavismo, the achievement of 4,277,926 votes in turn represented about 1,300,000 votes less than its minimum within the period from 2013 to date., which had been in the 2015 parliamentary elections, with 5,625,248 votes.

This loss of votes, in addition to economic / material variables, seems to indicate a need for revision within the same space of Chavismo, at different levels, particularly as a result of the wear and tear effects of a government / leadership that has been in charge of the country for several years, the prolonged conflict that entrenched politics, a tendency to discursive repetition and a language away from the problems of Everyday life – “sometimes it seems that we are denying reality,” Maduro said last Thursday.

They will be elements that will be part of a 2021 that will begin with the inauguration of the new NA and the question, not resolved, about what will happen to the Guaidó sector beyond social networks. It has been speculated that some members of the “interim government” leave Venezuela, or, also, that others, faced with the inevitable precipice, choose to return to the electoral field, that is, to the elections to mayors and governorships that will take place during the year.

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