National Assembly President Diosado Cabello spoke at an event in Monagas state earlier today on next week’s parliamentary elections. Cabello addressed the possibility of an opposition win at the polls, saying that such a scenario would result in a “conflict over power“.
During the event – in which local communal councils receive Bs. 95 million in state funds – Cabello explained:
You know, we’re heading into an election. If the Venezuelan right-wing wins the parliamentary election, you can forget about your homes and your communes; you can forget about your communal councils, your pensions. Forget about computers for kids and health care. You can forget about absolutely everything.
On Maduro’s options should the opposition win the National Assembly, Cabello said:
If we don’t have a majority in the National Assembly, there’s sure to be a conflict over power here because President Nicolas Maduro, as a good son of Chavez, will not [let that be]. We can avoid this by winning on December 6, without any problems, through any means.
Cabello Directly Contradicts CNE Campaign Rules
During the same event, Cabello addressed the fact that National Assembly PSUV candidates have often participated in official events handing over money or inaugurating public works. The issue has been contentious throughout the election, since it means that PSUV candidates have access to funds and projects for campaign purposes that the opposition does not, thereby creating a heavily uneven playing field.
The head of the Consejo Nacional Electoral, Tibisay Lucena, was asked about this practice by journalist Vladimir Villegas on a television show that aired on November 4. While Lucena appeared to be hesitant to answer the question of what to do in these cases, she did say that it was the CNE’s job to “regulate those things”. Lucena later clarified her stance on the issue, saying that the law prohibits government at all levels from campaigning on behalf of candidates.
However, to Cabello, the fact that PSUV candidates campaign alongside state officials who inaugurate public works or hand out public money is a non-issue. According to Cabello, National Assembly candidates for the PSUV are “parts of a political project, a socialist revolution”, and that:
Wherever there is a [public] work by the Bolivarian revolution, there also will be Chavez’s candidates, [candidates] for the homeland and the Bolivarian revolution.
Poll: 79% Say Venezuela Headed “In Wrong Direction”
A poll by the Instituto Venezolano de Datos (IVAD) found that 79% of respondents believe that the country is headed “in the wrong direction”, while only 14.9% believe that it’s headed in the right direction.
According to the same poll, Venezuelans took issue with the following issues the most:
- Scarcity/shortages: 38.8%
- High cost of living: 28.8%
- Insecurity: 13.8%
- Unemployment: 3.7%
The poll sampled 1,200 Venezuelans between November 10 and 20, and has a margin of error of 2.37%.
PSUV Figure Calls for Mass Resignations if Party Loses
Latin American Parliament deputy and PSUV figure Ana Elisa Osorio said in an interview yesterday that if the PSUV were to lose the December 6 parliamentary elections, “the leadership of the party should resign”, including cabinet ministers. According to Osorio, the PSUV’s greatest problem is its inability to face reality:
Today, the government does not listen to people. They live in a bubble. They don’t see people lined up [for food], or it doesn’t know the kind of discontent that they engender. Young people weren’t alive during the Fourth Republic [the time before Chavez] when there was no food, but they’ve lived this era and they’re unhappy.
Osorio, who considers herself a PSUV supporter and “a leftist before chavismo arrived”, said that an opposition take-over of the National Assembly could result in “greater instability” due to the fact that it may seek to recall Maduro or change the constitution.
Still, she sees light for the PSUV even in a defeat:
It looks like we’re going backwards, politically. That’s why the December 6 results could shake things up. It’s like when a little kid misbehaves: you spank him, and he reacts. There’s a chance that things will get back on track.
Torrealba: Political Prisoners MUD Priority
The head of the Mesa de la Unidad Democratica, Jesus Torrealba, said that an opposition-controlled National Assembly would not engage in a “witch hunt” of PSUV opponents nor seek to overthrow Maduro. Instead, Torrealba said that the bloc would look at the issues before it “with lots of calm and serenity”, and that its top priority would be to secure amnesty for the country’s political prisoners.
Torrealba also said:
The country has been bled dry. It has been bitterly divided over 16 years by a demagogic and cruel discourse.
He also said that he looked forward to the opportunity to help remedy the country’s crises, including the one affecting its economy, for which he placed sole responsibility on the national government:
There is no other oil producing country in the world, no other OPEC nation that is living through a situation such as ours (…) the damage [the government] has done to the Venezuelan economy is unheard of.
Asked by reporters what the opposition would do if it lost the elections on December 6, Torrealba said:
We have experience when it comes to that. It wouldn’t be anything new.
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