The Consejo Nacional Electoral (CNE), Venezuela’s electoral authority, announced late last night that the turnout for yesterday’s municipal election was an anemic 27.4%. In contrast, the last municipal elections–held in 2013–had a turnout of 58.36%,
The announcement came during a press conference from Tibisay Lucena, the head of the CNE. During the same press conference, Lucena announce that the vote had been an overwhelming success for the ruling PSUV party, which won approximately 96% of all municipal seats around the country.
The poor turnout rate likely reflects Venezuelan’s near-total disillusionment with the electoral process under the Maduro regime. The change in attitude was likely solidified by last year’s Constituent Assembly, which saw the regime falsify the results by making up the number of ballots cast.
The PSUV’s resounding victory yesterday does not reflect the sentiments that Venezuelans have towards Maduro and his PSUV party. The results of a survey released today show that 80% of Venezuelans have a negative opinion of Maduro’s tenure as president, and that 77.2% want a change in government.
Russian Airmen Arrive in Venezuela for Joint Exercises
Minister of Defense Vladimir Padrino Lopez welcomed a team of Russian pilots today to Venezuela, who arrived in the country ahead of joint exercises involving the two nations.
The Russian air crews brought with them two Tu-160 strategic bombers. The aircraft are capable of carrying nuclear missiles, and have a practical range of 12,300 kilometers.
The official press Twitter account of the National Bolivarian Armed Forces captured the ceremony that welcomed the Russians to Venezuela earlier today at the Simon Bolivar International Airport just outside of Caracas. Below, a selection of tweets from the account:
#NOW From Ramp #4 at the Simon Bolivar International Airport in, in Maiquetia, [Commander in Chief Vladimir Padrino Lopez], alongside the [Army’s] High Command, welcomes the Russian Air Force which will participate in the Russia-Venezuela 2018 combined operations flights.
#NEWS The Russia-Venezuela 2018 combined operations flights, are a show of strength that has the objective of integrating air assets, both Russian and Venezuela, in terms of technical military cooperation and when it comes to exchanging experiences [sic].
[Commander in Chief Vladimir Padrino Lopez]: “We follow Simon Bolivar’s peace doctrine, which promotes a world in balance and peace. Commander Chavez rescued that doctrine and [Nicolas Maduro[ continues it. That’s why, today, we are building peace ties.
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