The United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) led by President Nicolás Maduro landed a decisive victory in local and regional elections Nov. 21, sweeping 20 out of 23 governorships and winning the crucial mayorship of the capitol city. Several states that had been controlled by the right wing opposition were won by PSUV candidates, for instance Freddy Bernal’s victory in the strategically key state of Táchira along the border with Colombia. This vote in support of the country’s Bolivarian Revolution is a clear rejection by the people of the U.S. government’s campaign of economic warfare against the country and constant regime change coup attempts.
The elections saw 42% turnout this year — over 8 million people — who voted to elect 23 governors, 335 mayors, 253 regional lawmakers, and 2,471 councilors. The PSUV ran in the election as part of an alliance called the Simon Bolivar Great Patriotic Pole, which includes other parties supportive of the Bolivarian Revolution’s socialist project.
It is important to note the hypocrisy in the western corporate media’s reaction to the election result. Many of these outlets cited “low” voter turnout as an indication of corruption and lack of democracy in Venezuela while at the same time ignoring the much lower turnout in U.S. local elections. Turnout in the United States typically ranges between 15 and 27 percent — about half the turnout in Venezuela!
The elections were observed by over 130 international election observers from 55 countries and institutions including the European Union, the United Nations, and the Latin American Council of Electoral Experts. Disappointed that the United States’ opposition puppets performed poorly, Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrogantly proclaimed that the elections “were neither free nor fair.” Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Felix Plasencia countered that the elections shows the Venezuelan people’s “commitment to democracy and their right to live in peace, despite the multi-form aggression and violation of international law by the supremacist government of the United States.”
For several years, the U.S.-backed opposition has pursued a strategy of boycotting elections, hoping to delegitimize the government and pave the way for its violent overthrow. These coup attempts include the right-wing riots organized in 2017 and Juan Guaidó’s self-proclamation that he was the country’s president — along with constant terrorist attacks and acts of sabotage against vital infrastructure. But these efforts failed, and the opposition finally relented and agreed to rejoin the electoral process after negotiations earlier this year with the government.
The right-wing opposition has shamefully collaborated with the United States to step up sanctions that suffocate the people of Venezuela and cut off their access to vital goods and services. This has especially targeted the country’s critical oil industry, where U.S. sanctions have prohibited foreign buyers from importing Venezuelan fuel and a blockade on essential industrial goods has dramatically reduced production. Since the Guaidó coup effort in 2019 Venezuela has faced even more severe actions, like the illegal seizure of $2 billion of gold reserves held in the bank of England and the arrest of diplomat Alex Saab. And all along the way, the supposed plight of the opposition was cited as justification for these acts of aggression, supposedly carried out in the name of “protecting human rights.”
In face of all the attacks on Venezuelan sovereignty, this landslide victory for the Bolivarian Revolution is a show of defiance against the hardships, suffocating sanctions and inhumane blockade imposed by the government of the United States.