Hugo Chávez and the ‘Great Patriotic Pole’ (GPP), the alliance of left parties led by the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) – which includes the Venezuelan Communist Party (PCV) who supported and worked for the Chávez campaign – have won a comfortable victory in the Venezuelan Presidential Elections. The size of the victory, with Chávez a clear 10 percentage points ahead of his nearest opponent, is significant in a country that doesn’t make voting mandatory and yet secured a turnout of over 80% of those eligible to vote. This shows the importance that ordinary Venezuelans placed on these elections, rightly perceiving that their future could be very different depending on which way the vote went.
The main opposition candidate, Henrique Capriles, acknowledged defeat quickly, probably against the advice of US ‘advisors’, but it shouldn’t be taken from this that he and the ‘Coalition for Democratic Unity’ (made up of a variety of rightist parties) ‘played fair’ or honourably during these elections. Henrique Capriles, who refers to himself politically as “left of centre” but is a member of the right wing Justice First Party, although getting 44% of the vote, had most of his support clustered in the three states he managed to win. Meanwhile Chávez claimed victory in 21 out of the 24 states, including some that were supposed to be opposition strongholds. Despite these figures, the imperialist press is still referring to this election as ‘close’ and a ‘tight contest with a narrow win for the incumbent’ and this is being done for two reasons:
1. To try and make the result look tenuous – because the one thing Chávez (and those who stand with him) do is to set a terrible (for imperialism) example to the rest of South America, not to mention countries further afield.
2. To support the claims of Capriles that there was a huge violation of normal electoral procedure in regard to press coverage and intimidation of voters (among other things). The line being ‘suggested’ by the ‘impartial’ imperialist media is that if the elections had been ‘fair’ their man (literally) would have won because it was so close!
Regarding point 1, the facts speak for themselves as the table [A] below shows – all figures taken from the Venezuelan ‘National Electoral Council’ (CNE). The margins of this result, especially with an 80%+ turnout, if achieved in elections in Britain or the USA, would be called a landslide and a massive mandate for the winning candidate.
As far as point 2 goes, the claims that President Chávez had huge press and TV coverage during these elections that was denied to his main opponent, Capriles, is almost funny, and anyone with any sense of irony will be amused if not amazed by the claims. Capriles is ‘Washington’s man’ and as such will have had no shortage of money pumped into his campaign both from the wealthy in Venezuela and direct from Washington. He will have been supplied with up to date technology and advisors on political and media manipulation. In most countries around the world that are targeted for ‘regime change’ through elections, this is usually enough to get the ‘Washington’s puppet’ into the top job, but Chávez has something most progressive and anti-imperialist governments don’t have: oil! And lots of it! This his government has diverted away from the grasping hands of imperialism and its puppets so that it can pay for work, food and housing programmes for the poorest in Venezuela. Also, Venezuela is not isolated from the rest of the world, and the imperialist press is freely available there and their radio and TV channels can be accessed as they broadcast from nearby countries. Also along with the ‘outside’ advertising of ‘their man’, there are major private TV and radio channels operating within Venezuela giving total support to Capriles. That Chávez appeared on the State TV regularly is hardly surprising either, as he is involved with many news items etc. on many subjects not just the elections. In fact one dirty trick of the Capriles camp proves that there were internal Venezuelan TV channels supporting him. In early July 2012 Capriles published a document allegedly showing that the government had ordered all military personnel not to view private television networks. The publication coincided with a political TV advertisement that Capriles was running at the time aimed at the military. The document was proved by state-run news agency Agencia Venezolana de Noticias to be a crude forgery, showing the document alongside the original and highlighting the changes. Based on non-classified military order 4926 from September 2011, the document had been re-dated to 31 July but was published several weeks before that date, still bearing the original signature of the minister of defence in September 2011, Carlos José Mata Figueroa (who had been replaced in January 2012). The document bore the original document number, and had the “not classified” stamps replaced with “confidential”, but retained the original “NOCLAS” (“not classified”) classification mark. The source of the document was not identified but all the imperialist countries have large military/espionage departments dealing with dirty tricks of this type and US political ‘advisors’ to Capriles would certainly be aware of how such things would work.
Another ‘trick’ that certainly had the fingerprints of the CIA all over it had been carried out earlier in March 2012 when at a Capriles rally, a group of armed men began firing guns “in an apparent effort to break up the rally”. According to news reports, five people were injured, including the son of an opposition member of the National Assembly of Venezuela. Capriles was subsequently taken safely from the scene. Journalists for TV channel Globovisión had been covering the rally; according to reporter Sasha Ackerman, both she and her cameraman were threatened by the armed men, who confiscated their equipment and footage of the shootings. A Globovisión statement the next day tried to claim that the armed men were PSUV supporters, saying “These groups wore red shirts identifying them with a political tendency. More importantly, it was an armed and organized group that fired weapons against people”. Venezuela’s justice minister, Tarek El Aissami, said that the attacks were perpetrated by opposition supporters “to generate this show”, while some witnesses said that Capriles’ bodyguards “were the ones to start shooting”. The state news service Agencia Venezolana de Noticias reported that a local resident said that a group of individuals arrived on motorbikes, changed from yellow shirts to red in front of her house, and then began shooting.
Opposition supporters had been violently attacking journalists at opposition campaign events, including reporters for local public station Catatumbo Television at an event in Zulia, and reporters for VTV at events in Aragua, Tachira and Barinas.
It is well know that President Hugo Chávez has had cancer and during the election received treatment for cancer in Cuba including radiation, chemotherapy, and two operations. Venezuelan journalists sympathetic to the opposition were busy fueling rumours about Chávez’s cancer claiming that they had access to medical sources. This was designed to sap the morale of Chávez supporters and make them worry about the wisdom of voting for someone who may not even survive the elections. This sordid speculation was jumped on immediately and taken up with glee by the imperialist media who went into a virtual frenzy about whether Chávez would live through the elections, and there being no clear successor in the PSUV etc, etc.
One thing that neither the Venezuelan opposition nor their puppet-masters in Washington could use for the purpose of dirty tricks and confusion was the ballot itself.
Voters first register themselves by inputting their name, national identity number and thumbprint into a console. They then cast an electronic vote for their preferred party candidate on a touch-screen. Their vote enters the central counting system and is also printed so that they can confirm that it has been recorded properly before putting this hard copy in a ballot box (more than half the contents of which will later be cross-checked with the electronic data to ensure the system has not been hacked).
Voters must then sign a form to confirm they have cast a vote. Before they leave, the little finger on their left hand is marked with indelible purple ink so they cannot return to vote a second time.
“This system is 100% fraud proof and has been recognised as such by outside political institutions,” said Luis Guillermo Piedra, of the National Electoral Council, and even former US president Jimmy Carter has described the system as superior to that of the US- although that in itself is no great achievement! It is this secure system of voting that has really saved Venezuela from the post election result announcement violence that some other target countries have faced from US puppet oppositions who immediately challenge the result and bring their hired mobs onto the streets to take by force what they couldn’t win by the ballot. Indeed, so used is everyone to that particular scenario that one rabidly right-wing website, The Daily Caller, reported at 8.10 pm, 7 October 2012: “Tanks in the streets as Venezuelan electoral council declares Hugo Chávez victory.” And later at 10.50pm the same day, he declared in terms so laced with hatred that we can only imagine the writer slavering at the thought of a possible violent overthrow of the elected Venezuelan President: “According to the Associated Press, Venezuela’s electoral council has declared that Hugo Chávez beat Henriques Capriles in Sunday’s presidential election with about 54 percent of the vote, despite exit polls showing otherwise.
“Venezuela Twitter users have claimed Chávez’s victory was wrought with election fraud, and that the socialist incumbent president sent tanks into the streets of his country as those exit poll reports showed him losing. A picture of the tanks surfaced on Twitter Sunday evening.
“The British Guardian newspaper reported that Chávez also sent troops armed with AK-47s into Venezuela’s streets to fight against any protests in case unrest came as a result of the news.”
Presumably to the chagrin of the half-wit who wrote those words (perhaps the Guardian writer shared those feelings with him/her?) – but to the relief of most Venezuelans – there was no post election violence. We have no copy of the above ‘quoted’ exit polls but the pollsters were back and forth all the way through the election and rarely were they all in tandem as the list in table [B] below shows.
As for tanks and troops with AK47s on the streets of the capital, pictures relayed through Twitter or any other of the social media can be from anytime sent from anywhere and are no proof of anything! The Guardian newspaper is a paid up, fully-fledged part of the imperialist lie machine and not the principled teller of the truth that many woolly-minded liberals think it is. If you can understand why the Sun writes what it does, why can’t you see that the Guardian does exactly the same job but with a different target audience?
But what if tanks and troops were on the streets in case of organised violence from the opposition when they lost through the ballot box? Has there not been justification enough around the world with the many US backed colour ‘revolutions’?
Wasn’t 2002 justification for such caution remembering when the US used its puppets to remove Chávez in a coup?
That illegal government that took his place for a matter of 47 hours was recognised immediately by the US, and they have not forgiven the Venezuelan masses for rising up ten years ago and putting their elected President back in office. We shall give the last words on that subject to comrade Chávez: “Let the dogs of the empire bark, that’s their job; ours is to battle to achieve the true liberation of our people.”
Looking now at this latest electoral struggle and victory of Chávez, the parties and organisations that make up the Great Patriotic Pole and the poorest Venezuelan people who support them, we cannot but be impressed. The imperialists are accusing Chávez of buying votes with the many programmes for the poor, but they themselves have never been against buying votes. What really upsets them is that if these programmes are bribes, then he is using them all the time whether there is an election or not, and he is using the oil to finance these constant ‘bribes’ to raise the standards of the poor, when any imperialist can see that oil revenues should be invested in the realisation of even greater profits for the wealthiest few – not wasted on the many poor. However, as impressed as we are with the conduct of President Chávez, there are some who call themselves ‘progressive’ and sit in judgement (not in judgement of the imperialists of course) twittering and writing material for liberal trendies to discuss and eventually to use as excuses for not supporting anti-imperialist struggles. Such an organisation is ‘Human Rights Watch’. This group, at a time when the US and its puppets were drooling at the prospect of ending Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution, in July this year published a detailed study entitled “Concentration and Abuse of Power in Chávez’s Venezuela,” which claimed to expose the Chávez “regime’s many arbitrary attacks on the judiciary, the media, and human rights defenders.” Saying of the Venezuelan government’s policies: “At best, much energy, hope, and money are devoted to policies that bring short-term relief to targeted groups at the long-term expense of those groups themselves and all others.” These pro-imperialist so-called human-rights watchers similarly attacked Gaddafi’s Libya and now attack Syria just of each of these went under the imperialist cosh. So disgusting is ‘Human Rights Watch’ that only the bourgeoisie, Social-Democratic traitors, revisionists, Trotskyists and assorted cretins would give them any credence at all.
Sincere messages of congratulations have poured into President Chávez from all over the world and comrade Chávez has taken the opportunity, following his re-election, of once again condemning imperialism, especially of the US variety, and of speaking of the barbaric torture and murder of a close friend and comrade, Colonel Gaddafi, at the hands of US and EU mercenaries and puppets. He once more stated total support for Syria and President Assad as they face terrorist war from those same sources. Returning to the election he had just won, he said: “We didn’t just defeat Capriles. We also defeated an international coalition. This wasn’t just a domestic battle.”
He said voters had been inundated with 500,000 automated messages from the US and Europe urging them to back Capriles.
“How much did this cost? Who has the capacity to do such a thing?” he asked. “The great transnational phone companies were supporting Capriles. It was electoral harassment.”
As the State Elections loom, Capriles and other leaders of the Democratic Unity Coalition are now preparing to struggle on behalf of their US masters in the state governor elections in December. They and their US backers were hugely disappointed at winning a majority vote in only three of Venezuela’s 24 states on 7 October, and will now try to win more governorships, hoping to chip away at Chávez’s popular influence. We wish the Venezuelan people and their elected President, Hugo Chávez, every success in destroying the dreams of the reactionaries yet again.
Great Patriotic Pole
Democratic Unity Roundtable
Authentic Renewal Organisation
United Democratic Party for Peace
Party for Socialism and Liberty
Voting intention (%)
16 Aug 2012
20 Aug 2012
24 Aug 2012
2 Sept 2012
6 Sept 2012
19 Sept 2012
24 Sept 2012
25 Sept 2012