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Mon Dec 17, 2012, 03:22 AM

Venezuelans elect pro-Chavez candidates

Source: Associated Press

Venezuelans elect pro-Chavez candidates
Associated Press
Updated 11:27 pm, Sunday, December 16, 2012

Caracas, Venezuela --

President Hugo Chavez's allies won a sweeping victory in Venezuela's gubernatorial elections Sunday, capturing a large majority of states and showing their party still has muscle even as cancer has put the socialist leader's future in question.

The ruling party won at least 20 of 23 states, according to results announced by electoral council. Opposition leader Henrique Capriles held on for a re-election win in Miranda state, one of three opposition candidates declared winners. Capriles beat Elias Jaua, Chavez's former vice president.

Capriles lost to Chavez in the country's October election, and his re-election Sunday will allow him to cement his position as Venezuela's dominant opposition leader. But the loss of ground by the opposition also raises tough questions for government adversaries as they prepare for the possibility of new presidential elections if cancer cuts short Chavez's tenure.

Going into the vote, the opposition had held the governorships in eight states, and it lost in five of those states, according to the results announced by National Electoral Council President Tibisay Lucena.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/world/article/Venezuelans-elect-pro-Chavez-candidates-4122922.php#ixzz2FINRsGz1

21 replies, 2444 views

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Arrow 21 replies Author Time Post
Reply Venezuelans elect pro-Chavez candidates (Original post)
Judi Lynn Dec 2012 OP
Ken Burch Dec 2012 #1
Cal Carpenter Dec 2012 #6
Tempest Dec 2012 #7
pampango Dec 2012 #2
dipsydoodle Dec 2012 #3
Coyotl Dec 2012 #4
Tennessee ploughboy Dec 2012 #5
nietzschean Dec 2012 #8
Ken Burch Dec 2012 #10
Peace Patriot Dec 2012 #11
nietzschean Dec 2012 #12
Ken Burch Dec 2012 #15
ocpagu Dec 2012 #16
Peace Patriot Dec 2012 #20
devilgrrl Dec 2012 #13
Ken Burch Dec 2012 #14
Hydra Dec 2012 #9
Enrique Dec 2012 #17
Peace Patriot Dec 2012 #21
Ash_F Dec 2012 #18
Mika Dec 2012 #19

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 04:24 AM

1. Cue the "bogus results" brigade, who will show up here soon.

There are a lot of "liberals" here who can't accept that the multiracial, working-class majority of Venezuela might actually show up at the polls, voluntarily, and support a party that makes their lives better.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 09:22 AM

6. Which is pretty funny considering that independent election observers

have indicated that Venezuela's elections are free and fair, which is a lot more than they can say about US elections.

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Response to Cal Carpenter (Reply #6)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 12:10 PM

7. Carter's organization called their last election cleaner than ours.

Cleaner than 2000 and 2004 in this country.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 04:31 AM

2. Washington Post: Allies of Hugo Chavez sweep gubernatorial seats in Venezuela elections

Allies of cancer-stricken President Hugo Chavez steamrolled Venezuela’s opposition in gubernatorial elections, winning 20 of 23 states. The only good news for the opposition was the re-election of its top leader, Henrique Capriles, who lost to Chavez in October’s presidential vote.

Sunday’s vote came less than a week after Venezuela’s leftist president was operated on in Cuba for the fourth time for a stubborn cancer that many fear he won’t beat. It was widely seen as a referendum on whether his socialist-inspired Bolivarian Revolution movement has enough momentum to outlive him.

Capriles’ win sets him up as the presumed challenger to go up against Vice President Nicolas Maduro, Chavez’s hand-picked successor in presidential elections that would be held within 30 days of the president’s death or separation from office.

“It really does underscore the fact that Chavismo really can survive, at least at the regional level, without Chavez,” said Miguel Tinker Salas, a Latin American studies professor at Pomona College in Claremont, California. “The reality is that the Chavistas today proved that their movement is institutionalized enough to sustain itself and to win statehouses in almost 90 percent of Venezuela.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/electoral-chief-allies-of-chavez-sweep-gubernatorial-seats-in-venezuela-elections/2012/12/16/d626e30a-47ee-11e2-8af9-9b50cb4605a7_story.html

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 05:13 AM

3. Chavez allies sweep Venezuela vote, but Capriles holds seat

(Reuters) - Allies of cancer-stricken President Hugo Chavez swept to victory by taking nearly all of Venezuela's 23 states in elections on Sunday, but Henrique Capriles consolidated his position as top opposition leader by winning re-election as governor.

Capriles, the 40-year-old governor of Miranda, beat Chavez's former vice president Elias Jaua to retain control of the country's second-most populous state, leaving him as candidate-in-waiting if Chavez's ill health forces him aside.

The ruling Socialist Party, however, extended its control over the South American OPEC nation, snatching four states from the opposition to win 20 of the 23 states.

Possibly benefiting from a wave of sympathy over Chavez's battle to recover from cancer surgery, it staged several upsets, including a victory in the most populous state of Zulia.

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/12/17/uk-venezuela-elections-idUKBRE8BF0F820121217

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 08:03 AM

4. When did democratic support become "muscle"? Stupid AP writer.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 09:18 AM

5. how dare those "strong arm" totalitarians win a free election.

 

In the last two weeks, both the NY Times and the WashPost have referred to Chavez as a "strong arm dictator" despite the fact that he is the - twice- freely elected president of Venezuela who has done nothing to violate the Venezuelan constitution. When he became the victim of a U.S. inspired military coup, the Times had the audacity to call it "a step toward democracy" and the Bush regime immediately recognized the new, albeit temporary, government. Republican and Democrat leaders constantly rail against the evil "bully" and call for his ouster. Even president Obama refers to him in similar terms.

These constant, concerted attacks on a freely elected leader should compel all Americans to seriously question our leaders dedication to the principles of democracy, as well as their motives and methods in international affairs, and to seriously question the independence and objectivity of our national media. Neither will bear much of such scrutiny.

Hugo Chavez, like many foreign leaders, especially in Latin America, who the U.S. detests, represents the overwhelming majority of his people who have been relegated to a squalid, impoverished existence as peasants in service to a small, white, wealthy elite and the American business interests to whom they owe their privileged position. The Chavistas have wrested power from these ruthless oligarchs using the very methods that American leaders extol and promote world wide. Yet, when the elections don't turn out the way that our government wants, they are immediately rendered suspect by our politicians and the captive mainstream press, and attempts to undermine or overthrow them are set in motion. In virtually every case, American business interests and the pursuit of profits, not any principle or valid concern for national security, guide American policy.

As most of us already know, at least intuitively, when democratic principles conflict with pursuit of profits, democracy always loses. -Tennessee Ploughboy-

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 12:30 PM

8. Long live our supreme Leader!

How easy it is to cheer for dictators from the commodity of the first world.

Caracas murder rate is 70 for every 100,000 inhabitants, that is far worse than Bagdad and any city in the north of Mexico. Chavez has effectively silenced any media outlet that opposes him. When opposition candidates are having a speech broadcast on tv he will cut it with his own speech that has to be broadcast because it's the law.

Of course Chavez hasn't broke the Constitution since he has changed it at will, allowing reelection after reelection. If there's any doubt that he would continue with this like Castro if it wasn't for his cancer?

But hey long live banana republic dictators, they're lovely. Once those oil resouces dry up, there are no companies to nationalise and no company is silly enough to invest since it can be nationalised too then it will be another miserable Cuba.

The model for left wing government in Latin America should be Concertación in Chile, Brazil and Scandinavian progressive countries not Chavez cronies.

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Response to nietzschean (Reply #8)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 01:31 PM

10. UH boy....such fun YOU'RE gonna be...

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Response to nietzschean (Reply #8)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 02:21 PM

11. Hard to know where to begin, so many of your points are just plain, factually wrong.

Yes, Venezuela has a gun problem, like we do. But, like Rotters, you repeat the rightwing "talking points" that FAILED TO SWAY Venezuelan voters in the recent presidential election (Chavez won a third term) and these gubernatorial elections (which the socialists won 20 of the 23!). WHO do the PEOPLE OF VENEZUELA trust to solve problems? NOT the rightwing opposition. WHY? Because the Chavez government and the socialist party HAVE SOLVED so many problem thus far--including poverty, illiteracy, access to health care, access to education, economic growth and prosperity, sharing the wealth, good wages, pensions and working conditions, and more.

--

"Chavez has effectively silenced any media outlet that opposes him." nietzschean

--

This is simply, factually wrong. The corpo-fascist media is alive and well in Venezuela and is actually still worse than our own--which is saying something; we have one of the worst media establishments in the world. What the Chavez government has done is to dramatically expand public access to the media--providing licenses, training and studios to people who have never had access before, to create community radio stations and alternative programming, as well as creating a new TV news service (Telesur) that is independent of the transglobal corporate rulers who dominate all of Latin American TV including Venezuela. The Chavez government also denied a license renewal to RCTV, whose oligarchic owners actively participated in the 2002 rightwing coup attempt. Among its many treasonous crimes, RCTV refused to allow any member of the Chavez government to speak on TV during the 2002 coup. So much for their devotion to "free speech," eh? The bloody hypocrites! The Chavez government is enacting FAIRNESS, as we once had here, with our "Fairness Doctrine"--those licensed to use the PUBLIC airwaves have an obligation to present both sides of political issues, and to serve the PUBLIC INTEREST, and have no right to monopolize the airwaves with big transglobal corporations and conglomerates that SILENCE dissenting voices and get so powerful that they stage coups against elected governments.

We ought to learn from the Chavez government and restore our "Fairness Doctrine" here.

--

"Of course Chavez hasn't broke the Constitution since he has changed it at will, allowing reelection after reelection." --nietzschean

--

Nope, Chavez PUT IT TO A VOTE. The people of Venezuela decided that they really like their "New Deal" and wanted to vote for it again. Chavez did NOT "change" the Constitution "at will." In fact, the entire Venezuelan Constitution was written in constituent assemblies of the people and voted on by the people, and can be amended by the people, as they did in the case of presidential and gubernatorial term limits.

Our own Founders opposed term limits on the president as un-democratic and did NOT put any such limit in our Constitution. That was a Republican move in the mid-1950s, to ensure that no "New Deal" could ever happen here again and to begin to dismantle the one we had, which they have very nearly succeeded in doing. But, whatever you think of term limits, the Venezuelan people VOTED to remove them.

Jimmy Carter recently said that Venezuela's election system is "the best in the world." I have independently reviewed the facts about that system, and I agree. Their election system is the best in the world, is far, FAR more honest and transparent than our own and puts our own to shame.

We ought to learn from the Chavez government and the people of Venezuela how to run elections that produce truly representative government.

--

"But hey long live banana republic dictators, they're lovely. Once those oil resouces dry up, there are no companies to nationalise and no company is silly enough to invest since it can be nationalised too then it will be another miserable Cuba." --nietzschean

--

Chavez is NOT a "banana republic dictator," though you and the corpo-fascist media and our transglobal corporate/war profiteer-serving government would like us to believe that. They DON'T WANT US TO KNOW about the huge success of leftist policies in Venezuela, in Brazil, in Argentina, in Bolivia, in Ecuador, in Uruguay and other countries with LEFTIST governments--polices that the Venezuelan people pioneered and inspired. All of these countries refused to take Wall Street's advice and U.S. bullying to impose "austerity" on the poor, to make the rich richer. And all are prospering and spreading the wealth.

There is NO BETTER USE for Venezuela's oil, while they have it--and they have the biggest oil reserves on earth, according to the USGS--than to spend the oil profits on the poor and develop the talents and potential of those millions of forgotten people. Would you rather see the oil profits pad Exxon Mobil's overflowing pockets?

The countries that are NOT prospering--except for the rich--and where miserable poverty abounds and also official government and rightwing death squad murder and violence--are the ones allied to U.S. transglobal corporations and war profiteers, and our toady government: Colombia, Honduras, Mexico, Guatemala.

As for Cuba being "miserable," how do you know? I doubt very much that people who have free medical care--in one of the best medical systems on earth--in a country where everyone has a roof over their heads, everyone has food on the table, everyone can get a free education through college and post-graduate work, and everyone pitches in when there is a crisis, are "miserable." They may not have billionaires, but as for the common welfare and the pursuit of real happiness, they seem to have it all over us. Lessons to learn there, too.

You seem terribly propagandized by the corpo-fascist press. I suggest that you detach yourself from it and try to achieve a bigger, more accurate picture of the world, and of South America in particular.

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Response to Peace Patriot (Reply #11)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 02:51 PM

12. free elections, yeah right

I know how those "free elections" work, since I live in a country where they are not free either. If you do not vote for the government you're threatened to loss your benefits or your job if you happen to work for the government.

I do not believe that a leader staying for decades in power can be considered a democracy, period, they can always use the government resources to coerce the vote. In 2007 he lost the constitutional referendum that would have allowed him to reelect himself indefinetely, that should have been enough, someone else should have been in power but no, there was another softer referendum a couple years later and here we are, were it not for cancer he would stay there forever through "free elections" like Castro.

And your people in that heaven Cuba, do they have access to technology? to the internet like you do? certainly not, what if they criticize their supreme leader? Would you like to move and live there? why don't you. Again how easy to describe those paradises from developed countries.

I don't think modern capitalism/neo-liberalism is the answer for today's problems but neither are socialistic dictatorships, I admire the Scandinavian countries.

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Response to nietzschean (Reply #12)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 04:04 PM

15. If you admire Scandinavia but hate long-term leaders, what do you make of the fact

That Tage Erlander was the Social Democratic prime minister of Sweden from 1946 to 1969?

The other thing you're missing is that, the longer a genuinely radical model like Venezuela can survive, the greater room for action social democratic states have. In the last couple of decades(after the Sandinistas were forced out and the "triumph of the market" was proclaimed ad nauseaum, most "social democratic" parties basically transformed their programs into "Thatcherism Lite". It's only because Chavez and his revolution have retained popular support that any room for actual progressive politics has emerged anywhere.

Besides, Capriles is a conservative, not a social democrat.

What country do you live in? If there's anything good in that country, it's due to the work of people to your left, most likely. Centrists and "anticommunists" basically don't give a damn about people who aren't millionaires.

Oh, and nobody here thinks that Cuba is "heaven"-just that the place isn't evil and that there's no reason the U.S. should still treat that country as an enemy any longer. Do you still back the embargo and all that?

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Response to nietzschean (Reply #12)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 04:14 PM

16. Huh?

 

"I know how those "free elections" work, since I live in a country where they are not free either. If you do not vote for the government you're threatened to loss your benefits or your job if you happen to work for the government. "

Vote is secret in Venezuela. The government simply doesn't know who voted for who.

"I do not believe that a leader staying for decades in power can be considered a democracy"

If the people aproved this model, then yes, it's democracy. And it's a more democratic model then the electoral systems in several developed countries - starting by USA, a country where two parties have been in power for the last two centuries, where the left-wing is simply not represented and where the people are not even allowed to directly elect their presidents. Venezuelans don't vote for representatives to elect their presidents, they elect their presidents themselves. Bush being elected with less votes than Al Gore would never happen in Venezuela.

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Response to nietzschean (Reply #12)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 03:41 AM

20. What about FDR, who ran for and won four terms in office?

"I do not believe that a leader staying for decades in power can be considered a democracy, period..." --nietzschean

--

Was the U.S. a democracy while FDR was president for three full terms and got elected again to a fourth term? (He died in office early in his fourth term.)

Our Founders, who can fairly be said to have invented modern democracy, OPPOSED term limits on the president as UN-DEMOCRATIC.

--

"I know how those 'free elections' work...". --nietzschean

--

No, you obviously do NOT know how free elections work. But former U.S. president Jimmy Carter, who created the Carter Center and has helped set up and has monitored hundreds of elections and election systems, knows how free elections work, and recently (last month) stated that Venezuela has "the best election system in the world."

Are you going to continue to ignore this Carter endorsement of Venezuela's elections--or try to learn about the real world--not the warped, unrecognizable illusion-land of the corpo-fascist media, but the world in which, for instance, Venezuelans have FREELY voted three times to keep the Chavez government in power because they APPROVE of that government, because that government BENEFITS the majority, and because they believe in the INCLUSIONARY policies of that government--that everyone gets a fair wage, everyone gets educational opportunity, everyone gets health care and everyone gets to participate in the political process.

Lula da Silva, the recent former president of Brazil, said, of Chavez, "They can invent all kinds of things to criticize Chavez but not on democracy."

How do you reconcile your warped and unreal view of Venezuela and the Chavez government with the opinions of these sterling characters, these experienced politicians--the former president of U.S., Jimmy Carter, the former president of Brazil, Lula da Silva?

You are missing something very big, indeed--not just what is really happening in Venezuela, but also what is happening all over South America and into Central America: a leftist democracy movement of historic proportions, whose basic premises are "power to the people," sharing the wealth, allying with each other politically and economically, and rejection of retrograde and often violent U.S. interference.

The Venezuelan people and their Chavez government are part of this movement--and were critically important in pioneering and inspiring it. And they are hated ferociously by our government and by the corpo-fascist press for this very reason. These propagandists turn Chavez into a bogeyman and revile and slander him, shamelessly, for things he never did.

Let me give you one of many examples, because you have absorbed and regurgitated this propaganda point: That Chavez somehow overturned the Venezuelan Constitution and decided, on his own, to extend his tenure as president.

The prior vote of the Venezuelan people on lifting term limits was contained in a package of SIXTY-NINE amendments to the Constitution, including many economic measures of various kinds and EQUAL RIGHTS FOR WOMEN which the Catholic Church sought to defeat. This 69 amendment package lost by a VERY NARROW margin (1% as I recall) in a national vote. It almost passed--even with all those complicated economic measures and the hostility of the top Church prelates. So the Chavistas--in the National Assembly (voted in by the people)--decided to put the question of term limits to a stand-alone national vote. And the people of Venezuela overwhelmingly approved it, as a stand-alone issue. They wanted Chavez to run again. They also wanted governors to be able to run again.

That's what REALLY happened. Your version is completely wrong--because you have not sought out independent information on these matters. You are just repeating IMPRESSIONS that you have gained from transglobal corporate media moguls and U.S. government liars. Impressions. You have no facts.

In my particular review of Venezuela's election system, I find the following of particular note:

Venezuela uses electronic voting, like we do, but it is OPEN SOURCE CODE programming--code that is owned by the public and that anyone may review--and they do a whopping 55% audit (comparison of machine totals with ballots)--more than five times the audit needed to detect fraud in an electronic voting system. The entire election system is run by an independent electoral council that includes members of the opposition.

Our voting machines on run on TRADE SECRET code--code that the public is FORBIDDEN to review. Half the states in the U.S. do NO AUDIT AT ALL of these machine results, and the other half do only a miserably inadequate 1% audit. Furthermore, one, private, far rightwing-connected corporation--ES&S, which bought out Diebold--now controls something like 70% of the voting systems in the U.S.!

Is it any wonder that we don't have universal free medical care, and Venezuela does? Is it any wonder that Venezuela has a government that fights successfully for the rights and inclusion of workers and the poor majority, and our allegedly "liberal" government can't even protect Medicare and Social Security?

Venezuela has a REPRESENTATIVE government and we do not!

You may disagree with Chavez government policies. You may think the Venezuelan people are headed straight to hell in a hand cart. But you CANNOT SAY that Venezuela is NOT a democracy--and a damn good one, in many respects far better than our own. Yes, they have their "FDR"--Chavez--a charismatic and visionary leader to implement their will. But to call him a "dictator" is not only plainly wrong on every point, it is also an insult to the people of Venezuela who put him in office, restored him to his rightful office after the abortive coup attempt, and have voted for him and given him big mandates time and again. He is DOING THEIR WILL--and it is that will that you are arguing with. And that, quite frankly, is very undemocratic of you.





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Response to nietzschean (Reply #8)


Response to devilgrrl (Reply #13)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 03:55 PM

14. How do you do THAT smilie?

n/t.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 01:06 PM

9. Good

Lots of times a movement can't continue without the originator in charge. This bodes well for them continuing on their own, which is the only way it can work long-term.

Also happy news that the 1% can't seem to get their ground back down there. Too bad they have everything sewn up tight here.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 07:02 PM

17. he only won because all the hispanics voted for him n/t

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Response to Enrique (Reply #17)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 03:51 AM

21. LOL!

nt

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 07:48 PM

18. Maybe if the opposition keeps going right, they'll start winning!

Take note, US Republicans and DU freeper trolls.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 08:48 PM

19. Typical results for dicktaters.



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