by Eric Draitser at Stop Imperialism (excerpts)
Venezuelans will go to the polls in all-important legislative elections on Sunday December 6, 2015. The vote will have a significant impact on the course of the Bolivarian Revolution started by the late Hugo Chavez. A victory for the opposition could be problematic for the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro as an opposition-led National Assembly would use all tools at its disposal to hamper any efforts at continuing the process of political, economic, and social transformation still ongoing today.
Walking the streets of Caracas, Venezuela’s capital, one gets the sense that the people are largely still supportive of the government, despite their understandable grievances about runaway inflation, lack of basic goods, and increasing violent crime. However, one gets a very different picture from US and western media with its droning propaganda about ‘dictatorship’ and ‘unfair elections’. Were one to read solely the corporate media, one could be forgiven for thinking that the government is on the verge of collapse, and that the opposition is either poised to control the government, or to have the election stolen from them.
In fact, the opposition has already laid the groundwork for a potential destabilization of the country as a number of key figures have openly stated that should they lose the election, it would be an indication of fraud. Essentially, the opposition Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD), which is neither democratic nor unified, has manufactured a win-win scenario wherein a loss in the election proves it was cheated, thereby allowing it to decry the elections as a fraud: a pernicious lie which only would benefit them.
Such tactics are par for the course for an opposition made up of US-backed, right wing neoliberal members of the former ruling class – an opposition that heralds criminals such as Leopoldo Lopez as righteous heroes persecuted by the government. The violence that is likely to break out should the MUD lose is also a standard tactic of everyone from criminal gangs to fascist political formations, both terms aptly describing the Venezuelan opposition.
This narrative of ‘election fraud’ is the same one trotted out by the opposition in every election in the last 15 years, with US media dutifully providing the cover of legitimacy to baseless claims as it repeats the same tired, utterly discredited talking points about ‘dirty elections’. The truth however is that Venezuela’s electoral system is the best, “most transparent in the world,” as former US President and humanitarian Jimmy Carter proclaimed in 2012. Indeed, despite the lies and distortions of the US media, these elections will be free, fair, and reflective of the will of the people.
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