Venezuela Wins Simply by Holding an Election

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      The United States government—with bipartisan support from both Republicans and Democrats—has actively intervened in Venezuela’s 2020 National Assembly election. In September, the U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned four officials of the Venezuelan government: Reinaldo Enrique Muñoz Pedroza (the attorney general), David Eugenio De Lima Salas (a former governor), and two officials of the National Electoral Council (Consejo Nacional Electoral)—Indira Maira Alfonzo Izaguirre and José Luis Gutiérrez Parra. Indira Alfonzo is the president of the National Electoral Council and a well-respected former judge with long-standing ties to the opposition. The U.S. government claimed—without providing evidence—that these officials were part of an “election interference scheme to prevent free and fair parliamentary elections from taking place in December 2020.” The U.S. government’s interference continued later that month with its subsequent sanctioning of five opposition leaders who decided to participate in the elections; the U.S. State Department sanctioned them for their “complicity” in the elections.

      Opposition politicians who face this pressure from Washington also face a disgruntled base in Venezuela that has been fighting against this policy of abstention and boycotting. Many of the party members from these opposition groups have sued their leaders, demanding that they participate in the election. They are fed up with the strategy of attrition by Guaidó and by Guaidó’s subservience to the U.S. State Department.

      For that reason, there are more than 14,000 candidates from 107 political organizations, with 98 of them identified as opposition parties. They will contest the 277 seats (increased from 165 to better reflect population growth and more ability for democratic input).

      Venezuela’s National Assembly has been stalled ever since it was made an instrument for regime change by Washington. Now, with this election, it is hoped that the legislative process can resume. A new National Assembly would be able to appoint key officials and would be able to discuss legislation to address the pandemic; it should become a place for healthy dialogue between the government and the opposition, which has been hijacked by Washington and by Guaidó. More than anything else, this National Assembly would provide a legal challenge to governments and banks in Europe and the United States that have frozen at least $6 billion of Venezuelan funds and confiscated assets such as Citgo; they will no longer have Guaidó’s alleged interim government to use as an excuse for their actions.

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

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