The relatively unreported crisis happening in Venezuela continues to be entrenched in a stalemate. For months, opposition forces have battled government-backed militias and national guardsman, culminating to over 100 deaths. The U.S. media, however, refuses to mention any developments whatsoever.
During the Arab Spring uprisings in 2011, American news stations had wall-to-wall coverage of events happening thousands of miles away from the U.S. mainland. The Venezuelan crisis is occurring in America’s backyard, but it’s clouded by the media’s focus on relatively unimportant issues.
On Sunday, regional elections were held for the 23 governorships. Pro-government candidates won 17 governorships while the opposition won only five. One governor's race remains undecided. What is dumbfounding is recent opinion polls had the opposition candidates winning as many as 18 governorships. This is just another example of the dictatorship that continues to enrich and immerse itself in power through fraud, lies, murder, hypocrisy and fear in Venezuela.
The National Electoral Council, a government-run organization, moved hundreds of precincts from largely opposition-dominated areas to those with larger government support. The council stated the reason they moved the voting centers was for “security reasons.”
Janeth Hernández, a citizen of Venezuela, didn’t vote in Sunday’s election. She stated, “If I vote for the opposition, the government isn’t going to let them work. If I vote for the government, they’re going to rob money and do nothing. I see no solution here.”
Rumors have recently been swirling that a deal between the government and the opposition is trying to be made through third party involvement. One scenario would be for President Nicolas Maduro to give up power and take refuge in Cuba. This would give the opposition the ability to get elected but they would still have to continue the shipment of hundreds of barrels of oil to Cuba daily. There’s no substantial evidence to support this claim because Cuba has denied any involvement in negotiations and continues to call for the respect of Venezuela’s sovereignty.
This scenario, however, does bring up a bigger issue. Will the crisis in Venezuela only be solved through a third party intermediary?
Earlier in the year, Maduro dissolved the opposition-controlled congress, but the Supreme Court later reversed the action. This led Maduro to call for an election of a constituent assembly. The new delegates, basically Maduro’s closest friends, were “elected” in July to write a new constitution and essentially take the place of the democratically-elected congress.
President Maduro tries to portray himself as a self-imposing figure with a strong will over his country. At a height of about 6 feet 3 inches, Maduro may seem like the boss, but in reality, he’s a coward who has to resort to illegalities to assure his legitimacy as president. He talks his head off with bombastic language that makes no sense whatsoever. He’s largely a fictitious president.
An underlying player involved in Venezuela is Cuba. The two countries have been socialist partners since Hugo Chavez took power in 1999 and aligned himself with Fidel Castro. Besides the general headlines of the Venezuelan crisis, Cuba’s involved is less known. The arrest tactics used by the militias and national guardsmen in Venezuela resemble that of Cuba’s state police forces. The reason being is that I believe that Cuba has sent an unknown number of soldiers to Venezuela to control the opposition. Many countries in Latin America have expressed their disapproval at how Maduro is running his country. However, Cuba continues to stand strong with Maduro.
This latest election shows that if the government doesn’t get involved, Maduro’s control over Venezuela will essentially unravel. Maduro could care less for the hundreds of children that starve in the country because he’s comfortable at the Miraflores Palace. He continues to broadcast his Sunday show with ease, dances in public while thousands suffer, and continues to blame everyone else but himself.
Overall, elections won’t work for the opposition movement as long as the government continues to exert its power over every aspect of society.
The views expressed are those of the writer and not necessarily those of The Torch.