On Monday, US Secretary of State Anthony Blingen criticized the government of President Nicolas Maduro for “manipulating the electoral process” to determine the outcome of the election “before any referendum”. “Maduro is seizing the opportunity to determine Venezuela’s future,” he said. At the same time, Blingen reiterated US support for opposition leader Juan Quito.
Maduro camp wins in most states
According to official sources, the Maduros party has won a landslide victory in the regional elections. Maduro’s allies have won 20 of the 23 states, according to the South American Electoral Commission. The Maduro camp also won the mayoral election in the capital, Caracas. The left-wing state president spoke of “high results”.
Opposition leader Guaidó described the election as “completely false.”
Opposition parties have stated they will not run in the by-elections. But he managed to win governorships in three states, including Julia, the most populous state in the country. This is the first time since 2017 that the Venezuelan opposition has contested a re-election. The main opposition parties boycotted the 2018 presidential election and the 2020 parliamentary election because they accused the government of massive electoral fraud.
Guaidó described the results of the current election as evidence that the opposition should be united. He said the results show the “obvious need” for the opposition to unite if they want to win the 2024 presidential election. Guaidó himself did not vote in the election because he considered the referendum to be unfair. He described the elections as “completely false”.
Venezuela in crisis
For the first time in 15 years, the European Union has sent an election observer to Venezuela for regional elections. Mission leader Isabel Santos said the election was “quiet.” He is expected to submit his report on Tuesday.
In early 2019, Guaidó announced himself as interim president of Venezuela. He was later recognized as interim head of state by the United States, Germany and more than 50 countries. Maduro, with the support of the armed forces and Russia and China, remained in power.
Despite Venezuela’s oil wealth, political conflicts are taking place in the wake of the massive economic crisis that has plagued it for years. GDP has fallen by 80 percent since 2014, and studies show that three-quarters of the population now live in extreme poverty. About five million Venezuelans fled their country following the crisis.
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