September 29, 2010
Not all parliamentary elections are as important as those in Venezuela, where control of the parliament amounts to controlling the country’s large oil and gas reserves. On September 28 the Venezuelan electoral commission has communicated the uncontested results of the process: Chavez’s ruling party won 90 out of a total of 165 seats, with the opposition Democratic Union bloc claiming 65 seats.
Around 11 million Venezuelans, or 65 percent of the electorate, have taken part in the vote – an automated affair that allowed the electoral commission to publish the results in only 8 hours, as opposed to 120 days previously. By renouncing its boycott strategy employed in 2005, the Venezuelan opposition has reduced Chavez’s two-third parliamentary majority that was required in order to enact socialist-type reforms. Chavez himself remains a hugely popular figure in the country’s politics, having a good chance of being re-elected president in 2012.
Hugo Chavez’s brand of Bolivarian socialism is greatly upsetting American conservatives. During the election campaign, they have used all the mass-media outlets at their disposal to rubbish Chavez and imply, as Fox News did, that he is about to create a “terrorist axis” with Iran. Spreading untruths and innuendo, however, will only further cement his supporters’ allegiance and disgust independent observers, especially those from the EU.
(sources: Le Monde, Reuters, Courrier International)Spotlight on Geopolitics