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Reflections on Sunday’s elections in Venezuela

Approximately 66% of Venezuelans voted in the legislative elections of September 26th.

The Result can best be desribed as a Pyrhhic victory for Hugo Chavez. Despite the fraud and massive gerrymandering which permitted the recintly united opposition to win only 67 of the 160 seats in the national assembly with 52% of the popular vote, The United Socialist party of the Chavistas could not win the 2/3 majority they promised their followers.Chavez exhorted his followers to demolish the (MUD)Mesa Unida Democratica coalition. The coalition was barred from advancing their message on television and state funds were used to mobilize the leftists backing the government.The question isn’t so  much about who “won” the election, but at what point the hegemony of Chavez is starting to come apart.Nevertheless Chavez has changed the system with an” insurance policy” so that 50% of federal funds will go to so-called communal councils which in fact mirror the local United Socialist Party organizations and not the states or municipalities. This project will create a paralell unit of government outside the scope of elections. It also ties in to the current project to confiscate arms from private citizens, security companies and even some municipal police forces and to turn them over to the  Bolivarian militias controlled directly by Hugo Chavez. We will have to see what effect this will have on the selection of an opposition candidate to Chavez in 2012. Hopefully both Chavez and Obama will go down in the same year.

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