Venezuela: Mass Suicide and/or Haiti Pt. 2?
With the results of today's boycotted Parlimentary elections in Venezuela known early on, we can already read and hear the way the "Opposition" is trying to spin the story of their annihilation as a political force. On the BBC World I heard an oppositon leading calling the results a success and another said the vote was a ddefeat for Chavez. When preessed why gettng kicked out of the political system was good, she sad because "the internatonal community will now pay attention."
That is as much honesty as we can hope for from the opposition parties. I am sure there are good people out there who don't like Chavez because they were taught the evils of socialism, and others are scared they may not benefit as much as others from it (the business elite). But they must now realize that their preferred Right-Wing parties have failed them and the country with this cowardly action.
They are also claiming that the relatively low turnout (said to be 25% at the moment) showed the people were actually rejecting Chavez. Of course this is a lie. Don't they understand that it an election has been conceded, there is not much incentive for ANYONE to vote. 25% approaches what we'd be happy for in many states for Congressional races.
Everyone who has followed the story knows the opposition was set to get trounced in the poll - with most predicting a 2/3 margin being achived by Chavez's MVR coalition. That is the main fact here we can't forget... and it appears most US reports are omitting it. The other point is that the opposition's claims of election fraus have been widely discredited. This would be like Democrats boycotting the Congressional election after Mondale got trounced.
An excellent Red Pepper analysis concentrates on the notion of mass "political suicide" (like Lemmings) and even mantions what I thought of when first hearing of the boycott plan a week ago - the apparent copying of similarly decrepit "opposition" tactics in Haiti to Aristide... before he was snatched up by US forces.
So then we get back to the importance the opposition is apparently placing in the "International Community," ie. the United States. As they have chosen to totally divorce themselves from Democratic solutions, I suspect we will be seeing more f these moves designed for US public consumption to further paint Chavez as a Dictator. And I must say that I also fear that the acts of terrorism (numerous sabotage and bombing attempts) we saw today may not be so rare any more.
Needless to say, the next few years should be real interesting - both in the Chavez Government's policy arena and with whatever the opposition's next steps are.