The precise date for election in Venezuela is not defined as yet. Probably Venezuelans will go to vote in October – November. President Nicolas Maduro said he wanted an election as soon as possible. The pre-race campaign hits the radar. It could be said without exaggeration that the fate of Venezuelan – style socialism, the goal of Bolivarian movement, is at stake.
According to the results of 2010 National Assembly election, the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (Spanish: Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela, PSUV) got 96 seats with three seats going to the Communist Party and 6 to Fatherland for All (Patria Para Todos, PPT) and PODEMOS (literally meaning 'We can', an abbreviation of Por la Democracia Social, Spanish, meaning 'For Social Democracy'). The opposition Democratic Unity Roundtable (Spanish: Mesa de la Unidad Democrática, MUD), a catch-all electoral coalition of Venezuelan centrist, centre-left, left-wing and some centre-right political parties, gained 65 seats. The correlation of forces allows President Nicolas Maduro to get the laws approved by parliament without expecting any serious obstruction from the right-wing opposition.
Will the United Socialist Party of Venezuela maintain its position in the National Assembly after the 2015 election? It’s hard to be optimistic. The election will take place under the conditions of economic downturn, permanent deficit of goods, inflation and the exacerbation of social problems. The Hugo Chavez voters may change allegiance. The experts are trying to define reasons for crisis. There are different versions. Some say the reasons are of emotional character. Voters are tired of ideological struggle affecting their daily routine, as well as overcoming everyday life difficulties and living under the conditions of permanent confrontation.
In his research work What They Do to Venezuelan People Waging the Fourth Generation Warfare (Que le están haciendo al pueblo venezolano en la guerra de cuarta generación) Ramón Manaure analyzed the situation offering a deep insight and answers to many questions. First, what is the war unleashed for? The answer is – the war is unleashed to undermine the process of reforms to change the country and the world, the policy initiated and implemented by Hugo Chavez. Who is responsible for war? – The United States of America has the responsibility as it applies efforts to establish full control over Venezuela, the spearhead (punta de lanza) of movement for reshaping the world in favor of nations implementing independent policies. What goal does the Unites States pursue? Here is the answer – the United States has set the goal of doing away with the Bolivarian revolution and its leaders.
How does it plan to do it? – The United States has a strategy. A multi-phased plan has been worked out for Venezuela with the help of foreign experts. Who will bring it into life? – The plan is to be carried out by special laboratories working on the fourth generation warfare, including, first of all, the US Defense Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and other American intelligence agencies, as well as national and foreign universities, advertisement agencies, Colombian paramilitary groups, right wing and ultra-right parties, national and foreign media outlets.
Ramon Manaure is not the only one to believe that the subversive activities of conspirators are aimed at depriving PSUV of popular support it enjoyed at previous elections. The activities of propaganda instruments are in full swing inside the country and abroad in accordance with the scenario prepared by the United States. The Bolivarian leadership has come under fire. The argument is clearly defined – the Maduro government is incapable of solving the country’s problems and has to resign. The transition should be smooth without dramatic consequences. Hundreds of commentators and analysts are engaged. The smear campaign based on fraud is in high gear. The propaganda war is extremely hard to counter. Now they paint Hugo Chavez quite differently than before. They offer a positive image of the late president and his policy. According to them, he was a real leader, but the successors have squandered his legacy, got mired in corruption and act against the interests of people.
Actually Bolivarian politicians and military are denigrated for being adamant in protecting the interests of the country and countering the expansionist plans of the United States. The accusations not backed up by any proof are directed at military districts commanders, foreign and current leaders of Venezuelan counter intelligence agencies. Fierce attacks are launched against President Nicolas Maduro and Diosdado Cabello Rondón, President (Speaker) of the National Assembly of Venezuela.
Many a time opposition leaders have discussed ways to topple Maduro and the regime with US special services. They are concerned over the possibility of Diosdado Cabello coming to power. His allegiance to the ideology of Chavism and anti-US policy is well known. That’s why the current chairman of parliament has become the primary target of smear campaign. The whole US propaganda machine has concentrated efforts to ruin his image. Cabello is painted as the leader of drug cartel, the largest in Latin American history, with Venezuelan generals holding top positions in the criminal structure.
The same propaganda efforts were targeted at Hugo Chavez and his inner circle. The fakes don’t bring dividends. Diosdado Cabello will repel the slander attacks with dignity. The Venezuelan parliament has taken steps to fight drug trafficking, including the permission to bring down «transit» aircraft transporting drugs from Colombia, Peru and Bolivia. Nobody in Latin America can measure up to President Maduro who has taken an uncompromised stand in the effort to fight drug trafficking. Even the US Drug Enforcement Administration had to admit that Venezuela had taken effective steps to counter the criminal activities related to narcotics. Transit planes have switched to the routes across the Caribbean islands.
The government of Maduro has many times disclosed the operations sponsored by US administration. The Venezuelan financial circles and entrepreneurs greatly damage the country and the government which they want to be under their control. They do their best to aggravate the economic crisis. They spur inflation and conduct activities aimed at smuggling subsidized commodities and foodstuffs out of the country. No matter effective steps are taken to bolster border security, secret routes are used to take everything – from toilet soap to oil products – out of the country to Colombia. Gas is smuggled in great quantities using riverine routes. Black market exists almost openly offering goods at prices exceeding many times what they should be.
Criminal rate is on the rise in the countries under US control, such as Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and Colombia. But the US propaganda focuses on Venezuela. It is based on rigged statistics. People are scared, they are afraid to become victims of criminals. US propaganda warriors try to impose an opinion that the Venezuelan law enforcement agencies are not able to maintain order. Oil and energy production facilities are subject to acts of sabotage. Nicolas Maduro has addressed the nation twice recently telling people that there is evidence to corroborate the fact that such activities do take place. The President called for vigilance.
Venezuelan political scholars have started to use the term «colombization» talking about paramilitary formations penetrating the country from Colombia. The conflict with the neighboring country has been lasting for half a century. The process of normalization hits snags on the way. No matter that, some progress has been reached. The representatives of Juan Manuel Santos government took part in the talks with guerillas in Havana (with Cuba acting as a mediator). The US power structures view the détente process in the region as something undesirable to put into question the presence of US military facilities in Colombia. The US-controlled Colombian media outlets constantly publish materials lambasting FARC (The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People's Army (Spanish: Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia – Ejército del Pueblo, FARC – EP and FARC), a guerilla movement involved in the continuing Colombian armed conflict since 1964, to hamper the negotiation process. The same reasons make the United States do its best to exacerbate the situation in Venezuela. The Obama administration views the country as a threat to the Unites States. According to some reports, President Maduro has recently cancelled a visit to Italy upon receiving information about planned armed provocations to be perpetrated by radical opposition.
Felipe González, former Prime Minister of Spain, plans to visit Venezuela during the pre-election period to meet so called political prisoners. In 2014 these people provoked unrest in the streets, the death toll was measured in dozens, including policemen and military. This fact is turned a deaf ear on. The Bolivarian leadership displays self-control, confidence and readiness for a dialogue with opposition.
President Maduro offered the opposition MUD comprising over 20 parties and organizations to conclude an agreement with PSUV on recognition of election results. Will the opposition (and the sponsors representing US special services) meet his initiative half way? It raises great doubts. Such an agreement will stand in the way of efforts aimed at inciting further confrontation.