According to Duddy, "Venezuela could experience significant political unrest and violence that lead to the further curtailment of democracy in the country."
He's right, but only if Washington instigates it. Maybe he knows something we don't.
He claims opposition candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski closely challenges Chavez. It's not even close, so why is he saying it? He and similar media propaganda may be prelude to planned trouble.
"(T)ensions are likely to rise".if (people suspect) Chavez has used extra-constitutional means to preclude or invalidate an opposition victory" to sustain his grip on power.
Venezuela's elections are closely monitored. Independent observers agree. The process is open, free and fair. It may be the best anywhere. It shames US electoral politics. Last month, Jimmy Carter said "the election process in Venezuela is the best in the world."
Duddy knows but suggested otherwise. His paper was propaganda, not analysis. He stressed protests are likely. They "could turn violent," he said. "Martial law" could be imposed. Democratic rights would be "further" curtailed. A "major political crisis" would erupt.
"Longstanding U.S. efforts to promote good governance in Latin America as well as cooperation on a range of political, economic, and security challenges in the region would be threatened as a consequence."
Washington abhors democratic values and "good governance" everywhere, notably at home. It wants regimes installed it controls.
It's been trying to oust Chavez for years. It can't bear the thought of him in power another six years. Anything may be planned to prevent it.
Chavez knows. Hopefully he's prepared. Post-election, Duddy suggested Washington may cry foul and demand legitimate restoration of good government. Economic and political ties may be suspended.
Every time an election or referendum was held, Chavez said their results would be respected. He didn't just say it. He meant and observed it. Duddy claimed Chavistas may cause trouble if Capriles wins. Chances, of course, are virtually nil.
Nonetheless, Duddy suggested "plausible" violence provoking scenarios:
It could erupt pre-election if Capriles looks likely to win or final results show it.
Chavez "plausibly" claims victory, then dies or leaves office for health reasons.
Capriles wins and is inaugurated. PDVSA oil workers walk out. Chavistas throughout the country resist pro-business initiatives and/or jettisoning "moribund Chavista projects."
Final results are too close to call or "unacceptable to the government."