Venezuelan Electoral Postmortems
by Stephen Lendman
Chavistas celebrated Sunday's victory. Bolivarianism triumphed over exploitive neoliberal harshness. In open, free, and fair elections, Venezuelans got to choose. It's constitutionally mandated. Every vote counts equally.
Americans don't have that right. On November 6, choice won't be the ballot. Column A matches Column B. Money power chooses candidates and winners. Some election! No wonder half the electorate ops out.
On October 7, Venezuelans turned out in record numbers. Over 80% of registered voters showed up. Turnout was so great, many waited hours to exercise their franchise.
It's important because what they say matters. They wanted Chavez for another six years and got him. They want Bolivarianism sustained and deepened.
Chavez pledged he'll do it. He keeps promises. Vows US leaders make aren't worth the paper they're written on. Obama broke every major one he made.
It shouldn't surprise. It's the American way. Bolivarianism chooses another. Its good example shames Western faux democracies. Today they're more hypocrisy than ever.
Prioritizing wealth, power and imperial interests means depriving most people of vital social services. No wonder unemployment, poverty, homelessness, hunger, and overall human misery keep growing.
Venezuela is mirror opposite. Beneficial social change is prioritized. It shows. Poor people are helped generously. Child mortality fell from 20 per 1,000 to 13. Unemployment dropped from 14.5% to 7.6%. Income inequality is Latin America's lowest. Poverty was cut in half. Extreme poverty fell from 23.4% to 8.5%.
According to Census figures, half of US households are impoverished or bordering on it. Real unemployment approaches 23%. Most jobs are temporary or part-time low pay/poor or no benefit ones. They're rotten. With no other choice, people take them. It's either that or starve and sleep on city streets.
America's industrial base is a shadow of its former self. It's located offshore in low wage countries. US workers are left high and dry. Conditions keep worsening, not improving.
Venezuela's far from perfect. Violent crime, corruption, high inflation, infrastructure needs, and a menacing northern neighbor are worrisome. Chavez's health is uncertain. His cancer's in remission. If it returns and he can't serve, who'll succeed him isn't clear.
Venezuela's poor love him for good reason. They turned Sunday evening into New Year's eve. Victory was sweet, and they celebrated.