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When the dust settles on the electoral exercise, we will, hopefully, see color flush to Venezuela's political screens!

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VHeadline editor & publisher Roy S. Carson writes: Of course, we have to wait for the dust to settle after last night's results in local and regional elections across Venezuela but it is already clear in this tropical dawn that things are about to change. While President Hugo Chavez is justifiably claiming an historical victory for his fledgling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) which won a very clear majority of States, the democratic opposition has scored major victories by securing key cities and a at least 56% of the popular vote according to provisional figures just out.

The results for the democratic opposition may NOT have been as positive as they had originally thought -- they are claiming wins in five (5) States out of an original nine (9) they had thought were theirs -- but their position is NOW tempered by a willingness to cooperate across the board with the Chavez-led government to move forward to the benefit and well-being of ALL Venezuelans ... and, for that, we should raise eternal praise.

What is clear from a Chavista perspective is that, in sheer percentages, his electoral support has dropped from 58% in 2004 to around 44% with more "dissenters" convinced that Chavez does not offer the most democratic route to achieve 21st Century Socialism ... at least in its more understandably moderate (perhaps European) form.
tempered by a willingness to cooperate across the board with the Chavez-led government to move forward to the benefit and well-being of
In sheer numbers the Venezuelan population waking up today under the control of pro-Chavez, PSUV governorships has dropped 31.4% from 22,1582.512 (official figures) to just 15,201,334 while United Opposition governorships rule over 12,585,623 ... UP from 3,836,343!

Also in sheer numbers, the United Opposition noted a swing from 2,846,103 votes to 5,246,291 (provision figures!) which translates as boost of 84.3% which cannot go unrecognized by President Chavez Frias and/or his PSUV party as they move forward into 2009.

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So what does all this number crunching mean?

Primarily, it means that President Hugo Chavez' PSUV party has established its credentials across the nation from what had looked like a still-birth in June. Effectively, though, it has the strong indication of having the beginnings of essential Checks & Balances on the proper conduct of political affairs across Venezuela's vast regions and their municipalities where grassroots democracy is a new invention, only recently being learned. Hopefully, it will give impetus to Chavez to join forces with the democratic opposition to bring an end to blatant abuses in the administration's bureaucracy and perhaps even to inculcate an INCLUSIVE rather than a policy of excluding even well-wishing political participants based uniquely on the color of each individual's party affiliation.

Is this too much to dream of in paradise? ... that the various actors on Venezuela's political stage should lay down their cudgels and wipe away the blood and core of the last ten years to make a clean start on getting Venezuela back on the rails again?

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When, eventually, the dust settles on the weekend's exercise in new-found democracy, we will, hopefully, see a flood of color flush to Venezuela's thoroughly monochromatic political screens...
THAT will be the test of Chavez' democratic intentions!

 
THAT will be the measure of his alleged autocracy, dictatorship and more.
Metropolitan Caracas Mayor-elect Antonio Ledesma has already said that he will work hand-in-hand with Chavez to set the nation's capital to rights. Maracaibo Mayor-elect Manuel Rosales may also wish to take hold of the barge-pole with which Chavez has wanted to distance himself from the former Zulia State Governor but ... with Zulia's oil wealth firmly in democratic opposition hands, there MUST be room of face-saving negotiation to which, I understand, Mayor-elect Rosales Governor-elect Perez Alvarez have already declared themselves accessible.

In southeastern Bolivar State, returning Governor Francisco Rangel Gomez is facing the fact that he does not have the total support of the population that he thought he had enjoyed. With Andres Velasquez almost shaving stubble of his chin in the electoral face-off, he must be guarded in what he now says and does, knowing that the democratic opposition whippets will be at his heels looking for any opportunity to press corruption charges against him for alleged malfeasance and mismanagement over the last four years. IF Rangel Gomez is up for the challenge, the next few weeks, months, should show his strengths and weaknesses and perhaps with renewed electoral vigor he will proceed to kick-start the Guayana region's essential economy into gear once and for all!

Capriles Radonsky's 52.56% win in the crucial Caracas-Miranda State run-off also presents another challenge for Chavez to settle down to peaceful democratic progress with those he has cast as evil enemies, while Caribbean paradise island, Margarita looks forward to sunnier days after Morel Rodriguez took 57%.

So ... it's anybody's guess how Venezuela's political climate will change after the political dust finally settles. But one should take heart in University student's claims (from a youthful NEW Venezuals perspective) that Venezuela is waking up this morning to a multi-colored future with storm clouds hopefully swept away!

 
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Roy S. Carson is veteran foreign correspondent (45+ years in the business) currently editor & publisher of VHeadline Venezuela reporting on news & views from and about Venezuela in South America -- available for interviews -- call Houston (more...)
 

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