Venezuela’s revolution split in the cradle of Chavezism

Sabaneta, Venezuela-Nancy Mora longs for what she says is the sentiment that the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez showed to his people. When she talked about the person she still called her president, she touched her heart and believed that as long as a self-proclaimed Chavezist like her was alive, the revolution he initiated would continue.


In the November governor election, one of Chavez’s brothers apparently failed and its consequences, summarizing the internal struggle of Chavezism. Now, after the apparent winner in Barinas State has been retroactively disqualified, the election is scheduled to be re-elected on Sunday.


It is the first time in more than 20 years that Chavez is not included in the ballots for the Barinas special election, but the ruling Venezuelan United Socialist Party wants to attract voters to vote depends on the symbolic meaning of surnames to people.

“The socialist revolution is an emotion that hasn’t died; 41-year-old Mora said when visiting Chavez’s childhood home that it is now a museum.


Mora said that Chavez taught her that revolution represents equality. “This is a kind of socialism of love,” she said, but she can’t explain why millions of people in this South American country struggle to feed themselves on a minimum wage of $2 a month, while others can buy a coffee for $15. Shop lunch.

Chavez was elected in 1998 and promised to use the country’s oil to improve the lives of Venezuela’s poorest people. Because of the country’s oil rich mines, he expanded social services including housing and education. With the soaring oil price, the revenue generated between 1999 and 2011 is estimated to be approximately US$981 billion.

But corruption, declining oil production and economic policies led to a crisis that became apparent in 2012. Chavez died of cancer the following year after appointing Nicolas Maduro as his successor.


The country’s political, social, and economic crisis is intertwined with the plunge in oil production and prices, and continues to exist under Maduro’s surveillance. More than 5 million people have left the country, and millions more are living in poverty, facing low wages, high food prices and the worst inflation rate in the world.

The United Nations Food Aid Agency estimates that one in three Venezuelans is struggling to eat enough calories every day.

Since 2017, the votes of the ruling party have been declining. In the regional elections that year, about 6.5 million people voted for pro-government candidates. On November 21, that number dropped to about 3.7 million.


When the country’s Supreme Court disqualified him on November 29, opposition candidate Freddy Superlano was ahead of Argenis Chávez by less than 1 percentage point. The court is one of many government agencies deemed loyal to the Maduro government, but ignoring the presidential pardon has allowed Superlano and other opposition members to run.

After most of the major political movements participated in the first ballot for many years, Barinas’ actions further raised doubts about the fairness of Venezuela’s electoral system. The vote was monitored by more than 130 observers from the European Union, the United Nations and the Carter Center in the United States.

Rosa Hidalgo has a poster of Chavez’s last presidential campaign in a corner of her house. She has a close relationship with his family, and even after he became president, she has cooked for him many times. She was very grateful for the refrigerator he gave her, but she still did not vote for his brother on November 21.

For her, the revolution “maybe” is a thing of the past. She now prays for her community so that people don’t have to immigrate.

“Chávez is very good. But what happens is like if you are good, you make me responsible, and I’m not good, I messed up your party and work,” 84-year-old Hidalgo said of Maduro. Said with his team. “Maduro didn’t come to my house to ask for a vote. Maduro came because Chavez knew he was going to die. I’m not Madurista.”

This distinction is becoming more and more common.

Oscar Valles, a political analyst and professor at Caracas Metropolitan University, said that many Chavezists want to maintain some form of government-provided social project opportunities, such as boxes of subsidized food and vouchers, but they Unwilling to publicly promote Maduro’s work.

“They are ambiguous about this,” Wallace said. “They punish those Maduro officials who did not perform their duties in a certain way, so that Maduro, as a result of November 21, said that the enemies of the revolution were public officials who disobeyed (with their duties) and whose head Will scroll.”

In addition to Superlano’s disqualification, his wife who was chosen as his successor was also disqualified. The same is true of her substitutes. Sunday’s vote included opposition candidate Sergio Garrido, the opposition dissident Claudio Fermin, and former foreign minister Jorge Arreaza, supported by the United States.

When Maduro announced Areasa as the candidate for the ruling party, Hugo Chavez was repeatedly mentioned in his speech. Two large photos of him were placed in the stadium where people gathered. He and Areasa The connection is also highlighted. Arreaza is the father of one of Hugo Chávez’s grandchildren.

“Chávez will of course continue to be a mythical figure, and the whole world wants to emulate Chavezism, but the political cost of the Maduro regime is very high,” Valles said. “I think that Chavezism is getting weaker and weaker. One day, as a candidate for political office, it will even become disadvantageous if you bear (the sign of the ruling party) on your chest.”

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