Venezuela is holding a general election this year.
Yes, the most miserable country on Earth is again going to pretend it is a democracy.
How miserable?, you may ask.
Let Johns Hopkins economist Steve Hanke tell you,
Venezuela holds the inglorious tile of the most miserable country in 2017, as it did in both 2016 and 2015. The failures of President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist, corrupt petroleum state have been well documented over the past year, including by my measurements of Venezuela’s hyperinflation. Not only is Venezuela the most miserable country in the world, but its Misery Index score has dramatically increased since 2016.
Venezuela’s economy is nearly totally dependent on oil production, which continues to plummet.
As Maduro continues to advertise his new oil-backed cryptocurrency, PDVSA is to cut production once again after falling short of its 2017 goal. pic.twitter.com/fAywf1nKJ0
— Prof. Steve Hanke (@steve_hanke) March 1, 2018
The petro cryptocurrency is a sham,
Since certified reserves aren’t such, the petro will be, at best, another way to make opaque transactions by an already shady administration.
The people are broke,
61% of Venezuelans are now living in extreme poverty, 87% are now classed as poor. “Do you consider your family’s income enough to buy food to consume inside and outside the home?” 89.4% say “No.” Almost two out of every three poor Venezuelans are recently impoverished. pic.twitter.com/oaA99FaYG5
— Paul Canning (@pauloCanning) February 22, 2018
Mary O’Grady of the WSJ asserts that Venezuela Is Starving Its People. The Maduro regime is using its control of food to stamp out protests. Let’s also not forget the colectivos,the government-sponsored marauding motorcycle gangs,
A paramilitary group this week end in Caracas. It does not matter wether you underatand Spanish: the theatrics of violence, hate, intimidation and abuse are crystal clear.
Venezuela as the novel totalitarian state. https://t.co/XTLzRJqEsl
— daniel duquenal (@danielduquenal) February 26, 2018
Venezuela’s vice-president, Tarek El Aissami, has been tied to the Cartel of the Suns and to Islamic networks. El Aissmi was a key figure as Hugo Chávez allowed Hezbollah, Hamas and al-Qaeda to use Venezuela as a bridge to other Latin American countries. Additionally, the Maduro regime allowed the world’s largest narco-terrorist organization, Colombia’s FARC, into the country.
Earlier this year the National Constituent Assembly (ANC) called for an early presidential election, scheduled for April 22d. The National Electoral Council (CNE) now has announced it was postponed to May 20th:
Traditionally, presidential elections are held in Venezuela in December but in February the CNE announced they would be brought forward to 22 April.
The decision was widely interpreted by critics of the government as an attempt to steamroll the deeply divided opposition coalition and throw it into disarray.
. . .
It also triggered international criticism, with Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru all rejecting the early election and some countries warning that they would not recognise the result.
The US has said it would consider imposing further sanctions against the government if it went ahead with the presidential vote under what it called fraudulent conditions.
What’s left of the opposition has the option of
two different tactics: take part in the election with the only purpose of organizing demonstrations, or organize an electoral boycott.
Which means, there’s very little they can do.
I said five years ago that Chavismo will not relinquish power through democratic means. You can count on that whether the so-called election is held, or not, in April, May, or December.
Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin America at Fausta’s Blog.