Venezuelan Opposition Wins Midterm Congressional Elections. Venezuela’s opposition, riding a wave of voter anger amid a deep economic crisis, swept to a big victory in midterm elections, delivering a major blow to the ruling Socialist party and President Nicolás Maduro.
If the opposition wins at least some of the remaining 22 races, they would get close to a supermajority, which would give them greater powers.
. . .
Three-fifths of congress—101 or more deputies—would permit the passage of powerful laws that could lead to a host of deep overhauls.
The elections board did not announce results until 12:30AM today, but by 11:00PM Caracas time last night, the PSUV already had workers dismantling the bandstand for the scheduled victory concert at Bolívar Square,
— NIMRÓD (@nimrodccs) December 7, 2015
With 75% total turnout, the opposition majority was overwhelming enough that no amount of fraud, mismanagement, and intimidation could overcome it. That said, I’m absolutely thrilled that my forecast was wrong.
President Maduro’s term runs until April 2019.However, once he is halfway into his term, from April 2016 onwards, a recall referendum could be held.
José Benegas looks at the ideology behind chavismo (in Spanish).
Some of the long-term challenges ahead:
PDVSA corruption, mismanagement, declining production.
The oil giveaways to Cuba.
Cuba’s control of the Venezuelan security apparatus.
The cartel de los soles.
Iran-Venezuela ties (including the official passports issued to members of Iran-sponsored Hezbollah).
The ruinous economic situation.
And these are just the ones that first come to mind.
The immediate challenge:
The new members to the National Assembly do not take office until January 5th. Diosdado Cabello and his goons can cause a lot of harm and mayhem in one month.
The takeaway: What takes place in Venezuela in the next month, and in the first six months of 2016 will be crucially important for our entire hemisphere.
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