On Sunday, Venezuelans voted. They did so for the 19th time since Chavez took office in February 1999.
They elected municipal mayors and other local officials. Nearly 2,800 positions were up for grabs. Ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) candidates registered impressive victories.
In Caracas' Bolivar Square, President Nicolas Maduro triumphantly told assembled supporters:
"Mission accomplished, Comandante Chavez!"
"The Venezuelan people have told the world that (his) Bolivarian Revolution continues with even more force."
"They underestimate(d) us," he said. "They call(ed) me a donkey. There is social racism. They said (Sunday) was a plebiscite, that Maduro would have to leave the presidency after today."
He urged opposition leader Henrique Capriles to resign. Washington supports him. Generous funding is provided.
He wants Bolivarian destroyed. He wants Venezuela returned to its bad old day. He wants corporate rights replacing popular ones.
Venezuelans have other ideas. Bolivarianism is too important to lose.
With 97% of votes counted, results were as follows. Turnout was 58.92%.
Results for 77% of mayoralties showed PSUV candidates and allies winning 196 of 257 positions. Opposition Roundtable Democratic Unity (MUD) won 53. Other parties won eight.
PSUV and allied candidates won 49.24% of the overall vote. MUD won 42.72%. In America, a 6.5% spread reflects a landslide.
PSUV's Jorge Rodriguez was reelected central Libertador municipality of Caracas mayor. He had an impressive 54.55% majority.
MUD candidates took Maracaibo and Valencia. They're Venezuela's second and third largest cities.
Venezuela has 23 states. Results in 20 show PSUV winning 12 state capitals against MUD's eight.
MUD candidate Antonio Ledezma narrowly won the Metropolitan Caracas mayoralty. His margin was 50.81%.
Results in Venezuela's 20 main municipalities were as follows:
Libertador Municipality, (Caracas). PSUV: 54.55%
Metropolitan Caracas. MUD: 50.81%
San Fernando de Apure Municipality, Apure state. PSUV: 65%
Barinas Municipality, Barinas state. MUD: 54.45%
Perez Municipality, Bolivar state. PSUV: 46.06%
Girardot Municipality, Aragua state. PSUV: 51.53%
Valencia Municipality, Carabobo state. MUD: 55.87%
Ezequiel Zamora Municipality, Cojedes state. PSUV: 54.62%
Tucupita Municipality, Delta Amacuro state. PSUV: 54.07%
Iribarren Municipality, Lara state. MUD: 53.12%
Libertador Municipality, Merida state. MUD: 63.38%
Guaicaipuro Municipality, Miranda state. PSUV: 51.93%
Arismendi Municipality, Nueva Esparta state. MUD: 48.62%
Guanare Municipality, Portuguesa state. PSUV: 70.43%.
Sucre Municipality, Sucre. PSUV: 54.39%.
San Cristobal Municipality, Tachira state. MUD: 67.86%.
Trujillo Municipality, Trujillo state. PSUV: 53.44%.
San Felipe Municipality, Yaracuy state. PSUV: 49.55%.
Vargas Municipality, Vargas state. PSUV: 53.72%.
Maracaibo Municipality, Zulia state. MUD: 51.8%.
Maduro voted in Catia. It's a Caracas working-class neighborhood. Rafael Batista is a 55-year old accountant. He perhaps spoke for others, saying:
"They're challenging our president. But we'll show them and the world, in an undeniable way, that we the people are the majority."
Western media strongly oppose Bolivarian principles. They favor corporate rights over popular ones. It's longstanding policy.
It showed in years of Chavez bashing. It's Maduro's turn. Mixed headlines followed Sunday's vote.
The New York Times headlined "Venezuelan Mayoral Votes Show No Big Power Shift."
On Sunday, Venezuelans voted for 337 mayoralties. The Times largely ignored nearly 2,500 other positions up for grabs. One nine-word sentence alone mentioned them well into its report.
It called Venezuela "deeply divided." Sunday showed popular Bolivarian support. With tongue in cheek perhaps, it said "(o)pposition leaders cast the election as a referendum on Mr. Maduro's government but were frustrated in their hope to win a majority of votes nationwide."
At the same time, it said "government resources (favored) ruling party's candidates."
Private interests dominate Venezuela's media. They're overwhelmingly anti-Bolivarian. They went all out to promote opposition candidates. PSUV ones got short shrift. Don't expect Times' reports to explain.
London's Financial Times and America's Wall Street Journal featured polar opposite headlines.
FT's was "Venezuela poll cements ruling of Hugo Chavez successor." Sunday was Maduro's "first electoral test," it said. He didn't disappoint supporters.
"(I)n recent weeks (he) gain(ed) popularity" for cracking down on profiteers. "The election results appear to demonstrate his moves have been successful."
One PSUV supporter was quoted saying:
"At last he is doing what needed to be done. (He's) finally showing he can be tougher than Chavez, and that he will surely go tougher. Rest assured, he has all our support - all the way."
Wall Street Journal editors headlined "Venezuelan Vote Reflects Deep Divide."
Maduro allies won a majority, they said. He "ceded some ground to political rivals. (It) underscored the divisions the socialist leader will need to navigate amid a challenging economic outlook."
Local consultancy Econometrica director Henkel Garcia was quoted saying:
"There's no clear winner. Either side can say that the result favors them. Sadly, I think this means we are going to have more measures like we've seen in the last weeks, with more radicalization and more control."
Journal editors didn't explain. Nor did Garcia. Maduro targeted price-gouging profiteers. He did so responsibly. He's waging economic war for justice.
He wants all Venezuelans treated fairly. He's got strong National Assembly support to do so. One PSUV voter said "(t)here's an economic war here."
Now "you (can) buy a fridge, or a washing machine without spending a fortune. The president is helping the people." Millions of other Venezuelans feel the same way.
London's Guardian headlined "Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro cements power with victory in local elections."
His "party thwart(ed) opposition hopes of denting (his) power in what it called a referendum on his performance."
Venezuelans didn't buy it. They're wise enough to know good policies from bad ones.
Local pollster Luis Vincente Leon said opposition leader Henrique Capriles failed to "achieve (his) objective of a protest vote against Maduro." Bolivarianism prevailed.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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