[News] Venezuela - President Chavez' comments on election

Anti-Imperialist News News at freedomarchives.org
Wed Dec 7 12:01:56 EST 2005

Published: Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Bylined to: <mailto:feliz.ir at granma.cip.cu>Feliz Lopez

President Chavez' comments on election: Venezuela immune to US Poison

Periodico 26 (Feliz Lopez): Venezuela awoke to a new National 
Assembly, after Sunday's nationwide vote to elect 167 legislators. 
The opposition, trailing badly in the polls, took its cue from 
Washington and withdrew from the elections in the days preceding the vote.

The boycott by the traditional political parties and other allies has 
led them to a state of non-existence.

After voting in a densely populated neighborhood on the west side of 
Caracas, President Hugo Chavez said this latest defeat of the 
opposition was possible because "Venezuelans are vaccinated against 
their poison and against attempts to sabotage the country's 
democratic process by way of boycotts or violence." He added, "We are 
structurally, mentally, spiritually and physically immunized."

Sporting their now customary battle-worn red shirts, the supporters 
of the government turned out in large numbers despite the rain, in a 
voting day that took place for the most part without incident, thanks 
to some 100,000 soldiers and reservists that guarded against sabotage.

The only exception to the calm was an act of terrorism in the state 
of Zulia on Saturday evening with an explosion on the Amuay oil 
pipeline, which was quickly brought under control. The authorities 
also found an arms cache and 46 packages of powerful C-4 plastic 
explosives at a farm in the state of Guarico.

Those that thought the boycott by six political parties would force a 
suspension of the voting were proven wrong. In fact of the 5,516 
candidates only 11% actually told their supporters to stay home.


In reacting to the impending landslide victory of Chavez' supporters, 
Tom Shannon, assistant US Secretary of State for the Western 
Hemisphere, stated to the press, "Venezuela is one step from 
totalitarianism. The President is subverting the democratic 
institutions to use them to restrict the rights of those who disagree 
with him. Democracy is in danger."
    * Venezuelan Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel denounced "The US 
embassy had advised the opposition to create an electoral vacuum in 
order to de-legitimatize the legislature and foment destabilization."

Rangel's premise was confirmed when Steve Johnson of the 
pro-Republican Heritage Foundation said from Washington: "There is no 
transparency in the Venezuelan electoral process. Participating would 
only legitimatize Chavez' victory. Not partaking will at least 
generate doubt about his victory and provoke international scrutiny."

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