Comments on the Venezuelan Presidential Election, by Peter Bohmer:

It is really important and also our responsibility that we demand the U.S. government accept the victory of Nicolas Maduro as President of Venezuela. His margin in the recent election of April 14th, 2013 was almost as big a margin as Obama in 2012 in terms of winning voting percentage.As far as I know the U.S. and Spain are the only two countries who have not accepted the results. This is interference in the internal affairs of Venezuela and unacceptable. The losing candidate, Capriles, and the right-wing in Venezuela not accepting their loss in a system where votes are counted very accurately and carefully creates a very dangerous situation. Destabilization somewhat reminiscent of the attempted 2002 coup is occurring including attacks on community media. Let us also challenge the U.S. media misrepresentation and stress the fairness of the count of the April 14th election.

That is the main issue and should be our main focus, support for the electoral process in
Venezuela and Maduro’s electoral; victory as President .

As someone who is in solidarity with the Venezuelan revolution, a secondary but important
issue is why the election was so close, especially since Maduro seemed comfortably ahead in the polls? This is not questioning his victory but the small margin, 2 percentage points. I hope that the response in Venezuela goes beyond the necessary defense of Maduro’s victory; that it extends to a serious examination of some of the ongoing problems such as corruption, clientalism, violence and major inefficiencies in some public programs. I hope there is a major and ongoing process where there is consultation with the popular classes about their criticisms and this leads as quickly as possible to the deepening of the revolution –growth of participatory democracy, popular power and socialization of the economy.

The death of President Hugo Chávez is a great loss for the people of Venezuela and to
people all over the world. U.S. imperialism and the right-wing and the rich in Venezuela
are using this period as an opportunity to intensify their efforts to destroy the development of “Socialism for the 21st Century” and turn back the advancements. The Venezuelan people no longer have Chavez to support them. My hope is that out of the tragic death of Chávez that participatory democracy and socialism from below can flower and expand and that the Maduro led government will support this transformation rather than move to the right to appease the opposition.

La lucha continua, Peter Bohmer

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