Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro gave a press conference to international media on Tuesday, December 8 to discuss the parliamentary elections held last Sunday. During the press conference, which Peoples Dispatch participated in, Maduro discussed the electoral process wherein the alliance led by his party PSUV (United Socialist Party of Venezuela) won 68%.
In the press conference, Maduro celebrated the outcome of the elections, stating that beyond the electoral victory of PSUV, they marked a victory of the Venezuelan people who not only took part peacefully but also voted to constitute a plural and diverse National Assembly which truly represents the interests of the Venezuelan people. He highlighted that “the big takeaway of December 6 is that despite everything, [Venezuela] was able to carry out elections in peace and we are in peace today.”
“We have fulfilled our goal to peacefully take back the National Assembly with the popular vote, today I can say that in Venezuela a new National Assembly has been created in accordance with the constitution and the law,” declared Maduro, “This is the irrefutable truth…that on January 5, Venezuela will install a new National Assembly.”
Sunday’s elections saw the participation of around 31% of the electorate. While the Great Patriotic Pole, the PSUV-led alliance, won 68% of the votes, the opposition Democratic Alliance won 17.5%, and other smaller opposition alliances took the remaining 14% percent.
Maduro highlighted the adverse conditions within which these elections took place, focusing on the violent destabilization efforts by the far right, constant aggression from the US, the media war, and the attacks by the president of the neighboring Colombia.
Bloodbath planned by far-right stopped by government’s ‘Plan 76’
The constitutional president of Venezuela revealed during the press conference that the government received intelligence about plans by the far-right and the US government to carry out acts of sabotage and violence to impede the elections. The secondary goal of this plan was to give support to Donald Trump’s run in the US presidential elections “so he could talk about his success against the ‘regime’ in Venezuela,” Maduro explained.
The president stated that they had been informed that a ‘Red October’ was being planned by the extremist opposition to fill the country with violence, death and blood before the elections, and that these actors “were injected with a huge amount of dollars to carry out this plan.”
In response to this, Maduro ordered the execution of Plan 76 in order to dismantle the plan, which he called a “victorious and a complete success to guarantee stability, peace, and harmony and the carrying out of elections on Sunday December 6.”
It was also revealed that one of the aspects of this plan was to carry out an assassination attempt against the president on the day of elections and as such the president changed his polling station which is usually in the 23 de enero neighborhood where Chávez historically voted.
“You couldn’t do it, Donald Trump. You could not even win the elections in the US using Venezuela as an issue, and you were not able to sabotage and fill our country with violence,” Maduro said, declaring“peace prevailed.”
US continues with the Monroe Doctrine
Ahead of the parliamentary elections in Venezuela, the US government was one of several imperialist countries that issued statements condemning the electoral process and alleging fraud despite there being no evidence. For Maduro, this delegitimizing of the electoral process in the sovereign country is part of the Trump policy towards Venezuela which seeks to install a government that responds to its hegemonic interests. This was part of the belief that “they could decide to name another president, and the Venezuelan people would obey them as if they were a colony,” Maduro commented.
This imperialist aggression has been constant since 1998 when Hugo Chávez was elected as president and the country began the process today known as the Bolivarian Revolution which has sought to use Venezuela’s vast natural resource wealth to support social programs and simultaneously build a model of direct, participatory democracy to eventually transfer power to the people. Imperialism has not forgiven Venezuelan for forging this alternative path.
Maduro noted that “the empires of the world have tried to recolonize our country. They wage a multifactorial, non-conventional war against us to impede the emergence and consolidation in Venezuela of an alternative model to dominant capitalism, to neoliberalism, to neocolonialism, a new independent model emerges that can build a new social model, socialism of the 21st century, that can build a new comprehensive economic model, new forms of direct, participatory democracy. However, they have not been able to [beat us] and they will never be able to.”
These attacks have intensified during the last four years under the Trump administration, wherein the full economic, financial and political blockade of Venezuela has been consolidated. In this sense, many questions have been raised about what will happen with Venezuela when Joe Biden and Kamala Harris take office and if a new position and strategy will be taken on both sides.
The Venezuelan President responded that even with the Trump administration, his government was always open to dialogue and cooperation. He told members of the press that in September 2018 Venezuela this dialogue was close to materializing but that the establishment did not allow it. With the incoming administration, Maduro stated that he hopes that they “see Latin America and the Caribbean with new eyes” and will abandon the Monroe Doctrine that has governed US policy towards Venezuela and will be open to dialogue with the country. He expressed hope that the Trump administration will not escalate any actions before the end of his term.