US Communists on Venezuelan Elections

From the Communist Party USA’s People’s Weekly World

CARACAS, Venezuela — When Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez trounced his U.S.-backed opponent to win a second six-year term on Dec. 3, we were there.

The alarm went off at 2:45 a.m. It was election day, and it was time to head to the polls. We were 16 labor and peace activists from the United States, including a six-member delegation from the Communist Party USA, who were among the hundreds of official and unofficial international observers of Venezuela’s presidential election. Tim Yeager from Illinois and I had volunteered for the early shift.

By the time we left at 5 a.m., well over a thousand people were already in line. Why did they arrive so early? Alirio Jose Perez, directly in front of Segura, said it was because under Chavez a “democratization of Venezuelan life, along with mass education and health campaigns, has given people a stake in their country.”

As we talked, a flatbed truck full of youthful members of the Communist Party of Venezuela, with their party flags flying, drove by. Their calls for the election of Chavez were met with spontaneous cheers from the crowd. The Communist Party had its own line on the ballot with Chavez as its presidential candidate. We later learned that in Caracas the CPV was the third largest vote-getter, and in the nation it was fourth. Chavez’s name appeared on the ballot of at least 23 parties.

The polling station where we were, near the Bellas Artes Metro station, is one of the largest polling places in the city. Altogether, it was expected that over 12,000 people would vote there.

“We are at a special point in the history of Venezuela,” said Daniel Leonard, a bank worker who was about 100th in line. “This election will change the history of Venezuela and all of Latin America. The missions [social service agencies initiated by the Bolivarian government that work to meet people’s needs such as education and health care] benefit all of the people and they have changed people’s thinking,” Leonard said. He added, “The oil wealth of the country is now being used for the people.”

Our delegation spent the day studying the mechanics of democracy in Venezuela. We familiarized ourselves with every point of their electoral process. As evening came, the polls closed one by one as the lined-up voters completed their task.

We rejoined Roraima Segura and her family as they settled around the television to watch the results. As soon as the election commission announced Chavez’s landslide victory, 61 percent to 38 percent, the day’s general merriment reached an ecstatic climax. From Segura’s window, we watched fireworks going off all over town and listened to the horns honking and the whistles of celebrants on the rainy streets below.

The discipline of the Venezuelan people in exercising their hard-won voting rights is more than impressive, and their enthusiasm is irresistible. Amid bugle calls and rumba music, the Bolivarian Revolution is advancing steadily.


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10 thoughts on “US Communists on Venezuelan Elections

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  3. ‘No-one, unless they get a 100% mandate has the right to impose Marxism-Leninism on a country.’

    Ah! Hence your refusal to accept the democratic decision of the Vneezuelan people and your call for the violent overthrow of Chavez? I suppose the same 100% proviso holds for Act’s programme of unfettered capitalism, in which case you’ve got a rather long way to go…

  4. Unbelievable logic anon.

    I single out Chavez because he is a self proclaimed communist who allies himself with some of the worst butchers and tyrants on the planet.

    The NZ left generally opposes Mugabe, but supports Chavez.

    Yet Chavez supports Mugabe and Mugabe supports Chavez.

    Can you spot the problem here anon?

    The same principle applies to Hu Jintao and Ahmadinejad.

    If Chavez was some tin pot dictator only intent on tyrannising Venezuela I’d give him a lot less space.

    Unfortunately he is a committed Marxist-Leninist, working with Castro to socialise an entire continent. That’s 255 million people potentially enslaved, let alone the implications for the rest of the planet.

    I have no opinion on what Venezuela was like before Chavez, but I do know that if he is allowed to continue he will destroy that country.

    The “old elite” arguement is a red herring anon. Nor does the majority arguement wash with me.

    No-one, unless they get a 100% mandate has the right to impose Marxism-Leninism on a country.

    You also didn’t address the bit where Chavez held up Belarus as his model society.

    Is it your “model society” anon?

    BTW where’s Cameron?

  5. Uh huh. The Iraqi Communist Party backs the US occupation of their country, and had Ministers in the frist government the US set up. Does that mean you think Iraq is communist? Look at the politics of the PCV. They’re social democrats, far less militant than the vast majority of Fifht Republic Movement members. Infinitely less militant than the UNT leadershiop, which is Trotskyist. Have you read anything about Venezuela apart from the stuff on sensationalist blogs like this one? Here’s a challenge: name three states in the country, two cities other than Caracas, and two Presidents before Chavez. Can’t do it? Hit the shelves and get back to us when you’ve learnt something…

  6. I just can’t really simply believe how blind the Chavistas really are. Yet they would pound and pound how former Bush supporters like me are like that way with Bush’s policies. Even though I can prove to how Bush is surrounding himself with people who are promoting appeasement in Iraq, Afghanistan and of course with the North Korean nuke crisis and even in Iran.

    The real blind people are the Chavistas who don’t give a damn if Chavez is totalitarian. Somehow the analogy of lemmings running off the cliff remind me of the blind Chavistas.

  7. Knock off the Chavez-apologist attitude already. Chavez is being backed openly by the local Communist party of Venezuela to which Communism is hardly a promoter of a free society. Chavez is cummy with the dictatorship of Belarus, with the one in Russia, China, Iran and elsewhere in the world.

    You’re just like all of those blind people who state how the holocaust isn’t real or deny how Putin somehow benefits from the death of the late KGB-FSB defector. This pathetic pandering to a clear case of someone being backed by a totalitarian movement is just simply childish.

  8. Take a deep breath and ask yourself: was Venezuela a prosperous democracy when half of the people lived in poverty and the two dominant parties (by virtue of the ‘Punto Fijo’ pact) agreed to squelch all political alternatives by any means necessary? This is the Venezuela Daniel over at VNV pines for. If the last eight years are any clue, most Venezuelans don’t feel the same way.

    Face it: the core of opposition to Chavez is formed by the Venezuelan eocnomic elite. They still live in their high-rise apartments and shop for Gucci bags with the same gusto they always did. What rights of theirs are being violated? I can’t think of any, unless they consider unfettered access to Venezuela’s oil wealth their ‘right’, which many of them do.

    If Chavez is trying to clamp down on his opposition, he’s doing a lousy job. Venezuela is replete with opposition newspapers, TV shows, and radio shows, not to mention those massive rallies for his opponent. They operate in public without fear; why doesn’t Big Bad Chavez do something about that?

    His public persona can be tacky and his rhetoric inelegant, but he has so far not said or done much which most of the world would ocnsider controversial. Why single him out for special treatment?

  9. Of course the Commies in the U.S. support Chavez. The Communist Party of Venezuela endorses his regime along with the Communist front International ANSWER which was at an event hosted by Chavez.

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