(A news article featured in En Marcha #1596 (October 12-18), organ of the Central Committee of the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of Ecuador)
The announcement of the National Electoral Council (CNE) of Venezuela confirming the victory of Hugo Chavez, with more than 54% of the votes over the candidate of the right and the oligarchy, showed the popular support that the project led by the Bolivarian President enjoyed.
This no doubt was an election between two diametrically opposed government programs; that of Hugo Chavez, which focuses on the role of the State as regulator of the means of production and consumption; investment in social programs; a greater popular participation in public institutions; Latin American integration; the driving force for free health care and education programs; for housing; and, what disturbs the right most: state control of oil production. On the other extreme, Henrique Capriles, although he says he is in accord with the right of the popular sectors to better living conditions, does not deny that he represents the Venezuelan oligarchy that yearns to regain control of the public enterprises through their privatization and, therefore, does not deny that they oppose many of the social programs of the present government. It is also in favor of private, national and foreign capital resuming control of the Venezuelan economy.
James Petras, a respected political analyst is clear in pointing out this antagonism: “Chavez is with Latin America, he is opposed to U.S. imperialism where it shows itself and is an unconditional defender of self-determination and Latin American integration.” Capriles Radonski is in favor of free trade agreements with the U.S., he opposes regional integration, he supports the U.S. interventions in the Middle East and is a staunch defender of Israel.” And that difference is what the Venezuelan people have evaluated.
With this result the right has not been defeated. With the power that it maintains over the banks and the media, they managed to convince a large sector to support their openly neoliberal thesis. According to the first report of the CNE, with 90% of the votes counted, Chavez obtained 7,440,082 (54.4%) and Capriles Radonski, 6,151,544 votes (45%).
With Chavez’s victory, the popular sectors have won, those millions who benefit from the programs and missions that allow them to live a dignified life. The thesis of the neoliberal and privatizing oligarchy, of the banks, of transnational oil and gas corporations that yearn to go back to the past of opulence and corruption was defeated together with the U.S. Embassy and the United States Department of State.