You can read 19 more articles this month
VENEZUELA will bring presidential elections forward to April, the national constitutional assembly has decided.
President Nicolas Maduro’s term does not end till the beginning of next year but Diosdado Cabello, chair of the United Socialist Party (PSUV), has thrown down the gauntlet to the opposition as a sign of the government’s confidence following impressive gains in municipal elections last month.
“If the world wants to apply sanctions to us, we will apply elections,” he declared a day after the European Union aped Donald Trump’s White House in slapping sanctions on senior Venezuelan officials.
The Venezuelan people “have the right to decide their destiny and we demand respect for all our decisions,” he added.
Despite clean bills of health from international observers and an electoral system described by former US president Jimmy Carter as “the best in the world,” Venezuela’s opposition tends to cry foul after any election defeat — a chorus often taken up by the US and its allies.
Since his election in 2013, Mr Maduro’s government has been rocked by violent opposition uprisings that left 43 dead in the “guarimba” riots of 2014 and more than 120 dead last year.
Opposition bids to force a “recall referendum” that would see the president face re-election early collapsed late in 2016 after more than a third of signatures demanding one — more than 600,000 of 1.9 million, still well short of the four million required — were found to be fraudulent.
Mr Maduro told crowds yesterday that he was ready to be the PSUV candidate again. “If the working class, women, youth believe that I should be the presidential candidate, I am at their command,” he said, pledging to stand against “imperialism and the right.”
But the party has not yet selected a candidate and some have suggested other names. Mr Cabello, regarded by some as an option, appeared to throw his weight behind the sitting president on Tuesday, saying “we have only one candidate to continue with the Bolivarian revolution.
“We are going to win united, as a single unitary force to continue [Hugo] Chavez’s legacy.”
The opposition Democratic Unity Roundtable has not picked a candidate either.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.