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venezuela election violence 2013 04 16

Supporters of Venezuelan opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles throw stones during a clash with police in Caracas on April 15. (Leo Ramirez/AFP/Getty Images)

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General Secretary of the Unity Labour Party, Sen. Julian Francis. (File photos)
General Secretary of the Unity Labour Party, Sen. Julian Francis. (File photos)

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, April 17, IWN – The general secretary of the ruling Unity Labour Party (ULP) has congratulated Nicolas Maduro on his election as president of Venezuela and sought to defang local critics of the razor-thin victory.

At least seven people were killed and 61 were injured in post-election violence across Venezuela, state media reported Tuesday.

Violence erupted in Venezuela after authorities rejected opposition candidate Henrique Capriles’ demands for a presidential election recount.

Capriles has said that he won the election on Sunday, but officials have said that Maduro, whom Hugo Chavez handpicked to succeed him before he died last month, won the vote.

Maduro won the election with 50.8 per cent of the ballots to Capriles’ 49 per cent.

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And Sen. Julian Francis of the ULP, speaking on his weekly radio programme on Tuesday, noted that Maduro’s “results are not as dazzling as those of Chavez”.

Chavez was re-elected last October by 10 percentage points over Capriles.

“… but while Maduro did not do that to that extent, he won the elections. He is the elected president of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela,” Francis said, as he extended congratulations on behalf of the ULP and government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The ULP government, led by Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, maintained warm ties with the Chavez government, which the opposition New Democratic Party has criticised as autocratic.

Nicolas Maduro, a protege of former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, narrowly won election on Sunday. (Reuters)
Nicolas Maduro, a protege of former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, narrowly won election on Sunday. (Reuters)

The NDP, led by Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace, has accused Caracas of dragging Kingstown into its ideological war with Washington.

Kingstown and other capitals across the Caribbean and Latin America have benefitted from oil and other initiatives in Caracas, instituted by Chavez.

Capriles had vowed to discontinue the Chavez initiatives.

Francis said the ULP was pleased with the outcome of the election.

“We are, naturally, very happy that Nicolas Maduro has won the elections, which means it keeps the party of President Chavez in government in Venezuela much to the — I don’t want to say the wrong word. I better put it the other way. I am sure that the NDP is not very pleased with the results of the elections in Venezuela,” Francis said.

“I haven’t heard anything from them; but, I am sure that silently, in their hearts, they were hoping and wishing that Capriles will win the election,” Francis further stated, noting that Venezuela’s constitution allows Maduro a six-year term as president.

“We are all mortal and all sorts of things can happen, but we go, basically, on the election,” Francis said.

Responding to critics

Opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles talks to journalists after official results of the presidential elections were announced in Caracas, Venezuela. Capriles is refusing to accept the results of Sunday’s presidential election and is demanding a recount. Fernando Llano / AP
Opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles talks to journalists after official results of the presidential elections were announced in Caracas, Venezuela. Capriles is refusing to accept the results of Sunday’s presidential election and is demanding a recount.
Fernando Llano / AP

“I know there are a lot of people who say he just scraped through. … The margin, by popular vote, is 272, 865. … So, he won by just under 300,000 votes. That is about three times the population of St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” Francis noted.

He mentioned that 79.8 per cent of the 18.9 million people registered to vote in Venezuela cast ballots.

“… the most powerful president of any nation in the world is supposed to be the president of the United States,” Francis said, adding that in 2000, George W. Bush won the election with a minority of the popular vote.

“Their system is a little different from ours, different from Venezuela’s,” Francis said of the United States, where the person who wins the Electoral College, rather than the popular vote, becomes president.

He added that Bush won in 2004 with 50.73 per cent of the popular votes.

“That is the margin by which he won and became the most powerful president. So, for those who want to decry the victory of Nicolas Maduro, I want to give you those figures.”

He further added that Barack Obama became president of the United States in 2008 having won 52.8 per cent of the popular votes and by 50.9 per cent of the votes in 2012.

“That is basically 0.1 per cent more than Maduro,” Francis said of Obama’s second victory.

“I just want to throw those figures out, because I know you are going to hear this kind of talk and I just want to make sure that when we talk, we know what we are saying. So, I just wanted to prep you as to how things are going.

“President Chavez, there are not many like him. In fact, I am not sure that is another one like him. But, like the NDP here in St. Vincent when we won in 2010, they want to mash up the country,” Francis said of the protest in Venezuela,

In 2010, the ULP won by the narrowest –one-seat — majority.

“They want to bring down the government. They are not conceding. Same thing with Capriles in Venezuela. He ain’t conceding. He wants an audit of the election. Well, Maduro said fine. You want an audit of the election? Go right ahead. I don’t have a problem with an audit,” Francis said, adding that there had been talk that the audit of the results was incomplete.

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9 replies on “ULP attempts to defang critics of Venezuela election results”

  1. Who are the ULP CRITICS?

    Oh yeah, it is the RABBLE ROUSING SUPPORTERS of the NDP and the DETRACTORS of Dr. Ralph Gonsalves.

    Who is the PRESIDENT of VENEZUELA?

    Oh yeah, it is the man that was HANDPICKED by CHAVEZ to SUCCEED him.

    Who is the OPPOSITION LEADER of SVG?

    Oh yeah, it is the MAN who was HANDPICKED by James Mitchell to SUCCEED him.

    The HANDPICKED SUCCESSOR of James Mitchell has been a MAJOR DISAPPOINTMENT since he has been a LEADER of the NDP, because he has LED his PARTY to three CONSECUTIVE DEFEATS at the POLLS. Moreover, he will LOSE for a FOURTH CONSECUTIVE TERM if he is the LEADER of the NDP when this BLESSED NATION goes to the POLLS in 2015.

    That is what the CRITICS of the ULP should be FOCUSING on.

  2. Tell the people about the extreme poverty that still prevails in Venezuela, how the Chavez family hold most of the countries top positions and live in mansions and palaces. Tell us about how inflation is running at about 25%.

    Poverty figures that show decrease in poverty massaged government figures to fool the people.

    Tell us about food shortages, created by the Hugo Chavez policies. Butchers who no longer sell beef, only chicken. Food prices doubling almost every year.

    The growing problem of food shortages in Venezuela has become a real point of discussion. Go to any supermarket or small shop and people are talking about it, complaining that they can’t buy what they need and sharing anecdotes about how expensive products have become.

    Chavez pushed his country into a perilous food war that has seen prices rocket amid shortages and scandal over shipments left rotting at the docks.
    The result has been an economic catastrophe in Venezuela, the only Latin American economy in recession. Inflation leapt to 21 per cent in May as food prices rose 41 per cent over the level of a year ago. Soldiers have been deployed to raid private homes for food stores. Long lines regularly form on streets for basic commodities.

    Tell us about the necessity to devalue the Boliva currency, how it has been devalued by 30% recently.

    Since 1983, the country has suffered 10 massive devaluations. Seven were announced during the carnival holidays. It happened again recently, when the Chavez government announced a devaluation of more than 30 per cent against the US dollar. This means that during Hugo Chávez’s presidency, the bolivar has been devalued by 992 per cent.

    The imperative to devalue was driven by a combination of bad policies and ideological necrophilia: love for ideas that should be long dead, and have been tried before with disastrous consequences.

    Consider the legacy of the devaluation of the bolivar since Mr Chávez came to power in 1999. Easy credit and public spending has fuelled booming demand, while state controls have choked supply. In 2012 alone the money supply expanded 62 per cent, while public spending grew 52 per cent. Meanwhile, controls on prices, imports, foreign exchange and interest rates ensured that supply fell behind demand. The result is one of the world’s highest inflation rates – currently more than 20 per cent and set to rise higher.

    Tell us about all the companies and business’s that were nationalised and confiscated.

    Ideological zealotry and a penchant for grabbing private companies and putting them in the hands of inept or corrupt political operatives has also destroyed what was left of the export capacity of the country. Of the $100bn of Venezuelan exports a year, only 3 per cent are non-oil products – and the bulk of these are from state-owned companies. That is why this devaluation will not boost exports. Even with a more competitive exchange rate there is virtually no export capacity left.

    Tell us about the billions and billions of Us dollars that Chavez is spending on new arms and ammunitions, submarines, missiles, fighter jets etc from Russia.

    Venezuela’s arms spending has climbed to more than $4 billion through the past two years, transforming the nation into Latin America’s largest weapons buyer and placing it ahead of other major purchasers in international arms markets like Pakistan and Iran.

    Venezuelan military and government officials say the arms acquisitions, which include dozens of fighter jets and attack helicopters and 100,000 Kalashnikov assault rifles, are needed to circumvent a ban by the United States on sales of American weapons to the country.

    Tell us about the murder rate in Venezuela, 22,000 recorded last year 2012, until the authorities stopped publishing the statistics, now no one is able to say what the murder rate really is.

    Venezuela’s murder rate has soared since Chavez took office in 1999, growing from 4,450 murders in 1998 to 25,000 in 2011.

  3. FRANCIS, if you love Venezuela so much, take your cousin and go and live in Venezuela. If you leave soon, you will be allowed to take your accumulated wealth, later may prove to be more difficult.

    Forget your dreams of Miami that you once discussed with me, you will not be able to cope with the judicial proceedings there.

    Venezuela, Cuba, or the North Korean or Iranian camps where they have bathing in the fuel rod ponds are your best choice.

    If you remain in SVG, your choice of location may be very limited.

  4. I hope the new Venezuelan president will deliver what the previous one promised. It’s a long time ago, but I think he promised to help with the airport. Let’s see if he will deliver.


    The WISE PEOPLE of SVG have already DEMONSTRATED that they do not want Eustace and the NDP to GOVERN this country, which is why they have VOTED in 3 SUCCESSIVE general elections to KEEP them in OPPOSITION.

    As a MATTER of FACT, at the rate Eustace is going, he might not be the LEADER of the NDP come 2015.

  6. Well some Vincentians are stupid, including the ULP’s top collaborator and supporter of state terrorism against the Vincentian people. I am talking about VINCYSTINKERPOWA.
    See comments following article

    Election fraud is the only thing that has kept the ULP in government for three terms.

  7. VINCYCOTTAGINGPOWA, I just love it when you make such silly comments. The damage you inflict on the ULP every time you do so is immeasurable. You really are a jerk.

    See you around you ignorant boy.

Comments are closed.