After weeks of imperialist threats and opposition violence, the elections for the Constituent Assembly (ANC) in Venezuela took place on July 30th. The result was a massive turnout of over 8 million voters, around 41% of the electorate, which gave chavismo a much-needed shot in the arm. The western media reacted by trying to dispute the number and sticking even closer to the narrative being pushed by the opposition and the US State Department. With the opposition scrambling and US authorities bringing more sanctions and threats, it is now chavismo that has the political initiative. The Constituent Assembly will not solve everything by itself, but it is a tremendous opportunity to push the Bolivarian Revolution forward.
Part 4 - Lessons in democracy and international recognition
The pressure and propaganda against Venezuela in recent weeks were centred on the idea that the simple fact of these elections taking place would mean the “end of democracy” and the definitive arrival of a “dictatorship”. Often absent from these pieces is the fact that everyone could vote and anyone could stand as a candidate.
But beyond this we encounter the obvious question of why Venezuela should get lessons in democracy or electoral procedures from the likes of the United States. Intellectual Gore Vidal famously said that “There is only one party in the United States, the Property Party … and it has two right wings: Republican and Democrat.”
The fact that Brazil (!) complained about the legitimacy of this process shows that an unexpected victim of last year’s parliamentary coup, which brought Temer to power, was irony.
When it became clear that the Venezuelan government was not going to back down and the vote was going ahead, the tone changed slightly. The US, the European Union and the usual suspects (Argentina, Mexico, Colombia,…) now announced they would not recognise the election results. Here it is worth recalling a few episodes of international recognition:
– the US initially refused to recognise the results of the 2013 Venezuelan presidential election, even after it was proven beyond any doubt that Maduro was the winner.
– the US and Spain rushed to recognise Pedro Carmona’s government after the 2002 coup, even though the coup authorities dissolved all public powers.
– European countries and later the US recognised an unelected body, chosen by delegates appointed by the various sponsors of the Syrian war, and operating in Turkey, as “the legitimate representative of the Syrian people”. This body would later be consigned to irrelevance.
To these we could add a multitude of leaders who came to power following bloody or back-door coups, from Pinochet to Temer, and never had any trouble being “recognised”. The Israeli apartheid regime has no issues in terms of recognition despite its permanent history of crimes and ethnic cleansing. So there is hardly any correlation between legitimacy and recognition from the US and its followers.
Source, links, references: