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The facts about Venezuela’s May 20th Presidential Election

Despite a high level of election transparency, one that Jimmy Carter called “the best in the world”, the US and its allies have accused Venezuela of election fraud. Caleb Maupin breaks down how Venezuela’s electoral system really works.

by Caleb T. Maupin

Part 4 - Socialists optimistic, despite hardships

During his election campaign, Maduro touted Venezuela’s recent launching of a crypto-currency, the petro, which has raised billions of dollars for the indebted government. Maduro has called for an “economic revolution” to alter the country’s dependency on foreign-imported medicine, food, and consumer goods, which has made it vulnerable to foreign sabotage.

While many have referred to the food and medicine shortages in Venezuela as a “humanitarian crisis,” Alfred de Zayas, the UN Special Envoy who spent eight days in the country in December of 2017, disagreed. De Zayas echoed the analysis of the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), saying “the so-called humanitarian crisis does not exist in Venezuela, although there are shortages, scarcity, and distribution delays, etc.

The Venezuelan economy is centered around PDVSA, the state-controlled oil corporation that generates most of the country’s GDP and revenue. Venezuela’s economic problems began in 2014 when oil prices dramatically dropped, and remained low for the following two years.

However, oil prices are now steadily increasing, reaching above $70 per barrel, and supporters of Maduro are optimistic that Venezuela will be able to recover from the last few years of hardship.

Candidate Henri Falcon has contested the results, calling them fraudulent. The Trump administration, as well as Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), have indicated that they intend to impose new sanctions on Venezuela in response to the election, which they consider illegitimate.

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