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martedì 29 maggio 2018

Venezuela: Maduro isolated from abstention

With the participation of only 32% of those entitled to vote, the Venezuelan electoral competition sanctions Maduro's internal weakness. Because of the lack of democratic guarantees and the continued violation of civil rights, the international community had considered, even before they were carried out, the result that would have come out of the polls, but the high abstention creates a real delegitimization of the announced victory of Maduro and, going further, it resizes the figure. What emerges is a country even more divided, since, in addition to the distance with political opponents, there is also a separation within the ruling party. This was due to the removal of the party's number two, due to an attempt to weaken the leadership of Maduro. What ensued was a lower mobilization of party structures, which contributed significantly to abstention. If the official result communicated by the National Electoral Center speaks of 6.2 million votes attributed to Maduro, the reality speaks of a result under 4 million, a value between 3.5 and 3.8 million); the distance between the true votes and the false ones would be over two million: a figure that is repeated until the 2012 elections with Chavez and that continued with the election of Maduro in 2013. To increase the gravity of the situation there is a comparison with the number of people in the families assisted by the regime, a quota of about 10.8 million possible voters; this great difference seems to be due to the obstructionism of the party's number two, in open dissent with Maduro. The problem of internal dissent is a question that Maduro intended to solve with a purge within the party, begun with the removal of the number two, the one who would have led the abstention in the elections. The large number of non-voters points out that Maduro's leadership within the party is far from solid; on the other hand the economic, social and even health condition of the country has cracked the consensus towards the president of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. For Maduro, such a level of opposition within his movement is an aspect of novelty, which does not allow to foresee how he intends to manage this scenario. A short-term forecast could be to temporize and seek an agreement with the faction of the number two; in this regard it will be interesting to see if there will be government offices for this part of the party: in this case, Maduro could choose not to carry out internal cleansing, but this could mean its extreme weakness, a signal that could suggest the beginning of the decline of the president of the country. Indirect help could however come from the US Treasury Department's OFAC, which indicated several members of the Maduro party to form a criminal network of corruption, drug trafficking and money laundering. Although on this list there are characters close to Maduro, like his wife, the American signal could provide the excuse to exclude uncomfortable components from the party. The situation remains very serious, because it highlights a drift in the country that presents a scenario against all against: divided opposition and not able to make a common front against the regime, unable to exploit even the internal divisions of the party in power, divisions that, however, they aggravate the general picture and increase the instability of the country, already severely tested by a long period of economic crisis, which is reflected in the scarcity of foodstuffs and a serious health situation, in a context where delinquency has come to be unsustainable.

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