With 18 governorships won in the elections of Oct. 15, 2017, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, PSUV, becomes the favorite to win the presidential election in 2018. With Chavismo's 18 regions and the support of the National Constituent Assembly, ANC, the political conditions are in place to virtually ensure the re-election of President Nicolas Maduro.
The debacle of the Venezuelan opposition started after they called for violent street protests that produced 150 dead and more than a thousand injured and wounded. They insisted on this strategy for four months and later abandoned it without apologizing to the Venezuelan people.
Then came the regional elections and the opposition signed up to participate in them after they had sworn never to leave the battle in the streets. So much incoherence, cynicism and irresponsibility was punished by hundreds of thousands of opposition supporters who were disillusioned with the opposition Democratic Unity Roundtable, MUD, and did not vote for them.
Now that the electoral battle is over, the biggest challenge of the PSUV is the economic recovery of the country and restoring the supply of food and medicines. There should be a call for dialogue with business sectors which had joined the assault against the government through the sabotage of production and the voluntary reduction of activities with the aim of causing social unrest.
Now these entrepreneurs who have witnessed their political allies in the MUD soundly defeated at the ballot box, they have the opportunity to approach the government and through a sincere relationship, contribute to the recovery of the national economy.
Likewise, on the political front, the revolutionary leadership has the opportunity to re-legitimize party authorities as ruled in Article 67 of the Constitution by means of internal elections. The next phase would be to create more spaces for interaction with those members of the rank and file who do not have an organized militancy within the PSUV itself. Such members wish to participate in the political and social tasks of the revolutionary process currently in the hands of their leaders.
For the international community, the message is clear: the people voted for peace, do not want a foreign military invasion, nor violent street protests (guarimbas), nor financial blockades, nor terrorism. It's time to launch diplomatic bridges to begin to reverse the proposed isolation of Venezuela.
Finally, we salute the democratic gesture of Maduro to immediately recognize the election results issued by the National Electoral Council, including those that were unfavorable for the PSUV, and call the new opposition governors to work together with the central government for the good of the whole country.
Dr. Jesus Silva R. is a PhD in constitutional law; a criminal lawyer; a Marxist writer and Professor of Political and International Studies at the Central University of Venezuela (UCV). He is often interviewed on TV and radio due to his sharp, succinct analyses and interpretation of events in the turbulent Venezuelan political scene. He blogs at jesusmanuelsilva.blogspot.com.
Translated from Spanish and edited by Arturo Rosales from Axis of Logic.