Extreme Right of Opposition “Planning a Boycott” of Elections, Says Venezuela’s Chávez

President Hugo Chávez said yesterday that he has become aware of a “hidden” plan by the extreme right of the opposition to “boycott” or not recognise the results of the 7 October presidential elections.

By Tamara Pearson

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President Hugo Chávez speaking on public television yesterday via telephone (VTV).
President Hugo Chávez speaking on public television yesterday via telephone (VTV).
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Mérida, June 19th 2012 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – President Hugo Chávez said yesterday that he has become aware of a “hidden” plan by the extreme right of the opposition to “boycott” or not recognise the results of the 7 October presidential elections.

Speaking by phone on public television, he said the government is “ready to respond with a lot of vigour” to any “threat to the independence of Venezuela”.

“If [the opposition] take that path, they’ll regret it, we’ll respond with a lot of vigour, defending the socialist revolution, like we did on the 11 April [2002] and after the oil sabotage. That would be our response... we would go out on to the street, the countryside, we’re ready to defend democracy, institutionalism, and the peace of the country,” Chávez said.

He didn’t provide many details regarding the “threat,” but said the opposition had been systematically “attacking” the National Electoral Council (CNE) and the national army in order to “discredit the [electoral] system” and not accept the results come 7 October.

Chávez has publically stated on several occasions that he would respect the results of the presidential elections, but so far the opposition has not done so.

He warned that the opposition would try to “generate serious acts of violence” in order to “apply the formula” of the UN, of NATO and U.S. intervention, “of the imperialist forces” in Venezuela.

He also said that although Henrique Capriles, the opposition candidate, is “desperate” and campaigning before the electoral law allows it, he remains around 20 percentage points behind Chávez in the polls. Legally, electoral campaigning may commence on 1 July.

A recent poll by survey company GISXXI, which is generally seen to be supportive of the government, found that 63% of the Venezuelan population rate Chávez’s management as good or very good. 60% of the 2,500 people surveyed also felt that if Chávez wasn’t in power the social missions would be shut down.

“[The opposition] are in campaign mode, they are always campaigning. Who knows where they get the money... we’re not campaigning, we’re relaxed and not nervous... because we have a program, ideas, our national debate,” Chávez stated. The PSUV held one of its semi-regular “one day’s earnings for the revolution” campaigns yesterday, raising Bs 8.7 million (US$ 2.02 million) according to PSUV leader Yelitze Santaella. Donations can be made until the end of the month.

Chávez has also refused to debate Capriles, arguing that the opposition leader “doesn’t have serious proposals to discuss... a debate would make me ashamed because there isn’t anything there ... to debate, there are no ideas”.

“We’re going to win with a knockout because we have real leadership, the opposition doesn’t have that, it’s a sack full of snakes and scorpions,” he concluded, arguing that the rightwing, convinced of their defeat, are now “only thinking about their own candidacies” for mayors or governors. The regional elections will be held a few months after the presidential ones, in December this year.

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