On Monday, May 20, a mobilization was held in Caracas to celebrate one year anniversary of the re-election of President Nicolás Maduro.
Despite demanding early presidential elections since 2017, several opposition parties, including Voluntad Popular and Primero Justicia decided to boycott the elections and abstain from participation. The elections proceeded with the participation of three opposition candidates, including Henri Falcón, the leading contender and former campaign manager for opposition leader Henrique Capriles. Falcón faced threats of sanctions against him from the United States for participating in the elections which other opposition parties had decided to boycott.
Even with the boycott, the elections counted with a 46% voter turnout and resulted in victory for Nicolás Maduro with 68% of the vote. Maduro’s votes amounted to around 31% of the electoral roll, which is on par with elections in the United States and other Latin American countries.
The elections were declared free of irregularities by the Council of Electoral Experts of Latin America (CEELA) as well as observation missions and journalists from different parts of the world. None of the participating parties disputed the results. Opposition parties who boycotted the contest, the United States and allied countries, however, have repeatedly referred to this electoral process as illegitimate, using it as justification for devastating economic sanctions, threats of military intervention and Guaido’s self-proclamation as “interim president” in January.
Those present in the mobilization in Caracas affirmed that the anniversary of elections was “not a celebration to congratulate the President” for having won, but rather a celebration of the survival of Chavismo against all odds.
Video provided by Javier Gómez.