Keys to understanding the importance of the elections in Barinas, the Chávez fiefdom

On December 21, 2021, the questioned Venezuelan president, Nicolás Maduro, celebrated the obtaining of 19 of 23 disputed governorates in Venezuela’s electoral contest. However, one of those states where Chavismo did not win was nothing more and nothing less than Barinas.

West of Venezuela Barinas it was recognized as one of the most pro-government states in the Caribbean nation. Since Hugo Chavez came to power at the end of the 20th century, this entity has been governed by some of his relatives.

First it was his father Hugo de los Reyes, then his brothers Adán and Argenis. However, this dynasty will end next Sunday, January 9, when the Barinese population returns to the polls.

The Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) ordered the annulment of the process and the subsequent repetition by alleging that the opposition candidate Freddy superlano He was disqualified from holding popular election positions due to his alleged participation in the attempted coup against Maduro in 2019, when he was a deputy.

Although at the time of registering his candidacy, the National Electoral Council (CNE) did not veto his registration. Superlane led with 37.60% of the votes to Argenis Chavez who was seeking reelection and had 37.21% of the vote.

At that moment, members of the Plan República, made up of members of the Armed Forces, retained the voting records. “I think that the political blow that the dictatorship received in Barinas was something that was not expected”, Superlano said, interviewed by this newspaper.

“The new election is something unheard of within the very particular ones that occur in the electoral political issue in Venezuela,” declared Venezuelan political analyst Eugenio Martínez.

Superlano was disbarred, as was his wife Aurora Silva for what Sergio Garrido he was chosen as the opposing candidate. His rivals will be Maduro’s former foreign minister Jorge Arreaza the former presidential candidate Claudio Fermín, Adolfo Superlano —who was the one who filed the amparo before the Supreme Court to prevent the proclamation of the opposition— and the activist Pedro Díaz.

Martínez, an expert on electoral issues in Venezuela He pointed out to the Republic that this appointment can become an impulse for the opposition in its effort to unseat Maduro, who has governed the Caribbean nation since 2013.

“Barinas is a breeding ground, a political-electoral Frankenstein that sums up very well what Venezuela is and what can happen in a presidential election that puts Maduro’s permanence in power at risk”, stressed.

Regarding the militia role, he pointed out: “The Republic Plan took on powers that do not correspond to it, usurped functions of the electoral authority, delayed the counting of votes and took control of the voting records until the Supreme Court issued a resolution favorable to Chavismo.”

In the same vein, Superlano expressed himself in the interview the previous month. “TO Barinas All the military power has come, all the economic power, all the government power, because they know what they are playing here on January 9, ”he said.

Currently, the Venezuelan Executive has deployed in Barinas atypically. From special days of attention for pensioners to unusual deployment of the military in various corners of the state.

Martínez mentioned only some of the facts: “Constant disabling of candidates, abuse of public resources, guerrillas, drug trafficking.”

“From a geographical point of view, Barinas It is not important, but from a strategic point of view, for drug trafficking, for entry or exit routes and for movements of the Colombian guerrilla in Venezuelan territory, it has a lot of significance ”, he said.

More than 500 voting centers will be arranged by the CNE for these elections in which the stakes will be high. “This Sunday, the people are not voting for Arreaza or Garrido, the people will be voting for Maduro or against Maduro,” Martinez closed.