The 6 keys to understanding the regional elections in Venezuela

Citizens in Venezuela will once again exercise their right to vote and this time it will be in the next regional elections scheduled for this Sunday, November 21. The process will have observers from the European Union after 15 years of absence from international missions. The opposition to the Government of Nicolás Maduro will participate in the contest, something it has not done since 2018.

At least 21 million Venezuelans are called to the polls to choose in the elections. This process has been fraught with controversy because it has generated divided opinions.

There has also been a disproportionate campaign by Chavismo with resources from the Venezuelan State against a divided opposition in a country that is hit by the lack of gasoline, insecurity, hyperinflation, violation of human rights and the deterioration of basic services.

23 governors, 35 mayors, 253 legislators from the Legislative Councils and 2,471 municipal councilors are expected to be elected in the elections. There are 3,082 positions at stake.

In past days, Kevin O’Reilly Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Americas of the US Department of State, stated that the elections next Sunday, in Venezuela, They do not meet the conditions to be “fair or free.” Furthermore, he emphasized that Washington it will support efforts “to restore democracy” in the country.

“The conditions for some elections free and fair in Venezuela”O’Reilly said during an Atlantic Council virtual forum on November 16. For his part, Maduro accused the North American country of an alleged “conspiracy.”

The National Assembly, under the control of the Maduro government, appointed the new National Electoral Council (CNE) authorities in May 2021.

In 2020, the controversial legislative elections were held, the legitimacy of which has not been recognized by the United States, European Union and other countries in America.

Opposition to the Government of Nicolas Maduro He had not participated in elections since 2018. His refusal to measure himself with Chavismo was due to the fact that considered that there were no conditions for fair, free and transparent elections to take place. The most emblematic case was when they were absent from the 2020 parliamentary elections.

The new team of directors of the CNE arrived in the middle of the agreements between Chavismo and the main opposition forces, which were carried out in Mexico. However, the dialogue between the two has been suspended, after the extradition to the United States of Colombian businessman Alex Saab, whom the Justice Department described as a front man for Maduro.

The United States has reiterated its support for the negotiations in Mexico between the Madurista administration and the Unitary Platform of Venezuela that brings together the opposition.

In September of this year, the European Union announced that they would send a mission to observe the regional and municipal elections in Venezuela at the invitation it received from the CNE.

The last time an EU mission went to Venezuela, it was registered in 2006, the date on which Higo Chávez was reelected to the presidency.

Isabel Santos is the person who directs the mission in Venezuela and was appointed by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell.

In fact, Santos was a witness on the last November 17 of an altercation between two opposition candidates in the state of Bolívar, located in southern Venezuela.

In that opportunity, Raul Yusef candidate of the Democratic Unity Table for the governor of the state of Bolívar (Venezuela), slapped the aspiring Américo de Grazia.

The Carter Center will also send six experts to assess key aspects of the electoral process.

The economic, political and social situation in Venezuela has deteriorated in the last decade. This has happened in the midst of the historical decline in oil, the country’s main export product.

A study by the Andrés Bello Catholic University revealed that 80% of the population lives in poverty amid failures in the supply of water, electricity and gasoline shortages.

Faced with hyperinflation, a de facto dollarization has been seen in a large part of the territory. Two rates are handled in the country with respect to foreign currency. The first is established by the Central Bank and the second by various pages of parallel securities such as Dolartoday.

In Venezuela, the voting tables will open at 6:00 am and close at 6:00 pm The CNE announced that there will be special sanitary measures due to the pandemic of COVID-19.

The installation of the 30,000 polling stations has been developed since today. The president of the organization, Pedro Calzadilla, reported that the electoral process involves some 500,000 people, approximately

It is expected that more than 350,000 security personnel, including the military and the police, will protect the elections of governors and mayors in Venezuela reported the authorities.