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How Maduro Plans to Stay in Power in Venezuela without Elections

By: Sabrina Martín - @SabrinaMartinR - Dec 27, 2016, 12:26 pm
Maduro, faced with dismal prospects in democratic elections, is preparing to hold on to power by all means necessary (
Maduro, faced with dismal prospects in democratic elections, is preparing to hold on to power by all means necessary (AlbaCiudad).

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Aporrea, a popular Chavista-oriented website, has published an article in which it details the dark future for the government of Nicolás Maduro.

During the government of Hugo Chavez, Aporrea became the premiere digital medium of “chavismo”; it has now evolved into a platform critical of both the government of Nicolás Maduro and the Venezuelan opposition.

Javier Antonio Vivas Santana wrote that he anticipates an abysmal electoral result for the government in the upcoming mayoral and gubernatorial elections; an election that may be as devastating for them as last year’s which led to a stunning rebuke of Maduro’s government, and an overwhelming majority for the opposition in the Venezuelan National Assembly.

Aporrea admits that the South American country faces “the worst crisis in contemporary history” in Venezuela.

They doubt that elections will, in fact, be held, taking into account that the National Electoral Council has already illegally postponed them. They were due to take place in December of this year. If such elections were to take place, Aporrea estimates that the socialist regime would lose “not less than 21 governorships and more than 290 mayoral elections.”

“We know perfectly well that Maduro is incapable of diagnosing the social reality and the political behavior of the voters when they head to the polls. He aims to cling to power by hoping against hope that those who were the ‘beneficiaries’ of one of the government’s missions or those who have seen ‘public works’ inaugurated by the government, will offer their votes to the socialist regime without thought […] the only certainty is that as long as salaries and living conditions do not improve, the greater the repudiation of their government policies, even if the government continues to promise them the world.”

The article assures that “madurismo” will invariably lose the majority of its current posts through popular elections; currently the greatest point in the socialist regime’s favor is the rampant internal division within the opposition.

Aporrea also turns its rhetorical fire on the dissidence represented by the Democratic Unity Table party (MUD): “they also refuse to consider leadership changes, which would be reasonable, especially when they have had a year with abundant failures, and few successes.”

The article culminates with a worrisome prognosis in which it assures that Maduro is seeking “to drive the nation to a state of social decay.”

He will only continue to seek chaos and social decay, looking for the possibility to take power by force, if necessary; anything to allow him to continue “commanding” without holding elections, because if he allows the elections to proceed, the handwriting is on the wall.

Source: Aporrea

Sabrina Martín Sabrina Martín

Sabrina Martín is a Venezuelan journalist, commentator, and editor based in Valencia with experience in corporate communication. Follow @SabrinaMartinR.

Rafael Correa Defends Odebrecht Contracts in Ecuador

By: Ysol Delgado - Dec 27, 2016, 12:19 pm
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EspañolEcuador President Rafael Correa said he will not accept the notion that Odebrecht operated illegally in Ecuador, and wants to identify who was truly involved in the Brazilian company's projects. In a press release issued by the Secom Secretary of Communication, President Correa called the United States Department of Justice's claims about Odebrecht's bribes in Ecuador "unfortunate." The US said the construction company paid US $788 million to 12 countries in Latin America and Africa through bribes. Documents indicated that between 2007 and 2016, Odebrecht made corrupt payments in Ecuador for more than $35.5 million to government officials. A Secom document stressed that it is the first to identify any inappropriate behavior damaging the country, but added that this type of bribery is difficult to detect. Read More: Argentina Returns to International Bond Markets 15 Years After Default Read More: Argentina and US Sign Agreement to Share Tax Information "The conduct of the national government has always been transparent and determined in the interests of the country," the statement said. "We firmly maintain that we have never allowed any harm to the country." President Correa said that in the Panama Papers scandal, the media disseminated unsupported allegations about Vice President Jorge Glas in a similar way. "Unfortunately, there are clear similarities," the statement said. "Odebrecht has been working in the country since the 1980s and in the rest of the cases (from the Department of Justice) we are analyzing a period from 2001 to 2016. In Ecuador's case, it is only the period between 2007 and 2016." googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1459522593195-0'); }); The statement also said the claims made by the US Department of Justice regarding the corruption case were unfortunate because it argues that public officials received fines in 2007 and 2008, just as Odebrecht was expelled from the country. When structural failures were detected at the San Francisco hydroelectric plant, Rafael Correa ordered the expulsion of Odebrecht in September 2008, and rescinded all of its contracts. In July 2010, the Brazilian construction company returned to Ecuador after agreeing to fix the hydroelectric plant. It reportedly participated in contracted projects audited by the State Control Office. Source: The Republic

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