News Release

Venezuelan Election

Lander is professor of social sciences at the Central University of Venezuela in Caracas.

Birns is director of the Council on Hemispheric Affairs based in Washington. He said today: “Venezuela’s faltering middle-class opposition parties have announced that they would boycott the Dec. 4 legislative elections. Far from a principled and high-minded move, this tawdry tactic represents a cynical decision on the part of the opposition to spare itself the inconvenience of once again having to face the humiliating defeat that they surely would have experienced at the polls. … While trumpeting claims about Venezuela’s ebbing democracy, the opposition has proven itself to be far more guilty of eroding the country’s democratic structures than any grab for power by the chavistas. … Every election that has been held in Venezuela since Chavez came to power has been extensively monitored, and even the U.S. State Department has been forced to grudgingly validate the authenticity of past results, as their legitimacy was unimpeachable.”
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Co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, Weisbrot has written extensively on Venezuela, including its economic programs. His most recent piece, co-written with Birns, is an “Open Letter to the Journalists Covering the Venezuelan Elections.”
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Wilpert is a freelance journalist and sociologist living in Caracas and is author of the soon to be released book, Changing Venezuela by Taking Power: The History and Policies of the Chavez Presidency.

Wilpert said today: “Once again, Venezuela’s opposition parties are undergoing a bizarre process of self-immolation….

“Presumably and hopefully, this will be the last and final time they engage in such a (self-)destructive course of action, thereby making room for a new opposition in Venezuela, one that takes responsibility for its actions and respects the democratic political process.

“Unfortunately, though, the opposition pullout is exactly what the Bush administration wants, so that it can claim that the Chavez government is less legitimate than it really is. However, this ignores that OAS and other observers are so far approving of the elections process.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167