log in

  • Published in Opinion
Nicolás Maduro in Brazil. Photo: Agência Brasil/cropped from original/licensed from CC3.0, linked at bottom of article

Nicolás Maduro in Brazil. Photo: Agência Brasil/cropped from original/licensed from CC3.0, linked at bottom of article

Maduro’s victory marks a defeat for the right and western imperialism, but this does not mean the end of US hostility, argues Jonathan Maunders

Venezuela’s recent National Assembly elections produced a clear victory for Nicolás Maduro, with his coalition recording 69% of the vote, winning 177 of the 277 available seats.

The election comes after an increase in parliamentarians and efforts to legitimise the ballot process.

While US-backed Juan Guaidó   and his opposition group boycotted the elections, 106 organisations participated (very few supportive of Maduro’s coalition).

Guaidó  has demanded his international allies reject the election results and refused to rule out violence to remove Maduro.

He has jumped on the relatively low 31% electoral turn-out as proof of fraud, both ignoring the ongoing Coronavirus context and the modest success of centrist parties.

The UN and EU refused to send election observers, whilst the US government made a rash of corruption allegations. Despite the EU predictably refusing to recognise the election results, they stopped short of restating their support for Guaidó, unlike the US.

This is no doubt a reflection of the political reality of Guaidó’s position.

Guaidó's support crumbles

The elections saw Guaidó lose control of parliament and, with it, much of his authority. 

In 2019 the UK, US and Germany had backed his coup and claim to the presidency, using his leadership of the National Assembly as justification.

As he has lost that control, it will be harder for those countries to make such a justification. None will suddenly recognise Maduro’s presidency, but it’s likely Guaidó will slowly lose their backing as certainty of his failure grows.

The collapse in his support-base, in Venezuela and abroad, was recently underlined by the resignation of his UK envoy, citing uncertainty around his leadership.

Meanwhile, many former domestic allies have criticised his decision to boycott the elections.

US imperialism

Donald Trump’s two-year campaign to oust Maduro has ended in failure. In fact, Maduro is now in a stronger position, politically, than he was at the outset.

However, this victory and Trump’s subsequent departure will not suddenly mean a different relationship between the US and Venezuela.

Joe Biden has openly referred to Maduro as a ‘dictator’ and is unlikely to break with much of the Trump administration’s hostility.

Biden’s administration will undoubtedly work internationally to further undermine and isolate Venezuela’s government, preparing the groundwork for another attempted coup.

There is little doubt the election results represent a major victory for Maduro and opponents of US imperialism, but the threat will remain and demands a continued vigilance, both domestically and internationally.

Before you go...we need your help

Counterfire is expanding fast as a website and an organisation. We are trying to organise a dynamic extra-parliamentary left in every part of the country to help build resistance to the government and their billionaire backers. If you like what you have read and you want to help, please join us or just get in touch by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Now is the time!

BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS

Help boost radical media and socialist organisation

Join Counterfire today

Join Now