Venezuela: the paradox of the Socialist victory

Why the victory of the PSUV can be one of the worst scenarios for Maduro’s political party?

Leer en Español: Venezuela: la paradoja de la victoria oficialista

On October 15th, Venezuelans went to the polls to choose the new governors of their 23 states. According to the National Electoral Council, controlled by Nicolas Maduro’s administration, the Government won 17 out of the 23 states. Meanwhile, the opposition obtained 5 states.

The voting paradox

Luís Vicente León, president of "Datanálisis”, a surveying company, explained why the results where "the worst scenario for the country, the opposition, and, paradoxically, for the Government".

Datanalisis' president: the elections were "the worst scenario for the country, the opposition and, paradoxically, for the Government"

In his Twitter account, León explained the most important reasons why he thought that Sunday’s electoral outcome was not a victory for Maduro’s administration.

  1. The victory of the PSUV made it difficult for the opposition, the international society, and the Venezuelan people to recognize the results as valid
  2. These results dissolved any probability for negotiation between the Government and opposition
  3. The extremist side of the opposition will gain power and the violence may return to the streets
  4. The International Community will strength the sanctions affecting the Venezuelan economy
  5. This new panorama will continue driving the investment away.
  6. The opposition will still be divided.
  7. The isolation will "primitivise" the society.
  8. The Government will continue radicalizing its actions to protect itself affecting the political rights of the opposition

A bittersweet loss

Despite the loss, the political scenario seems to be better than 5 years ago. At the end, the MUD won 3 more states in comparison to the elections of 2012. They also won two key states, Zulia and Tachira.

The MUD won in two border states

Laidy Gómez was elected as Tachira’s governor. Gómez won the control of the state from Vielma Mora, a former military officer. Tachira is an important state due to its trade, smuggling, and migration to and from Colombia. Gómez may improve relationships with the neighboring country and prevent the closure of its border.

Zulia is one of the most populated states in Venezuela with more than 4 million inhabitants. The opposition leader Juan Pablo Guanipa assumed the control of the state; Zulia has one of the biggest oil reserves in the country. Guanipa defeated Francisco Arias Cárdenas, member of the PSUV.


The biggest defeat for the opposition was in Miranda. This state was under MUD control for various years. Its former governor was Henrique Capriles, the former president candidate and one of the most notorious leaders of the MUD. The elections gave Héctor Rodriguez (PSUV) the victory against Carlos Ocariz, former leader part of Nicolas Maduro’s political party.

Fraud Allegations

The opposition assured they will not recognize the regional results due to "fraud". The leaders of the opposition party stated that the results were completely different from various data that had been emitted not long before the elections. According to recent studies, if at least 61% of the population voted, which happened, the opposition would win over at least 11 states.

The polls also showed that the president, Nicolás Maduro, has a negative image of 80% within its people. For this reason, the opposition doesn’t believe the elections were untampered.

Carlos Ocariz, opposition candidate in Miranda, assured that the Government "bought votes" and "threatened the people to vote for their candidates". He also said that Maduro's administration cut off phone signals in 403 voting centers. According to various experts, within said locations “the PSUV got their highest voting in their history".

The international community

Many countries and international leaders reacted negatively to the election results. The United State Senator Marco Rubio said that the "widespread fraud and illegalities in Venezuela’s 'election' proves Nicolas Maduro is a dictator".

Meanwhile, a European Union spokesman assured that European Union Foreign Minister, Federica Mogherini, said that the "election results where surprising and [that] they have to study what really happened in Venezuela". Despite the elections, the group of countries is still considering sanctioning Venezuela due to the National Constituent Assembly.


Latin American Post | Santiago Gómez Hernández

Copy edited by Susana Cicchetto