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Venezuela: Free and fair election day confirmed by international observers

By staff

African delegation of Venezuela election observers.

Caracas, Venezuela – A middle-aged man in Guairda waits in line to vote for the National Assembly and says, “Here voting is easy and safe. It takes 30 seconds to one minute. With all the participation from the people in the Guairda area, we will show the world that we want to live in peace, without guarimbas [street blockades], without violence, without economic sanctions, and we will show to other people that we are demanding sovereignty. This is why the majority of Venezuelans are carrying out our duty and our right to vote.”

The election of the National Assembly in Venezuela was Sunday, December 6. Election observers from around the world attended the voting sites in the schools around the country. They were able to observe the entire voting process.

There were multiple observers from the Caribbean, including Puerto Rico, Dominican Republican and Barbados.

Donald Denny, an election observer from Barbados, says, “I represent the Caribbean Movement for Peace and Integration. We have a very close working relationship with the United Socialist party of Venezuela. We are also very supportive of the removal of the political economic embargo against Venezuela. We are here to witness this election and to be able to report to our people in the Caribbean about what is taking place. We know that the USA and the imperialist forces in the region will do everything possible to attack the election in Venezuela and criticize it, but we want to bring information to the people of Barbados and our region to have a clear understanding of what is happening in Venezuela. We are very supportive of this election and the progressive left forces. We are looking forward to a victory for the united socialist forces of Venezuela.”

There were also many observers from Africa, including the Congo, South Africa, Kenya, Morocco and Tunisia.

Obed Babela, an election observer from the African National Congress (ANC), said “I am part of the ANC, and we are together with other delegates from the South Africa Communist Party. We are here to pledge our support with the PSUV. We hope there is a clear winner, so the illegal blockade and the illegal sanctions must come to an end because the whole world will have seen that people from Venezuela went peacefully to vote, without being pushed by anyone, without intimidation, freely expressing who they want to be their own government. Once that has been determined, we are asking all countries to respect the outcome of the elections in Venezuela, so that the economy can grow and they can focus on development and not worry about sanctions and the illegal blockade.”

Contrary to the reporting of the corporate newspapers of the West, the observers saw a secure and democratic election process.

To vote, people walk up to an election worker and place their ID on a mini platform. The worker types in their ID numbers into a machine, checks their name and the voter places their finger on the machine to confirm their identity with the Automatic Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS).

After their identity is verified, the voter goes to a computerized, touchscreen voting machine, which is behind a barrier for privacy. The ballot has all the different parties that are running candidates. The people click the party they want to vote for and then a printed receipt comes out.

The voter takes this ticket and puts it in a sealed box with a slit in it. They walk over to another election worker, who has an election notebook. The notebook lists everyone who can vote in that polling station. The voters sign their name and put their fingerprint next to their name.

The voting centers usually close at 6 p.m., but they won’t close if there are people in line. The votes are counted electronically, but also have backup with the paper tickets being counted. The whole process includes many checks and balances and confirming people’s identity. The international observers asked voters what they thought about the election. People said the election was democratic and just.

“Voting is very quick and easy here. Our election process is a democratic process, we’ve never let go of our democracy. It’s a good process. Everything is going well with our current government, thank God. There are a lot of good, cheap, services and utilities. We always have water and electricity. The public services here are very good,” says Eddy Guzman, an elderly voter.

The results of the election are usually known by 10 p.m. the same day. Venezuelans are expecting a strong victory for the Chavista party, PSUV, and President Maduro. This is the main reason that the U.S. government and right-wing newspapers are claiming the election is undemocratic; they know it is likely that the Chavista party will win. The Chavista party is the opposite of the USA’s two capitalist, imperialist parties. It offers free universal healthcare, free public education and college and free housing to over 3.3 million people. Most importantly, the PSUV is a party of the people and Maduro uplifts their voices.

A victory for the PSUV and Maduro is a victory for working people around the world and a victory against imperialism.

“The common thing we have among us is that we are human beings and we have to support each other and help in every way to improve life, in every sense, for all the people of the world. The government of Venezuela is in power because the people of Venezuela put them there. The people elected Maduro democratically. He’s the one that should be in power because it was the decision of the people. We should support them because we believe in democracy, so we should accept it,” says Ahmed Laamraoui, the secretary general of the Moroccan Worker’s Union and an election observer.

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