Venezuela Begins Controversial Elections

VENEZUELA’s election will take place on Sunday, December 6th, under controversy and allegations of anti-democratic fraud.

President Nicolas Maduro hopes to fill the country’s National Assembly with members from his United Socialist Party which would seal his power over the turbulent nation. Since his reelection in 2018, Maduro has faced a backlash from opposition groups and western governments over allegations of not respecting democracy. Venezuela is currently in a state of socio-economic collapse despite having the world’s largest deposits of oil.

US-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido is holding a referendum shortly after the election asking Venezuelans whether they want Maduro out of office and a new election. The Supreme Court in Caracas recently formed an election commission without any opposition members, which Guaido says is against Venezuelan law. He has accused Maduro, who is the direct successor of revolutionary leader Hugo Chavez, of fraud and abuse of democracy.

The election results are hard to predict as neither Maduro nor Guaido are particularly popular with Venezuelans, who have seen their country collapse under the pressure of financial chaos in recent years. Violence and crime have skyrocketed, with the capital Caracas now considered one of the world’s most dangerous cities. Five million have fled the country as refugees, second in volume only to war-torn Syria. Maduro’s government enjoys support from Iran, China, and Russia while Guaido is supported by the US in what some analysts see as an international power struggle for the country’s huge oil supply.

The United States Security Council has designated Maduro as a ‘narcoterrorist’, offering a $15 million reward for his arrest. The council said that ‘this election only serves to keep Maduro in power and does nothing to build a better future for the people of Venezuela’.

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Oisin Sweeney

Oisin is an Irish writer based in Seville, the sunny capital of Andalucia. After starting his working life as a bookseller, he moved into journalism and cut his teeth as a reporter at one of Ireland's biggest news websites. Since joining Euro Weekly News in November, he has enjoyed covering the latest stories from Seville, Spain and further afield - with special interests in crime, cybersecurity, and European politics. Anyone who can pronounce his name first try gets a free cerveza...