In an election that was denounced as fraudulent by the opposition, Venezuela’s ruling party has won a majority of governorships throughout the country. Despite the controversy, the only clear winner appears to be the highly prevalent culture of organized crime.
With the current administration heavy supported by, and offering its own support to factors within the criminal underworld, the election result seeks to strengthen its ties with organized crime, reaffirming the need for heightened Security Services in Venezuela.
On October 15, it was announced that President Nicolás Maduro’s ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela – PSUV) won 17 of 23 state governorships. The opposition alliance known as the Democratic Unity Roundtable (Mesa de Unidad Democrática – MUD) claimed widespread fraud in the latest electoral process and has rejected the results.
Voting processes in the country have long suffered from accusations of fraud and irregularities, and in this campaign in particular, last-minute decisions to move hundreds of offices to new locations, and the late registration of electors to new polling offices without sufficient notice only bolsters the accusations of fraud. There are also reports of electors being coerced into voting for the PSUV, whilst the army stood watching without response.
It is very likely that as long as Maduro and his allies continue to hold power, the criminal elements tied to the government will also retain their ill gotten gains. With high ranking officials accused of various crimes including drug trafficking, it seems that organized crime is the only clear winner here.
As more and more Venezuelans flee the country, the deteriorating economic and security conditions appear to be worsening. Sadly, this election result does not appear to offer any respite to a country continually crippled by the very worst kinds of organized crime.