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During the inauguration ceremony of the recently elected mayors and governors, Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro called on the new authorities to develop a system of government based on the principles of popular power.

Beyond Bourgeois Democracy

“We must govern to build the People’s new power from Venezuelan Socialism. I will insist on this a thousand times: we must build a new system of government that goes beyond the bourgeois representative democracy,” he said.

Referring to the problems facing the Venezuelan nation, Maduro highlighted the dire consequences of the U.S. blockade.

He called on mayors and governors to end that negligence that characterizes some authorities who settle into power without listening to the people.

Rule With People

“Without a doubt, the blockade, the sanctions, and the persecution against Venezuela have affected the people’s lives. However, it is also true that some leaders are victims of a ‘mental blockade’ that generates indolence, inefficiency, and corruption. Let us rule with the People,” he said.

“We will hold a national planning day to establish a concrete action agenda, improve services, ensure economic growth, and serve the people.”

The Bolivarian president asked subnational authorities not to be “an obstacle” for the emergence of new leaderships and appealed to them to ease the way for those who have new projects and ideas.

“We have to be a permanent instrument of renewal, improvement, and strength. None of us should become an obstacle that prevents new leaderships”, he said, stressing that those who do not allow the emergence of new leaders “are killing the future of Homeland.”

Maduro affirmed that the Bolivarian forces could have obtained more votes, although they achieved victory in 19 out of 23 states in the country.

Feel Lash Of People 

“It is good where we won and where we lost because we must learn to feel the lash of the People so as to rectify and get rid of vices, bureaucracy, and corruption, and start the road again following the path of Commander Hugo Chavez,” he concluded.

Return Of The US-backed Right Wing

On 21 November, Venezuelans headed to the polls. Though only local and regional offices were up for grabs, these so-called “mega-elections” were significant because they marked the return of the U.S.-backed right wing; having boycotted the 2018 presidential and 2020 congressional elections, opposition parties decided to participate in the ballot. Their gamble didn’t pay off.

The right’s last-minute course change bore little fruit, as Maduro’s ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) secured at least 212 of 335 mayoralties, and 19 of 23 governorships.

Though its share of the vote was just 47%, PSUV, the main force of Chavismo, the political movement founded by former president Hugo Chávez, has much to celebrate. For one thing, the party can point to an increased turnout of 42%, significantly higher than the 30% registered in December 2020. The party can also be confident that its victory was a clean one. Having rejected previous invitations, the European Union sent a mission to observe the recent election. While the EU’s report has been used selectively by both sides, its conclusions – such as the alleged use of state resources by pro-government candidates – do not sustain the fraud narratives pushed by the opposition and its foreign backers for years.

Ramp Up Vaccination Efforts

Maduro urged a ramping up of Covid-19 vaccination efforts and condemned the Western countries’ response over the new Omicron variant, first identified in South Africa.

“There is no international scientific report that establishes the real threat of this variant,” said Maduro in a televised broadcast on Sunday. He criticized the U.S. and European governments for causing a “world scandal” and issuing “political statements” towards African countries in the form of travel bans.

The Venezuelan leader asked the Presidential Commission for Covid-19 and the National Scientific Council to evaluate Omicron’s impact and maintain permanent communication with international health agencies.

Maduro urged authorities to reinforce biosecurity measures in ports, airports, and borders and continue vaccination efforts to prevent the spread of the virus. “I am confident that we can defend ourselves from the Omicron variant, and we will continue moving forward with the inoculation,” he stated.

Oral Antiviral Medication

The Venezuelan president announced the arrival of Molnupiravir, the first oral antiviral medication shown to be highly effective and safe at mitigating Covid-19 cases. “It has 50-60 percent efficacy, and it saves lives. We have enough to treat all our infected population,” detailed Maduro about the pills developed by Merck and Ridgeback biotherapeutics.

Venezuela has faced an uphill battle to vaccinate its population with U.S. unilateral economic sanctions hampering efforts to acquire shots and medical equipment.

Venezuela was able to kick off its inoculation campaign in February with Russia’s Sputnik V and China’s Sinopharm variants, later adding 5.8 million shots out of 12 million secured through the United Nations’ COVAX program.

Vaccine From Cuba

Cuba has likewise been a key ally in the fight against the pandemic. On November 22, Cuba sent 1.5 million doses of its Abdala vaccine to Venezuela, bringing the total amount shipped so far to almost seven million. The doses are being used to inoculate children above three years old.

According to official data, Venezuela reports 17 cases per 100,000 people, and around 77.5 percent of the population has been vaccinated. The South American country is also looking to start applying a third booster shot in January 2022.

“Vaccination is the answer, especially now with the new Omicron variant, which reportedly has several mutations,” empathized Maduro.


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