January 24, 2022 1:01 pm

The Chávez dynasty fears losing the Barinas state in the repetition of the elections




Winning in Barinas and, for the second time this Sunday, has become a great challenge and a matter of honor for the Venezuelan opposition for being the homeland of the late commander Hugo Chávez and the fiefdom of his family, whose dynasty has dominated the region for the last 22 years. The first time the opposition candidate Freddy Superlano triumphed, representing the MUD (Unitary Platform) coalition was on November 21 when he won 37.60% of the votes, but the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) annulled the elections and ordered their repetition because the official candidate, Argenis Chávez, had lost with 37.20% of the votes, according to official figures from the CNE.

Last Thursday the new candidates closed their electoral campaign before the seizure and custody of the voting centers by the military of the Plan República.

Sergio Garrido, nominated by the opposition MUD, and former Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza, nominated by Chavismo, polarized the preference of the previous polls.

The pollster Hercón Consultores, which a month ago conducted an opinion survey of a thousand people, pointed out that 57% of Barinas voters are willing to go to the polls today, which represents a 15% increase in participation compared to the previous. Electoral preferences also diverge from past ones. Garrido leads the polls with 42.6% of the votes while Jorge Arreaza obtains only 34%. The third candidate is Claudio Fermín, position to divide the opposition, but only obtains 3.1%, in the Hercón Consultores study.

Frozen in time

In his campaign, Arreaza himself has not been very sure of winning the elections due to the absence of popular support in the walk through the streets of the towns of Barinas. Streetlight poles and urban walls were plastered with his face, but his caravans, packed with motorcyclists and armored trucks, have been lonely and he has not had crowd baths at his rallies.

The former foreign minister and former son-in-law of Hugo Chávez has been accompanied by two of the daughters of the dead commander: María Gabriela and Rosinés, who have sought votes for the family. To distance himself somewhat from the rejection produced by the Chavista dynasty, he has admitted that the government of Barinas “presents a deficit of investment and services for the community.”

And it is that Barinas, the plains and cattle state located to the west of Venezuela with an area of ​​322 square kilometers and a population of just 390,000 inhabitants, has been governed by the Chavista fiefdom for 22 years, which seems frozen in time. shows signs of progress but of deterioration and retreat like the dusty streets of Sabaneta, the town where Chávez was born.

When he began his mandate in 1999, his family was humble and poor. Two decades later, his parents and brothers are powerful landowners who own large tracts of farms and estates, not counting the fortune made by their daughters, nephews and grandchildren. Patriarch Hugo de los Reyes Chávez ruled Barinas from 1999 to 2008, then older brother Adán Chávez from 2008 to 2017 and finally brother Argenis Chávez was in government from 2017 to 2021.

Sergio Garrido plans to break with the Chavista dynasty and he has what. The head of his campaign is Freddy Superlano himself, who after his political disqualification and that of his wife, who was also taken out of the electoral game, has doubled the courage to achieve victory.

Barinas has also become the talisman that has brought together the various opposition groups to strengthen the victory of Unity in Garrido’s candidacy.

Militarized streets

The Acting President Juan Guaidó He has given all his support to the people who do not surrender and called for continuing to organize and mobilize against tyranny. «The dictatorship was left without a people. It is a minority and that is why it snatches and threatens; but nothing has stopped us. Barinas is an example of resistance and struggle. Maduro has already lost, they only have to try to kidnap her again. Let us accompany a people that does not surrender. Organization and mobilization, “he said on Twitter.

The streets of Barinas they are militarized, as ABC was able to verify when observing the contingent of military units and soldiers that were heading towards the state. Some 14,000 military personnel have been sent to the area to guard the 500 voting centers. “It is an exaggeration to send so many soldiers,” said an anonymous observer, commenting that “to intimidate and prevent voters from voting on Sunday.”

Given the silence of the Ministry of Defense, it was thought that the sending of military contingents was for protect neighboring border populations from Barinas such as Apure and Táchira due to the serious clashes between the FARC narco-guerrilla and the ELN that have produced more than 30 deaths this week. But no, the military stayed in quiet Barinas.

The electoral analyst Andrés Caleca denounced that the uniformed members of the republic plan prevent the access of witnesses and observers to the polling stations, which deserves an explanation from the electoral authorities.

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