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Venezuela elections - capitalist opposition gains from economic crisis
The billionaire-backed conservative capitalist opposition, Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD), won a large majority of parliamentary deputies in Venezuela's recent general election. This represents a big setback to the ruling United Socialist Party (PSUV) of president Nicolas Madura and to the 'Bolivarian revolution' legacy of Hugo Chavez.
MUD won a clear majority, heavily defeating the PSUV. It is the left's first major electoral defeat since 1998 when Hugo Chavez won the presidential election. Madura can expect attempts by MUD to unseat him in the coming months.
The ruling party's ebbing of popular support reflects the crisis gripping the economy. High inflation and chronic shortages of basic goods has hit hard working and middle class living standards. The economy, with its high dependency on oil export revenues, has suffered a major contraction with the fall in world oil prices. Petrodollars are vital for Venezuela's social welfare programmes. Corruption in official circles is also widespread.
Maduro has long complained of the economic sabotage by the capitalist class but has not taken decisive measures to take over the commanding heights of the economy and introduce a democratically managed plan of production.
The working class must now regroup around a programme of demands to resist an expected onslaught of austerity and attacks on workers' democratic rights from the capitalists.
Full analysis will appear on www.socialistworld.net
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