"Venezuela claims the world’s largest proven reserves of petroleum, an estimated 298 billion barrels of oil." - Michael Klare, The Desperate Plight of Petro-States TomDispatch 05/26/2016
We know the Trump Administration wants free elections in Venezuela, right? Right?
Well, they actually had governors' election all over the country on Sunday. And, well: Venezuela elections neither 'free nor fair', says US 10/16/2017.
The coverage of that event didn't seem that prominent in the American press from my impression. But there was some.
Kirk Semple and Ana Vanessa Herrer, Nicolás Maduro’s Party Defies Polls in Venezuela Election New York Times 10/15/2017:
... late Sunday night, Venezuela election officials announced that it was President Maduro’s governing party that had scored a lopsided victory, taking 17 governorships, while the opposition won only five, with the results of one state still hanging in the balance.Venezuela's elections have generally had a good record, with better safeguards against fraud than US elections have. With the US committed to regime change in Venezuela, it becomes especially difficult to sort valid claims from propaganda falsifications. And the Trump Administration has very low credibility, to put it very generously. The opposition has for years made it a habit to declare fraud after every election. They have yet to demonstrate it in any convincing way for international observers.
“Today the truth of Venezuela has won,” Mr. Maduro said in a speech at the presidential palace. “Today the homeland has gotten stronger.”
But opposition leaders vowed to contest the results, demanding an audit and calling on the opposition candidates to plan “diverse street activities” to support their protest. [my emphasis]
It may be worth mentioning that elections alone don't guarantee democracy or free choice. But I'm not going to assume that the Trump Administration's declarations about fraudulent elections mean anything without some resonable independent confirmation.
Aljazeera has a page, Venezuela crisis: All the latest updates 10/16/2017. Their bullet-point report for 10/16/2017, the day after the election:
- Venezuela's opposition coalition refused to recognise the results of Sunday's gubernatorial elections.
- The Democratic Unity's (MUD) election campaign chief, Gerardo Blyde, demanded a complete audit of the 23 governor races and called on its candidates to lead "street activities" on Monday.
- President Nicolas Maduro approved an audit of the ballots, and said his government had scored an "emphatic victory" over its rivals.
- Maduro also criticised international media coverage of the election: "I've been tuning into the BBC, CNN and others, and today's elections were completely ignored".
- "This is one of the best electoral processes, audited several times by all parties and political actors," said Alfredo Arevalo, the Ecuadorian representative of the Council of Electoral Experts of Latin America
- ANC juramentará a gobernadores electos el miércoles Últimas Noticias 17.10.2017
- Lucas Koerner, Venezuelan Opposition Candidates Admit Election Defeat as MUD Rejects Dialogue VenezuelaAnalysis.com10/17/2017
- Alexandra Ulmer and Andrew Cawthorne, Venezuela's Maduro defends disputed vote, opposition divided Reuters 10/17/2017
- Venezuela's Regional Elections: Testimonies from International Electoral Observers VenezuelaAnalysis.com10/17/2017
- Lucas Koerner, International Electoral Observers Validate Venezuela Regional Vote as US, France Reject Results VenezuelaAnalysis.com 10/16/2017
- Alex Daugherty, Marco Rubio declines Nicolas Maduro’s invite to visit Venezuela Miami Herald 10/17/2017