By Carlos Camacho
CARACAS -- A wave of doubt and resentment has risen in Venezuela against the candidacy of Henri Falcon, a former Lara state governor who is challenging embattled head of state Nicolas Maduro in the April 22nd Presidential elections.
“We will win the elections to improve the economy, assure food and medicine to the Venezuelan people and to end the practice of political prisoners in Venezuela. We will keep on waging battle to conquer better electoral conditions for a people that wants to partake,” Falcon tweeted Wednesday morning.
Falcon, a former college professor, formally asked that the elections be delayed, but the request did little to diminish the opposition’s rancor against him.
The United States, the European Union (28 states) and the 15-country regional “Grupo de Lima” have all said they would reject the outcome of the April 22nd vote, which they have described as fraudulent, rigged and non-competitive.
Most countries agree that Maduro already staged three electoral frauds in a row in 2017: the elections for the Constituent Assembly, a Supra-Constitutional body that gutted the opposition-held National Assembly of any remaining powers; the elections for governors; and the mayoral elections. All were won by Maduro candidates by a wide margin (91% of state governments in one case) which contradicts his 25% and less approval rate, with widespread fraud, which LAHT
has reported on. LAHT editor Russ Dallen has even been called upon to testify before the U.S. Congress on the fraudulent elections.
Falcon registered at the last possible minute Tuesday. And tweets such as this, by MUD, the largest opposition party in Venezuela, soon followed: “We repudiate the unilateral inscription of Henri Falcon today. Venezuela calls for unity and democracy.”
Most in Venezuela see Falcon’s bid not as a legitimate attempt at gaining the Presidency, but an effort by a discredited politician (he lost the Lara governor’s race in October) to lend Maduro some legitimacy in an election MUD is boycotting.
MUD was certainly not pleased by Falcon’s decision: “With this step, Henri Falcon is parting with the opposition and the democratic sentiment of the Venezuelan people. We cannot validate a fraudulent electoral system. We call on all of Venezuela to keep on fighting for a democratic change. We shall achieve it!”
Veteran journalist Eugenio Martinez says Falcon is not an opposition candidate. He is “not part of the Unidad” and of the “decision not to partake because of a lack of conditions” for a free and fair vote April 22nd “and one should not believe that he represents the opposition,” Martinez tweeted Wednesday morning.
TESTIMONY -- Russ Dallen - US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations -- Political and Economic Crisis in Ven... by Latin American Herald Tribune on Scribd