News / Americas

Maduro's Apparent Win Could Portend Difficulties in Governing

Maduro's Apparent Win Could Portend Difficulties in Governingi
X
April 16, 2013 11:00 AM
The apparent narrow election victory by Venezuela’s interim President, Nicolas Maduro, came as a surprise which some analysts say could reflect the difficulties he will face inheriting the leadership mantle of Hugo Chavez, who died last month. Mr. Maduro was expected to win by a comfortable margin, but now faces opposition demands for a recount. More from VOA's Bill Rodgers
Maduro's Apparent Win Could Portend Difficulties in Governing
Bill Rodgers
The apparent narrow election victory by Venezuela’s interim President, Nicolas Maduro, came as a surprise which some analysts say could reflect the difficulties he will face inheriting the leadership mantle of Hugo Chavez, who died last month. Maduro was expected to win by a comfortable margin, but now faces opposition demands for a recount. 

Maduro’s narrow victory, rejected by opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles, was greeted by many Venezuelans with surprise.

“The gap was very small.  Actually, I was expecting it to be bigger but well, the people expressed their will and it was the popular will, so it’s necessary to respect the results,” he said.

  • Supporters of opposition leader Henrique Capriles run away from tear gas fired by riot police as they demonstrated for a recount of the votes in Sunday's election, in Caracas, April 15, 2013.
  • Supporters of opposition leader Henrique Capriles stand in front of riot police as they demonstrate for a recount of the votes in Sunday's election, in Caracas, April 15, 2013.
  • A man jumps over a barricade of burning garbage that supporters of opposition leader Henrique Capriles used to block a street, as they demonstrated for a recount of the votes in Sunday's election, in Caracas, April 15, 2013.
  • Demonstrators, one holding a poster of opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles, confront riot police from behind a burning barricade in the Altamira neighborhood in Caracas, April 15, 2013.
  • Riot police charge towards demonstrators as opposition supporters and students block a highway in the Altamira neighborhood of Caracas, April 15, 2013.

Maduro was expected to win by a comfortable margin.  As the handpicked successor to Hugo Chavez, he pledged to continue the legacy of the late Venezuelan leader who brought socialism to the country during his 14-year rule.

Maduro's narrow win, however, may be an indication of his shortcomings, according to Caracas pollster Luis Vicente Leon.

"The candidate wasn't Chavez.  I mean he didn't have his charisma, his strength, his connection," Leon noted. "And capacity to engage."

While Maduro has promised to carry out the government’s social welfare policies that have lifted many Venezuelans out of poverty, he also will have to deal with problems, including food shortages, double-digit inflation and rampant crime.

Splits within his coalition will be another challenge, said Latin America expert Johanna Mendelson Forman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

“What will determine his space to govern is how Maduro manages the factions in his own party and also in some of the military organizations that in fact came together for the purposes of solidarity in the Bolivarian movement, but may very well come apart," Mendelson explained. "And that is his biggest challenge, not so much in dealing with the opposition, but dealing with the rifts in his party.”

Venezuela's close allies - like Cuba, which receives subsidized oil from Venezuela, welcomed Maduro’s victory.  As did Bolivian President Evo Morales, another close supporter.

“Democracy won in Venezuela and this shows that there is a democratic calling not only in Venezuela, but in all of Latin America,” he said.

For their part, Capriles’ supporters have vowed not to accept the results - and Capriles has called for a recount….a demand backed by Washington

“The results revealed a Venezuelan electorate that is roughly evenly divided.  In order to meet all of Venezuelans’ democratic expectations, it makes sense that such a recount should be completed before any additional steps, including official certification of the results, occurs,” said State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell.

Venezuela's electoral board dismissed these comments as interference....another indication that relations with Washington are unlikely to improve soon.

"The election now, which consolidates obviously something we all expected, gives an opportunity  to once again renew our relationship," stated Mendelson.  "But it seems that the way the Venezuelan government is trying to go about this is certainly not in a particularly positive way.”

For now, however, Maduro's main concern is domestic in the wake of this divisive election.

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: craig hill from: los angeles
April 16, 2013 2:06 PM
United States: Keep your large overthrowing butt out of Venezuela. Yours is NOT the voice of America, but the voice of the international 1%.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Raul Castro Steps Out of Brother's Shadow With US Deal

Cuban president scores diplomatic triumph, surge in support with this week's deal that ends decades of hostility with United States
More

US Report: Immigration Officials' Apprehensions Rose in 2014

Apprehensions of Mexicans fall 14 percent; those of individuals from other countries, predominantly in Central America, rise 68 percent
More

Strife, Mutual Interests Mark Cuba-US Ties

Island nation was once a vacation destination for Americans; over years, many Cubans sought refuge across the Florida Straits
More

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change
More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings
More

Cubans Imagine New, More Prosperous Life Without an Old Foe

News of the historic shift in US-Cuban relations echoed quickly through the Spanish colonial plazas of Old Havana this week
More