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

    Turkey, US Splits Deepen Over Support for Kurdish Militants

    Ankara summons American ambassador to protest remarks by State Department spokesman who said Washington does not consider Syria's Kurdish Democracy Union Party (PYD) a terrorist organization

    Obama Seeking $19 Billion for National Cybersecurity

    Move, touted as attempt to build broad, cohesive federal response to cyberthreats, calls for increase in cybersecurity spending across all government agencies

    Video Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Voters

    VOA talks to protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire, who sound off on foreign policy issues such as the Guantanamo Bay prison, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the wars in Iraq, Syria and Yemen

    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.
    Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clownsi
    X
    February 09, 2016 8:04 PM
    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Voters

    VOA talks to protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire who sound off on foreign policy issues such as the Guantanamo Bay Prison, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Middle East Affairs and national security.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.

    More Americas News

    Video Olympics Technology Center Getting Ready for 2016 Games

    This year, the whole system will be cloud-based, enabling millions of fans around the world instant access to relevant information about the competition

    Red Cross Scales Up Community Action to Combat Zika

    ICRCS is mobilizing its large volunteer force in affected communities to help them clear up trash and areas where mosquitoes can breed

    Haiti's Prime Minister Calls for Peace on 1st Day Without President

    Evans Paul urges Haitian protesters to end weeks of sometimes violent street marches and join a dialogue to create a transitional government

    Social Media Erupts in Support of Sikh Man Barred from Flight

    Waris Ahluwalia says he was barred from boarding a flight from Mexico City to New York because he refused to remove his turban

    Canada Ending Airstrikes in Iraq, Syria

    Canadian PM Trudeau said a campaign of airstrikes is useful for bringing short-term gains, but not for long-term stability

    Cuban Baseball Stars, the Gurriel Brothers, Abandon Team

    A record 150 baseball players defected last year; Gurriels deemed exceptional loss because of skill, fame and perceived loyalty