Interview: Venezuelan analyst expects calm presidential poll but post-election backlash

Source: Xinhua| 2018-05-17 17:01:22|Editor: Lu Hui
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by Willey Penuela

CARACAS, May 16 (Xinhua) -- The upcoming Venezuelan presidential election to be held on Sunday will go peaceful but may lead to a possible post-election backlash, said political analyst Luis Quintana.

"The 24 elections we have had in Venezuela in the past 19 years have taken place peacefully in spite of the domestic and foreign threats from those opposed to the Bolivarian Revolution ... There is no real objective reason to think that it will be different this time," said Quintana, professor of international geopolitics at the Bolivarian Military University of Venezuela.

Even during times of heightened political tension between the ruling socialist party (PSUV) and right-wing parties (MUD), election turnout in Venezuela has invariably been high compared to other countries in the Western Hemisphere or western Europe, Quintana said.

Polls showed President Nicolas Maduro, who is running for reelection, leading voter preferences, said Quintana.

If Maduro "is reelected, as all the polls indicate, the United States and its allies will attack Venezuela with greater force," said Quintana.

He said that statements by different White House spokesmen have suggested the U.S. strategy will be backing "neighboring countries (of Venezuela) that adopt drastic political and economic measures to further isolate the government of President Nicolas Maduro."

Meanwhile, White House might opt to embargo Venezuelan oil, which "would create grave difficulties for the government, further restricting its capacity to mitigate the severe economic crisis affecting the country, and seriously impacting the living conditions of the Venezuelan people," Quintana said.

However, the election will strengthen democracy and people's confidence in Venezuelan state institutions, which "will make President Nicolas Maduro's leadership more solid for the adoption of decisions of great transcendence for the economy, which is what the whole country expects," said Quintana.

Latin America is divided over Venezuela's election.

The so-called Lima Group of 14 regional governments have threatened to impose sanctions on Venezuela unless the elections are suspended.

"These governments act under the direction of the United States," said Quintana.

Other countries in the region, "some support the Bolivarian government without bounds and the others don't get involved in the internal affairs of Venezuela," he said, adding that imposing more sanctions on Venezuela would further divide the region. Enditem