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Venezuela: Chávez Era to Extend for Six More Years

This post was written in collaboration with Jessica Carrillo [es].

After the most contested and intense elections of the last decade, Venezuela will add six more years to the administration that began in 1999 with Hugo Chávez Frías. The traffic on social networks, particularly on Twitter, was extremely intense, especially moments before the official announcement of the results.

From the side that supports the President, tweets express joy and satisfaction, while those who support Henrique Capriles share mixed feelings of disappointment with deep convictions that changes are possible in the future.

In a detailed reading, the image of a country cut in two is even sharper than before. The separations between different strata of society remain part of the general disocurse.

Hugo Chávez supporters during campaign rally on June 11, 2012, in Caracas. Photo by Sergio Alvarez, copyright Demotix.

Adriana (@SombreroRojo) [es] says:

@SombreroRojo: Sigan! sigan el discursito de inclusión tipo: tierruos [apelativo despectivo usado contra la gente que vive en los barrios], brutos, analfabetas. Tendremos Chávez como… 30 años mas? sí, facil!

@SombreroRojo [es]: Go on! go on with your inclusion discourse: tierruos [derogatory name used against people living in poor neighborhoods], brutes, illiterate. We can have Chavez for… 30 more years? yes, easily!

Meanwhile MariAzul (@Mariazul84) [es] writes:

@Mariazul84: Asi con desprecio, con asquito, con arrogancia y todo, se tienen que calar que los tierruos les elija el presidente a la “gente nice”.

@Mariazul84 [es]: Like that, with disdain, with disgust, with arrogance and all, they have to accept that the tierruos choose the president for the “nice people”.

User @Racksonador [es] calls for a stop to alarmist discussion:

@Racksonador: Y dejen de estar diciendo que van a matar a la gente o que los mataran y que se van a ir del país. LISTO SE ACABO #ElcomandanteSeQueda

@Racksonador [es]: And stop saying that people are going to get killed or that you are going to get killed and that you are leaving the country. IT'S DONE #ElcomandanteSeQueda (The commander is staying)

On the side of the opposition there is gratitude for Henrique Capriles and his campaign, criticism towards the President's opportunism, and allegations of serious irregularities that go back to the days of the campaign.

Similarly, many also call fellow Capriles supporters to reflect on the results, to continue the fight, and to take into account that while victory was not achieved in this election, the leaders of the opposition now have an organized group that will allow for cohesive and more efficient work in the years to come.

Fedosy Santaella (@Fedosy) [es] writes:

@Fedosy: Capriles seguirá sirviendo, yo seguiré escribiendo. Mi país es mi país. No soy menos venezolano, ni soy menos escritor.

@Fedosy [es]: Capriles will continue serving, I will continue writing. My country is my country. I am no less Venezuelan, and no less a writer.

Moraima Guanipa (@haticos) [es] says:

@haticos: Reconoceré el triunfo de Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías pero jamás aplaudiré la forma ventajista, abusiva y manipuladora con la que se impuso.

@haticos [es]: I will recognize the victory of Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías but I will never applaud the opportunistic, abusive, and manipulative way in which it was imposed.

User @upallove [es], meanwhile, expresses her disappointment in the results of this and of past presidential elections:

@upallove: En Argentina gano Cristina. En México gano Peña Nieto. En Venezuela gano Chavez. En Latino América gano la ignorancia.

@upallove [es]: Cristina [Fernández de Kirchner] won in Argentina. Peña Nieto won in Mexico. Chávez won in Venezuela. Ignorance won in Latin America.

Andrea (@DynamiteAndre) points out, like many others, her concern over the use of guns during the celebration:

@DynamiteAndre: “¡VIVA CHÁVEZ!” seguido del sonido de muchos tiros seguidos. No, amigo chavista. No vas a poder convencerme de que esto está bien.

@DynamiteAndre: “LONG LIVE CHÁVEZ!” followed by the sound of shots in a row. No, chavista [Chávez supporter] friend. You won't be able to convince me that this is OK.

After sifting through the numerous exchanges that took place during the night of the election, an idea seems to creep up as part of the debate: the need for mutual recognition to overcome the long separation of social classes, and the need for self-criticism from each of the players. Luis Carlos Díaz (@LuisCarlos) [es] points to this need that stands out as a result of this election:

@LuisCarlos: Empieza la competencia por el reconocimiento del otro

@LuisCarlos [es]: The competition for the recognition of the other begins.

Luis Carlos also highlighted a fact for reflection by all political tendencies:

@LuisCarlos: El presidente Chávez gana por cuarta vez una elección presidencial y tendrá un periodo 1999-2019

@LuisCarlos [es]: President Chávez wins a presidential election for the fourth time and will have a 1999-2019 term.

From the side supporting Chávez, Gabriel López (@GaboVzla) [es] says:

@GaboVzla: El triunfo que ya todos conocemos merece tambien profundas reflexiones,que sin duda vendran.Hoy,a celebrar y a fortalecer nuestra democracia

@GaboVzla: The victory that we all already know about also deserves profound reflection, which will surely come. Today, let's celebrate and strengthen our democracy

Many questions remain unanswered and many more opinions will fill the discussion this week in the Venezuelan blogosphere.

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