In Venezuela’s Flawed Vote, Maduro Shows One Way to Retain Power

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The mission, on the other hand, praised various democratic advancements in Sunday’s election, even describing the country’s computerized voice processing technology as “reliable.”

The US, which does not recognize Mr Maduro’s administration, described the election as “seriously flawed,” but congratulated opposition candidates who ran to keep the few democratic seats they still held.

Many voters voiced scant faith in the election’s fairness at voting places in Caracas on Sunday, but said they had opted to vote nevertheless, in some cases because they saw their vote as their final weapon in the struggle for change.

Blas Roa, 55, a Caracas carpenter who voted for the first time since 2015, said, “I know the whole process is controlled.” “However, if I do not vote, I am powerless.”

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The majority of Venezuelans were unconcerned.

Only 42% of people voted, the lowest turnout in any election in which the opposition took part in the previous two decades. Few people in the nation still expect for drastic change after 20 years of communist government, preferring instead to take advantage of new economic freedoms to ameliorate their terrible living conditions.

According to opposition politician Freddy Superlano, who stood for governor of the rural state of Barinas, long a huge socialist party bastion and home to the party’s founder, Hugo Chávez, this government-induced indifference ended up being Mr Maduro’s best weapon in the election.

Tuesday afternoon, the competition was still too close to call.

Mr. Superlano believes the outcome might have been different if the opposition groupings had put their differences aside and launched an unified campaign.

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