HAVANA TIMES — “I swear to you Chavez, my vote’s for Maduro!” With these words and other songs in support of Chavista candidate Nicolas Maduro, a red tide overflowed seven avenues in Caracas.
If anyone still doubted the way the Venezuelan people support their interim president, they couldn’t have after having seen this massive march.
Working people didn’t care if Maduro misled them about the date of the death of their beloved President Chavez, nor if their socialist government has been unable to stop inflation or street crime in that South American country, which is among the most violent nations in the world.
They didn’t care that some communities in the country are without drinking water and electrical services, or that there’s some corruption in the current government, or even that the state gives away oil to Cuba and other poor countries in the region.
Nor were they bothered that Maduro showed himself to be homophobic, insulting his opponent; after all, the other candidate has done the same kind of things.
The Venezuelan people flooded the streets of Caracas because, during the 14 years of the Chavez government, unemployment fell from 13 percent to 8 percent, the country climbed several rungs on the UN Human Development Index, unemployment fell by 50 percent, and extreme poverty fell from 42 percent to 9.5 percent.
Similarly, since 2005 there has been no illiteracy in Venezuela, enrollment in public universities doubled, and students from low-income families don’t have to pay for their university studies.
This is because the government has developed important social programs that guarantee free education, free health care and other benefits for the neediest citizens.
For all of this and many other undeniable achievements by Chavez and his government, the people marched and chanted alongside Maduro.
This Sunday April 14th, 19 million Venezuelans are eligible to go to the polls, this time ending the shortest election campaign in the history of that country. The future of Venezuela is in their hands.