Opinion Former Article

Unite welcomes Chávez re-election in Venezuela

Venezuelans went to the polls yesterday (Sunday, 7 October) to elect their president. The main choice was between the incumbent Hugo Chávez, backed by a coalition of progressive and left-aligned parties and social movements, and Henrique Capriles Radonski, a state governor with strong ties to the country's elite, who had formed a right wing coalition known as the MUD.

Unite General Secretary, Len McCluskey, said: “Unite congratulates the Venezuelan people on holding another free and fair election.

“Once again Venezuela has shown why former US President Jimmy Carter has said it has the best election process in the world.

“There should be no support from our government to those extremist movements in Venezuela calling for the results to be rejected. Those people refusing to accept the views of the Venezuelan majority today are the very same people who backed the coup against Hugo Chávez in 2002. They are certainly not democrats.

“We welcome this result which is a clear endorsement of Hugo Chávez's progressive social policies.

“Venezuela shows that governments that put the needs of ordinary working people first can expect strong support at the ballot box.

“Rather than making ordinary people bear the brunt of an economic crisis, governments in Europe might want to learn the obvious lessons from Venezuela.”

Len McCluskey was a signatory to a letter to Foreign Secretary William Hague, along with MPs and leading figures from civil society, that urged the British government to respect Venezuela' democratic processes. The letter was issued on Friday, October 5, visit http://www.venezuelasolidarity.org.uk/vic/

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