Venezuelan local women elected to office

After more than 100 days of repression, two women decided to be the change that they wish for their respective Venezuelan country by running for office.

“Venezuela seems to be on the brink of ruin” affirmed the Human Rights organization Amnesty International. Since February, opponents and supporters of Maduro’s government have confronted in the streets. The result of strikes and barricades are over 2.000 detentions, 650 injured and 41 deaths.

The 25th of May were the elections of San Cristobal’s and San Diego’s mayors.  As former San Cristobal’s mayor, Daniel Ceballos was being  convicted for contempt to the court  to 12 months in jail; his wife was winning the elections with 73.2 per cent of the votes, more votes than himself.  Enzo Scarano’s case was similar, he was sentenced with Ceballos and they shared a cell in jail. He was declared guilty for contempt to the authority and sentenced to 10 months and 15 days in jail. Enzo’s wife, Rosa Scarano, realizing that someone needed to do something to put an end to these unfair events, decided to step in into politics, winning this Monday the elections for mayor with 87.68 per cent of the votes. These two wife’s are expecting to make a change in politics and to end with what they call “Maduro’s dictatorship” not letting him ruin those two cities as he has done with the rest of the country.

It is necessary to take into account that the representation of women as a conflict and consensus figure arouses more sympathy and works better in order to develop a favorable public opinion regarding the changes of the government. This has spent years operating in the case of Cuba and more recently also for the processes of destabilization in Venezuela.

There are three obvious reasons to explain what ahs created this political environment in Venezuela. The first one is the economy, because the South American country registered last year one of the highest inflation rates in the world (61.5%), and the situation has not improved in the last months, even though they’ve got the largest oil reserves in the globe. The second factor is both the murder and violence rates registered in the country: since Maduro predecessor, President Chavez, took the power, those rates have increased constantly (approximately 24,700 people killed in 2013). And the last one were the Presidential elections held in 2013 after the death of Hugo Chavez, in which Maduro’s victory was strongly questioned and he didn’t accept a recount demanded by Henrique Capriles, opposition leader.

Has this political “chaos” in Venezuela deteriorated its foreign relations? Well, most of all it has changed the image that some people had on Venezuela, if it was in some cases negative with Chavez it just became worse with Maduro. The main deteriorated relation was the one with its neighbouring country, Colombia. Colombia in protest of the violation of human rights cut the supply of gas to Venezuela. The gas represents a total of 70% of Venezuelan gas.

Speech of Paula Gutierrez de Ceballos, Daniel Ceballo’s wife.



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