After a week in suspense, no one was able to contest the result that Freddy Superlano, of the Voluntad Popular party, gave victory in the government of Barinas State, the birthplace of Commander Hugo Chávez. The defeat of Argenis Chávez, brother of the late leader of the revolution and acting governor, seemed like a fact. Until the Supreme Court of Justice, controlled by the Chavista commanders in Caracas, was in charge of annulling the opposition victory.
The justice ordered the paralysis of the vote count with the argument that Superlano weighed a political disqualification in force before the beginning of the electoral campaign and ordered a repeat of the elections in the State. It obviated that the opposition candidate had been allowed to stand in the elections in the context of the dialogue agreements between Chavismo and the opposition that were held in Mexico and are currently suspended.
Question. Did you come to think that victory would be snatched from him arguing now that he was disqualified?
Answer. To be honest no. I thought that the Chavistas were going to steal the election from the National Electoral Council itself, some forged situation, a sneakiness. I was surprised by the measure. Now there is a rumor that they are going to make me more serious accusations, criminal offenses, so that we cannot campaign or support another candidate.
P. Should the opposition run again in the elections in the State of Barinas on January 9?
R. After what happened, the one who did not vote in Barinas wants to vote. People were left with a bittersweet taste. He beat Chavismo in Chávez’s home state after 22 years. The word is not revenge, but people saw what happened. There may be even higher levels of participation.
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P. Even if you are not the candidate after you have won?
R. Of course. If they block my way, and we can defeat them again, I am won over to the idea.
P. Do you think that the PSUV (United Socialist Party of Venezuela) in Barinas is going to give the electoral fight, mobilizing its militants to defeat the opposition?
R. He is going to do it, they have machinery, a clientelistic structure. They resort to coercion, to blackmail, they have control of gasoline and diesel in Barinas. From the buying of consciences to intimidation. Barinas is a militarized state. It will never cease to be a challenge to compete against a dictatorship.
P. The resignation of Argenis Chávez to the governorship and a new candidacy is striking.
R. Defeat is charged to him. Argenis argues that he has not had support from the national government and that he has not been able to manage the same situation in the country. With all the advantage and abuse, he could not win. They hijacked the minutes, withheld the data for a whole week and, finally, they bought corrupt deputies, the famous scorpions.
P. Do people confuse you with Adolfo Superlano, the former opposition deputy who went before the Supreme Court and made it possible for them to ignore his victory? [El Supremo venezolano tomó su decisión tras admitir el amparo constitucional interpuesto por Adolfo Superlano -un dirigente opositor disidente, acusado de actos de corrupción- contra Freddy Superlano ]
R. I have received innumerable insults from people who confuse me, who am the victim, with this guy. By the way, we are not family, there is no bond.
P. Who can be the candidate of Chavismo in these new elections in Barinas?
R. I think it will be a Chávez. This is a family fiefdom. Hugo Chávez had several brothers and has nephews involved in politics. They have been mayors, ministers, governors and deputies. The Chávez have always been plugged into power.
P. Can a single opposition candidacy be presented for January 9?
R. Of course. We work with the rest of the factors of the Democratic Unity and when the new candidate for governor is presented, we will do it together. We are clear, it is the way to face a monster with a thousand heads.
P. Who will be the candidate?
R. It is not defined yet. I know that it is almost impossible for the Supreme Court to reconsider my situation. But I am obliged to appeal in order to go to international bodies. Here again, the political rights of many people have been violated. Nicolás Maduro has an open investigation before the International Criminal Court. The European Union report will have a special chapter for the case of Barinas.
P. How do you feel, personally, after being successful and being disqualified?
R. I am pleased. Winning in the State of Barinas is not just anything; challenging what we have challenged has enormous value. Defeating the Chávez in their fiefdom is priceless; see Argenis Chávez resigning and acknowledging his defeat. We wanted to govern for the people and we had a well-founded proposal, but since we are in a dictatorship, I understand what is happening and I am not frustrated.
P. Are you going to ask for the vote for the new opposition candidate?
R. Of course. Unless the repression intensifies and they begin to imprison everyone. What we are experiencing in Venezuela would be evident to the international community, but I do not rule out that it happens. The Armed Forces of Venezuela and the Plan República are a political party at the service of the Government of Nicolás Maduro. A party that has weapons, tanks, grenades and vests.
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