With more than 60 percent of voter turnout, the patriotic forces won 18 of 23 governorships, with 54 percent of the national vote. A victory "right down the line" as our Commandante Hugo Chavez would say. This victory has surprised those who have little confidence in the people that have grown and matured despite difficulties, just as our Liberator Simon Bolivar grew in the face of adversity.
To those who ask me why did we win – I can answer the following:
Because we are a people with dignity that came out to reject "the gang" of imperialist governments and their oligarch lackeys on this continent. It is they who harass and threaten us for exercising our right to self-determination.
Because despite the complex economic situation, the Bolivarian Revolution is the real option for stability so as to regain prosperity when faced with exclusion, violence and the chaos that can bring a counterrevolutionary government to power.
Because Chavismo is a popular force that every day has greater class consciousness, with a coherent historical project, with a collective leadership at different levels that recognizes President Nicolas Maduro, the leader responsible for marshaling the Bolivarian Revolution.
Because we plan and build with the hard work of militants of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela and allied parties; with the missions and brigades of the movement “We are Venezuela;” with the head of the CLAPs (Local Committees for Supplies and Production); with the communes and social/cultural movements; and with our candidates in the streets, working with the people. They all recognize that there is a good future and homeland for them.
Because the people who vote for the opposition punished their leaders for a complete lack of seriousness; their manifest irresponsibility and incoherence calling for contradictory methods of struggle, including fratricidal violence; for promoting foreign military interventions, betraying the homeland and violating the sacred right to live in peace with all other Venezuelans; and their failure and inability to achieve any positive goal for Venezuela.
For that and many other things we won and with this victory came independence, peace and dignity for Venezuela.
It is necessary to recognize the role of the National Electoral Council and the Bolivarian National Armed Forces of Venezuela to guarantee and protect the supreme democratic right to vote and choose freely.
The historical battle continues. Next comes the mayoral election, then those for president. For the latter, we will need many more than eight million votes in favor of the homeland and the Bolivarian Socialist Revolution. Chavismo has the wherewithal to do this and from this point on we are going to build this historic victory for the Venezuelan people!
Elias Jaua Milano has held several important government posts during the Chavismo years in Venezuela including Chief of Staff to President Hugo Chavez; Minister of Finance; Vice President of the Republic; Minister of Foreign Affairs; Agriculture Minister; and his current post, Minister of Education.
First published in Aporrea on Oct. 22, 2017.
Translated by Arturo Rosales.