by Stephen Lendman
Latin American and other heads of state attended Maduro's inaugural ceremony. Earlier he accused opposition forces of triggering post-election violence.
"We have stopped a coup in its first stage," he said. "They are beaten, but they are coming back with a new attack." On Thursday, he flew to Lima.
He attended an emergency UNASUR meeting with other Latin American leaders. He did so to discuss what's ongoing. It continues. Opposition leader Capriles publicly urged supporters to carry out desruptive actions.
Washington's long arm is involved. Maduro understands the threat. Hopefully he's up to the challenge.
"We have information that right-wing sectors are making groups of people red shirts to simulate attacks," he said. He's got just cause for concern. Dark forces never quit.
Washington claims nonexistent electoral irregularities. On April 17, a White House released press secretary statement "on the situation in Venezuela" disingenuously said:
"The United States congratulates the Venezuelan people for their participation in the April 14 presidential elections in a peaceful and orderly manner."
"We call on the Venezuelan government to respect the rights of Venezuelan citizens to peaceful assembly and free speech."
"We also urge everyone to refrain from violence and other measures that could raise tensions at this difficult moment."
"The United States notes the acceptance by both candidates for an audit of the ballots and supports calls for a credible and transparent process to reassure the Venezuelan people regarding the results."
"Such a process would contribute to political dialogue and help advance the country's democracy."
Maduro indisputably won. He did so fairly. He's Venezuela's democratically elected leader. Obama hasn't recognized his legitimacy. Failure suggests continuing destabilization efforts.
Maduro's inauguration came on Venezuela's 203rd independence anniversary. An impressive military parade followed. Violence preceded the day's ceremonies.
On April 18, this writer's Caracas contact said two houses were set ablaze. Chavistas were targeted. Venezuela's dominant corporate media ignored it. Post-election, eight or more Maduro supporters will killed. Another had his retail store burned down.
"The country remains calm overall," he added. "Industries, commerce, schools, service providers appear to be open for the most part." They're operating normally.
"Venezuelans are trying to be civil just to avoid any violent response, given all the" disruptive actions.
Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva rejects US interference, saying:
"When you are president there are things that you can't say, for diplomacy's sake, but now I can say this."
"Every so often the United States decides to call into question a foreign election. They should worry themselves with their own and leave us to chose our own destiny."
Lula congratulated Maduro on his victory. So did current Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff. Publicly she said she's "ready to work together." Other regional leaders extended their own support. Notable ones elsewhere also did so.
Granma International headlined "Statement from Movement of Non-Aligned Countries Coordinating Bureau on elections in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela," saying:
"The Movement of Non-Aligned Countries Coordinating Bureau salutes the elections held in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, April 14, 2013, which were characterized by massive participation and conducted transparently in a climate of democracy."
"The members of our Movement congratulate President Nicolás Maduro Moros for his election and express our confidence that the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela will continue to contribute, during his administration, to the consolidation of unity within the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries and to the struggle which together we have undertaken to protect its principles."
"The Movement of Non-Aligned Countries Coordinating Bureau calls for the preservation of a climate of peace, tolerance and harmony among Venezuelans and an end to all acts of violence."
On Friday, UNASUR officially "congratulated President Nicolas Maduro for" his electoral victory. It "urge(d) all sectors involved in the electoral process to respect the official results of the presidential election."
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Elias Jaua called UNASUR's statement "a reaffirmation of what we have advocated for in Venezuela."
"We are pleased by the important support of the international community for democracy, peace and stability and recognition of Nicolas Maduro as president of Venezuela," he added.
"Respect for the popular will is non-negotiable," he stressed.
Dark forces challenge its legitimacy. Falsified evidence claims it. So-called "irregularities" don't exist. Allegations about manipulating vote totals don't wash.
Capriles falsely said more voters cast ballots in some centers than registered voters. Corroborating didn't follow.
Venezuela's electoral process is scrupulously open, free and fair. Independent monitors, internal ones, and witnesses say so. Multiple audits are conducted.
A random one of 54% of all votes included ballots cast in all centers. No irregularities were found. Nonetheless, National Electoral Council (CNE) President Tibisay Lucena announced a post-election 100% audit.
She did so after Capriles formally demanded one. He wants all votes recounted manually. Doing so is virtually impossible. Venezuela's process is digitized and automated. Auditing the remaining 46% of votes will be conducted.
"We will select a sample that will be audited for 10 days and a report of the results will be emitted," Lucerna explained. "This procedure will be repeated every 10 days for 30 days in the presence of witnesses from both camps."
She said 400 ballot boxes will be audited daily. Doing so will begin next week. Capriles ostensibly agreed. "Sooner or later the truth will come out," he said. He added that revealing it "will have real consequences."
He'll likely make new demands as things move forward. Washington directs and funds him. Destabilization is official US policy. Expect disruptive actions to continue.
Inaugural ceremonies were impressive. Attending were 19 heads of state, 61 delegations, two parliament presidents, four foreign ministers, various other ministers, and other distinguished guests.
Maduro promised to advance Bolivarian successes. He called doing so "a revolution of the revolution."
Flanked by huge portraits of Chavez ("our eternal commander") and Simon Bolivar (Latin America's liberator), Maduro held a miniature copy of Venezuela's Constitution.
He swore allegiance to the Venezuelan people and Hugo Chavez's memory. He pledged to "abide by….the Constitution of the Laws of the Republic….to construct an independent, free and socialist nation for all."
After receiving the presidential sash, he addressed Venezuelans on national television. He discussed Bolivarian achievements, Chavez's legacy, pre-election destabilization, Capriles refusal to accept defeat, and his urging supporters to protest disruptively.
He's ready for what follows. Venezuela "is strong," he said. He'll act against further violence, sabotage and other destabilizing actions.
He pledged unity. He reached out to all Venezuelans. He promised an "inclusive nation" of peace and dialogue. He'll deal responsibly with Venezuela's many challenges, he added.
A previous article said they include crime, government inefficiency, inflation, corruption, a weak currency, overreliance on imports, making Venezuela less oil-dependent, maintaining economic growth, as well as countering internal and Washington-directed destabilizations schemes.
He aims for "zero poverty" by 2019. He hopes Bolivarian advances will achieve it. Venezuela's spirit of democracy is real. Maduro's challenge is taking it to the next level.
Chavez called it building a socialist society in the 21st century. He urged a humanistic one based on solidarity. He addressed the January 2005 World Social Forum, saying:
"We have assumed the commitment to direct the Bolivarian Revolution towards socialism....a new socialism....a socialism of the 21st century....based in solidarity, fraternity, love, justice, liberty and equality."
He called it countering the free-market model based on exploiting workers for the interests of capital. He accomplished much throughout his tenure.
Maduro's challenge is advancing what he began. It's also deterring Washington's long arm successfully.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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