The right wing opposition won a large majority in Venezuela’s parliamentary elections last Sunday.
Left wing president Nicolas Maduro recognised the dire result—the first time the right has won a nationwide vote in over 15 years.
He warned, “The opposition hasn’t won, a counter-revolution has won.”
Right wingers could use their position to set the political agenda or even move to unseat Maduro.
They are the political heirs of those who kept most Venezuelans in poverty through brutal repression until 1999.
Their rule was ended by the election of radical left president Hugo Chavez—who they tried to oust with a coup and then a lockout of industry.
Right wing figures last year led violent riots and street blockades against the government.
Their return to office could overturn the real gains made by the poor under Chavez and let the reactionary rich take their revenge.
But Chavez and his successor Maduro failed to defend their “Bolivarian revolution” from its enemies.
They did nothing to break the economy’s dependence on oil exports.
And the global slump in oil prices has sparked the deepest economic crisis in Venezuela’s history.
They also formed a tight alliance with some bosses and corrupt figures of the old guard, demobilising the support they counted on from ordinary people.