Out with Socialism: the nails in the coffin for Chavism?
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Out with Socialism: the nails in the coffin for Chavism?

Shouts, tears and fireworks received Venezuela’s opposition party, winning by a landslide during Sunday’s elections.

The shift in the country’s power balance has seen an end to 17 years of socialist rule in the Venezuela, started by late president Hugo Chávez who up until his death from cancer in 2013 who  had an almost-magical hold over Venezuela’s long-excluded masses.

The results are a major blow for Latin America’s left, as neighboring Brazil is also seeking to oust President Dilma Rousseff over links to corruption scandal Operation Carwash, rocking the country’s political and social spheres.

The opposition coalition won at least 99 seats in the incoming 167-seat legislature, electoral authorities announced after midnight Sunday, the Independent reports. While President Nicolás Maduro’s once ruling socialist party won 46 seats.

But what next for those diehard supporters of Chávez, the lower socio-economic classes who still keep candles burning for all that Hugo once promised? With the opposition now in power is socialism dead? Or do ties to the movement run so deep across Venezuela that the movement will continue to remain alive?

Certainly, social media Chavistas had their own response to the electoral results.

“I will always remain loyal to my eternal Comandante.” One user tweets.

Once Chávez focused news channel tweeted their support for Maduro and socialism, despite the electoral results:

 Whereas Jorge Rodríguez a socialist party supported tweeted:

“Chávez we won’t fail you, I am crying for you, we won’t lose what you have achieved… God please forgive the traitors…”

Maduro reacts

Is Maduro the one to blame for the fall of socialism? Around 60 to 65 percent of Venezuelans surveyed blame his government for the country’s ongoing recession, inflation and food shortages BBC Mundo reports.

Maduro’s response to his defeat: “A new phase of the Bolivarian Revolution is coming,” with the ex-president adding “nobody said that it would be easy.” While Maduro has the right language up his sleeve, there is no doubt that he certainly lacks the support and dynamic delivery which placed Chávez in the hearts of so many of his supporters.

In fact, Chávez remains one of history’s most popular Venezuelans to this day in the country, with over 50 percent of Venezuelans asked retaining a positive leader of the deceased president.

“This is a circumstantial defeat and will be interpreted by Chavism as a normal reversal within the social justice process,” Alberto Aranguibel, a political scientist specializing in Chavism comments.

“Rather than weakening it, the loyalty expressed towards the revolutionary process will gain momentum thanks to this electoral shift,” he adds.

While many Venezuelans celebrate the return of democracy and long-waited positive political developments for the country, Chávez supporters will not be defeated. While Nicolás might have failed where Hugo once succeeded, it would appear that the seeds of support have been sown deep. Chávez and his memory will continue to live on.

See also:

Opposition wins by a landslide in Venezuelan elections

Two years later, Venezuelans remember Chávez

Maduro launches unique socialist footwear: Hugo Chávez boots