Opposition candidate Sergio Garrido from the Democratic Unity Table (MUD) has been chosen Sunday as the new governor of the Venezuelan state of Barinas after electoral authorities ordered the elections to be held again citing irregularities in the Nov. 21 polls.
Garrido beat the ruling PSUV's Jorge Arreaza, who has already conceded defeat: “Barinas dear. The information we receive from our PSUV structures indicates that, although we increased in voting, we have not achieved the objective. I heartily thank our heroic militancy. We will continue to protect the Barinese people from all spaces.
Meanwhile, opposition leader Juan Guaidó celebrated the outcome: “Nice Barinas, Where it started, it ends. United we are going to defend the will of a powerful majority that will not surrender, nor will it, until we see democracy in Venezuela again, he said on his Twitter account.
Brainas is the native land of the late revolutionary leader Hugo Chávez Frías. Incumbent governor at the Nov. 21 elections was his brother Argenis Chávez Frías, whose failure to be reelected dealt a moral blow to President Nicolás Maduro, who instructed PSUV's second in command Diosdado Cabello to find another candidate for the new elections. It was not encough.
Garrido's win marks an end to 22 years of Chávez rule in Barinas. The 54-year-old MUD candidate won the elections with 55.36% of the votes, against Arreaza's 41.27%. Areaza used to be married to one of Hugo Chávez's daughters, but they are divorced now.
The Governor-elect was born Nov. 2, 1967 in Barinas, the capital city of the state of the same name, and began his political career at age 16, when he joined the Democratic Action party (AD) of social democratic background.
When the Maduro regime annulled Nov. 21 elections after disqualifying opposition candidate Freddy Superlano, who was beating Argenis Chávez, Garrido became the candidate for the Democratic Unity Table (MUD).
Since the Bolivarian revolution, Barinas had known only Chávez governors: First his father Hugo de los Reyes (1998-2008), then brother Adán (2008-2016), and last Argenis (2017-2021).
Superlano was edging Argenis Chávez by 37.6% of the votes against 37.21% when he was disqualified for being subject to judicial investigations. This time around, popular discontent towards Chavismo was way more notorious. As a former son-in-law of Hugo Chávez, Arreaza would have somehow represented a new member of the Chávez dynasty ruling the state.