Mary Anastasia O'Grady: Venezuela's sham election

Venezuela held what it called presidential and state legislative “elections” on Sunday, as if voters’ ballots would decide who governs them. As we went to press state television had not announced its results. But it’s safe to say that the winners were whoever Castro’s Cuba—which runs Venezuela—decided they would be.

Last week Reuters reported that Venezuelan state-owned oil company PdVSA has purchased almost $440 million of crude in foreign markets this year and delivered it to Cuba on favorable credit terms. “Often at a loss, according to internal company documents,” the news outlet reported.

A loss, that is, for dystopian Venezuela, where every day the population plumbs new depths of privation. Could there be better evidence that the country has been colonized by Cuba?

Most Venezuelans gave up long ago on “elections” as the way to restore their rights. They have tried other means, going to the streets peacefully and in big numbers. Some have even taken up arms. But they are outgunned and, perhaps as important, out-surveilled by Cuban intelligence. Midlevel military dissent is no secret, but the top brass has so far quashed rebellion.

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Mary Anastasia O'Grady writes The Americas column for the Wall Street Journal.