Venezuela. In the September 26 congressional elections,
President Hugo Chávez failed to win the two-thirds majority
he sought, despite his party's Partido Socialista Unido de
Venezuela (PSUV) winning 96 of the Congress's 165 seats.
However, the PSUV is still the largest party and the
overweightness of Chávez in public opinion was still
evident. Opposition Alliance Mesa de la Unidad Democrática
(MUD) got 64 seats, and Chávez's former backing party Patria
Para Todos (PPT), who has now joined the opposition, got two
seats. According to
COUNTRYAAH, particular attention was drawn to María Corina
Machado, who is considered to have the best chances of
defeating Chávez in the 2012 presidential election. Because
of the constitution's constitution, the election result
meant that the opposition was given disproportionately few
In response to Colombia's defense minister Gabriel
Silva's claims in July that the Venezuelan government is
protecting members of the Colombian guerrilla movements FARC
(Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia) and ELN
(Ejército de Liberación Nacional) in its territory,
President Chávez refused to prove the installation of the
new Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos August 7.
Relations with neighboring countries have long been chilly,
especially during the resignation of President Álvaro Uribe.
But as a sign that at least Chávez was hoping for better
relations, he received the newly elected President Santos in
Caracas in early November.
At the end of November, the coastal areas were hit by the
worst rainfall since 1999, when at least 10,000 people were
killed. The death toll this time was considerably lower, but
nearly 60,000 people were affected by the storm and half
were evacuated from their homes.