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Results in gubernatorial election a boost for candidates seeking to counter Maduro’s party at ballot box

Gideon Long in Bogotá

Venezuela’s opposition has dealt an embarrassing blow to Nicolás Maduro’s ruling socialists by winning an election in the state where former president Hugo Chávez was born and nurtured his Bolivarian revolution.

Opposition candidate Sergio Garrido easily won the contest for state governor in Barinas, taking 55.4 per cent in Sunday’s ballot to 41.3 per cent for government candidate Jorge Arreaza.

“The whole of Venezuela was watching Barinas. The whole world was watching Barinas and we did it!” Garrido said in a victory speech. “Barinas won! Venezuela won!”