Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Final update for today
02/25/2004

The Carter center declaration of today. Full text.

Ugly TV tonight. Grado 33 (on Globovision) showed an interview to Carrasquero ("official" president of the Electoral Board, CNE) when he was sworn in last fall. And all the contradictions to his early statements as time went. Basically calling him a liar. Strong stuff and one wonders were true journalism and character assassination meet. Unfortunately I had already decided that Carrasquero was more likely to have hidden his partiality to chavismo, so I must confess that the Grado 33 reproach seems rather well deserved even though it should not be done on TV. But Globovision does have reasons to be upset at Chavez who recently has expressed his desire to shut it down all together. I suppose that it is a case of going down guns in hand.

In another Grado 33 interview, Hernan Escarra was mentioning with outmost calm and seriousness the different steps to plan a complete civil disobedience. Hernan Escarra was elected to the constitutional assembly and was one of the only moderate and responsible voices of chavismo then. Times do change, dont'they Hernan? Still, realizing that people are now considering to confront head on the Chavez administration gives one pause.

The news on Globovision were hardly better. The declarations of Jorge Rodriguez (CNE "real" president) were contrasted with the rules accorded by the CNE last fall. Either Mr. Rodriguez is a liar or he does not know what he is doing. What was clear is that he knows very little about statistical methods (but then again this seem a problem with 99% of Venezuelans). Mr. Rodriguez showed three (3) "planillas" with obvious defects. Out of 170 + thousand forms... He pretends us to accept that 170 + forms should be revised because he found three defective ones.

Mr. Rodriguez should be pretty upset with that special feature. A little close to character assassination for comfort but since I do not hear even a word of excuse from the CNE about the inconvenience that this might cause to the good folks that indeed signed.....

Because this is what is all about. Most people that signed are accused to be cheats unless proven otherwise. The CNE assumes that people that are in the planillas planas did not really sign or committed fraud and it is up to them to demonstrate that they are honest citizens. In other words, this goes against all presumptions of justice, that one is assumed innocent unless proven guilty. But that is what the Venezuelan state has become: you are only right if you agree with the beloved leader. The arrogance of the state, in all of its horror!

But if you think that I am partial... I did bear with VTV for a few minutes only to see an NGO (an oxymoronic pro Chavez NGO) protest to defend the rights of people that did not sign. And a few military officers complaining from the vice presidency pulpit that their names were found in the "planillas planas". I have a question for all of these people and VTV: where did they find the list with their names? The CNE has not published the names of the signatory folks yet and as far as I know the information is confidential until the CNE officially publishes it. But law, dear law, wherever are thou?

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