Sunday, May 30, 2004

Salvaging the Recall Election in Venezuela
Third day, second report

Well, it seems that the nervousness of the chavista camp is getting out of hand and strong evidence of some treachery is surfacing. In addition to the deliberate slow down in some centers, the inappropriate behavior of some militaries on occasion, and the intervention of the state security polices, now we have the "scandal" of fake Identity Cards. Sit while you read this, the governmet sole responsible of emitting ID cards in Venezuela is accusing the opposition to emit scores and scores of fake ID cards and they are searching many opposition information centers under the pretense of uncovering the scam.

Now, what is wrong with this silly scheme? To begin with it would be very difficult to pull such a scam. Yes, maybe a few hundred people might get away with using fake ID and repairing a few signatures against Chavez from the roster. But surely this would be noted really, really fast by the very chavista witness. Second, the scheme to have any effectiveness would have to be carried for at least 50 K signatures. Obviously such a fraud in a system where the electoral board, CNE, controls all the critical steps such as the records and the signature centers is just impossible to achieve. But most important: the only side that would benefit from a massive ID fraud is the Chavez administration! They are the ones that want people to withdraw "en masse" their names from the Recall Election petition. And they are (is it needed to remind the reader of that?) the ones that have controled the ID system for the past 5 years! The only ones that have the means to effectuate such a fraud!!!!

Yet, Carrasquero the official president of the CNE made a surprise apparition, alone, after days of silence. As it is becoming usual, his lone apparitions indicate "moves" from the government. The opposition promptly denounced the maneuver. And suprise, the opposition denounced that one of the search parties, acting WITHOUT a search warrant, was trying to place fake ID in an information center of the opposition. As if the hyper efficient Sumate would store fake ID a few hours before the closing time of the process.

What it all means, really? Well, they are looking for an excuse, ANY excuse to create a delay in announcing the final result and thus postpone the Recall Election for AFTER August 19, and thus ensuring the presence of a pro-Chavez vice president until July 2006. It is all quite simple. Carrasquero whose reputation has long sipped down the drain has not much to lose by making today show. All rest in whether Rodriguez, the "real" president of the CNE will do. He is the only one of the Chavez trio that seems to be slightly concerned by his reputation. He has done all what he could to help his camp. Will he go all the way?

Note added in proof: The state TV, VTV, has a "special" this afternoon, as speaker after speaker are denouncing the opposition evil intentions. Imagine that!? One woman going as far as saying that for the last five years the obscurantist opposition has been troubling the people's mind. I have a question for her: if this is true, what has the government being doing for tha last 5 years? But they have no sense of ridicule...

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