Saturday, May 29, 2004

Salvaging the Recall Election in Venezuela
Second day, second report

I was out most of the day. I did stop in an opposition center in Guama and I will have this report later on this evening.

I had a few errands to do in Barquisimeto. Everything seemed normal there except that they had even more soldiers in front of the validation centers.

Back and after a quick survey of the new one can say that the processes kept moving on in spite of some rather serious incidents. In particular two teams of Globovision were attacked by pro-Chavez folks. Some other press agents were also attacked. Live coverage and everything. One wonders what would be happening if Gaviria and Carter had not showed up to monitor the processes!

One of the attacks was in the Western part of Caracas (see "El Petarazo" posts a few months back). Yet the Petare mayor, the son of ineffable Vice President Rangel claimed that he "doubted" that the aggressors were chavistas and that it was more likely that it was a set up to tarnish his good name. I have a novel idea for you smart ass mayor of Petare: Globovision has all the footage, go and send your cops capture the aggressors and prove to the country that you are indeed a true mayor, true to his word and not your daddy's creature.

Meanwhile the leader of the armed forces "plan republica" to guarantee the safety of the process was happily talking on state TV to say that it was wrong to ask for a Recall Election. Promptly getting sever criticism from the opposition for his partiality. So let me get this straight: the OAS cannot make any appreciation on the situation but the public officer in charge of the whole security system can show his blatant partiality? Who can understand chavistas?

Meanwhile in the background I am listening to TV reporting this late in the day a difficult situation on the Avenida Andres Bello of Caracas as a group of chavistas are trying to force the closing of a validation center. The army is trying to close the place to avoid further trouble. Live reporting again, folks!

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