Thursday, June 03, 2004

Tensions are rising in Venezuela
Friday 3, June 2004

I will be probably out of Internet reach for the next 24 hours or so. Thus it is unlikely that I will post anything until Friday night (though the hotel where I am going might have internet access, not a sure thing in Venezuela).

And I do not even have time today to write a careful post with links and all. Thus I will ask your forgiveness while giving you a linkless executive summary of what is going on.

Last night "raids". Some obscure events at the Electoral Board offices, CNE. A group of people caught doing some "investigation" in the safe haul of the CNE. Big scandal starting at around 10 PM. Looks like it is an occasion for settling accounts between some of the CNE rectors, but apparently if they were going to cheat, they were stopped on time (which does not preclude other forms of cheating elsewhere). Again Rodriguez, the "real" president of the CNE, even acknowledged as such by Mejias on TV this morning, was stirring some trouble in what could have been an attempt at discrediting Mejias. But Mejias is an Adeca, and Adecos just do not fall like that... They are the ones that wrote the book on electoral fraud in Venezuela and if right now they are acting white sheep, they can smell fraud a mile away.

Teodoro Petkoff in Tal Cual. Excellent editorial this morning! But I have no time to translate it. I am just writing this to see if one of my colleagues take the bait.

Chavistas are restless. The Aporrea front page this morning was dripping in red, with pretty much a call to arms in bright yellow letters. I did copy it as a picture but from work I cannot upload files to the blog, some program incompatibility. The link is on the right side. This afternoon there was some significant unrest in downtown Caracas. And at 5 the "people" are called in front of Miraflores Palace for a speech from the "comandante". Good set up as there is a rather narrow street that fills up fast giving an impression at night of zillions of people. Will the CNE make an announcement before the speech? Will Chavez make the announcement unnecessary? By conceding the Recall Petition or sending it ad patres?

Rumors of internal struggles are reported from everywhere. It seems that the most corrupt wing of the military, led by Garcia Carneiro the intellectually limited Defense Minister that made it there only through canine loyalty to Chavez, is pushing Chavez not to accept the verdict. Of course, they are the ones that have the most to lose if Chavez goes, many of them probably ending up in jail: Fort Mara burnt soldiers, February 27 brutal repression, corruption since the Bolivar 2000 plan to the present food distribution schemes, etc, etc...

The results advance? In spite of all the recent troubles Rodriguez keeps getting in he still manages to extricate himself by some vague result announcement promise. One would think that all is fine and dandy in the counting rooms. But delays keep being announced. It would be pleasantly ridicule for the stakes at play..... It is really a Kafkaesque moment when all have the results in hand and none can publish them because the CNE must do so first! Perhaps in a couple of hours the CNE Olympus will come to TV?

That is it for now. Hopefully I will get break at some point if not this blogger says good night until Friday late evening.

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