While I was busy writing yet another overlong post, my fellow Venezuelan bloggers were unearthing a few interesting things. Besides the incredible amount of people with the same last name, born on the same day in Zulia and some of them actually voting twice, we find out that the new Information minister has a past. Or rather, does not have a past. But let's go by order.
Fraud in the electoral registry. This has alredy been reproted so often that I will not even try to look for the linsk from any of the Venezuelan blogs that often hard on this issue. Let's just mention the last one, which I forgot to include in yesterday post: 476 800 voters cannot be verified, that is about 5% of the registry! Enough to skew a few elections here and there! And let's not go into double and triple voting incidents found. Truly, Venezuela is ready to redo completely its electoral registry, the one in use has become totally useless.
Miguel's curiosty. Looking at that article on registration irregularities Miguel had the good idea to check on the persistent rumor that the new Information Minister, Yuri Pimentel, had a very strange ID number. It is important to note that in Venezuela the ID numbers started in the 40ies, with President Medina Angarita being 1. Today few people can be found with only 5 digits, and I suspect even less with less digits. But youngsters are in the mid to late 10 million. Lo' and behold the new minister is number 21.759.900 (a nice round number by the way!). So either he is less than 15 year old or he became Venezuelan citizen barely before he became minisiter. What is your past Mr. Pimentel?
But blog readers had the good idea to start looking around and there is at least one Yuri Pimentel in a missing person list in London sicne 2002. Fascinating! And the search goes on, keep reading the comments on Miguel's post for further dicoveries. Even from Norway Stig is able to unearth interesting information. How come the local opposition cannot call on such things? For all what I know Mr. Pimentel might have perfectly good reasons for having such a strange ID number, but we do have a right to know.
Meanwhile in a long interview Maria Corina Machado states, proof in hand, that the electoral system is not improving at all and that elections are thus meaningless. Gee, what a surprise! What incentive is for chavismo to clean up its electoral act that brings it such great dividends?