There is a new fascinating site that reviews many of the electoral issues in Venezuela, resuming all the evidence of electoral fraud in past elections. It is a flash presentation in Spanish, unfortunately for the English only readers of this blog. However there are many of these presentations in English PDF though I have had no time to check how good the translations are and how complete the information is. But the presentations are in general top notch, and the explanations of the Newcomb-Benford laws cannot be any clearer and useful in illustrating the electoral fraud committed in 2004.
Now, before any one gets too excited. Even if electoral fraud was committed in 2004 it is too late now to do much about it. We need to move on and find ways to fight future frauds, knowing that everyday it will be more and more difficult for a government sagging in polls to make a "credible" fraud as they did in 2004. Thus the need to visit the different presentations included in the link above and to understand that staying home in disgust IS NOT GOING TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM, unless you are willing to get a gun and march to Miraflores. Since 99.9% of the abstention party seems to prefer to go to the beach or the mall on election day, then, well, "¿porqué no se callan?". The solution is to get involved, to man all electoral centers and be present when ballots are counted. As long as the opposition will not be able to send electoral witness inside the 23 de Enero, chavismo will be able to inflate the results there and you can be assured that the natives are not going to complain. If you want to help the dissidence of the 23 de Enero to vote against Chavez, you need to be there for them.
Also, my position as to the 2004 is not changed: I think that Chavez won but they could not resit a little bit of fraud to pad the result and make them look better. Whenever Chavez is on the ballot he needs for his ego to get at least a hundred thousand more votes than the previous time. There are enough sycophants around willing to oblige and cheat even if Chavez does not ask them to do so explicitly. That it the way it works in regimes like Chavez. Even when all polls are in favor of Chavez, some local pols will try to show that their district is the most chavista of them all. I will remind you that electoral fraud is not just a matter of stuffing the ballot box: it already starts at the gross unfairness of means deployed by governmental agents. That also needs to be repeatedly, tirelessly denounced!
Thus you need to read as many presentations of that site above to understand that 1) only stern and decisive preparation from opposition political parties will give a credible chance of making an election result count, 2) only through your personal involvement you will be able to effect changes, , no matter which is the political party or political organization a majority in your area and 3) you cannot claim fraud if you did not go and vote.
Otherwise you only other option is to march to Miraflores. If you think that the fat and corrupt generals that Chavez has placed all around him are going to remove him from office, you are in for a rude awakening. By the time the militia is fully constituted you will not even be able to vote honestly in your condominium elections.....