ÚLTIMA HORA | VIDEO - MUD anuncia resultado oficial de la Consulta Popular:— Alberto Rodríguez (@AlbertoRT51) July 17, 2017
En Venezuela: 6.492.381
En el Exterior: 693.789
Total: 7.186.170 pic.twitter.com/FDRBNhHwMD
The success was seen early, watching the regime figures who went as far as using old pictures of their marches, one with someone dead since 2014, pretending that their own "test" was the best test ever done on earth, that they have a video of someone voting 17 times (how can such video be made befuddles me) and more that surely I missed.
So yes, for the sake of the argument let's assume that we can shave off 1 million votes. That still leaves us with 6 million. This is huge because think about all the regime threats/pressure put against so many people. I can speak for myself: the SO and I discussed whether he should go and vote and we, or rather I, decided that he should not go and risk it. His medical expenses are too big and he depends on his job for insurance and, well, he is a public employee. I already pay enough but there is only so far I can go and thus we simply cannot risk it. The more so that we saw the huge lines to vote today so his vote would not be necessary. But I did vote, and so did many of his relatives less subject to blackmail like he is. I know, it is wimpy, but send me your cash first and then we can talk again.
Thus many people did not vote and the regime all through the day tried to dissuade more people to stay put. We even have death and injuries at the end of the day, violence coming from chavismo since, miracle, none of the regime centers for their "test" was hurt. They were relatively empty, and people we asked to stay longer than necessary, and asked to come late in the day to pretend congestion so that for the first time ever an electoral "test" had its schedule extended! But let's not be picky.
There is no point denying or discussing it: it was a MAJOR success for the opposition. As a matter of fact I think that the success is so big that they were not ready for it. So let's analyze briefly the results to understand how the hit is causing problems for the opposition MUD as it may not be prepared for such a success.
The CNE is trashed. The regime had been promoting the electoral board, CNE, as the best in the world for the best system in the world. And yet voting was complicated, was unreliable, did not prevent fraud and the results were announced hours after the opposition already knew them from their own tallies from their witnesses. For all its lacking (in particular the need to monitor for double vote though today the long lines removed any desire for double voting as totally needless and time consumming) the opposition demonstrated to the country that you could organize elections fast, that they do not need to be through machines, that civilians can run them, that there is no need for intimidating shows, and that results can come relatively fast. The country, even the chavista country, will never look at the CNE in the same way. Be prepared to see fringe pro Chavez groups becoming harsh critics of the CNE as too biased in favor of the main chavista party, PSUV.
The army is trashed. In Venezuela there is a thing called "plan republica" which is when the army guarantees electoral security. If such a plan was valid in the 60ies when guerrilla and paramilitary would try to sabotage elections, its usefulness has been questioned since. In fact, under Chavez, the "plan republica" has become a sui generis way to intimidate voters, a little bit as if elections were granted by the army and were not a right. That violence happened today is in fact worse for the army who did "protect" test sites. The rare incidents show that the army is not necessary, and that the "test" sites were the only ones protected shows the bias of the army.
The Venezuelan diaspora is revealed. Apparently of the 7 million votes more than 600 thousands are from overseas. This has many implications. The obvious one is that the regime has forced into exile a net population bigger than the one of many states in Venezuela. Someone on twitter even proposed that we should make Venezuelan overseas as a new state. And note that all exiles could not vote since the logistics for such are simply impossible. In short we have the proof that when families are included there are more than 1 million Venezuelans living over seas, just out of this vote. And that the more than 2 million estimate may well be on the short end now. The next implication is quite damaging for the CNE. The overseas vote has always been a thorn in the side of chavismo since it was heavily against Chavez. So the CNE put all sorts of obstacles for Venezuelans to register at consulates and embassies, demanding paperwork not required from Venezuelans at home to vote. And they put limited amount of voting centers. And they did not even bother publishing certain electoral results from overseas.
The country does not want a constitutional assembly. The NO votes existed and were counted. So chavistas did participate a little bit. The NO did not even reach 10,000. So we can say that 7 million people do not want the July 30 vote. In Venezuela participation these days is around 14 millions in "protected" conditions where threats are not to obvious, when the army supposedly protects you from colectivos, were vote secret is guaranteed (it is not anymore), etc... Imagine for a second that the regime decides to make a referendum as to whether call for a constituent assembly election. How many NO can we expect? 7 million? 10? When people like my SO can vote freely, add without a second thought at least a million to the 7 already cast. And the NO passes the 60% mark, without electoral campaign, with media censorship and what not. Imagine the percentage if you can run a campaign like in a normal country. 70% NO?
What this means politically I prefer to wait a few hours, it is late and the day has been draining. But suffice to say for now that the regime has suffered a major blow and I am not sure if repression and outright dictatorship is now an option for them. The ball now is in the opposition camp, they gained it rightfully.