Monday, November 28, 2005

Electoral trouble ahead in Venezuela

The Turkey Holy-day has passed and I was rather busy on personal things, and thus I kept a distant eye on the news. Yet, the news got quite exciting. It will be too long to report all in detail, not to mention that I do not dispose of the time to do an exhaustive link search and other consultations. However something is quite clear: there is trouble in the CNE electoral paradise. Until I can get back home and post in some more details I wanted to write some quick summary.

The whole problem, or rather recent problem I should say since the CNE has been saddled for now two years with a confidence problem it is unable to shake off, came up last Wednesday when a pre voting audit for some machines took place. Right off the bat, it is important to note that the machines at Mariches, the “testing” grounds, had been selected by the CNE for the international observers and political parties. This unverifiable sampling was done because, duh!, the voting machines had already been distributed and it was too difficult in a single day to go to at least 3 or 4 states to pick machines at random.

But let’s not obsess about this first irregularity. What was worse is that during the audit it was established that indeed the sequences of people arrival at the voting center could easily be matched with the actual voting sequence in the machines. The implication? The secret of vote is now non existing in Venezuela. In other words, as voting progress the CNE can see exactly how the vote is going, if chavistas are indeed voting fro chavista candidates, if the abstention is high enough, etc, etc… And thus the CNE could get the ability to make any changes in the results, any voter addition it decided since it would KNOW WHO DID NOT VOTE AND THUS MAKE THEM “VOTE” FOR CHAVISTA CANDIDATES AS NEEDED.

There is actually an excellent piece of indirect evidence: many chavitas candidates are not only not bothering to campaign, but some have been reported traveling LESS than 2 weeks before the election to visit their guru in India!!! TWO WEEKS BEFORE THE ELECTION! Who does suspend a campaign in what country unless they are certain to win?

Of course, the CNE tried very hard to hide that Wednesday failure, which we are told impressed very much the international observers. These were also very impressed by a little program circulating in chavista government circles, a little program that gives the user all the official information to screen folks: whether they voted for Chavez, signed against him in 2004, belong to a “Mision”, etc… While chavista campaign managers benefit for this outrageous violation of privacy, the CNE plays dumb and refuses to surrender the electoral rosters that the opposition demands to be able to make an audit and see if people registered to vote are real people, Venezuelans, and registered more than once. The recent exposure of hundred of people with the same last name registered to vote on the same day in Zulia, demonstrates without a doubt that an extensive revision of the electoral rolls in Venezuela is A MUST!

But more “cute” stories have been coming up since last Wednesday. For example the clumsy excuses offered by the CNE representatives who hid behind such lameness as “this is confidential” “you must trust us, we mean well” which sound much more like a used car salesman speech than a state entity which should be of absolute transparency for this outmost task in a democracy, to determine who is the real winner. As for the protestations of Jorge Rodriguez, the CNE head who now gets booed at some public events, let’s just say charitably that they were less than reassuring.

And today EL Universal revived the claims of electoral fraud on August 2004 when new studies, much more detailed, would indicate that not only Chavez did pat his majority fraudulently (this blogger thesis) but that in fact he may have lost by a 5% margin!!!! That is the Chavez August 15 victory by 18% was actually a defeat by 5%!

But eventually fraud is ALWAYS uncovered, sooner or later. I do not want to discuss that latest assertion on the August vote, but I do want to stress that THERE IS NOW ENOUGH, CLEAR, UNAVOIDABLE EVIDENCE OF A COMING FRAUD ON NEXT SUNDAY VOTE. The only question now is what the opposition parties are going to do? Are they going to go to the slaughter house anyway? Not with this blogger now! Are they going to finally take a principled stand and decide on real actions? Certainly with this blogger behind and probably million-S of Venezuelans!

I will not anticipate what will happen, I am not enough in the news to write more than what I already wrote, a text on what is now vox populi in the Venezuelan streets as the CNE leadership is in obvious discomfort, not to mention the chavista leadership. However we can already see where it is heading. SUMATE who has been stating “irregular” voting conditions for now years has called for all Venezuelans to go to church on Sunday and pray for the country. Huh? Well, this is actually a delicate way for SUMATE to call for abstention: instead of voting do pack all Venezuelans church at 11 AM on election day and let the cameras film the empty voting stations. You can imagine the PR problems of such an initiative!!! William Lara, the scummy chavista campaign director was already today asking for Maria Corina Machado head and daring the Catholic church to take a stand against this “gross manipulation on Catholics like myself”. Lara as a practicing Roman Catholic! Bwahahahahah!

I personally think that AD and Primero Justicia should withdraw unless the CNE does:
-remove finger printing machines
-makes a hot audit on the very Sunday
-remove electoral voting books which are even more fraudulent than the finger printing machines
-surrender to ALL political parties the electoral roster so as to audit it independently from governmental interference
-postpone the elections for at least two months to allow the CNE to clean up their act
I have no suggestions to give to the opposition parties, but after this last days “incidents”, they should be very careful as to the steps they will take. AD has a golden opportunity to demonstrate that it is not dealing behind doors with chavismo to get a few paltry seats. Primero Justicia can demonstrate that they have actually spine, a leader and a plan. The others that they are committed to democracy and to the fight against Chavez fascism by supporting any decision of the two larger groups. All together to demonstrate to the international observers who now are more likely to decide in their favor that they are indeed a solid opposition group that will not be cheated upon anymore. The observers can demonstrate that they are real observers and not a succedaneum like the Carter Center. Or they can ALL sink together once and for all, the parties losing the country and the observers losing their reputation, as the Carter Center did one year ago.

Stay tuned, it is getting quite interesting.

And your devoted blogger who has already explained many other aspects of Venezuelan electoral fraud will be back to regular blogging very soon.

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