Wednesday, October 18, 2017

How to legally cheat

The most surprising thing about Sunday's election fraud is how unprepared the MUD opposition was. I admit that it was difficult to prepare for the out of norms regime onslaught, but still...

And yet the electoral machinery of the regime was so powerful that it may well have "won" the election.

A great piece by Hernan Lugo Garcia illustrates how "legally" the regime managed to rescue what was a losing election into a victory of sorts.  Mr. Galicia is usually well informed and seems to have network of informants inside the regime. Sometimes he misses, though we must consider there is also significant misinformation produced by the regime: "fakenews" is a concept long practiced under chavismo.  This time around his tale rings true and informed because there is too much coherence in what he describes, and mostly because it narrates well how the regime has been learning from one election to the next, something that the MUD does not seem to do.

If you read Spanish it is definitely worth a read. Below just some of the main illegal points.

- there was collusion between the army and the regime and the CNE. That is, each one kept each other informed at all time and the army acted decisively in some centers inspiring terror and what not. As for the regime it has several organizations it could count on, even the recent one of "chamba juvenil" which is a pay check for the unemployed youth that became the excuse for them to work on election day. What was illegal here is for the CNE to offer advance results form their predictions, almost by the hour, according to previous voting patterns on who had already voted. AND OF COURSE the active participation of the army. The alleged legality here is to preserve order and the army can do as it pleases to achieve that. But the whole thing is totally illegal even though the regime pretends that it did nothing or what the fuzz is.

- the voting times at polling stations was grossly manipulated. The law clearly states that voting stations close at 6PM and only people still in line are allowed to vote. Many stations were open as late as 10 PM. NO NORMAL polling station has that much people that it needs to remain open 4 more hours.  The reason was that the regime could ferry in people it blackmails through food program CLAP or the infamous "tarjeta de la patria" which allows them an exact census of the people they have on leash.  There again it is legal to keep open past 6 IF you have people in line but it is illegal if there is no one waiting. Twisting the law here is easy since there is no way you can force clsoing of the voting center, a prerogative of the military in poractice.

- moving polling centers is legally an option. But in case of natural disasters, floods, lack of electric power. Not because there was some trouble three moths ago even though all is quiet now. So, abusing of that "legal" escape the regime moved voting centers of opposition bastions to far away and even dangerous locales. This resulted in increased abstention as the opposition had no time to organize its electoral machinery to move these people to their new centers.

The point here is that actually the regime acknowledges that they did all that in purpose. The campaign head of the regime said that "half an hour more and we'd won Zulia". That is, has the CNE delayed a half an hour more there would have been enough to flip over Zulia from the opposition column.

The amazing thing here is that just like for narcos the regime makes its legality as it goes along.  This election was the conclusive proof of that, that there will never be a legal predictable frame to work with as long as these people hold the levers of power. Never.

Even the Mafia respects better its rules.


  1. The regime has used a lot of tactics since early in Chavez elections to win elections. I still remember when Chavez beat Caprilles and my wife's friend who worked for the gov'ts job was riding on a bus full of people who went from one voting station to another all elections. The Chavistas on that bus voted 8 times each. Now with the smartmatic machines they do not need to go through such efforts as the result can be anything they want. All your reason's above are what the regime wants you to believe. That they actually won the election through a number of not so legal tactics, but the reality is they will not have even counted any votes. They do not care about the specific results only to get people to believe they have the control or power to sway elections democratically into their favor. There is no such reality just a disguise.

  2. R. Saravia8:26 PM

    This post could have been written in 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2013 and yet people that abstain are considered idiots nor the other way around.

    1. As long as abstentionist do not offer a clear plan of action, they are, in my book, idiots.
      I could have written that in any election held, even before Chavez.

      It is a shame not to vote, no matter what the circumstances are, when so many people died to get the right to vote.

      But that's me.

    2. Daniel I think it is how one chooses to look at it. The people who died for the right to vote also fought for your right to choose whether to vote. For me I look at it like taking my car in to get fixed. If I know in advance that all the mechanics suck and won't end up fixing it then one cannot blame me for not taking it in. Even if one mechanics is corrupt and sucks. All elections need to be fair and all ballots should have none of the above on them eliminating all those who ran if it wins. To many participating in a known fixed election in many ways is validating the process. As for the opposition having a plan, there is no viable plan except get the people to revolt.

  3. For me the biggest surprise is how everything fraudulent, with the exception of outright numbers changing in the end, is tolerated or at least not a shock to most people. People are so desensitized to election violations or fraud that it was hardly reacted to before Sunday. These same things happened on 14A... And after a few weeks it was swept under the carpet. A Presidential Election for God's sake... It is as a certain level of permissable fraud is expected and tolerated. This is a crucial error in thought that must be wiped clean. No level of election fraud can be tolerated, especially in a country on the brink of disaster. And after the revelation by Smartmatic about the Constituyente vote and the falsified reported participation numbers, even that fell by the wayside after a week?? Where was Smartmatic's strong rebuttal to Lucena's outrageous speech after their revelation?? It makes one wonder if the elections are cancelled all together from now on will people even react for more than a week before that too becomes par for the course ? No more elections? Truly appalling is the level of desensitization. It is even happening to the International Community in regards to VZLA. If even a portion of the aforementioned fraudulent practices occurred in Canada, Cameroon, Austria or even a small Nation like Grenada it would trigger World condemnation and most likely a repeat election if it were ever to be legalized or accepted. The level of Shock, Outrage, and more importantly Proufound REACTION must be upped if a Clean Elections are ever to return to VZLA. Immediate strikes, marches (to Miraflores) and Parilyzation in reponse by everyone must happen.. If not a murderous, nefarious Regime like this will hardly Blink an Eye... And if this level is too dangerous, then it is over, and they stay in power.....

  4. Tom in Oklahoma8:05 PM

    Unfortunately, I think that all the solid points made here will become moot points as the Maduro dictatorship continues to solidify it's stranglehold on the country. I don't think it will be long until all other political parties are outlawed completely...I think it will look very similar to Cuba in a couple of years...or less. What a horrible tragedy for such a beautiful country and people.

  5. You couldn't be more right Tom. The only advantage that Venezuela has over so many similar situations is they have something valuable in their oil. At this point it is just who gets the oil USA, Russia or China. At the moment I would say Russia has the advantage here but cannot imagine the USA tolerating that for too long. Is all that gives me hope as it seems the people have little fight left in them.


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