The opposition held this week its parallel election called "consulta popular". Whatever its result their weigh will be limited because the regime has embarked in a new course which includes not only elimination of a real opposition but even of normal elements of civil society it cannot control (1). This is Cuba in waiting for you. You doubt me? Let's look at the "result" of Sunday 6.
|You were the one who count the votes?|
You got this.
With almost 70% of the vote the regime gets around 92% of the seats (the undecided in the graph next have mostly gone PSUV).
Nobody with a minimum of knowledge on electoral system, and how "elections" take place in Venezuela was surprised. The only ones surprised were the collection of pseudo-opposition parties who as "Mesa de Negociacion" were the caution used by the regime to change the electoral system and call for the illegal elections. That MdN did not expect to be so laminated. They "thought" that what had been agreed with the regime would improve the proportional representation. It made it worse, with close to zero minority representation! And note that the regime twisted some of the counting "electoral coalitions" post election to give them two more seats since not all major "leaders" were elected (2). That added more illegality but who's counting?
You know what is funny? Of all the minor parties listed the one I think to be closer from a real opposition to Maduro will be the lone representative of the Communist Party! Another delightful detail is that the party of Henri Falcon who claimed to be the opposition to Maduro in the 2018 charade got only 1 seat! In 2018 he got 21% and based himself on that to pretend at the opposition leadership. Clearly the MdN has totally failed to get anything, they have been truly the useful fool. And me thinks that of the votes they got a large chunk came from disgruntled chavistas who will vote back for the regime whenever Maduro is not on the ticket anymore.
I for one think that the announced "result" is nominally true. The regime had even to falsify numbers to make sure he got in the assembly the opposition it wanted! The fraud came from before with the extensive blackmail and voting interference perpetrated. With all the abuse of the regime even if the opposition had run it would have got more votes than the regime and yet lost the assembly. But the plan of the regime was all along to get the opposition to boycott the election The result was written months ago.
What should have done the opposition? I would have liked for this one to call for protests or at least sit ins on Sunday 6. But there is no guts left for much, courtesy of years of repression and exiled/jailed leadership. Instead they held a counter electoral event that started last Monday. They asked people to vote through an app or through Telegram on a set of three questions (meaningless in my opinion for being repetitive and wishful thinking). And yesterday as a public event with "voting" booths opened inside and outside Venezuela. They announced today a comparable number of voters than on Sunday 6, equally non auditable as the CNE numbers in my opinion.
And since I am being particularly opinionated here, I think the result of the opposition today is interesting not at all by its numbers but because in spite of all the regime abuse, the absolute lack of coverage in media they managed to mobilise millions. Imagine what the result would have been with a semblance of real electoral conditions (3).
Meanwhile the 6+ millions announced should be considered as a mere headcount of people that have not totally given up at this point. The international decision makers will decide what to do with that, it is not in our hands.
Thus the title. All of these announced results are to be considered with great care and skepticism. They are political data rather than results.
1) it is good to recall that the extensive humanitarian held offered to Venezuela has been stalled because the regime insists on being its distributor. International donors cannot accept that the dictatorship will use that help for its political advantage. The regime does not care about the fate of the people in most need.
2) the two egregious cases are first Luis Parra, the vermin of Yaracuy my home state who was caught red handed in corruption, was expelled from Primero Justicia, was used by the regime on the parliamentary coup of last January were he became head of a rump parliament that voted nothing since then. He founded Primero Venezuela to syphon the votes of Primero Justicia, got financial help from the regime for his campaign, was declared loser on Sunday night by his own allies and suddenly through crass manipulation found himself elected on Tuesday. The other case is even more offensive. Timoteo Zambrano used to be the informal foreign minister of the opposition and sent to all sorts of negotiations. Not only these all failed but he was found to become cosier and cosier with the regime counterparts and former Spanish premier, Zapatero, who ended up going from mediator to supporter of Maduro. Timoteo pretended to be offended by the questioning of his ambiguous role, to say the least. He went on creating his own party and yet failed to be elected. But the CNE suddenly announced that there was a last minute change in electoral coalitions, of which there is no paper trail, and voila, Timoteo will be now the head of the "opposition" in the national assembly.
3) one silver lining that probably will never be used further by the opposition is that app voting system (VOATZ). It can be used for a lot of things such as primaries, consulting, censoring, approving. Even if not all have access to internet good enough and smart phones advanced enough, as a consulting system it could help a lot in becoming a unifying system in the opposition. But dreams are cheap, are they not?