Protests around the country

This afternoon near the CNE’s office in Barquisimeto. Photo from El Informador newspaper.

Protests throughout the day in different parts of the country. Some of them are still unfolding.

Barinas: After the finding of two ballot boxes in the Troncal 5 road, there were clashes between protesters and the military.

Barquisimeto: The National Guard dissoved a protest near the CNE office. Two students were injured.

Caracas: There is now a protest in the Francisco Fajardo Highway, blocking all transit.

Valencia: The local CNE office is heavily guarded by the military, as protesters surround the nearby areas. Protesters have also closed the Eastern Highway.

Maracaibo: A march went from the Republic Square to the local CNE office in El Milagro.

There were also protests in Merida, San Cristobal, San Felipe, Barcelona and La Asuncion.

None of these demostrations were called by the Comando Simon Bolivar of the presidential candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski. This afternoon in a press conference, Capriles called for a national cacelorazo for tonight and protests for tomorrow and Wednesday.

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  1. Still happening in Maracaibo especially now that the sun diminished. Several friends went through barrios there are cacerolazos and people are gathering in plaza de la Republica and moving in mass to the CNE

  2. People are suggesting also to tweet in English, Spanish, French, whatever to your favourite international news or to diplomats calling for attention to Venezuela, opposition demands total recount in Venezuela, etc…tiny step but some journos will pay attention to this.

  3. Just now in Twitter:

  4. Honest questions here: I suddenly get the feeling that this will be 2002-2005 all over again, and that the government will just ignore the opposition and wait until they wear themselves down. What is going to be different this time to make it worth it?

    • I’d say that this time around Chávez ain’t here, the motives are more reasonable, also, the economic situation is different, la vaina no está tan fácil, chavismo is showing signs of being worn down.

      • Which motives? They have not provided any proof yet. Yes there are many photos running around on twitter and all the abuses from yesterday and before are known, but that is not the same as saying that the tally of votes is different, and that is what they need to disprove. That the numbers do not make maduro president

        Now that the boxes are being destroyed and whatnot, the full audit will be impossible. But with the CNE refusing, the problem becomes just a You-say-He-says. And in that game, capriles has everything to lose, because the vote counting looks (because of all the checks to the machines and previous elections) legit and there is no public power that will side with him, not the courts, not the AN, not the Poder Ciudadano. So chavismo simply weathers this storm and the oposition is once again, weak.

        • The destruction of the boxes in itself makes the CNE tallying process highly suspect , you only do that if you have something to hide , any drastic action to make the recount inviable just makes it more obvious that the CNE was into some hanky panky!!

          • I was talking more about the long game… Granted, I think it will be very difficult to prove electoral fraud. I was thinking more about the unfolding economical situation in Venezuela, los reales no alcanzan chamo, and Maduro begins his Chavernment part two with plomo en el ala. He could be really unpopular really fast.

    • That’s something that can’t be answered right now.
      People are mad, and even if Capriles is calling for especific actions, they are too angry to follow exactly what he has planned.
      This is the point where anything could happen.
      Officially speaking, I highly doubt Capriles will call out for a violent move.
      This country is now on 350.. Or so it seems to me.. (I’m a newbie, yes)

    • Back then PSUV could call out 60-70% majorities in elections. Now they’re evenly split, this isn’t a mandate and it definitely isn’t something he can just sweep under the rug. The fact there’s not going to be a recount just gave Capriles some fairly good ammunition if he knows how to use it.

    • ‘What is going to be different this time?’
      This time the cacerolazos are in the barrios. The middle class may still go for peaceful protest. But wait until the lid blows off popular discontent with this bunch of losers. And see whether the FANB is happy shooting people in the streets.

  5. A very dubious “majority” for Maduro, and therefore no mandate. There are actas in hand, and more than reasonable doubt about the validity of the election. Will we succeed? I don’t know. But 2002-2005, this ain’t.

  6. Maduro has declared that non-recognition of the results is equivalent to a coup d’etat, so I guess either Capriles stands his ground or he withdraws back to the governorship. What will he do? Fight or withdraw?.

  7. I find it interesting that one of the themes of Maduro’s speech is the division within the armed forces and the presences of a 5th column in the police as well as the armed forces. So, will we see next a purge a la Stalin?

  8. That pretty much answers the question of whether there will be an audit or not. Maduro just said they already audited 54% of the votes and they were “perfect” and that he’s not going to waste time with “grupitos”. *sigh*

  9. The regime might be playing the confrontation card , provoking it deliberately because then they can accuse capriles of being engaged in subversive activities to make him appear an apparent outlaw , which is easier for them to handle on their terms rather than having a recount which might prove the election fraught with fraud. So a lot of prudence is in order .

    • Next step (possibly): arrest Borges (hinted at by Maduro at his “inauguration”), and possibly even Capriles, for their “odious” conspiratorial non-acceptance of his “well-won” Presidency… BTW, Tibisay will not go along with a ballot count, since she/cohorts are complicit in fraud in this/probably many previous elections, especially the 3MM vote last- hour Chavez surge O7, which election, as Febres, et. al., statistical study pointed out, has a highly probable 12% inconsistency/fraud probability.

    • I hope the MUD takes a look at that video and gives clear directives of what they mean by “peaceful protest”… because in the minute taped, the stones and bottles coming from the “peoples side” looked a bit more like an Intifada (or a guarimba, if you will) than a peaceful protest. Neither MLK nor Gandhi would approve of the tactics, that’s for sure.

      • “Peaceful” has never gotten anyone anywhere in Venezuela (except April 11, which ended in a slaughter).Political bandidos and their military/street gang cohorts now governing Venezuela indiscriminately use violence, usually uncontested, against the Oppo, but they are not used to receiving/surely will respect violence back (as evidenced by the retreating GN in the video)

        • Respect… sure, I bet the GN (and the thugs, which are not the GN nor the PNB) really respect the guarimba tactics… not.
          Nope, respect is not the word I’d use to describe their frame of mind when they receive a peñonazo on their shields, or a balloon full of paint on their uniforms. Revenge is more like it. Trying to provoke a blowback might work for the cameras, (you know, Elinor Montes style), but it is also a sure way to make people harden their stand against you. Which is just playing into Maduro’s hands.

          • Oh, Please, “my uniform got dirty”, “my shield got dented”, after I fired tear gas cannisters and buckshot into an unarmed protest crowd–Where were they when the female protester was dragged by a GN by her hair in the street near Maracay, when the “ciudadano” (Chavez’s words) Portugues (owner of a Govt.-issued patas blancas taxi) opened fire and murdered/wounded a bunch in Plaza Altamira, when April 11 one was photographed firing with his service pistol at the unarmed crowd, etc. etc. Placing a flower in a tank cannon might work in more civilzed places, but Venezuela right now is a Barbarie, run by Barbarians.

          • If you think that the US south was “civilized” when the Civil Rights movement enacted the non violent resistance, you might need to check up on some history. Not only they had to contend with police brutality, but also the KKK and the like. There was nasty stuff like lynching and bombs.
            In no way do I justify police brutality. I’m merely pointing out that if Capriles and the MUD are serious about not wanting to provoke violence, there should be some consistency.
            About the GNB or other personnel, think a little: if you are on a payroll, and have to provide for your own uniforms (or pay for a new one) when the one you are issued gets damaged), the thing goes beyond going dirty. It can be a very serious economic issue. And without condoning what the GN did to that girl (we’re talking about Elinor Montes, right?), she was definitively not putting flowers on the barrel of a gun, she was taunting her. Does it justify what the GN did? Not at all. Does it undermine the idea of inclusion and peace. You bet it does. At the end of the day, soldiers and cops are people too. Their training should include not reacting to provocation, but you know how that goes.
            If you want to convince people (specially those that might defect from the other side) that you do not want violence, don’t let your actions stray too far from your words. Otherwise they will dismiss your message as insincere, they will not come to your side, vote for you, or refrain from justifying/being blind their own sides brutality.
            A case in point of the need to be consistent in words and action was precisely Chávez (and Maduro, and many in their entourage). Like Padron said, a message of love with a grammar of hate. If you don’t want that for Venezuela, don’t imitate him.
            The opposition has worked hard to go beyond reacting, and to give a coherent message that is both firm and inclusive. Capriles has been very eloquent in that sense. Why undermine this achievement?

          • Flowers-in-tank-cannons wasn’t U.S.South, as I recall, but Eastern Europe, maybe Russia/Tiananmen Square. Of course, Capriles’ moderation is a correct stance. But, if GN fire tear gas (especially “del Bueno”,outlawed in most civilized countries), and plastic pellets,or worse, buckshot, which has wounded many an Oppo student, on a peaceful protest/march, and whether it’s done by untrained lower-level soldiers or not, then the GN should be ready for the natural victims’ reaction. The Oppo has been peacefully abused long enough; they have not instigated violence in the vast majority of cases. Appeasement of the Forajido Chavismo regime is finally coming to an end. We’re talking reaction to violence here, not promoting it.

          • “hey have not instigated violence in the vast majority of cases.”

            That is a generalization that no one has way to corroborate…

    • Official command twitter giving a good overview of what Capriles is saying (Google Translate is also sufficient for non-Spanish speakers):

      Mainly calling for peace, respect, denouncing violence, calling upon Tibisay to respect the result, believes he won, says that the country is not majority / minority, but that the will of all should be respected (alluding to Maduro’s divisive / division tactics), saying he respects the other side.

  10. I understand that it make take to time to build the case of the irregularities, but it’s important that Capriles makes a precise of what he is denouncing because he has been excessively vague , He doesn’t have to present the whole case with evidence today, but he must specify what are the irregularities, if the results don’t match the actas or that people who weren’t registered voted because it’s confusing to protest because you got screwed when you don;t even know how you got begin with,

    • You seem to miss the part where Maduro last night even said he agreed on opening all the boxes and count the votes. Today he seems to have forgotten that.

      • They are preparing all the legal paperwork to deliver it with a rally on wednesday. Tomorrow there will be rallies to all regional CNE offices.

    • I don’t think he can present it because the accusation will have to come with more evidence than “I think I won.” All he has said is that he has the numbers. The only way he knows that is if the actas (along with the expat vote) suggest he won.

      There are three ways it can be gamed.

      The first way is really simple. The CNE could simply report a false number for the votes. Take random votes away from Capriles (a decent amount, 100 or so) in each voting station. Simple, and would require a hard recount across the entire nation to prove. If this is what happened Capriles could out and say it, but then would be asked to show the acatas, at which point it gets dismissed, and no recount happens. If the recount begins they can show the acatas and prove that the acatas are, prior to the count, accurate. Obviously in a given polling station they’d pull out the acata, before the count, and give copies to everyone, then, pow, the acatas are proven accurate as the count is happening. We know they’re damn accurate because they tested the O7 actas which turned out completely reflecting the result.

      The second way is a bit harder. You hire or coerce people to repeatedly vote in rural stations where there are no observers (the finger print machine can be manually overridden so this isn’t a big deal, you just need cedulas which the PSUV undoubtedly has access to an enormous number of). There are only 10% of polling stations where this would work since that’s where there aren’t observers or actas. A hard recount would find it very easily. If this is what Capriles believes happened he has absolutely no proof for it. He can’t make that claim at all.

      The third way is a bit harder still, you have hacked voting machines that randomly throughout the day give votes to Maduro, if someone comes in to vote whose information was used, the machine flips the vote back. This, again, only works in the 10% of polling stations where there were no observers.

      I think the simpliest way is what happened, because it makes the most sense, requires the least amount of conspirators, and can be done by a few people. It works best if the vote is close. Because of Capriles’ early Tweets as the count was going on, I am inclined to believe this is what happened and he can’t show his hand because he really needs the recount to happen in order to prove it. He knows the tally weren’t representing the actas throughout the night. This is also why the government is calling for a simple audit, it’d be easier to set up an audit that is consistent with Maduro’s vote than it would be to set up an entire vote from an entire population consistent with Maduro’s vote. The “audit” would no doubt be highly controlled with the CNE running the whole thing. A count would involved all citizens and volunteers.

      Oh, btw, there’s a possibility that the Cubans did false reporting to the Capriles camp about the acatas, but I think that would require a pretty big conspiracy for it to work. So you can dismiss it, it’s just something to consider. Basically that Capriles’ numbers are wrong. (We know from the O7 count that the opposition’s acatas are accurate though.)

      • Because after each polling table is closed copies of the acta totalling the results are printed by the voting machine and delivered to all present witness ( same time as they are sent to the CNE) and then 54% of the polling tables at each polling place are randomly chosen to be double checked by counting the paralell paper votes ( the results of which double counting are also given to the witnesses) I assummed that the Capriles team confidence of having won the election came from their totalization of all the actas and data sent to them by their witnesses all over the country and that when the CNE gave different results they had strong grounds for suspecting that something was not quite right in those CNE figures that made them lose by a very slim margin. Of course there might have been some data they did not posses which allowed for the gaming of the results by a servile CNE, so if they asked for a recount of the whole voting data they would be able to determine exactly how those CNE figures were gamed . If it so happened that the records containing such data went missing or were destroyed that would be a smoking gun indication of the CNE perpetrating an electoral fraud. In short the Capriles team had some solid basis on which to base their confidence, it wasnt made up , it might need polishing and a bit of supplemental investigation but it wasnt based on just an absurd self serving fantasy .

        • Indeed, and it’s not some big right wing conspiracy, they have the actas, and they will come out either way you put it. They scanned the actas in last time and posted them to the official campaign website. They will probably do this again no matter what happens (worst case, Maduro has Capriles arrested for inciting riots, he dies in prison shortly after, the recount is never done). Academic studies will be done by impartial sources around the world. It’s only a matter of time.

  11. La pastoral del arzobispo de Caracas, Rafael Arias Blanco del 1° de mayo de 1957, denunciando los atropellos del régimen, dio inicio a la rebelión. A partir de ese momento, comenzó a evidenciarse el descontento existente en el país. En diciembre se realizó un plebiscito que “ganó” Pérez Jiménez pero la fracasada insurrección militar del 1° de enero de 1958, mostró la división del sector castrense.

    Finalmente, violentas manifestaciones populares y el desconocimiento de las Fuerzas Armadas obligaron al dictador a abandonar el país. Una Junta de Gobierno asumió el poder y condujo a la nación a unas elecciones democráticas, en diciembre de 1958.

    • Pérez Jiménez never had the level of acceptance Hugo Chávez F had with the masses. Yes, Maduro is a far cry from Chávez, but don’t underestimate the emotional tug of group identity (after all, Maduro did manage to get a lot of voters, even despite the fact that during the meetings they seem to want him to shut up).
      Not that I’m saying that it could not happen in the future.

  12. Does anyone know if there is any truth to the rumor I heard that Tibi and her family left the country after swearing in Maduro?

    • The tupamaros in Merida are a bunch of thugs that live in a student residency that USED to be under the control of the university. This means that by the principle of autonomy, the police is unable to breach the perimeters of the residency ergo its become a safe heaven for drug dealers, malandros, etc…

      Tupamarus are a group of extremists that sometimes carry unlicensed weaponry used to strong arm those who they believe represent a threat to the government.

      Among their ranks are all sorts of nutheads, escalating from the political extremest, to the guerrilero wannabe to the already graduated ex convict.

      Very, very dangerous people!

    • Hey.. where’s the comment I was going to comment? skamen, I share your concern. Will write more when you comment goes online.

    • Juan said he’d be watching for nasty commentary, moderation mode probably was turned on, but now you should be good to go. Welcome to the blog! 🙂 (I’m a different jc, unaffiliated with the blog.)

      • Thanks guy, my post is still “Waiting for moderation” although I guess that by the time some mod gets around to it, it will be obsolete.


          “…han comenzado a incendiar varios Centros de Diagnóstico Integral (CDI)…”

          I know this source is nothing, but bias. Still if there is any truth to it… Wau! WHO in the right state of mind would burn the CDIs? Those institutions have nothing to do with the CNE…

          Things are getting out of hand.

          • Do you think that was done by anti-Chavistas?

            I have no proof about this but I would not be surprised at all if this was carried out by (some) Chavistas themselves.
            The same goes for “burning” PSUV houses.

            These people have done that for ages, they have always done that. Extremist groups have done that all the time.

            Do you know Stalin told German communists to direct their efforts against social democrats during the 32 elections? Not to bother the Nazis?
            During Colombia’s Violencia time, the extreme left would kill some of their own lower key figures to provoke more anger.

            We should be cautious about infiltration.

          • I have no proof of anything and I tried to make it clear on the last post. It is Aporrea afterall… If anything that post was a followup on my ORIGINAL post that is currently Äwaiting moderation” and no one can see…

            That post was about how things are getting out of hand and how spreading rumors, gossip and lies on the internet would do more harm than help.

            But to answer your question… I do not know anything. Frankly it could be anyone!

            The Chavismo wins the most with a “failed coup” or at least the illusion of one. Lets face it, Maduro was a weak candidate and he will be a weak president, surviving a “Imperialist coup de’tat” would certainly give him that mystique that he so desperately needs.

            Also all this coup talk could be a way to stall for time or even discredit Capriles from auditing the 100% of the votes.

            Finally, we could for sake of conversation entertain the possibility that extremest on the opposition side are responsible or the more plausible one that things simply got out of hand when regular people lost it in a moment of frustration and passion.

            Either way I can not help but feel that there is a “black hand” out there and spreading gossip will do nothing more than adding to the fire.

    • The words of the homophobic bigot will resonate around the world today in leftist circles as they praise Maduro from defending himself from the reprehensible coup run by right wing fascist oligarchs.

  13. Gunshots at students camping outseide CNE office in maracaibo at midgnight!

    Supposedly, a group of chavistas started firing at them and the national guard, students got caught up in the crossfire. I live nearby and heard the detonations.

    Also, they did that at the “Plaza de la republica” too.

    This has been confirmed by local deputy Lester Toledo over his twitter account:

    Lester Toledo ‏@LesterToledo 15min

    Confirmo lo ocurrido en el CNE-Zulia: Tupamaros armados llegaron a golpear estudiantes, la GN los defendió y mato a 2. hay 6 chamos heridos

  14. Meanwhile the official media tune goes something like this: HCR is now the responsable and LL despite all they talk about is non violent actions, according to the official media several people were killed by “opposition fascist and violent burgois group”.
    To me this Sounds like a justification to use force and probabbly arrest oppo leaders nationally and regionally.
    Rumors saying that they want HCR and LL in prison, LL said so in its twitter, and I think thats the line in the non distant future if this goes on…
    But then from what i hear from people that have been more affected than I,
    From a friend in petare i heard her chavista neighbor was attacked, and then more chavista came to fight in a big public fight no guns.
    Another friend in 23 de enero said there was a mixed of cacerola and the 100 greatest hits of el comandante, that lasted well beyond midnight,


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