It May Not Look Like it Right Now, But We're Winning

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qm capgotthisThese are nervy days, but I’m here to tell you one thing: Henrique Capriles has earned our trust. He’s a man who knows exactly what he’s doing. By the end of this post, you’ll agree.

Since Sunday night, the opposition’s chess game with the government has been played with enormous skill by a national leader who knows that he is the most important figure in the country right now.

Here’s why.

For the past 14 years, the National Electoral Council has systematically used and abused State power in order to provide a democratic façade to the Chávez regime.

This by no means implies that the electronic system is numerically fraudulent, or that past electoral results have been false: ever since 2005, Chávez has had enough backing to win the elections by broad margins, and I am not contesting absolute results. To do so would be infantile.

This said, anyone voting in Venezuela over the past eight years has been witness to irregularities that run the gamut from propaganda being displayed outside polling stations all the way to shots being fired to intimidate witnesses and keep them from watching the results’ tally.

Now that I am personally responsible for registering irregularities in the state of Miranda, I can tell you that to that dismal record we can now add death threats – death threats – against opposition witnesses in remote rural areas, as well as incidents of National Guardsmen bribing said testigos Bs.1,000 in exchange for the handing over the official voting acta.

Let’s pretend this is Switzerland. Any single one of these events would have been enough to contest the transparency of an election.

But, this being Venezuela, our capacidad de asombro, our ability to be shocked, has been badly eroded by a repressive, and selectively efficient, State.

It has been eroded to such a degree that, when past elections have produced documented evidence of such State-sponsored abuses, those who denounce them are reduced to marginalized, radical “loonies” represented by the Diego Arria camp.

In a state where the governing party’s takeover of all institutions and legal recourse is now complete, complaints over transparency, however valid these may be, are but a microscopic blemish on a behemoth enjoying both considerable popular support and neverending resources to cement its power.

This all changed last Sunday night.

Given the recurrent and systematic reports of fraud that over the past decade have been a mainstay in national elections, the minuscule margin of Maduro’s victory (1,83%) is, in and of itself, reason enough to doubt electoral results.

What Capriles is doing is simply to give the government enough rope to hang itself with. And it’s been a brilliant success: Maduro went from agreeing to an audit of 100% of ballots to forgetting about it 12 hours later during an unprecedentedly rushed proclamation. CNE freaked out and went into a full frontal media onslaught to try to patch up its own tattered legitimacy, but immediately undid its own work by then refusing to carry out an auditing process that would only add to its legitimacy. And the Supreme Tribunal more or less broadcast its partiality at full volume to the entire world by butting in to the whole thing with an openly partisan unsolicited opinion, before Diosdado Cabello destroyed any semblance of democratic normality in the National Assembly by literally banning the opposition from speaking there, and Nicolás Maduro uselessly destroyed whatever vestigial traces of credibility he had by getting caught lying about the opposition burning CDIs and about the identity of the protesters killed in Monday’s violence.

Henrique Capriles must be doing something right: the amount of damage the government has done to its own standing just in four days is staggering.

It is by no means the same thing for Diego Arria (with all respects to the ex- UN rep) to throw a hissy-fit and demand fair and free electoral conditions on YouTube to his 270,000 followers, than it is for Henrique Capriles Radonski, with his Seven Million Three Hundred and Two Thousand votes (thats 49% of the country if you round the second decimal), to openly call bullshit on years of CNE irregularities. Finally.

The more than 700,000 votes that Capriles gained from chavismo in this election demonstrates a growing trust in his leadership. That right there is 700,000 Chávez voters who were willing to face possible intimidation and threats to voice their rejection of what chavismo is reduced to once Chávez is removed from the equation: power-hunger, corruption, and desperation.

The significance of Sunday’s election goes beyond the immediate question of who obtains the Presidency. Its significance lays in empowering the vast number of people in this country who know that this government abuses its power to win elections and that this is wrong. And thanks to the historical leadership of Capriles, we finally have an opportunity to force the CNE, and the government itself, to pay attention.

Thus is why I urge anyone who supports Capriles, and still questions his strategy, to just chill out and trust the guy. I believe he has earned at least that.

I am not being paid by Comando SB (I volunteer). Nor do I have access to highly privileged info. I am only stating my opinions as an opposition activist who, after 14 years, is finally satisfied with the response our side is giving to irregularities we’ve known about for years and failed to counter effectively.

For the first time, our national leader is not mired in short-termism. He’s focusing on the big, important, long-term picture of things to come. Thank God for that.

1 COMMENT

  1. Great post Emiliana, but what’s the strategy?
    Is it to give them “enough rope to hang themselves” or is it to demand a #VotoaAVoto re-count?(Does that possibility even exist?)
    Is the CSB also considering requesting new elections in those mesas/centros that have incident reports with testigos or voto asistido?

    A very refreshing read on CC, glad you’re back!

  2. After setting the graphic (hilarious by the way), I was hoping there would be some indication of how he’s “got this”. It’s been working out, but I think he’s totally wringing it. Here’s hoping the Chavistas continue to implode.

  3. I love your analysis of the nature of the fraud. Capriles has demonstrated remarkable leadership. Sparing his followers from state-sponsored violence was courageous and right. However, in so doing, he gave into Maduro, the international community got to look the other way in the absence of widespread bloodshed, and it seems like a status quo of sorts has settled over the country. Maduro will be sworn in tomorrow…what’s his plan? Discrediting the regime doesn’t stop it from taking power for another six years.

  4. “These are nervy days, but I’m here to tell you one thing: Henrique Capriles has earned our trust.”

    Yes Emiliana, that’s why he just completely made up several examples of fraud, that are flat out lies!! Yes, he has earned our trust for sure!!

    • Your trust doesn’t count for diddly squat.

      700,000 Chavistas decided, along with another 6,6 million people that he has earned their trust, and that is way more valuable than your blind trust in the loonies that “didn’t let Chavez govern”, who now pretend to do so in a way that shows their fascist roots go to the core.

      How any sane person can even countenance that shutting up Congressmen and beating one up enough to require stiches, that Supreme Court Justices emit opinions publicly on matters that have not even been set before them, that the Electoral Board is 4/5ths openly identified with one party, etc. etc. is the way to govern a nation, is beyond me.

      You think the 4a sucked? THis 5a is ten times worse.

      But thenm again, honest broker is not where you’re at right?

      My rotten, stinking, Cuban Dominated POS revolution, right or wrong, yes?

      Pa’lante, pana, dale duro que le falta poco a Maduro.

      • “700,000 Chavistas decided, along with another 6,6 million people that he has earned their trust”

        That is fine. But unfortunately to win an election you have to actually…. you know….. get more votes than the other side.

        “You think the 4a sucked? THis 5a is ten times worse.”

        Okay, that’s your opinion. But presidents are elected by popular vote, not by one idiot’s opinion.

          • And who is going to count them if the institutions are discredited? The opposition? I wonder what the result of that would be?

            I’m not Venezuelan (I’m British) but I have visited the country twice, have spent a lot of time in the other countries in South America and have taught English to a number of Venezuelans in the UK. I have to say I have never read or heard such shrill and hysterical opinions as I did when I was in Venezuela. I found having a rational conversation with anyone who supported the opposition was impossible (sorry, I tell a lie, I did meet one guy – in London! – who was very articulate and had some interesting things to say). In general I found the opposition supporters – all middle class in my experience – to be incapable of speaking in anything other than rhetorical soundbites. And frankly many of them were racists – speaking of zambos, micos etc.

            I met people who told me they were living in a ”dictatorship”.

            I’m sorry, I’VE been to a dictatorship. It’s called Burma. I was harrassed everywhere I went – asked for my passport, asked where I was going, who I was. People, if they dared criticise the government, would do so only in a whisper. I saw prisoners doing forced labour building on the roads. I couldn’t access countless websites.

            I’ve also been to Belarus. Not a dictatorship, but definitely authoritarian. Many websites are suppressed and people are careful about their criticisms of the government.

            Contrast that with Venezuela where people loudly proclaim their hatred of the government in the street, where private media channels pump out a constant stream of anti-government rhetoric. Where you can buy newspapers with Chavez mocked up as Hitler in the central plazas of Caracas. I mean… please. It sullies the very word ‘dictatorship’. And one leaves the country not only feeling that the people there are shrill racists who are angry that the poorest got a share of the oil wealth, but angry that they should pity themselves so much and throw around words like ”dictator” when millions of people in other countries ARE suffering under repressive regimes.

            One gets the feeling that the opposition media have employed the tactic that the American Right wing media has to great effect over the last decade – pumping out shrill, deceitful ”news” which creates an atmosphere of tension. Making people so angry that they can no longer speak or think rationally – in other words, cognitive dissonance.

            I’ve just watched the video of the baseball player Poto Alvarez (yes?) being mobbed and almost attacked by a crowd of Capriles supporters. Are we in the outside world really supposed to believe all this drivel about oppression when opposition voters accost ONE SINGLE man?

            It’s shameful.

            You have now all the excuses you need to continue this strategy of tension. It almost reminds one of what the CIA did in Chile in 1973. And let’s be honest, the opposition have tried it twice already in 2002 and 2004.

          • Phil, let me summarize your post:
            You became an expert on Venezuela by visiting it 2 times.. Then you decide to puke your newly found expertise on this platform, so you must be reading it.. Then you do not only insult the opposition but the whole country.. Between the lines you say that you see yourself as way more intelligent than anyone in Venezuela, teacher stile.. Way to go bro!

            The UK used to be a world power, but now it is nothing more than a highly indebted little island in the mist of a financial crisis because of highly intelligent people like you. http://t.qkme.me/3qiftf.jpg

          • My friend Phil…..I know exactly what you mean when you talk about other people suffering more oppresive regimes…but should a person with heart disease not cry for help because he has a neighbor dying of cancer……? without insults, I invite you to live 1 to 2 or more years in Venezuela and actually educate or instruct yourself on the history of Chavismo before you even make such a comment and venture yourself to critize those who live or have lived under constant insecurity and privation of rights,democracy, peace and freedom of speech. When you do that…let me know…maybe we can have a debate in which the two sides actually know what they’re talking about.

          • Yaaaay kudos to Fruna for answering phil’s starbuck’s che guevara tshirt, soy latte sipping patronizing op/ed. Exactly, phil… Come on down, and then we can debate, of course, if you survive express kidnappings, no basics in your supermarket of choice, no toilet paper and just being mugged whenever wherever!
            I was in Burma cruising the Irrawady River, i loved it and that by no means makes me a Burma expert.

          • A round of applause to you. A foreigner that has gone to country twice and thinks he knows what he’s talking about, and assumes that the opposition to the government is rightist without having to live throughout the 14 years of this regime. Kuddos, really. I live in London if you want to talk, but let me throw you some non-racist, non-classist, non-rightist reasons to oppose this government:
            – Because it made the country depending on oil revenues (95% of our exports) and neglected the national industry to the point that we have to import consumer goods such as food, medicine and clothes, which are subject to inflation*. And despite of having an “anti-imperialist” discourse has us economically dependent in the US who buy 38,7% of our produce, and sell us 26,6% of our consumer goods.
            – Because those consumer goods include food and medicine and the because despite having fertile soil, 90% of our food comes from other countries. We can’t feed ourselves and you can’t eat oil, last time I checked. Oh, and to make matters worse, we randomly “run out of budget” and food and medicine are scarce. Take your choice each week: sugar, chicken, flour (even corn flour, what our beloved arepa is made with), beef, salt, cooking oil, coffee, etc etc etc.
            – *Because the average inflation rate has had during these 14 years has been around 24%, and is predicted to be worse this year after the 46% devaluation of the bolivar. Remember what I said about having to import most of our consumer goods? guess who gets the short end of the stick when the prices constantly rise. Just so you have things in perspective: the worst inflation rate Europe, UK and the US have had during these past years of crisis doesn’t even reach 5%
            – Because hospitals don’t have supplies: I am not joking, if you go to a public hospital you will have to bring your own gauze and anesthetics (among others) if you are so lucky to find doctors willing to take care of you. If you need proper medical assistance or have a chronic disease, be prepared to go private… and to, literally, beg for money on the streets to pay for the treatments you can’t afford. The Modules from misión barrio adentro (with cuban, and not venezuelan, doctors) can barely handle giving check ups and first aid care, which is not unappreciated considering…
            – The rising violence in the country. We had an average of 200 deaths per weekend in 2010, and it has steadily increased, which is a consequence of…
            – The disproportionate purchase of weapons by the military. There’s an estimated 9-15 million weapons in a territory with 30 million people. The budget for weapons went from 763 million USD in the 1990-99 period, to over two billion USD between 2000-9 (that’s $2,565,000,000)…. a budget that could have been well spent in public services.
            – Because Caracas is one of the kidnapping capitals of the world. Five abductions take place in Caracas every day, and numbers are between 9,000 and 16,000 kidnappings annually. The sums asked go anywhere between $5,000 and $50,000, depending on their economic background. And they are no longer targeting “rich” families, but they’re moving down the social ladder because it’s just such a profitable “business”.
            – Because the minimum wage has actually lowered: it was the equivalent to $353 in 2002 (Bs. 190,090 at the time), to the equivalent to $324 this year (BsF. 2047) and because a minimum wage is not enough to pay for the basic consumer’s basket for a family, worth Bs.F. 8083 ($1259). All these numbers are provided by official sources.
            – Because 18% of workers earn even less than minimum wage, and that includes teachers
            – Because there’s still a 30% of the population living under the line of poverty, including kids younger than 12 begging for food on the streets
            – Because if you want to apply for public aids and housing (scholarships, a house, you name it), you have to be part of the PSUV, that is the government´s official party.
            – Because Chavez shot down more than 30 radio and television stations for criticizing his regime…. when the opposition is half the country and even at the most raging times of chavism, it was still 40% of the population
            – Because official discourse is responsible for the +90% rate for impunity in this country, going as far to say on public media that committing crimes is ok as long as it’s done in the name of revolution, and because he heavily restricted the police to retaliate after the coup in 2002 and, thus, they don’t even have the infrastructure to write you a speeding ticket, let alone fight crime
            – Because despite changing the constitution to fit his regime to measure, they constantly violated it, including proposing Maduro as a candidate when it should have been Diosdado, and because the one election he lost (asking if he should change the constitution for allowing him to have a life-ling post in power) he did again and won, wiping his ass with the Venezuelan’s decision.
            – Because their discourse is “patria, socialismo, o muerte” (country, socialism, or death), and then they talk about love and Chavez being “the heart of the people” while calling Capriles a “majunche” an adjective to denote inferiority and mediocrity, with an insulting tone. Because they said that anyone who’s not with the revolution is an apátrida, that is, NOT a Venezuelan; and because they take any chance they have to be derogatory and dismissive of the opposition’s demands.
            – Because they have been bluntly lying for years and years. There are too many examples to list, but if you were Venezuelan you wouldn’t need me to list them for you.
            – Because this has lasted long enough: 14 years of NOT doing what they promised is ENOUGH, we want something else, this is not working. Because this regime claims to be socialist and is only populist at best, making our country bankrupt.
            – Because in 2010 he made sure that the opposition didn’t get more than a third of seats in Parliament even if they got 51% of the popular vote.
            – Because his campaigns have been done with public funding, while the opposition can’t compete with that.

            And I really could go on forever.
            But yeah, we have to be “grateful” to a government that doesn’t listen to critiques. Because of the bullshit, mediocre excuse that “we were worse off before” (the economy disagrees on that), because this is something that pretends to be a revolution but has only been a discursive revolution and has done more harm than good. because all of that, we need to sit down and do nothing? sure.

            But go ahead, tell us more about your trips to Burma and Belarus. Because there is no freaking way people can be fed up of mediocre governments claiming a revolution if they’re not bourgeois, well accommodated, racist rightists.
            Oh, and FYI, just, as a side note, the Venezuelan middle class barely reaches incomes of the European lower classes. So, in perspective, most of the country is living a lot worse than you are here in Europe (not to say you have NHS, education, unemployment, pension, and a bunch of other aids that raise your quality of life a Venezuelan can only dream of). But how dare we want something else. Rightist pigs!

          • Wonderful Laura, thanks…This man for sure had suffer another pseudosocialist lobotomy…And I will love to know if he is able to have a coherent conversation with any “chavista” who only can respond with a typical hysterical jajajaj, insulting, or speaking using all the terms and concepts with the contrary meaning…They use to speak like they are seeing a mirror and describing the goverment, but convinced that is the opposition…LOL

        • GAC,

          I believe that the point Roberto was trying to make was that, with every election, the opposition is biting back more and more votes from chavismo. Let us assume for one moment that what you are saying is true and that there were no irregularities during the election. It is still a pretty bad scenario for chavismo to win by such a narrow margin of votes, don’t you think?. I mean, after being “en capaña” for 100 days before your opponent and having the complete backing of the state’s resources and institutions you guys managed to “achieve landslide victory” of what, 1,8%? Come on Gacqui, even you have to admit that, other than el difunto, chavismo had no decent candidates to field. Case in point, Chávez picking Maduro as his successor. And you know what’s really messed up (for the psuv at least)? Maduro was the finest chavismo had to offer. As a friend of mine once said to me Chávez picked Maduro because he was “el mojón que menos hiede”.

          The 700.000 votes chavismo lost since october did not become part of the abstention, those votes went to Capriles. So let me say it again, with every election, we keeping more of your votes, you keep getting less. Those are not good news for you, my friend. I mean if I was Maduro right now, I would definitely be working very hard to unravel the electoral system in venezuela and ban elections eventually because if I, as Maduro, saw that I had won “my first election ever” by only 1,8% margin, I sure as shit wouldn’t give people the chance to vote against me again. Gacsito my friend, Bigote Loco mcgraw is going down as we speak. If he decides to call martial law and radicalize this, he still loses becasue he will reveal himself as the communist autocrat he really is. So please, go ahead and keep your isolationist rhetoric up, it is working wonders for the opposition.

          Maduro may have gained a presidency right now (*cough* usurper *cough*) but he definitely lost at playing the game of democracy and inclusion and that is going to be his demise.

          -Los

          • “It is still a pretty bad scenario for chavismo to win by such a narrow margin of votes, don’t you think?”

            This is irrelevant. Elections aren’t decided by what you or I think about the margin of votes. They are decided by which candidate gets more votes. It is that simple.

            “The 700.000 votes chavismo lost since october did not become part of the abstention, those votes went to Capriles. So let me say it again, with every election, we keeping more of your votes, you keep getting less.”

            Yes, that is true. Which makes it even more stupid for you all to try to overthrow this election. Your support is growing, and you will likely win the next election. But you can’t wait until you actually win? You want to subvert an elections because you ALMOST won?? That’s ridiculous and undemocratic.

          • I think the strategy is to not overthrow this election. Emiliana’s article is clear on that. Is about Capriles establishing as a leader and showing the cracks on the government.

            It is paving the way for a 20 point victory for the opposition at the next election. And is doing that by demanding more from the arbiter and by showing Capriles’s genuine will to defend his voters interest.

          • Not to mention the people who DIED as a result. But, who cares right? Its all a strategy to discredit the institutions. At least you admit that.

          • 2 things. It is too early to claim anything.

            First.This a trial that it is just beginning and may not be allow to commence at all.

            Two. Since you brought the deaths up, all the claims on oppo caused violence seem to be false. But again, it is too early to say that.

          • GAC,

            “Not to mention the people who DIED as a result. But, who cares right? Its all a strategy to discredit the institutions. At least you admit that.”

            You ask who cares about the people that died in the last couple of days. But who cares about the people that died during Maduro’s concentrations?

            Who cares that he never even took the time to mention them?

            You call Capriles a liar but tell me something,
            Who cares that the government has had the descaro to lie about the the political position of the dead to make them look like victims of the opposition’s violence?

            I’ll tell you who doesn’t care. Maduro or any of his enchufados.

            So my dear GAC, why don’t you go ahead and get a damn clue?

          • It is not by any means necessarily irrelevant. It can certainly diminish the stature of the voctor and have direct impact on the ability to lead and govern as it relates not only to obvious oppositional forces but potential intraparty rivalry. It can also diminish the stature of the incumbent as a candidate should he be in a position to seek re-election. That Maduro is embarrassed, even humiliated, by the weakness this margin projects, is evident.

          • GAC,

            Just like Capriles and everyone at the CSB have been saying all along: WE DO NOT WANT TO OVERTHROW A GOVERNMENT, WE JUST WANT A RECOUNT OF THE VOTES. WE WANT THIS BECAUSE THE MARGIN OF VICTORY OBTAINED BY THE WINNER WAS NARROW AND THERE WERE IRREGULARITIES DURING THE VOTING PROCESS. IF THE RECOUNT IS DONE AND IT CONFIRMS MADURO AS THE WINNER THEN, HE IS THE WINNER, PERIOD.

            I am going to write it a second time just so we are clear: WE DO NOT WANT TO OVERTHROW A GOVERNMENT, WE JUST WANT A RECOUNT OF THE VOTES. WE WANT THIS BECAUSE THE MARGIN OF VICTORY OBTAINED BY THE WINNER WAS NARROW AND THERE WERE IRREGULARITIES DURING THE VOTING PROCESS. IF THE RECOUNT IS DONE AND IT CONFIRMS MADURO AS THE WINNER THEN, HE IS THE WINNER, PERIOD.

            “This is irrelevant. Elections aren’t decided by what you or I think about the margin of votes. They are decided by which candidate gets more votes. It is that simple.”

            I agree with your point. However, I wasn’t referring to the election when I wrote that. I was referring to the actual the shelf life the bolivarian revolution itself at this point. I mean, once Maduro falls, what do you think it is going to happen to the Bolivarian Revolution? it’ll probably be tossed out and forgotten like so many other mediocre ideologies. Once this government is finished, there will be no more revolution, it is that simple. And like I said in my previous post, I am opposition and I am worried about what actions an increasingly unpopular government might take in order to stay in power.

            “Yes, that is true. Which makes it even more stupid for you all to try to overthrow this election. Your support is growing, and you will likely win the next election. But you can’t wait until you actually win? You want to subvert an elections because you ALMOST won?? That’s ridiculous and undemocratic”

            Like I said in my previous post, I am opposition and I am worried about what actions an increasingly unpopular government might take in order to stay in power. I honestly believe that these might be the last (semi) free elections we get to have in Venezuela. And you are right, our popularity is going to keep on growing (after all, we are the not-insane alternative) but that doesn’t matter much if there are no elections to prove that.

            Back to the ideology topic. Tell me, Gac, what has this revolution accomplished in the last 14 years that would outlive it once the bovrev is no longer the ideology of the ruling party? Other than the retarded Culto al Santo Chávez, nothing.

            Btw, according to the Cne website, in october’s election Chávez beat Capriles by a 1.599.828 vote difference. This time around, Maduro, allegedly, won by 272.865 votes. I mean, shit, that’s 1.326.963 less votes than last time! If this doesn’t alarm you well…great.

            Haciendo aguas, compadre

          • And let me add that i live in venezuela and irregularities did occur because i have a few witnesses who for instance, went to vote for capriles and COULDN’T vote because the mesas said that they had already voted, when they didn’t! They had to file a complant form etc… and nothing was resolved! Me knowing just 3 people with this situation imagine the rest of the country. And what´s funny is, these 3 people had voted for chavez in october and these are the votes that were registered for the 14th of april. And that is only a few irregularities that weren’t mentioned to the Commando de simon bolivar. How many more cases (besides the 3,200 that have been reported) were not reported??? In the past 14 years, people have acclamated to the corruption and intimidation the government has empowered to enforce not to mention bribery, threats, etc…Finally, someone has stood up to them, because he could without looking crazy, and people aren’t afaid any more cause they are supported with an awesome leader! Way to go Capriles, you’ve got balls and brains!!!!

      • “Okay, that’s your opinion. But presidents are elected by popular vote, not by one idiot’s opinion.”

        I already stated your opinion doesn’t count, so….

    • Yeah, sure. Jorge Rodriguez TOTALLY debunked Capriles arguments. Because, you know, propaganda and half truths are the closest thing a chavista can get to solid arguments. But probably it is not about arguments, but the moral stature of Jorge Rodriguez…

      So, who is Jorge Rodriguez and why should we believe him? Jorge Rodriguez is the guy who:
      – made up the infamous “Listas Planas” in 2004
      – pretended to be an impartial CNE executive after being member of the MVR
      – became Chavez’s VP just a few months after finishing his “unbiased” job at the CNE.
      – left Municipio Libertador unattended while running Maduro’s campaign (unlike H. Falcon).
      – claimed that Miranda is a hellhole, just to later admit that Libertador is even more dangerous (69 murder per 100k inhabitants per year)
      – is mayor of Municipio Libertador although he lives somewhere else.

      As for the current CNE, the very existence of Jorge Rodriguez is evidence that the impartiality of the institution is questionable. It is not that difficult to imagine that the four pro-government CNE executive are hoping to get their reward, just like Jorge Rodriguez did a few years ago.

      • “So, who is Jorge Rodriguez and why should we believe him? ”

        You don’t have to believe him. Go check the claims that Capriles made for yourself. He lied about the numbers, as anyone can see by simply looking at CNE’s website.

        It is really impressive how dishonest you people can be.

        • The CNE can write any number it wishes on its website. Calling these numbers “results” will work only for those who blindly believe in the independence of the CNE. But no one does. Those numbers represent votes if and only if we can see the votes. That’s not dishonest, it’s realistic. Believing in the fairness of the CNE is believing in a fairy tale.

          • You don’t have to believe in the fairness of the CNE. Capriles lied about what the CNE reported for that voting center.

            Regardless of what you think about the CNE, Capriles manipulated the numbers. Period.

          • Is funny that you only answer what you can argument back, and you always use the same answer by the way. You are a out of date left activist to the bone, train to repeat over and over what you think is a favourable argument, you ignore the democratic values of a society. I don’t know you personally, but you seem to be stuck in the past century, in political terms.

          • And pseudopsychological bore. GAC is sounding more reasonable to me than usual.

            Indeed, Capriles must be doing something right. I didn’t vote by the way, proud nini. Still, I gotta give the guy props. Poor Maduro… It was Chavez’ last act of despotic cruelty to thrust him onto the head of his movement.

      • And did you actually evaluate what they are saying? These voting centers that they evaluate have a low vote count in 2012 because not all the votes had been counted yet by the time the boletin was issued. They have a higher vote count for BOTH candidates in 2013, not just for Maduro, because a higher percentage of the votes was counted before emitting the boletin.

        If you are going to claim there was fraud, at least look at the evidence and see if it is legitimate.

        • Oh, Boy….

          Are you telling me that as of today, they don’t have the final data of the 2012 elections in CNE’s website? That the data appearing there today is only the one they had by the time the first boletin was issued?

          And since when a table in a center sends partial counts to CNE? That’s completely ridicoulous.

          • “Are you telling me that as of today, they don’t have the final data of the 2012 elections in CNE’s website?”

            That’s exactly what I’m telling you. IN many cases they haven’t posted the complete results until much later.

            Sorry if you weren’t aware of that, but you’ll have to look for some other bullshit evidence if you want to prove fraud. These examples are laughable.

          • Or don’t posted at all, see referendum 2007. Why? You must be very naive too think it is all right and democratic. But you will just ignore that and continue arguing the others are lying…

          • Again…

            SINCE WHEN A TABLE IN A CENTER SENDS PARTIAL COUNTS TO CNE?

            You are the one who has to look for some other bullshit man….

          • So now you are going to claim there was fraud in 2012??? Keep digging yourself in a hole man. It is fun to watch.

          • Oh sure not, it was always a very clean system, don’t you think GAC? Care to respond why the referendum 2007 is not anywhere? Any Clue?

          • JESUS FREAKING CHRIST!!!!

            Where the hell did I claim there was fraud in 2012??????

            Do you even know how to read??

            You claimed that the numbers presented by “Ultimas Noticias” are low for those tables because those are the numbers CNE had before the 1st boletin in 2012.

            Again…

            SINCE WHEN A TABLE IN A CENTER SENDS PARTIAL COUNTS TO CNE?

            YOU know that doesn’t happen. Enough with the bullshit.

            I have to give it to you man. You are a real master at paralogism.

          • You are claiming that there was an irregularity at that voting center in 2012.

            Funny, can you show an irregularity for THIS election? Because that’s what we are talking about.

            Oh, and can you comment on how manipulative it was for Capriles to take this example, and claim that votes increased for Maduro by 1000% at this table?

            In his own examples they ALSO increase for Capriles by about the same amount!!! Total manipulation to get idiots like you all to believe he has some evidence when he doesn’t have shit.

          • GODDAMN IT WITH THIS FREAKING GUY!

            I gonna ask you a little favor:

            DON’T PUT WORDS IN MY MOUTH YOU DUMBASS.

            I showed you an article by “Ultimas Noticias”, a pro government newspaper, entitled “En algunas mesas hay data incongruente de votos”, where they showed that the numbers in some tables are pretty strange, especially when you compare both elections, 2012 and 2013. Then you claimed that it was Ok, because the low numbers in 2012 can be attributed to CNE having only a partial count for that table at the time of the first boletin, as if that were possible.

            Then you start saying I’ve said things I haven’t said (like that there was fraud on 2012) and attack me for that. Typical straw man fallacy. But what can I expect from the king of fallacies?

          • Settle down man. Everyone can see very clearly that you’re a dishonest idiot incapable of recognizing that your candidate is a complete liar. There’s nothing you can do to cover that up now… no matter how much you write in ALL CAPS.

          • I don’t have to settle for anything. And a person as dishonest as you questioning my honesty can actually be considered a compliment. You are always complaining about people here avoiding to address what you consider are flaws in their reasoning, or when you consider they have given wrong information. Yet, you made a clearly incorrect statement here, and you are avoiding it because you know you have lied.

            Whether Capriles is lying or not, remains to be seen. I haven’t made any statement one way or the other the whole week. You can check all my posts if you want. So, in capitals again:

            DON’T PUT WORDS IN MY MOUTH.

        • If there is no fraude, then why go through so much trouble to avoid checking all the actas? Sounds suspicious to any outsider.

        • Hasta cuando van a seguir perdiendo su tiempo con este güevón? No le sigan dando cuerda y utilicen su tiempo en algo más productivo, no joda! I mean, get a life, all of you, instead of feeding this asshole!!!! (It’s hard to imagine someone being so obtuse, or is it that maybe GAC was invented by Quico, created just for argument’s sake in order to keep the blog lively? That’s pretty cheap, Quico…

    • The Chavistas bark more fiercely than ever because they’re weak and they know it. It won’t be long before they’re in full retreat.

    • Please amigos, just IGNORE this get a clue guy. He is probably an unemployed loser spending his time trolling the boards. No point in going into a discussion with people like this. Just answer with ‘You don’t say?!’ or ‘So Close’

  5. Brillante.

    One question though: do you have any idea whatsoever of how this long-term picture looks like? I take it as a given that there is no democratic short-term solution to this issue, and violence (civil war) and turmoil are out of the picture too… There is the optimistic belief that, as you mention, the government will hang itself with its own unpopularity -but how, and when? I guess if we follow this idea to the end one arrives at an image of Diosdado Cabello and Rafael Ramirez rushing out of the country in a plane to Monaco, and the Luisas and the Tibisays out of their respective jobs; in this state of affairs, though, I do not see any chain of events whereby this happens. What I do see is people getting angry about more blackouts, inflation, crime and escasez… but I have this idea that 30% of the population, a big chunk of the D & E classes of the country, will still be chavista to the core, and does believe all the bullshit Maduro is saying at the moment, from the saboteo electrico onwards. Can Chavismo really dismantle itself to nothing so quickly?

    • IMHO, as violence, in some form or another, is “out of the picture”, that is, out of the options that are politically-correct for the opposition, then the long-term picture will be increasingly worse

      We are right now a dog in a 3×3 cage that barks with twitter and pots, and the master who holds the key, doesn’t just have us locked, it enjoys provoking us into barking by rattling the bars.

      We cannot possibly get out of this without cutting some heads, specially those from GodGiven, Jorge and Tibi. Every second those persons are alive is extra CO2 and entropy being thrown at the atmosphere that we’ll never get back

  6. “Now that I am personally responsible for registering irregularities in the state of Miranda, I can tell you that to that dismal record we can now add death threats – death threats – against opposition witnesses in remote rural areas, as well as incidents of National Guardsmen bribing said testigos Bs.1,000 in exchange for the handing over the official voting acta.”

    And where are these witnesses? Why haven’t they been interviewed? Where is the actual…. you know…. evidence that this occurred?

    You can’t simply make things up and expect people to believe you.

    • No, you can´t make things up. Which is why instead of releasing ridiculous FAKE YouTube videos of Polibaruta infiltrating chavista groups, we have registered, documented and provided a contact number for every single incidence of voter fraud that we compiled and legally petitioned the CNE to investigate.

      • Not to feed the troll, but I’m trying to compile what evidence I can of the actual violent irregularities during Sunday’s elections and it’s been hard to come across stuff that actually got published by the media. I understand the priority is in actually handing over the evidence to the CNE for them to investigate, but if anyone has come across anything that can stand up to scrutiny, I’d appreciate if you could share it.

      • What you have provided are pieces of paper CLAIMING that there were irregularities, with zero supporting evidence. And many of those supposed “irregularities” have already been proven LIES. You obviously haven’t even taken the time to look into them and see if they are true:

        • As far as I know, you don´t work in the CNE (or at all for that matter) to have access to the document filed by Capriles and the evidence presented. Press conferences and allegations of Jorge Rodríguez dont work as evidence of anything

        • And this proves all reported or suspected incidents of irregularities are wrong, insignificant or outright fabrications? Go look in a mirror and say your name.

          • Check the data for yourself on CNE’s website. Try to be a little bit honest, at least with yourself!!

          • Dear GAC, I think I said you this one time, sorry but you remember me of my fellow class comrades in Chile who defended Pinochet despite of all obvious evidence. Mirror-like.

          • then i want you to bring all the evidence that proves that what Chavista Leaders say is true? or it actually occurred..

        • Um, they haven’t “provided” anything formally, so what you’re complaining about is rather petulant nonsense. The court of public opinion has no legitimacy when it comes to these matters. Formal complaints must be upheld if you are to uphold the rule of law.

        • I’m sorry GAC and Mr. Pérez Pirela have never done an election audit, let me explain you guys.

          After voting is done people randomly pick a certain number of tables from the voting center according to CNE rule to audit the 52.9%. On each selected table SEPARATELY witnesses open the box, count the papeletas, compare the results to the machine acta and fill hand-writing the “Acta de Verificación Ciudadana”, one for each audited table in the voting center.

          1.- The center in the example had 2 tables, so the manual count was done only in one table according to CNE rule.
          2.- IT IS irregular that the acta de verificación has more votes than the cuaderno, because it means that ON THAT SINGLE TABLE were registeres more votes than voters asigned to THAT SINGLE TABLE. The acta de verificación ciudadana doesn’t count votes or voters in the other tables of the same voting center.
          3.- You cannot state that all the 52.9% audits were done simply because there’s a rule for that. I witnessed myself in a big opposition center where the rule said that we had to audit 5 tables but Plan República, CNE coordinator and chavista witnesses only allowed 4…. imagine what happened in rural areas.

          PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE! for your own sake and ours, read Goebel’s 11 principles and start questioning ANY NEWS you hear from government or opposition… you’re such an easy prey for their deceiving information.

      • Would it make sense for the Comando Simon Bolivar to post these incident reports and petition to the CNE online for everyone to see?

        • No it would not. Yet.
          This compendium of 6.000+ instances of voting irregularities (thats almost 50% of centers), all linked to the respective testigo that witnessed said occurrence, table #, voting center code, address and contact information included, is legal evidence officially submitted to authorities. To post these publicly while a formal investigation is being carried out is not only illegal, but would also put said sources at considerable risk of being harassed, or worse… Once the CNE ( or whatever public power they end up peloteando this powder keg to) is done deciding what to to with it, then, obviously, it will become part of the public record.

      • Emiliana, I think it would be a very good idea to make a video (or several of them) with all the witnesses that reported irregularities, such as being forced out of the center or asked to accept a bribe. They should appear in the video saying what happened, and (very important) showing clearly their CNE witness credentials.

        If you can produce such video(s), it should go a long way in shutting up anyone who claims this is a lie.

        • I agree with this, but make the videos rather dull and dry and basically don’t add any social media / music / emotional aspect to them. That would be the first way to get them dismissed. Simple interviews of witnesses.

    • “You can’t simply make things up and expect people to believe you.”

      I’ve gotten really good at ignoring your incessant drivel. But that is too good to pass up.

      Where is the proof that the US is footing the bill for and directing Capriles’ camp? Where is the proof that “la derecha” is the one causing the electric crisis? Where is the proof that “la derecha” is causing food shortages? Whatever happened to those mercenaries from el Salvador? Is there even one iota of proof that HCF was “given” cancer? Didn’t Maduro have bastantes pisas sobre el tema?

      • So your argument is that since the Maduro campaign did not provide proof for all of these accusations, then that means it is okay for Capriles to claim an election is fraudulent with made up evidence?

        Brilliant argument.

        • Lol GAC, pull your head out of your a**. Let’s more away from the topic of the election for a moment, if you can manage two topics at once.

          I’m simply asking you, since lately you’ve been expressing such a strong appreciation for actual evidence of statements. Is there any proof of the things I mentioned? I don’t see you here calling bullshit on the absurd claims that Maduro and his crew make without having any evidence.

    • “You can’t simply make things up and expect people to believe you.”

      Exactly!!! That’s why raymundo y todo el mundo is calling for a freaking audit!

    • When Capriles ran for governor of Miranda for the first I was a witness for Municipio Paz-Castillo. We were a total of four running around the whole municipio.

      In one of the polling centers, as we were trying to gain access to the audit, me and my buddies were threaten to death. I don’t think they did so because the were trying to steal votes there or anything. They just didn’t trust me at all. I was a complete outsider and they had been fed a violent speech for so long. I was able to tone down and it when from “we will kill you if you don’t go” to “we will kill you if you try something funny”. I was able to get my copy of the actas but after that I got out of there. I wasn’t able to get the actas in other polling centers after that. Specially the bigger ones.

      I can’t provide you with a video (which you would probably claim is fake) but it happened.

      Among the other things we saw there were the “assisted vote” and list checking to make sure certain people that belonged to certain missions were showing up to vote.

      But there you have it. Why was I never interviewed? Because “our ability to be shocked, has been badly eroded by a repressive, and selectively efficient, State.”

      • Dude, all the actas are signed by opposition witnesses. Your little story is nice and all, but it is refuted by the actual physical evidence.

        Keep telling stories and see if people will believe you. That’s really all you can do at this point, since none of the evidence supports anything Capriles has said so far.

        • Hahaha! If they were all signed then PSUV would’ve posted them already! They clearly haven’t because they know it is evidence against them! The unsigned actas would be where fraud may have taken place!

        • What a sad and silly ping-pong chat. It is unbelievable that everyone here simply fails to address the evidence in the video posted by Get a clue simply because of his being a PSUV supporter. Are you people so desperate for a “good guy” that you wouldn’t dare question the integrity or rationality of anything Capriles does? Man, given the level of rottenness that the PSUV has reached I’d rather have Capriles, or anyone else in power… but seeing the sheepishness and total denial of so many of his followers definitely makes one wonder whether anything would significantly change for the better if he actually would have won this election. Utterly ridiculous.

          • EXACTLY!!! Except for one thing. I’m not even a supporter of the PSUV. I don’t even like Maduro!!! I simply think he is better than the fucking lying manipulative assholes of the opposition.

            And, to tell you the truth, I was starting to think the opposition had changed, and that perhaps they weren’t as bad as they were back in 2002-2005. Boy was I wrong!!!

          • “I simply think he is better than the fucking lying manipulative assholes of the opposition”

            OKKK, now that is a fucking rational thought! Congrats, so you believe there is a big bird with Chavez spirit flying around, that Chavez actually made GOD choose a Latin American Pope, that opposition “gangs” killed 8 people, that with Maduro the economy has a bright future, that CORPOELEC poor performance is all because of the sabotage, that inflation is a product of the few private companies still left in the country, that scarcity is a also a direct result of this companies hiding things.

            You need to Get a Clue of what you believe. Politics in Venezuela are rotten, but you cant argument that Maduro is better than a manipulative lying asshole of the opposition, since he is exactly the same thing of what you just wrote

            You are not chavista, you are not opposition, then what are you? I remind you that there is no way to create a new political alternative in Venezuela with Chavismo ruling. I never trust politician, nor i am a big fan of the opposition, but they are fighting back a multiple headed monster that controls and holds all the main powers in Venezuela, that is why i support them, only with them on power new political alternatives can exist, and since you dont seem to support any of the existing political alternatives, i invite you to join the opposition so you have somebody to follow and believe in the future.

          • Wow, OK, sorry for that. I guess I myself find it hard not to fall in the reptillian binary mindset of “You are not chavista, you are not opposition, then what are you?” that CCS so eloquently displays above whe participating in such a freakishly irrational discussion. You know what the sad thing is? That you’d expect that knowing what the political game is all about, people would at least be minimally aware that it’s ALWAYS about choosing the *least evil*; but when they show this level of utter blindness and idolization of their Chosen One, you realize that either their naivete is just too big, or perhaps more likely, that they simply want to see “one of them” agarrando el coroto again, relegating “los monos” where they think they truly belong…

    • GAC What’s the big deal about simply recounting the votes? Won’t that settle all the issues, and prove the govt’s case? And isn’t a recount guaranteed in the constitution?

      • Ken, why should we expect that the opposition would accept a recount, if they didn’t accept the first count of votes that was done with the presence of their witnesses and was fully audited in all its phases?

        The opposition will simply attempt to pull out bullshit “evidence” that the recount is flawed too, just as they have done with the official count.

        They will claim that their witnesses were “forced out at gunpoint”, and provide no evidence to prove it, or they will lie and claim that the actas say something that they do not (as Capriles did on Monday), or they will claim that the CNE is not doing a “fair” “impartial” recount, etc. etc. etc.

        No recount could possibly be as transparent as the initial election anyway, since the electoral material has now been handled by the CNE that the opposition doesn’t trust. In the election all the electoral material was under constant supervision by opposition witnesses. There can be no recount that will be more transparent than the initial count. That is the whole point.

  7. guo!

    Este post debería ser el prólogo de una nueva Constitución! Creo que la campaña opositora debería tratar de aclarar sus demandas, y el camino debería ser una impuganción de las mesas con denuncias, no un conteo de unas papeletas que seguramente coincidirán más o menos con las actas

    • Las papeletas tienen que coincidir 100% si se supone las maquinas funcionan como debería. Si las papeletas coinciden “mas o menos” creo que significaría la debacle del “sistema automatizado mas seguro del universo”

      • Clearly Maduro thinks it’s only ‘mas o menos’ since he predicted a recount would increase his vote ….. When brains were being handed out, this guy was in line for another helping of mustache.

  8. Good post, I’m with the imploding strategy here. Now even Rafael Correa asked to count the votes : “Si hay que revisar todos los votos que se revisen. Aquí nadie quiere ocultar nada. Pero el Consejo Nacional Electoral ha proclamado un ganador”

    And slightly off topic:
    In Rome, Isaias Rodriguez supported Maduro as President… of Cuba? http://pic.twitter.com/2prMPsnL1O

  9. I’ll believe we’re “winning” when there’s any sign that the only thing that will ultimately matter is with us and not against us: The armed forces.

    • Please amigos, just IGNORE this get a clue guy. He is probably an unemployed loser spending his time trolling the boards. No point in going into a discussion with people like this. Just answer with ‘You don’t say?!’ or ‘So Close’

  10. Thanks for the calming post, it’s good to know people in the campaign are actually working towards an endgame, even if it’s not clear to the majority of the population. Everyone clearly wants fast solutions and swift changes, but we’ve got to be honest with ourselves and admit they might just not come, chavismo will likely drag it’s feet as much as possible but their perfect facade of democracy has taken a good hit and will likely continue to be besmirched in the days to come.

    The CNE is likely never going to say “Ooops, we may have screwed up here!” but Capriles seems determined to leave it all on the line unmasking what we’re dealing with here, what more can we ask of the guy?

  11. Emiliana is back! 🙂

    J. Rodriguez has agreed to an audit of the machines but not of the electoral notebooks and papeletas. I think by now it is clear that they cheated, and that their fraud would become apparent should a full revision of the electoral process is made. And that is why they will not allow that to happen.

    What I think Capriles is achieving is to rightfully label Maduro as “ilegitimo”. I’d think even some chavistas are secretly wondering why he doesn’t allow 100% revision if he really won and if our electoral system is really solid. Wouldn’t that be a way to humiliate the opposition and erode Capriles’ leadership for wrongfully calling “BS”? The MUDs strategy is to set up the country so that when the economic crisis explodes in a few months, Maduro has not only people blaming him for the economic crisis, but also calling him “ilegitimo” and asking him to leave.

    You can see that the government know that they cannot keep spending so much money. They are conducting cell-phone check ups at several state-run agencies to achieve two purposes: Firing public employees that support Capriles to reduce public spending, while avoid firing chavistas to avoid losing support.

    Whether they can hold power “a las malas” or not, it is clear that this is not a democracy anymore.

    • Funny thing about those cell-phone checks. Kind of proves the vote is secret, doesn’t it, otherwise why would they need to go to all that trouble? I hope public employees, who have my sincere sympathy in what must be very scary circumstances, are taking note.

      • Yes. But then the “assisted voting” shows that too. The chavistas never explicitiy claimed to know votes, only made strong hints that those voting “wrong” could lose the benefits administed by the misiones and Bolivarian committees.

        This would intimidate many voters, especially those I call “naive cynics”. (Those who believe, with no actual evidence, that all politicians, officials, and police are corrupt, any document can be easily forged, any computer can be hacked, etc. – who get their view of the world from lurid spy/gangster movies.) This makes them feel smart and “in the know”.

        Such people would never trust the voting system to be secure. They would assume that the chavernment was monitoring votes and would punish all Capriles voters. Even if they favored Capriles (and many would say “they’re all alike”) they would feel compelled to vote for Maduro.

    • What exactly is the deal w the cell-phone checks? What are they doing? Just curious, I saw a headline somewhere but didn’t read the article..

      • By checking your cellphone they have access to recent messages and pictures. By checking those they can easily find what “side” you’re on. For example: a picture of Capriles, or a conversation saying how “they stole the elections”, etc.

  12. The opposition has made progress in unmasking the facade of democracy. The reality is the power underneath.that threatens those who risk their lives. That remains. What is the strategy to overcome that reality?

    • Do we know who the 700,000 brave Chavistas are who voted for Capriles? Is there a way to combine with them and others to create an overwhelming plurality? Is it being done? Where are the unions and their leadership in this confrontation? How about the minimum wage earners and pensioners who were promised a big increase? Do they believe it? Many believe the economy is about to sputter very soon.

      • To me, a significant portion of those 700,000 voters that switched are part of those forcibly mobilized by chavismo to go out and vote.

  13. To be honest, I kind of freaked out with Henrique’s tweet on Sunday evening implying the possibility of the government manipulating the results, and I am still under the impression that everything that has followed was more or less determined by that first step.

    However, kudos to him in this incredibly complicated time. In particular, I think that calling off the CNE rally on Wednesday was evidence of great leadership and responsibility. But the future does look murky. Personally, I don’t find it all that bad that we lost (and even less bad considering the very small margin) but the fraud claims have revived the radical viejas-de-El-Cafetal-Carmona-was-awesome wing of the opposition and I am afraid that will end up hurting us.

    We’ll see.

    • I find it entirely delusional that people still believe that we’ll recover our country without a real fight, those were people kill or become killed. If that was possible, then why would countries invest in armies, weapons, ammo? after all, they could just throw some retweets and bang some pots to the invader forces!

      Haven’t we learn anything from the Arab spring? that was partially a pacific movement, but there was also selective use of force, mainly from militians that focused on defending the protesters against the army and the militias. If they wouldn’t have done that, they would have been soaked in tear gas and would have been dispersed, something that our movement believes that is fine and acceptable.

      There has to be a better strategy to counterattack the militias that go after protesters, any ideas?

  14. There is a very useful maxim in litigation and all lawyers abide by it , dont volunteer information , reveal just enough of the information you have as will keep the ball rolling and when the right time comes , when revealing all the information can exert the maximum damage to the other side , then disclose it in full. People involved in litigation administer the timing of disclosure of the details of the information they have in line with a long term strategy , you dont show all your cards until the time is right. Meantime organize your information , fill in any gaps as more information becomes known , and obtain as much damaging information on the other side as you can collect . This is the way that Capriles team is playing this game , with cunning calculation and purposefulness . Part of the information may be difficult to prove, but all the information taken together and matched with what is known and recognized can provide a powerful tool for demonstrating things that dont appear obvious. Pure academics seldom know these things and fall into the tramp of thinking that in disclosing information you must rush to state all they have thus unwittingly causing themselves great damage.

      • I don’t think he will ever have a chance in a court of law, though. Do these rules also apply in the outside world? He has to present his case in the court of public opinion – and in that of military opinion too, I’m afraid.

        • The evidence will not affect the officialized version of the results , that we know but in certain circles, in certain audiences , to certain people its credible presentation can have an important effect which might not be felt inmmediately but which by simply being there will start creating festers and silent wounds in the regimes credibility inside and outside the country . Its already a rallying cry to the oppo partisans , The regime has been struck two blows this week , one the electoral results as reported by its own controlled institutions tell the story of a country which is evenly split between those who oppose the regime and those who have voted for the regime for reasons which may have more to do with its powers of coercion than with its actual popularity. Two , the regimes brutal and violent and farcical response unmasks its camuflaged authoritarian character more than any Capriles speech could have done . Meantime living conditions inside Venezuela become worse and worse making it easier for more people to become disenchanted with the governments disastrous performance . I would say that the regimes carefully coutured self image has is much worse now than it was a week ago, does anybody think different ?? The thing is not to get impatient, sometimes a man dies a year later from a wound he recieved a year ago !!

          • Bill, you are much more eloquent than I am! I agree with your points, especially with the conclusion that this is not going to end overnight. We have to be patient and be “in their face”. Capriles has evolved into the guy who can lead us. My only desire is to see Maria Corinna working closely with him!

  15. Fantastic post, Emiliana
    What bothers me is that people think that this is like soplar y hacer botellas.
    Like they said in Kung-Fu: Patience, little Grasshoppers.

  16. One more thing: I have been looking at the results and comparing them to those from 7O and I am having trouble finding numerically weird stuff. Don’t get me wrong, I do consider “non-numerical” fraud to be cheating as well, but I don’t see how doing Voto a Voto would change the outcome of the election, except if it’s being done as a strategy to expose the lack of transparency of the CNE (in which case it is working very well)

    I trust Henrique, but I reserve the right to keep some cautious skepticism 🙂

    • Of course, I’m neither an expert on this nor have the information that the Comando does, so I take myself with a grain of salt.

    • There is some funky stuff. A friend of mine showed how there is a correlation between the number of mesas to maduro’s advantage and number of mesas to abstention. Basically the fewr the mesas in a polling center the smallest the abstention is and the biggest maduro’s popularity is.

      I buy the popularity thing. Polling centers with fewer tables belong to rural areas where oppo has no presence. But abstention I would have thought to be uniformly distributed and not exponentially distributed.

      • Hm… I would also expect abstention to be uniformly distributed, but I cannot really explain why. Ya se ve por qué hace falta estadística en el pénsum de IQ de la USB, jajaja.

        But well, I was more looking into the Maduro to Chávez ratio, particularly because it was the only purely numerical tidbit HCR mentioned during the press conference. However, I would not consider Maduro getting more votes than Chávez in a given polling center anomalous by itself if it’s accompanied by a similar increase in total votes and in the Capriles then to Capriles now ratio. In most cases, this appears to be the case; actually, the trend seems to be that, where Maduro improved over Chávez, Capriles improved even more compared to himself on October. However, “esto muy por encima”.

        But there are some weird polling centers, of course. Take “Escuela Concentrada Sin Número Cangrejito” in Delta Amacuro (Mp. Antonio Díaz, Pq. Curiapo). There, Maduro got 346 votes whereas Chávez only got 246 (ratio = 1.4), but Capriles decreased from 128 to… just NINE! What the hell happened there?

        But then… from there to a difference of 230’000 votes… there’s a long way.

          • This is impossible Rodrigo, and you know it. The machine is only activated by the fingerprint of the voter. You canot vote for other people.

          • The system allows to bypass the finger print check mechanism by approval of the mesa president. Such mechanism is present because the fingerprint database is not fully constructed. i.e. there are people in the database with no registered fingerprints. The fingerprint system is only effective when there are witnesses from all coalitions. It only prevents double voting from people that in presence of non biased responsible mesa members are trying to vote twice.

            http://www.lapatilla.com/site/2012/06/19/cne-inconveniente-con-huella-dactilar-no-limitara-el-derecho-al-voto/

            The CNE tried to get as many fingerprints as posible by doing this:

            http://www.cne.gov.ve/web/registro_electoral/centros_tu_huella.php

            Your fingerprint would be in the system if you recently got your cedula (I don’t know how recent).

            Same goes with the picture that the little machine shows.

            Anyway, there is that loophole.

          • Then your claim would be very easy to prove, by simply showing that at the voting centers where opposition witnesses were not present there was a marked tendency in favor of Maduro. The fact that the opposition can’t do that should tell you something shouldn’t it?

            And how about the fact that the best evidence Capriles could present at the press conference the other day turned out to all be lies? Do you really think they have evidence but chose to use demonstrably false evidence as their examples?

          • I have no idea if they have crossed the witnesses database with the results, but as far as I know there are people looking into this and what you just said maybe be in the document submitted even though it wasn’t mentioned in the press conference.

            I am not claiming for one thing or the other. I am just saying there is room for doubt.

            Like in my “little” story above. I don’t think people there were after any shenanigans. But their attitude and closeness opens room for doubt. And you may be right that there isn’t enough evidence to support it. Naturally then I didn’t have cameras, a mic or anything. I was just a young activist being yelled at by an angry crowd.

            And you must admit that if these situations persist, the legitimacy of the processes will be still be questioned.

          • ” have no idea if they have crossed the witnesses database with the results, but as far as I know there are people looking into this and what you just said maybe be in the document submitted even though it wasn’t mentioned in the press conference.”

            Oh, so you mean that instead of presenting solid evidence at the press conference, they decided to instead present evidence that was demonstrably false?

            Right Rodrigo. That makes a lot of sense.

          • Do you have eyes? Can you go to CNE’s website and check for yourself? Come on Rodrigo, do you have any credibility at all?

          • Hahahahaha!! Capriles lied about what the CNE data says!!! It does not say what he claimed it says!!

            Thanks for demonstrating to everyone that you are incapable of even the most minimal level of honesty. As always, you guys never fail to amaze me.

          • Ay, but there´s the rub. Not only has the CNE repeatedly refused to release the “incidencias de huellas dactilares” document, which shows what and how many fingerprints were scanned in order to activate the voting machine (MUD has asked for this 3 times ever since 7-O, only to be told that the CNE “does not have the operational capacity to process such a claim), and not only do we have hundreds of reports of people activating the voting machines regardless of their fingerprint, but, there also this gem, which, mind you, is but ONE of several instances we detected. Go on to the CNE website and enter these cédulas. Is this not something remotely worth looking into, for clarity´s sake?
            From a voting center in Guarenas
            V-22780222
            Mesa 2
            V-23712679
            Mesa 6

          • Get a clue, as per the witness accounts of two international “acompañantes” and many locals, some machines were allowing any fingerprint to activate the voting mechanism for any cédula number. So, no, not impossible.

      • Rodrigo: I actually did the statistics and it is a Gamma distribution that fits nicely. Interestingly enough, this distribution can fit data from all polling centers except for those that have 1 table. There is no distribution that can accurately fit these centers. This shows that the data is not “natural”. It is important to highlight that 1 mesa centers if you average them all, do not have less abstention…. the issue is that there are many more “less abstention” centers than there should be from the statistics.

    • Statistical anomalies are fun, but useless. Remember 2004? The statistical evidence of fraud was solid. It was bulletproof if you prefer to use that word. But it led to nothing.

      We do need some physical evidence. Actual evidence of the wronddoings. The rest is just anecdotal. For instance, the centers/tables in which Maduro got more votes than Chavez tell us that we should take a closer look at them, but it is not evidence on itself.

      We can only trust Capriles and the MUD on this one. I hope they get ir right…

  17. “Awesome post” “Long term strategy”

    We’ll say the same shit in 2019 when Diosado become the next president

    Sigamos asi

  18. Hate to be the sunk at the garden party, but so far I have found the information strategy from the Capriles camp to be totally amateurish. The press conferences on TV seem totally improvised and the message all over the place. Capriles at times goes on tangents mixing the message about the electoral process with other issues (Maduro himself or the state of the economy). Sometimes the message is about the irregularities; sometimes there are hints that Capriles thinks he has more votes. Capriles camp could use some consistent talking points, and have prepared press releases for the journalists attending the conferences. What is the major point? Is it that the opposition has evidence that Capriles indeed won the election? Is it that there are some many irregularities that the election should be null and void? These two messages are quite different and carry very different weight. The former is outright damning to the government. The latter is a way to delegitimize the government, but in the end might not result in new elections. I sure hope that Capriles gambit’s (whatever it is) pays off. For that, the evidence must be strong and masterly articulated to Venezuela and the international community. To date, I have not seen that. And if it all turns out to be smoke and mirrors (in terms of weight of the evidence), the opposition will never recover from the blunder.

    • “What is the major point? Is it that the opposition has evidence that Capriles indeed won the election? Is it that there are some many irregularities that the election should be null and void?”

      I think the message is this:
      – There were so many irregularities in the election and the difference is so small, that Capriles may have won the election, after all. This mandates a detailed audit of 100% of the votes and to impugnate the results in those ‘mesas’ where the irregularities occurred.

      ” And if it all turns out to be smoke and mirrors (in terms of weight of the evidence), the opposition will never recover from the blunder.”

      There is no smoke and mirrors, the irregularities are there and the vote was close, a careful revision is in order.

      If an audit takes place and it determines that Maduro won anyway, nothing bad happens to the opposition, on the contrary. The public denunciation of all the irregularities and abuses gives bases to demand from the CNE to put a stop to them, which can only be good for the opposition.

      Regardless of the result, the unhinged response of chavismo in these 4 days have done a lot of damage to their image. That is a self inflicted wound that is the result of a completely reasonable demand from Capriles.

      • Gneral Eisenhower was known during his Presidency for giving press declarations that seemed vague and at times incoherent . What surprised historians is that the record from his written notes and instructions show that he was an extremely clear and lucid writer . It is now known that he was sometimes deliberately vague when it suited his interest . Capriles may be playing the same game , dont commit yourself too clearly until you know what advantage you can take from some particular fact later, you dont know where the punches will come from so you keep a low profile, dont offer your self as a too large target. This is basic stuff for any one engaged in intricate political games or in litigation . A press conference is only an appetizer for the banquet that comes after , I’m amazed at peoples naive expectation that a press release is meant to be a rehearsal for the much bigger thats sure to come later , If youre smart you dont burn your bridges , you keep you options open , you play foot loose and a bit slippery. Look to what happened to Maduro when he proclaimed that first night that he was all for a 100% vote recount , Something he now surely regrets , he spoke too soon. A bit of calculated vagueness is a weapon in this kind of struggle !!.

  19. Good post Emiliana. I agree with us playing our cards. However, there was a claiming that we were tied with the 94% within the oppo camp and that the 300k difference came out of nowhere. In that scenario, we would win with 70k the foreign votes. If that’s true the 300K difference must be in the 6% actas we didn’t have. ESDATA has already sniffed those numbers but to date I have yet to see evidence of straight numerical fraud. A completely different argument is to claim unfair advantage and that the State is destroying political fairness. So, we need to give a focused message and stop muddling with thing with another. Otherwise we are as half-assed as they are.

    • “If that’s true the 300K difference must be in the 6% actas we didn’t have.”

      It’s actually, 9.3% According to the red de observacion electoral

      “En la medida en que la Red de Observación Electoral de la Asamblea de Educación pudo ir recuperando los datos enviados por los observadores de las más de 550 mesas electorales en todo el país -proceso que fue interrumpido por el ataque que sufriera en su sede el domingo luego del cierre de los comicios-, la cifra de incidencias se ha incrementado notablemente.

      En el de las mesas donde los escrutinios no fueron públicos la cifra prácticamente se ha triplicado pasando inicialmente de 3,3 por ciento en la primera versión del Informe 3 a 9,3 por ciento.”

      http://redobservacionelectoral.info/nota/761

  20. You have got to be kidding me, Emiliana. Henrique Capriles has just chanted fraud despite his own internal tally being competely consistent with the CNE. He has wobbled before every single question asked by a reporter in his press conference regarding the consistency of the actas and the CNE tally. PSUV is going ahead and publishing scanned copies of the actas on its web page (PSUV is publishing its evidence, and the MUD is hiding it!). After 9 years of the opposition trying to regain the trust of Venezuelan voters, Capriles is throwing this away by failing to recognize defeat in a process that he knows he lost.
    I am not saying that the allegations of irregularities that you discuss are not serious. They are, and they should be investigated. But you and I and everybody with two ounces of common sense knows that the actas in posession of Capriles are completely consistent with the CNE result. The fact that Capriles knows this and has not said it publicly to the nation is one of the most dishonest things I have seen a politician do since Bush hid evidence of WMD from his people in order to get them to support a war.
    The only examples showed by Capriles in his press conference of numerical inconsistencies turned out to be gross mistakes. Where in the world is the opposition getting its technical staff? Why can’t they prepare a single numerically consistent example? Where are the videos of the 236 opposition witnesses being forced at gunpoint from their voting centers? You’re going to tell me that in a world of cell phones, 22 years after Rodney King, you have 236 separate incidents and no one takes a cell phone video of them that you guys can post online? Why do you think all governments in Latin America, including those of conservative governments like Chile, have recognized Maduro?
    Leaders have to be responsible and tell their followers things they don’t want to hear. Maduro got more votes than Capriles. Yes, the system is unfair and biased and you can keep on denouncing that. You can even make the claim that if the system had been fairer, Capriles would have won – and if it weren’t for vote buying, AMLO might well be president of Mexico. But you don’t help our case by hiding evidence and claiming something that you know is false.

    • Agreed. I guess rationality and fanatism get mixed up in this one. Capriles could have claimed State unfair advantage and a recount since the beginning rather than going with the we are almost tied routine with 94% of the actas. We are not losing by 2 million votes yes, 300k is close but it’s not a tie compadre. Is everyone who can count in exile?. This is frustrating.

      • Sorry GAC, we are not in the same camp. I can’t share anything with someone who is okay with an asshole persecutes half of the country that didn’t vote for him. You should move on to the Pinochet, Franco or Castro Chronicles.

        • I never said I am okay with Maduro. In fact I have criticized him here several times. If you are truly honest you will admit that it is irrelevant who I support. We are talking about evidence of fraud. So far the guy you support has told blatant lies in an attempt to subvert an election. How about that?

      • OK, I would believe you, but please first show me where can I find the final results (all, 100% counted) of the referendum 2007? Has the PSUV that scanned? Nor the CNE? Why not?

    • Where are these scanned actas? I keep holding my nose and going to PSUV, making sure to do so not while eating so as to not lose my appetite, but I don’t see them anywhere.

    • “They are, and they should be investigated. But you and I and everybody with two ounces of common sense knows that the actas in posession of Capriles are completely consistent with the CNE result.”

      Do you have any evidence of this? Probably, just like Vicente Diaz said, the numbers add up and that’s it: Maduro won. But the MUD have good reasons not to trust the CNE. They have to check it thoroughly on their own.

      We presume that if the MUD had any concrete evidence of inconsistency, they would have shown that a while ago. And it’s possible that they don’t have any. But it’s not as if they just clap their hands and they magically have the results. A quick count is not the same as a thorough analysis of the entire election.

      The MUD do not have same the ressources the CNE have. The MUD needed 2-3 days just to get all the actas. And they probably had to do most of the work manually. The same goes for the PSUV, they promised the actas 2 days ago and nothing has happened yet.

      But it’s also possible that the MUD is playing their cards close to their chest. The cannot trust the CNE. They cannot trust the TSJ. They cannot tell anything because the chavismo would just react quickly and throw a bunch of propaganda, lies, red tape and whatnot.

      I wish the MUD would be more open about what’s going on behind closed doors, but I also understand that chavismo is not playing fair. We can do nothing but wait they are doing things right and hope they do not dissapoint us…

      • If the MUD has most of the actas, as they claim to have, then it takes no adding up to find inconsistencies. They simply have to show ONE acta that is inconsistent with the CNE data. The fact that they have not done so pretty much establishes that they have found no inconsistencies. The proof of the pudding is in the eating.

    • The first reaction when I see someone pointing a gun inside a small classroom at me, bring out the cellphone I have to record this!

      • No, and if this had happened in 1, 2 or 5 centers then I might find it reasonable that there was no evidence. But 236! And no one in a nearby house, or standing outside of the center, noticed this? No one on the oppo side thought about calling Globovision on the spot so they could capture on film this blatant abuse of power and transmit on live TV the refusal of the chavistas to let the opposition witnesses back in? Fine, don’t show me the guy pointing the gun, but at least show me the opposition witness leaving the center and having the door shut after him.
        But let’s suppose you’re right and everybody in the neighborhood who noticed what was going on was scared shitless and did not record the event. Are we supposed to seriously consider annulling an electoral process because the witnesses of the losing side claim that they were thrown out of the voting centers without being able to present any evidence? Why is that? Because the opposition always tells the truth and the chavistas are always liars?

        • “Are we supposed to seriously consider annulling an electoral process because the witnesses of the losing side claim that they were thrown out of the voting centers without being able to present any evidence? ”

          That is not what the opposition camp is asking. What they are asking for is to have the opportunity to verify the consistency of the act (check the notebooks, the actas, the chorizo and the ballots) since they couldn’t do it during the election day as it was supposed to happen. I think is perfectly reasonable given how close the result was and given the abuse and irregularities.

        • You seriously have a poor grasp on reality, there are many voting centers where reporters never go any where near even in normal circumstances much less in such a dangerous situation not to mention time constraints.

          And you seriously think anyone would try to record a situation where everyone is against you (including the military) and your life is seriously at risk. Do you really think it’s the same taking your phone out in the center of Caracas (as dangerous as that may be) and recording some abuse by the GN or PN as it is doing the same in some forsaken hell in Apure, Táchira, Barinas, etc.

    • I kept reading through all the comments, looking for someone to make the point you just made. I think you’re absolutely right, and this goes to the heart of the disagreement between Quico and Juan Carlos as to the nature of “fraud.” While I am perfectly willing to believe the counterfactual that Capriles would have gotten more votes than Maduro in an election free of chavista shenanigans, this is irrelevant to the opposition’s call for a recount. You ask for a recount when you think that the votes weren’t counted correctly, not when you think that your opponent intimidated your voters and kept them away from the polls. If the opposition can’t produce evidence of counting irregularities, their strategy will lead nowhere.

  21. Hello Emily, I would like to ask you about your source on the matter of “and about the identity of the protesters killed in Monday’s violence”. I have missed those news and would appreciate it if you could clarify what you mean about this.

  22. A great and satisfying post, Emiliana. Congratulations. Because I think this post is worthy of being read by a great number of other far-flung nationalities, may I suggest that you use a technique from serious mainstream media, legals, and business? That is, when stating the National Electoral Council, use immediately following the acronym in brackets. For example, National Electoral Council (CNE). After that first explanation, all you need to do is use the acronym, not in brackets. De la misma manera, please flesh out the CDI’s. Para que todos entiendan perfectamente…
    Aparte, muchísimas gracias por este post. Hacía falta.

  23. I do not think we are winning at all. Look at what happened in Iran when the protests started because of a rigged election and look who is still in power.

    And Maduro is calling out for violence just now on twitter: Nicolás Maduro ‏@NicolasMaduro 1h
    Todos debemos reaccionar acabamos de Derrotar un Golpe de Estado y ellos van a continuar con el Saboteo a la Vida del país. Alerta a Tod@s

    Capriles is warning for imposters trying to stir things up and this is also happening in france:
    me permito copiar el comentario de Maria Suribey Plaza Escobar:
    Atención! La MUD Francia no está convocando ningún cacerolazo frente a la embajada! Lo malo no seria el cacaerolazo en si, sino que unos infiltrados del gobierno lancen piedras o algo por estilo, y después nos culpen a nosotros. El objetivo puede ser descalificarnos como violentos y fascistas ante la prensa francesa y ellos son las victimas. Cuando en realidad es todo lo contrario. Hay que ser muy maliciosos con ellos, son los genios de la maipulación mediática.

    So it looks like it is going to be a long day.. It is going just dandy don’t you think?

    • “I do not think we are winning at all.”
      There is a difference between saying you are winning and saying you are improving or gaining an advantage. It also depends on your definition of winning, if for you to win is for Capriles to win this election, it is probably not going to happen. But in politics it is all about gaining followers and in that sense this week has been a triumph for the opposition and a disaster for the government.

      Mentioning Iran is a non sequitur. You could also mention other countries like Peru, Chile, Serbia, …

  24. It May Not Look Like it Right Now, But We’re Winning

    Is a phrase had listened in the revocatory elections, congress election and others, however “The Chavismo” has managed how to reverse the situation in your favor.

    I do not question the leadership of Henrique, however the fact that the current leaders are more unscrupulous and less careful in the way you should not assume so lightly.

    It can be evaluated as strategic errors in function of pressure exerted by Henrique and yet so decisions are.

    Today we have silence in the meeting, a CNE to wash hands, a Supreme Court that pronounced (well be a biased decision) and a FAN them mercenaries and sold to the highest bidder and so far the best wallet has been that of government.

    This is why despite not paracerlo has, if we can be making at the political level, however the contricante not political, military strategists who are colonized teneido the Cuban people for 56 years and have much experience in the field and supported by a league of unscrupulous will make every effort to maintain power.

    For what they read and do not live here I say that the law is only based on their unscrupulous intentions, which is why the eyes of the world they act under the scrutiny of the law.

    Just read between the lines Maduro’s speech, removing their mistakes in geography, anatomy and history. He has made mention to restore the middle class. Middle class?? Yes, the middle class because they know that we have a large percentage of the poor, which is why its short-term goal is to seduce the middle class. Adding to this that the Venezuelan forgets very quickly if carried Comfort zone.

  25. I just can say if this is an Venezuelan post, it has to have its official version in Spanish, just for share it with our people, even when I can understand in Englis, reading it in Spanish can increase my “arrechera” so much more.

  26. So to sum it up, HCR knows he lost the election (by a very small margin) and is only contesting the circumstances of the vote, not the actual vote tallies? He’s only demanding a manual audit to calm the population, not because he thinks he might win if they recount, this is only a fight for future fairness in the next elections. I think the people are being misled in this as 90% of the opposition thinks that HCR won and that he has proof that he won.

    • “So to sum it up, HCR knows he lost the election (by a very small margin)”
      I don’t think that HCR knows that for sure. I think the tallies of the actas they have give him a slight edge. Because of irregularities like not allowing the opposition witnesses in some centers, he doesn’t have all the actas. Since those irregularities probably happened in the chavista leaning areas where, presumably, Maduro would get more votes, the actas he is missing probably tip the balance in favor of Maduro. But he doesn’t know that for sure.

      “and is only contesting the circumstances of the vote, not the actual vote tallies?”
      Where he doesn’t have the actas and didn’t have witness he would be contesting the machine tallies and asking for corroboration with the ballots, notebooks and ‘chorizos’.

      ” I think the people are being misled in this as 90% of the opposition thinks that HCR won and that he has proof that he won.”
      He is making the case that vote was close and there were many irregularities so he demands a detailed audit of 100% of the polling stations.

    • How is he misleading them? He hasn’t even talked about fraud, only irregularities. He has reason to believe the vote was tampered with, and once the tampered votes are taken out, he has the majority. If people think the numbers were manipulated, then they’re not paying attention.

      • Oh really Juan??? Capriles never said anything about the numbers being manipulated??? I must have been hallucinating when I heard him list several voting centers in which he claimed the numbers were suspicious.

        God, this whole debacle is really revealing who you all really are. 2002 all over again my friend!!

      • Not true. His campaign (ok, not him maybe but he is responsible for them) has been telling reporters and others that they actually won by 200k or 300k votes. Unless they can show Actas that confirm that we can only assume they are being untruthfull which of course makes all their other accusations even less credible.

        • Not true, if all the other accusation can be proven true, then the numbers on the actas are the ones to become less credible. OW, we see your game, go hide in shame.

  27. Fantastic article. Get a clue: your opinion lacks logic. If you had a problem with lies and unfounded claims you wouldn’t support the current government, but you really just have a problem with opposing views, which you ever-so-masterfully denigrate as right-wing conspiracies. This is to be expected considering you support a government that openly contradicts itself, hurts those it aims to help, and hurts its’ own citizenry when they speak up. Should you ever accept that the Maduro government has already acted in an outright fascist manner, you might be quite embarrassed of the worthless garbage you spewed. The country is split and it was a tight victory for whoever won it, but why not find out who really did?

    • It is irrelevant if I support the government or not. If you are going to claim fraud you have to show evidence. So far Capriles has showed ZERO actual evidence.

      • They claim they got the votes, so please show that us, that is only fair if they want to be the government, isn’t? What’s the problem?

      • If someone is going to claim SOMETHING, they have to show evidence. So far the CNE has not shown the TOTAL (papeletas+cuadernos+actas) evidence.

        Ergo, their claim that maduro won is as, at least, as dobious as capriles’ claim. Period. And that is following exactly YOUR argument.

        #elpezmuereporlaboca

        • Uh, the evidence was shown in this little thing called an election which had witnesses present from both sides and was audited in ALL its stages. Anyone who knows how Venezuela’s electoral system works knows that it is virtually impossible to commit numerical fraud.

          Even Quico has admitted that a million times here. Funny, he’s suddenly disappeared now though….

          • “Uh, the evidence was shown in this little thing called an election which had witnesses present from both sides and was audited in ALL its stages. Anyone who knows how Venezuela’s electoral system works knows that it is virtually impossible to commit numerical fraud.”
            This statement is not accurate, you can commit fraud at any stage with the Venezuelan system. However, the fraud would be detectable in recount that allowed the crosschecking the three different tools used by the system. But the PSUV and their agent, the CNE does not want to be scrutinized to that level of detail. Additionally, it is of record that opposition witnesses did not audit all stages of the process in all voting locations. No system is 100% tamper proof.

      • Get a clue, you lie: “So far Capriles has showed ZERO actual evidence.” A picture of a person “assisting” a voter in need of no assistance is evidence, yet you claim “zero” in caps. Do you support that those claims, based on evidence, be investigated?

        • HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! Torres, the difference in votes was 250,000. Did you show evidence that would indicate that more than 250,000 votes were altered in this way?

          There’s not even any evidence that ONE vote was altered in this way. You have to show that the person who was assisted in voting was not able to vote for the candidate of their choice.

          Again, you have ZERO evidence.

          • Get a clue, The silliest part of your answer is that you even ignored the question: Do you support that the assisted votes complaint be investigated?

            To answer your question, no, I did not, nor was I trying to show evidence for 250k votes; I was simply refuting your claim that there was ZERO evidence.

            It is only now that I proved you wrong regarding zero evidence that you’re adding the consequence of an altered vote as a condition to the evidence request. The point in the complaint, however, is that an electoral procedure that is in place to prevent coercion was broken and therefore must be investigated for the authorities to decide if the freedom of vote was affected, and, if so, if the vote itself was altered. So, again:

            Do you support that the assisted votes complaint be investigated?

          • You actually don’t have to show that, the difference between the parties is small, the number of reported irregularities is getting larger by the day that is enough for the affected party to request the recount.

  28. A small comment on “our ability to be shocked”: President Nixon, arguably the most powerful man ion the world at the time was forced to resign from the presidency over a simple break in. If this were a working democracy, the head of every public ministry and public company would have been sued for violating the political rights of their employees. Rafael Ramirez and Comando Hugo Chavez would have been instantly sued for “Malversacion de fondos” over the use of public funds cor campaign finances… the list goes on an on. What chavistas will never understand is that having 50.0001% of the vote (doubting that they even have that) does not allow you to trample on the rights of the other 49.999%.

  29. Reblogged this on caminazo's Blog and commented:
    Bravo. This is all correct and it needed to be said; even, with all due respect, the part on Diego Arria. This isn’t the time for long-lived peripheral opposition to take a piece of Capriles for themselves, it’s time to circle the wagons around the candidate with the votes, the gravitas, and the credibility.

  30. It’s amazing how fast Maduro and his cronnies are descending into pure repression, we knew they would, but I don’t think anyone imagined it would be days after he “won”.

    • I just had a discussion with an Iranian guy and he told me what happened in his country. Looks VERY similar. They probably have the Iranian handbook next to their calendar

  31. The fact that we are guessing what Capriles is going to do next (instead of the government) and what information he has and doesn’t have is actually good.

  32. What Capriles doesn’t have is an army and street militias of well armed thugs who have no problem killing to maintain power.

  33. Get a Clue – You keep saying check the CNE website.. but how is what’s on CNE’s website proof of anything if the CNE is clearly in the pocket of the Chavistas, like every single other government entity?

  34. I agree with Emiliana. Capriles knows what he is doing.

    Many of you are searching for the democratic and constitutional way out of this mess. But, there is none, because Venezuela is no longer a constitutional democracy. However, there is still a peaceful way out, and Capriles and the MUD are working toward that end. I won’t lie. There are risks and much is at stake. In the moves that Capriles is making, I see a deliberate plan. I don’t claim to know what that plan is, just that I can see it is not haphazard. Now, tell me, do you really expect him to publish his plan? Did General Eisenhower publish his plan for the invasion of Normandy? Does any leader advise their adversaries what their plan is in advance?

    I know that we all feel that Capriles should have consulted us and solicited our advice, but is that realistic? Of course not. Time will tell if he has the right plan, or not. Meanwhile, you have no choice but to support him. You voted for him to be the President of Venezuela, and trusted him enough to do so. You are going to have to keep trusting that he is doing the right thing now.

    • I am not sure what the peaceful route is out of this mess, unless it is a negotiating for freer/fairer elections in the future?

      In all reality the government is 100% committed to Maduro obtaining the presidency. Not only do they have all the leaders saying so, the inauguration is tomorrow with numerous leaders coming into town! The one thing that the opposition could do to piss off the government is by making a big stink with protests to disrupt the events, a huge embarrassment for a first time president.

      I am guessing Capriles is using this as leverage to secure an agreement and will end the fight by tomorrow with some grand compromise…With Capriles returning to his position as governor, is there any doubt???

      • JSP,

        What peaceful way? Good point, because we can be peaceful but we cannot guarantee that others be so.It is silly to think otherwise.We simply cannot control others, and there will be people abusing others whether we do so or not.

      • Peaceful transition comes, when you have sapped the other side’s will to fight. You do that in any number of ways:

        1. Demonstrate that you have numerical superiority.
        2. Demonstrate that you have moral superiority.
        3. Undermine confidence in the leadership of the opposing force.
        4. Show the opposing force a way forward. Make it clear that they are not going to lose everything.
        5. Create a feeling that the success of your movement is inevitable.

  35. Paraphrasing Vicente Diaz: There is no doubt that the button on the electronic electoral sheet with the face of Maduro on it was pressed 7,5 million times -according to the official results, that is; nor is it doubtful that Capriles’ was pressed 7,2 million times. That is not the issue. The problem is who did the pushing and under what circumstance? That doesn’t necessarily mean that 7,5 million different people actually voted for him. It means that several million did in fact do it, but many of those votes were from the “doble cedulados” -people with two different ID cards-, members of the chavista electoral bullying group, even militarymen perhaps. Add to that all the times that option was chosen under coercion by chavista witnesses, members of the electoral team and Plan Republica.
    It’s hard to follow and hard to trace back every single case, but there if it looks like an electoral fraud and it smells like an electoral fraud, well, you do the logic.

  36. Emiliana, do you have this article in Spanish? I want you to congratulate you for writing this and I’d love to share with all my non-Spanish speaking friend as well as my English speaking friends. Thank you.

  37. I said that several times: several people found out about the 30000+ double records. These were records what had the same full name as other 30000+ (also both surnames) AND the same birth date. A lot of them differ by id with a regular pattern: 1, 10, 100, 1000. Almost all of them were located very close to each other.

    We denounced that. What did the CNE do? It “corrected” progressively half of those numbers, replacing them with other people. Who are those people? Did the appear from out of the blue?

    In any case: 30000 fake records are just a tiny fraction of the total vote, but that is absolutely not the point. If the CNE produced those records and those records are obvious fakes, we know people had access to the CNE and did something deceitful. We discovered those records because they were quite obvious. But this shows also that this was technically possible and the internal ethics are so that this was allowed.

    In any other country this would be more than enough reason for having a thorough physical revision of the records. This has NOT been done. I repeat: this has NOT been done. We haven’t gone through the action of having a statistically significant amount of voters be verified with their finger prints and all by a group of independent observers. Calling people is not the way.

  38. Emiliana, take me, take me now!
    My hopes on the CNE, yielding to do the recount, have always been feeble. My faith was (is) better placed on the political moves Capriles has yet to make. By this time he plans to go to Unasur summit and make a claim, which I think he will deffo go for it!
    FFS! I’m even more hyped than before the elections, I’m f*cking arrecho!
    Keep calm and relajen el papo, the guy knows what he’s doing.

  39. Great post.
    Maybe the huge challenge for HCR leadership is about to come. Keeping up the opposition morale, although following a way out of inmidiate conflict with a government thats weak-but-still-stronger-than-you .

    The electoral outcome was incredible, I thought we were going to lose by a margin of 7% ~ 5% at best.

    In order to leverage the sunday results, the opposition should enlarge their time horizon.

    Greetings 😉

    Atte. “Este ridículo”

    • The question gac the troll will never answer: If the result is good, then why is the govn’t so adamant to avoid a recount?

  40. Capriles did a marvelous job by campaigning against all odds and getting his message across millions of people that voted for chavez in the last 14 years. He did more damage to the chavismo in the last year and a half than all that was done on the 12 years before he start running for president. Will he get it this time, I doubt it, Chavismo right now looks like “copeyanos y adecos” in 1992. They still have a lot power and all the government branches are still with them. Will it change in the next few months or years?… I am sure of it. Does anybody remember Alfaro ucero?…In 1997 he was as powerful as diosdado….at the same time chavez was with 3 or 4 % at the polls . A few months later we know what happens. In politics you just have to be patience and wait for your opportunity. I don´t think is capriles ´time yet.

  41. People , really it was a great post…. Now Don’t let “Get a Clue” to troll you…I guess that is the way they have to be in any forum… and people like even with facts or at least something that they cannot explain or support, they would be doing exactly the same that is a fanatic…and not even a chavista . he is with the enchufados…Really defending Maduro? Really I think he would never get a clue. He is just trolling…

  42. I don’t believe maintaining opposition morale is an issue this time around. People are hyped and barring a massive public blunder by Capriles this will not die down anytime soon.

  43. What do we know about this UNASUR meeting? Who gets to participate? Who plays Diosdado? Can the Peruvian congressmen speak? Is it a public session? Will it be on TV? If so, what time?

  44. No, you are not winning. And you are very naïve if you think you are! If there is anything we know about the chavista regime is that they couldn’t care less about contradicting themselves or about corroborating their repressive approach to politics. Don’t you remember when Chavez said that he was not a socialist? That was over 14 years ago and here we are. That Maduro said he agreed to a recount and then recanted is of no consequence whatsoever. Maduro also said he had a 4 hour meeting with moribund Chavez, an obvious lie, and nothing happened.

    That a vast number of people in Venezuela know that the government abuses its power is inconsequential if that vast number of people is not willing to do what people do to overthrow a repressive government. The Supreme Court and CNE have been an accomplice to the chavism and will continue to do their bidding. It is naïve to think that the CNE will agree to a recount or to a contestation of the election.

    The change in rhetoric from “we are going to fight this” to “let’s wait and see what happens” after people have already given their life fighting against the regime is astonishing. Perhaps is a mass Stockholm syndrome phenomenon: the opposition is showing empathy to the government perhaps out of fear and cowardice. Capriles is crazy if he actually thinks that Maduro’s government will allow a recount.

    The fight for freedom and liberty is not a peaceful one. Venezuela’s independence from the Spanish Crown was not won by peaceful protest. Perez Jimenez was not overthrown with a peaceful protest. Freedom from a fascist regime is not won by peaceful protest. Evil only prevails when it is feared and encouraged by cowardice. Let’s hope Capriles’ strategy is to exhaust all legal and diplomatic ways to demand a recount or new elections, AND if or when that does not work, then DO what people must do to overthrow tyranny, which is not peaceful protest.

    • Yes that’s absolutely right, there’s no way the regime would go without violence, what kind of violence and how much is yet to be seen.

      But the moment is not now, right now Capriles needs to undermine and deslegitimize the Government as much as possible, eroding the popular support of Chavizmo as well as their credibility is key in the next few months, and prepare for when the economic crisis hits us in all it’s rage which will begin after the middle of the year.

      I think there is a real possibility to topple the government sometime from July to December of this year, but how exactly that will happen is not clear and the democratic opposition should be ready for that moment. Right now it’s time to infiltrate, gather information, repeat and extend the message of Capriles as much as possible.

  45. Emiliana, pick me! Pick me! Just joking, I am too old for you!

    You are a great writer and a level-headed thinker. I agree that everyone who cares about this country has got to trust and support Capriles. It will take more time but there is no one in the chavista camp who holds a candle to him. They will implode within no more than 2 or 3 years and Capriles will have the chance to apply his knowledge and sincerity to rebuilding Venezuela from the wretched mess it will become (because we have yet to hit bottom!).

    In the meantime, El Flaco has given us all hope by waking up the country and hanging around to complete the job. I was convinced that the best result was for him to lose by as small an amount as possible and let them suffer the consequences of Chavez’s disasterous social and economic policies. I hope that all comes true sooner rather than later!

    Keep up the great work, all of you at CC and kudos to all the contributors! Even Get a Clue has a place – to remind us of how vigilant we have to be to avoid losing credibility because of intentional or unintentional errors or mistakes. Beyond that he proves time and time again that he is simply a waste of skin!

  46. Great post, one of the best I‘ve read these days, we should make flyers so those desperate for an easy way out (that has allowed a great part of the 14 years of chavismo) can take a look ato another way that could be the right one to get out of this hole.

  47. Patience is the name of game, but we need to be clear about what the comando SB results are of the election, because they claim that Capriles won, but have failed to provide evidence of their “actas”, which really bothers me. I would have hoped that our leadership would not need to resort to hiding information in order to advance its cause. By this I mean, that sunday night we were told that we won based on our numbers, where are they?, I presume that if they haven’t shown them it is because they are the same as the CNE, and the argument then becomes, that the abuses were such that this result COULD be different, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

  48. Chavismo will smother regions: it will stop sending money to Miranda, for instance.

    Shouldn’t Venezuelans abroad send an open communication to South American countries with copy to the rest of the world not to just do whatever Chavismo says out of fear of losing money?
    Isn’t there a way to embarrass those governments by making this better known in Europe and elsewhere?

  49. That reminds me.
    Venezolanos en el exterior (and not), can we please stop signing petitions online? They’re silly and don’t apply to us.

    For what I hear on Twitter people think (including Marquina) if they reach 200k signatures Obama will say “THAT’S ENOUGH, LET’S DO SOMETHING.”

    No seamos ridiculos, plis.

    While I’m at it, PLEASE DON’T RT things without double-triple checking? We are not journalists but that doesn’t meant we don’t have to check our sources. People RTing the pictures of boxes burning (from 2009) was absolutely embarrassing. Poleos, por favor.

    And Napoleon said the Empire State turn amarillo, azul y rojo the other night. Chaaaaamo. Plis.

  50. So what are tge 700K new voters going to do with Maduro in the government.?

    Lose their jobs
    Be harassed

    Will they still remain in the opposition?

  51. Let’s pretend this is Switzerland. Any single one of these events would have been enough to contest the transparency of an election.

    But, this being Venezuela, our capacidad de asombro, our ability to be shocked, has been badly eroded by a repressive, and selectively efficient, State.

    No, it’s been eroded by the abdication of the left inteliigentsia, in Venezuela, elsewhere in Latin America, and in the U.S. and Europe. They should have called out the chavernment on its gross corruption, incompetence, lawbreaking, and violation of democratic norms. Instead they embrace it for being “anti-capitalist” or “anti-imperialist”. Just as they embrace Castro. who is a brutal, murderous dictator, and yet is fawned on by fashionable leftists, and islamist fascists like Hezbollah.

    Maduro’s “election” is a fig-leaf of democracy, but they don’t really care about democracy, only about sticking it to the Capitalist/White/Gringo Man. Nor about law, justice, or freedom. Or even poverty. It’s all about leftist victory, and actual principles can go hang.

    The systematic refusal of the left intelligentsia to condemn or even acknowledge the abuses is what makes them “unremarkable” now. The crimes happen, and they are denied or excused or explained away and nothing is done. The people get used to it. Unconsciously, many begin to feel the crimes are not really important. They lose the capacity for anger because it only leads to frustration. And the cycle continues until the present situation is reached. Meanwhile, the left continually beats the drum on other issues, keeping them fresh in peoples’ minds.

    (By the people, I don’t mean just the people of Venezuela, but the great mass of Latin Americans and other observers, of limited to moderate political awareness: those with above average but less than high interest and knowledge. It’s the sentiment of this group that generally decides. They are swayed by the high-interest cohort, especially the media and academy, but can make their own judgement – unless a large bloc of the media and academy systematically lie to them. They in turn sway the low-information cohorts.)

  52. The claim that opposition witnesses were unable to watch the totaling: False, there’s not a single report to local authorities or the CNE of that happening. Also, there’s not a single piece of evidence on that; no photo, no video, no press media report. Nothing. They say it occurred in the countryside where very few people have voted against Chávez before, and that makes no sense. Why would they nullify so few Capriles votes? If you wanted to make a fraud, you go for heavily-populated areas that vote for Capriles, and even that would be suicidal because of the sheer amount of opposition people watching. Try to find any machine certificate unsigned by the opposition witness, if there’s any, there would be not enough to change the results.

    If they say they know that it was enough to change the election results that would mean the main opposition group (MUD) has copies of all the paper certificates. Why not publish them?

    ” the minuscule margin of Maduro’s victory (1,83%) is, in and of itself, reason enough to doubt electoral results.”

    Oh, really? So basically that means if every single majority vote was not decided by a 10-point margin it’d be doubtful? That would make most presidential elections everywhere, ever, doubtful.

    On one side you say the PSUV wins by intimidating and buying voters and on the other side you claim Chavismo lost 700.000 voters to Capriles. Those two things anywhere in the word would be mutually exclusive, since the “main intimidator” is now dead, those who remained loyal to PSUV are hard voters who made Maduro win.

    Finally, there’s the part of denying that people identified with the opposition engaged in CDI-burning and shootings of chavista people. Well of course! they’re all hippie pacifists! Years and years of a constant fear campaign by private media HASN’T make them fearful and angry, and a speech of their candidate casting doubt on the results WASN’T the detonator they were expecting to let go all of their hate, fear and anger on anything Chávez-related on the streets. Sure.

  53. …people in this country who “KNOW” that this government abuses its power…

    “know” is written in cursive format, suggesting something… Surely might not be what i think.

    The power of media manipulation can’t be attributed to a goverment that lets run freely a Tv channel like Globovision. And the power of money is just inherit to every single country’s government. This ones actually seems to gain votes by giving legal services, like free homes, minor medical-centers, and some sort of food supplies at low prices…

    I don’t doubt that the government or their employers may use power in unappropied ways, but i doubt that someday you will post actual pictures, names, testifications, proofs…

    I really will be surprised if this blog actually gets any international attention with this kind of simple articles. I can count many ones that make me think you are just practicing your english with each one, rather than excusing the use of the lenguage with the big amount of international readers you may have…

    • The power of media manipulation can’t be attributed to a goverment that lets run freely a Tv channel like Globovision.

      And you undoubtedly would have said the same about RCTV. Which is no more, thanks to the free-speech-loving Chavista government. And Globovision is in the process of being bought out, which will eliminate the last oppo TV source. Either you are woefully ignorant or a lying sinvergüenza.

    • Um, not to be really picky here, but, it seems to me that it’s YOU who seems to be attempting to practice your English (and not doing a very good job of it, BTW). Oh, and this blog has a LOT of international attention.

    • You want media manipulation, how’s this:

      The Government spokesman, Villegas, goes to the wake of a person he claims lost his life “defending a CDI (community medical service center) from a mob. Maduro and the rest of them echo this.

      Here’s a different take, from the wife of the person who lost his life.

      http://www.eud.com/sucesos/130420/esposa-de-asesinado-no-senala-movil-politico-como-causa-del-hecho

      So you, Gustav R. and the rest of the useful idiots that are coming out to defend this so called revolution can just shove it.

      You can certainly think differently, and express it on this blog, but at least be honest or you will be treated like the lying manipulators we have in our government.

  54. Capriles’ actions directly contradict this article. He’s been so clumsy he looks like a rookie. He first screamed that he won in national TV. That was BEFORE making any formal claim to the National Electoral Council (CNE), which is the very first thing he should have done. His irresponsible call make thousands of angry supporters take to the streets, create chaos and violence and killing people. Then he called for a demonstration and had to back it off, and after introducing his claim to the CNE it was accepted in a matter of hours. I bet his supporters felt VERY silly watching what should have been done in the first place before banging pots and taking the streets.
    Now, the CNE after the audit is about to reaffirm their original decision: Maduro won and that’s going to deflate all the morale and will of Capriles supporters, and make them not vote for the opposition in the next election.
    Way to go, sucker!

    • Formal claims to both the CNE (for further audit) and to the TSJ ( for impugnación de resultados) have strictly observed timetables in terms of when and based on what they can be made. Capriles has respected these and submitted a petition to CNE on wednesday, which was heard and decided upon yesterday, and will proceed to impugnar elections next week, obeying, again, legally established timetables. He never called fraud, nor did he incite violence. His wise decision to cancel the CNE march was a responsible answer to Govt´s hopes that violence might ensue, since they have very little moral ground to stand on. All he has said since Sunday is that the truth shall be found if the CNE allows for a full recount of ballots. After yesterday´s CNE decision, he has agreed to their preliminary terms. Support for his cause confirms that his leadership is untainted, and that his electorate is patiently willing to wait it out.

        • Hey Eon,

          I have no idea what to think about the CDI’s, I have indeed seen photos and articles from both sides, with and without fire damage. Unfortunately neither myself nor any friends live close by to check for that, so I have no idea on that. The same goes for the killings of 7 to 11 people (depending on the report). The killing, the harassing of the CDI’s, the fire on them (if any) are all reprehensible actions.
          Nevertheless, I did go through the article you referred, specially the part where he denies the possibility of chavistas “caceroleando” Clinica el Avila, and couldn’t help but to send back this other article about the attack to the hospital of Universidad de los Andes by tupamaros, after attacking the completely peaceful demonstration in front of CNE in Mérida: http://www.noticias24.com/venezuela/noticia/163297/denuncian-que-grupos-chavistas-causaron-destrozos-en-centro-medico-de-la-ula/. I was not present in these events, but I do have many close friends who explained how everyone arrived calmly, presented the document, and then the tupamaros attacked, protected by the police. When people tried to protect among other places in CAMIULA, the tupamaros broke windows, put on fire 2 cars and 2 motorbikes, threw molotovs, etc (more pictures here http://twicsy.com/tag/camiula).

          I’m not trying to defend either group: this kind of actions by anyone are reprehensible, and mostly come from radicals. That citizens are acting like that is certainly a bad thing, that some deny to see half of the story, terrible in either case. Nevertheless, I do see a difference when the state (as opposed to single citizens) supports these behaviours from one group (either by police support, or just by omission) while condemning the other side of the story. That is, right there, terrorismo de estado.

    • I guess you just watched the snips that the government fed you and felt for it like a silly fan. Capriles neither mentioned the word fraud, nor asked the people to do anything violent or attack anyone. He just asked the CNE to check the results, which is the most reasonable thing in a close election marred by irregularities.

      Most of the violence was a exaggerated by government media to make people believe it was some sort of coup d’etat. They even talked about some popular clinics being burned down, which people later proved to be false. And the most violent opposition reactions came in Barinas, where the military mismanaged electoral material and people freaked out, a consequence of CNE’s and Plan Republica’s obvious bias.

      As for the repercussions, well… I just have to take a look at Capriles’s and Maduro’s reaction to understand that I did cast my vote for the right guy. While Maduro acted like a lunatic, talking about an imaginary coup d’etat and threatening the entire population with violence, Capriles was asking people to stay at home and avoid confrontation. Maduro, who is supposed to be the president of the 28 million Venezuelans is acting as the fanatical leader of a radical group, not as the president of a country. It’s obvious that he couldn’t care less for the remaining 21 million Venezuelans that did not vote, much less for the 7,2 million that voted against him that are still Venezuelan citizens…

  55. Kudos to that! These guys have been perfecting the scheme for 10 years, and we finally caught them in fraganti. There’ll be no judge to condemn them, that’s right, but at the very least, we’ll have a very clear idea of the kind things they’re doing and months for planning a serious strategy… And that’s another point for Capriles, because he’s FINALLY letting experts give him quality advice.

  56. The loss of a 20% advantage in the midst of a campaign where the regime carried a no holds barred effort at using the canonized figure of the recently dead leader to consolidate its vote and movilized all the huge resources of the State to coerce, intimidate and press the ordinary voter to support Maduros candidacy and where the result is at best a tie with Capriles forces must be pretty scary for the regimes supporters . Even more scarier if looking at the future you see the more catastrophic failures which the regime will have to take responsability for before the mass of its followers leading to further losses of popularity . I cant understand their wasting their time attacking the opposition on trumped up charges instead of taking a good look at what they must do to drastically improve the performance of the regime to stop the vote hemorrage thats destroying their much eroded credibility as purported “champions of the people”. while they maintain this silly self delusional posture of blaming the oppo for everything, there is everything to hope for an ultimate dissolution of the regimes political strenght..

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