Things that are not Tibisay Lucena's fault

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One Way
Any questions?

Did the votes actually cast on April 14th represent the will of the Venezuelan electorate, or didn’t they?

It’s a simple question, a basic question, and one that the Capriles campaign has been unable to answer coherently.

On the one hand, we’ve had a strong emphasis on incidencias – instances of threats, intimidation, bullying, abuse of state power and downright ballot stuffing that strongly suggest that the votes that ended up in the ballot box are not a faithful representation of the electorate’s will as of April 14th. Here, Capriles’s evidence is strong, documented and compelling. Venezuela’s electoral law (Articles 217-226) provides a clear mandate to re-run elections in centers where major irregularities are proven, which is logical: if you determine that, for whatever reason, the votes cast don’t reflect the will of the voters, you better vote again.

In parallel, we’ve had a strong emphasis on an audit of the actual votes  cast on April 14th. Notice that that’s a demand that only makes sense if you  believe that the votes as cast on the day do represent the sovereign will of the people. The call for an audit rests on a heavily implied – if never quite stated – view that they were not counted properly the first time around. Here, Capriles’s evidence is weak, fragmentary and unconvincing: nobody is going to convince me that if the Capriles camp had systematic evidence of numerical fraud, it wouldn’t have presented it forcefully by now (indeed, if you listen closely, they’ve been careful not to allege it.)

It’s true, to the extent that the audit includes the cuadernos de votación, it could yield evidence of ballot stuffing. Indeed, the Capriles camp already has some evidence of ballot stuffing – though not, it appears, on anything like the scale it would take to reverse the result.

Capriles’s messaging has stressed that an audit would reveal the truth about who won the election. But that’s in inevitable tension with the fact that the conditions on April 14th prevented voter’s true preferences from manifesting themselves. The position, then, comes out horribly muddled, something like: “marramucias x, y and z prevented people’s votes from revealing their real preference, therefore, we demand a recount of those same votes, you know, the ones we just convinced you don’t mean anything – and we promise to abide by that result.”

That just doesn’t make sense.

In the last few days, the basic incoherence in Capriles’s strategy has been coming home to roost.

Under pressure, the government did the logical thing: shift the entire debate onto the territory that’s weakest for Capriles, the recount. The Capriles camp never imagined they’d actually get a recount. Now their bluff has been called and they’re stuck fighting over technicalities and, what’s much worse, fighting on the wrong ground.

We’ve been badly outflanked here. The recount is an enormous distraction that we’ve stumbled into because we lacked the clarity to know which battle we wanted to fight.

It didn’t have to be this way: Article 217-219 of the Organic Law of Electoral Processes (LOPE) gives plenty of grounds for annulling the results in a lot of actas and voting centers, given the evidence CSB has been collected. Articles 222-226 mandate new elections in places where the original vote is annulled, and provide a mechanism for refersing a previous proclamation if the new vote overturns the earlier result.

Of course, in a country where laws are toilet paper, for these things to be in the law doesn’t constitute a guarantee in and of itself. But from late night on the 14th of April, the rallying cry could’ve been “re-vote in places where there’s evidence of major irregularities!” and citizen protest’s could’ve been centered on defending that right.

For whatever reason, it wasn’t. The banner, instead, was “recount!”

Lured  onto territory that’s far more favorable to the other side, the Capriles camp now has to watch as its initial advantage dissipates in a sea of technicalities leading to an audit that’s inherently unable to establish what they need to establish.

It’s a miserable position to be in. And it’s not one you can blame on Tibisay Lucena.

1 COMMENT

    • Eight days after the fact it’s “news” that the guy is considering a re-vote – even though he has clear evidence to demand one, but no clear evidence to claim victory!

      That in itself is the strongest sign yet that his communications strategy is FUBAR…

      • Quico,
        You have no basis for saying that he doesn’t have enough evidence to switch the election. You’re just pulling that out of your hat.

        The core of your post is that Capriles has no case, yet you have no basis for that other than to judge him by his communicational strategy. Disappointing.

        • Juan, have you actually, you know, CHECKED the examples cited by Capriles? They are complete joke. He claims votes for Maduro increased like 500 percent over votes for Chavez in some centers. What he DOESN’T mention, is that in those same centers votes for HIM increased by the same, or even more!!

          What a manipulative bastard huh?

          • GAC

            Your candidate had to blatantly violate almost every electoral rule and use the entire resource of the state to ensure his election, yet still only got 50.8% of the vote if the CNE is too believed.

            Where is Chavismo without Chavez? Slowly dying, but tightening its grip on power as its supports ebbs. Anyway, congrats on your great revolution, 14 years in (with massive oil revenue to do about anything it could have) and the people have had enough.

          • I’m not engaged in this discussion one way or the other. Nothing Capriles could do, including having 60% of the people push his button in the polling booths, would make him president at this time. Another 10% of the population has to come around.

            Chavismo had massive oil boom, a discredited opposition, friendly regional allies, an extremely charismatic leader, a world power whose attention was elsewhere and who had managed to turn 9/11 sympathy into hatred in a few short years….really, everything possible was in its favor. Remarkable, really. Yet what does it have to show?

            -poverty decreasing at a slower rate than the rest of latin america
            -quintiple national debt
            -crime rate out of control (murder rate tripled)
            -food shortages
            -frequent blackouts
            -a creaking and inefficient PDVSA
            -rampant inflation
            -multiple devaluations
            -destruction of agriculture and other industrys
            -did i mention insane levels of violent crime?
            -increased corruption

            A more competent government and maduro or any other stiff would be winning 65% of the vote with ease and the opposition would hardly exist. It would be 2006 for years to come. Imagine what Castro could have accomplished with all that in his favor.

            But instead they are pulling out all the stops to eke out a victory over an energetic but mediocre leader like Capriles

          • who teaches logic at the university.
            When she said I see lipstick on your collar
            I quite logically said
            Absurd Extrapolation
            When she said I think you are seeing someone
            I quite logically said
            Ad Absurdum
            When she said I love you
            I quite logically said
            Ad Misericordiam
            When she said It’s her or me
            I quite logically said
            Excluded Middle
            When she said You are an awful man
            I quite logically said
            Ad Hominem Abusive
            When she said I think marriage is forever
            I quote logically said
            Ad Antiquitatem
            When she said I will leave you
            I quite logically said
            Ad Nauseum
            And when she left
            I rethought my argument
            from Ad Ignorantium

            -Philip Theibert

          • And Rodrigo shows he is also incapable of responding about Capriles’ lies.

            Thanks again Rodrigo, for completely discrediting yourself.

          • Ok, so you admit Capriles is manipulating the truth (e.g. lying). So what does that tell you about Quico and Juan who continue to repeat those lies without question?

          • GAC, there you go again, putting words into others’ mouths. That’s just a ridiculous and obvious ploy of the “endangered species” syndrome, to which you apparently belong. Go cry “foul” on your own page, because no one’s paying attention to you. Well, I just did, but, it’s the last time.

          • It tells me that the world is still a little too retrograde for anarquism. Btw, nothing you have eer written even comes close to the intellectual caliber of Quico and Juan Cristobal.

          • Faust,

            Intellectual caliber? If you think this drivel has any intellectual caliber than I would recommend you read… well.. anything by any intellectual.

            An apologist piece for a lying politician is hardly “intellectual”. In fact, its everything that an intellectual should NOT do.

          • There’s your problem, right there. There is no space for morality, or moraline (which is a better term used by one of those book writters you mention) in intellectual pursuits.

          • “He claims votes for Maduro increased like 500 percent over votes for Chavez in some centers. What he DOESN’T mention, is that in those same centers votes for HIM increased by the same, or even more!!”

            Can you point me to the centers you’re talking about?

          • I could, but funny thing every time I post the links here my comments get deleted. Scared much Toro?

          • Rodrigo, this isn’t that hard. Just go look at the 4 cases that Capriles cited in his press conference. Then go to the CNE website to see if those cases actually say what Capriles claims they do. You’ll get a good laugh. The four cases are:

            Estado: EDO. TRUJILLO – Municipio: MP. CARACHE – Parroquia: PQ. CUICAS – Centro de Votación: LICEO BOLIVARIANO ANTONIO JOSÉ SALDIVIA

            Estado: EDO. MERIDA – Municipio: MP. ANDRES BELLO – Parroquia: CM. LA AZULITA – Centro de Votación: UNIDAD EDUCATIVA OLINDA II

            Estado: EDO. YARACUY – Municipio: MP. VEROES – Parroquia: PQ. EL GUAYABO – Centro de Votación: ESCUELA BASICA RIO CHIQUITO NER 036

            Estado: EDO. NVA.ESPARTA – Municipio: MP. TUBORES – Parroquia: CM. PUNTA DE PIEDRAS – Centro de Votación: CENTRO DE EDUCACION INICIAL SIMONCITO GUAYACAN DEL NORTE

          • Thank you. I looked at the data and it’s very interesting.

            TRUJILLO (Carache, Cuicas, Saldivia)
            Chavez: 416; Maduro 359
            Capriles: 304; Capriles: 348

            MERIDA (…)
            Chavez: 20; Maduro 126
            Capriles: 7; Capriles: 75

            YARACUY (…)
            Chavez: 7; Maduro 76
            Capriles: 2; Capriles: 6

            NVA ESPARTA (…)
            Chavez: 43; Maduro 255
            Capriles: 24; Capriles: 103

            Quick conclusions:
            – The Trujillo numbers look normal.
            – Your claim that Capriles’ votes also increased in the centers he points out are only partially true. It looks like that’s the case in the Merida example, but certainly not the Yaracuy example.
            – Clearly there is something weird going on here. Don’t you agree that seeing ~10x jumps in turnout at some centers raises some questions? It doesn’t matter whether the numbers favor Maduro or Capriles (they do favor Nicolas), the point is that there’s some weirdness going on here.
            – In the Merida example for 2012, why is the “Numero total de votantes que votaron realmente” (210) not matching the “Numero de votos escrutados” (27)? That seems to be a source for the discrepancies. If you compare “votantes que votaron realmente” in 2012 (210) vs. “Electores escrutados” in 2013 (201), then the numbers are similar, as expected. Check for yourself:
            http://copiacne.rodrigoipince.com/resultado_presidencial_2012/pp/3/reg_120201010.html
            Same happens with the Yaracuy example:
            http://copiacne.rodrigoipince.com/resultado_presidencial_2013/pp/3/reg_120201010.html

          • Rodrigo, you are pointing to irregularities in the 2012 results, where it is obvious that in those centers all the votes were not tallied.

            Now, can you point to an irregularity in THIS election? Because, uh, that’s the whole point isn’t it?

          • And even using the example you just posted. The percentage of votes that went to Capriles IMPROVED in 2013. That is, he did better at that center in 2013 than he did in 2012!!! Maduro’s percentage was worse than Chavez’s! So how could this be part of a larger fraud attempt? It would only have favored Capriles.

            And there was no change in turnout. The only thing that changed was the amount of votes tallied from those centers. Try to show some honesty here.

          • “Rodrigo, you are pointing to irregularities in the 2012 results, where it is obvious that in those centers all the votes were not tallied.”

            I don’t think it’s obvious. The CNE should clarify what they mean by “votantes que votaron realmente” and “votos escrutados.” I don’t think you (or I) have the answer to that question, so it’s pointless to keep discussing it.

            “Now, can you point to an irregularity in THIS election? Because, uh, that’s the whole point isn’t it?”

            Sure. Look at the turnout for the Nva Esparta example: 67 in 2013, but 362 in 2013. I think that’s weird, and I’m confident that statistical analysis would confirm so. If you disagree, then we can agree to disagree.

            “And even using the example you just posted. The percentage of votes that went to Capriles IMPROVED in 2013. That is, he did better at that center in 2013 than he did in 2012!!! Maduro’s percentage was worse than Chavez’s! So how could this be part of a larger fraud attempt? It would only have favored Capriles.”

            Nope. You’re wrong. Even if the %’s change in Capriles’ favor, the numbers can still end up favoring Maduro. Take the Merida example:

            Chavez: 20 votes, 74%; Maduro: 126 votes, 62%
            Capriles 2012: 7 votes, 25%; Capriles 2013: 75 votes, 37%
            => Difference in 2012: 13 votes. Difference in 2013: 51 votes. Elections are won by nominal number of votes, not %’s at a voting center. So who benefits here? Maduro does.

            “And there was no change in turnout. The only thing that changed was the amount of votes tallied from those centers. Try to show some honesty here.”

            Again, false. Look at the Nva Esparta example: 67 turnout in 2012 vs. 362 in 2013.

            OT: why are you so angry and attacking me? I’m just trying to have a conversation here. I’m not blindly defending what Capriles (or anyone) claims (in fact, I criticize a lot of what the CSB has done). I’m just looking at the data and asking questions.

            Unlike most people here, I actually do think you raise good points, but your attitude when doing so takes away from them. Please try to show me some respect.

          • I show respect for people who are honest, not people who attempt to explain away Capriles’ lies and who attempt to justify the subversion of democratic elections.

            For example, I was discussing the Merida example, and suddenly you pull out the Nueva Esparta example and tell me I’m wrong. Well, I wasn’t talking about that was I?

            Regardless, every “irregularity” you point to is in 2012. As for the 2013 results, they all are perfectly normal, and in fact coincide perfectly with what one would expect given the overall 2013 results.

            And besides, this isn’t the way one points to irregularities. You want to talk fraud? Show me the actas. Otherwise stop your bullshit.

          • sigh… I just told you I’m not trying to explain anyone’s claims.

            About the Merida example, you said “THOSE CENTERS” (emphasis mine). So I thought you were talking about all the examples. I therefore showed you a counter-example to your claim.

            “And besides, this isn’t the way one points to irregularities. You want to talk fraud? Show me the actas. Otherwise stop your bullshit.”

            Uh… the actas show exactly the same data as what the CNE publishes. Isn’t that why the PSUV is so happy to publish them? You can look at them at http://actas14a.psuv.org.ve/

            Anyway.. Clearly when I thought you were a reasonable person, I was wrong. I’ll take the rest of the commenters’ advice and stop feeding the trolls.

          • “Sure. Look at the turnout for the Nva Esparta example: 67 in 2013, but 362 in 2013. I think that’s weird, and I’m confident that statistical analysis would confirm so.”

            The only thing weird about it is the unusually low turnout in 2012. The turnout in 2013 was actually quite normal, and very similar to the overall turnout.

            So, once again, you are pointing to things in the 2012 election, and trying to use them as “irregularities” in the 2013 election. Not only is that stupid, but its dishonest.

          • “Uh… the actas show exactly the same data as what the CNE publishes.”

            Yes, why do you think that is? Could it be because it is impossible to commit fraud in this way? Had anyone tried to stuff ballot boxes it would not only be virtually possible given all the security measures, but it would have shown up in the audit on election night.

            Now, run along and justify lying fascists. You have no argument here.

          • “sigh… I just told you I’m not trying to explain anyone’s claims.”

            That’s pretty funny. This is kinda like when Capriles tells everyone that he is very “responsible” and doesn’t believe in “violence”.

            The lesson: one can say whatever they want. But what you DO is what matters.

      • Thanks Quico!. The only thing that save the opposition was Maduro et al. went loco saying no to the recount for a while. Still after the recount many people will still believe that red elves changed the cajas. Such are things when the country has become a soap opera. Politicians and stats shouldn’t mix.

      • Now try explain that to people in the opposition who is sure that Capriles won. There was a lot of opacity in the statements of what he was demanding. At this point the CSB should focus, not so much in the audit, but in preparing a flawless action of annulment either before the CNE or the TSJ of the the proclamation, before the legal period for doing so elapses, which is in early May. The CNE is technically right when it says that a recount under these circumstances won’t change anything, as we haven´t asked for the results to be voided yet.
        PS. I’ think that in the eleventh paragraph it should say ” and voting centers, given the evidence CSB has been collecting. “

  1. Quico,

    You have a point but more specificall my father has been telling me for a week: son los testigos, estupido/a!

    He might be right. What it comes down to is that the opposition was missing witnesses in a number of centers corresponding to a larger number of votes than the difference by which Maduro won. As you point out, you can recount all you want but if there was a numerical difference in the actas and the cne website we would already know about it. So what the opposition is going after are the ones that they don’t have, but in those cases we are back to the “acta mata votos” world. With no opposition witness, who knows what happened in that center and there is a an acta appropriately signed by a friendly psuv witness. No amount of recounting is going to show muertos votando or whatever imaginative way they got of adding psuv votes, or could it? I’d be surprised that the cne allows us to look at the right centers to demonstrate anything.

    On the other hand, you have to give the chavistas credit. They have finally channeled Chavez, ie. accept what is being requested after the opposition jumps up and down, then take forever, do it half-assed, etc. By the time the recount is done, the momentum has been lost and all is peace again. Nobody gets excited about technicalities: we lost 10 votes here, 100 votes there, etc…. Sad but true.

    • “missing witnesses” sounds very different than “witnesses had to run for cover after being threatened” or “witnesses were expelled from voting centers,” which is what we’re being told by the MUD.

      • Fair enough. In how many centers/how many voters did that happen? It seems to me that if we stuck with one simple argument, we would do better. From Quico’s post it is obvious that the argument is not “we got more votes, here are the acts”. Can’t we make it” in X center of votes affecting Y votes, this happened”. One issue, one strategy. I found the slides of the MUD appalling. A collection of various things, none of them smoking gun. If you cannot point to a single thing that needs to be demonstrated then there is no hope.

        And yes I understand the value in not revealing what you know, so you get what you want but it’d be nice to know. Right now, I feel like the MUD is treating me as if I’m stupid.

        • One has to be stupid to believe that they would go to a press conference and present their WORST evidence (much of which is clearly false) and keep their BEST evidence secret just so they can “not reveal what they know.” This is not even the slightest bit rational.

          • It is rational to with-hold evidence until a strategic moment when faced with a politically magnetized Judicial power.

          • Okay Faust, keep telling yourself that it is perfectly rational to call an international press conference and present a bunch of bald-faced lies as your “evidence”. That shouldn’t hurt your credibility at all!!

          • It’s very rational within the sphere of politics, which I do find disgusting. I wish Quico, Juan, GEHA, Emiliana and all the readers here would choose to say no to the bullshit, but they have lived hard lives of adapting and being opressed into corners.

            I wish you, of a sharp mind and relentless inquisitiveness, would join my side (anarquism) instead of choosing the bullies because the nerds aren’t up to your standards.

            There are also technical points to pick at in your post, but that would be to fall into the politicians’ dirty little game.

            Saludos pana, en verdad verdad si me caes bien.

          • ” I wish Quico, Juan, GEHA, Emiliana and all the readers here would choose to say no to the bullshit, but they have lived hard lives of adapting and being opressed into corners.”

            HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Yes, Quico, Juan and gang have “lived hard lives” and that serves as justification for going along with the bald-faced lies of their candidate as he tried to undermine an election.

            I’m not sure if the funniest part about that statement is how nonsensical the argument is, or the notion that Quico and Juan have had “hard lives” being educated abroad on mommy and daddy’s dime. Hilarious!

  2. You definitely are out of touch with the meaning of Capriles’ actions and the formal legal wording use to demand the audit. Capriles actions are bound to do what is stated in Article 217-219 and 222-226 of the Organic Law of Electoral Processes (LOPE), to declared void or invalid the process in those voting centers with irregularities and vote again, as simple as that.

  3. You are missing the reality of Venezuela: there is no fairness neither in CNE nor in the Courts, so the audience is not them but the public, both national and international. In this reality to show publicly all the evidence that Capriles has, at the start, would be stupid because the government would provoke “un golpe”. So what to do? You lead them to trap themselves in their web of deceit, one step at a time. First you make them show their horror and fear of a true verificarion including the firger prints and a full recount. There is already 70% of the people in favor of the recount and a number of countries that are requesting a proper recount. They are on the defensive!
    Patience! And you are not helping, you might be quoted in Aporrea and VTV.

    • It’s not Quico’s or my job to be “helpful” or to stay on message. It’s our job to be right. That’s where this post falls short, it’s simply wrong.

          • Capriles should have gone with the irregularities claim from the start, not the “we were tied and all of the sudden 300k came out of nowhere” routine. There was no time to check that on Sunday night but they kept repeating that throughout the week.

          • I think its clear what their case is about. They may have bungled it communicationally at the beginning, but given the partial information they had at that point, it’s understandable.

          • And I think that’s Quico’s point exactly. They are mixing two different claims. They fumbled in communication, nothing else. Fortunately what might have said the day for Capriles was that Maduro’s flinch at the audit. There will be a let down when cajas fit but people will still believe in red elves fixing cajas late at night.

          • Yes, I think this is the proper response to Quico’s post. They have never had a potentially winning side before, it must be startling and esciting for them.

          • The irregularities claim never works. It’s been tried so many times in US elections but it takes months to look into irregularities. In the 2006 Mexico elections they did in fact look at irregularities but only after a full recount was called for. There is precedent for calling for a full recount while also alleging irregularities.

  4. I think you’re reading too much into it. The CNE would never allow fresh elections in questionable centers anyway, the stakes are just too high. Caprilles has made some mistakes, but not making them wouldn’t change the end result: Maduro has won a Phyrric victory.

    Indeed, this may yet prove to be the best result for the opposition. It’s only a matter of time before the ongoing economic collapse turns it’s core supporters into virulent opponents. They will have no scapegoat then.

  5. There is being “right” about facts, about “motives”, about “strategy”, and about many other things. Therefore one could be “right” about one aspect of the truth and be wrong, very wrong, about the whole truth simple because the “truth” is “all the truth” and not only one aspect ot the “truth”, that is why witnesses are sworn to say “all the truth and only the truth”. Since Francisco does not know all the truth, to say only a piece of what he sees as the truth, is equivalent to, lie?, or to play in the hands of the enemy because of conceit?

    • Who has the whoole truth?

      Please tell me, I have a buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuunch of questions for him/her.

  6. “Indeed, the Capriles camp already has some evidence of ballot stuffing – though not, it appears, on anything like the scale it would take to reverse the result.”

    What evidence Toro? Where is the evidence of this? The only “examples” Capriles gave were immediately shown to be lies. I can’t believe you are joining the crazy train too! Well, erm, actually I can.

        • Get a clue, wrong logic. the lack of an argument only demonstrates the incapability of making an argument if the latter has already been established, but in no way provides proof towards establishing the incapability.

          • Get a clue, See? Just because you didn’t make an intelligible argument doesn’t demonstrate that you can’t. Thank you for demonstrating that to which I was making reference.

          • My argument was made up above, and you never responded. I’ll give you another chance since you seem to be abnormally slow:

            “What evidence Toro? Where is the evidence of this? The only “examples” Capriles gave were immediately shown to be lies. I can’t believe you are joining the crazy train too! Well, erm, actually I can.”

          • Get a clue, I’m not joining the thread regarding your original comment; I’m joining it regarding your argument: “And Syd demonstrates once again that he cannot make an intelligible argument…” to point out that it uses incorrect logic. I explained it. You not only ignored my explanation, but then went on to commit the same “fault” that Syd did. When I pointed out that you yourself did that which you criticized of Syd, you again ignored the argument in question:

            Incapability is not established, only confirmed, by example; it can only be disproved with a counter example.

            Now you are seem to divert to different argument, decorating it with insulting comments, and pretending to win. lol Don’t worry, we all see your tricks.

          • Snore…. Torres defeats himself in his very own argument:

            Torres 1 says: ” I’m not joining the thread regarding your original comment…”

            Torres 2 says: “Now you are seem to divert to different argument, decorating it with insulting comments, and pretending to win. lol Don’t worry, we all see your tricks.”

            As interesting as this conversation is Torres, I think I’ll leave you two alone.

          • Get a clue, as usual you don’t reply to my argument, while whining about people not replying to yours. Aw.

  7. Quico,

    As an auditor I can tell you that it’s much easier/better to audit someone else’s data that to have someone else audit yours.

    Let’s take the following scenario:
    – HC has hard evidence of fraud (e.g. actual documents) for 200,000 votes
    – HC has soft evidence of fraud (e.g. witnesses, indirect evidence) for another 200,000 votes
    – HC has strong suspicions of fraud for a further 200,000 votes, but no evidence to back up his claim.

    In this case I think it wouldn’t be a good idea to present all of your evidence upfront, because that would result in YOUR claims being audited, rather than the CNE results. You don’t want the onus of proof to shift to HC – the onus should remain with CNE to prove that the electoral process/count was fair and accurate.

    If HC would have provided all his evidence upfront, the CNE would have found that, say, 2% of his hard/soft claims are false, and then say: “We can spend all year investigating your claims, but as they are obviously based on a bunch of lies, we might as well not bother.”

    In this case it is better to keep the evidence in your pocket and pursue the audit process. This has four advantages:
    – First, you expect the audit results to correspond with your “hard” evidence of fraud. If the audit process does not reach the same conclusion, you can attack the audit process itself as inadequate.
    – Second, you can look for further evidence of fraud, especially where you have “soft” evidence.
    – Third, as the CNE doesn’t know what evidence you have in your pocket, they cannot prepare by “cleaning up” the evidence – they don’t know what you can prove, and what you can’t.
    – Fourth, if there are some inaccuracies in your evidence, you won’t be attacked on them. Rather, you can just drop those claims/suspicions silently during the audit process.

    So, although the approach HC may seem frustratingly slow and opaque, I think it’s opaqueness can be part of the strategy so that the onus of evidence remains with the CNE.

    The end result of this process will be that HC will be able to publish a document listing all the fraud for which he already has evidence + the evidence that surfaced during the audit process + potential shortfalls of the audit process itself. He can include both “numerical” fraud arguments as well as general complaints regarding the electoral process. Of course CNE will not endorse that document, but no-one finds them credible anyway. Rather, the document would serve as a damning piece to undermine the authority of Maduro towards the Venezuelan people as well as the international community.

  8. 1. Hindsight is 20/20.

    2. The case against the government for irregular behaviour at the polls and related territory has long been a can of worms, only now coming to light in a systematic manner.

    (No, Quico, it’s not just about the votes, though I know you have to justify your earlier claim that it is.)

    3. In progress: Document each irregular behaviour and check against electoral laws.

    4. In progress: Exert pressure on the government and highlight irregularities.

    5. In progress: Let the world know that all is not as it should be.

    6. To be determined: Whatever the outcome, Capriles’ actions are an open window on an electoral process that has been perceived as twisted, for too many years.

    I trust Capriles to be legally and morally capable in opening the can of worms, no matter what the outcome, and regardless of any failed flank. His is a protracted battlefront with the election as only the tip of the iceberg. Hay muucha mugre por todos lados y en el fondo, y hay que destapar aquello con cuidado.

  9. There is absolutely no doubt Capriles wins handily in anything even close to resembling a fair election. Why doesn’t he just say so and say it loud and repeat? Is “recount the votes” a simpler message? Does he not want to dissaude his supporters from seeing elections as worthy of effort any more?

    • No evidence has been presented that this was an unfair election. Radonski lost by 1.83%. End of story. The audut of the remaining 46% of the machine results and the boxes will lead to nought as all actas were signed as being fair by all political parties, the CNE and impartial representatives.

      It’s all over except for the shouting!

      • For one, there is evidence of proselytism, intimidation, centers not closing on time, etc.

        Regarding the audit: if you look at the actual actas, most of them don’t have the number of voters that signed the books, as they are supposed to. In fact, I haven’t found a single one of them that has that information. For example: http://actas14a.psuv.org.ve/index.php/acta/060901013.02

        This is why Capriles is focusing on CUADERNOS and HUELLAS for the new audit.

        Many actas also don’t actually have witness signatures (see same example above).

        So no, you can’t just say that because there was an “audit” of x% of the tables, then all is fine and dandy. You have to actually check that the audit was performed properly. The problem is that in this country nobody cares about details. Everyone is too quick to say “OK the audit was done, we’re good” without checking the details. And when someone does (like ESDATA has done), nobody listens to them. The same thing happened on 7O.

        • If the audit wasn’t performed correctly, then the opposition witnesses present would have said something, no? And the thousands of electoral observers, and the thousands of miembros de mesa?

          • This is where you can now reference to those centers where opposition witnesses were thrown out.

            Btw, there are no electoral observers. The CNE does not allow this. They only allow electoral “acompañantes”. The difference is huge, as “acompañantes” are not allowed to use the standard tools that certified observers use. This is why the EU did not participate as an observer.

          • Yes, you can reference those centers where Capriles says opposition witnesses were thrown out. What was his evidence of that? A piece of paper saying that it happened.

            I have a piece of paper here that says it didn’t happen. Does that convince you?

          • Get a clue, in law, witnesses are considered to provide testimonial evidence. A paper saying that it happened, if acknowledged by a witness, is considered evidence. If you presented a paper saying it did not happen, that piece of paper would be considered evidence, too. To dissuade people from making things up, the punishments for presenting false testimony tend to be harsh. Because of this, witness testimony, even in affidavit form, is considered sufficient grounds for investigation.

          • Yes, but not a single witness has come forward. Not a single media outlet has reported seeing anything of the sort, nor have they interviewed a single person claiming to have seen anything of the sort.

            And since in any voting center there are several people present, including acompañantes, miembros de mesa, testigos, guardia nacional, etc. etc… multiple people would have been witness to anything like this.

            The fact that you believe Capriles claims based on nothing more than a piece of paper is testament to how utterly predisposed you are to believe even the most ridiculous claims.

          • Get a clue, Is that your way of admitting to be wrong about testimonial evidence?

            Anyway, there are witnesses, identified and willing to testify. In fact, two of the witnesses, as I mentioned before, happen to be international “acompañantes”. They not only signed the proper forms the day of the election, they also included what they witnessed in their report, which was shown at UNASUR.

            What they witnessed was fingerprint machines accepting *any* fingerprint regardless of the ID entered when activating the voting machines, even repeat fingerprints. With this repeatable flaw, it was established that the principle of single vote per fingerprint cannot be assumed for the election.

          • HAHAHA!! Once again Torres is hilariously stupid.

            So your “witnesses” of the throwing out of opposition witnesses are actually “witnesses” of the captahuellas not working. Hmmmm…. Well, at least they witnessed SOMETHING, even though it has nothing to do with what Capriles claimed.

            I have witnesses of opposition people stuffing ballot boxes. The only catch is that they actually witnessed something completely different. Will that work?

          • Get a clue, Firstly, my first entry into this thread was merely to counter what you were implying (incorrectly), that papers with witness accounts didn’t count as evidence. My second intervention was regarding your statement that there were *no* witness accounts to which I countered with the witness accounts of fingerprints. So far, you’ve avoided admitting being wrong about my first comment, and sidestepped the implications of my second comment. But…

            Secondly, accepting that before my comments you had been talking about witnesses of people being removed from their centers, I’ll reply to that directly: yes, there are witnesses, with identification and contact information and willingness to testify, of people being removed from certain centers, some before the close, others after the close, and some even under fear of firearms being used against them. Some of these incidents were also documented the day of election, and are already being investigated.

            You know, Get a clue, in design they talk about the medium being the message. Your comments, though their content states that you are looking for discussion, are in the form of aggression that clearly sends a message of non discussion. If it’s on purpose, then congrats, you are being successful in sending the anti-discussion message, even though it has been unsuccessful in getting me not to discuss your content. If it isn’t on purpose, then sorry to inform you but the lack of quality discussion with you is your own fault.

          • Yeah, sure Torres. There are witnesses… they’re just all hiding so no one can know what they saw…

            I love how you guys just discredit yourselves so easily. Its so much fun to watch.

          • Get a clue, Firstly, there were witnesses in reportedly 737 centers regarding the matter of obstaculization of witnesses. Secondly, yes, I would guess that they’d be in hiding, given the antagonism of the government, and even of people like you, to anything anyone states that goes against government support even before gathering the facts. But even those who may not be in hiding, in what way would it benefit them or the Capriles camp to be making a stink about this with their names in the media? Personally, I’d ask to be left alone until needed in some legal proceeding.

  10. I don’t see ay problems in the communicational strategy, per se, Quico.

    Auditing 12.000 ballot boxes, using the “three legged stool” strategy on those boxes is bound to reveal some inconsistencies, with some evidence emerging that allows results in those centers to be challenged and then anulled. The law allows for a re-vote in those places.

    The complaints of irregularities will get separate play in front of a court (yeah, I know, not exactly encouraging) but they are doing this how it needs to be done.

    Quico, you are positing that it makes no sense to on the one hand highlight irregularities and on the other ask for an audit, as if this were a case of absolutes, when it is not.

    The one will complement the other where it is relevant. And I see no problem there.

    Plus, what SOBE wrote above makes a hell of a lot of sense.

    +1 to SOBE

  11. Alternate World Quico: “Why did he move his bishop if he’s not attacking with his bishop? If he was going to attack with his queen, why didn’t he start attacking with his queen?”

  12. This post is plainly misguiding, and your cartoonish interpretation of CSB’s claims does not help to shed light over the nature of the process. Linking the strong case on incidencias, with potential inconsistencies in the cuadernos, is really the whole point of the claim. They are not two separate things: Incidences + inability of the fingerprint machines to prevent multiple voters –> ballot stuffing. If the CSB can prove that link, we could have a case to invalidate results at the table level…then audit of the cuadernos, audit the SAI, strong document the incidences

  13. As a gringo, I am not as informed as most of you are on in this blog concerning what is exactly happening in Venezuela. But I do understand that under Maduro, Chavism may not only thrive but could well infect other countries in South America. And I really fear that my lovely Peru, home of my wife and son and in-laws, could eventually be struck with the same BS your Venezuela is undergoing.

    While I have come to respect so much your Venezuela, after years of following the intectual and fair minded articles and comments on this blog, there is one universal truth which I am confident about. That is that all your good thoughts and intentions about your country, your writings, and your intellectual interplay on this blog, will come to nought, if you do not stand together and most importantly, stand behind your leader,Capriles. Whether some like it or not, Capriles’s daring, rhetoric, and patience has brought us all to this point. Chavez did the same for Chavismo, and without a true leader, Venezuelan opposition will die.

    We do not know what Capriles will be like in the end. But we do know for sure, that if we do not entrust him with our beginning, we then need not worry about the future for Venezuela and may be much of South America, for then it would probably not be a place we would want to live in.

  14. ” the rallying cry could’ve been “re-vote in places where there’s evidence of major irregularities!” ”

    Makes for a lousy slogan. Remember HCR has to deal with two adversaries simultaneously: the government and the lingering apathy of the opposition voter.

    • Para muestra un botón: Rafael Poleo has gone, in less than a week, from “sigamos las instrucciones de Capriles” to “la MUD legitima al rrrégimen con la auditoría”. País de locos.

    • Can’t you get it throught your thick skull that the CNE has said that the results are irreversible. Thus it does not matter if if 100% of the overseas votes go to Radonski. Stop grasping at straws and start planning for December 2018

      • Arturo, do you think the next presidential elections in Venezuela will take place in 2018? I am not sure about this but I think they will take place much earlier, probably in 2016 or even before that. That is constitutional possible, very possible. And it is socio-economically very likely.
        Remember CAP 2.

  15. Have to agree with Quico here – I certainly want to believe Capriles has an ace up his sleeve, but I can’t help being skeptical.

    On the lighter side, over at Venezuealanalysis they are now claiming that there was fraud in favor of Capriles.

    • PLOP. No wonder we haven’t seen the pendejos sin fronteras lately. They’re probably paddling upstream, trying to convince readers that Cuba Madurismo is the better way.

  16. http://www.lapatilla.com/site/2013/04/22/capriles-no-descarta-la-repeticion-de-las-elecciones/

    This is from an interview to capriles from “El Mundo”, of Spain. An extract:

    “Pregunta.- ¿Cuáles son las principales irregularidades electorales detectadas por la oposición?

    Respuesta.- Sobre el 54% que ya se auditó detectamos irregularidades como, por ejemplo, centros donde Maduro sacó el 1.000% más de votos que Chávez el 7-O… ¿Quién se lo cree? Ahora comenzamos la auditoría sobre el 46% restante. En realidad quedan 18.000 cajas, pero vamos a revisar 12.000 y yo acepté. Pero no sólo para abrirlas, sino para inspeccionar las papeletas, el acta de escrutinio y el cuaderno de votación, que es el corazón del proceso. Ahí podemos descubrir si una persona votó varias veces o si votaron muertos. Nuestras quejas se centran en las inconsistencias entre el acta y el escrutinio, violencia en los centros, votos asistidos, proselitismo en los centros, gente que votó dos y tres veces. El CNE [Consejo Nacional Electoral] quiere hacer de esto en una revisión simple de números. Pero no.

    P.- ¿Qué entienden por auditoría?

    R.- La auditoría no es un saludo a la bandera. Usted no puede decir auditoría y no ver el cuaderno de votación. Hay que ver todos los elementos que intervienen en el proceso: la caja, las papeletas, el acta de escrutinio y, finalmente, el cuaderno de votación, porque ahí está la identidad de la persona, la huella, la firma… Por eso se llama auditoría y no es una concesión, sino un derecho. Le pongo un ejemplo. Si el SENIAT [Hacienda] va a su casa y le hace una auditoría, le pide documentos, estados de cuenta, títulos de propiedad, recibos de pagos… Si no, no es una auditoría. Y el CNE dijo auditoría, y eso es lo que planteó la presidenta en cadena de TV y radio.

    P.- Hay indicios y declaraciones que indican que no se hará así.

    R.- Yo no le paro bola [no hago caso]. Aquí hay un anuncio hecho al país en cadena nacional y sobre la base de ese acuerdo UNASUR emitió su comunicado. No hago caso a las declaraciones posteriores y me remito a lo anunciado.

    P.- ¿Qué cree que acabará saliendo finalmente de esta auditoría?

    R.- Que hay que repetir las elecciones. Si no son totales, parciales. Pero esa parcialidad abarca a un número de electores tan grande como para no sólo acortar distancias, sino para darnos la victoria.

    P.- ¿Aceptarán el veredicto del Consejo Nacional Electoral?

    R.-Los resultados se presentarán ante el país y el mundo. El árbitro puede darle un puñetazo a la mesa, pero los ojos de todos están ahí y verán el resultado de la auditoría. A partir de ahí, el Gobierno puede quedar bajo la sombra de la legitimidad o de la deslegitimidad.”

    • OT. Why are terms such as “no le paro bolas” used in an interview with the international press? Call me old fashion, but that along “esa vaina”, “no joda”, etc. are expressions that I find vulgar, specially for someone who wants to become the president of a country. And it’s not just him, seems to be everyone, of both genders, any age, of all social classes. Not what it was in the mid 70’s when I left the country. Now that I’m back I’m having difficulties relating to a lot of people just because of the way they talk.

      • You’re right, Charlie. It’s worth an opinion piece in El Universal. Everyone could stand to follow a better example than what people have been exposed to in these past 14 years. Though most previous politicians to Chávez were no saints, I think they were more cautious in their ‘verbo’ to the public, including the press. What is curious is that Capriles never fails to stop for a photo-opp where a virgin is involved, but then turns around and lets loose on his ‘vernacular’, for lack of a better word.

        • The vernacular in Venezuela has never been very prim , specially among men, Cuss words were used with gusto and spontaneity , they spiced up conversation and many people knew how to use them with humour and folksy charm . They were avoided in the presence of ladies . Now a days cuss words are part of the lingua franca of the young and the less priviledged , so much so that if you avoid them you appear pretentious and haughty . Capriles has become the common peoples candidate and for common people ‘no pararle bolas’ is the natural way of saying that your not going to pay attention to something that doesnt deserve it . I see nothing wrong in his using the expression i the context in which it was made.

          • billl bass, I’m sorry to disagree, but no parale bolas doesn’t sound very presidential to me. He can cuss at home all he wants, but a president and his/her cabinet etc. shouldn’t do so in public, Cuss words are not just “part of the lingua franca of the young and the less priviledged”. Everyone of all ages, social class and gender seem to use them in public with no regard for whoever else may be near by …….. maybe I’m just enchapado a la antigua.

          • Charlie : Cant say that I blame you because Im sort of old fashioned myself , specially as regards ladies . Talking between male friends in a climate of intimacy however I do find an ocassional cuss word refreshing and even helpfully expressive. Thats traditional in Venezuela. Im not sure the expression ‘no paparle bolas’ is particularly vulgar , just because it has the word bolas in it does not mean its vulgar , Mujica said something about letting people ‘correr bolas’ without any one taking particular exception to it ( save for Christina K) , any way I agree that is not especially presidential in tone although its earthy flavour might find favour with most of todays Venezuelans. Which frankly is not half bad. ,

          • Saying things like “pararle bola” are things of the ‘New Capriles.’ El Capriles “arrecho” that stood up to Nicolas. Using more slang and things like that in order to connect with voters in more popular areas. Simply an electoral strategy that we can all agree did paid off.

            Old Capriles (7-O) was too much of a pretty boy for a chunk of the undecided voters.

  17. When will Carter Center issue its supplementary report after being (un)fairly restrained by the ‘accompaniment’ parameters? And ….will it benefit from a full enumeration of electoral system and election day irregularities as a series of appendices?

  18. I think the opening paragraph of this post has a typo…
    Other than that, I agree 100% with the fact that CSB has adopted the wrong strategy for challenging the results. As you indicate, the strategy from the start should have been: “This election has been riddled with irregularties and thus we should invalidate any results in centers where those have been present” or something to that effect. You point out there are legal grounds for such invalidation. It would also create a much worst situation for the governmen vis-a-vis international media, it would make it much harder to defend itself and, more importantly, it would focus on the real problem: unfair conditions and government ventajismo.

    • WARNING: the karygiannis.net link does not belong to Jim Karygiannis. It has many features of a phishing site. I would not provide them with any information.

      Jim Karygiannis’s official website ends with .com, not .net.

          • Francisco (FC), There is no link from JK’s official website to any .net website. I find no mention of signature requests on his official website. The email sent pointing to the .net website can easily pretend to be from JK’s email address, even if it’s not. It still smells like phishing.

        • Of course I could be wrong and that might just be a clever ruse as well. Let us know if this seems to be more of the same scam or something legitimate. I DO know that the MP IS requesting the debate and so forth but no idea if the whole initiative is from him or people trying to take advantage.

        • Actually the more I look at it the more suspect it seems. I’m definitely not confident about it. I wonder if there is way for the MP to clarify this on his official site and warn people as to whether or not that other one is legit and take precautions.

        • Well I sent an email to the MP’s official contact information email and got an en email back saying the .net site is legimitate (I gather the site was cobbled together quickly as an alternate making it look like a phishing site).

          • I sent JK an email days ago, and got no response. I hope you did not click on the email address within the suspect communication, for it would only have sent an email to the phishers, if they exist, even if the address seems to be the official address on the screen.

            His official website only mentions his stance and related actions, but does not mention the petition nor any links to it. Again, until I see anything regarding this petition on JK’s official website, or until I recieve a response to an email sent directly (not via link clicking) to the official email address, I won’t buy it.

            (I pointed out elsewere that the admin address listed under the web registrar for the .net domain is a jimkarygiannis at yahoo. I tell you, it stinks.)

          • I didn’t click anything. I went to the official site. I went to Contact Information. I *Typed* his official email in a new composed message. Unless they are intercepting his email and then responding to it. But I do agree it still seems odd. This is the email I’m typing by hand: jim@karygiannismp.com

            That’s the official one isn’t it?

          • Yes, that is correct. I wonder why they have not responded to me. If you got a response, you can rest easy. It would be very difficult for anyone to have intercepted that communication.

          • I still replied back saying that it would instill more confidence if the official website mentioned the petition and the reason why an alternate site was set up. Just to double check I will try calling the Scarborough office later this afternoon.

          • Well I called the M.P.s Scarborough office and the nice person told me that YES, they are behind the initiative. While that specific clerk wasn’t directly involved with the website he would pass along my comments to the proper people about making mention of the petition in the official web site and linking to the alternate .NET site.

            This is about as legit as I can figure out extorres. I can only think that they had to cobble together something quick and didn’t have time to dot the eyes and cross their tees. Either that or I’m being super-swindled.

          • Francisco (FC), Funny, I also tried calling, twice. The first time they had no idea what I was talking about. The second time they didn’t know either but told me to leave my contact info for the person who would be in charge of that to call me back. They didn’t. lol Maybe they don’t like my voice. 🙂

          • I finally spoke to someone related to the petition. It is a valid petition, and the .net site is sponsored by Jim Karygiannis, and they are very interested in hearing from anyone concerned. It took a while, but I buy it now.

  19. This is not an electoral/technical/legal issue anymore! It is a political one.

    Capriles message is clearly NOT directed to the CNE, or the TSJ. He is not trying to show these chavista institutions that he won or that there was fraud. That is not important.

    What he is trying to do is show the international press, the ni-nis, and his supporters, how one-sided the chavista institutions are and how authoritarian the gov’t is. He obviously achieved this:
    1-God-given Hair not allowing opposition deputies speak
    2-Maduro not allowing the opposition’s rally last wednesday
    3-VTV lies on burning CDIs and PSUV buildings
    4-VTV lies on “politically motivated deaths” that have been proven to be caused by “hampa comun”
    5-Out of place TSJ President L. (in)Morales, and Fiscal General declaration about the elections.
    6-Evidence of public institutions exerting pressure on public empolyees for their political position.

    The result: a lot of ni-nis have realized that this is a dictatorial government and not a democracy with an authoritarian leader. Also, he has created a reasonable doubt about maduro’s legality. He wanted to discredit both maduro and the chavista institutions (or rather show them for what they really are), and he’s done it!

    On the other hand, he also needs to prove that even under these circumstances “we can all push together” to get what we want out of these institutions. That is why having the CNE accept auditing the remaining 46% of the “cajas” was SO significant. Whether the evidence the opposition needs is there or not, is completely irrelevant! Do you think that even if he has all the evidence he needs to show fraude the government will accept these and hand him over the country? (The right answer is No).

    On the contrary, the goal is to keep hopes up on his supporters and to remain a “presidential candidate” with national and international coverage / media attention. Not losing media coverage is extremely important! Keep in mind that while the recount goes on, maduro will continue losing popularity, while Capriles will continue to point out all of his blunders on national and international TV, newspapers, twitter, and FB. For example: what Capriles said about Maduro’s ministers is considered important news. Just think about how much ammunition he’s gonna have as the economic keeps getting worse and worse.

    I think that the opposition finally has “a plan” and is not simply following the script that chavistas would expect them to follow. That is why we see government officials stepping on each other while the MUD keeps calm. Capriles is not playing the short-term, but the long term as Maduro’s popularity continues to erode. The economy will be so bad this year that i believe there will be a point where Capriles can say “here is the proof that we won the elections” and it won’t matter what the institutions say, as people will be clamoring for a change of government.

    • I agree with your post. This is a political issue. Mr. Toro is wrongly obsessed about numbers and is upset that Capriles has not published all his evidence, which would be pretty stupid , since the Comando Chavez would have endless cadenas debunking every single incident as false 24 hours a day to move the focus away from the CNE.

      It is very clear Capriles speaks, it’s as if the campaign never ended as he continues to make the case that Maduro has no leadership skills

  20. So Paul Lucas – Radonski is campaogning for 2018 or a RR in three years time? You don’t need to ne Einstein to know that this is one plan.

    The point is that the election results are “irreversible” – this has been stated by Tibisay and Oblitas. So Radonski will not be Prsident in the near future despite all the machinations.

    In fact. he is more likely to be arrested for organizing and promoting delinquency and murder. Along with Lopez and perhaps one or two others. If this does not happen then Maduro will lose popularity. Until that point your assertion that Maduro will autmatically lose popularity is just wishful thiking. You have no evidence and as usual with opposition obsessionists such as yourself, you always talk about what WILL happen in the future instead of accepting the fact that Radonski has lost twice in six months.

    Personally I expect a lot of tensión but this will be dissapated when justice is applied to the murderers and arsonists in the pay of PJ and the State department, as well as the intelectual authors of the violence called for by Radonski on April 15th.

    • I have no idea whether the strategy being followed is the best one or not , time will tell , in the haze of a political war decisions are made that appear plausible and turn out great, others not so great , its in the nature of human decisions in a world of uncertainties , what I see now it that there are many options open for the opposition to take advantage of the situation created by Maduros electoral debacle , I doubt that only one fixed goal is being pursued , instead goals may change depending on the opportunities which circumstances offer . Brasils and other Unasur countries making it a condition for Maduro to accept the recount in order to join in the swearing in , is a sign that what we see as these countries identification with the regime is really a much more nuanced position which seeks to favour the opposition . The childish tantrums of regime bigwigs only make them seem worse , the crazed fantastic accusations , the vociferant threats , the studied insolence of the ‘impartial’ officials , the cantankerous bullying of oppo deputies and of public employees who dared to vote for Capriles all advertise to the world how thin the veneer of ‘lawfulness’ with which the regime attemtps to mask its ugly dictatotial face . They are showing themselves in soiled underwear and they dont even realize it !! how pathetic. !!

  21. One final point – Comando Simon Bolívar does not have enough evidence to impugn the results under law – otherwise they would have doone it by now. Radonski has manipulated irregularities to make his case but he cannot hide from the fact that ALL the actas were signed and witnessed by his people at the voting centers. The story about 283 witnesses of his being ejected, some at gun point, is just lies. None of thsi was reported or denounced to amyone or any institution.

    • People denounced these irregularities/abuses to the CSB, not to the chavistas institutions who are going to dismiss them the same way you have.

      • Yes, and apparently they didn’t denounce them to a single media outlet or electoral observer either. They REALLY wanted to keep it secret, so only Capriles would know apparently… because that would make it more believable I guess?

        Genius!

        • Maduro kept the health of a cancer ridden president secret for months. Maduro won’t release detailed government finances. Maduro won’t discuss his Cuban connections? Maduro won’t discuss his personal finances? Maduro constantly makes accusations against the opposition and never gives verifiable details. Maduro claims to be the target of thousands of assassination attempts daily but never provides any proof. Maduro claims to talk with a dead Chavez. Maduro gives political bribes across the planet with no mention of details. Maduro won’t tell about his education.

          Does this bother you at all?

          Voting Fraud in Venezuela is self evident. Chavistas pretend to be blind to this issue.

  22. Just to make it clear here. Quico demonstrates once again (although this time more blatant than ever) how demonstrably dishonest he is.

    I think this is probably the worst case of outright denial of the facts since the 2002 coup. Quico has still never admitted that it was a coup (I know, incredible huh?). Now he won’t admit that Capriles examples are demonstrably false. I mean, all you have to do is go to the CNE website and check the examples that he cited. They are so stupid that I had a good laugh. Of course, Quico probably cried and vowed to never admit the truth. 2002 all over again.

    • 2002:
      -protests against chavez (not a coup)
      -chavistas shoot people (not a coup)
      -chavez resigns (not a coup)
      -vacio de poder (not a coup)
      -carmona assumes the presidency (coup)

      Carmona’s coup was to the vacio de poder, not to chavez. Baduel simply brought chavez back to remedy the situation. Pero el remedio fue peor que la enfermedad.

      • “chavistas shoot people (not a coup)”
        No, oppo snipers murder people and try to frame Chavez to justify their already planned coup.

        “chavez resigns (not a coup)”
        No, Chavez is kidnapped and threatened with murder if he does not “sign” a fake document in order to justify the already planned coup.

      • Ad Hominem is when you attack the person WITHOUG addressing the argument.

        I do attack the person (for being demonstrably dishonest), but I also address the argument. For a good example of what Ad Hominem really is, see Roberto’s comment down below.

        Funny, there is a deafening silence about the veracity of Capriles claims. Are you all incapable of responding?

        • Off topic: I notice you appear here quite often on certain occasions:
          after the 2007 referendum, when Chávez kicked the bucket and now.
          Can you see a pattern there? Never mind.

          • Faust, here’s your perfect example of ad hominem. Attacking the person without addressing the argument. Thanks Eucarionte for your perfect demonstration.

          • You should be above it. When you actually tear down a person’s arguments, like you used to do before you got embittered by the (agreed) silly posters who usually answer you, the attack is implicit, and people like me, Extorres, and even Quico absorb it with no need of what doesn’t feel like bullying, but still smacks one like a wedgie.

        • Yes, they do that. Just like they ignore the fact that if Capriles had actual evidence of fraud like he claims he could actually publicize hundreds of examples of it. In other words, Capriles is a transparent and serial liar who thinks he can get away with it because the oppo media will not call him on it. Unfortunately for him their are still plenty of people in Venezuela who still care about the truth and are calling on his lies.

          • Viva maduro?? Really? Jajaja… I hope this one doesn’t die too… It would be just too funny… How pathetic these people are… Maduro is the most inane person ever and still this clown uses Viva Maduro to post

          • Booya.

            Anarquist agreement.

            Though, really, I can hardly blame a smart gal like Moraima for giving up on you after so many ad homs of your own.

          • Ehem, should have read that closer… I’m getting sucked into your games, and will stop now.

            See you on this side of the divide, we need a lot more nini’s.

  23. And now come the regime apologists to try to turn lies into truth by repeating them over and over.

    Not going to work here, schmucks, or anywhere else for that matter.

    Notice how they try to change the subject? Now it wants to talk about 2002, or that Quico is dishonest, next it will go on and on about burnt CDI’s. The “proof” will be pictures that could be from anytime and anywhere or even pictures of self inflicted damages.

    And then pictures will surface of actual CDI’S that show all is normal. I guess the government is so good at fixing things they even get the weathered look instantly.

    Que arrechos son, vale!

    Those folks ought to work in Hollywood, they are so good at dressing sets. Sigan así, bobos!!

    Keep trying, Arturito, GAC, et al

    Are your government jobs safe? Did you pass the Facebook/twitter/email exam?

    Are you OK with public employee firings when the law says you can’t fire anybody?

    It’s fun to watch them squirm!
    Si que son bolsas, vale.

    • Roberto,

      Did you check the CNE’s website to see if Capriles claims about those voting centers were actually true? Or are you going to claim that we were all on drugs and hallucinating when Capriles made those claims?

  24. One thing I haven’t seen anyone comment on is that Capriles, were he to eek out a victory with an audit/recount etc., would hardly have a mandate himself. Why is he still fighting? Why not just accept “defeat” “democratically” and give Maduro a little more rope for the hanging?

    • A possible outcome, granted not a very likely one, is for a new election. Nobody doubts that the election, particularly the campaign, was not fair. What would a fair election look like? Would Maduro do as well as he did? Perhaps the opposition can gather enough international support to hold a new election. It’s a very long shot, but that is why they call it a Hail Mary pass. The outcome is worth the shot.

  25. “Here, Capriles’s evidence is strong, documented and compelling.”

    And that is an outright lie. He has presented no evidence at all for that, much less “documented and compelling evidence.” Yet another example of this blog’s continuing denial of reality while it pretends to be more “moderate” than the most extreme parts of the opposition.

    • The evidence is to be presented in a court of law, not to you personally, or me or anyone else.

      We will see, when the evidence is presented and not before.

      Claiming it doesn’t exist is your way of expressing your insecurity.

      Start looking for a new nickname, perhaps “Maduro el Breve” is not taken yet.

  26. FT, missing OR in the first 3 lines?
    ” Did the votes actually cast on April 14th represent the will of the Venezuelan electorate OR didn’t they? “

  27. To the trolls most every one who visits this page is either flagrantly stupid or dishonest and absolutely unable to confront their absolutely brilliant comments and arguments . If thats the case they shouldnt show such desperate interest to participate in it and instead ought to put up a blog of their own to hear themselves speak those pearls of wisdom as come from their genial brains !! Somehow they are not intelligent enough to do this !! what a pity , then we would have a place we could roam to , when bored, to poke fun at those geniuses to our hearts content.!!

    • They simply desperately want to be in a better country, and we have a good track record of dismissing them out of hand, like you.

      “Evil only exists in the minds of philosophers.”

        • Well what can I say to answer a sentence like you quote, pretty much nothing ( basically because I dont understand how it applies to our exchange) but I will say this , I dont think they come to us for enlighment or for the sake of mutual intellectual enrichment , You are noble and generous in thinking that their main motivation is that they want to live in a better country, they ve already made up their mind about what country they want to live in ( one which you and I would find a refined version of hell) and what motivates them is the pure wicked pleasure of needling people they despise and want desperately to feel superior to . Sometimes their attacks help sharpen our understanding of things , or help us think more thoroughly about ideas that weve come to take for granted , but sadly thats more the exception than the general case . Still you have a point that sometimes they do serve a useful purpose despite their ill intent .

          • It’s a Nietzsche quote from, I think, The Antichrist, or maybe the Genealogy of Morals. He was using it, in my humblest of opinions, to point out how a percieved evil (ill intent) is really a philosophical construct more than an actual psychological trait.

            It’s easy to forget that our enemies are us, too, with brains and livers and 99,999etc% of the same genes. I don’t think they come to joder la paciencia, I think they come because they see how friggin smart Quico et al are, and it makes them deeply uncomfortable not to agree with smart people like that, especially when the opinions have to do with the economic (and isn’t politics just the economic management of a country by way of weaponized blackmail?) reality of life itself. Their selves, friends, families… They give enough of a crap to get angry at us for what they (and often, I) see as blindness.

          • Faust . thanks for the explanation on the nietszche quote , hadnt read it before but its in line with his idea that conventional notions of evil were simply fancy intellectual constructs rather than notions born of genuine living experiences . Your assesment of the trolls motives is a bit too convoluted for me , you have a an elegant Borgian mind and that sometimes can lead you stray, Borges once wrote a piece where he argued that the nazis intimately knew themselves to be monsters and that made them secretly desire their own defeat and destruction . I do have some sympathy for the notion expressed by an english judged (as he watched a man he had just condemned to be hung) , ‘there but for the grace of god go I ‘ we are too much like our enemies that we can transform them into inhuman demons. All that separatess us from them is often just a quirky shift in personal circumsntance , thanks for reminding me of that!

          • “What motivates them is the pure wicked pleasure of needling people they despise and want desperately to feel superior to”… Just like the Jewish capos on the concentration camps, don’t you think?

      • None of these trolls actually lives in or has any connection to Venezuela, outside a plane ticket and a nice, self-enriching barrio tour to supplement their half-baked private college elective requirement.

        They don’t simply desperately want to be in a better country. They simply desperately want to find some escape from their boring little lives of gringo privilege, and found that escape in pseudorevolutionary third world politics on the internet, which has the advantage over engaging in the less romantic political struggles in their own country of not having to do anything but pose.

        • “They simply desperately want to find some escape from their boring little lives of gringo privilege . . . ”

          Aren’t we saying the same thing, in the end? Perhaps I should say world instead of country, but I think my basic premise stands.

    • Victim pathologies, and that’s what these trolls exhibit, do not allow for building and creating their own goal-oriented projects. Without a sense of balance and perspective, victim-trolls find comfort in movements that verbally cater to victims. And with that false reinforcement, they piggy-back onto other people’s successes, undermining them due to jealousy and a host of complexes. So don’t expect a blog from GAC or Arturo, for example. They’re simply not capable of achieving this. And they desperately need to defend their womb for victim status.

  28. ¨the rallying cry could’ve been “re-vote in places where there’s evidence of major irregularities!” and citizen protest’s could’ve been centered on defending that right…For whatever reason, it wasn’t. The banner, instead, was “recount!”

    One reason i can think of is usually the “bases” for the opposition have, for the last 14 years, been very inarticulate, to the point that witnessing an oppositionist “speak” is shameful…a mi esa vaina me da pena ajena

    • 1. By asking for “voto a voto” as they started out saying they were signalling that there were so many irregularities the whole election may be in question. They knew they would have to negotiate with the CNE and would have to give up part of that position. They got 12000 boxes to review instead, which may be enough to let the truth out.

      2. Voto por Voto is a lot catchier than “Votos en todos las mesas donde hayan irregularidades detectadas”. Maybe it’s a shame, but it’s marketing 101 and it works.

      You have to keep in mind. The irregularities such as witness intimidation, etc, are one thing. These need to be ventilated in a court of law, not in the CNE. These may or may not support the claim to ask for a re-vote in certain voting centers.

      The audit of the 12,000 boxes is a separate matter, what is found there may support or not the irregularities cases. There may be situations where re-votes in certain places proceeds regardless of the irregularities in those places because it is found that dead people voted, or that certain people voted more than once for example, in enough numbers to justify a re-vote.

      It may be, as Capriles pointed put in El Mundo of Spain, that a whole new election is needed if the evidence of manipulation is so widespread as to justify that.

      What he is saying, and has said since Vicente Diaz spoke alone on that dais on April 14th, is that he does not accept the result, that the result does not track with their numbers and that they have the right to ask for, and receive, “Verficacion Ciudadana”.

      Last October he got reamed, and lost a lot of support, for conceding 5 minutes after the announcement of the CNE. Now he gets criticized for insisting that his numbers don’t match the announcement.

      Si algo da pena es eso!

  29. Quico, I think Capriles strategy is two-fold. First he needs to assert himself as the undisputed leader of the opposition. Second, he wants to send the message to the CNE for the next elections that we will not accept any longer such ugly abuses of power.

    My understanding is that Capriles may not be sure he won, but he is sure of the abuses. I have also heard that the results announced by the CNE are out of the statistical range of their quick count.

    Now two things can happen: they do find significant discrepancies or they do not. If they do find those discrepancies, there are two possibilities: they can change the election outcome or they cannot. In either case (unless the unlikely event that Maduro could increase his lead after the recount), wether the government accepts it or not, he has weakened Maduro’s position, reinforced himself as a leader and reinforced the strength of the opposition movement, in particular, for 2015.

    I said it before and I repeat it now, the real elections that will allow us to come back are in 2015.

    In view of all the above, I think Capriles is being extremely clever and he is playing his cards nicely.

    • Regardless of the outcome of the audit, I am really hoping that the opposition can push hard enough to balance the CNE. If both parties trusted the CNE the country could find some form of peace.

    • I think the focus is not on the next elections, but rather on generating the perfect storm for maduro. He already has a social and economic crisis to deal with, the latter which will be accentuated in the next few months. Now he also has to deal with a political crisis where his chavista institutions have been discredited. When people turn against him they will start calling him “el ilegitimo” as well…

  30. Short note to GAC. Have you realized that (at least) half of the country is very curious about what is there inside the damned cuadernos? The opposition has been demanding an audit to the REP for years now, a request that has been denied over and over again. In light of such a close result it is, to say the least, pertinent, to perform a full audit to the cuadernos, specially when, after more than a decade in which only the Carrasqueros, the Jorge Rodriguezes, and the Tibys have been able to know what is there inside the REP and in all the cuadernos used in every elections. Capriles has not only the right, but a duty with all the people that voted (or may have been impeded to vote) for him, to ask for such certainty. Denying such a right is bullying around, at least, half of the country….

  31. and to Quico. I understand the provocative nature of your post. But: “The recount is an enormous distraction that we’ve stumbled into because we lacked the clarity to know which battle we wanted to fight”? Give me a break. Your argument is equivalent to criticizing someone (say Pedrito) who, after watching a mudererer kill his best friend, decides to quickly approach and help the victim while shouting POLICE, instead of calmly formulating a structured plan of action to: (1) send a formal letter to the police, (2) call a lawyer to represent the victim, (3) collect evidence for a compelling case in court, (4) call a doctor and ask for an appointment to bring his friend at a convenient time. Who is to blame here? Pedrito? The dying victim? I would blame the murderer and the accomplice driving the car where he escaped (Tiby?). The order of the actions performed by Pedrito are product of the heat of the moment, and the fact the the murderer is quickly running away (i.e. claiming victory), and that he will for sure escape (i.e. be proclaimed president) in Tiby’s car. And that they will go get help to come back for Pedrito…. Yet you expect Pedrito to look at the moon and formulate a plan while all of this goes on.

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