Rationing the secrecy of the vote

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Buenos Aires’ La Nación newspaper has a thorough feature story on the Tarjeta de Abastecimiento Seguro, the government’s new fingerprint-activated card to control how much you can buy at government stores.

For example, did you know the CNE is behind the whole operation? And that when you register for the card, they ask for a whole bunch of personal information? Hmm, I wonder what those two things have in common? What could the CNE possibly want with your purchase, employment, and contact information…?

The (terrifying) money quote …

According to official figures, starting April 1st more than 300,000 people have registered in the system, which is run by the National Elections Council (CNE), who has the information on Venezuelans’ fingerprints.

With their ID cards, and by providing the fingerprints for their index fingers and thumbs, any Venezuelan can register in the system.

Registration also requires providing a series of detailed personal information: is the person a public employee, do they belong to a communal council, do they shop at government stores, and whether or not they have participated in the government’s social programs. They also have to leave their phone number and an email, where in 45 days they will receive a message saying their caard is ready.”

In other words, the electoral council knows what you eat, where you shop, how the government helps you … and it also lets you vote.

(Kudos to CC’s Anabella Abadí for being extensively quoted in the piece, by the way.)

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  1. Otra base de datos más para buscar a las personas a sus casas y obligarlas a votar por el PSUV, amenazándolas con quitarles el acceso a la comida regulada si no lo hacen.

    • Ceteris paribus, the general elections of 2060 will be a blast for the Venezuelan opposition. It’s a shame that most of us won’t be alive to witness it.

  2. MCM talked about that in the past. According to her, this is the way the government found to socially dominate people who are thinking about defecting or protesting against the regime. A GNB guard will only have to find out the name of the poor bastard to completely ruin his life. MCM also said that the food shortages are not an “accident”, but part of their plan to make Venezuela hostage.

    Some sort of: “If with one hand I can give it to you, with the other I can take it away. Be certain that I know just everything about you, even what your children like to eat. Don’t go that way if you are smart.”

    • But if the vote is secret and youre really dissatisfied whatever they know about you wont make a difference , unless you actually believe that those good things will be take from you if there is a govt change.or if they suggest that the vote isnt secret and you believe them. !!

      • Bill, this card is used to “control how much you can buy at government stores”. If you were a poor person living in Petare and knew that the government could limitate even more what you can buy to your family, would you engage in activities against the government? Note that they can use this card to retaliate anyone, anytime and for any reason. It’s not restricted to the electoral process.

        • Sorry Mark , didnt see it , your re right, It might prevent you from engaging in any open oppo activities for fear of govt retailation in the food you have access to or any other thing you get from the govt , it facilitates coercion at dozen of different levels !!…….. The bastards !!

    • I agree, Venezuela is the world’s largest hostage situation. The food shortages are not the result of a failed policy by any means, they are the policy. People who have just enough to survive, but have to work hard to do so, do not rebel. Well to do people may rebel, and people who have nothing to loose anyway are dangerous. But if you give the people just enough to survive and throw in a bunch of promises of a better future that you have no intention of fulfilling anyway, and you’re set to rule them for a very long time.

      The system will unravel the moment oil prices drop or reserves are sufficiently depleted. The latter may be an issue: Venezuela has plentiful untapped reserves but no one who will risk pouring money in the country. Unless that changes significantly within the next couple of years, the system shouldn’t last until 2020.

  3. I can also think of this: all those with an email as “cantv” or anything from the late should consider his email data belongs to the government.

    • what rock have you been under for the past year? The governments of all western powers (and maybe others) already have full access to peoples e-mail and more.

      There is nothing new here. This is just the poor mans substitute for the NSA

      • On the contrary, Tigre. I know very well what kind of stuff NSA, GCHQ, etc, are working with.
        This is a different matter. The level of very announced pervasiveness the ruling party has on every action within the country and the way it can on real time, very blatantly, threaten voters, is completely different.
        The abuses committed by NSA, GCHQ and other agencies are no excuse for this stuff…unless you are a Chavistan that is.

  4. The card does promise to address a need, at a certain cost. I see the opposition continually pointing out the cost (i.e., dependency and blackmail), but I don’t see the opposition pointing out their own promise at a lower cost. What’s the opposition’s counter?

  5. It will do nothing to reverse the deteriorating economy? Repression and subterfuge are their only tools, but they can only bring the people to their knees. They are not the tools too feed the people or to protect them from criminals.

  6. “the food shortages are not an “accident”, but part of their plan”
    “The food shortages are not the result of a failed policy by any means, they are the policy.”

    I’m not buying this line of thought. If they could, they’d fill the shelves. Scarcity leaves them just short of the brink. The government is only a few bags of Harina Pan away from another Caracazo.

    The only reason this has been manageable in Cuba is because ALL of the middle class left. The poor who stayed were used to being poor and ration cards were actually a step up for some of them.

    Is there really any strategy to the revolution other than redistribution? I think you all give them too much credit. They’re winging it.

      • In order to profit through further corruption, plus to fullfill the radical ideals of the few pure Leftist idealists. This Govt., filled with incompetent/corrupt Leftists and poorly-educated military, is incapable of planning/ administering effectively a diabolical Machiavellian strategy for Opposition/societai domination, even under Castro Cuban tutelage.

        • If they are not that diabolical nor machiavellian, what do they want to achieve by linking the tarjetas with CNE or by collecting so many personal data with these cards?

  7. Juan, can you provide a link to the connection between the CNE and the rationing card? I want to follow up on the matter. Thanks!

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