It which cannot be named

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Diosdado Cabello is suing El Nacional, Tal Cual, and LaPatilla.com for writing pieces claiming he is a drug smuggler. Of course, these news sites were not claiming such things, but simply repeating what is being said abroad about Cabello. The real reason behind Cabello’s lawsuit has a first and a last name, as well as a middle initial: Emili J. Blasco.

As some of you might remember, Cabello’s cover was apparently blown by the allegations of Leamsy Salazar, his former bodyguard, someone who was also Hugo Chávez’s former bodyguard. To say that Salazar and Chávez were close falls short – Salazar was, almost literally, Chávez’s inner circle.

A few months ago, Salazar fled Venezuela to the US, and joined the witness protection program. He is also talking to a grand jury investigating the allegations on Venezuelan drug smuggling.

We have heard little from Salazar since the story broke, but this week, Emili Blasco, the well-sourced Washington correspondent for Spanish journal ABC published a book called “Bumerán Chávez,” which includes extensive details on Leamsy’s allegations.

I just bought the book last night, and to say that it’s a whopper is the understatement of the month. Right off the bat, Blasco repeats some of Salazar’s claims about Hugo Chávez’s secret meetings with the FARC, in which Chávez himself planned the trade of drugs for weapons with the Colombian irregulars. He also includes claims on vote-tampering during Nicolás Maduro’s election, as well as the links between Maduro and Hezbollah. The newspaper’s claims have caused quite a stir in Caracas. Maduro’s government is incensed, and there is now a serious diplomatic rift with Madrid.

Of course, Blasco’s credibility hinges on Leamsy and on his other sources – I’m not through the book yet, so I can’t vouch for it one way or another. Having said that, Blasco has a reputation – at least in my book – for getting things right. I was convinced of this after reading his extensive reporting on Hugo Chávez’s illness during the years in which we had practically no information.

However, this little tidbit from the beginning got stuck in my head:

“Parts of [Hugo] Carvajal’s activites, as well as the close relationship between the FARC and the chavista high command, came to the surface when on March 1st 2008, the Colombian Army attacked the camp of FARC head honcho Raúl Reyes, taking his laptops with them. Emails and pictures proving the links between the FARC and the Venezuelan government were extensively documented in the computers. “I’m shitting in my pants,” said Maria Gabriela, Hugo Chávez’s favorite daughter. During the meetings [between Chávez and the FARC] in Barinas she had greeted her father’s guests and taken pictures with them. “I can assure you the Colombians saw those pictures. I don’t know why they haven’t made them public,” she told Salazar.”

If the book is right, and if Leamsy Salazar’s testimony holds up, we can rest assured more evidence – such as the pictures of Maria Gabriela with the FARC commanders – will surface. The claims of malfeasance are so engrossing that there is no way this house of cards can hold up once it starts to crumble. If the claims are bogus, well, then nothing will come of it.

Either way, it’s a fascinating read. It remains to be seen whether Venezuela’s mainstream media self censors this information in response to Cabello’s moves, or whether they do the right thing and publish it.

1 COMMENT

  1. Which one is Maria Gabriela? The one in New York, or the one in La Casona?

    The Chavez family is fascinating. What a cast of characters.

    • Maria Gabriela is the one in NY. The family worked this way: MG was the high-end greeter, she was the one meeting with high end people when daddy was alive. Rosa was more into the lower ranks, she is the one with the local contacts. MG was Fidel’s favorite

      • What about Rosines? I feel that she’s just a regular girl (don’t have any of the Cluster B personality disorders so present in her sisters or dead father). I wonder how is her relation with the other two.

  2. “Of course, these news sites were not claiming such things, but simply repeating what is being said abroad about Cabello. ”

    Wouldn’t it be nice if the average Criollo understood this simple fact?

    That newspapers simply Report what others say, good or bad or else about anything?

    Unfortunately, that is too much to ask of over half of Corruptzuela’s ignorant populace.

  3. He also says they injected at least 350k votes favouring Maduro in the latest elections. You guys keep telling us Smartmatic is amazing and it does wonders.

    • Yes, those were my thoughts as well. When you read the ABC article as to how that 2013 election was stolen, you begin to understand how much evil stands behind this government. From ABC:

      “The computer security specialists Daquin and Christopher Anthony Bello conclude that there is 1.878 million fake voters (multiple cedulación). In addition, in the audit of the voting system in which he could participate, Bello found that the voting machines had four BIOS (Basic Input Output System). That facilitated communication with external devices and have made ​​possible both the vote count as issuing false voting origin.”

      • “Bello found that the voting machines had four BIOS (Basic Input Output System). That facilitated communication with external devices and have made ​​possible both the vote count as issuing false voting origin.”

        That right there is a nonsensical statement. That is like saying “Bello found the machines had CPUs and memory. That facilitated communication with external devices and have made ​​possible both the vote count as issuing false voting origin.”

        Every computer comes with one BIOS (and only one) installed. It is just the lowest level, the most “BASIC” piece of software in a computer, it is even lower than the operating system, the BIOS makes a computer work in its most basic functions: read/write the hard drive, display the video, boot up the computer, read the keyboard and other Input/Output devices.

        Different computers may have different versions of the BIOS since they are updated and new versions created just like any other piece of software. There is nothing strange or sinister about that, and no the BIOS has nothing to do with vote counting or vote tampering whatsoever.

          • No, and if, for some strange reason, one did that would not be of any advantage to the computer, it would not make it better. It would not be faster or more capable or more powerful.

    • And that’s nothing, just a little training session with the galactic, Super-Electronic Fraud capabilities of Chavez’s Smartmatic. Those will need to be fully deployed in the next Presidential elections Massive Fraud. We ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

      • He closed the comments for that post. He got into arguments about hand-tally & machine-tally. Which venezuelan election had a serious audit? I also wonder why he closed the comments.

  4. I’m not so sure about Leamsy’s allegations of electoral fraud. I mean, he probably had access to information chavismo doesn’t want people to know. But the whole deal about the sala de totalizacion seems unsupported by evidence. I mean, what if these were regular projections based on exit polls? how is it even possible for chavismo to have parallel salas de totalizacion when results are transmitted only at the end of the day?

    I give credence to these allegations only because Emili Blasco is risking his credibility.

    • Emili says they were getting real time totalisation data from CNE on a “command centre” they have at the Alcadia de Caracas.

    • That’s a good point. Supposedly the voting machines are not connected to the web until the voting center closes. However, there is simply too much evidence that chavismo knows what’s going on in real time, and it’s not via exit polls. How can both of these things be true? Can they both be true?

      • I remember there were portable computers (with wireless connection) at each voting local, were the people has to check first, only to be told what room/voting point were assigned to them. This and Lista Tascón or the actual version of it and you would have a good indication of how the things are going. I also remember reading some insider info about this in Apoforo.

          • That one. At 3 pm they cross the voter data with their “misiones” lists, and BINGO! They know who has not voted, then they start calling them and scaring the sh… out of them. That is why at the end of the day there is a surge of voters. Who is going to convince them that big brother is not watching?

        • “Durante el encuentro, el rector Vicente Díaz presentó como uno de los puntos de debate la eliminación de la estación, dado que considera debe ser suplantada por otros mecanismos de información.

          Su planteamiento fue discutido y la mayoría decidió que la estación debe mantenerse porque le permite al CNE pulsar en tiempo real los niveles de participación de los electores y con ello tomar decisiones logísticas durante los procesos de elección, destaca nota de prensa del organismo.”

          http://www.vtv.gob.ve/articulos/2012/11/16/lucena-estacion-de-informacion-al-elector-no-es-opcional-3675.html

          • Ahi está. La estación está conectada, y si la estación está conectada, por ahí es que va la información. Digo yo…

        • it was manually done in the exterior: The voter presents his/her cédula; that number is checked, before the voter is directed to a particular area/station to vote, all the while with a lot of buzz (employees? volunteers?) standing around, chatting, about 6-10 feet away.

      • “Supposedly the voting machines are not connected to the web until the voting center closes.”

        Let’s say, there was no hacking into the system, from Cuba or from anywhere else, before the tally of votes were transmitted to the CNE. Let’s say, everything was tickety-boo.

        Except from this voter’s perspective, I was puzzled on two counts.

        For I was waiting in the lobby of the building where the voting process took place (Toronto). And there I stayed until the end of the official voting time, having witnessed that no more voters had appeared, about 30 minutes prior to closing time. It was clear to me that, publicly speaking, the electoral process in Toronto had ended.

        So why did a consulate official come down to the lobby to announce that voting was being extended? It didn’t make sense. Were there people from out of town? But how could allowances be made for them, when it was supposedly illegal to do so?

        Now looking back, I wondered where these extra voters were coming from? Were they Venezuelans? Certainly we had seen, over the years, multiple disrupters of our peaceful gatherings to protest, the disrupters carrying various flags, none from Venezuela.

        And what difference did it make since our significant voting contributions in a foreign land were never part of the tally that mattered, and were only inputted into the system, days or weeks later?

        There was something else nagging at me. But it happened during a previous voting “exercises”. The foreign-based, Venezuelan-born leader of a Bolivarian Circle, parked her car where two spaces were available. When I arrived just behind her, she made it clear that she was not interested in sharing the two-car space with another. Frankly I was appalled by the attitude, attributing it to typical narcissism. I was also wondering about Fulana’s two acompa~nantes: no tenían pinta de venezolanas.

        And so, I roughly put 2 and 2 together and wondered if fast cédulas had been provided for non-Venezuelans for the purposes of bulking up the chavista/madurista vote.

        No proof of course, just a wee hunch.

    • “…exit polls?”

      Allow me a moment to ease the pain on my sides after cackling like the Joker xDDD

      Dude, exit polls are the most risible instrument to measure that stuff (Or any stuff at all), simply ’cause in this case you’re not gonna say that you voted against chaburrismo in public, lest you want a facefull of bullets from any nearby colectivo.

      • What you’ve said reminded of an interview I read some months ago with Garry Kasparov, he addressed Putin’s astonishingly high approval rates using your terms: under oppression, people won’t say what they really think.

        The Globe and Mail: You are a staunch critic, but fellow Russians enthusiastically support Putin’s policies. Are your views on the fringe of public opinion?

        Garry Kasparov: Putin’s popularity is based on the polls conducted by anonymous callers. Do you expect people in Russia to be honest with somebody who phones them and asks if they support Putin? Most people being polled were born and raised in the Soviet Union, and anyone over 40 still has a good memory of that time and they’re being asked their views about a dictator, a former KGB lieutenant-colonel. I’m consistently surprised that 20 per cent or more give a negative answer.

        http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/why-garry-kasparov-wont-be-going-to-russia-anytime-soon/article21414892/

      • Ralph,

        I’m not judging whether exit polls work or not. I’m just saying that Leamsy should explain how he knows that the data shown in this situation room was from live results from voting centers. Actually, exit polls are very common. That’s how the opposition makes projections on election days.

  5. Wow. I find this all very plausible, especially the allegations of a drugs-for-arms trade with FARC. It is not uncommon for state and non-state actors to trade commodities for weapons (e.g. al-Yamamah deal between the UK & Saudi where oil was traded for arms or Charles Taylor of Liberia who traded diamonds to shady arms dealers like Viktor Bout for guns and ammunition). This makes it easier to conceal bribes and, for state actors, allows them to by-pass their country’s Treasury (in effect, an off-balance-sheet transaction).

    However, I always remain skeptical of Hezbollah/Iranian influence with drug cartels in Latin America to be vastly overstated. Here is Michael Shifter’s testimony of their supposed influence in the region, where he says “the higher standards of evidence” should be adhered to because everything else is based on “speculation and conjecture.”

    http://docs.house.gov/meetings/FA/FA07/20150318/103177/HHRG-114-FA07-Wstate-ShifterM-20150318.pdf

  6. From WelVen:

    The connection of Chavez and FARC was also written about in a book called Gower Powder about cocaine being smuggled from Venezuela to Europe. It is only a matter of time surely when this farce of government will also be smuggled out along with their hoardes of powder.

  7. Unfortunately this house of cards will continue to hold up until it is FORCIBLY dismantled. The mainstream Venezuelan media will NOT obviously publish any of this. Most importantly, I think, of this book was the electoral fraud vs. Capriles: 6 P.M., Capriles leading by 200M+, DC +JR (the Abominable Engineer of electoral/Smartmatic fraud in Venezuela), accompanied by guardaespalda LS, enter the clandestine situation room with real-time all States results on-line, not even available to the CNE, and order extending voting center closing times from 6 to 8 P.M., with an Arreaza-ordered short internet blackout, while pro-Maduro votes were stuffed (as I have argued here before, in the 60% of voting centers not witnessed by the MUD, especially in the Interior, and with some of the 6 MILLION estimated Venezuelans Cedulas “registered” to vote, but which haven’t really done so), so that Maduro eventually emerged with a small lead (although it is rumored that at one point they overdid the job so well that Maduro had a 1MM lead, which they had to pare back to seem reasonable). Capriles lacked the cojones, albeit he did probably save Oppo bloodshed, to call the Oppo to the streets–and so, Venezuela continues mired in its quagmire, expecting peaceful resolution by FT’s unimpeachable Smartmatic voting process.

  8. BTW, this blog thread combines 2 issues, Drugs/Corruption/Cabello and the Elections Fraud.

    One of these 2 issues is laughable, compared to the other.

    The opposition, in Vzla or us abroad, should be entirely focused on the latter.

  9. The responsible Latin American governments (oxymoron?) are now being faced with a true moral quandary. For any moderately informed world leader to claim a lack of awareness of the depredations occurring in Venezuela, the requirement has now crossed the line from mere “plausible deniability” to “willful ignorance”. Yet, the cost of awareness of evil is a moral imperative to do something about it, or at the very least denounce it. To continue to ignore it in the face of so much evidence is reprehensible and will eventually be condemned.

    Governments always fear changes to the status quo. Such changes bring unanticipated consequences. But, the cost of ignorance is now outweighing the risk of change — the tide is turning. The first official condemnations are already coming from the national assemblies and parliaments. The executives cannot be expected to resist this tide change for long. I expect that we will see one Latin American government after another shifting their stance in the near future and openly condemning the Venezuelan government.

    Can the regime survive international shunning and isolation? That is hard to say. There are several rogue nations that can and do: North Korea, Belarus, Burma… to name a few. Venezuela, however, is far too dependent on trade and imports to exist in isolation. It can only continue, so long as other some other countries continue to trade with them. China, which is famously lacking in ethical fastidiousness, will continue to do business with the regime, but is China alone enough? Obviously, the international community is loathe to consider sanctions, embargoes, and the like. But, as the horror stories filtering out become more horrific, the pressure from the public to “do something” will mount.

    This is the point where, I would normally reach some sort of conclusion or prediction. This time, just I don’t have one.

  10. Already in the introduction of the book the author says the machines were manipulated to fraudulently add hundred of thousands of votes for Maduro.

    According to him, Capriles won.

    Is he lying?

  11. Coming from ABC, I really have my doubts. I witnessed the call to ABC when Capriles-Chavez election, the opposition asked ABC to publish we were winning as a contra-measure to Le Monde saying chavismo was ahead.
    ABC asked if it was true and the person who called blatantly said “No, but we need to balance the information”. Less than 10 minutes later ABC published.
    We obviously lost the election against Chavez but we won against Maduro, Capriles did not want to bear the guilt of 10,000 dead. Capriles’ father told him to go ahead and call the fraud, his father has a stronger and riskier personality, but he wasn’t selfish enough to send people to die for him. To be a president you need to be able of taking this this type of cold blood decisions.I don’t blame him, that’s maybe why I am not a president and neither him is.

    • “Capriles did not want to bear the guilt of 10,000 dead.”

      10,000 dead in 2013 vs. the possibility of 100,000 or more dead later… or none. Personally, I think he made a mistake, but I get that these are tough calls and it is lonely at the top. I wonder if Capriles regrets that decision now.

  12. Why hasn’t the Colombian government revealed the photos from Reyes computers? Could this be a bargaining chip on the Santos-Farc negotiations sponsored by Maduro and Cuba?

    • Governments are almost invariably “pichire” with their intelligence. I have never quite understood why. Typically, the value of these “bargaining chips” erodes over time.

  13. 2 ways to get rid of Chavismo:

    Elections or Military coup.

    The “elections” system is completely corrupt. And the military, even more.

    And thus, Cubazuela 2050 was born.

    • It occurred to me, Yusmairobis, that the answer to Venezuela’s recurring political and economic crises might be to make good on Hugo Chavez’s dream of a Grand Colombia, and merge Venezuela and Colombia, with the capital of a new, unified nation in Bogota, and with any use of petro-dollars conditional on the agreement of a majority of voters of the new nation.

      Why should Venezuelans give up their patrimony, one might ask? Well, as you have pointed out, I think, they already have. So really, the remaining options when the store is empty and all the assets sold off is some kind of political restructuring that has the effect of diluting the distortions visited on otherwise good and normal Venezuelans by geological happenstance.

  14. What Leamsy Salazar describes seems to be nothing more than the ability the government has to step up the get-out-the-vote campaign when they see themselves lagging in the voting centers. I have no doubts they monitor in real time the flow of voters and possibly even know who has and has not voted, whether using their own databases or connecting surreptitiously to the CNE systems. It is well known and it has been extensively reported how they seek out and practically harass and coerce their followers and ferry them to the voting stations. There have been reports of buses full of voters arriving at the voting centers even after they were supposed to be closed.

    Salazar’s description does not necessarily indicate, however, that virtual votes were added for nonexistent voters using hacked Smartmatics or in the Totalization Room. The extract from Blasco’s book that has been made public only mentions “voto asistido y otros procedimientos” as crediting for the late surge in votes. It does not clarify at all the matter, it just mentions some people saying things, other joking, a suspicious internet failure but nothing concrete.

    • How even educated people here continue to defend Chavez’s Fraudmatic, with DOZENS of information sources as to how, when and where elections have been Fixed using Numerous electronic methods is beyond me. Google it up, with a minimum sense of honor. I’m tired of providing links. My only guess is that some of you may have innocent relatives or friends working for Smartmatic.

      • First,
        Floyd, since you are replying to my comment it is important that you recognize that in that comment I’m not defending anything, as you maliciously affirm specially with your last sentence. The comment addresses the lack of substance behind the information released from Blasco’s book which can be summarized this way: Leamsy Salazar went to a room where they had a running tally of the elections and there was a spike at the end of the day. None of which constitutes news, and even though it does paint a picture of many irregularities specially in the use and abuse of the CNE infrastructure by the government, it does nothing to prove that there is computer fraud in the counting of the votes. Among other things because Salazar could not be privy to that kind of information.

        Second,
        It does not matter how many links or sources of information you can find backing up your specific claim. What matters is not the quantity of the information or the arguments but the quality of it.

        No one can deny that a voting computer, just like any computer, can be programmed to produce any kind of result, whether accurate or willfully inaccurate. But the same can be said of any manual process where the calculations are done by individuals. Nothing prevents them from tampering a manual count. That used to be the case in Venezuela where the saying “acta mata voto” became famous. What makes the Venezuelan electoral process hard to tamper with is the audit process which in essence is a double count: once automated, once manual. This double count is possible because the machine leaves a physical proof of each vote and also of each tally, just like in a manual process. So if you favor a manual process of counting you should be satisfied that there is one, which is also backed by an automated count. Your many links and copy/pastes (like the comment below which refers to a different system) from other countries and systems do not take into account this key feature.

        Third
        The real problem is that attacking the automation of the voting process is a misguided effort because the problems of the voting system are elsewhere and here we waste our times and that of the readers in this pointless diatribe. Some real area problems are:

        – Voter abstention promotion (specially by those that like to promote the futility of the vote)
        – Voter intimidation
        – Witness and observer intimidation, specially during the audit process
        – Communicational hegemony by the government
        – Abuse of the state resources, changes of rules during election day
        – Captahuellas to monitor and control (impede) the flow of voters
        – Real audit and cleansing of the REP

        • That’s probably why no one in Europe want the E-Fraud systems, not even Asian countries like Japan.
          Even here in the USA, there’s lots of talk about going back to manual voting systems.

          If you think Electronic Machines are not a Huge risk of Mass-Fraud, unlike manual, supervised voting, and can’t understand a few simple Videos from Princeton University, I hope you will at least enjoy living in Cubazuela for the next few decades.

        • Amieres,
          I understand your points. Still, at the very minimum, these are the additional problems of the e-voting:

          1- finger prints: that is also intimidation, big time, particularly because Chavistas do know in real time who voted or not (so, yeah, finger print machines are not connected to the voting computers apparently, but that doesn’t matter if the fear is there, it would here in Europe and I don’t see how it is different in Venezuela)
          2- the “resultados irreversibles” used time after time by the CNE puppets. This is facilitated by the e-voting. What happens is that they announce that so that people drop their guard and abandon the voting centres. This might not happen in Miranda but it does happen everywhere else.

          • And I repeat: I know finger prints are not e-voting but in Venezuela they are sold in the same package. And the fear of the masses is what counts

          • Kepler
            Part of what muddles this debate is that many things are thrown together and then dismissed as a whole. It is important for us to separate and distinguish the good from the bad. If we do not correctly identify the problems we cannot find the right solutions.

            To improve the voting process we must demand that fingerprinting machines be thrown out and the secrecy of the vote improved with real privacy at the moment of voting. To demand that the whole e-voting system be thrown out is not only a much harder proposition but if it were to happen it would actually make the whole process more obscure, less reliable and more prone to tampering. As the old saying goes “careful what you wish for…”.

            Regarding your point 2. I fail to see how announcing results when the trend is irreversible is a bad thing. What is the alternative? To wait for hours until all tallies are in? Is that better?

            I understand that they wait until all the voting sites are closed to make any announcement in that sense. By that time almost all the electronic tallies are in and only the manual ones are pending. I find that a huge advantage of the e-voting system. First of all because the electronic results do not trickle in, like the manual actas do, they come in masse and thus the announced total is that much more representative. Early announcements are better than long drawn out ones, which with e-voting become highly suspicious (remember the 2004 RR announced at 4am).

            Maybe I’m missing something. Perhaps you are referring to people leaving before the audit is complete. That may be a concern, but that is a concern of the opposition and not of the voting system. I do not think you can argue that the e-voting system is bad because we cannot convince our own people to stay for the audit because they do not deem it important because they trust the results.

          • “To improve the voting process we must demand that fingerprinting machines be thrown out and the secrecy of the vote improved with real privacy at the moment of voting.”

            Which Chavistas will never do. It’s part of the extortion, intimidation plan, intrinsic in these “technologically advanced” machines, that regular people do not understand and fear. Part of the reason under-developped countries like Vzla, Brazil and Philippines were bribed to use them, while developed, educated countries like all of Europe and Japan reject them.

            “To demand that the whole e-voting system be thrown out is not only a much harder proposition but if it were to happen it would actually make the whole process more obscure, less reliable and more prone to tampering. As the old saying goes “careful what you wish for…”.

            How so, exactly?

            With popular supervision, especially in a country with 80% opposition, it’s much easier to verify and to police actual manual votes, counted at each voting place before transport. Can’t do that with “fancy” machines and the internet.

            You obviously don’t understand that it’s a lot easier to commit Massive Fraud by electronic means, with malicious programs, etc, as shown by the Princeton videos, and countless other experts worldwide.

          • “How so, exactly?”

            – For starters the double count is the strongest form of verification there is. Without computers you would only have a single manual count in front of witnesses, in other words no real verification. Just the one count, nothing to compare against that same night.

            – Beyond the count, manual Actas are susceptible to errors (malicious or not) in the preparation, transmission (an electronic process itself), transport and transcription phases. Manual Actas can be tampered, lost, damaged or invalidated in many ways.

            – Manual Actas take hours between the moment the ballot boxes are opened and the count is started and when the results are added to the big total.

            – By contrast, electronic actas are printed out, transmitted and totaled in seconds, without errors. The sheer speed of the whole automated process reduces the window in which tampering is possible. Any computerized tampering has to be done before the machine prints the actas. That is even before the ballot boxes are opened. After that the numbers are locked down and cannot be changed without leaving an easy to track trail. But changing the number is not enough, that would be the easy part, the hard part is to avoid the random audit. Not only that, since in each center at least half of the mesas are audited, even if a tampered machine gets by the audit, the numbers it produces cannot be radically different to the other mesas, otherwise a simple statistical analysis would show the discrepancy.

            – Printed actas leave a much more detailed account of the whole process than what tired people care to register. Details like: exact time of opening and closing of the event down to the second. Serial number of the acta. Total number of voters. Exact breakdown by candidate and party.

            – Reduces the number of null votes due to voter error. This last detail is important specially in complicated elections like legislative and regionals where there are many candiates and parties competing for many posts and many votes per voter, including lists and nominal.

            – The speed of the process also allows for a much earlier publication of the data which allows for faster verification of the printed actas against those published on the internet. This is a boost on the transparency of the process.

            “With popular supervision, especially in a country with 80% opposition, it’s much easier to verify and to police actual manual votes, counted at each voting place before transport. Can’t do that with “fancy” machines and the internet.”

            Of course you can, that is exactly what the audits do. 54% of the mesas are selected randomly and audited the same day, just like you say: “counted at each voting place before transport”. Those votes are verified against the computer count, and to date, as far as I am aware, no differences have been found.

        • So the huge, abnormal Maduro spike during a convenient 6-8pm extension does not ring the bell either, huh?

          Nor the fact that Chavez bought these machines, and the Fraud record everywhere, or that in Europe they are rejected like the pest.. nor videos from Princeton showing anyone how to hack the machines, not just manually, buy by the thousands and thousands of votes..

          You might understand the magnitude of the fraud capacity only after they use it again for the Presidential “elections”. They will have to steal Millions and Millions of votes. With ChavezMatic? Piece of cake.

          Then, get back to me.

    • Tampering with electronic voting machines

      All voting systems face threats of some form of electoral fraud. The types of threats that affect voting machines can vary from other forms of voting systems, some threats may be prevented and others introduced.”Threat Analyses & Papers”. National Institute of Standards and Technology. October 7, 2005. Retrieved 5 March 2011.
      Some forms of electoral fraud specific to electronic voting machines are listed below. Recent research at Argonne National Laboratories demonstrates that if a malicious actor is able to gain physical access to a voting machine, it can be a simple process to manipulate certain electronic voting machines, such as the Diebold Accuvote TS, by inserting inexpensive, readily available electronic components inside the machine.[28][29]
      Tampering with the software of a voting machine to add malicious code altering vote totals or favor any candidate.
      Multiple groups have demonstrated this possibility.[30][31][32]
      Private companies manufacture these machines. Many companies will not allow public access or review of the machines source code, claiming fear of exposing trade secrets.[33]
      Tampering with the hardware of the voting machine to alter vote totals or favor any candidate.[34]
      Some of these machines require a smartcard to activate the machine and vote. However, a fraudulent smart card could attempt to gain access to vote multiple times.[35]
      Abusing the administrative access to the machine by election officials might also allow individuals to vote multiple times.
      Election results that are sent directly over the internet from a county count center to the state count center can be vulnerable to a man-in-the-middle attack, where they are diverted to an intermediate web site where the man in the middle flips the votes in favor of a certain candidate and then immediately forwards them on to the state count center. All votes sent over the internet violate chain of custody and hence should be avoided by driving or flying memory cards in locked metal containers from county count centers to the state count center

  15. Demonstrated Laboratory Attacks:

    Diebold Election Systems AccuVote-TS (Manipulation of the votes by the Princeton University.)[12]
    Nedap ES3B (Manipulation of the votes by a citizen group)[13][14]
    SDU voting computers (Violating the secrecy of the ballot using Van Eck phreaking, tested by the Dutch secret service AIVD)[15]
    Attacks have also been performed on both DRE machines and optical scan voting machines, which count paper ballots. (See California study, “Security Analysis of the Diebold AccuBasic Interpreter” [16]).
    Whether it is a DRE or an optical scan machine, the opportunity for tampering applies to persons with inside access (including government workers) and to a lesser extent, outside hackers. Therefore framing election tampering issues as “hacking” may not be an accurate framework for public concerns. Within the context of protecting voting rights, it would not matter whether vote alteration was done by an outsider or an insider.

  16. ” If the claims are bogus, well, then nothing will come of it.”

    Not quite. If they come of as bogus they will lessen the credibility of other denuncias.

    • “CNE’s director Jorge Rodriguez traveled to Smartmatic’s “factory” in Italy, early in 2004, to check the progress of the production of the electronic voting machines. These were purchased to Tecnost Sistemi Olivetti for $57.968.040. However Italian news agency ANSA posted on the economy section on April 15, 2004 that the total amount of the contract was over $24 million:”

      Stufato Saporito!

    • Floyd, i disagree. Listas tascon and Maisanta, and all the division ism that has followed is IMO the worst.
      No one want to participate in any listas anymore, and that has seriously affected democratic and citizen movements going forward.

      Also I agree with Amieres, election day fraud, more specifically e-voting election day fraud, like the 2 hours shenanigans in the conversation, are a red herring.
      The core of the fraud is in identification system and voting franchise systems, and of course the voter intimidation (from the listas effects) and utter disregard for respect for law and for people’s political views that this regime has demonstrated.

      The core of the fraud is that the current electoral system in Venezuela has no escrutinio, no way for every day joes’ to validate that voting tallies add up at the ballot box level.

      Cada pueblo tiene el gobierno que merece!

      • “Cada pueblo tiene el gobierno que merece!”

        Each time I listen to that phrase, my gut contorts and pushes me to punch the speaker’s face to make him swallow his own teeth.

        Lemme explain,

        First: people who voted in 1998 and are repentant today, were deceived, it doesn’t matter that he made two coups and all that, most venezuelan people has NEVER considered law as something completely sacred to be obeyed, they were impressed by the same promises made by the previous governments during the last 40 years (We’ll end the poverty, punish the corruption and everybody’ll get their oil drop) and they voted with the honest hope that this time things woule be better, go and ask ANY “chavista arrepentido” and he/she’ll tell that to you.

        Second: My personal problem with putting ALL people in the same “hey, you deserve that, hahah!” sack, is that people who had NO POWER NOR INFLUENCE NOR ANY FACTOR OF CONTROL AT ALL (Save one vote) is guilty of this mess (Lines, insults and omnicide included) and it’s like some sort of cosmic punishment they deserve; too much people in Venezuela rejoyce blaming all their disgraces on the middle class, well, FUCK THOSE IMBECILES, because the so hated middle class was working its ass off to try to improve its living standards, what, do the so-called “poor” had to be fed or get everything from the middle class for free? Go wash your sack, man.

        /////////////////////////////

        “Cada pueblo tiene el gobierno que merece!”

        Cada vez que escucho esa frase, las tripas se me retuercen y me impulsan a voltearle la cara de un puñetazo al que la dice para que se trague sus dientes.

        Me explico,

        Primero: La gente que votó en 1998 y que están arrepentidas hoy en día, fueron engañadas, no importaba que el tipo hubiera hecho dos golpes y tal, la mayoría de los venezolanos NUNCA han considerado a la ley como algo sagrado que debe ser acatado, fueron impresionados por las mismitas promesas que hicieron los gobiernos pasados de los 40 años (Acabaremos con la pobreza, castigaremos la corrupción y todos tendrán su gotica de petróleo) y votaron con la esperanza honesta de que esta vez las cosas serían mejores, ve y pregúntale a CUALQUIER “chavista arrepentido” y eso será lo que te digan.

        Segundo: Mi peo personal con poner a TODA la gente en el mismo saco de “¡Hey, eso te lo mereces, jajaja!”, es que la gente que no tenía NUNGÚN PODER, NI INFLUENCIA NI NINGÑUN FACTOR DE CONTROL EN ABSOLUTO (Salvo UN voto) es culpable de este desastre (Colas, insultos y omnicidio incluidos) y que se trata de alguna especie de castigo cósmico que merecen; demasiados en Venezuela se regocijan culpando de todas sus desgracias a la clase media, bueno, QUE SE JODAN ESOS IMBÉCILES, porque la tan odiada clase media lo que estaba pendiente era de dejar el culo trabajando para intentar mejorar su calidad de vida, qué, ¿Es que acaso a los susodichos “pobres” la clase media tenía que darles comida y todo lo demás de gratis? Anda a lavarte ese paltó, viejo.

      • Luis, you are picking on a couple lists, out of the Extensive points on the link. And no, the core of the Massive Electronic Fraud can be in the actual malicious Programming and tampering of the machines and electronic systems themselves, Hacking is very easy, as clearly shown worldwide by various professionals testers, or the Princeton University videos.

  17. How the Honey Moon started..

    El Enlace

    En el año 2002, antes de escoger a SMARMATIC Jorge Rodríguez y su hermana Delcy fueron invitados a Boca Ratón por Alfredo Anzola, uno de los propietarios de esa empresa. Allí alojados discretamente en el Waldorf Astoria Resort, el mas exclusivo de este pueblo de gente acaudalada, afinaron los últimos detalles. Existen registros y testigos de la pasantía y los gastos incurridos por estos “expertos” del CNE. En ese lugar no había nada para inspeccionar. Esa visita fue un viaje de placer y celebración adelantada para la parejita de tórtolos compuesta por Delcy Rodríguez y Alfredo Anzola…

  18. Se salvaran los Filipinos?

    “There have already been serious questions on whether automated election fraud was committed,” Kabataan Partylist Rep. Terry Ridon said in an earlier statement. If Smartmatic-TIM comes into the picture and destroys possible evidence left in the machines, the public may never truly know,” he said.
    “The issue here is not only the highly irregular process in which Comelec chose Smartmatic-TIM to do diagnostic work with the PCOS machines. The issue here is the lack of transparency, the lack of check and balance within Comelec, the lack of openness and accountability to the public,” Ridon said.
    With the Supreme Court junking on April 21 Comelec’s P240-million deal for the diagnostic services of Smartmatic-TIM, Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares urged the Comelec to discard once and for all the use of Smarmatic-TIM’s PCOS automated system. He said it violated the democratic tenet of secret voting and public counting and yields sovereign control of the electoral process to a foreign entity.

    http://bulatlat.com/main/2015/04/22/comelec-can-still-salvage-2016-elections-sans-pcos-or-smartmatic/

  19. “The National Assembly, which is dominated by members of Maduro’s United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), approved a population estimate from the national electoral commission this week that determines how many electoral seats are available for each state. But opposition members pointed out shifts in population figures for some districts that would grant additional electoral seats to chavista strongholds while diminishing the number of seats in areas with strong support for the opposition.

    Nongovernmental organization Súmate issued a review of the report earlier this week, saying that modifications in 19 out of Venezuela’s 24 states ended up favoring the PSUV. The population figures approved this week would mean that even if the opposition secures 52 percent of the national vote, it would get only 67 of the available 165 legislative seats, while the rest would go to PSUV supporters, Spain’s El País reported.

    During the legislative debate this week, lawmaker Pedro Carreño said that the population shifts were the result of migration following the construction of government housing projects in recent years, according to Venezuela’s El Universal newspaper. He also criticized the opposition’s claims of manipulation”

    On the bright side, with Chavez’s Smartmatic, everything will be correct and will favor the opposition.

  20. The only Luers related to Venezuela is William Luers, US Ambassador to Vzla in 1978. He was the President of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC for 13 years. Today, at 85, he heads the Iran Project (Rockefeller Brothers Fund) and is Adjunct Professor at Columbia University.

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