The Big Tease

This is the thumb I'm holding you under
This is the thumb I’m holding you under

In 2010, Venezuelans voted to elect a new parliament, the National Assembly. The date of the election was September 26, 2010. The Electoral Council (the CNE) announced the date on November 4, 2009, ten months in advance.

In 2012, we voted again, this time for President. The date of the vote was October 7, 2012. The CNE announced the date on September 14, 2011, more than a year in advance.

Later that same year, we voted for governors and mayors. The date of the vote was December 16, 2012. The CNE announced the date on September 20, 2011, much more than a year in advance.

And yet, here we are, May of 2015. This is the year we are supposed to vote for parliament, the year the opposition will supposedly win, and win big.

And yet the CNE … has yet to announce a date for the vote. “Two weeks,” they told us more than three weeks ago.

The chavista ladies of the CNE have been hinting, winking, and flirting with us. They assure us that the vote will take place no matter what. They are probably sitting in their plush offices, looking at us from their fancy handrail, delighted while we writhe in pain.

All polls are showing the government losing big, which prompted Quico to predict there wouldn’t be an election after all.

The chavista strategy seems clear: postpone the vote as long as they can, indefinitely if need be. Throw every trick in the book at us to discourage us from voting. Make sure we know the CNE is sold, and sold at a bargain.

Personally, I believe the date will be announced soon. I just don’t see them postponing the vote indefinitely, and I think chavismo will lose the election, after which the National Assembly will be stripped of all its powers and be given a ceremonial role, if any.

There could be a Constitutional Assembly. There could be some sort of national emergency declared. Any and all acts coming from an opposition-controlled National Assembly will be deemed illegal. They will find a way to disenfranchise us. I’m sure they will think of something.

In the meantime, the CNE will continue playing their flirtatious little games on us, stringing us into believing we’re still a democracy.

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