A system designed to undermine


For Saturday, June 11, 2016. Translated by Javier Liendo.

captahuellasCNETibisay Lucena, head of the National Electoral Council, issued a statement this Friday with all the cynicism we’ve come to expect, saying that the signature validation process was technically flawless, without delays and that the CNE had worked with diligence; with few relevant explanations and the usual threats.

The process

Imagine that you’re taking a final. Before evaluating your answers the teacher decides to grade the aesthetic value of your handwriting, the ink you used to write and whether you used muletillas or not. If you don’t meet that criteria, she won’t evaluate your answers; but if you pass, the teacher tells you to forego the test, in case there’s a chance that you’re taking it under pressure, with few hours of study and with insufficient light to write. The test is the proof of your deliberate choice to be evaluated, but the teacher gives you time to rethink.


When you go to the CNE’s web page and enter your cédula in the tex tbox: “Review your information. Process of validation and exclusion of the registry presented by the mud.” – The lowercase is no accident-, two things can happen:

  1. Either your signature wasn’t validated and the explanation you get is: “This cédula can’t be found in the registry presented by the MUD party.” No specific reason for your case y sin derecho a pataleo.
  2. Or it was validated and then the signatory’s information will appear (name and cédula), then you can download the exclusion form and the addresses of the CNE’s regional offices.

Tascón’s paila

The CNE’s system is designed to undermine the recall referendum, not to make it possible. All those days of delays are a violation of article 72 of the Constitution; and don’t even mention the signature invalidation bullshit, because only the voter – like the student – has the power to do that. I’m part of the 605,717 signatures that didn’t meet CNE’s crazy criteria. Maybe my signature had a mistake, maybe it was my cédula; maybe my names and last names didn’t match, or perhaps the form’s letterhead had errors. I’ll never know and I can’t protest it.

Eso sí, the number of invalid signatures among my immediate relationships is absurdly superior (90%) to valid ones. If the database created by transcribing voters’ forms wasn’t cross-referenced with the upgraded version of the Lista Tascón, then it must be fate, because most invalid signatures in my circles belong to people with a high political commitment, good handwriting, better signatures and fingerprints.

What’s next?

Allowing people to back-track is more important than authenticating the signatures, that’s why it’s the process’ priority and next week, between June 13th and 17th, citizens will get the chance to remove their signature. Validating your decision will be possible between June 20th and 24th in the CNE’s regional offices – located in each state’s capital -, strictly during office hours: from 8:00 am to 12:00 m. and from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. But the process could be suspended by the least alteration of public order.

The CNE’s system is designed to undermine the recall referendum, not to make it possible.

See, this is funny: the government purchased thousands of captahuellas but only three hundred coroticos are available, nationwide, for the validation. The fact that voters in Miranda will have to authenticate their signatures in Los Teques isn’t just an abuse, it’s viciousness. Since Tibisay didn’t hold a Q & A, little is known about the estimated validation time per fingerprint – which would allow projections to determine if it’d be possible to complete the process within the available dates and periods of time -; what happens with regions that suffer power cuts – scheduled or not – that could interfere with the available periods for authentication. It’s not even known how much next week’s exclusion process will impact on the following week’s authentication procedures.

Until next month

Even though the fingerprint scanners are connected to a cloud, and data is uploaded in real time, there won’t be results of the process until July 26th. That’s the date on which we’ll know if we achieved the proportional 1% signatures per state. Transcribed information allows the PSUV a terrifying range of action, when blackmailing people in exchange for social benefits amid such a severe collapse, isn’t at all difficult. I guarantee you, the most important thing is achieving the validation of that 1% per state. There are some in which we have lots of people, but in others, the margin is so narrow and the crisis is so severe, that the bad guys can get away with it.

It’s now when political parties will have to put their campaign machines to the test, specially in difficult states. The data cross-referencing process in this phase may have allowed the government to screen for voters who are less committed to the opposition’s cause or more malleable by chavismo. The PSUV has to make sure that the 1% is never fulfilled. Anyway, they can organize another fight in a regional office, call for an “opposition” protest, loot a truck or cut the power. Their capacities for evil are unquestionable.

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  1. If one can ‘backtrack’ or ‘take back’ ones signature there should be a process to validate ones CNE ‘invalidated’ signature, a method for remedying whatever flaws I may have incurred and revalidate my signature , is that possible ?? how do you do it ?? this is a standard norm in any legal procedure !! Not sure the CNE current version of the regulations allows it …??

  2. I agree with Bill, but would add that I have NEVER heard of a system which builds in a step in which people are invited to reconsider. You sign, and your signature has legal weight; a withdrawal step is there to generate delay while giving time for pressure tactics.

    There was no opportunity to reconsidering a vote FOR Maduro, so why is there one for wanting a recall referendum?

  3. I wonder if there are 10000 dead people signing, there is a fingerprint beside each one, and I doubt they cut every corpse’s thumb to stamp it. So the government has 10000 fingerprints of people who signed as dead people. Bring out their names, send them to prison, I wouldn’t be surprised if 99990 are jorgito’s tropas.

  4. Well, chavismo is trying its damn best to take all the peaceful solutions, while gunning down hungry people by dozens, and soon it’ll be by hundreds, way sooner before the elections, making the claps useless.

    In the event that the claps were used to undermine the recall, well, the backlass’ll be even worse for chavismo, having to endure someone as Aristóbulo, Diosdado o Arreaza would make people even more furious and more prone to violent riots, which chavismo would be obligated to hide because they know they won’t achieve anything to demobilize people by blaming the MUD for said riots.

    In a way, a lot of people suspected and even anticipated that chavismo would go down like this, beaten down to a pulp by an enraged population, what surprises and dissapoints me is the fact that it took so long for people to finally lash out against these criminals. But for that one, chavistas should thank their so-called nemesis George W. Bush, because if it wasn’t for his invasion on Irak, oil prices wouldn’t have gone so over-the-roof like they did, and all this crisis would have struck Venezuela like ten years earlier.

    And, if you think the majority of the population will quietly swallow the clap-drink, think again, even more than the blackmail, what the people resents the most is the open mockery, which is what a lot of the clap-driving folks are doing, such as spatting in people’s faces that “the claps are merely political, the food bags are only political” or my favorites, patented by resident imbeciles Erika Farías and Aristóbulo: “the claps aren’t for squalids” and “the claps are a political instrument so we don’t get ousted”. The only thing I can say about this is, and the same I said to the clap people: “I wouldn’t like to be part of the clap, nor I would like to be living near the distribution center, nor I would even like to have a relative working in the clap, people is starving, and chavismo is mocking that while hitting them in the face, just don’t cry when all of this comes back to them.”

    • Porque eso les daría la excusa histórica para montar un movimiento terrorista que masacre al pueblo durante los siguientes 30 años después que dejen de ser gobierno.

      Los aberrados narcoterroristaspedófilos de las farc ponen como excusa que mataron al fulano Gaitán, y que eso es excusa para haber mutilado, secuestrado, abusado y masacrado miles de personas durante todo el tiempo que lo han hecho, al punto de que se acercan finalmente a ser gobierno en Colombia.

      • Los chavistas no necesitan excusas para ser plaga. Nunca las necesitaron.

        Leoni y Betancourt supieron lidiar con la lacra guerrillera a tiempo y como debe ser: Con plomo.

  5. This whole process is a farce. EVERYONE knows that the Opposition met the 1% threshold many times over. Everyone knew it after the first day of signature collection. Not only does the Opposition know it, but the government knows it. Moreover, the Opposition knows that the Government knows it, and the Government knows that the Opposition knows that the Government knows it, etc. etc., ad nauseum.

    Furthermore, other governments of Latin America know and the international press knows. There is NO ONE in the world who pays more than just cursory attention to Venezuela who does not know it. Moreover, EVERYONE knows that if the RR is voted upon with even a semblance of fairness, Maduro will lose by a very large margin.

    What we are seeing now is just plain willful ignorance. When the whole thing explodes, a whole bunch of supposedly responsible people inside and outside of Venezuela will wring their hands and proclaim, “I had no idea…” Personally, I will not be inclined to give anyone claiming this even one iota of slack. To “not know” at this point is CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE.

    • The process could be a giant fraud. Since so many signatures were not aknowledged, the MUD must be wondering who’s signatures are still valid in order to mobilize these people to the CNE’s regional centers for validation. The CNE could not disclose the names, arguing that the database is secret. The MUD would then have to search for the valid signatures among the 200.000 forms, checking with every person whether his signature has been aknowledged as valid or not be entering his cedula number in the CNE’ web page. This can be done only be the signees themselves. Maybe there are many more invalidated signatures in the database than officially stated, nobody can really tell without checking all the names and tallying them. We have only the CNE’s word for it and I don’t trust them.

      It will be very hard to find enough people in ten days and to mobilize them to the centers in five days afterwards.

  6. If my calculations are correct, each validation center would need to process more than 30 people each minute to accomodate the 1.3 million that were accepted by the CNE.

    These criminals will continue to do everything in their power to undermine the will of the people. It’s going to take constant pressure, in the form of Venezuelans in the streets and international condemation, for any chance to get them out.

  7. I’ve said it before and will say it again – these people will NOT leave democratically.

    This whole process is a giant farce that will not be finished in 2016.
    Everyone who signed will be bullied, fired or threatened to withdraw there signature.
    All they need is one state to be under 1% and the whole process is void.
    They’ll also have 1 month to play games after the confirmation process has finished with no one able to police them.

    The latest is that Maduro this afternoon threatened legal action against the organizers of the referendum for allowing 600,000 false signatures.
    He said “Falsifying a signature is like falsifying a cheque”

    Jorge Rodriguez says that on Monday he will go to the Supreme Court to annul the referendum.

    One of the directors of the CNE stated that there is no way the referendum can be held this year.

    This is just today.

  8. A possible “optimistic” scenario: After making the Oppo jump through Byzantine hoops, and ONLY because of international pressure, the RR is authorized by the Regime, but, of course, only for next year, “since there isn’t time for this year”. Meanwhile, as Ven. oil doesn’t move above $40, and the Pueblo situation becomes increasingly untenable, a military coup, perhaps not the first one, finally topples the Govt. Immediately the OEA applies the “Carta Democratica” to Venezuela, as a real Civico-Militar junta calls for really secret elections, with: no fingerprint machines/CNE web page identifying voters/new REP eliminating 30-40% of those now registered who don’t bother to officially register (the vast majority of Barrio youth). A CaPoldo Govt. is elected, and Maduro, with a straw hat with little straw bird on the brim, jets around a la Mel Zelaya, but in a Cubana De Aviacion airplane financed by U. S. tourist $, to pana paises Nicaragua/Ecuador/Bolivia, et. al., fomenting Communist subversion. While on the ground, DD is his bus driver, promoting his narco contacts. Meanwhile, Venezuela is assaulted daily by Chavista/Communist subversives, which the new democratic government tries to deal with in a just human rights manner through an always-corrupt Venezuelan judicial system….

  9. At this point it is all lip service. The referendum will run into unforseen technical issues, or a few states will be found to fall short of the required 1% and MUD will have to start over. Even the idea that the referendum has a chance is a howler when Maduro and many others say it will never happen. I take the man at face value. Tibisy’s rap is all charades. Why would a rogue government with a stranglehold on power ever allow itself to be voted out? Not seeing this at all…


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