For Tuesday, June 27, 2016. Translated by Javier Liendo.
Nicolás honored journalists in their day with a cadena. The staged audience consisted of communicators loyal to the government’s cause. They’re committed not to freedom of speech or information, but to “la patria.” That might be why he announced the creation of the Misión Robinson, digital version.
The People’s Congress -communicators chapter- will focus on the defense of truth and journalistic ethics from chavismo’s perspective, which includes: worshipping el finado, supporting official propaganda -presenting achievement figures (verifiable or not) and systematically denying any problems-, supposedly to fight off the “global media war” against Venezuela, which Nicolás claims is both psychological and political.
According to him, there’s no way to defeat capitalism if there isn’t a powerful alternative media force to “apply the truth vaccine (…) exposing the adeco-burguesa mafia.” Nicolas has absolute faith that we’ll overcome “all of the economic war’s attacks” during this second half of the year. He also said that Francisco Márquez and Gabriel San Miguel, the members of Voluntad Popular who were illegally detained and imprisoned last week, were ratting on other people: “They’re singing better than Pavarotti,” he said, demonstrating his idea of respect and understanding.
From the 1% to the 20%
Jorge Rodríguez admitted that the Democratic Unity Roundtable exceeded the 1% validated signatures required by the National Electoral Council, although his entire speech was focused on demonstrating that they validated less signatures than they’d announced, and that this gap between announced and validated signatures is proof of “the right’s worst fraud.”
For a former head of the CNE, he isn’t particularly good with statistics. Every new figure presented to support his argument was worse than the last, from the approximate time to authenticate each fingerprint (35 seconds) to the amount of machines necessary to fulfill the goal (just 30). In his own words: “No, I won’t be a part of that fraud,” that’s what he claims people who didn’t validate their signatures said, which in his view, leaves the MUD with no ethical, political, civilian, administrative or penal authority to request a recall referendum.
But if the CNE were to allow the MUD to go on with the process, Rodríguez will demand the collection of the 20% voter signatures to be performed in just one day, because Nicolás was elected in one day. Never mind that the law establishes three continuous days. He announced the creation of the “Committee of People Cheated by Capriles” in each of the country’s states to sue the MUD and the Governor; he asked a hundred times “How are they going to collect four million signatures?” and he’ll also demand for the signature exclusion period to be a constant feature of the process, until every “cheated” Venezuelan is vindicated. While he tries to discredit Capriles and the MUD’s legitimacy and creates conflict, he’s supposedly the government’s official spokesman for dialogue.
20 work days
CNE rectora Tania D’Amelio said on Twitter that the revision of validated signatures will take place over the next 20 work days, adding that if the revision reveals that the 1% was indeed validated, they will issue an official report to the Committee of Political Participation and Financing (COPAFI), so it can in turn issue a certificate for the MUD: “Once the respective certificate is issued, the first phase of the process to authorize the MUD coalition to promote the request for a Recall Referendum will end.”
Journalist Eugenio Martínez cautions that the definitive fingerprint revision (comparing captahuellas with CNE’s biometric records), which started today, includes that, in case the records don’t match with the database, the fingerprints will be manually analyzed by a team of hired experts. The data is centered on biometric reports from the latest elections, with the probability that approximately 11% of voters won’t be identified by biometric revision equipment, and that’s when the experts will start working.
On the path to the 20%
Henrique Capriles demanded this Monday for CNE authorities to give a straight answer about the signature validation process. He said that the MUD is preparing to collect the 20% signatures to activate the recall referendum. Capriles demands the CNE to “discount the days they used up in the previous phase, violating the absurd rules they themselves imposed.” AN member Freddy Guevara says that the referendum should be taking place between September and October this year, confirming that the MUD is preparing for the new signature collection phase: “The good thing about this process is that the obstacles they set for us (…) enabled us to identify their traps and prepare to overcome them more effectively.”
Turn down for what!
The controversial return of National Assembly Speaker Henry Ramos Allup to the country has kept social networks active with his talents. In Maiquetía International Airport, he was subjected to detentions and revisions by National Guard officers and Seniat officials. His response, which included insults such as “cabrones, jalabolas, cagones,” enraged several government spokesmen, including Néstor Reverol, Commander of the National Guard.
Ramos Allup said in an interview that he won’t remain silent in view of abuses and violations of the Constitution, because the legitimately elected civilian power can’t flinch at the military’s weapons: “When we’re the government, they’ll have to return to the barracks without delay, and fulfill their specific constitutional duties.”
He said that the opposition won’t go to further UNASUR mediation meetings in the Dominican Republic, because they’ve lost credibility and “the conditions for dialogue, if it ever happens, will be set by the opposition.” He clarified that the presentation and discussion of Almagro’s report was more important than his own participation in the OAS’s meeting, which he considered a total success for Venezuela. He added that the opposition will propose future negotiations with the government to take place in the OAS’s headquarters.
For a change, Nicolás issued a decree to extend the strange work schedule for the public sector (from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.) until July 8th. Our everyday depreciation: the Simadi exchange rate closed at Bs. 618.14 per dollar, up Bs. 2.67 this Monday.Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.