Hermelinda del Carmen García Ayala lives in Ticoporo, a small town in the scorching llanos of Barinas, in a house right on the town’s pretty Plaza Bolívar, pictured above. Hermelinda votes at the Alberto Arvelo Torrealba preschool in town. Has done for years.  

A few weeks ago, she spent several sweat-soaked hours standing in line for the chance to sign a petition to recall Nicolás Maduro from the presidency.

But her signature was never counted. Worse: it ended up fattening up the dossier Jorge Rodríguez has compiled to support his call for the National Elections Council to withdraw official recognition to the opposition’s umbrella group, MUD.

Why? Because, absurdly, the government insists Hermelinda García —and 10,000 others like her— is dead.

Access to the REP would’ve been really really useful to CNE’s data entry monkeys, simply because people’s handwriting sucks and handwritten records are often ambiguous.

To get to how the government ended up declaring that the signatures of 10,000 perfectly live people were fraudulent and belonged to the dearly departed, you have to go back to a previous CNE dirty trick.

If you’re a loyal reader, you’ll recall that when CNE had to digitize the original hand-written request forms, it made a “curious” choice: it decided not to allow the data entry flunkies transcribing the forms to check the Electoral Registry if they had doubts.

This decision never made any damn sense. REP is a public registry, freely available online. Access to the REP would’ve been really really useful to CNE’s data entry monkeys, simply because people’s handwriting sucks and handwritten records are often ambiguous. 4s sometimes look like 9s and 7s like 1s.

So spare a thought for the CNE wage slave who had to process Hermelinda García’s signature to petition for Maduro’s recall.

Hermelinda GarciaMs. García plainly intended to have her president recalled from office, but what exactly is her Cédula number?

Hmmmm…you take out your magnifying glass and have a real close look:

Blow upMan, that first digit is hard to figure out…is it a 4 or a 9? Is her Cédula 9,366,492? Or 4,366,492?

Outside bizarro-CNE-rule world, that’s an easy question to settle: you can just check, by plugging both numbers into the online REP. Try it! Takes two seconds. Easy peasy. 

But that’s just the thing: CNE’s data entry exploitees couldn’t check Ms. Hermelinda’s REP entry, because their bosses decided to set their data entry task to “level: hard” for no reason at all.

Jorge Rodríguez’s claim that 10,000-dead-people-signed-for-the-recall claim is a dirty trick made possible by a previous dirty trick: an ambush set with every intention to disenfranchise 10,000 Hermelinda Garcías.

So our CNE flunkie was forced to guess the first digit of Hermelinda’s cédula number, and he guessed wrong. He transcribed it as 4,366,492 which as you can see  isn’t right at all, cuz the holder of National ID number 4,366,492 is dead.

That right there is how CNE’s designed-to-be-botched data transcription was leveraged to disenfranchise thousands of people like Hermelinda, and to question MUD’s bona fides as well.

And that, right there, is how Jorge Rodríguez’s 10,000-dead-people-signed-for-the-recall claim came to be. It’s a dirty trick piled on top of a previous dirty trick: an ambush set with every intention to disenfranchise 10,000 Hermelinda Garcías, for twisting her admirable civic spirit in standing out under the Ticoporo sun into an insane justification, part of some sociopathic Jorge Rodríguez mind-game to withdraw official recognition from MUD.

That’s how twisted these sick fucks are guys. Read all about it.

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  1. 10,000 out of how many total signatures?

    Talk about a desperate flight from reason. PSUV’s assertion doesn’t even make sense on the surface of it.

    MUD goes out and gets, what, a couple million signatures nation wide? People around the country hit the streets in droves to sign, and apparently someone in MUD says “we’d better fake an additional 10,000 just to be on the safe side,” knowing that the gvmt is in control of the validation process and would be grateful for any pretext to scuttle the whole process.


  2. No, no, no, this is the fault of all those people who can’t write a 4 different from a 9 to save their lives and of the Palmer Method.

  3. Yeah, reason and decency are such bourgeois attributes after all. They are a bother for la ‘revolucion bonita’. I could not help but thinking of Chavismo as “Hermelinda Linda” a ghastly comic book I would read in horror when I was a kid.

    It seems that the oppo is going to stack their chips on showing up on September 1st. It seems that a show of force to scare Chavismo is needed. But this is a move fraught with danger all the way. One one side you have violent colectivos and on the other you have real fear of death because of colectivos.

    And in the meantime, as Time magazine called it “Venezuela is dying”.

    Are Venezuelans going to become pliable as Cubans, Zimbabweans? Or they are ‘bravo pueblo’ after all. This is like watching an alcoholic family member.

    • This should be on the evening news all over Europe and the US.
      I wonder what Prof. George Ciccariello-Maher of Drexel Inst. in Philadelphia, thinks of this. Undoubtedly he would denounce such corrupt machine politics as this if it occurred in Philadelphia. But Chavista fan boy that he is, he would never denounce Chavismo’s doing it.

    • I would say that the “international community” is already awake. I think that everyone is aware and most of LatAm is alarmed. Colombia is downright terrified, considering that they will bear the brunt of an upcoming refugee crisis. But, what do you suggest that they all do? Short of a military intervention, for which I see no stomach, the only other option is containment, which they are already doing.

      Venezuelans are going to have to do this for themselves. The good news is that the “international community” is already standing by ready to assist when they can.

      • There must be considerable scope to ratchet up sanctions. If they can be targeted at elites, their money, and their mobility. I hope the international community is standing by ready. I hope there are concrete plans to move a hell of a lot of food and medicine, in a short space of time, with a hell of a lot of blue helmets on the ground.

        • Unfortunately, most “sanctions” would only serve to prove the Chavista narrative of “guerra economica” and would be counter-productive.

          • The situation is deteriorating badly. What the international community does not give the regime in terms of propaganda talking points, the regime is going to invent anyway, and it is not responding to more nuanced forms of pressure. I would have agreed with you a couple of months ago, but I’ve recently changed my mind.

  4. But that’s just the thing: CNE’s data entry exploitees couldn’t check Ms. Hermelinda’s REP entry, because their bosses decided to set their data entry task to “level: hard” for no reason at all.

    Actually, there was a very good reason for CNE bosses to make the data entry level task “hard:” to slow up the validation procedure, thus stretching out the recall process as much as possible. They succeeded very well.

  5. This is the part when a “Papermate” pen meets an AT286 clone made in China that is operated by a patriota cooperante that gave up his/her studies and could only found a job by pulling the strings of nepotism applied to 3rd degree cousins for low level entry jobs.

    I guess J. Rod is implying that the process is so clean and so well orchestrated that is proof of slips, lapses and violations. If that is the case they may want to check the last presidential election. Oh, nevermind…


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