María Corina Machado said on Thursday that the popular consultation scheduled for Sunday, July 16th, will have 598 polling stations across 536 cities in 82 countries, besides 2,030 stations in Venezuela – including the Esequibo – with over 12,304 tables.

The organization Democratic Initiative of Spain and the Americas (IDEA) announced that former Latin American presidents Laura Chinchilla and Miguel Ángel Rodríguez, from Costa Rica; Vicente Fox, from Mexico; Andrés Pastrana, from Colombia and Jorge Quiroga, from Bolivia, will come to Venezuela to lend their support for the election.

Censorship

Conatel banned the use of the expression “popular consultation.” They forbade journalists and media outlets to promote participation for July 16th and also to broadcast the campaign sent by the MUD.

They just needed to prevent the media to cover (and report on) the popular consultation on Sunday, to break their own records on free speech violations.

Journalist Lisbeth de Cambra, member of CNP Caracas, reported on her Twitter account that she spoke with Enrique Quintana, head of Conatel, and he denied the censorship, while claiming that Conatel’s merely demanding for “unrestricted impartiality (…) unbiased reporting on this Sunday’s events.”

It’s evident that you need to be a compulsive liar in order to be regime official.

Conatel has no authority to demand impartiality. Period.

What Tarek should be doing

Although he made a show out of the results of the graphotechnical test on the Moral Republican Council’s records, Tarek William Saab should use his time to process complaints such as that of Cecodap saying that an under age, Isabel Rodríguez, student at Colegio Loyola, was illegally arrested in a neighborhood called Los Mangos, in Puerto Ordaz. They’re keeping her in Detachment 625, Ferrominera.

Or perhaps he could find out where they’re holding leader Carlos Graffe, the new victim of harassment against Voluntad Popular. According to PoliCarabobo, he was arrested “with C4 explosives, a detonating cord and fireworks with nails taped around them,” which matches the pattern used against Yon Goicoechea, councilman José Vicente García and lawmaker Gilber Caro.

It’s worth mentioning that none of them was indicted by the Prosecutor’s Office, but they’re in prison anyway.

In contrast with Graffe

Oscar Pérez, the helicopter pilot who fired against the TSJ, attended Thurday’s night march, despite the widespread manhunt Interior Minister Néstor Reverol claimed there was for him, including efforts with Interpol (although they don’t list Pérez in their website). From Plaza Altamira, the pilot proposed a radical road blockade starting on July 18th, to mark la hora cero.

So the most wanted man in the country can pop up in the middle of a street protest and issue statements smoothly, while security forces arrest a civilian after a medical appointment, “with explosives on him”.

Two questions are in order:

  • Do you know of any soldier accused with the crime of stealing military equipment that the State has been using so much as a crime against civilians during protests?
  • Can the State keep prosecuting civilians for this crime while not a single soldier has been held accountable so far for these alleged robberies?

A door, a call

Despite her dubious career, Katherine Haringhton shows severe self-esteem issues. Supported by the Venezuelan embassy in Argentina, she showed up at the General Extraordinary Assembly of the Ibero American Association of Public Prosecutors and, as expected, she was denied entry.

On the contrary, Luisa Ortega Díaz was able to participate via phone call:

“They’re not going against me, but against the institution. If this goes on, it will set a serious precedent.”

The Prossecutor General took the chance to denounce all the attacks against prosecutors and herself, the assault on the Prosecutor’s Office’s authority and the TSJ’s rulings against her.

The Prosecutors signed a resolution supporting Luisa Ortega Díaz’s work and condemning any harassment, threat or intimidation.

The barbarians

“You’re unworthy, prosecutor Luisa Ortega, you don’t deserve to use Chávez’s name, you’re not chavista or anything else, carajo!”

Those were vice-president Tareck El Aissami’s shouts, claiming that when the Constituent Assembly’s finally installed, the Prosecutor General will have to leave the Prosecutor’s Office because “she’s a turncloak and a traitor.” He demanded military justice for anyone who opposes the imposed Constituyente:

“Anyone to commits a crime within the security area will spend between five and ten years in prison.”

His words proved that due process is and will be irrelevant.

But don’t worry, then he asked the people for support, in exchange for food:

“We knocked on your door and didn’t let you die with the CLAP, now it’s you who can’t let the revolution down.”

Add this to former minister Ricardo Molina’s threats against pensioners:

“If you don’t vote, you’re risking your pension.”

And then against carnet la patria holders.

Preciuous people.

Backtracking

There’s no better propaganda than Nicolás himself. If you harbored any doubts regarding Sunday’s election, you just need to listen to him for a while and they’ll vanish. The most relevant element of his speech yesterday, was the announcement that Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics are back in high school curriculums as separate subjects, claiming that it was a mistake “to have put them all in the same package and that mistake must be deeply corrected.”

My love to former minister Rodulfo Pérez. Idiot.

Abroad

Peru’s Prosecutor’s Office issued an 18 months of preventive detention against former president Ollanta Humala and his wife, Nadine Heredia, for money laundering. A detail: the funds that Humala received from Venezuela to finance his campaign back in 2011, are part of the evidence that Peruvian justice has against him.

Ecuador’s National Assembly approved a Resolution of Solidarity with Venezuela’s Parliament with 116 votes in favor.

The International Socialist Congress condemned the breakdown of democracy in Venezuela and demanded Nicolás to cancel his proposal for a Constituyente.

Yesterday, Colombia’s government regretted the death of one of their citizens in the border with Venezuela and expressed their condemnation “for the excessive use of force by security bodies,” demanding authorities to immediately open investigations to clear the events and to apply the appropriate punishment.

Brazil on Wednesday, Peru yesterday. Nobody’s above the law. Neither censors nor dictators. No hijacking lasts forever.

We go on.

24 COMMENTS

  1. I am all for the popular consultation on Sunday and I do think the AN is doing the right thing, as it is the only legitimate authority in the country. However I’ve seen politicians throwing around seemingly wild predictions about how many people are going to vote, I’ve been hearing numbers from 10 to 14 millions, which seems highly unlikely. It just doesn’t seem possible for the MUD to mobilise that amount of people in such manner. Considering the 12k tables at polling stations taking 1.5 votes per minute (at 40s per ballot casted) it’d take at least 10 hours of people constantly and uninterruptedly voting to reach those figures.

    Was it a blunder by those politicians to make such claims, or do they have substantiated evidence for them?
    It is also really likely that my numbers are completely wrong, because I have little idea of mathematics, anyways I’d like to know what others think about this.

    • 12,000,000 at 12,000 tables = 1,000 per table
      8 hours x 60 minutes/hr = 480 minutes (call it 500 minutes for ease in doing the math)
      one vote every 30 seconds.

      What they didn’t say is how many officials at each table. It isn’t like you add time to walk in + time at the table + time in the voting booth + time to drop the ballot into the box + time to dip your finger + time to feel good and walk out, to get the time it takes to process each voter; the process is sequential past each step. A conveyor belt may have twenty different stages or operations for each unit, and it may take each unit five minutes to travel the entire length of the belt, but the time per unit is measured as the time it takes to pass any given point on that belt. To you, voting may be three to five minutes total from the time you walk in to the time you walk out, depending on the ballot choices, but to the “table” or the “process flow”, it is five to ten seconds, and the next is up – especially since checking three answers is something most people can do in three seconds flat.

      • Thanks for the list. There are a lot of photos on the net this morning, from Spain, Australia, NYC and points around Venezuela. Everything calm and peaceful. Nineteen places in Canada, all across the nation. There’s even a place open in Anchorage, Alaska. And one in Entebbe, Uganda.

      • “Como disfrutar de las colas sabrosas aunque no viva en Venezuela!” (Sorry, but the lines look like everyone wanted to make sure they were the first to vote … lots of experience I guess!)

  2. I think 5 million would be a tremendous turnout and dwarf the vote on 30 July even though chavisimo will claim 20 million.

  3. Honestly, I dont think the overall numbers of this election are as important as 1. millions of Venezuelans are out in the streets in Venezuela rejecting PSUV and their bullshit Constituyente. 2. the international community has our back.

    Furthermore, all the MMG Chavistas (that have not already jumped ship) have to see the final proof that 85% of this country hate your politicians clad in red, your politicians ran this country into the ground and we cannot suffer any longer. More than anything, 16j is not just a big middle finger to Maduro and his merry band of malandros, but is a show of force to the military that we demand them to uphold the constitution…and at the end of the day: we are more, and we know where they live.

    Honestly, I think Luisa Ortega Diaz secretly has support of the military. The real military does not want to live in barracks for the next year or two (while repressing a massive rebellion) and just want to go home in peace to their families. Enough. Let the political timetable run its course and jump in at the last minute.

  4. I am very confused about this consultation.

    Isn´t it consulting about the possibility of a referendum implying that the referendum is not ilegal in the first place? like, seriously, the Constituyente is valid enough for people to decide whether or not it goes? if the “no” options win then is cool that Maduro pulls it off?

    Wasn´t the senate`s job to replace the rectores anyways? wasn´t that their promise before they got elected?

    What the hell does “National union government” really means? are they going to unite with the chavistas and form a one party government ? What kind of guabineo thing is that?

    I find it very disconcerting that after winning a big majority of votes, the senate is asking the same people who voted for them if they want them to do whats suppose to be their job, and after 100 days of protest no less. It makes me fear greatly for the future of a Country either under a full blown dictatordship or under the rule of a bunch of half-assing bureaucrats who are just as fond of hustling their way out of their improvisations as chavismo is while the people pay the broken dishes on their behalf.

    • If you haven’t noticed, there has been a massive, MASSIVE lack of direction issue because the MUD can’t be in agreement with each other, now add the resistance folks and the dissident chavista in the mix and well, the only way that the MUD found to get all those factions in agreement with each other is the popular consult.

      Maduro is on the ropes. But, the only way to get him off Miraflores and on a place is to be able to agree in a common agenda for the during and after the fall of the regime, backed by a show of strength of the numbers of the people that are against the regime. That’s the popular consult.

      I’m in. I’m utterly sick of this.

      Now, that, as Juliococo says, “rights aren’t negotiable” and the fact that this thing is not exactly well organized aren’t secrets. But, given how the people and the international community have been all in for this, would be foolish to back out.

      • Sure i noticed, and for that very reason i repeat my opinion, specially on the part of the voters paying the broken dishes of political ineptitude , improvising and doblarse para no partirse :

        “It makes me fear greatly for the future of a Country either under a full blown dictatorship or under the rule of a bunch of half-assing bureaucrats who are just as fond of hustling their way out of their improvisations as chavismo is while the people pay the broken dishes on their behalf.”

        If after 18 years they still can´t find a way out of their own ass that is entirely on them and as citizens we cannot be blamed for our frustation.

        I can already sense the kind of government that we will have next from all those PHDs on spin doctoring that make up our country´s leadership from both sides of the incredibly absurd and inefficient political spectrum in the midst of one the worst crisis our nation has seen, we have all the reasons to be scared.

  5. There’s little doubt that 80% of the population have had enough of Maduro and his economy. The first chance for a peaceful resolution of this crisis was when the AN of 2015 was sworn in and then promptly stripped of its powers. The second was the RR of 2016 which was dragged into 2017 and then illegally snuffed out.

    Sunday’s vote will be the last chance the country has.

  6. My sense of it is the country has reached the breaking point, and few are willing to follow Maduro even deeper into the shitter. I’m with MRubiocito that Sunday’s vote is a kind of last chance for anything resembling a political process. I fear very soon if something big does not give the situation will be so dire that solutions from within the system will be almost if not entirely impossible owing to bankruptcy and public misery and frustration. Then either the army rolls in or international pressure forces Maduro out by way of embargoes, sanctions, restless creditors, etc.

    The problem is, even with Maduro out or in the Haige, there’s not much left to fix. The country will have to be completely made-over. But according to what model? And by who? That’s when things might REALLY get ugly because there’s no going back to the old Venezuela. That’s dead and gone. Forever.

    • Pride is going to keep Venezuela dead and buried. Stupid, Latin pride:

      With a change to true democracy, the aid will come. But the only way to stabilize the economy is to dump the Bolivar and switch to the dollar.

      It will never happen because it’s such a simple solution and the money has pictures of gringos on it.

      Ethnic pride over common sense!

  7. July 16th, 2017 is comparable to April 19th,1810. The most primal of all “political” manifestations, The popular judgment which sentenced Emparan – who, wisely chosed to leave – , will again be levied with greatest emphasis on Masburro, (who – as opposed to Emparan – is actively hated by most Venezuelans). The executioner (let’s face it, the army) should – and will- take notice.
    Mobilizing (via plan republica) a conflicted, horizontally fractured army, with the highest potential for immediate regime change wont be in the near future. There goes their ANC plan.
    Now, one thing that has not been clearly defined (and since we are already on the boats, sailing to our landing locations on D day), is what to do when we disembark and secure the beachhead. Shouldn’t we just keep rolling forward, not giving the regime time to regroup?.
    The actual number of the votes is not the critical aspect. What it is important is that millions will be in the street and the more, the better.

  8. Tonite on chavez TV they’re wringing their hands with concern that the opposition will set up a parallel government. Has anyone in the MUD suggested such a thing? If they are worried about it, then it would probably be a good thing to do.

    • A parallel government – meaning AN, new TSJ and MP recognized by major American countries and the EU? The AN should be working overtime to name the new magistrates and have them sworn. Hopefully, next week!
      It has been announced that the long overdue re-incorporation of the Amazonas representatives will take place next week. No respite to the regime. Don’t let them re-group. Make the pressure unbearable to the regime.

      • Very important point there FGB. These guys cannot control the narrative anymore. The opposition/resistance gots them by the balls and 16J will be HUGE!!!!

        If they dont respect 16J their exit will only be made that much worse. Then we go to general strike and the mother of all guarimbas.

        The writing is on the walls. These guys have lost. All they have now are guns, and some of those guns will turn on them if they dont change their tune soon.

  9. Foundational historical acts create their own legitimacy even if formally the normal protocol is not strictly followed , After Paris was taken by the allied forces , the communist led maquis wanted to take over the govt , De Gaulle (whom most of the allied leaders abhorred) just marched to the arc d triumphed followed by 1 million Parisians , when he got there he was the President of France ……….apparent symbolic acts sometimes have the effect of carefully articulated institutional processes……., this is what the 16 of june ‘consultation’ is about , a way of making Maduros make believe farse lose all significance……..even if it is held with the support of the ‘formal’ authorities….

    • Right on the money there BB!! “apparent symbolic acts sometimes have the effect of carefully articulated institutional process.”

      What is happening tomorrow 16J is historic. We have to make this happen. This will be the final nail in the coffin of Chavismo.

      I am expat, I cant vote, but making breakfast for kids while girlfriend votes. Then we go make a sancocho for lunch and celebrate the liberation of Venezuela with friends, family and neighbors.

      Si! Si! Si!!!!!!

  10. Found my “cédula”, that is like 12 years beyond expiration date, and went to the pooling station here in this small city in the North of Spain. I think it will be like 10-15 votes, which is about 9-14 more people than I expected – this is not a big city and is not a place from which many Spaniards emigrated to Venezuela.

    I almost forgot I had to sign and get my fingerprint done.

    I really really want to know how it is going in Venezuela. Seems so far it is going well (no violence) but not great (good numbers, not great numbers). That is much much more important that us expats.

    But hey, I’m not being threatened by colectivos or by becoming CLAP-less, so as somebody said in twitter, we owe it to go and do what others may have very good reasons to fear doing.

  11. Jesus, I think turnout will be far better than expected, it certainly is here in my tiny pueblo which usually votes chavismo.

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