With 95% of ballots counted, the university rectors that served as guarantors of the popular consultation, announced that 7,186,170 Venezuelans participated in the activity, and that 683,789 of them did it abroad. That’s a lot of people.

If you want to get the measure of it, use these figures: there were 14,515 polling stations and over 40,000 electoral tables for the Parliamentary elections on December 6th, 2015, compared to 2,023 stations and 14,000 tables available for this process.

Back in 1999, el finado managed to get 3,516,558 Venezuelans to support his own Constituyente, whereas yesterday, over twice that many people rejected Nicolás’ version.

We made it in a little more than two weeks, without propaganda or media, under constant threat, supported mainly on volunteers and 5% of ballots were still being counted by 1:00 a.m. today, which means that if we reconquer our right to universal, direct and secret elections, we’ll win by a landslide!

From today on

National Assembly Speaker Julio Borges said that “Nicolás Maduro’s mandate has been revoked,” adding that the government prevented the recall referendum in 2016 from happening precisely because they feared a result like this one.

“Roberto Picón is MUD’s electoral coordinator and he’s not with us today because he’s a SEBIN detainee,” said Borges, thanking him for his role, as well as regretting the murder of nurse Xiomara Scott in Catia.

He announced a solemn event in which the actions for the coming days will be announced:

“We’ve been given a clear mandate by 7,186,170 people.”

International observers

Former Colombian president Andrés Pastrana said yesterday:

“I’ve never seen anything like what happened today (…) there’s a mandate for the National Assembly and that same National Assembly must decide how to best exercise that mandate that Venezuelans are giving them today.”

He remarked that democracy emerged victorious yesterday and that he and the rest of the former presidents that attended the process as observers, will do everything in their power to inform the international community of these results.

Former Costa Rican president Laura Chinchilla demanded all governments in the region to support yesterday’s democratic exercise.

“The Venezuelan people has spoken, despite repression, media boycott and threats. Honorable presidents: there’s no place for indifference, we must acknowledge the legitimacy of this popular consultation.”

Former Costa Rican president Miguel Ángel Rodríguez described the process as an extraordinary demonstration of democracy:

“Venezuelans have shown that democracy will win and the world has also won with Venezuela’s demonstration.”

For former Bolivian president Jorge Quiroga, a Constituyente that’s being abusively imposed without consulting the people, can’t be considered democratic, so he called for the government to halt the Constituyente; approve humanitarian aid and respect the Parliament, demanding the national community not to be the accomplices of thugs.

Early statements

Canada’s Foreign minister Chrystia Freeland said:

“Canada congratulates the people of Venezuela for exercising their democratic rights today (…) While this public consultation was unofficial, the millions who had the courage to participate, in spite of cowardly violence and censorship, sent a clear signal to the government of Venezuela: Venezuelans rightfully want to hold onto the fundamental rights enshrined in their 1999 Constitution.”

Canada urges the Venezuelan government to suspend the Constituyente and open negotiations with the opposition to restore constitutional order, as well as restating their demand that all political prisoners be released and the publication of an electoral timetable. Freeland added: “Only by respecting the sovereignty of the people can Venezuela protect the rights of its citizens, preserve social order and resolve the ongoing crisis.”

Mexico’s government also issued a statement:

“The government of Mexico acknowledges the considerable level of participation in the popular consultation called for today by the National Assembly of Venezuela both within the country and various cities in the world. It also regrets and condemns the violent incidents reported yesterday. Mexico expects that the popular consultation’s results, which are a demonstration of the Venezuelan people’s wishes, will be heard and duly taken into account by both parties in the search of a negotiated solution that allows for the restitution of democratic order in Venezuela as soon as possible.”

Persona non grata

Former Mexican president Vicente Fox was the first to leave the country, after visiting several polling stations in which he publicly supported the democratic exercise and condemned Nicolás’ dictatorship. Delcy’s heir Samuel Moncada wrote on his Twitter account:

“As the Foreign minister of the Republic I hereby declare Mr. Vicente Fox as persona non grata.”

Moncada argued that Fox took advantage of Venezuelan hospitality “by offending our county,” that he came to Venezuela to promote violence and the intervention of foreign powers, that he wanted to provoke the authorities to set up a media circus and that “as a prophylactic measure of protection (…) he won’t be able to return to Venezuela again.”

While they’re still in power, that is.

For some reason, although Tibisay Lucena claimed participation in their simulacrum was solid, she didn’t provide any figures.

This is an epic accomplishment and it demands the recognition to the will, generosity and hard work of the people who made it possible.

In a rather short period of time, we were able to demonstrate organization, unity and courage; we were able to reiterate our democratic will with an astonishing participation for an event this particular, restricted and threatened.

I’m telling you:

We’re a society that can organize independently from the State and against it, in a legitimate expression of sovereign will against a minority that seeks to hold on to power through guns. We want to change the government, save the Republic and restore the nation. We’re citizens. We’re the majority and we’ve demonstrated it.

We choose hope.

32 COMMENTS

  1. A feeling of pride to be Venezuelan permeated the crowd voting in Washington, DC. A great display of integrity in voting. No police or military presence needed.

  2. I see no room for complacency with this result. While there are numerous reasons and/or excuses which can be put forward for the level of participation, the fact remains that the number of people who were actually willing to vote against the regime is a depressingly small minority of the total number of voters on the electoral register. The total yes votes are something less than the total participation – representing how much? Perhaps a bit over one-third of the electorate? No matter how much this is spun as a success by the opposition, this leaves the regime the ability to argue that the majority of people in Venezuela do not support the MUD’s position, and I am sure that they will do so. At a minimum, the vote should have exceeded Maduro’s claimed votes in the last presidential election. Ideally, it should have produced an eight-figure result which would have indicated a clear majority of registered voters however it was interpreted.

    It did neither.
    Apparently a large number of Venezuelans are happy to be on their knees rather than their feet.

    • Read again the first paragraph:

      “We made it in a little more than two weeks, without propaganda or media, under constant threat, supported mainly on volunteers…”

      There was much more people voting than expected.

      • None of that matters. Everybody knew this event was taking place and just didn’t give a damn. The fact remains that most people decided to stay home. The fact remains that most people can’t be bothered to move their asses even one inch in order to make things change in the country. People seem rather happy eating from the garbage.

        I’m depressed.

    • Everybody would have liked bigger numbers. I just cant blame people that, for example, had to watch what happened in Catia and worry if it would be the same for them. 7 million is a good number under that kind of pressure. Not the best number, but again, I didnt have to risk my life to have my finger painted blue.

    • There are 30 million people in Venezuela, and that includes the diaspora.

      How is almost 8 million votes cast 1/3rd the electorate?

      Or have you forgotten those little things called “kids” who can’t vote?

      Do your math again.

      • Ira,
        The official number of registered voters is 19.5 million people, almost certainly an overestimate of people really eligible to vote, but the electoral register was partially audited – and accepted – by the opposition in 2012 and 2013 presidential elections.
        My comment “a little over one-third of the electorate?” was written when the official announcement was for a participation of less than 7.2 million – implying a yes vote of something a bit less than that. This yields a yes vote of around 36% – a little over one third of the electorate.
        The more recent update gives a yes vote of just over 7.5 million, of which 6.8 million were in country and 0.7 million from outside – part of the diaspora. Any way you slice and dice this, it is difficult to prove unequivocally even a simple majority.

  3. Yes Kribaez, so true. The one thing I did not like about the results is that it did not hit 11 million. This gives Maduro some wiggle room. I know people who did not vote and that is because they are lazy people who would be good communists whether they know it or not.

  4. I really think this was a great day and a very nice result, taking into account everything you say about short time and adverse conditions, but how can Julio Borges say

    “Cuando Nicolás Maduro supuestamente ganó las elecciones, que sabemos que no las ganó, votó menos gente que la que votó hoy. Eso significa que con los votos que hoy manifestó el pueblo venezolano matemáticamente Nicolás Maduro está revocado el día de hoy.”?

    Wiki says he got 7.505.338. Capriles 7.270.403. Is Borges lying or is 7.186.170 more than 7.505.338? Or are they hoping the last 5% of actas gives more than 319.168?

    • It was a pretty silly comment, but I think that the argument is that there were several hundred thousand votes added to Maduro’s tally in the presidential election by filling in “unused” absentee votes – mostly in the late afternoon. The argument is based on statistics rather than mathematics. In a number of voting centres which had multiple tables, if names are randomly assigned to tables, then one would expect the ratios of votes (Maduro to Capriles) at each table to be approximately the samel. The variation should conform to a statistical model. At a number of voting centres, the ratios were way out of kilter between the tables. I looked at all of the voting centres which produced statistical likelihoods of less than 0.001 – one chance in a thousand. There were over 30 of them when, if the system had been operating in an unbiased way, we would have expected to see no more than 8. The probability of this occurring without fraudulent voting addition is microscopically small, and so I would say that fraudulent voting in that election was effectively proven.
      However, the CNE refused to allow any auditing of the voter registers, as you will recall, so what Jorge is asserting was never directly confirmed and the exact number of fraudulent votes is in any event still a matter for conjecture.

  5. kribaez ,
    7 million people defied the threats of violence, retribution, postponed searching for food or medicine for their families and waited for hours in the heat to make their wishes known. If this had been a true free democratic process without any worries of revenge or violence, the result would have been over 10 million.
    The MUD and the AN need to immediately appoint a transitional government.
    The countries that support a free Venezuela need to immediately recognize the new government and move for the transitional government to seat a delegate in the UN.
    This will absolutely freeze the regimes ability to borrow any money or to sell any more of Venezuela’s assets.
    If necessary this government should request assistance from outside nations if the military chooses to defend the regime rather than the people.
    I hope a national strike is in the near future.
    Shut ’em down and push ’em out.

    • In deed, the Chavistas strongholds came out to vote against Chavismo, and some, in Catia, paid with their lives. The opposition has to go all the way now because these people are very vulnerable to government payback.

      This doubled down the stakes for so many people against a criminal state supported by las fuerzas armadas CHAVISTAS (make no mistake of that).

  6. 19million – 7million = 12million. In other words, irrespective of timescales and media coverage, the majority of those eligible to vote do not actively see the need for change in direction. I suspect there will be “something” of an Opposition driven political nature before the end of July – failure being the likely outcome. That being the case Civil war/bloodshed of some sort first week in August.

      • The arithmetic looks correct even if you find it distasteful. The more important question is how it looks from an external perspective. If you were a politician contemplating a hardline against the Venezuelan narcoregime, and you had been told that 70 to 90% of the populace were desperate to see Maduro replaced and the ACN dismantled, then what would you make of those numbers?

        • The arithmetic is misleading with that kind of interpretation. As usual there is peril in applying numbers without context. Since both situations are hardly comparable you use statistics to account for the difference in voting conditions.

          You are basically arguing that your neighbor had a better return because he invested 100.000 and got $1.100 out of it, while you invested 20.000 and got “only” $1.000.

          • Still you can’t say that the majority of the population rejects the ANC… And the investment has nothing to do with that fact

  7. 14% of the polling stations and 35% of the tables available as compared to December of 2015 and you guys are going to bitch about turnout? What do you guys think, the average Venezuelan should just jump in his car and drive to the nearest polling station? The average Venezuelan doesn’t own a fuckin’ car and if he did, it’d likely be undriveable for lack of spare parts and tires.
    Taxi? There are far fewer of them today for the same reasons and those that are on the road are costly and very selective about where they drive and who gets picked up. Walk the 20 blocks to the nearest polling station? Sure, though you’ll likely lose your belongings and possibly your life in a mugging.

    With two weeks notice, zero money from the government, the threat of loss of food or job, I said I’d be pleased with 5 million voting. Today I’m more pleased than I can express. Yeah, there’s a lot more work to do, but the international community is now on board like never before, and a major shot has been fired across chavismo’s bow.

  8. In the condition Venezuela is at, it would be expected that a majority of the people would vote in a plebiscite or recall referendum. However, is the universe of voters actually 19 million as it has been mentioned? How many of those are Cubans, Nicaraguans, Bolivians, Dead/Zombies, duplicate, triplicate and on and on, voters crafted by the regime to perpetuate itself in power?

    Fact is, nobody – except the regime- has an accurate idea of the actual number voters. We can not take the word from the CNE and I would not be surprised if it is considerably lower (with a filtered REP).

    Masburro, after all the unfair advantages and tricks, still did not get 7.6 million votes as was claimed when he was named president – surely he was not elected by the People!. We have been fed that fantasy (and in a misguided move,Capriles accepted the results. It would have been better to have started this conflict much earlier, but that is water under the bridge. This is where we are at right now.,

    Close to 7.5 million turnout (100% of votes) with NO help, only from volunteers, in record time, is actually a hard as steel vote that would be present against wind and tides, a bare base from which we can only look UP. Kudos and deep thanks to all patriots that participated. You are the better Venezuela rising from the ashes.

    With no voting restrictions to the People t(more than 3 million public employees, active military and basically lack of voting infrastructure) the vote would have easily surpassed the inflated 7.6 million Masburro “winning number”, recalling his regime. The puppet masters should be – are – aware of the truth.

    AN: When can we have the names of the new TSJ members? When are you taking the oaths of Amazonas State representatives? Let’s remember that we are on the offensive, on overtime, on third down, A field goal wont do.

  9. I’m sorry but I just don’t see how the number revealed last night is a majority… 7.2-7.5 million is a little less than 40% or REP and if you consider that there was a larger base in this vote you have an even lower percentage. I can see the government argument that “less than 40% of the people reject the constituyente but more people support it” and I can see the result of next Sunday being a higher number…

    • Look at MRubio post. 14% of the # of polling stations in 2015 and the number of votes is more or less the same that the MUD got then.

      For such an uneven playing field that looks more like a vertical wall, it is a very good showing. Yes, it lacks the soundbite qualities of, say, 10 millions, 15 millions. But if we are going to think in soundbites we are done.

      The thing is not what lies are Maduro and company going to say and how they will seek to diminish and make this irrelevant. The thing is how many of the ones supporting him have seen how untenable is that position. Many will keep wanting to buy the lies, but lets hope many got another healthy dose of reality.

    • Yogi

      That would be nonsense and willful propaganda, which the regime obviously is not above but wouldn’t fool any one who had even minimal knowledge of the situation in Venezuela. There were only 14% of the polling stations and 35% of the tables available as compared to December of 2015, and there was no support at all from the state to set up these elections, in fact the state did much to put obstacles in place to make voting more difficult. They scheduled their sham “test run” for this same day, taking up usual voting centers. Consultation voters faced very real threats of violence form the state and its sponsored criminal gangs (see at least 5 people killed yesterday for daring to go vote). The state also shut down some public transportation to make it extra difficult for people to vote.
      The election was run entirely by volunteers and organized in just a few weeks

      Under those circumstances, any reasonable person would realize that this turnout is a massive demonstration of contempt for the dictatorship and its ANC.

      Since their last drubbing, the regime has failed to hold elections as mandated by the Constitutions as they know they will get crushed again. The opposition would love an free, fair and open election, but the regime will not risk it.

      • Additionally, public employees were threatened with loss of job, pensioners were threatened with loss of pension, and in many places access to CLAP was threatened as well. And people still voted.

  10. I see a big need for Prozac in Venezuela to combat manic-depressive tendencies. The “studied manic-depressive syndrome” SMDS is the worst, because people affected by it actually study to find reasons to be depressed, rejecting any positive outcomes as either serious errors, or as false and misleading evidence.

    Eli Lilly’s patent expired, but there must be a good investment in generic manufacturers. The demand in Venezuela can only go higher as the economy improves, because the SMDS people will have more time to study, and more money to find reasons to be depressed about, such as suicide rates among the wealthier segments of the population.

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