Everyone knew what happened that day: as images of empty voting centers made the rounds on social media, Tibisay Lucena was busy assuring the world they were on course for a mathematically unlikely turnout of 99% mid-morning. As CNE skipped checks and audits left and right, doing away with systems meant to protect against double-voting, their intention to bulk up the voting tallies was plain. Setting up last-minute “contigency” voting centers with lax checkpoints and no oversight of voter rolls furthered suspicion about shady mobilization efforts and possible usurpation of identities.

But Christmas came early this year for a demoralized opposition frustrated by the most in-your-face fraud to have ever been perpetrated in the era of chavismo: in the form of confirmation.

First,on the night of the announcement, the usual 5-person board of the CNE was missing a member. CNE Board member friendly to the opposition, L.E. Rondón, did not show up, in protest. 

Later in the week, he said he couldn’t vouch for the results Tibisay Lucena read out on Sunday. That had never happened before.

Then, this morning, a brutal one-two: first, BBC broke the news that Smartmatic, the company that makes the actual machines used to vote in Venezuela, said turnout numbers had been bulked up by at least one million votes. We thought the Venezuelan electoral authorities were not going to like what we had to say [about the results],” a company spokesman said. Quite.

Finally Reuters’ Girish Gupta, on the basis of internal CNE documents, found that just 3,720,465 people had voted by 5.30 p.m. — meaning that unless turnout doubled in the last 90 minutes of voting (it didn’t) the figure Tibisay Lucena read out was pure fiction.

Now the people whose say-so the government always relied on to bolster their claims to credibility are openly questioning CNE’s veracity. Jennifer McCoy, the former head of observation missions to Venezuela for the Atlanta-based Carter Center, said that “although it’s possible to have a late push at the end of the day, and the Socialist Party has tried to do that in the past, to double the vote in the last hour and a half would be without precedent.”

Significantly, CNE has still not published detailed, center-by-center election results on its website, they only go down to the municipality level, which makes it impossible to check their numbers against local tallies produced by each voting machine. This, again, is a first — and makes it impossible to check the overall tally.

CNE’s credibility lies in absolute tatters now: two decades of work designed to guarantee that, if nothing else, their vote tallies are reliable have been jettisoned in a few days.

To think that the most joy the Venezuelan opposition has been treated to this week comes from CNE itself. It’s as shocking as it is priceless.

107 COMMENTS

    • With that, there will be a valid reason to stop wasting time in electorera farces from now on.

      The message is clear: There will never be fair elections for as long as chavismo remains in power.

      • Not according to HRA, Rosales, and Borges. HRA announced AD will participate in the Regional Elections no matter what the MUD says. We expect PJ, UNT, and AP will participate as well.

  1. Here comes the Carter Center, in typical diplomatic language shying away from the obvious conclusions to what they say.

    In any event, this just shows once again there is absolutely no legitimacy on any level for this regime to cling to, however tenuous and problematic. Outright massive voter fraud and outright dictatorship.

      • Weisbrot is worse. He’s literally unregistered foreign agent on active payroll. Carter Center was recipient of donations from Chavez back in the day but Jimmy knew when to cut the crap despite meeting with President (dictator) NMM in NYC to personally gift him signed copy of his bio.

        • Disagree that Carter ever cuts crap, and you do know that by saying that about Weisbrot, he will come after this website with lawyers, right? CC might as well take it down before he shows up.

          • Jimmy Carter has been mum about Venezuela and the Carter Center not involved for a long time so Yes he knew when to cut the crap. Now if you are saying Jimmy is still Jimmy, that I agree with. FYI, I was terminated by GAC after the Carter-Cisneros- Chávez meeting.

          • Katey, if you look in the mirror, my guess is you are the one that will see the back of your head. First K45 was stating his opinion (which I agree with – MW can add me to his lawsuit – lol), and second CC is an equal opportunity platform for every opinion, including trolls, shills, and actual concerned citizens for the VZ nation.

            As to google being “your friend”. funny stuff. You can read the DMCA, or the Sunday comics, and then interpret however you want.

            I think calling a spade a spade, is well protected free speech, especially in regards to a public figure as MW is.

          • It is not you, me or K45 who will have to deal with the usual Weisbrot … it will be the owners of this website. Just saying what I have seen happen before … FWIW.

          • Katey, CC is an equal opportunity insultor website, thereby complying with the law, so, please, ask Comrade Weisbrot to come express his opinion

  2. El Nacional:
    Andrés Izarra, ex ministro del fallecido Hugo Chávez, admitió este miércoles que el Consejo Nacional Electoral (CNE) manipuló las cifras de las elecciones a la asamblea nacional constituyente.

    Will Tibi be ousted and then all is ok? I think this was the final error and the end of the game.

    • The end of what game? They have just arrived! You really believe they are going to lay down arms and sail away in sunset? No joda!

    • Seems like Izarra’s wife, Ledezma’s daughter, told him to man up and to stop being such a stupid whiny enchufado.

      Because, seriously, f**k rizarrita, who openly lauyghed his ass off mocking the thousands of murders in Venezuela, and flipped the finger as his usual response to anything he heard about the regime.

    • Andres Izarra, wifebeater and U.S. arsonist who now lives in Berlin. He beat the rap because of his diplomatic inmunity but you won’t see him set foot in Georgia or U.S. soil again.

      • I always wondered how that family situation was handled, they also lived practically next door.

        A golden exile in Berlin is not too bad…(where are the funds coming from? – could it be some commision from Doppelmayr? )

        Can he be tracked down to see if he still gives the finger? he still is defiantly anti-escualido.

        • He ran MinCi and VTV then was Tourism minister. Graft and kickbacks. He’s revolutionary in his blood. Dad was in with Fidel. Andres recruited Eva Golinger btw. He’s tight with Flores-Maduro insiders like Yuri Pimentel

          • And, he also knows how to pull a cheap U.S. divorce a la Chavista–try to burn down ex-wife’s house with her and kids in it.

      • The rats are swimming away from a sinking ship…

        He is another rich kid that got smart and plugged himself with Chavez…and now he is putting distance from Maduro. I guess he got enough money or the prospects of getting money in the future dimmed down with his current masters.

        He is such a blood sucker that knowing that for a lot less H. “El Pollo” Carvajal home was raided in a show of force, he comes out with this “news”.

        There should be a vaccine for this kind of virus…

        • No Rich kid that got smart. True Red. Born and raised Red. He was always smart. Learned from his Dad, his uncle in Miami and the Cubans.

  3. We must put pressure on the Carter Center and they must strongly condemn the Dictatorship in Venezuela and demand free and fair elections that the international community will oversee.

    • Carter Center has long been irrelevant. You are confusing la Jennifer McMcoy with her former employer. Jimmy whitewashed Venezuela long time ago in his bio. Don’t expect them to revisit subject

      • LF, disagree in regards to the Carter Center. I think that pressure is a very good idea, now that this voting fraud has occurred. They should be asked to request the voting data, and when it is not forthcoming, make a declaration that it was denied. As well, to state that it mission is transparency, democracy and human rights. That the current VZ has failed and no longer has legitimacy.

        Coming from the Carter Center, whose mandate is lofty and yes overly idealistic, and I agree very damaging to VZ in the past, would be world wide news.

        Another dagger in the dictatorship now in fully delusional state.

  4. From Carter Center webpage (this was the last time Jimmy Carter was here in Venezuela, yet leftist still cite this moldy oldy 17 year old statistic):

    2000 Elections

    Venezuelan authorities postponed the 2000 mega-election, originally scheduled for May 28, because of technical problems. In June and July 2000, the Center worked with civil society organizations, recommending an auditing process for the electronic vote count and assessing efforts to address these problems. A newly appointed CNE decided to hold two elections instead of one mega-election — one on July 31 for the national, regional, and state posts and another at a later date for municipal offices.

    The Carter Center concluded that while the election irregularities would not have changed the 2000 presidential outcome, in which Hugo Chávez won with 60 percent of the vote, the significant politicization of the elections and organizational deficiencies contributed to a lack of confidence in the process and the results for positions other than president, leading the Center to characterize the July 2000 elections as flawed.

    • Yes, they last did a report on the 2013 election (or 2012?) and noted how drastically unfair it was. But their language was too diplomatic and instead of directing their requests squarely at the regime they said stuff like “Parties should work to depoliticize institutions”

      After that I think they refused to have any involvement in Venezuela as the regime wouldn’t meet any of their requirements or follow their recommendations.

      • Or, kick in big-time to the Carter Center, so that Jimmy/Cisneros/Chavez could fish in the Amazon, and talk about selling out businesses other than Venevision to the Regime party line.

  5. Izarrita has also come out to acknowledge fraud. In any other country, this would be the end for the regime. Are the armed forces willing to kill for an untenable administration?

  6. Yes, they cheated. Let’s put this behind us.
    Now, what will the opposition do? Because, I hope it is clear for everybody to see now, there will NOT be a way to get these people out of power through the electoral means. Plain and simple.

    As long as you keep thinking and advancing the idea that maybe, probably, possibly, in the event, if the stars align the government will have fair elections, this blog is a waste of time.

      • The sunflowers and daisies are being gobbled up by starving Venezuelans for food–better than yuca amarga. But, reportedly, yesterday HRA was lobbying for MUD participation in Regional elections–at least the Smartmatic news will take this/maybe him off the table.

  7. Enough is enough !!!
    Maduro has Venezuelans entertained (spinning their heads) with these stupid distractions.
    You can bet your mama that the AN now will announce an audit that would take 3 weeks, rinse and repeat while the regime makes it into 2018.
    By then, their favorite past time would be the Presidential elections.
    Guys, please stop waiting time !!!

  8. We all knew it was fraud with a capital F. That is not news, what is relevant is that the bomb fuse was lit by their own organization.

    Maybe the regime will borrow a page from Mugabe’s book and try to carry on. Me says that even with the FANB support, they have way too much dissent within their own ranks and critically -obviously- Venezuela is not in Africa (geopolitics play a role). How is the regime going to overcome that finding? What argument those geniuses at the Cuban G2 are going come up with?

    More importantly, what is it going to take to get MILLIONS on the street clamoring FRAUD? Because that is the contingency for which the Cubans are not prepared.

    Is the US waiting for the EU sanctions to hit hard and fast? I vaguely remembered a candidate promising unpredictability… this is hot potato has already landed.

    • Not sure about that. For Chavistas everything is justified in the name of their “Revolution”, so don’t judge them by democratic, constitutional standards because they don’t operate in that realm.
      This is what the Opposition still struggles with.
      They are playing Revolution (no rules, gloves off) We are playing Democracy (gloves on, with rules)
      The moment we understand this, take our gloves off and disregard (for a moment) the rules is when we will start winning.

    • FGB, great post as always!

      Dollar hits 15,000…wait 16,000…shit it is at 17,000…holly fucking shit it is at 18,000… This is what people are talking about on the street. Prices are already out of control and by the end of the month I will hate to see how high it will go.

      Kilo of rice is 17,500 and my girlfriend is shitting her pants. She is “middle class” but gracias a chavez the middle class in Venezuela has been destroyed and we all live in poverty by American standards. Just imagine the people living on sueldo minimo. This is what everybody is talking about all day long in the streets. Prices out of control. Especially the hood rats.

      We will go through the same song and dance of Maduro raising the sueldo minimo here soon. Prices go up even more. They try to crack down on businesses like they always do on their war on christmas, but this time business will fight back against SENIAT and you will see repudios de Chavistas this time at the shopping malls.

      They sealed their fate already. They are a sinking ship. The question is, as always, how long???

      I am with Duncan, we got to start playing to win rather than being played by the MUD.

      Henry Ramos Allup you are a traitor!!!!

    • Of course smartmatic needs to say that their system is infallible. But it is just the system that registers votes. It does not register if a voter was forced or being persuaded. So they can stand by the outcome of previous elections but they forget about the clap bags, threats of losing jobs etc which manipulated a lot of voters. There has always been fraud and a lot of it…

  9. From that which has been disclosed it is stated 3.7 million by 17:30 which more than likely equated to 5 million by end of play. So why say the number was manipulated by 1 million when it was more than likely 3 million at least, bearing in mind cne stated 8 million ?
    Looking at the 3.7 million those in favour probably did not exceed that figure by much. Assuming 1/4 of the results were not recordable and another 1/4 completely false probably no more than 2 million voted in favour. That being the case we end up with approximately 2, 4 or 8 million. Assuming a 19 million eligibility figure we end up with roughly 10%, 20% or 40%. Is there any significance in those percentages that give reason for manipulation, indeed the extent of manipulation ?

    • The only significant number is the 8 million required by Maduro to show more people coming out for him than came out 2 weeks prior opposing the ANC vote. That is likely the only basis for that number as well. Nothing to do with how many actually came out.

    • Rob, if you are a Chavista or Mad-urine-ista and were offered 5 clap bags, and were told to vote 20 times, I think that 250,000 stooges would do the trick. Add a un-inked thumb to the voting scales, to 8 million, just under what “the great one” received, and you have one hell of a blow-out. or should I saw blow-job?

  10. Finally a confirmed fraud. This will help to show the international community how defunct the democratic process in Venezuela actually is. But this will not result in the toppling of the regime. Democracy has been undermined for to long. Everything happening now has been planned for. For more than a decade that is. It is all Cuban style School of the Americas handbook material.

    The end goal has always been to implement a Cuban/Russian friendly totalitarian regime which has the ability to stay in power for decades. They have used every method in the book. Implement an ideology, getting rid of intellect, making sure your opponents always underestimate you, impoverish your people so anyone who does not bow to the system will leave, cause confusion, corrupt your opponents, create a huge bureaucratic maze and repeat all of this with small increments.

    And don’t get your hopes up. This has all been planned and the is a contingency plan for every outcome. Do you really think that the announcement of 8 million plus voters just happened? It sure helped to demotivate a few of us. And a few every time a is all this regime needs. Buy time, cause confusion, demotivate etc.

    A hypothetical contingency plan for this one? Some top regime officials step down, negotiation with MUD, Luisa comes to the rescue, some MUD officials get a position, Oil keeps flowing, Luisa and some MUD officials turn out to be two-faced ploys, game continues without a lot of bloodshed, totalitarian regime keeps power. Just one of the scenarios and there are a lot to choose from with the same end result.

    Real change must come from the people and there is no democratic way of doing so. It will be dirty, not only in bloodshed but also in politics. If we do not opt for dirty, nothing will change.

  11. Self absorbed Mugica wants to defend the integrity oh his baby Smartmatic. “No way did our systems cook the election without us knowing!” Because their systems have “tamper proof” technology. Well said Antonio, now go bury your face in tofu.

    What about Lord Brown? Will he have something to say? Nyet!

    Another chapter in the Smartmatic-BRV saga. “All our elections have been impeccable…”

    Another ploy to legitimize the regime and save Smatmatic’s ass

  12. This would be the lifeline Maduro needed to pull the ANC back. Something to wash his face stepping over Tibi, calling himself a democrat.
    Blaming Tibisay, putting her in “prison” for a while and using the already approved and loyal “suplentes”. They call for regional elections under this “new and clean” CNE which will have MUD’s buyout that already run our of ideas on how to keep the protest happening. Everybody will be happy and all issues will be behind.
    Yes, I know. This is my paranoiac self talking

  13. And now Ramos Allup has claimed AD will participate in any upcoming elections. Call me a “donita del Cafetal” if you like, but the only exit passes through open rebellion now.

    • Because he knows the Reds are dead at the ballot box. The musical chairs continues at home while whack-a-mole plays abroad.

      The Empire has its strategy too, it’s called “we’re gonna break your fucking back”

      • That we’re not going to participate with a CNE that not only allowed the ANC to go through, but which also removed most of the safety measures for that vote, and which released inflated results. End of.

    • Does All (used) up, even make a difference? He and the MUD leadership will be in prison by the end of the week. Correction: The opposition will be in prison. Allup and his dreamers will continue to be played as pawns for Maduros chess match.

  14. Better hope for an Amercian invasion to take out Maduro and his fellow corrupt idiots. That, or learn to speak Russian!

  15. “Better hope for an American invasion to take out Maduro and his fellow corrupt idiots.

    Not happening.

    “That, or learn to speak Russian!”

    Nope. Cuban. Easy enough.

  16. The CNE is clearly at the service of the regime but until now theyve tried not to be too blatant about it , in the past Chavez lost his attempt at changing the constitution via universal polls and barely a bit over a year ago it allowed the MUD candidates to overwhelmingly win the parliamentary vote, they fraudently acted to favour the regime but their manipulations could not change the result if the oppos advantage was too big…..this was helped of course by the existence of a set of protocoles and rules monitored by oppo reps that made the attempts at fraud more difficult ….

    In this last poll to appoint the members of the constituyente those rules and protocoles where left aside so they could more easily go for a massive alteration of the results. Even then the manipulation has been so flagrant that they cant even minimally mask the juggling of the election figure .

    If its finally confirmed that the guberrnatorial polls will be carried out whilst applying the same rules that led to a mayority oppo presence in the AN ……then there is no reason for the Oppo (with reservations) to participate in it ………, if the CNE ultimately decide to alter the results regardless of the applicable rules their actions will be even more poignantly fraudulent and the possibility of later legal action at an international level more rotund.

    • It makes no sense to engage at all with the criminal regime.
      Even if the elections were to be carried out with 100% transparency and legality and the Oppo comes winning all the seats. The regime can at any time jail any and all of the Oppo winning representatives.
      It is a freaking Dictatorship for gods sake with no need to keep appearances any more.
      I’d enjoy, in a I told you so way seeing Ramos Allup being put in house arrest with a paper crown saying “King of Fools”.
      The road to finally recover Venezuela from the hands of these subhumans is through an armed struggle unless the US decides to intervene.

  17. Every single person knew damn well that the vote was rigged.

    By not even having watchers in place and getting caught off guard, now you have nothing!!!

    I pity the innocent. MUD can go to hell.

  18. Always specify on the first paragraph the complete name of acronyms used further in text. Many may not know what CNE means.

  19. Whatever happened to the Black Swan event naysayers?
    Remember the whinging, if not little outbursts, over those who ‘dared’ question the veracity of the voting results?
    Lookin’ at you, Quico. Up front and singular. Waiting for an explanation.

    • Spent 15 years saying if CNE announced results different from what the machines had registered, it would be extravagantly obvious to everyone very quickly.

      This week CNE announced results different from what the machines had registered, and it was extravagantly obvious to everyone very quickly.

      • If that’s what you say you said over a period of 15 years, your message wasn’t clear, lost in little outbursts of “I’m right and no one else is.”

        Furthermore, Quico, do you honestly believe Smartmatic’s most recent statement, which may well soft-pedal the amount of fraud and the extent of it over time?

        If so you’re one naïve writer.

        But at least you’re now voting, performing your civic duty like an adult (even though we all know our efforts are pupú-ed by the regime), after you held back from doing so, during a number of earlier years. Hard to take you and the sanctimonious pap with any seriousness. A+ for style, far less for content/credibility. Don’t take it personally.

      • A few million more here, a few million less there, and it was never extravagantly obvious–even the 2004 Referendum inversion of the 60/40 result by the newly-introduced Smartmatic machines wasn’t obvious, since the machines began BLOCKING contrary votes at a certain level, turning them into hundreds of sequential pro-Chavez votes subsequently (the experienced independent U.S.exit poll research firm hired by the then-Oppo verified the 60/40 anti-Chavez vote, and this firm had never previously given a mistaken exit poll reading).

        • shhhhhh…. don’t tell anyone but some people actually think that by using double adjectives they can appear bright and right. Not among experienced writers, but that’s between us.

          “Extravagantly obvious”. Such nonsense!

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