Unconstitutional and imposed, the July 30th election call was a failure despite the open coercion exercised by the State against citizens who depend on social programs, and against the huge amount of public employees all over the country.

On Wednesday, Smarmatic, the providers of the hardware and software used in Venezuelan elections, questioned CNE’s results, by announcing that Sunday’s turnout information was tampered with and saying that an audit would allow people to know the exact turnout figure, estimating that the gap between the announcement and the actual figure produced by the system is “at least a million voters.”

Almost simultaneously, Reuters reported that they reviewed CNE’s internal data and discovered that only 3.7 million people had voted by 5:30 p.m. last Sunday.


National Assembly Speaker Julio Borges announced that a group of lawmakers will request the Prosecutor’s Office to open an investigation on Sunday’s election, because the statements issued by Smarmatic’s board confirm the government’s electoral fraud:

“At least a million people were fraudulently added, people who voted more than once, outside of their municipalities, while the ballot boxes weren’t even opened.”

He added that CNE’s rectoras committed the crime of lying and tampering with electoral results and that the Armed Forces are accomplices of CNE chief Tibisay Lucena’s irregularities.

From the CNE

Tibisay Lucena repudiated Smarmatic’s statements:

“It’s an unprecedented opinion from a company that merely provides a service. It’s not a private company’s job to verify electoral transparency (…) Mugica’s statements are baseless.”

She said that, despite the fact that Smarmatic is responsible for the entire design of the system used in Venezuela. And added that the company took part in every audit, but didn’t mention that Smarmatic denounced the lack of audits compared to previous electoral processes. Lucena didn’t answer the most important point of the complaint: the system produced a result and they announced another.

So far, the CNE hasn’t shown detailed results for this election.

Meanwhile, rector Luis Emilio Rondón said that given the complaints, the right thing to do would be to suspend the effects of the adjudication of candidates, perform audits to clarify the situation and publish the data for each electoral table.

Other voices

Mayor Jorge Rodríguez (ex-CNE board member) claimed that Smarmatic’s complaint is absurd, because the company has taken part in elections that chavismo lost, ignoring the most important detail: the absence of audits that had made the electoral system reliable in previous occasions.

Meanwhile, Cilia Flores promised a meager audience at an event a “nice dawn with the ANC” and Iris Varela claimed that they’re willing to “take up arms” for their cause, recommending that Parliament lawmakers to start looking for lawyers for a fair trial because the time for leniency is over. In her usual tone, she yelled:

“If they keep messing with us, we’re going after them!”

Aside from this, Venezuelan Electoral Observatory head Luis Lander said that Smarmatic’s complaint raises questions about the process and that tampering with the results is an irregularity that delegitimizes the election as a whole:

“If they wanted to do it right, they should’ve started by consulting the people on whether we wanted a Constituyente or not.”

The dictator

At a rather empty Poliedro, Nicolás changed the induction ceremony for Constituyente representatives and postponed the ANC’s installation while suggesting that “it will last a few years.”

Although the ANC is an extra-constitutional body, he imposed guidelines on how to proceed, demanding 30 years of prison for Twitter users, who should be instructed to “avoid advancing unconfirmed information like crazy” and denouncing that a coalition of nations has been created to attack Venezuela.

He asked Jorge Rodríguez to make sure the CNE performs a full final audit of the July 30th election, sending Samuel Moncada to Washington as deputy foreign minister for North America and representative before the OAS (Venezuela has been “exiting” the institution since April 26th,) and naming Jorge Arreaza as the Foreign minister, an important change in the international policy strategy: bore their enemies to sleep.

Harassment and injustice

Five of the justices newly appointed by the National Assembly have already sought asylum in the Chilean embassy. Prosecutor General Luisa Ortega Díaz complained in a conversation with OAS chief, Luis Almagro, about the constant threats against the Prosecutor’s Office and the regime’s personal threats against her. The TSJ’s Constitutional Chamber applied against Carlos García, mayor of Libertador municipality in Mérida, the same measures they used against Lechería mayor Gustavo Marcano: they declared he was in contempt, sentencing him to 15 months in prison, banning him from leaving the country and removing him from office.


Irán is the sixth nation to support Nicolás and his fraudulent ANC, while Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, announced that EU’s 28 member countries won’t back the process “as they have concerns over its effective representativeness and legitimacy,” demanding the government to take urgent measures to rectify the course of events.

U.S. vice-president Mike Pence urged all freedom lovers to “condemn Maduro’s regime” for its abuse of power, calling it a dictatorship.

Mercosur’s Foreign ministers will meet next Saturday in Brazil to make a definitive decision about Venezuela based on the Ushuaia Protocol.

Lawmaker Henry Ramos Allup said that Acción Democrática will participate in regional elections, unleashing a storm that nearly drowned Smarmatic’s complaints. This decision is inadmissible because, once again, it shows a lack of unity right when we need it the most.

All sides have reasonable arguments, from registering candidates and leaving the decision to participate for later (to avoid repeating the mistake of 2005,) to pointing out the inconsistency of accepting to participate in elections precisely when the CNE’s structure and procedures are being called into question.

There was a fraud and that should be our focus. An electoral fraud, a CNE-backed fraud that violated the controls protecting the electoral process, a fraud carried out by rectoras allied with the regime, a fraud for which we now have technical evidence and which must be demonstrated in full. Nicolás didn’t back down for anything.

Huge thanks to the Mexicans who came up with the hashtag #ArepaElTacoEstaContigo! It was beautiful!

Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.


  1. The fraud continues. More evidence regarding the 2013 elections is starting to show up: https://www.lapatilla.com/site/2017/08/03/la-sombra-del-fraude-se-extiende-a-la-eleccion-de-maduro-en-2013/

    Conclusion, we have an illegal government making a mockery of the democracy and has been doing so for years. We already knew that but it is good that the international community is starting to see how this regime is operating.

    We all know that besides the stuffing of ballot boxes other this regime has also used a lot of other tactics to fraud elections. Giving away freebies for every vote and those freebies include refrigerators and so on. Furthermore every union and state owned enterprise pressed every employee to vote for the regime. And pressing here means, vote for us or lose your job. And there is also no such thing as voting in private. The old database which has registered the vote of every person is still floating around on the interwebs.

    I think it would help if we collect all footage and documents showing this and list them in a separate post. Let’s collect the dirty laundry. Especial now we have international attention. Lets make use of the media coverage Venezuela is getting right now

    • Fraud is fraud. There is no over number, just the proof that elections in Venezuela are a fraud. In any normal system this alone would topple a regime. Again proof we are living in this dystopian dream made up by a Cuban led dictatorship.

      • Not just fraud, but blatant fraud. The number went from 2 million something to almost 4 million, then to 8 million, then to 10 million. Even if you do not discount the coercion – very real threat, as the loss of transportation licenses documents fully – the fraud is just multiplying by 2 several times, then tacking on 2 just for the fun of it. That’s the only thing transparent about it. I’m kind of waiting for the regime to announce that the actual number is 40 million since the widespread world-wide acclaim for the regime, including all drug users, is easily ten times that number, so really, it is easily 400 million votes, and that severely understates the tsunami of global applause! So now the repression can be completed and everyone everywhere will benefit, and if you count the votes in dollars – not an unreasonable thing to do – then it goes over 300 billion! Or three hundred thousand million, or whatever Chavez’ redefinition of the decimal system is.

      • “In any normal system this alone would topple a regime. ”

        In normal systems, this type of megafraud wouldn’t be possible in the first place.

  2. Naky and Javier…Thanks again. In the first paragraph about HAR, you use the word inadmissible. Is this meant to be unacceptable, unexplainable or something else? The idea conveyed from both unacceptable and unexplainable seem to be/are contradicted by the next paragraph. Can you clear this up? Thanks in advance.

    • Hey Waltz, Venezuela is going down in flames, people are staving to death from the lack of food, dying from the lack of medicines, and murdered by their own government and you frequently comment on the possible misuse of words. CC is one of the valuable few sources of accurate information. Who cares if there is an occasional translation glitch give them a break. …… GET A LIFE

      • Firstly, I would like apologize to Naky and Javier as well as anyone else who was bothered bored or offended by my comment. It was not meant as a critique of the translation but as a question looking for clarification.

        I was confused by the apparent contradiction (in my mind) within these two sentences.

        “Lo indisculpable de la acción es que evidencia otra vez la falta de unidad, justo cuando es imprescindible. Todos los flancos tienen argumentos razonables,…”

        My spanish is not very good and I read it as “inexcusable” (from disculpame). After rereading that section I see that what was “inadmissible” was HRA going out on his own and saying that he would participate in the regional elections, breaking the unity of MUD. Previously, I read it as the participation was inadmissible and then in the next sentence that there are reasonable arguments both for and against participation.

    • Here is the full sentence: ” This decision is inadmissible because, once again, it shows a lack of unity right when we need it the most.”

      Reading the original comments in Spanish I would have translated this:

      “Lo indisculpable de la acción es que evidencia otra vez la falta de unidad, justo cuando es imprescindible.”


      “What makes this decision unforgivable is that, once again, it shows a lack of unity right when we need it the most.”

      I have noticed other small discrepancies here and there (since I’ve been following the daily briefing) where I might have come up with a better translation but I hesitate to critique. I certainly admire the diligence in translating these at all.

  3. Where you say “Irán is the sixth nation to support Nicolás and his fraudulent ANC”. Is the statement from Khamenei or Rouhani?

    Remember they have their own Leopoldo in the form of Mousavi, so it is a big distinction who the statement came from.

  4. I just want to applaud and thank whoever translates Naky daily. I honestly don’t read these because I read her in Spanish, but she is so essential that I even considered volunteering to translate her summaries for CC. It’s A LOT of work, though. That woman can write! And doesn’t skip a beat. I was thrilled the day I saw her added anyway.



  5. The reasons to participate in regional elections are rather weak or non existent, that would be a major waste of energy and big distraction from our one and only goal to end the dictatorship
    Even in the best scenario of getting the votes in a fair electoral process, the Oppo winners would be either jailed or render powerless.
    HRA even went on to say that the regime won’t fall with bullets but votes !!
    We should remain united with the MUD but this is unacceptable and if the AD party wants to go in that direction let them go, they will go alone.

    Would be sweet if after Ramos Allup winning his governorship Maduro comes up to him singing and dancing this song:
    Champion without a crown, paper doll.
    in spanish. Campion sin corona, mugneco de papel !!

    Fool me once, shame on you.
    Fool me twice, shame on me.
    Fool me three times, I deserve it.

  6. I agree, Naki’s summaries are what I read on an almost daily basis. Good writing for sure. It doesn’t hurt however to point out translation details, after all the target language of CC is English. The content is what keeps me reading but language also catches attention. Kudos to Naki’s translator, no doubt¡!

  7. The divisions in the MUD are and have been a problem. In his latest video Ledezma was very critical of those divisions, referring especially to the interests, ego and vanity of some while not naming names. The MUD need to get their act together and shape up.

    • Thanks for sharing Video. This is why Ledezma was hauled off, and he knew this beforehand. Calling out the real political game is what is dangerous.

      The good thing about this, despite all the pain we will go through, is that once this government falls we can clean our own house of the rats that brought us to this point. They are being fully exposed now.

      Allup is a traitor!!!

      Patricia Poleo talks a lot about this. Look up her videos from Tuesday this week.

      • Take it easy with la Papo..not too long ago she was in love with the beast himself, HCF…So, even after her backflip talanquera jump, still that does not make it kosher with me. Call me a radical, but anyone that had ever followed the intergalatic, is not to be trusted.

        • RaPo himself fondly excused HCF on TV as “ese muchacho impulsivo”, until HCH closed his rag mag, kicked him in the ass, and he had to flee the Country….

        • FGB, PaPo was such a staunch chavista, so loyal, so unflinching, that she was framed for the murder of Danilo Anderson.

          Yeah, so much for an undying loyalty.

          Also, Poleo answered those statements claiming that she was a “hardcore chavista” for an article she published over 16 years ago, she was never a chavista in the first place.

          “not too long ago she was a chavista”, boy, you’ve to learn to stop following and defending the MUD so blindly, Ledezma’s life is in danger because he denounced the disgusting game between the MUD and the regime.

          • Quotation marks are used when somebody is being quoted verbatim. Who said or cares if the PaPo was a chaveztia or not, at least for a while, she “put the moves” on an assassin, a traitor, directly responsible for the deaths of several hundreds during the coup attempt. That was a known fact, which could not have been ignored by any of the SOB’s that visited him and supported his movement.

            Of course, everything is relative, and people change their opinion like a weather vane. Still, when somebody puts their foot in their mouth, be it the PaPo (nothing personal against her), or someone else, well that person fucks up (sometimes royally), and there is a permanence to that. Specially if it is in writing:

            https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/13544969933

            After that, being framed and forced into exile…yes, unfair, but payback’s a bitch. That’s how the Devil pays.

            No question that Ledezma is in danger and fully support him against wind and tides. However, there is a danger is subscribing to unknown “games” conspiracies.

  8. Naky, there is one important correction: Smar”T”matic, although Smarmymatic might be more accurate. HRA’s announcement of AD’s participation in Regional elections isn’t just stupid, but, given the announcement of gross electoral fraud, is outright TREASONOUS to the united MUD/Oppo cause, and can only be interpreted as an ass-saving (from ANC’s jail) political maneuver; “despicable” falls short….

    • My preference was Domymatic, but I was not consulted. Same with the PSUV, for whatever it is worth, I would have preferred the original PUS, but some image consultant changed it Oh Well…

      The violations and repeated beatings that Venezuela is suffering are so blatant and obscene, that HRA has to ask himself if he knows the meaning of shame. Actually, I prefer the Spanish term: VERGUENZA, with the connotation when is lacking: SINVERGUENZA.

      Chinverguencha….do you play ball with criminals? Are we on 350?. Please answer yes or no Chinverguencha…

      Very well said by MCM, he’ll be by himself. It does appear that a pair of ovarios do when cojones are lacking.

    • It is the AN that should schedule elections in conjunction with either the Fiscal or with a new CNE. Going with the regime’s playbook – as if anyone can read it – only goes with the regime’s plans.

  9. Allup is playing ball with the Chavistas. He is a traitor!!!

    He announced this yesterday so we would not be talking about what the AN should be talking about: election fraud and persecution of CNE officials and other scumbags involved in this.

    Allup announcing this is just a pure distraction!!!!!!!!!!

  10. The regime has Allup in the pocket. To quote wiki: “His brother-in-law, Francisco D’Agostino, is an executive of Derwick Associates, with calls for investigations on D’Agostino’s potential involvement in alleged bribery schemes linked to Derwick and PDVSA causing issues with Ramos Allup”

    If you want to know more about derwick, visit alek boyd http://infodio.com. its a cess pool. He is in bed with the regime and if he goes against them, the only thing they have to do is cry foul and lock him up. So he is a puppet who miraculously became president of the national assembly. All bark and no bite.

  11. Pendejo Sin Fronteras and ex major of London Ken Livingstone said on a radio interview that the current venezuelan crisis could have been avoided if Chávez back when he was president should had killed about 200 oligarchs


    Remember when Venezuela was so rich we were paying a subsidy so the poor of London could travel on public transportation cheap? this was the major.

  12. We chavistas are still waiting for Ramos Allup to present proof of the “fraud” in the 2004 presidential referendum.

    We will still be waiting that long for “proof” of fraud in la Constituyente.

    Face the facts – people were sick and tired of terrorism even in the streets of Chacao.

    Muchacho will get his well.deserved comeuppance in the coming weeks as will other heads of the opposition’s terrorist plans. Freddy Guevara will scream like a stuck pig when he is in a cell in the Helicoide.


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