The Uncredited Defeats

Your daily briefing for Tuesday, October 17, 2017. Translated by Javier Liendo.

National Electoral Council chief Tibisay Lucena said on Monday that all of their audits have been carried out in the presence of party leaders and that they’re working on the second phase of the telecommunications verification process. Citizen verification will take place on October 20th and the audit on voter data, between November 1st and 4th.

Lucena announced that today she’ll submit the report before the ANC with copies of certified vote tallies, adding that political parties that don’t agree with the results may challenge them, as established in the Framework Law of Electoral Processes.

Delcy Rodríguez announced that the ANC will hold an induction ceremony for governors and also that they’ll try to schedule a date for municipal elections.

Neither free nor transparent

The Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) formally announced that they’re not accepting the results of regional elections.

Ángel Oropeza said that “everyone knows that elections in Venezuela are neither free nor transparent,” adding that they’ve collected reports of abuses committed before and during elections, so they call on the people and the world to fight for a new electoral system, and convened an emergency meeting with the 23 gubernatorial candidates to plan their political response.

MUD demands a full audit of the elections and Oropeza cautioned: “We won’t attend any negotiation process until audits are cleared,” asserting that the dictatorship keeps losing legitimacy every day.


Sucre mayor and gubernatorial candidate for Miranda, Carlos Ocariz, said: “The issue here aren’t the ballots but the fraudulent system we witnessed yesterday (Sunday), many of our witnesses were chased away from their stations and they had 90% turnout. Anyone could’ve voted more than once, the issue lies in vote tallies and inconsistencies.” He claimed to have all the ballots and stated that he’d denounce this situation before national and international instances.

Candidates Alejandro Feo La Cruz (Carabobo), Larissa González (Delta Amacuro) and José Manuel Olivares (Vargas) also said they would challenge the elections.

Bolívar state

Yesterday, CNE released electoral results for the only state where the trend wasn’t irreversible when Lucena made the announcement on Sunday night, showing opposition candidate Andrés Velázquez as the winner, but the information was pulled down shortly after.

A demonstration was called near CNE regional offices in Ciudad Bolívar to demand definitive results for the state, and was promptly repressed by the National Guard with tear gas and rubber pellets.

Yesterday afternoon, Velázquez tweeted:

“Once again CNE updates site 5 pm. We’re still winning. They can’t rig the numbers.”

We’ll see.

At the OAS

Resuming hearings with international experts to determine whether the situation of human rights in Venezuela should be submitted to the International Criminal Court, several Venezuelan lawyers accused the government of exerting enormous influence on the judicial and legislative branches through coercion, imprisonment and beatings.

Lawmaker Armando Armas denounced that so far no investigation has been opened on the assault they suffered in July during the violent takeover of the National Assembly.

Pedro Troconis, one of the TSJ justices appointed by Parliament, denounced Nicolás’ persecution against him.

Former control judge Ralenis Tovar, said that her superiors and other public authorities threatened her in 2014 to authorize Leopoldo López’s imprisonment.

Former diplomat Isaías Medina accused Nicolás of committing crimes against humanity, causing the death of thousands of people by ignoring the reality of a humanitarian crisis.

Votes are worthless

Without elaborating on the electoral process’ many issues, OAS chief Luis Almagro expressed his skepticism and denounced “the lack of guarantees, recurring features of electoral events under dictatorships.”

He condemned the abuses against the civil and political rights of Venezuelans and emphasized the lesson these elections give us: that no election in Venezuela will offer guarantees for voters unless it’s under qualified international monitoring.

Almagro said that he’ll follow up on proceedings to substantiate the claims of crimes against humanity and he’ll promote and legitimize sanctions imposed against the regime.


Prosecutor general Luisa Ortega Díaz will file a formal complaint for corruption before the Spanish Prosecutor’s Office against government members who allegedly purchased properties in Spain with funds obtained through bribes by Odebrecht executives.

Spanish prosecutor Rosana Morán explained that, in light of the documents presented by Ortega, the Prosecutor’s Office will have to establish if the alleged crime could be prosecuted in Spain and under Spanish laws.

Ortega will also file a second complaint regarding the situation of Yon Goicoechea and other prisoners of Spanish nationality who remain detained without an incarceration order.


  • Federica Mogherini, chief diplomat of the European Union, spoke of the Venezuelan crisis in her opening speech before the Foreign Ministers Council, claiming that the electoral results are surprising and that the situation must be investigated.
  • Spanish Foreign minister Alfonso Dastis said that the results won’t impact the EU’s course of action and its potential sanctions.
  • France condemned the opacity of the verification process of results and the questionable conditions of this election.
  • Canada expressed concern for the alleged electoral violations and said that they expect an independent and reliable assessment of the results.
  • Panamanian president Juan Carlos Varela said that he’ll study the results once he’s talked with all parties, to decide whether he accepts the results or not.
  • The United States condemned the absence of free and fair elections, remarking that, as long as the regime behaves like an authoritarian dictatorship, they’ll work and bring “the full weight of American economic and diplomatic power to bear” in support of the Venezuelan people as they seek to restore their democracy.
  • The Lima Group restated that they’ll discuss the Venezuelan crisis on October 26th in Toronto.

Foreign minister Jorge Arreaza’s reactions to international statements were shameful, as usual.

Chavismo’s greatest triumph was stripping the vote of meaning, sadistically celebrating such a twisted achievement. None of chavismo’s statements are worth writing about; regardless of their cruelty, they’re still mediocre fools.

I didn’t find a single person celebrating this “victory” on my route yesterday; not in the street or in the Metro or in the supermarket, where I found laundry detergent, by the way… at Bs. 30,000 per kilo.

Naky Soto

Naky gets called Naibet at home and at the bank. She coordinates training programs for an NGO. She collects moments and turns them into words. She has more stories than freckles.