Andrés Velázquez, opposition gubernatorial candidate for Bolívar state, said yesterday that the National Electoral Council is refusing to proclaim him as the winner because they don’t know how to fake their victory. Velázquez claims to have the ballots and 4,500 more votes than his opponent, retired soldier Justo Noguera.
In his long monologue yesterday, Nicolás said: “We’ve won 18 out of 23 governorships, including Bolívar, we’ve confirmed it,” ignoring CNE’s baffling silence on this contested tally.
While the – mostly chavista – Legislative Councils of Táchira and Zulia announced that they wouldn’t recognize the governors not sworn in before the ANC, this body convened a session for today at 11:00 a.m. to fulfill that purpose, without explaining why they didn’t do it yesterday.
In any case, Velázquez vowed to defend his victory and establish “a different administration, with transparency, commitment and kindness towards the people.”
I applaud his determination.
Threats and offers
With both elected and defeated chavista candidates as an audience, Nicolás claimed to be ready to sign agreements with the opposition. However, he also took the opportunity to accuse the elected governors in Táchira and Zulia of keeping ties with Colombian paramilitaries and having links with smugglers, respectively.
He restated the possibility of naming Henri Falcón as ambassador to Colombia.
PSUV, he promised, will upload the electoral ballots on its website to prove that there was no fraud, claiming that such a thing would be impossible in this country.
While several sources mentioned December 10th as the date for municipal elections, Nicolás spoke of a “little surprise” the CNE has in store, emphasizing that coming elections will be held with or without the opposition, and he estimates they’ll win 90% of mayor’s offices.
Nicolás gave orders to summon “the people responsible for Instagram and Facebook in Venezuela” because they “impose delays” to keep his truth from spreading.
Statesman mode: ON
Nicolás lied several times. He said that he accepted the defeat of 2015 parliamentary elections (“I asked for your support and you failed me”); that the current unemployment rate is 5.6%; that he has documents from Washington confirming the plan for a military intervention in Venezuela and that he has evidence of over 100 meetings his regime has held with the opposition.
He was particularly creative in his reaction to international criticism, calling the Canadian government insolent and stupid before blurting: “Leave Venezuela, Canadians! Leave now, carajo!” He added statements against the United States, Spain and the European Union, exhorting them to impose “whatever sanctions they want.” He also claimed that the German parliamentary system is “anti-democratic and medieval,” with his imposed ANC and SEBIN arresting protesters in El Paraíso.
Enough of this “blaming the people”
María Corina Machado said yesterday that with this government’s current approval rating, the government couldn’t possibly have secured 80% of governorships. In her view, elections aren’t viable with this CNE, emphasizing that instead of merely changing the electoral system: “We must bring down the dictatorship.”
She hopes no opposition governor will be sworn in by the ANC and said that cogollos within MUD that accepted the terms of this election are responsible for the results, echoing the words of OAS chief Luis Almagro.
“I should have spoken more firmly and loudly about this Sunday’s disastrous outcome. I accept my responsibility,” she said before proposing the reinstallation of the National Assembly to fulfill “the people’s mandate and appointment of five new CNE authorities to session from the OAS if they have to,” as well as creating a new coalition without cogollos or betrayals against the country.
Once more, Machado leaves a huge argumentative hole regarding the operational details of her plan.
Mitzy Capriles, former mayor and political prisoner Antonio Ledezma’s wife, released a message from the politician demanding changes in MUD’s leadership.
Individuals and businesses who were awarded the 15th DICOM auction are still waiting their dollars. With a tweet, BCV’s Foreign Currency Auction Committee reported that the money is still retained because Deutsche Bank won’t release the funds due to the “economic blockade” imposed by the United States.
*******Aviso Subasta # 15****** pic.twitter.com/MRE6joxoQw
— DICOM Venezuela (@dicomve) October 17, 2017
Smolansky in the OAS
The mayor of El Hatillo denounced during a hearing how local authorities are persecuted for respecting the right to protest. He detailed the persecution he’s experienced since an arrest warrant was issued against him, chronicling the abuses against opposition mayors in the last five years. Regarding the TSJ ruling chavismo uses to justify the persecution, he pointed out: “I didn’t block free transit, I simply refused to violate the Constitution and ban our neighbours’ demonstrations and protests.”
- The European Union urged the electoral branch to prove the transparency of regional election results, by releasing all the related data.
- The Canadian government questioned the elections’ results and expressed concern for the irregularities and “the actions of the Venezuelan regime to hinder free and fair elections,” via its control on CNE.
- The Lima Group believe it’s urgent to perform an independent audit with specialized and renowned international observers.
- US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon said that Trump’s actions seek to send a message that Venezuela “is too important a country let it go adrift for years”; as a counterweight he added: “but at the end of the day it’s Venezuelans who must find a solution.”
Foreign minister Jorge Arreaza claimed yesterday before representatives of the diplomatic body that the election results can’t be questioned and that he’s willing to provide “all the information necessary so that everyone knows the truth.” Shortly afterwards, he tweeted that Nicolás recalled Willmer Barrientos, Venezuelan ambassador to Canada, for consultation.
The Venezuelan sugar cane producers association (Fesoca) reported that the country is currently processing 25% of the output from 10 years ago.
Also yesterday, the black market dollar hit the Bs. 33,600 mark.
A bitter period.
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