As my husband and I get to the voting center, we notice very few cars parked outside and even fewer voters inside.

“Ocariz might actually lose this thing” I said, remembering my piece from a couple of days before.

Just as Tibisay Lucena announced Hector Rodríguez as the winner in Miranda, our state, I felt a pit grow in the bottom of my stomach, and I had to spend the next day talking to friends and looking at the available data, trying to figure out what the hell happened in Miranda.

Theory 1: The CNE did its thing

The National Electoral Council (CNE) implemented several strategies, before and during the process, to promote abstention and null voting among the opposition.

Quoting Carlos Ocariz, “fue un sistema [de votación] absolutamente amañado”.

It’s true that the CNE didn’t allow the replacement of candidates in the ballots. However, there were 18,000 votes for other non-PSUV candidates and Rodríguez’ advantage over Ocariz was over 86,000 votes.

A better mobilization scheme and the proper training of testigos might have made the difference

Not using indelible ink, a decision made a month before the elections, might have allowed the PSUV to do some multiple voting, a strategy already denounced, especially in densely chavista areas. Ocariz said he has proof, but we’re still waiting, and we might never know how many, if any, of Hector Rodriguez’ votes came from multiple-voting.

Although it might be a rather imperfect and limited strategic response, a better mobilization scheme and the proper training of testigos might have made the difference. I know it’s easier said than done, and some might even call me naive, but we still have to say it, over and over and over again.

The relocation of voters, of course, affected the results.

According to journalist Eugenio Martínez, 51 voting centers were relocated in Miranda. This move affected 11.2% of registered voters. However, if we assume, hypothetically, that all of these relocated folks chose to abstain, there are still over 620,000 voters that didn’t show up.

Ocariz said he has proof, but we’re still waiting, and we might never know how many, if any, of Hector Rodriguez’ votes came from multiple-voting.

And then there’s violence. Voters being robbed and intimidated, polling stations opening earlier and closing after they should have, puntos rojos (spots where the PSUV promoted their candidate on election day), no international observers and the use of CLAP boxes to bribe people. All of these must be condemned.

But is it any different from what we’ve seen before? Shouldn’t the MUD have some sort of response ready for this?

Theory 2: Ocariz se confió

Miranda, which was taken from chavista hands in 2008, was a consolidated bastión de la oposición, with the Sucre municipality, home of the biggest slum in Venezuela, conquered that same year.

Since Ocariz and Capriles are somewhat popular, you could think that this was in the bag.

However, while Rodríguez won in 14 municipalities, with a participation level of 66.1%, Ocariz won only in seven, with a 52.9% of participation. Also, when taking a closer look at the results from Sucre, Ocariz, the current Mayor, won with a very slim advantage of 1,550 votes (0.6% of valid ballots).

MUD took in 838,292 votes in Miranda for the Parliamentary Elections held in 2015. That means Ocariz took in a little over 283,000 votes less than MUD did in 2015.

Baruta, Chacao, El Hatillo and Sucre are four opposition-governed municipalities, where 41.92% of Miranda’s registered voters live. Over 49.5% of them didn’t show up. That’s 50.1% of Miranda’s total abstention.

Did emigration play a role? In the plebiscite of July 16th, 724,067 Venezuelans voted from abroad. If, according to CC’s own Lissette González, we assume the same proportion for the whole population, Venezuelan emigration could be around 1,149,579 émigrés and registered voters cannot participate in regional elections from abroad.

Then again, MUD took in 838,292 votes in Miranda for the Parliamentary Elections held in 2015. That means Ocariz took in a little over 283,000 votes less than MUD did in 2015. Unless 283,000 Mirandinos left the building in the last 2 years, this represents a whole bunch of MUD voters that are not thrilled with their leaders, resorting to a no-voto castigo (or simply didn’t see the point of voting).  

Theory 3: The PSUV knows how to win

It’s true that the government is struggling through the worst economic crisis in our history, with very few dollars left in its pockets, but this doesn’t mean that it won’t play the electoral game with total conviction. ¡Eficiencia o nada!

Chavismo might not be able to know who you voted for, but making people believe that it can might just be convincing enough for some to vote red.

The PSUV and most government institutions have a well-structured mobilization scheme, and coercive incentives to promote voting. These include, for example, the threat of losing your job if you’re a public servant. Let’s not forget that the public payroll is huge.

I also think the Carnet de la Patria plot worked; chavismo might not be able to know who you voted for, but making people believe that it can and adding the fear of losing access to basic goods and services (like CLAP food bags), might just be convincing enough for some to vote red.

Not exactly a fraud

All three theories have varying levels of substance. In the end, though, it all comes down to abstention. The opposition turnout was lower than expected.

Now, instead of pointing fingers at those who didn’t vote, shouldn’t opposition leaders ask themselves: why didn’t more of our followers join us?

Because antagonizing the people you need is really not going to help you.

31 COMMENTS

  1. Miranda is an opposition stronghold and real oposittion people are pissed at Primero Justicia (Primero el chanchullo). And even more pissed against shitting on the dead people and the protest just to participate in rigged elections and play oposition but only in the government`s terms.

    Also, i live in Sucre and Ocariz is not exactly beloved, specially among people in places like Urbina or Petare were the decomposition have been monumental.

    Piles of trash and avenues full of holes have turn commonplace over Sucre , even in places like Dos Caminos, Sebucan, California who used to be better taken cared off but now look like part of the slums.

    They also refuse to hear peoples suggestion on security issues,they simply show up, put their tolda in the community before the campaign, promise bullshit and move on.

    They then put a video up of the major waling trough a slum and all checkmarks are done. They think they can do the same crap over an over and people will still back them up “because they are not chavistas” but they have nothing to show for as to demonstrate why they are any different.

  2. And, sad to say, MUD takes the opposition vote for granted.

    Ocariz was not a good mayor for the west-of-Petare area.

    And yet, MUD wanted everyone from Santa Eduvigis to La Urbina to mobilize and vote for the guy…

  3. “adding the fear of losing access to basic goods and services (like CLAP food bags), might just be convincing enough for some to vote red. Not exactly a fraud”

    That’s actually a crime. Vote-buying will put you in jail in any civilised country. Even here in Brazil, which is a heavily socialist and undeveloped country not that different from Venezuela, we have a former governor under house arrest for threatening poor people with losing access to basic goods and services (like clap food bags) if they didn’t vote “correctly”.

    http://www.valor.com.br/international/news/4778095/former-rio-governor-arrested-electoral-fraud

    Not exactly a fraud? How so?

      • And to think that we take for granted the Catholic Church and their charity for the sake of charity, expecting nothing in return, not even a thank you, not even a smile…

        • Throwing the people into poverty and oppresion, enriching yourself in the process and then calling the spare change you give them charity is a populist trope since eons. Including the church .

          Thats why Chavez preferred to spend money into social programs that didn`t solve any issues and putting witch doctors on barrio adentros instead of actually building hospitals or at least making the ones that exist functional.

          No solving the root of the problem, just charity that serves as good PR for the billboard. AD/Copei people used to give away concrete and zinc roofs for people to build their shanty towns, business as usual

  4. I think you’re also forgetting the culprit behind every exhibition of VZ injustice– the greed of the barrio.

    Maduro is going to be looser with the purse strings for a PSUV locality.

    “MUD mayor/governor? We’re fucked for b’s coming from Miraflores.”

    “PSUV mayor/governor? We got a shot of at least SOME money coming our way.”

    “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.”

    It’s human nature, and while I sure can’t criticize people for behaving this way, it’s pretty morally shallow.

    Except I don’t believe MUD lost anyway. CNE fucked with the numbers… plus the other pre-election shenanigans… and there are people arguing here that they DIDN’T!? Including this entire article in the first place!?

    I didn’t think it could be more over for VZ than when it was all over for them the last 3 times.

    But it’s more all over than ever.

  5. Thanks for the details on what the hell happened in Miranda. The result really ratified what an abomination the election was, but the details are important.

  6. CNE did it. But CNE did it now for the first time. In the past elections of 2015, 2013, 2012 till 1998, chavismo won because they had they VOTERS (people pues). YES, they used tricks during all campaigns, like intimidation, listas, unlimited public funds, transported people to the poll stations and so on.

    BUT this time was different. It was on the VOTES no the VOTERS. There is impossible that psuv got more than 6 millions VOTERS (had Municipio Libertador voted the number were around 7 M VOTERS according to the story of the FRAUD).

    PSUV got more “votes” in six municipalities in Miranda (out of 21) than in any other election. In a regional election is impossible to have the same votes than in a PRESIDENTIAL election and they DID IT! (Check the behavior of Municipios Acevedo, Andrés Bello, Buroz, Brion, Páez or Pedro Gual).

    So the municipalities the Opposition could not defend. Imagine at 9:00 pm in the middle of a slum surrounded by colectivos join together with the new-fanb (more on the new found below).

    It’s not the same for a téstigo to defend the election in Chacao with very friendly people than in Acevedo o Buroz.

    Why psuv-cne did not do it before? First, they did not need it. Remember they won the AN in 2010 with gerrymandering. Then in 2013, things were closer but they managed to force their people to vote.

    But then they lost in 2015, and they could not do anything to steal the diputado 112 por sólo 85 votos. They find themselves in 2017 with the world against them and they needed international money and recognition. and no more “sanciones”.

    So they realized they need to go further to keep power. Remember they “purged” the fanb, so now all of them are loyals (we witnessed all the atrocities the fanb committed during the “protestas”). So now the cne-psuv became the fanb-psuv-cne.

    So they needed to show that “people” support their “revolution” with no people at all (all polls say 80% of the country are against them). They showed that in some “marchas” en la av. Bol’ivar, they became the nuw escuálidos. So to the western world one vote=one person, so this is it, millions VOTES will mean million people, right?!!!

    So they set up this election with no ink, no observadores, and carné de la patria (which you can use now to vote) instead of cédula. Those new conditions were not in any other election before. Now they have these new tools plus the plan república (fanb). Again, as an example, fanb in 2015 protected a bunch of people that were surrounded by colectivos (paramilitares) in a poll station in Sucre. But this new fanb is clearly a purged one and a ready one for a massive FRAUD.

    So everything was set, they only needed the opposition to accept this new set of rules (and sadly they did it). CNE-psuv-fanb did all the tricks and new ones like “last minute reubicaciones” but nothing of that worked to invent VOTERS.

    So they hired few thousands of patria o muerte (maybe even from Cuba to avoid a “sapo”) gave them not one but hundreds of carnés de la patria. They know everything about listas and databases (misiones, diex, muertos, quien nunca vota, quien siempre vota), they control las captahuellas, and they even control the lines in front of the polling stations.

    Then they started to do it in those polling stations where there were few chances to be detected. CNE, fanb and psuv there, watching their guys doing their job. Injecting VOTES with NO VOTERS.

    But could they vote in place of a middle class guy in Chacao? probably not but they didn’t need it (actually psuv reduced their votes in all middle class polling station compared with any other election).

    So they voted for whom? for the people with a carné de la patria, and members of misiones. They know who have carnés and they know a lot of them did not vote in 2015. So these are the voters they substituted. And remember the CLAPS.

    How many votes did they inject? Probably 3M. Why? because the abstention was measured in all polls just before the elections and said the number was around 50%. And consider people that left the country or passed away, then the abstention measured in those polls do not show the abstention against registered voters but voters inside the country, which should be 10-20% less than registered voters. As such, real voters in this election should’ve been around 40-50%. However, the cne-psuv-fanb announced more than 61%. So it means that they numbers of VOTES over VOTERS should be at least 61% minus 50% or so. 11% means around 2M votes, so they added at least 2M votes.

    And BTW the abstention could be even higher considering that the “reubicaciones” affected around one million voters (from all tendencies) so probably the number is way higher that only 2M. And other tricks, like operaci’on morrocoy (máquinas que abrieron cinco horas más tarde and so on) also added to the abstención..

    RECAP: Yes, it was the largest FRAUD ever seen (and unfortunately most of the people still don’t see it!!!)

    • How come JJ isn’t being paid for writing articles for CC? Albeit with copy editing?

      This is the most brilliant…even succinct despite its length…post that I’ve ever read analyzing the history of all this.

      JJ is my new hero.

      • Mr. Carlos Ocariz (más vale tarde que nuca) just informed (via @puzkas) two interesting facts:

        1.- 22% of the “actas” (mesas) don’t have the witness signature.
        2.- witnesses were forced to leave.

        the second fact, witnesses were forced to leave, means that the fanb-cne-psuv were clearing the kitchen to cook a massive fraud. Again, remember that in theory the fanb (plan república) is there to protect the election as fair as possible, including the cne members, voters (the real ones) and the witnesses.

        However, it’s obvious that the new-fanb (the one we saw during the protests containing with bullets the starving people to protect its own interests which are merged with the ones of the psuv), did everything in its power to “win” the election to bring legitimacy to its system (specially abroad). If during the protests they shot to people, now it was way easier because the fanb only needed to clear the environment to let the ballot’s stuffing to happen massively.

        Again, ballot’s stuffing has happened at least since 2012 (http://www.eluniversal.com/nacional-y-politica/130602/fallecidos-votaron-en-2010-y-2012).

        So don’t be naive, if the system could allow hundreds of votes from dead people, the system with some tweaks (no tinta indeleble, carné de la patria, listas de claps and the fanb all-in ), could allow million of votes.

        Another interesting point is that inside the country there are thousands of Castro’s patria o muerte (asesores), and those guys could easily carried the stuffing without leaving any fingerprint.

      • Gently reminder: That’s not true. The polls said that Chávez died with more than 50% of popularity. As I wrote before the psuv has used a lot of tricks but they’ve never needed to inject votes systematically in a massive operation, BEFORE!.

        RECAP: In 2012 when Ch won, and some “Mesas” where 100% of registered voters voted (every single voter registered “voted” and all of them voted psuv!). Those mesas where located basically inside Misión Vivienda (more on that read the article wrote by Eugenio Martínez in 2012, below the link). So, indeed the psuv were injecting votes at least since 2010, but those votes were very scarce and not systematically injected (probably because “mano segura no se tranca”), but they learnt a new trick for the future: It was possible to vote for another person so maybe “we should use in the future (in case of fire break the glass!).

        The polls (datanalisis, ivad, varianzas) put Ch well ahead in 2012 and put Maduro ahead in 2013 (showing a reduction in the gap).

        In 2015, the polls gave the opposition around 10-20% over the psuv, and the result was there. And actually, if you see the polls from 2000-2015 they predicted every single result very closely. No poll expected Rosales in 2006, or Capriles in 2012. The polls predicted Ledezma en la Alcaldía Mayor or Falcón en Lara in 2008.

        HERE IS THE PROBLEM. In 2017, the polls, even the ones paid by psuv like hinterenlaces, “poder y estrategia” and others, put the psuv behind the opposition since 2016, The rest of the polls also shown the same scenario.

        Political scenarios are very close related to the economy, for instance, when Ch was in power he had a lot of oil money to keep stomachs full and this was reflected in every single election from 2000-2012. The economy started falling apart in 2012, and consequently, psuv has been declining its fanbase as refelcted in 2013 and then again in 2015.

        BACK In 2017, the economy was even worse than in 2015, which was worse than 2013. All the polls reflected that and showed since 2016, 70-80% of the population want Maduro out of power.

        When the CNE-GOB announced the regional election in August, all the polls, pollsters and analysts said that the only chance the GOB (CNE-GOB) had was in a scenario where the people didn’t vote. WHY? because the 20% of support that Maduro had (and still has because nothing changed) will be dragged to the poll stations and could give him around 3M votes.

        That’s the reason the opposition (and everybody inside and outside the world including other governments) thought that if people voted then the GOB would be defeated.

        INCREDIBLE,WHAT HAPPENED, RIGHT? the CNE-GOB announced that 61% of the registered voters voted!!! (indeed, a lot of registered voters not even live in the country anymore, and even worse some registered voters have passed away, DID THEY VOTE?).

        QUICO (dixit): “Yup, they stole 6 million votes but that doesn’t show up in the actas because magic.”

        QUICO you should be saying: “Yup, they GOT 6 million votes but that doesn’t show up in the POLLS because magic.”

        Now (QUICO), who you believe, the CNE, who just three months ago announced 8 M votes or “reubicó” a medio país 72 h antes del día, or the polls from everywhere which for more than two years have shown that at least 75% want Maduro out!

        P.S: Es posible votar por otra persona? lean este artículo de Eugenio Martínez en 2012: http://www.eluniversal.com/nacional-y-politica/130602/fallecidos-votaron-en-2010-y-2012

        • They started to steal elections and stuff millions of votes since 2004 in the recall referendum against the corpse, there are millions of multi-cedulados which usually don’t have addresses or have the same name, I had a friend whose ID number was literally stolen from her by another person in another state, so she had to get her ID with another number.

          There have been several times when multi-cedulados have been caught with packs of over 50 cédulas, that’s one part of the fraud.

          Another part of the fraud are those voting centers where there are no opposition witnesses because they were either kicked out, denied entry or they simply LEFT THEIR POST, such as that time during the 2006’s presidentials where I had to take the actas from my voting center “in the name of the opposition” because all the witnesses had left hours before (That’s the case of what happened in several Miranda centers, why the “niní blamers” don’t name it is beyond my comprehension so far.

          In said centers they can sit a person in one corner and start mashing the button or have the machine programmed to start stuffing artificial and fake votes before they’re printed in the actas, and there have been cases where the colectivos and the guardia nazis come and take the ballot boxes and burn them to make impossible to count the ballots.

          Those are parts of the fraud too.

          Like I said, polls that give chavismo a majority after 2005 are simply keeping the lie that they’re majority, they’ve been on the floor since 2005 because that’s the amount of votes they got, it’s absurd to think that “in the zenith of chavista popularity” there would be chavista abstentionists who “paid heed to the coordinadora” on that time.

          • People voted for Ch because the oil prices went from 7USD in 1998 to 50USD in 2005 and then to 100 USD in 2008. Had the oil prices kept around 10 USD Ch had not won any election after 2000.

            But the reality is that Ch had all the money to buy voters with línea blanca, tv, cars, celulares, megamercal, cheap dollars for travellers (all travellers), cheap dollars to study abroad, and surfing over billions of dollars he won all the elections. He also created las misiones to give free money to around 8M people, who are in listas and were forced to go and vote in 2012 and 2013, but they had voters (real people).

            All this money is gone and the government doesn’t have money to buy millions of voters. And that’s why they need to invent voters.

            As I said, they were stuffing the ballots since 2010 (at least), but the popularity of Ch helped psuv to win elections with “acceptable” tricks (public funds, uncontrolled state media, listas de misiones, cadenas, centros en la misión vivienda, cierre de centros en la madrugada, and so on) and the stuffing didn’t affect the results in 2012 (in 2013 everything affected the result because the margin was only 1% obviously).

            But what happened here in 2017 is a new level of FRAUD. It’s a massive ballot stuffing (millions) in a perfected way of synchronization between CNE, fanb (plan república) and the govt (psuv).

            And it’s good to know that today Andrés Velázquez and Carlos Ocariz are pointing out directly to the plan república as the executor of the FRAUD. They are also pointing out that the proves of the FRAUD (if there is any left) are in the cuadernos (fingerprints and signatures) and no in the actas. And I say that because unfortunately a lot people, even the guys from CC, are saying that the psuv won not because the massive ballot stuffing but because any other reason (buying the whole FRAUD from the government without any chance to use their own brains). And this is as SAD as the opposition going to an election so rigged.

  7. Why blame the people and fall to the “abstention”? Why keep saying that this was not fraud? This is not for the people to be blame!, this is fraud from the starting and the fact that you expect “actas” and ballots to differs is very simplistic!, the election was not competitive and was setup for the opposition to come second. The blame should be on the leadership and not the people.

  8. This article appears in Reuters: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-oil-insight/venezuelas-deteriorating-oil-quality-riles-major-refiners-idUSKBN1CN2EO

    The country owes around $50,000,000,000 (fifty billion) to Russia and China alone in promised oil deliveries. Given declines in quality and quantity of production, it seems a simple solution would be to give the fields and facilities to Russia and China until they have extracted fifty billion worth. It cracks me up, really, the full-circle irony of the thing. This all started with the idea that oil should be nationalized, to keep the foreigners from exploiting Venezuela’s non-renewable natural resources.

    Default on international debt is certainly not something new to the world, but defaulting on delivery of pledged crude oil is, I think, new.

    • This is pure opinion, I guess, but glancing at the line of my own post “The country owes …” it hit me right in the face, clear as a bell, that “the country” – the population, the shopkeepers, office workers, landowners, cattle herders … do not “owe” anything. Yet as “the country”, they are to be held collectively responsible for the debt the government owes? The majority of them had nothing at all to do with the oil business, nor with the deals that were struck that “indebted” them beyond any ability of theirs to pay. This is the danger of government “nationalization”. Why should the population suffer hardships, due to acts of government mismanagement of their government “ownership”? Isn’t that slavery?

      The other side of that exact same coin is that the government is not responsible for feeding and housing and clothing and educating the population “for free”. For a government to do that, it must first own those things, in order to give them away “for free”. Perhaps that is the trap of this “socialism” BS, to entice the population to relinquish ownership of their own lives, and give those to the government.

      Free market capitalism is based on free individuals, acting on their own best interests, and callings in life, whether that be cattle and the freedom of the plains, mining and the thrill of finding ores, banking and the infinite joy of endlessly keeping track of pennies, or doctors endlessly looking after the sick and their diseases and infections (all the wonderful things one can do, when one is free and owes nobody anything).

      • Why should the population suffer hardships, due to acts of government mismanagement of their government “ownership”?

        Answer: Voting for Chavez and Maduro in pre 2015 elections gave those bozos the power to screw them. The population owes it.

        Whether it is paid in full. That is another story

  9. More on topic of WTH happened is this article reprinted on Dolar Today: https://dolartoday.com/mega-fraude-electoral-estas-son-las-irregularidades-cometidas-por-el-cne-en-las-regionales-segun-sumate/

    The entire thing is so replete with non-compliance it kind of boggles the mind to think anyone would agree to any form of elections. I’m sure most here have read this article, or similar ones, but I haven’t seen these talked about here, with the exception of speeding them up to October so they could be done before the debt payment deadline … the elections were supposed to have been in 2016, for example, but the regime (CNE) changed the dates various times.

    Just trying to contribute.

  10. More on topic of politics, this article reprinted on Dolar Today’s site lists many points about the regime’s (CNE) corruption of the recent elections: https://dolartoday.com/mega-fraude-electoral-estas-son-las-irregularidades-cometidas-por-el-cne-en-las-regionales-segun-sumate/

    I’m sure most here have read the article linked to, or versions of it, but it is a summary. E.g. Per the Venezuelan Constitution and electoral laws, these should have been held in 2016.

  11. La oposición nunca debió participar. No tenía nada que ganar y todo que perder. Su lucha tenía que ser contra la ANC.

    La comunidad internacional no esperaba que la MUD participara en las elecciones regionales. Todo lo contrario. La decisión de participar fue tomada a espaldas de la gente por los líderes políticos para su propio beneficio, y por eso recibieron su merecido.

    Entonces:

    1)SI hubo fraude, entonces la MUD falló en su detección y en su denuncia.
    2) Si no hubo fraude y la abstención fue clave para su derrota, la MUD debe entender cuál es el mensaje político que le está mandando la gente.

    Hay otros escenarios que no debemos descartar de antemano:

    Por ejemplo, que los resultados que vimos fueron negociados y arreglados por las partes.

  12. – PSUV: ” You can vote for our candidate, Incitatus! the great horse of our deceased great leader! ”

    -MUD: “Incitatus sucks! you should vote for Bucefalus, The horse of the previous deceased great leaders”

    – People: “But we don`t want horses, thats an insult to our inteligence , we are people! even less beast that represent any of those death leaders, those guys screwed us already.. Besides both of those horses are already dead .. ”

    – PSUV/ MUD: ” Infiltrados, terrorists, fascist, radicals, you ungrateful, traitors, you miserables, etc, etc how dare you, you do what you are told”

    -*People don`t vote because they are not listened and on top of that get treated like shit from people who claim to represent them*

    -MUD: You see?! its your fault that Incitatus won! we could have had a horse! but nooo. you didn`t vote, now you`d have to settle for a Horse!

    * Venezuela resumes the beating of a death horse*

  13. Calling it: Sucre flips red in the municipals (when will they happen? December?)

    The oppo base’s continued lack of trust on the electoral system and on their own leadership will at least narrow the gap to a point where CNE magic flips the scales.

  14. While I’ve been able to read all of these post-fraud stories about Sunday’s events, because my internet service as been standard Venezuelan-quality, I’ve not been able to post.

    What amazes me is the overriding theme from the CC writing staff that Sunday’s “election” needed to be analyzed to acertain whether or not a fraud was committed.

    I have to ask them:

    With all that’s known about this regime, did the CC staff actually believe that they would call an “election” and then be shocked at the final result?

    It baffles me that otherwise intelligent and politically-savvy adults would even consider such a thing could happen in the year 2017 in Venezuela though it does give insight into how this regime continues to play the opposition like a violin.

    • You seem to think that these elections were a simple matter of “Meh, the regime is corrupt and criminal, so why bother explaining?”. They were not. That’s why “otherwise intelligent adults” are writing about it. Read to comprehend, not to make witty remarks on the comments. I’ve sure then you’ll have a better grasp of the situation.

      • Javier, my comment wasn’t meant to be witty, I’m as serious as a heart attack.

        I understand quite well most of what I read and believe, based on many of your postings (the CC staff), that my grasp of what this regime is capable of may actually be better than yours. And for that reason I state that it baffles me that otherwise intelligent and politically-savvy adults would even consider that this regime would call elections only to be embarrassed by the results.

        Is that your assertion? That the most despised regime probably ever to rule Venezuela went into this election giving everyone an equal chance to win?

        I submit that the regime planned for all contingencies: Low turnout, moderate turnout, high turnout. Whichever unfolded on election day, they simply plugged in the results they needed.

        CC writers seem stunned that the regime won so many governorships while many of us here were saying that, 1) it was a mistake to participate because it would only give legitimacy to the regime and the ANC and, 2) that the regime would toss a few crumbs to the opposition to make it appear that the elections were fair. What I didn’t see coming was that the MUD “winners” would actually consider submitting to the ANC to be sworn in.

        This country’s opposition has capitulated like none I’ve ever seen in my life and I’m no spring chicken and have followed politics since I was in my early teens..

        I had to LOL at Quico saying he had the tough job of explaining the “election” to the international community. Hey Quico, most the international community understands what happened better than you my pompous friend.

        With everything I’ve read here over the last couple of days, I’m now convinced that opposition voices like Caracas Chronicles are as much a part of the problem today as the regime itself.

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