The Wall Street Journal folks just went south of the Bolívar State to find out how PSUV manipulated the recent governor elections. Their results?

“Most of El Casabe’s 800 registered voters work at remote illegal gold mines, leaving only a fraction of potential voters scattered across a few dozen riverside wooden huts on election day last month, dozens of residents said in interviews. That made Gen. Noguera’s 667 votes on a record 85% turnout unlikely.”

El Casabe is one of those rural places where the vote is done manually, for lack of internet access and electricity. The paper ballots are taken out of town by canoe, and then by car, to the state capital, where the totalization is made. According to the people involved in the investigation, when the ballots arrived, they had an extra 471 votes for the chavista candidate.

We presented the tampered ballots, we even showed infographics detailing more than 2,500 votes added to Justo Noguera. What’s new here is the whole narrative on how the copper was beaten. This is gold for the opposition, and can have serious international repercussions for the government.

On the day of totalization, the CNE offices were militarized, and the opposition supervisors weren’t allowed in:

“The soldiers told me ‘This is a private PSUV event,’ when I tried to go in,” said Mr. Lainette, referring to the Socialist Party by its acronym.”

Even PUSV’s election supervisor of El Casabe complained:

“‘This is illegal,’ said Luciano Mendoza, the election supervisor, who showed The Wall Street Journal the voting-machine receipts that counted just a third as many votes from the hamlet as reported by electoral authorities later. ‘They say they bring justice, but instead they commit fraud.’”

Stealing the elections this way, for the government, is a costly last-resource measure, a recklessness that made even their supporters upset, but the arco minero, the basic industries and the border are way too valuable for the mafias to let an outsider into it.

And the plot thickens because, as MUD implodes, Andrés Velásquez won’t stay down

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


  1. I’ve been told in this forum that this only happened in Bolivar State. Can someone here explain to me how is it possible that this happened in Bolivar, but not in any of the other states?

    • ‘This is a private PSUV event,’

      All “elections in Venezuela fall in this category.

      As for your specific question Charlie, since Quico probably won’t answer, I will answer for him. We have the actas!

      • Funny. Really funny.

        Despite the nature of the goverment, do you really think they cheated? –Only a couple of votes in the south. -Is that it? -That’s it, but the fighter Andrés caught them, he is a real fighter. -Where did he fight? – He shouted in front of the microphones and twited very energetically. -I see. -And he angryly went to cne headquarter. -He is the one then.

        -Is adeco governor in Anzoátegui going to stop the government to give up refinería de puerto la cruz to china? -Are you really so naive? -but why not, if Andrés, the fighter, will stop them in Arco Minero, isn’t he?

        -No. It’s impossible. A bunch of generals cuatrisoleado friends with maduro, cannot convince the rest of the institution to be part of fraud along with psuv. Plan República will not allow this to happen. -But what about the militares shooting and robbing innocent people during the protestas? Who convinced them to do that?

        -CNE system is uncrackeable, that’s the same system that let the opposition win the AN. -But some muertos have voted in all elections. -Yes, but the impact in the results is minimum. -So not a big deal. – Exactly, who will dare to vote more than once with his finger inked? Imagine the irreversible consequences if the plan república or cne caught such a criminal?

        -Did People vote because they really liked the government? -No. People don’t like the govt. They voted because the claps. -But how? If they force me to vote for a food bag, I take the bag and vote against them because I don’t like them, right? -No, people are afraid of the satellites and puntos rojos. – But if so, why they didn’t use the satellite and puntos rojos to stop the protestas? Are they really more scared of not passing in front of punto than passing in front of a bullet? Really? 6 M people?

        -Abstención was the responsible of the electoral disaster. -How come? 61% voted. And some registered don’t even live in the country anymore. – That’s the reason, those million enchufados who live abroad and voted massively. -No way. It’s impossible to vote in a regional election that way. That cannot explain how 61% voted. -Stop it. People will not vote anymore and the abstención will kill us in the presidenciales. We need every voter! – AND PSUV WILL GET EVERY SINGLE REMAINING VOTE!

        P.S. The country lacks of logic. Totally lost.

    • Bolivar State is the only state where the printed machine ballots do not match up with the published results. Every single other acta has been scrutinized and checked by MUD technicians, and they match. This doesn’t mean that there wasn’t fraud everywhere else, but it wasn’t numerical fraud, it was either someone pressing the button 100+ times, or coercion, or deliberate confusion, etc.
      The sad part is that there is unequivocal proof that fraud in Bolivar was perpetrated, beyond a shadow of a doubt, and nothing is being done.

      • “Every single other acta has been scrutinized and checked by MUD technicians, and they match.”

        Emi, were there MUD reps on-site at every polling station, throughout the day? I ask because poster JJ has written extensively about how he believes the chavista vote was inflated in all states at sites where MUD reps were not present throughout the day and then signed off on at the end of the day. I’m the first to admit that I don’t understand all of the mechanisms of the Venezuelan voting system, but it strains credibility to believe that chavismo won 54% of the vote across the country.

        Now, Bolivar: Nothing is being done by whom Emiliana? If it’s chavismo to which you refer, does that really surprise you?

        For those who may be slow on the uptake, I think Maduro made it pretty clear the day he said on national TV that neither ballots nor bullets would stop “the project”. They’re not going anywhere unless carried out feet first.

      • Would someone please explain how the voting system used is supposed to work? I have no idea what an acta is, for example. All I get is that you press a button for a candidate on the machine, your vote is registered electronically, then you get a receipt telling you whom you voted for, and you keep the receipt.

        If I can program my keyboard to register “N” “O” when I press keys labeled “S” “I”, I don’t see why those voting machines can’t do the same thing, and still print the receipt that says “S” “I”. It’s kind of a silly point, I realize, since I don’t understand much at all about the machines or the voting process as it is supposed to work.

      • “Every single other acta has been scrutinized and checked by MUD technicians, and they match.”

        Sorry to gainsay you on that, but that assumption that the MUD has ALL the actas and they match is a FALLACY, in Miranda over 35% of the actas were lost from the MUD’s witnesses hands, and there’s no reason to believe that the same thing repeated in all the other states.

        chavsmo stole the election in ALL the states the same way they’ve done so in all the elections during the last 13 years since the 2004 recall, MUD has never had all the actas in their hands, on this point it’s a criminal lie to claim the regime didn’t commit fraud.

      • Im sure that Emiliana also believes that Smartmatic was also devoid of corruption, nothing to see here.
        I do not understand the inference of “numerical fraud”
        In other words that you would understand as you like good old Anglo Saxon nuance….what the fuck are you talking about Emiliana?
        If there was a fraud in the election, then it was changing the numbers and therefore numerical.

        • All I’m saying, in answering Charlie’s specific question, is that the demonstrable discrepancy between machine tallies and reported results, only happened in Bolivar. That’s all I’m saying. Of COURSE there was fraud everywhere else.

      • At least we’re finally getting some clarity on what CC thinks of the election. In a nutshell, the regime cheated in Bolivar State but no where else and chavismo actually got something on the order of 54% of the votes in their favor.

  2. In HIS defence, even I had my doubts for a brief moment, for about 24 hours longer then when he wrote that article and here is the reason why: there are communities like mine where everyone is poor and we didn’t see much voter turnout from anyone. Everyone here is on some sort of dole and we all know how they scare the bejesus out of people who are afraid to vote against maduro for losing the only scraps that keep them alive. It’s all so very fucking sad….and unless you are submersed in this shit, so very hard to understand.

  3. ” is a costly last-resource measure, a recklessness that made even their supporters upset”

    Boy, is this phrase a cliché, we have been hearing this since 2001’s Plan Avila

    Nervermind, even Before that.

    “That crazy Chavez is talking about vertical chicken coops, and he is shaking hands with Fidel… is a costly last-resource measure, a recklessness that made even their supporters upset”

  4. Un pajarito me lo canto en el oido. Whatever happened to “Perinola”, who used to post here? In light of what’s going on, I’m beginning to think he’s not insane … in fact, he may be the only one who got anything right in Venezuela … y los pantalones se vistieron de pajarito … el chogui veula bajo las olas! pa no comer arepa … el llanero se fue.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here