Photo: Contrapunto retrieved.

To talk about the election fraud of 1952, we have to set it in context: the escalation of repression by the Government Junta increases after Pedro Estrada is appointed head of National Security, on August 31, 1951. By October, the number of political prisoners is close to 2,000, most of them leaders of Acción Democrática (AD) and the Communist Party (PCV), imprisoned in the Model Prison of Caracas and those in state capitals, particularly the General Penitentiary of San Juan de los Morros.

The concentration camp at Guasina, one of the islands in the Orinoco Delta, is opened in November, 1951, and populated by nearly 400 political prisoners. Freedom of press was non-existent and newspapers that dared publish news contrary to the Junta’s interests had all sorts of problems, which means the constant human rights violations weren’t reported. People only knew through hushed word of mouth.

The election year of 1952 starts with problems in the Central University of Venezuela, until academic activities are suspended and many students and professors are arrested (others went into exile). The government gets ready with its electoral group, FEI (Independent Electoral Front) to participate in the November elections; AD and PCV, which are illegal, can’t run, while Social-Christian Party (COPEI) and the Democratic Republic Union (URD) remain hesitant, finally choosing to concur. There are small uprisings in military bases, which provided the excuse for more detentions or murder, as was the case of Leonardo Ruiz Pineda, head of AD in clandestinity, killed on October 22, 1952, in San Agustín del Sur.

By October, the number of political prisoners is close to 2,000.

The elections are held on November 30, 1952, after a campaign in which URD collected significant support; the rally they organized in the Nuevo Circo de Caracas, on November 27, is the largest of the era. People turned out for elections en masse, and the first figures hailed URD’s victory, with considerable votes for COPEI, while the government party, FEI, is left behind. On December 1, it’s a fact that URD has won, and Jóvito Villalba is the lawmaker elected with the highest number of votes in the National Constituent Assembly, turning him into the Venezuelan with greatest popular support, but the government chooses to scrap electoral results.

A crisis ensues in the Supreme Electoral Council (CSE) where honest officials refuse to alter results. The Council’s chairman, Vicente Grisanti, takes refuge in the Embassy of Brazil. 11 of the CSE’s 15 members resign too, while the government appoints a new CSE willing to forge the results.

On December 2, the new CSE delivers the fake results, where the FEI wins with a large advantage. Marcos Pérez Jiménez takes over as Provisional President of Venezuela that same day, while the government struggles to make URD accept the result. They refuse, and get expelled to Panama.

There are small uprisings in military bases, which provided the excuse for more detentions or murder, as was the case of Leonardo Ruiz Pineda.

Once Pérez Jiménez carries out his coup, the Constituent Assembly is installed on January 9, 1953. The body immediately ratifies Pérez Jiménez’s provisional presidency and begins writing the new Constitution. On April 15, the Provisional President signs the approval of a new Constitution and, two days later, the Constituent Assembly appoints him as Constitutional President for the five-year period between April 1953 and April 1958.

Regarding the presidential period, the new Constitution kept the term of five years and the electoral system of the Constitution of 1947, but in other aspects, it backtracked to what was established in the Constitution of 1936, particularly in terms of citizen rights. Constitutional lawyers agree that it was a text designed for the military dictatorship, which would overrule all the individual and citizen liberties it claimed to uphold.

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52 COMMENTS

    • @GordonRives: this piece is full of misrepresentations to justify even more the Communist Anarchist doctrines. Sovereign citizen movement, from what he inspired his book is considered a terrorist philosophy in the USA. He pretends to know Venezuela history. Who knows, he was born around the same time that the insane socialist experiment started in Venezuela.

      • Pepe:
        What? Who are you talking about?
        This piece is about the stealing of a legitimate election in Venezuela. first, URD was not a communist or socialist party. Second, are you saying that the author of the piece was born around the time the Chavez government started? Before that we had social democrat governments, not socialist ones. Sorry, your whole comment makes no sense.

  1. It is probably not a coincidence that a few weeks before the municipal elections the regime reversed the results of Student Federation elections at the Universidad de Carabobo. Such arbitrary behavior was probably used to raise doubts in potential opposition voters in whether it is worthwhile to vote in the forthcoming municipal elections. If enough opposition voters are disillusioned and abstain from voting, then chavista candidates will claim to have “won” the elections, falsely claiming that they are supported by el pueblo. Otherwise, if opposition candidates manage to win, the regime could once again employ Pérez Jiménez’ tactics and vehemently refuse to lose. Heads I win, tails you lose.

  2. MPJ stole a national election , this last election was a local university election , why bother ?? maybe Libertad is right and they want to discourage people from voting by giving the impression that they will arbitrarily steal any election they choose…..of course the credibility of the TSJ is all ready nill, this only makes it more obvious

  3. For third semester in a row, women’s college funds pro-Venezuelan regime events.

    Ph.D. student claims ‘Italian or Portuguese’ companies responsible for country’s famine

    Scripps College sure does love the inhumane, incompetent, repressive, socialist government of Venezuela.

    How else to explain why the Claremont Consortium women’s college is hosting and funding “speakers heavily praising Nicolas Maduro’s regime in Venezuela,” as reported by the Claremont Independent, for the third semester in a row?

    Unlike previous semesters’ events, no Venezuelan government officials spoke at this series, which was sponsored by the dean of faculty funds and Latin American & Caribbean Studies, Gender, Feminist and Sexuality Studies departments.

    The Independent attended one event featuring alumna Jeanette Charles, a “daughter of the Haitian diaspora,” doctoral student in the history of Latin America and the Caribbean at UCLA, and activist campaigning to end sanctions against Venezuela, according to the poster for her talk.

    Jeanette CharlesWhile Scripps notes that Charles (left) was a journalist for teleSur, it fails to mention that the news outlet is “primarily funded by the far-left governments of Venezuela and Cuba,” according to the Independent

    So much for “woke” college students in the US.

    • I don’t know if you’re Texan. I do believe Italian immigrants in Venezuela are among the worse and responsible for the uncontrolled bleeding of money from Venezuela. But not limited to, just see the most recent news coming from Argentina and the schemes around Italian companies ruining both steel Argentina and Venezuela industries. So, whoever is this guy Ph.D., I think he’s right. Please read his work.

      As for the US liberal universities if you are in Texas then you only have a handful of options: Texas A&M, Rice, Baylor. UT is becoming the home of liberals in Texas. UT is no more in my shortlist, every professional I hired or personally know from UT is completely clueless because of their liberal socialist ideas.

      • “I do believe Italian immigrants in Venezuela are among the worse and responsible for the uncontrolled bleeding of money from Venezuela.”

        Can you share any evidence of this? Facts?

        Thank god the Italians arrived in Venezuela and brought their know-how and espresso machines, if not we would be drinking terrible coffee like in Texas or Colombia.

        • Yes, I can but will not share names. I have confession and factual data. Besides, just think of this one: he arrives in Venezuela without a penny in 1953. On large boat, with many others, 16 years old, coming from Calabria. He was hosted by some other Italians and worked like a slave until he was released in 1958. He never did a formal education and only spoke Calabrese dialect. Suddenly he became the king of textiles in Venezuela in 1980. He had a technique to grow: he only bribed policemen and low grade military first; this then evolved into improved relationships with Guardia Nacional ranks. He’s very smart not to involve politicians.

          You might remember that between 1965 and 1971 Venezuela stopped minting silver coin as inflation was running so high (and disguised) that the silver 900 value was much higher than the value it purchased.

          This guy that along with other co-citizens and high-ranked military flew over tons of silver coins to Europe, where they were melted and sold in the black market, always prevalent in Italy at least until the year 1998, when some stricter AML rules were implemented preparing the path to the Euro.

          He, realizing that the Guardia di Finanza would eventually catch with him and his acolytes. He decided to renounce the Italian citizenship and naturalized Venezuelan. And he wasn’t the only one. Ask around.

          Even at 85 yr old, he considers himself a 100% product of modern Venezuela and by no means Italian. That didn’t prevent him from exporting several million dollars before Black Friday in 1983. He was hinted by some friends in the military.

          Some very well known international broker helped him build homes back in Italy, most of which was paid in cash. Later on, he sold several homes and kept only 4 for him and his sons. Their sons are now struggling to sell those houses in Emilia-Romagna between Sestola and Maranello. The houses titles are problematic.

          He was among the first to travel back and forth to Europe from Maiquetia in the supersonic Concorde, $12,000 a person. One weekend in Paris, another in London and so forth. Pick the years and serve yourself.

          It happened that I accidentally met many Italians during the ’70s and never found one that was educated but they all made huge fortunes. None of them had a straight face to say how they build their fortunes – ask the question to any Italian in the age range 75 to 85, that still remain in Venezuela, how they became rich. Only the second generation went into politics but people from Syria and Lebanon took serious advantage in the race to more recent events.

          He helped finance Chavez campaign and voted for him realizing the big business opportunities opening up. And of course, he migrated to the USA with an investment visa. And sooner than I could expect he was a proud US citizen with his Venezuelan passport valid and easily renewed every time he wishes.

          This guy ”officially” retired at 45 yrs old. He still proudly enters Italy on a Venezuela passport. He doesn’t even have a ”codice fiscale” or ”iscrizione anagrafica” nothing under his adopted Italian name.

          In fact, he doesn’t exist in Italy. When he made his first trip to Italy to meet with his brother he was another rich Venezuelan ”it is cheap to give me two”.

          Yes, I do know a good two dozen Italians that made fortunes in Venezuela. Especially after the black Friday.

          I’m tired of typing in this little thing.

      • So, whoever is this guy Ph.D., I think he’s right. Please read his work.<b

        Who is "Ph.D. student claims ‘Italian or Portuguese’ companies responsible for country’s famine?" That you requested "please read his work" is an indication that you didn't carefully read the article, as the article is referring to a female- Jeannette Charles. My quote from the article notes that Jeannette Charles has also been a journalist for Telesur. Since when has Telesur journalism been noted for facts and objectivity? Inquiring minds want to know.

        Anyone who claims that "Italian or Portuguese’ companies responsible for country’s famine" is an effing LIAR. In addition to a drastic fall in food imports for obvious reasons, Venezuela has also had a precipitous fall in agricultural production. FAO Stats for Venezuela. Cereals, total production fell from 3.598 million metric tons in 2014 to 1.782 million metric tons in 2016. Carlos Machado Allison, for decades the go-to-guy on Venezuelan agriculture, had this to say about the collapse of Venezuelan agriculture under Chavismo. Carlos Machado Allison: “Es brutal el atraso tecnológico en el sistema agroalimentario.”

        Según mis cálculos, que se ajustan bastante a los de Fedeagro y al resto de los gremios, en 1998 la producción agrícola vegetal era de 780 kilogramos por persona al año, y en 2016 fue de 500 kilogramos.
        Tr.: According to my calculations, that have been adjusted in accordance with those of Fedagro and other producer associations, 1998 crop production was 780 kilograms per person and in 2016 it was around 500 kilograms.

        That is a decline of 36% in per capita crop production from 1998 to 2016.

        Please read more carefully.

        Please read more carefully.

  4. I trust the next Bolivarian elections will be fair and transparent, with the illustrious Tibisay Lucena presiding. Except that Maduro already won the next 5 elections. I wouldn’t waste 5 minutes “voting” there.

    • El Finado invited MPJ to his 1999 inauguration.

      Latin America’s record of General-Presidents is not a good one. Most General-Presidents were not competent administrators. Consider General-President Lucas Garcia of Guatemala, who spent his final years of exile in Puerto La Cruz.
      The likelihood of a competent, honest General-President walking through the door in Venezuela today is rather small. Chavismo has had 2 decades to promote Chavista officers and retire oppo officers. This is what you get in Venezuela today: Vladimir Padrino Lopez.

      • Perhaps the best argument in Venezuela against the Man on Horseback is El Finado himself, who in a previous existence was a Lieutenant Colonel. Not a competent administrator at all.

        • Well, at one time he was in charge of the cafetin in Fuerte Tiuna (?), where he was notable for organizing Llanero joropo fiestas, and stealing cafetin funds….

  5. @Kepler: how do you know that, reading in Wikipedia? THE BLOODY DICTATOR. That was your best 😆 LOL. I lived the peaceful times of MPJ. The significant difference between bloody MPJ and bloody Socialist regime is precisely that. Since ”democracy” was in place violence became part of our life. During MPJ it was targeted. Like every where else.

    • You definitely did not read what the article said about the economics.

      I was not born back then but my parents were and my grandparents. Even though life for people outside politics did not worsen economically during PJ time, they knew just because it did not touch them directly they could not say it was good. You have to see the big picture and the long term view.

      And afterwards many of them saw what happened during PJ time:
      a lot of the projects for which PJ is held responsible were ordered way before he was in power and he literally made a fund like FONDEN disappear…and that was only in the six years he ruled. He got Venezuela into a huge amount of debts future governments had to pay for and these were not just for all the projects that some link to him alone. That was at a time that Venezuela, with 5 million people just massively coming to the cities who had never been into drugs apart from cocuy, aguardiente and tobacco, was a bit more manageable.

      One thing that makes me different from you and Chavistas is I definitely do not believe some individual as Saviour of the Nation.

      As one of USA’s most reknown philosophers, R. M. W., once said, “Politicians are a lot like diapers. They should be changed frequently, and for the sam reason”.

      • @Kepler: we don’t disagree by much other than I can be your grandfather.

        I can’t argue without further debt research.

        You see, pick any world bank, fmi, sort of “Independent” análisis and they will coincide that Venezuelan GDP per capita was $15000 in 2014. You research debt, it’s all been erased. The GDP per capita is worst as they used for long time the frozen CENCOEX EOR. Enough to distort reality. Notice I placed the instructions in low cap.

        Can you disclose your sources. I admire Benjamin Franklin who actually said that about politicians. He being one of the founding fathers I ought to respect what he said.

        Another factual information that can be taken as racist: many civilizations were not born for Democratic governments style. And unfortunately I believe Venezuela is one of them: who started it all, Simon Bolivar. The Chilean example is outstanding.

        FONDEN? What’s that? A mirage only. Look what Norwegian did. They have a “FONDEN” equivalent of $ 300 trillion on which they could all live for generations to come without working. Totally opposite of what Venezuela has done

        I’ll work on the debt build-up.
        Thanks

          • @Net: yes, I did make a mistake, used another country or certainly the number of zeros.

            Anyway, It’s one trillion US dollars ($1e12). And foreign debt is only 29% of GDP. It’s great checking our sources. For only 5 million people, that’s a lot.

            Thanks for noticing.

        • Depending on the day, the Norweigan Oil Fund is approximately $US 1 trillion. That comes from foresight, understanding global economies and politics, planning for longterm social needs.. rather than populist pan por hoy.. dame dos, cuanta cueste su vota? con playa bonitas y cervezas fria.

  6. And Venezuela will continue to decline even more for simple reasons: the economy was utterly destroyed, oil was mortgaged, 3 million of the best people got the hell out, never to return and the remaining population is as ignorant, corrupt and uneducated as ever, and getting worse.

    No average democratic government can fix such a mess. With what? A huge IMF loan? Dream on. Unfortunately, it would take drastic economic measures and a tough right wing dictator to start fixing this mess and it would still take decades.

    I’d love to see Maduro and Chavismo fall, and Capriles or MCM in power. Venezuela would remain a total disaster anyway.

  7. They say Pinochet was a “bloddy dictator” . the figure is 3000 dead in 17 years. That”s NOTHING compared to chavismo, or even what violent crime will be AFTER Chavismo – figure at least 10000 violent deaths each year, or 170000 dead in Pinochet’s 17 years.

    Not to mention that since these dictators stole a LOT less than any democratic government in Vzla, they build infrastructure and educate people. Again. Look it up. See what MPJ built and planned to build in less than 5 years. You will be shocked.

    • @Bolichico in NY: Thanks a lot. Sometimes I’m thinking I’m going nuts with the stories reported by reportedly anti-Chavez and anti-Maduro people in this site.
      —————//////————
      I’m certainly much older. If I give someone a little trust is MCM. And only because we shared common interest in TQM for a period of time.

      Forget about the Capriles kind of politicians. He was a marionette of Chavez.

      Secondly, it all started with the ’democracy’ people. I named them already (JV, RB, RC, etc.) in 1958. Not in 1998.

      After Chavez death, Maduro was the climax, the orgasm of socialism fanatics.

      Maduro and his cohort, the Chavez family (did his brother die too?) are the admiration of social media and people like Corbyn, Hollande, Iglesias, etc. The ”Internationale Socialiste” considers those bastards as the victims of ours. Because the people was not able to understand (?)

      Now this Arraiz genius finds the way to rationalize the Venezuelan chaos by resorting to a misrepresentation of MPJ. Just as they, the socialists, are doing with Franco in Spain. This is a kind of a delayed orgasm.

      What people ought to understand is that the politicians of the 60’s converted this country to a land of vagabondage. Starting spreading the riches of the oil to gain even more power. Subsidies they called them. In fact they were only afraid the people will go back to a military dictatorship like MPJ.

      Those freaks were extremely cautious about not naming themselves socialists or Marxists. Therefore, they picked a fight with Fidel unnecessarily. And incepted the guerrilla (the MIR, and others lookalike FARC; FLN). MIR split from Accion Democratica when the far-left realized RB wouldn’t declare himself a Marxist.

      So remember, what Venezuela has had in power since 1958 (60 years) is the same Socialism; and the last step to becoming a truly communist regime is to declare private property illegal. That day will come sooner than I thought.

      @Arraiz: I teach modern LatAm history and Geopolitics on my free time. Please don’t mess with my curriculum.

      • @Kepler: too much has been written and my old gray cells are breaking down. I’m missing the point. My memory is going sideways. I’ll research more deeply because for some weird reason most economical data prior to 1970 has evaporated from the web. Therefore I need time. I probably need weed. Thanks

        • because for some weird reason most economical data prior to 1970 has evaporated from the web.

          Banco Central de Venezuela has very little accessible data before 1997. I did find one Excel sheet w 1973 data.

      • Maddison 2013 gives similar data for 1950.
        GDP per capita (1990 Int. GK$)
        1945 5,102
        1946 5,948
        1947 6,894
        1948 7,394
        1949 7,544
        1950 7,462
        1951 7,663
        1952 7,992
        1953 7,956
        1954 8,417
        1955 8,750
        1956 9,124
        1957 10,058
        1958 9,816
        1959 9,997
        1960 9,646
        1961 9,002
        1962 9,058
        1963 9,134
        1964 9,562
        1965 9,841
        1966 9,677
        1967 9,922
        1968 10,249
        1969 10,262
        1970 10,672
        1971 10,446
        1972 10,245
        1973 10,625
        1974 10,507
        1975 10,472
        1976 10,929
        1977 11,251
        1978 11,164
        1979 10,920
        1980 10,139
        1981 9,841
        1982 9,356
        1983 8,745
        1984 8,623
        1985 8,521
        1986 8,725
        1987 8,805
        1988 9,080
        1989 8,094
        1990 8,313
        1991 8,907
        1992 9,234
        1993 9,061
        1994 8,666
        1995 8,831
        1996 8,649
        1997 9,035
        1998 8,906
        1999 8,238
        2000 8,409
        2001 8,566
        2002 7,696
        2003 6,996
        2004 8,156
        2005 8,868
        2006 9,602
        2007 10,290
        2008 10,672
        2009 10,176
        2010 9,874

        Francisco Rodriguez & Ricardo Hausmann (Eds.):Venezuela- Anatomy of a Collapse.

        https://www.rug.nl/ggdc/historicaldevelopment/maddison/releases/maddison-project-database-2013

        • @Boludo Tejano: Thanks 🙏!!!

          Question: Is this constant dollars, discounted of inflation and using the black market rate? If you don’t mind I’ll grab this data but would eliminate anything after 1982. Remember the black market was born on or after Black Friday in 1983.

          Another problem is that anything this guy Ricardo Housman writes is highly biased to the egalitarianism or to the left.

          • Constant dollars of 1990. The best way to judge if exchange rate variations have been factored out is to compare with constant B’s data.

            If you look at World Bank figures, you see that its per capita income data in GNI per capita (constant LCU), a.k.a. constant Bs, has the same percentage increases as GNI per capita (constant 2010 US$) or GNI per capita, PPP (constant 2011 international $) Which means that both inflation AND exchange rate fluctuations have been factored out. (Also GDP.)

            Similarly, the 2010/1998 growth figure of 8.7% in Maddison 2013 data is the same as World Bank’s growth of 8.7% for GNI per capita (constant LCU) (Constant Bs).

            The Maddison 2018 data does not agree with what World Bank and thus BCV have for 1998-2013 growth. They have ~15%, whereas Maddison has 34% per capita income growth for 1998-2013 which is total nonsense. BCV- I repeat BCV- has 15% growth for 1998-2013 using constant Bs.

            BTW, if Chavistas complain that the World Bank is a lying capitalist pig organization that has deliberately reduced Chavista economic figures for 1998-2013, the best reply is that the World Bank gets its data from the BCV. BCV has the same 1998-2013 per capita income growth in constant Bs that the World Bank has.

            Which helps explain why the World Bank doesn’t have recent Ven economic data. BCV isn’t delivering it. Though GOV did deliver lying Infant Mortality data to World Bank.

            https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GNP.PCAP.KN?locations=VE&view=chart

  8. @BOLUDO TEJANO: There is definitely an serious inconsistency in Haussmann work, one of his tables shows the Venezuelan crude in the 50’s at around 15-20 dollars per barrel when oil in Texas in the same period was around 3$/barrel. The last is sourced from https://www.eia.gov/. If what Haussmann was right why would the USA or else bothered importing oil from Venezuela?

    • I would need to see what you are discussing. Current dollars would have had Venezuelan crude in the 1950s through the early 1970s at ~$3/BBL. Constant dollars, where inflation would be factored out, would give a higher figure- which would explain the $15/BBL figure for a 1950s crude price.

  9. Ok looked surprisingly different. WorldBank and IMF are both worse pigs as many large companies and investors believed in that bs published by them in USD controlled ROE. Thanks

  10. Posting again as I made many typos and did not proofreading before posting:

    I still deal with many people in Valencia and Caracas who seem completely inadvertent of the reportedly chaotic situation.

    And they tell me time after time, they are not enchufados. They only have a bank account in Miami, and means to work in USD for personal life agents, and/or personal medical insurers agencies in Florida too or etc [this ”Etc” includes trafficking with the black market ROE – aka unintended Money Laundering]

    They also work in Soberanos, to make believe. But an engineer will be happy if they pay USD2 (two) for a valuation case; or 50 cents for a daily assistant. I don’t know if those are salaries or on-the-job wages. I think we here in the US are the ones freaking out for nothing. If I’m wrong as usual, please feel free to clarify.

  11. Before the decision to steal the election was made final MPJ sent a group of officers to take a poll with officers at the different garrisons , for example the head of the Barcelona barracks (el negro pulido) recieved the officers sent by MPJ at the airport telling them ‘if you come to tell me we have to accept villalba as president then your accomodations at the brig prison are waiting for you , if you come to tell me that we are going to put General Perez Jimenez as president then we can go to the officers cassino and have a pair of whiskeys ……’, THAT was the real election ..!!

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