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The Primaries Are Here

Despite disinformation campaigns and a last minute blast from Acción Democrática, the 2023 opposition primaries are finally here. The process will not only define a (tentative) unitary candidate for 2024 but also the new opposition landscape. We’ll keep you posted through the day!

Primaries Update

María Corina Machado voting with her children (Image courtesy of Efecto Cocuyo).
  • 7:05. Some polling stations are still open due to the long lines.
  • Some people shot fires at a polling station in El Limón, Aragua. In Santa Rosalía, in west Caracas, a box with 350 ballots was stolen by alleged security forces. 1200 people voted afterwards anyway.
  • There was a shortage of voting materials in a handful of states because turnout was higher than expected.
  • Unofficial results gives over 95% of the diaspora vote to Machado, followed by Andrés Caleca.
  • Acción Democrática (AD) says they “recognize the healthy development of the primary” and that they “stand with unity,” a message that seems to reject Prosperi’s words in the leaked video. Ramos Allup will give statements after the CNdP releases the results. Previously, a member of the party board publicly criticized Prosperi’s words.
  • A leaked video shows AD pre-candidate Carlos Prosperi (who’s been denouncing “irregularities” without evidence) announcing that he won’t recognize the results because the primaries are a “disaster”. He implies a future parallel candidacy. Coopted opposition?
  • María Corina Machado voted with two of her children.
  • Both Henrique Capriles and Manuel Rosales voted. Recently-released former political prisoner Roland Carreño also voted.
  • In Caracas, colectivos shot fires into the air in Las Acacias and threw a tear gas bomb in Santa Rosalía. In both cases, voters returned to the voting centers afterwards. In Maturín, PSUV members intimidated voters. In Carabobo, turnout was high in Chavista areas.
  • Long voting lines have been registered in low-income areas of Caracas like Antímano, San Martín (despite threats from colectivos), La Vega and El Valle.
  • Jesús María Casal, president of the National Commission of Primaries, was welcomed with applauds and the cry of “yes we can!” in his voting center.
  • Frontrunner María Corina Machado: “I must say our expectations were quite exceeded”
  • In Catia, in west Caracas, Chavistas played loud pro-Chávez music at the voting center. People kept voting.
  • Chavista groups threatened the San José de Tarbes nuns in Caracas. The voting center had to be moved somewhere else.
  • Mass mobilization isn’t limited to east Caracas. There are long lines in Propatria, La Candelaria, Catia and El Paraíso. Voter turnup has also been high in places like Amazonian border town Santa Elena de Uairén, Puerto Pítiru, Tumeremo, Acarigua, Puerto Ordaz and Nirgua.
  • Carlos Prosperi, who continues to allege “irregularities” without much proof, was booed in his voting centers by other voters.
  • Participation in Australia was over 14%. If the same happened throughout the registered diaspora, around 50,000 Venezuelans abroad could vote today.
  • Colectivos prevented the installation of the voting center in El Guarataro, a slum in Caracas, and an intentional trash fire temporarily stopped voters from participating in La Estrella square.
  • Jesús María Casal, president of the National Commission of Primaries: “At the moment [9:00am] more than 70% of Venezuela’s polling stations are installed and citizens are voting in peace as we wanted.
  • Carlos Prosperi continues his act. He called journalist Eugenio Martínez “a mythomaniac” for tweeting data from the National Commission of Primaries.

Do You Know Where to Vote Today?

If you don’t, and your access to the primaries’ official searching site is blocked by Conatel, you can go to @robertopatinog‘s Instagram and talk with AI on his direct messages. Just message him, follow the simple instructions, put your ID number and Roberto’s AI version will show you your voting center for this Sunday.

The Primaries Begin… In Australia 🦘

Here’s the first voter of the 2023 opposition primaries: in Sidney, Australia!

Over 300,000 Venezuelans abroad, in more than 75 cities, are expected to vote in the primaries. Nevertheless, the electoral process was cancelled in Argentina (due to its presidential elections) and Israel (due to the Gaza war).

No Gasoline, Less Voters

Táchira woke up without no fuel, a situation that could affect the mobilization of voters in a particularly pro-opposition state. Gasoline shortages were reported in other states, including areas of Caracas. A politically-motivated shutoff?

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