The international news media willingly, and almost casually, reported that Nicolás Maduro, the Chavista presidential candidate in Venezuela, had been “elected” president in the elections held on April 14, when if they had only taken the effort to look into the facts they might at most have reported that the National Elections Council (four of whose five members are reputed Chavista ideologues) had declared Maduro the winner by the thinnist of nargins (1,7%, which represents some 230,000 votos out of a total of almost 15 million valid votes case), while his opponent Enrique Capriles had accused Maduro of widesspread fraud, and demanded a recount vote by vote. If they had inwquire even further, they might have also reported that the declaration of Maduro as president occurred well before all of thevotes hadbeen counted.
El Pais,one of the leading papers in the world, reported–almost alone–the details of Capriles’ charges:
Capriles and his command have pointed to evidence of some of the irregularities which have been formally denounced this Monday before the electoral authorities. Among them are photographs that show “assisted voting” by Chavista observers, who watched over the voters and indicated to them in front of the voting machine who they should vote for. He said that the obsrvers from the opposition were expelled by force, in some cases using firearms, from 183 voting centers; that he possessed reports of 535 voting machines which were damaged furing the voting process, which affected the votes of some 700,000 voters; that it is calculated that there are 600,000 voters who have died but who are still registered on the voting lists; and that in some voting centers the (Chavista) candidate Maduro obtained up to 500% more votes than did the deceased Chavez in the presidential elections of October, 2012. when he obtained his fourth re-election. “Who can blieve that Maduro has been able to obtain more votes in a votng center than Chavez?” Capriles asked, showing the offical registy of hundreds of recorded voting tallies where this result was produced.
The full Spanish text is as follows:
Capriles y su comando han enseñado las pruebas de algunas de las irregularidades que han sido denunciadas formalmente este lunes ante la autoridad electoral. Entre ellas, fotografías que muestran el “voto asistido” por testigos chavistas, que vigilaban a los electores y les indicaban frente a la máquina de votación por quién sufragar. Dijo que los testigos de la oposición fueron expulsados por la fuerza, en algunos casos utilizando armas de fuego, de 183 centros electorales. Que posee reportes de 535 máquinas de votación dañadas durante el proceso, que afectaron el voto de unos 700 mil electores. Que se calcula que hay 600 mil electores ya fallecidos y aún registrados en el padrón electoral. Y que en algunos centros, el candidato Maduro obtuvo hasta 500% más escrutinios de los que obtuvo el fallecido presidente Chávez en las presidenciales de octubre de 2012, donde logró su cuarta reelección. “¿Quién puede creer que Maduro haya podido sacar en un centro de votación más votos que Chávez”, preguntó Capriles, mostrando el registro de cientos de actas donde se produjo este resultado.
–See Maye Primera (Miami,”Capriles suspende las protestas tras los siete muertos por enfrentamientos; El líder opositor venezolano insiste en la auditoría de las elecciones presidenciales y llama a sus seguidores a “recogerse” de las calles para evitar estallidos de violencia; También ha pedido diálogo para solventar la crisis política que atraviesa Venezuela,” El Pais, 17 de abril de 2013 (1:26 CET)
Given Maduro’s massive drop in the polls in the last weeks of the election (10-14%), Capriles’ harges, which are extremely serious, appear to be plausible.
In fact, looking at all of the factors in play, it is hard to escape the conclusion that there is a very strong possibility that Maduro and the Chavistas are trying to steal the election by fraud, and to avoid an accurante recount by virture of the fact that they currently control the key state instiutions, including the Electoral Commission and the Supreme Court.
The Trenchant Observer