Specter of US sponsored Electoral Fraud returns to Venezuela

Venezuela's upcoming May 2018 elections already show signs of US foreign meddling.

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CARACAS, Venezuela – There is a recurring phrase in motivational exercises to the tune of “the essence of life is to go forward”, which shows the need of every living being not to go backwards,  since according to the phrase described we would be struggling against life itself

However, the US backed Venezuelan opposition does not apply this principle. Unlike the rest of the living beings in the world, it has the permanent and systematic habit of going backwards, of going back in time, which implies that it makes mistakes that have already been overcome and that, in theory, should not be reissued.

I characterize this in relation to the reactivation of the specter of electoral fraud, created and boosted from the year 2004, after the victory of President Hugo Chávez in the attempts to carry out a recall referendum. We must remember that after the failure of the opposition, a discrediting campaign, national and international, began against the National Electoral Council (CNE).

 

The accusations against the CNE, promoted by the media, some political parties, and an organization called SÚMATE, focused on accusing the electoral power of having manipulated the votes, of having carried out fraud with the help of hackers, that the votes were manipulated, that audits should be 100% made by machines, etc. This justified the permanent request to return to the manual system, before the “lack of guarantees” of the electronic system.

This accusation of fraud, without presenting evidence, generated a significant demobilization of the opposition, which is why they decided not to participate in the 2005 legislative elections, because they knew that they would not obtain a meaningful vote, which would have caused the evaporation of the traditional parties (AD and COPEI). Later one of the most resounding electoral defeats of the opposition were seen in the presidential elections of 2006, in which President Chávez almost doubled the vote of his closest competitor.

From the facts described, we could conclude that they are the direct responsibility of the 2004 fraud call, that is, that the political move to call into question the electoral results in fact generated defeats from the opposition and allowed Chavismo to continue advancing in the political field. A fairly serious analyst or adviser, analyzing these results, would recommend to the opposition not to make this mistake again, since the results are very unfavorable.

However, the opposition then spent the next three years harping on the specter of fraud, which they themselves created, to give back to their ranks the confidence in the vote and in the electoral institution, managing to win the reform proposal in 2007, and obtaining important victories with the elections of governors in the year 2008, in which they obtained the governorates of greater electoral population (Zulia, Miranda and Carabobo).

From this historical analysis it can be seen that when the opposition decides to take the electoral route it has obtained important victories and non-negligible votes, which is why common sense, which is the least common of the senses, would lead them to boost the electoral path permanently to achieve the long-awaited political change.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, in the year 2017 the opposition reactivated its obsession, against the specter of fraud. Recall that Gerardo Blyde as spokesman for the former MUD in the regional elections announced that the CNE would report results different from those they handled, suggesting a manipulation of the results and officially reactivating the specter of electoral fraud.

After that fact, and as happened in 2004, the opposition said it would not go to the municipal elections (although some activists did), and were defeated in a colossal manner by Chavez forces. And now in the year 2018 it is common to hear on the street, at work and in any other space people who say they will not vote, because the CNE is bought, is biased, votes are altered and do not reflect the popular will , that on May 20 Maduro will win because the trap is mounted, etc.

Based on this, one might ask: if all these denunciations were real, how is the opposition’s victory explained in 2015, when they overwhelmingly defeated Chavism, or victory in important governorates in 2017? Recall that in Táchira the opposition practically doubled Chavez in votes, not to mention that in 2015 there were hundreds of thousands of votes against the current president Nicolás Maduro.

These accusations without evidence by a sector of the population contribute to the electoral demobilization, and seek to cause the opposition ranks to abstain to a large extent from the next electoral event set for May. If we are guided based on the historical analysis made at the beginning, the opposition could recover that confidence by the year 2021 approximately.

As we could appreciate this campaign of lack of conditions or lack of partiality of the CNE, it has been a political resource of the opposition in different political conjunctures, which is valid but not intelligent. That is to say, there are some who campaign, promising to improve things, fix the streets, etc. Instead the opposition campaigns focuses on attacking the referee.

This strategy of the opposition has historically shown that it does not bear fruit, the opposition stagnates, does not advance electorally, loses more political spaces, and guarantees that the Government extends more time in power, which is why one could ask: why back to the past? Why reactivate the fraud specter? What do they earn with that?

 

These questions that seem obvious have equally obvious answers: the opposition has a problem of immediacy, wants to take power today, refuses to work with a plan for several years to materialize their work. It is likely that their hard work will bite them because of its class structure. The other factor is the international pressure that forces it to do things, that he may not want, and he does not realize that those impositions throw him down a ravine.

However, the biggest question we must ask ourselves is whether the absence of an electoral channel is encouraged, and if it is presented that the vote is not the mechanism to generate political changes, that another way is being promoted. It seems that the national and international extremist groups seek to feed routes that lead us to armed confrontations, which generate millions of deaths and destruction to satisfy foreign and obscure interests. History has shown that encouraging these actions of violence and death benefit large economic interests, and the saddest thing is that, overcome, they return to the electoral route, which shows that the vote is where always culminates any political difference. What we must ask ourselves is whether we want to settle political disputes by means of a vote, before or after an armed conflict.

To summarize, true democrats must take the electoral route. You can not be a democrat for some things and not for others. The vote is an institution that in Venezuela has shown that it presents a great consensus to resolve disputes. And you always have to participate when there is a chance to win or not, because, as the great Spanish economist José Luis Sampedro would say: “Battles must be fought, won or lost, for the very fact of giving them, because that ratifies us.”

Translated from Mision Verdad.

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