Archive for June 27th, 2003

Fraud in the making?

June 27, 2003

The Head of the Electoral Commission (CNE) said yesterday that of the 600,000 ID cards issued in the last six months, which are required to vote in Venezuela, 200,000 of them had been objected to by the CNE’s workers. He also added that his Commision is having difficulties supervsing the issuing of ID cards as established by law. In fact, he added that there are instructions by Government officials from the Ministry of Interior of Justice not to allow the CNE workers to participate in the process and there are severe difficulties to do so. Fraud in the making?


Two opposition events without violence

June 27, 2003

On the positive side, the opposition held rallies in Vargas state and in the city of Valera. In both cases there was no violence. This is the first time this has happened in a long time. Change of strategy?

Attempt against reporter, Government silent

June 27, 2003

For the second time this week, there was an attack on the car of a personality associated with the anti-Chavez opposition. On Wednesday, it was an explosive device which blew the car of the Governor of Miranda state, who happens to be one of the two leading opposition candidates. Today, which happens to be “Reporter’s Day” in Venezuela, there was an attempt against reporter and TV personality Marta Colomina. Mrs. Colomina has been a strong critic of the Chavez administration from the beginning and it is one of the reporters that the OAS Commission on Human Rights issued precautionary measures, which the Government never followed. Essentially, eight armed men attacked her car with a “huge” Molotov bomb made up of a three feet high water bottle which was broken against her car and an attempt was made to light it as her bodyguard put the car in reverse to get away.

What I find absolutely incredible about the attack is that 14 hours after it occurred, the Government has said nothing about, including condemning it ( I don’t want to get into who organized the attack). In fact, only the Minister of Infrastructure has said something in his infinite cynicism: “people are losing their rating, people don’t believe them”, suggesting apparently that Mrs. Colomina set the attack up herself. Minister Cabello immediately said that neither the Government nor its supporters were behind the attack. Usually an investigation by the authorities would be needed to reach such a conclusion, but obviously, there is no authority or organized Government in this country.