Military attempts to intimidate voters and probably suceeded

August 14, 2004

The Venezuelan military is very confused about their role in the election. What else is new? What can you expect from mediocrity? What can you expect from bully Generals used to acting outside the law and with no checks and balances.

Let’s see, General Becerra announces “new functions” for the Venezuelan military, creating a scandal as he says that the military will ask people for the national ID card. The, he denies he said it. But then, his boss says, Becerra was following his orders and “the military will ask national ID cards from all citizens, to make sure that they can check that the picture coincides with the person…”


Then opposition spokesman Timoteo Zambrano says that the role of the military is outside of the polling centers, but this is being violated by some military leaders.


Then the Head of CUFAN comes back and reiterates that they will go beyond guarding the polling centers.


Then the Head of the Plan Republica which supports the logistics of the voting says “It is not abnormal for the military to request to see the national ID cards.” And that they will help with the lines, will check voters in the lists and will watch over the fingerprint machines, but will remain a “prudent” distance away from the voting machines.


Finally, the Minister of Defense as he left a meeting with international observers said: The people at the polling tables are responsible for the identification of the people”…and would only help if the members request help….they will not ask people for their National ID cards.


Now it is clear, but their goal has been achieved: the intimidation of voters.

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