Archive for November 21st, 2005

A Chavista General goes to Court to protect his reputation

November 21, 2005

To add
fuel to the questioning of all of the actions and words by the Prosecutor General Isaias Rodríguez
in the Danilo Anderson case, today pro-Chavez General Jaime Escalante went
to the Supreme Court
to ask for an injunction against the Prosecutor
General, to stop him from damaging his honor, his reputation and his rights.

You see,
according to the Venezuelan
Constitution in Article 266
, high ranking military officers can not be tried unless
the Supreme Court reviews the evidence against them and decides whether there is sufficient
merit or not totake the officer to trial on the charges. Well, like so many things in the Danilo Anderson
process, the Prosecutor General Isaias Rodriguez, has done an abominable job. In
the case of General Escalante, he accused him and named him publicly of being involved in the Andetrson murder almost a
week ago, but has yet to file the case and provide any evidence with the Supreme Court to review
it and decide whether there is merit to the charges. In the meantime General
Escalante’s image and reputation has clearly been damaged by the accusation
that he did have something to do with the assassination of Anderson.

In fact
the whole case has been really strange, with the Prosecutor General giving almost
daily press conferences at which he reviews the case in public and says things
like: “I will accuse four people, one of which will surprise nobody”. Then last
Friday he said he would charge three more people, two of which were quite well
known. Or one of my favorites: “From the testimony of the star witness, I could
tell that 80% of what he was saying was true”. Jeez! 80% truth, anyone that lies 20%
of the time is very unreliable in my book, but I guess Isaias must regularly
meet with some really untrustworthy and seedy people if these are his standards!

He then
accuses the press of trying the case in public, while he is the one that daily
has come to talk about the case, answered questions from reporters about
whether so and so, may or not be involved in the case and has never explained
while certain leads have never been followed. I looked over the book by the Pablo
Medina on the Danilo Anderson case today and if half of what Medina
says is true, then
there are too many leads that have not been followed and too many
inconsitencies. It simply can not be
incompetence, it has to be either negligence or deceit. Take your pick,
either case Isaias Rodriguez is the man that has the mandate by the
Constitution to defend and uphold the law! There is no rule of law in
Venezuela as long as that man is in charge of the Prosecutor’s General

Can any of
the readers of this blog imagine if in any their respective countries a high ranking
General was charged with being involved in an assassination of a Government
official and a week goes by without a single piece of evidence presented by the prosecutors
accusing him in any court? Do you think that this General’s reputation can ever be
restored as long as this Government remains in power? Can this General’s military
career ever be resumed?

Such is the
state of the rule of law in Venezuela,
not even those close to the center of power are immune to being destroyed, if
someone decides to do so. And to think that some people actually think they
will never be affected by all of this and that there is some redeeming value about this
silly and random revolution.

A remarkably arrogant and deceitful ad by the Electoral Board (CNE)

November 21, 2005

The ad
below represents in all of its extent why I think this autocratic Government is
indefensible, deceitful and arrogant. As I detailed in my
a few days ago, the
law is very clear
, at least the number of ballots in ALL boxes have to be
counted on Election Day and their total compared and matched with the number of
voters tallied by the electronic machines. This has been noted by Sumate and studied
by others
that were not aware of it who reached the same unavoidable conclusion.
In fact, if the number of “paper ballots deposited” (As stated in the law) is
not the same, ALL of the votes from that polling station are simply invalid according to the Suffrage law!

Now, you have to understand that this was not done with
the recall vote, or in the Governor and Mayoral elections in October 2004 or in
the regional elections this summer. And it will not be done in the upcoming
elections either! In fact, the CNE intended to audit only 8-10% of all ballot
boxes, made a “big” concession (we should all be so grateful) and then said it will do 33% of them and via the
mediation of the OAS last week, will now audit 45% of all ballot boxes. Note
that an audit is more extensive in that the actual votes for each candidate are
also counted, which was my point, if you have to count the number of ballots,
why not count the votes while you are at it? All of them. This would make the
whole process transparent; people would trust it and our democracy would be
better. (Even the OAS, which just got here noted that there was someything fishy because the CNE has not released the electoral registry)

Instead, the CNE agrees to audit only 45% of the ballot boxes, which
statistically is a good sample of course. But this will not be a hot audit.
This vote count will not be matched to the actual machine results, but sent
under separate cover to the CNE, who will have five weeks to compare them. I am not making this up; it is in the
instructions for the vote process on Dec. 4, very clearly stated. It is a long
document, so please trust me, it is there spelled out in detail. By the way, in the
August election the comparison was instant in the limited ballot boxes where the audit was performed.

But the truly arrogant thing is this in your face ad by the Electoral Board, in which they imply there is
some sort of magnanimous concession in its part by agreeing to look at 45% of the
ballots, while bypassing and disobeying the law. This Goebbelian ad, represents
the dishonesty and travesty that the law has become under Chavez, which is supported
by eunuchs like the President of the CNE, who only aim to please the leader and
gain indulgences for future promotions. This is possible, only because the Electoral
power has been kidnapped by the Chavez administration, thanks to its control of
the Supreme Court, which named the CNE and even named Board members when its
President was named to the Court for conducting a very biased recall process. You
see, according to the Constitution it is the National Assembly that names the
Board, which has not been done because it requires a qualified majority,
something the autocrats do not have and were not willing to find someone
impartial, since they need and want to control everything. Such is the way of fascists!

So my friends laugh at the existence of the rule of law or the
possibility of a level playing field, when after all of this is done,
the CNE publishes the following
ad translated below, which I find is simply an insult to the
intelligence of
Venezuelans, as well as a clear demonstration of the rule ofthe outlaws
in this
poor country:

Strengthening guarantees45% of the protecting boxes will be
audited in front of your eyes

This December 4th. we
will offer you one of the most secure and reliable processes in the world. Once
the vote is finished, we will initiate the opening of 12,266 ballot boxes and in
public fashion they will be audited in the presence of national and international

CNE promotes protagonical and
democratic participation

Well, fist of all, the law says 100% should be counted
which is not being done (Do I hear rule of Law from any of the Chavistas
readers?). Second, there is no audit, this is simple counting of the votes,
nothing is being checked for accuracy, comparison or verified, which is what
the word “audit” means and implies. Third there is a claim this is secure, why? None
of the “security” aspects were checked or have ever been checked, by anyone, anywhere.

As for claiming this is one of the most secure and reliable
processes in the world, please don’t make me laugh, nowhere in the world do
they count only a fraction of the paper ballots, period.

So, please don’t give me any BS, the CNE promotes no
democratic participation and the fact that the CNE is not looking for
transparency can only raise doubts about what they really intend to do on Dec. 4th.
Follow the law, at least count all of the ballots in all ballot boxes.
As we have said every single time, there is only one way that
there can be transparency the CNE claims should have and the trust will follow:

all of the boxes and count and compare all of the ballots with the
automatic results, only then will there be trust in the veracity
of the outcome!!!