If regulations for observers are an indication, we can look forward to a very unfair election in September

July 7, 2010

(Who can understand them? This ” is not a democracy:, that “this violates my democratic rights”. Democracy ended in 1998, do I speak Chinese or what?)

According to Sumate, here are two of the articles of the regulations issued for observers of the upcoming electoral process to elect Deputies to the National Assembly:

Art. 15. Observing organizations are banned from publicly denouncing violations of fairness in the election…

similarly, that same article says:

Accredited persons will not be able to: Issue statements, nor opinions in general or in particular about internal matters of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela until the electoral process is over…similarly, they will abstain from…making public pronouncements…

Art. 16. paragraph 3. Observing organizations will have to maintain under strict confidentiality or reserve the content of the exchanges of opinion and suggestions presented to the electoral authority (CNE)

Jeez, if these are the ground rules before the process has even begun, anyone expecting anything fair in September is simply dreaming…

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26 Responses to “If regulations for observers are an indication, we can look forward to a very unfair election in September”

  1. firepigette Says:

    Deananash is correct.Unless you have the fortitude and ‘will’ to really fight -and fight with an organized group of people:

    the most intelligent thing to do is cut losses and leave.It is not so much about money, but about safety,and freedom.

    I realize that Venezuelans often tolerate a lot for money.However the promise of future money is often as good for the naive as money in ‘real time’.

    I have known many a Venezuela who has worked for ” friends” for free, imagining big future profits, only to find out later they were duped.

  2. deananash Says:

    Sorry to be a broken record, but if you have any way of fleeing the country with your loved ones, REGARDLESS of the financial cost/loss, I highly recommend that you take it – ASAP.

    Why? See Cuba, circa 1960-2010.

  3. A_Antonio Says:

    After Rodriguez Minister said the electrical crisis is over. Punto Fijo, Falcon, have 12 hours blackout.

    But Punto Fijo has a brand new electrical Plant, “Josefa Camejo”.

    But Punto Fijo always suffers blackouts, but is close to one of bigger refinery complex of the world!!!.

    But, this is 21st century.

  4. Gordo Says:

    I keep saying it. Venezuela is out of money. The elections don’t seem to me to be so important anymore. Chavez can do anything he wants about the elections or anything else, but the fact remains… there’s no money!

    An emperor without clothes is much better off than an emperor without money.

    The government is insolvent. The government is being attacked in international courts by its creditors. Yet the government continues seizures and closing down private businesses. In this situation, who wants to win the election?

  5. loroferoz Says:

    “All jokes aside, get ready for an Iran like repression when the CNE calls the election in Chavez favor. We will have our “Ayatollah” Chavez saying that people should respect the “divine and sacred” results of the elections, a few dead bodies here and there and after a while all will be over.”

    I hope not. They have Islam in Iran to make the Basij the self-righteous murderers they actually are. In general, organized religion can be useful for making people into utter bastards without a hint of remorse.

    Chavez would have his XXIst Century Socialism and the notion that such as it is can be used to the same effectiveness as Islam is laughable. It backfired on April 11 and it will backfire with more reason now. Certainly there is a large body of murderous criminals in Venezuela but I don’t see them being made into fanatics or being particularly useful.

  6. A_Antonio Says:

    Indication of the Degradation of a country:

    Mother, pregnant six months and her daughter of 7 years were kidnapped.
    The kidnapers cuts part of the small finger of the daughter to send to her family as a proof. (El Universal Newspaper Web, 12:49 PM today).

    p.s:

    The good new is they were liberated, kidnapers were caught.
    The bad news if with this legal system these kidnapers will be in the streets very soon.

  7. A_Antonio Says:

    Indication of the Degradation of a country:

    Mother, pregnant six months and her daughter of 7 years were kidnapped.
    The kidnapers cuts part of the small finger of the daughter to send to her family as a proof. (El Universal Newspaper, today).

    p.s:

    The good new is they were liberated, kidnapers were caught.
    The bad news if with this legal system, these kidnapers will be in the streets very soon.

  8. island canuck Says:

    RWG:

    Nice comments but how do you put him in jail if the justice department & the supreme court are in his pocket.

    That’s the basic problem. He can do what the heck he wants without fear of reprisal. He’s been breaking the constitution for years. Who’s going to stop him?

    P.S. Election is Sept. 26

  9. RWG Says:

    Massive vote fraud will occur in November. There is no other way Chavista’s can keep their seats. Hugo Chavez will be culpable in creating the fraud. Its time that the opposition warn Chavez that tampering with the election is illegal. Chavez may think otherwise, but he is not above the law.

    Do not turn Venezuela into another Iran. Put the SOB (HdP) Chavez in jail if any hints of fraud occur.

  10. A_Antonio Says:

    Sorry, I disagree from the last comments.

    As the sell of oil is a continuing inputs of dollar to the system, Venezuela can be economically denigrated like Cuba, as Boliburgueses receive money to buy the willing of militaries, legal and international bodies.

    Cuba have 50 year of denigration with less input of dollars, and there was not a little change. Only the constant of Castro in power.

    I hope for you, I am wrong.

  11. gd Says:

    I’ve said this before but it looks like this situation is headed to a violent conclusion, particularly if all release valves that were available under a free democratic system are shut down. Agree with Gordo, the economic meltdown/inflation is going to be a significant political event.

  12. Juan Cristobal Says:

    I wouldn’t make too much about these regulations. They look similar to what we’ve had before, and it hasn’t prevented observers from giving their point of view. Furthermore, even if they were allowed to call out fraud during the election, they are essentially powerless.

    The real crux is which organizations will be willing to come.

  13. JAU Says:

    We will have to find observers that are experts at mimic and do a great Marcel Marceau act when asked about what they saw. They should do as if the sealed their mouth, eaten the key and do as if they actually talk, then their asses would be kicked all the way to prison, and then end up the charade standing behind imaginary bars.

    All jokes aside, get ready for an Iran like repression when the CNE calls the election in Chavez favor. We will have our “Ayatollah” Chavez saying that people should respect the “divine and sacred” results of the elections, a few dead bodies here and there and after a while all will be over.

    By the way Miguel I will never talk again about a lucky bullet or anything else here, I promise. A couple of twitterers are in jail….

  14. Roger Says:

    On the other hand, if they (CNE) declare the winners without providing the results as they have in the past, any comments by observers won’t mean much again. Will they?

  15. island canuck Says:

    2 twitterers (sp?) have been detained for comments in their Twitter accounts that a bank was in trouble.

    http://www.eluniversal.com/2010/07/08/eco_ava_detienen-a-twitteros_08A4155371.shtml

  16. loroferoz Says:

    Cosmetic:

    1 : of, relating to, or making for beauty especially of the complexion : beautifying
    2 : done or made for the sake of appearance: as a : correcting defects especially of the face b : decorative, ornamental c : not substantive : superficial
    3 : visually appealing

    Substitute cosmetics for international observers please. Here and there.

    Now, are they also afraid that the cosmetics they invite and allow to stay might actually have a rash of honesty at the last minute? Heck, they did not in the last 4 elections.

  17. Gordo Says:

    I just read the feature article on Veneconmy “Where are the dollars?” The conclusion was “There aren’t any!”

    Venezuela is hereby insolvent, and Hugo Chavez is in charge…. Nothing he can do is going to change that. When things come to a grinding halt, he’ll have nowhere to hide. What will the army do then?

  18. Gordo Says:

    Everything indicates that the economy is already in melt-down… which is going to be a rather important political event, don’t you think? If that occurs, I think even the army is going to call for a change in political direction.

    In business, I can’t think of anything worse than insufficient cash-flow.

  19. Kepler Says:

    OA2, as far as I remember, observers in Sudan and in a couple of other countries were already reporting irregularities before the whole thing came to end. Obviously, I don’t see why they should report to the CNE only. It is precisely the CNE the organization they have to observe the most.

  20. RWG Says:

    OA2,
    In some sense, the rules will prevent incitement and give time for the government to review the accusations. That is fine.

    The problem is that any observers can now be jailed immediately under the suspicion that they communicated anything about the electoral process. Anything, not just violations of the fairness. The arrest will be immediate but their release from jail will be months after the election.

    It is a certainty that behind any enforcement of this law, violations of fairness will be found.

  21. OA2 Says:

    The rules seem pretty standard. The head of the observation bodies can speak all they like, but the average monitor should never speak publicly about observations; an errant comment to the press could cause chaos. Just because someone saw something fishy in Cabimas doesn’t mean the problem exists in other precincts or across the country. Observers are supposed to gather empirical data and transmit it along with any anecdotal data to those in charge who collate the info to compare with other observations to paint a picture of the election day overall. There’s a lot to worry about with the upcoming elections, but this typical language should not distract folks from real issues.

  22. firepigette Says:

    A recent article from the Guardian, April 2010

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2010/apr/09/venezuela-hugo-chavez

    “Rightwing outlets, such as Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News channel, regularly refer to Chávez as a dictator, even though there have been 12 national elections during his time as president – most of which received unprecedented levels of scrutiny by international observers and were systematically deemed as free and fair.”

    The media all over the place refers to Chavez as democratically elected even when he has systematically cheated .THAT is bias.The only news source that has systematically from many years ago called a spade a spade that I have seen so far is FOX.

    Many people are just too provincial to be able to stand up and speak the truth.They prefer to repeat the tired old adages and opinions that are in the mainstream rather than stand up on their own and speak out.This common human quality is taken advantage of by politicians and others to win votes.

    This quality is found in approx 70 % of the population.As ‘ academia’ also has to be equally provincial in order to maintain job status, it certainly complicates the problem.

  23. jeffry house Says:

    Don’t the articles violate freedom of expression? Isn’t this just one more way that Venezuelans are being told their views and conclusions are not important?

    If Juan notices that votes are being miscounted at his mesita, he can’t tell anyone about it except Chavez?

  24. island canuck Says:

    He’s desperate!! Make no mistake. He predicts 80% of the seats & that’s what he’s going to get.

    The thing is will the armed forces just stand by & let it happen. Or will there be another referendum stand at 2 AM? There has to be a reason that there were no military parades on July 5 or in June for Carabobo.

    On another note Miguel – What’s happening in the BCV bond market? I’ve been talking to friends who need a few 100 thousand a month for their businesses who say that they are only getting a small percentage.

    Are the predictions coming true? Have they run out of liquidity?

  25. Halfempty Says:

    Let me see if I have this right. If a member of an observing organization observes illegalities, fraud mahem or worse, they must refrain from making mention of same? That’s some Article, that 15.

    In other news, looks like the bomb-line still hasn’t moved an inch north of Bologna.

  26. Roger Says:

    Cost cutting measure Id call it…… think of all those they won’t have to buy off. Thats if they can survive the backlash this is going to cause.


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