You can run for the National Assembly, but just don’t campaign near the Capitol

August 25, 2010

It was the first day of campaigning and some candidates for the opposition decided to symbolically go to the Capitol building where the National Assembly meets, to present their proposals if they are elected. The National Guard and Chavista groups not only barred them from getting close to the building, but very quickly began throwing tear gas at them.

Wonder what the Guards will do when these same people show up to take their elected seats?

(Note added: In the Chavista version, published on the webpage of the National Assembly, the opposition candidates were trying to kidnap 600 children of the workers of the Assembly. Interesting, ten guys with no weapons, kidnapping 600 children. Hard to imagine human rights activist Carlos Correa trying to kidnapp a cat, let alone 600 kids)

39 Responses to “You can run for the National Assembly, but just don’t campaign near the Capitol”

  1. An Interested Observer Says:

    Does anyone have numbers on the size of the REP at the time of previous elections? CNE website doesn’t seem to have any such data (what a shocker), though they do have a link (dead – another shocker) entitled “Primer Boletín Elección Presindencial Diciembre 2006”

    Can’t add, can’t spell…what CAN they do right? I think we know.

  2. Kepler Says:

    Well, there are loads of people who do believe in such things in the barrios and rural areas (and not only there), but there are many more who just believe the finger print machines tell you what people voted for.

    Going back to what Antonio said: if WE are not ready to spend some time with people in Chavista areas and support the cause for democracy there, even if it is a couple of days a year, or instead do something concrete to support those who do it, we can as well forget it. It is not just the politicians who need to do that.

  3. firepigette Says:

    People need more understanding and knowledge of the barrios and of the nature of the popular classes in general to know just how much Chavez can or cannot cheat.

    I am in constant contact with family who explain many things to me.One very important one is that most people while hating Chavez with all their hearts are still afraid to vote against him.

    You have to realize that for many folks Chavez is a powerful animist.His occult power is so feared by many that they are 100 % sure that he will know their vote and punish them.This fear should never be underestimated.I have relatives who did not vote for him in the past and claim that he stole their vote in the last elections…they claim they appear in some list as Chavistas when they are not-
    and they are many who think only prayer and counter occult powers will get rid of him-

    Once of the beneficial effects of high crime over the years( for Chavez) is that people have been put into a permanent fearful state where after so much time become amenable to the application of severe repression, and the acceptance of submissive behavior.

    It is a situation that goes way beyond just a tally of surface numbers.

  4. Kepler Says:

    Let’s be practical. Let’s write to the parties: go to the areas X and Y!

    For Carabobo I know what they are: Miguel Pena parish and the centre of Tocuyito. Spread leaflets there, talk about the problems they have (insecurity, but also ecological problems as they are sinking in the biggest rubbish landfill of Carabobo, which is using XIX century technology), good schools, real jobs.

    There is Los Guayos. That municipio had the largest amount of
    Chavistas per km2 in Carabobo (no kidding, I did the maths). My aunt there told me she hasn’t seen an oppo politician there since 2008.
    You can get to Los Guayos in your route to Valencia’s Airport or from the Panamericana in a couple of minutes’ drive. You don’t have to “subir cerro” or get into a jeep. Just drive your way to the centre of Los Guayos!

    Now, let’s remember: Venezuela depends on every Venezuelan. Politicians are just a reflection of US ALL. I can’t go to Venezuela this time, I vote here. I would have changed my residency and all, but I would have had to fly to Venezuela first to do the change (the embassy said) and then to vote and I could not.

    Here Venezuelans can write to EU media and eurodeputies about the situation.

    In Venezuela people can help with the logistics in key areas outside the posh areas.

  5. A_Antonio Says:

    I would like to know if oppostion leaders are making campain in barrios, if not, forget the 26S and leave the country.

  6. Roy Says:

    Last night, I attended a “Forum” held by (or for) Teodoro Petkoff in Margarita. He has written a new book (“El Chavismo Como Problema”), and he is promoting it. The forum was also chaired by the four candidates from Unidad for the AN in Margarita.

    Petkoff gave an excellent speech outlining the four areas in which Chavismo is vulnerable: The electricity crisis, the high rate of crime, the collapse of the traditional medical system, and scandals involving massive corruption. Petkoff made the point that Chavismo is weaker now than it has ever been and that these elections represent the best opportunity for Venezuela to restore democracy and justice to Venezuela. The auditorium was full and the audience was enthusiastic.

    What was striking to me, was that the four candidates appeared to be mere shadows in the presence of Petkoff. In the Q&A afterwords, all of the candidates sat silent, looking to Petkoff to speak for them. They never uttered a word the whole night, simply deferring to Petkoff.

    Dammit! Show us you have some fire in your bellies!

  7. Kepler Says:

    “it works both ways”

    If the world were flat and conditions for expansion equal.

    Miguel, I was in 2003 Firmazo helping with the signature collection in a slum in Tocuyito, part of the key circuit of Carabobo now. 3 deputies will come from Southern Valencia-Libertador (which includes Tocuyito). It was very scary, with bikers holding guns just parading in front of us and later a car race to get rid of them – we used several cars so that they did not know who was holding the actas -.
    Some of my friends and relatives are among the very small amount of witnesses we have
    in Southern Valencia and Libertador and they have been working as witnesses there ever after. Salas-Feo clan? They meet in Northern Valencia but don’t go South. People from the North want to guard every school in their sector while that is just pointless and people in the South tend to be scared and do not get logistical help (with some helpers, some coordination).

    That is Carabobo, one of the most urban places in Venezuela. The situation elsewhere outside Miranda-Caracas and Zulia-Táchira-Northern Anzoátegui is very bad.

    I took a look at what schools we had actas for in Delta Amacuro. We consistently did 10% in schools where we had actas in areas where the schools did not seem to be very different (not like comparing Santa Fé with La Vega)

    Add to that the simple fact our “national” leaders haven’t spent any time outside their 10-km-wide fiefs while Hugo and his ministers have being on national campaign year after year.

  8. moctavio Says:

    Caracas Chronicles has looked at it, download the presentation a few weeks back, it is amazing at 50/50 they get 70% of the Assembly, but at 52.9% we start getting more than 52.9% of the Deputies, it works both ways.

  9. Roy Says:

    After 11 years of Chavez, I bet a lot of people feel a hundred years older.

  10. Gordo Says:

    It’s reported that voters are fraudulently migrated from registry to another just to add weight to a pro-government circuit. (same citation as previous).

  11. Gordo Says:

    A bloated REP adds weight to the votes. A neighborhood with a large registry has adds weight to the votes.

    Click to access right-to-vote.pdf

  12. moctavio Says:

    Cheating can only take you so far. My estimate is that it is no more than 5%.

    Chavez’ popularity is below 50% and going down. Because f gerrymandering if the split is 50/50 Chavez takes a big majority, but if we get 54% we get more than them.

    I agree with your last statement, The AN elections will make life difficult for Chavez, but he probably does not care, he cares about 2012 and if he loses, he will say I won.

  13. deananash Says:

    Miguel, I don’t know just how many seats are up for grabs, but I expect Chavez to “win” about 70%.

    There are more ways to cheat than there are to skin a cat. Chavez will cheat. He will “win”. The opposition’s victories will be meaningless.

    I repeat, Chavez is NOT leaving via the ballot box. EVER!

  14. Roberto N Says:

    And having the Cubans in SAIME s just the cherry on the cake.

    As for the gerontological miracles, it’s probaby that advanced Cuban medicine in Barrio Adentro that is responsible for it.

    Otro logro de la revolucion bonita!

  15. marc in calgary Says:

    is there any way of knowing if these elders have voted? I recall the number of people that all had similar birthdays at your former site as well…

  16. island canuck Says:

    Ok, indelible ink.

    Last election it was easily removed with either alcohol or nail polisher remover (acetone) – can’t remember which.

    Fingerprints – ha, ha, ha.
    While they make great efforts to collect them I doubt that there is a central system to identify them like they have in the US. If you have 1 person & 1 set of fingerprints you can match them up but to select duplicates from the millions is very doubtful.

    Also the government would need the will to do this kind of search.
    Since they are the ones mounting the fraud it is equally doubtful that they would expose it.

    So, we are back at square one with millions of non existent voters.

  17. Greg Buls Says:

    My father-in-law was the Bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad for Central and South America before he died five years ago. I’m glad he was spared seeing what is happening to a people he loved.

    I won’t pretend to understand the complexities of Venezuelan politics. What I read in the US and UK press is alarming, and to see it from the perspective of Venezuelans is positively chilling and incredibly sad.
    You seem to be facing naked despotism, papered over with a farcical democracy. The situation begs for a benevolent authoritarian, but that has mixed results, and benevolence can fade. By benevolence I don’t mean an omnipotent government which meets the daily needs of millions, I mean a protective state that realizes that the fight against crime is in fact a social war, and will otherwise allow people to pursue their interests, largely unimpeded. You need order and liberty.
    There’s not much hope afforded by the road you are on, but things are not bad enough to force open revolt, apparently, so perhaps a strongman is the country’s best hope. You can be sure if that happens that such a government would be plagued by guerrilla warfare and terrorism, the despots and their ilk play to win.
    Your future is rocky regardless, and it is so because a poison flourished in your country, the idea that human nature is not what it is. The average person does not seek to exploit the poor, and neither do the rich, but they present compelling targets in a country with a large rich/poor gap. The solution to that is freedom: as it was in America with blacks – until the government became so intimately involved in their lives in the 1960s, the standard of living of blacks in America, the poorest segment of the population, was rising faster than the standard of living of whites (though still lagging, there was the prospect of relative equality eventually, free from an omnipotent state). Your countrymen are capable of the same – it takes freedom, and community, so that people can exercise their freedom to meet the needs of themselves, and know the needs of their communities. The world is awash in food and consumer goods. Venezuelans should pay no more for them, or have a harder time finding them than anyone else if they are free to produce and trade.

    God bless you and your country. Many Americans pray for Venezuela.

    Greg Buls

  18. torres Says:

    Regarding registered voters, the justification for the impossible voters being registered is that they are filtered out from voting by the other safety measures, so they need not be filtered out of the registry. The logic is that if a valid CI and fingerprint match with your entry in the registry, then you’re a valid voter if your pinkie does not have the indelible ink on it. Their reverse argument is, how could a dead person vote without showing up in person, with matching fingerprint, and no ink on the pinkie.

    Of course, the problem to that logic is that those safety measures are not foolproof. Fake CIs, failure rates with fingerprint algorithms and devices, and inks not being perfectly indelible or fingers being protected from the ink, all lead to potential fraud. Deleting names from the registry would help dispel most doubts, but that is not their main concern.

  19. moctavio Says:

    I will be busy, I am a miembro de mesa. But Chávez not being in Venezuela the firts day of campaigning and going to Cuba to talk to his God, tells me. he is really worried.

  20. Maria Gonzalez Says:

    The message is clear…after all Chavez said very clear OPERACION DEMOLICION…the purpose is to rally up (sp?) his hard-core supporters and intimidate who as a job or some other type of economic support from the government. The question is if it will work this time.

    Also if the opposition gets 40 seats…it is better than the few that are now in the Assembly.

  21. Kepler Says:


    I think the opposition needs to be prepared to film every single angle of all the attacks to come and we should have several people doing the work in case the milicos go and take away cameras from one group.

    I think we need to spread the word about that.


    I know, a disaster.

  22. Alek Boyd Says:

    BTW Kepler, I published Adolfo’s work in March 2006. Many of the problems he found still exist. No one paid attention then, no one pays attention now.

  23. Alek Boyd Says:

    Visit the following link:

    Then have fun tracking those cedulas at CNE. Most of them are still registered to vote. ALMARZA DE YANEZ CARMEN DOLORES is registered, at 168 years old!

  24. Kepler Says:

    I still would like to know if there is a data base out there to get proof of her age. I mean: based on the ID number it is very likely but Medina Angarita is CV-1 and he was born “only” in 1895.
    It would be kind of cool to take this to the extreme and tell foreign journalists about this amazing lady…imagine German and Dutch and US journalists with cameras going to her voting centre, where 100% of voters do vote and where she still keeps going in spite of her advanced age.

    What would the milicos do?

  25. Karl Says:

    Furthermore… Those opposition candidates going to the Capitol were not certainly oligarchs. They were spun off from popular and revolutionary parties like former Causa R. Now, why the guards are executing these orders against popular leaders?? Do they know that some of these very guys will be chairing in the Capitol in a matter of months?

  26. FC Says:

    Relax Kep, I totally agree with you. The situation is quite absurd.

  27. Kepler Says:

    OK, she is the oldest person in our Solar System if she is 137 years old as many say. Is there a way to get a proof she was born in the XIX century?

    This is my picture of her record:

  28. FC Says:

    “one of the voters is the by far oldest
    person in the Galaxy, with 137 years of age”

    Now, now, stop exaggerating, I’m sure there are plenty of Vulcans who are older than that.

  29. Kepler Says:

    5017 SI votes in 2009 were in schools where the SI got
    100% of the votes. The average amount of voters there
    was 111 voters.

    Apart from that there were many schools were the SI got
    about 98.1%>. In one of them all 526 or so went to vote, only
    one voted NO and one of the voters is the by far oldest
    person in the Galaxy, with 137 years of age
    (wrote about that after Amieres commented on the issue)

  30. island canuck Says:

    Really interesting article on the Gustavo Coronel blog.

    Here’s the main theme.

    The permanent registry of the CNE now has 16.887.734 registered voters as of August, 2008.

    That’s 100.1% of the population of voting age.

    If you take a 70% number of the voting age people who are registered to vote that leaves 5.067.634 fantasy voters.

    Even if you move the % of the population that is registered to 80%, a very optimistic number, the number of fantasy voters is 3.378.752 .

    Food for thought.

  31. Roberto N Says:

    I think it’s time to check your stocks of gas mask filters, vinegar and cocosette.

    If this was day one, what’s 8 days before the elections going to look like?

  32. moctavio Says:

    In the worst case, te opposition will get 40-45 seats, that should be interesting….

  33. deananash Says:

    I agree with rwg, it’s past time to REMIND EVERYONE that they will be held accountable (first to man, then to God/history) for their actions.

    Sorry, Miguel, but I think that this statement is wishful thinking on steroids: “Wonder what the Guards will do when these same people show up to take their elected seats?”

    Chavez will not allow the opposition to gain control of congress, NOR allow fair and free elections. Thinking otherwise ignores history and reality. I’ll back my statement up with this question:

    When is the last time that Cuba – Chavez’s model – had free and fair elections?

  34. rwg Says:

    It is time for an announcement that the National Guard is breaking the law by preventing the opposition from campaigning. Names and photos will be taken and punishments will follow. Chavez cannot protect all the National Guard.

  35. Deanna Says:

    Even if the opposition candidates are elected, will these goons allow them to enter the Assembly building???? And if they are not allowed, what are the Venezuelans going to do?

  36. metodex Says:

    I just wonder how much are the National Guards getting paid or what in hell are they being taught these days. Why don’t they just refuse when stuff like this happens?Remember the US ambassador saying that the morale is low,well he was right,so right man.

  37. sapitosetty Says:

    They said they wanted tougher law enforcement…

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