A Remarkable Letter By The OAS Secretary General to The Head Of Venezuela’s Electoral Board

November 11, 2015
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Today, the Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Luis Almagro, wrote the extraordinary letter above to Tibisay Lucena the Head of Venezuela’s Electoral Board.

Extraordinary, because for the longest time, Venezuelans have become accustomed to the cowardly and cynical and mercantile attitude of most Latin American leaders when it comes to the respect of human rights of Venezuelans and the way elections have been run in the country. Even when they criticize, they tend to do it meekly and indirectly, seldom addressing the issues directly.

Secretary General Almagro does an extraordinary job of doing it, without mincing any words and addressing the problems head on.

I personally would like to thank Mr. Almagro for doing his job and without avoiding the thorny issues that his predecessors and those in leadership positions in so many other countries and institutions in Latin America have done so for the last sixteen years.

While there is promise of an English version, I wanted to summarize in English the gist of Mr. Almagro’s letter, without translating it verbatim:

Mrs. Tibisay Lucena:

I have received your kind letter in which you reject our offer that we (the OAS) execute an an electoral observation process during the Parliamentary elections on December 6th. 2015.

I regret that this rejection is based on political positioning and not on the arguments that make Justice and guarantees necessary for an electoral process.

I do not object that you show your political position, but I suppose that you have it clear that the job of the electoral justice transcends completely that type of positions and that it requires to place yourself at the forefront of the guarantees demanded by the parties, whether they are Government or opposition.

In your letter, you reiterate that Venezuela’s electoral system is efficient, but I understand that electoral guarantees do not only refer to efficiency.

I would have hoped that in your letter you would have place at the forefront the guarantees demanded and that from it it would have arisen that all of the needs of Venezuelan political parties are covered to insure that the elections that will be held will take place in a just and transparent manner.

If the Secretary General of the OAS were indifferent to the requests of the opposition of the countries about the electoral observation we would be gravely failing our job, which is to support the proper functioning of the electoral process for all parties involved.

We would be failing our job gravely if we did not take into account the conditions under which the Venezuelan electoral campaign is developing with respect to the future legislative elections. It is worrisome that from the analysis of those conditions we have to conclude that as of today, the difficulties only reach opposition parties.

In this scenario we all are involved either by action or by omission, but that fact makes the essence of you job.

You are in charge of electoral Justice, you are the guarantor. Everyone should trust you, all parties, all citizens and all of the international community because Venezuela has obligations with democracy which transcend its own jurisdiction. An election needs that all of the actors involved, citizens, political parties, press and civil society have been assured the full enjoyment of their civil and political rights.

You have seen us insist to perform the electoral observation because it is or job to safeguard for electoral Justice in the region, because electoral Justice is a prerequisite for the correct functioning of a democracy and for the guarantee of the most ample respect of the civil and political rights of each and everyone of the citizens.

The opposition in your country has repeatedly requested that we we perform it and, as I have said before, you also owe them the guarantees, because your Government has many ways to insure that the results be just. And it is not a request that is out of tune, it is your obligation, legal, as well as moral. It is the obligation of the CNE, but it is also the obligation of the OAS.

If I looked the other way in the face of the complaint of the opposition oin your country and the international community, I would be failing my most essential responsibilities. If you do not have the mechanisms that insure that the observation has the most ample guarantees for their work, you are failing your obligations that make the essence of the guarantees that you should bestow.

Your job is to watch over just and transparent elections that develop with the maximum guarantees. That implies watching over those guarantees months before the elections. It is required  and to do what is required is a matter of electoral Justice.

To look out for justice and transparency in the elections is our obligation and it is not interference. Interference would be if I disregarded the just and well founded complaints, if I looked the other way given this situation. In such a case I would be doing it by omission, because my inaction would allow for measures that affect the candidates and that in such a way, affect the possibilities that all citizens be allowed to elect freely and fully.

This is why I ask in what follows the foundations of my insistent offerings for electoral observation, based in the need to demand conditions and guarantees for electoral Justice. They represent the conditions for the Venezuelan political process that make me reaffirm that an international observation would provide all Venezuelans with peace of spirit when the time comes to count the votes.

General conditions of the process and the campaign, a level playing field

Then he cites the problems in details in over a dozen pages, I will just cite the main subjects:

-Use of Financial resources (by the Government)

-Access to the media

-Confusion in ballots

-Security Plan, Operacion de liberación del Pueblo (OLP)

-Changes in the rules of the game.

-The ban of certain opposition candidates

-Intervention of Parties by the Judicial system.

-State of Emergency in some States and its impact on the elections.

-Freedom of the Press and of Expression.

-The sentencing of Leopoldo Lopez.

Sincerely Luis Almagro





19 Responses to “A Remarkable Letter By The OAS Secretary General to The Head Of Venezuela’s Electoral Board”

  1. Charly Says:

    Almagro reminds me of an old girl friend I had eons ago. Last I heard of her she was trying to get a new virginity.

  2. Gordo Says:

    This will end in disaster, and it is going to be ugly. Everyone will have to look in the mirror and think about which side they were on.

    • Tony Tan Keng Yam Says:

      People these days look at the mirror and see no soul. Just a bunch or Dollar Bill$$$$$$.

      Or is that a bit of an exaggeration in Cleptozuela?

  3. captainccs Says:

    Today a local supermarket had both toilette paper (one 12 pack per person) and white rice (2 kilos per person). Shoppers fell on them like flies on crap. There were huge queues at the checkout counters. I didn’t check the time but it seemed to take an hour to get to the cash resister.

    Venezuelans are chatty and I get them to chat. As a senior citizen I get a lot of respect. When I badmouth the revolution there are no defenders anymore. People are urging each other to go vote on December 6th to oust the scum. I commented about my worry about electoral fraud. One person replied that it’s easy to manipulate a few thousand votes but not millions which he thought would be the opposition’s advantage.

    A lot of folks got a rude surprise at the cash register. You can only buy regulated products (toilette paper and white rice) if your ID card’s last digit matches the day of the week: Monday: 1 & 2, Tuesday: 3 & 4, Wednesday: 5 & 6, etc. Four out of five shoppers wasted their time queuing up and had to leave the highly desired and scarce toilette paper and white rice at the cash register. By the time their turn comes around, the stuff will be gone. Another hope dashed.

    I sometimes wonder how these bolivarians can be so incredibly stupid! Do they go to stupid school?

    How about telling people ahead of time, where the products are dispensed, that they can’t buy the stuff today? Not to waste their time today. I’m convinced that to be a bolivarian you first have to be as total moron. I also wonder how Venezuelans have so much patience, how they have been indoctrinated into sheepdom. What ever happened to “el bravo pueblo?” Where have they disappeared to?

    And poor old Simon must be turning in is grave to have this utter evil stupidity named after him.

    BTW, to make sure nobody cheats you have to register your fingerprint at the checkout counter. How Orwellian is that?

    • Bruni Says:

      Captainccs: It does make sense for the government not to tell people where there is the stuff. If they did otherwise, they will be accepting the situation and, therefore, their incompetence. When they omit providing the information, they can always blame someone or something else when people get mad.

    • Ira Says:

      “One person replied that it’s easy to manipulate a few thousand votes but not millions which he thought would be the opposition’s advantage.”

      I don’t know who said it, I don’t know if it’s even relevant here, and I’m paraphrasing. I was in regards to Naziism, I THINK:

      “Kill a person, and the world is in an uproar. Kill a million, and the world doesn’t even blink.”

  4. Roger Says:

    Too little, too late! Now, if the rest of LatAm stands with it we just might see some effect. But, I don’t see that happening. They all have their juntas. They help their people by buying their votes too! Still, I hope their oppositions will rally support for this letter.

  5. Paul Esqueda Says:

    Luis Almagro is a lawyer and a diplomat so you could argue that he is building a record just as prosecutors do. In my opinion, this paves the road to apply La Carta Democratica. The current Venezuelan Government could ignore it but the rest of America can not turn a blind eye to the human rights and democracy violations

  6. Boludo Tejano Says:

    That is good news. I doubt that OAS would have written such a letter if Insulza were still Secretary General of the OAS, given that insulza was of the “There are no enemies on the left” point of view.

  7. John Thompson Says:

    well stated but I doubt the VenGov will listen.

  8. I’m afraid this letter will be ignored and nothing will change. Unfortunately, we see a very morally flexible leadership everywhere. This is easy to see when that monster Raúl Castro hobnobs with Obama, the Pope, Hollande, and others. In the end these dictatorships have to be erased from the face of the earth using the people’s power.

  9. Reblogged this on How to s..t on humans and commented:
    This is a must read post by Miguel Octavio. I would apreciarte it if you pasas it on.

  10. Glenn Says:

    It’s nice to see this news at the top of google search for Venezuela news. I’m waiting for the government response and anticipate something along the lines of “OAS is a puppet of the empire”

  11. RobertoN Says:

    The letter should have been translated by now. It is well crafted, and has not one word wasted.

    He even quotes Bob Marley at Lucena…LOL….

    And it is clear that Almagro IS clear about how the copper is beaten.

  12. captainccs Says:

    Cuando pierdan, ¿quien los saca?

    When they lose, who’ll remove them?

  13. Odette Says:

    It appears there is fresh air blowing down the halls of the OEA and possibly the smelly, musty smell of the previous putos will be erased. By “leaking” the letter he is publicly demonstrating that Tibby is not reliable and it is in fact she who stands in the way of almost equitable elections. I guess to many who do not live & breath oppression just needed a synopsis of the situation and his clear view of it. I wonder if she has the gall to claim that ” he is ignorant of Venezuelan electoral law & procedures” and thus try to disqualify his observations. Guess no Samper Boys in OEA…anymore. I can only hope that Chuo gets them over the hump. MUD really needs absolute majority to make any kind of significant changes = getting a few asses in jail where they belong. But I wont hold my breath anymore … believe it when I see it.

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