Archive for December, 2015

All We Need Now Is For The Government To Accept Opposition Won In Venezuela

December 6, 2015

11:29 PM Rumor is that the CNE will announce smaller number of Deputies for the opposition (108?) to mitigate impact of results. They will say other races are too close too call, even if they know they rea not.

10:42 PM: 112 and still fighting for more…

10:36 PM Right now, 112 is a certainty.

10:30 PM At this time, people are suggesting the opposition has obtained 2/3 of the Deputies. I am told this is possible but can not be called at this time.

9:46 Some races in Carabobo, Lara and Monagas too close to call at this time.

9:27 PM At this point, the Devil says opposition will get minimum of 93 Deputies with a possibility of more.

And The Long Electoral Night Begins In Venezuela

December 6, 2015

8:55 PM Estimates are up to 93 Deputies for the opposition at this time

9:10 PM I hear from great source 90 Deputies for sure, more possible.

9:04 PM over 90% of the votes tallied and trasmitted, MUD has the tallies for all these machines, don’t buy rumors at this time.

8:27 PM Don’t listen to rumors, at this time 71% of the votes have been tallied and transmitted.

8:19 PM Don’t believe all the rumors, at this time 53% of all machines have transmitted their tally, which implies a much larger number has closed at this time

7:30 PM People complaining about not all centers being closed, but the reality is there is nobody showing up to vote at this time anyway.

Associated Press reports Maduro said at 4:50 PM his party can’t win all elections.

6:45 PM Soon after the picture below, motorcycle gangs showed up asking for the voting center to be reopened. The National Guard showed up to stop them.

6:15 PM: This is the Liceo Andres Bello at this time, shown in previous post as the one with longest lines in Western Caracas.

Andresbello

6 PM : The National Electoral Board has ordered all polls to be opened until 7 PM. This is a violation of the law, which states that if nobody is in line it should be closed.

Mid to upper nineties in Deputies seems to be the whisper number at this time

Voting Much Stronger In The East Of Caracas Than In The West

December 6, 2015

I went to do my usual spin around Caracas to see how things were going along. I went from one and to another hitting too deep into Catia (More on that later!) as well as Petare. My overall general conclusion is that the lines were shorter and lighter in the West areas (Catia, La Pastora, Quinta Crespo), than in the East from Chacao to Petare, where I saw bigger lines.

In the west the presence of Chavismo was felt more, including the omnipresent image of Chávez everywhere, as well as kiosks too close to polling stations. Here is how present Chávez was:

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How prescient of him to know exactly what the ballot would look like in 2016…

In the West, polling centers were less detectable than in the East of Caracas, streets were seldom blocked, which seems to be the rule in the East of the city and lines in the west of Caracas were fairly short, if present. This would suggest to me at first sight to imply that desilusioned Chavistas are not going out to vote. They may not want to vote for the Government, but are not willing (or capable) of casting their ballot for the opposition.

In Catia, a Chavista stronghold, the Davil saw very few lines. In fact, it was only when I got closer to downtown (further East), like in this picture in Lice Andres Bello, when lines appeared:

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That was the biggest line I saw in the West by far. The second one was this one, near the Panteon Nacional:

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We really saw no more than those two lines in a fairly wide and long spin around the West.

In the East, lines were common, as were traffic jams caused by stupid closings of streets, sometimes in very inefficient ways.

This was in Avenida Romulo Gallegos, it was a long line, but hard to get a good capture of the whole thing:

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This was quite typical of the visible and less visible centers in the East of Caracas.

The day was not without incident. I went a bit too deep into Catia for my comfort and at some point decided to make a U-turn and turn back. Unfortunately, there were some cops right at the end of the U-turn, which proceeded to stop me. They made me get out of the car, open the trunk, show all the papers etc. They then proceeded to bounce me from cop to cop telling me what I did was illegal, bla, bla, bla. All the time I kept saying, yes I know it was illegal, sorry, I was lost and did not feel safe. They talked about tickets, amounts, I could not drive etc, etc., while I said I knew. After three cops, they brought the lady cop who informed me that the penalty was all of Bs. 1,500, three months of suspended driving etc. I said, what can I say, I wanted to be safe.

It seemed that they were expecting me to offer a “solution” to the problem. Since I did not, she gave all the papers back to the first guy (the nicest one too) who told me since I had accepted my responsibility from the go he was going to let me go without writing up a fine.

Perhaps the salient feature of the whole thing is how they attempted to use a lot of big words when talking to me, but always relaxing back to slang in the end. While they had me there another car was stopped, but they withdrew guns, but I was getting into the car by then and set into the sun, like good devils do.

Venezuelan 2016 Parliamentary Elections Are Here!

December 6, 2015

I will be updating during the day! Read from bottom to top!

8:10 AM It is 8:10 AM and the CNE is reporting something like 90.3% of all polling tables open, below historical numbers at this time. Those that have yet to be installed is because 8 AM is the cut off time to wait for the principal members to show up before alternates take over.

Manipulation is at high levels, I just saw Chávez voting on the Government’s TV station. Just a video clip from the past, but still quite surprising!

Venezuela On Edge On The Eve Of The December 6th. Parliamentary Vote

December 5, 2015

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A not so unbiased polling station with electronic votng machine and voting material in front of Chavez’ figure

Arrived only a few hours ago on Saturday and all I can say is that people are on the edge tonight wondering what will happen tomorrow. The cockiness of three weeks ago is not as blatant. Yes, the opposition will get a majority, but after 16 years of Chavismo people (and rumors) are rampant about possible tricks and maneuvers by the government.

This was not helped by the fact that there were Internet blackouts in many parts of the country today. The Head of Conatel, the telecom regulator denied this, but friends tell me that if you tried to call CANTV to report the problems, they were not even answering the phone.

The result is an atmosphere of mistrust and skepticism about what may or may not happen tomorrow. Or the day after, for that matter…

On the positive news front, the Electoral Board announced that witnesses for the opposition outnumbered those of Chavismo’s PSUV by 2,000, a clear indication of the inability of Chavismo to mobilize people like it used to. Many friends also reporting that numerous polling stations have seen no presence of pro-Government members, leading to the installation of the process without them.

Meanwhile, as the international media is harassed as they arrive in Venezuela and also as they try to cover the elections, Chavismo is selling it as a campaign against the country, even citing the number of negative (380), neutral (75) and positive (24) news items about the country. Which according to Chavismo, reflects this campaign and not reality.

Never mind that many reporters have had heir equipment confiscated at the airport and many have been told they can not take pictures of mundane events and their media has been erased.

Meanwhile visiting former Presidents managed to obtain a promise from the Government that political prisoners would be allowed to vote (They were not going to), while the opposition has created a parallel system of observation of the electoral process by foreign dignitaries, as well as social media tools to denounce problems tomorrow with the voting process.

Meanwhile, some pollsters claim to have seen a Maduro resurgence (!!!!), while others say that the result will depend on what Chavismo and now lukewarm Chavistas do. If the latter decide to stay home, the opposition will squeak by, but if they decide to go and express their unhappiness the opposition could enjoy a huge victory, even if short of the super majority.

I am sticking to my guns of a simple majority, roughly 55-58% of Deputies, hoping that former Chavistas are so disenchanted that they prove me wrong. I like the fact that Chavistas are outnumbered by the opposition witnesses and that they have been absent from the installations of the polling stations. But I just wonder if they will they be absent from voting too…

Abstention will be key and pollsters have little confidence that they have a handle on their number. Add proportionality, gerrymandering, fraud and tricks and numerical predictions are really hard to make.

I will do my usual scan throughout Caracas and report solid news, if such an animal exists before midnight tomorrow.

Best of luck to Venezuela from the Devil!