A Last Ditch Attempt By The Maduro Government To Stop The Recall Referendum

June 23, 2016


                     People line up somewhere in Venezuela to ratify their signatures

The Maduro Government, via the Electoral Board the CNE, has tried by all means to block the possibility of a recall referendum. These attempts have been abusive of the Rights of Venezuelans, as the Venezuelan Constitution establishes this as a basic political right of Venezuelans.

The CNE has pulled all of the stops, creating first unnecessary delays, to finally end up violating the rights of thousands of Venezuelans by voiding their signatures using excuses as lame as saying that the petition form did not have Maduro’s complete name (Shouldn’t it have been printed on it?). To make matters worse, people could withdraw their signature (about 5,000 people out of 2 million did it!), but could not revalidate their signature if the CNE had voided it. A somewhat biased principle if you ask me.

Additionally, the Electoral Board has made ridiculous interpretations of the laws, such as requiring 1% of all voters in each State, rather than 1% of all national voters, since the position is not a State position, but a national one.

Finally, since people have to go and ratify with their fingerprint that they signed the petition, the CNE assigned only 300 fingerprint machines NATIONWIDE, while everyone knows they own thousands of them (40,000 of them to be a lil more precise), distributing them in such a way as to make the process really difficult for everyone.

But as if this was not enough, yesterday, Electoral Board workers began a slow down process in the few states where it is very tight to gather the required 1%. The CNE seem to concentrate its effort by now in Nueva Esparta State, the State where Margarita Island is.

Here is a first hand account by long time reader Island Canuck in Nueva Esparta:

“Here’s our story of trying to confirm 3 signatures with my family.

After hearing horror stories about Juan Griego & La Asuncion we decided to try and go to El Maco which is almost in the exact middle of Isla Margarita. A very small pueblo where no one would expect a confirmation point.

We arrived at around 10 AM and registered with the MUD table that was there. We were given wrist bands with a number and asked to join the line.

It appeared fairly short so we were really surprised when someone indicated the the line went around the corner of the next block.

After a check we discovered that there were hundreds of people ahead of us – maybe 400 / 500.

After waiting almost an hour the line had only moved maybe 20 mts.

We returned to the check-in counter to ask how many people an hour they were processing. The lady shrugged and said that ideally 60 persons per hour. There was only 1 finger print machine. She admitted that the number was much less.

We decided that waiting further was a waste of time as we would never be processed and left with the idea to return another day much earlier. Even this idea is without much merit as they can’t possibly process the number of people that show up under current conditions.

This is definitely a planned exercise by the CNE to prevent at least 1 state from getting their 1%. That’s all they need to destroy the whole process.

As of 1.30 it was announced that the El Maco site had only processed 120 voters in 4½ hours – approx. 27 per hour.

They are going to do everything in their power to block at least 1 state. Then for sure the revocatorio will not occur in 2016.

I’m depressed as the MUD has no power to change anything.”

The only number that matters here is 27 voters processed per hour. This is absolutely ridiculous as the process takes no more than 15 seconds and in a regular election a single machine processes up to 2 and 3 thousand voters in eight hours.

But fascism acts like this, while assholes like Zapatero defend them as poor souls who have not adjusted to having lost the December election.

The four ladies in the Board of CNE should be prosecuted for this one day.Thousands of Venezuelans have had their rights violated in order to preserve a fascist Government which can not even provide the basic needs of the people.

I do hope that someone points this out today at the OAS meeting on whether to invoke or not the Democratic Charter on Venezuela. It may make no difference, but it will show the true nature of these for-rent left wing former Presidents, whose principles can be bought with a few meals, some nice hotels and the chance to believe that you may be once again important.



28 Responses to “A Last Ditch Attempt By The Maduro Government To Stop The Recall Referendum”

  1. Dean A Nash Says:

    Miguel, if this is a double post, please delete one.

    This editorial from the WaPo about Venezuela, and how Chavez pulled the wool over so many eyes, is good. My only problem with it is that it completely ignores the fact that people such as yourself (and the authors?) have been LOUDLY declaring what the editorial now makes clear – and for more than a decade.

    The results in Venezuela weren’t unknowable. On the contrary, they were as sure as any harvest can be: You reap what you sow. Duh!


  2. Diocletian Says:

    If you read this blog, you pretty much know everything in this article. However it is interesting and good for sharing.


  3. Diolcletian Says:

    If Maduro resigns, would the VP take over? Or would they have to hold new elections?

    BTW, I agree with Mr. Nash. The main role of the NA is to serve as a symbol. It was never going to be given power. Nor is the referendum route going to work. It still important to pursue to delegitimize the government.

    • moctavio Says:

      Rules are the same as for the RR, if he resigns before Jan. 10th. there will be elections, if after the VP becomes President until 2019.

  4. Dean A Nash Says:

    I’m sorry, IC and everyone else who has hope. The Chavistas will NEVER leave power voluntarily. They may delay the vote, but whether they do or don’t is really meaningless. There will NEVER be a legitimate vote in Venezuela, under Chavistas, again. And if there is, it won’t matter, because there are a million ways to create a national crisis as an excuse to delay a transfer of power. After 9/11, Mayor Giuliani wanted to postpone his time to leave office. Shit happens.

    “One man, one vote, one time.” As the adage goes.

    I can imagine them fleeing, one step ahead of the mob, but not voluntarily turning over the reins of power. They saw Ortega make that mistake in Nicaragua.

    Freedom isn’t free. To quote Thomas Jefferson: “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” We know who the tyrants are. The patriots are what’s missing.

  5. IslandCanuck Says:

    At the end of the day the CNE is suddenly passing 1 person every 37 seconds.
    Friday – I want to go home – the 1% is passed – no more games.

    Totals at 3.30 3,994 115.77% of the total needed.

    Somebody should pay for this but nothing will happen.
    All this stress and grief for nothing.
    We could have been at our number on Wednesday.

  6. moctavio Says:

    The CNE stated categorically that there will be no extension after 4 PM, forgetting that in the 2007 recall gathering by Chavez’ PSUV, such an extension was granted

  7. IslandCanuck Says:

    All the other states have passed the 1%.
    At approx. 6 pm tonite final numbers will be released.

    Then we have to wait until late July (20th?) to hear from the CNE when the next stage will be.
    They’ll obviously still have some tricks to delay the process.
    There are already stories that the MUD numbers don’t match the CNE numbers. Where have we heard that before???

    I’m still not convinced that they will allow the final process in 2016.
    Too much to lose.
    There is, however, plenty of time to complete the process this year.

  8. M Rubio Says:

    “Now they are trying to add to the numbers to prevent any further tricks by the CNE.”

    Very important. They’ve not only got to be beat, they’ve got to be beaten big in order to stop some last second foolishness to disqualify just enough signatures to not meet the 1%.

    Thanks for doing your part IC.

    Any news from Anzotegui, Monagas, etc?

  9. IslandCanuck Says:

    Still thousands in line
    But Margarita is celebrating that they passed the 1% even though the CNE tried everything short of shutting all 4 centers completely to prevent them reaching their goal.
    Now they are trying to add to the numbers to prevent any further tricks by the CNE.

    I was surprised when the MUD presented so many signatures but in hindsight it was a necessary move.

    Now, hopefully, comes the 20% part.
    One wonders if the CNE will play the same “Plan Tortuga” for that stage.
    As Torreabla said today they gave us 300 finger print machines and then hid 100 of them.

    Everything in Margarita has been peaceful so far. They are asking for extended hours today to allow everyone in line to confirm their signatures but in reality there are just way too many.

  10. M Rubio Says:

    Keep the reports coming IC. It’s now sounding much more encouraging than I thought it would be.

  11. IslandCanuck Says:

    It now looks like Nueva Esparta has passed the 1% mark.
    We were the last state to verify

  12. IslandCanuck Says:

    As of 8.30 this morning there were approx. 5,000 people in line at the 4 centers in Margarita
    In Boca Del Rio, Macanao they stopped the process saying there were disturbances in La Asuncion
    There has been no news of any disturbances.
    As of a few minutes ago they are still stopped in BdR
    Capriles is on his way to BdR.

  13. IslandCanuck Says:

    It will be a very interesting day in Margarita today.
    We are still short around 200 confirmed signatures to meet the 1% due to the tricks and slowdowns of the CNE.

    In La Asuncion people were in the line up after 10.30 pm last night trying to verify after there was an extended power cut in the afternoon and the center remained open after hours and at 4.30 am this morning the people were lined up for today’s session. There arfe now more than 700 people waiting.

    In Macanao there were 400 people in the line-up at 3 AM this morning.

    In Arismendi there are 700 people with numbers and another 100 waiting to get numbers.

    Capriles is on his way.

    Julio Borges and 8 other AN diputados are here to act as witnesses at the 4 collection points in Margarita.

    As I said it’s going to be an interesting day.

  14. Ira Says:

    What happened at the OAS today?

    Brexit is dominating all foreign news from the states.

  15. Brian Kirkpatrick Says:

    Miguel, I am a US citizen and have been following the events in Venezuela for quite some time. As an avid follower of your blog I can’t begin to convey the frustration of the grind of the last 4 years. I have tried in vain to explain Venezuela to friends, colleagues and business associates. It’s hard to explain because in less you have the insight it is easy for them to believe it is just the fall in oil price, bad luck, and misguided policy. But it’s so much more than that. It’s power grubbing plied up on corruption. A sort of Machiavelli form of socialism that is warped country. I still choose to believe that it is people like you who have keen insight to keep the world informed. The Chavistias and their cohorts that have robbed the country blind to the tune of $40 billion are not some anonymous super criminals operating above the law. There are records and money trails that can be followed to prove how criminal they are. The only glue that holds the government together is the complicity in the crimes that they know they have committed. It’s shameful that the US government through diplomatic channels has not pursued a more thoughtfull strategy. I do hope things are changing.

    • moctavio Says:

      Thank you Brian, I hope I can keep doing the job.

      Long before oil started dropping, there were shortages, inflation and the economy was collapsing (yellow is oil price, the other is gdp growth or contraction):

      I tried to emphasize that point in my NPR interview, but they did not include it. (they did ask it though)

  16. They couldn’t be more obvious if they wanted to.

  17. bobthebuilder Says:

    At that pace it will take 8 weeks of a best case scenario to complete. Delay delay delay.

  18. Paul Says:

    Just more of the same criminal crap to be expected from the narco criminal government.As the food supply continues to contract,I’m sure there will be a lot more chaos in the streets. It’s difficult for me to understand how the MUD cannot rally the people for massive protests given the numbers that oppose Maduro. Why is that?

    • Limey Says:

      Hi Paul,

      In answer to your question – Whoever calls for these massive protests is going straight to jail (like Lopez ended up).

      They need to exhaust the recall referendum first before they even consider taking such a bold move. It’s easy to sit behind a computer and complain about the lack of protests, it’s another thing completely when as a leader of the opposition, it’s your arse that is going straight to jail.

      It is only wise to make this move when you can be sure that the public will get you out of jail as quickly as possible. Lopez has been in jail for so long because the public weren’t ready to get him out of jail immediately. Capriles knew the public weren’t ready then, which is why he waited.

      If the recall referendum gets shut down, given all the other problems that are going on, the public may then be ready to rescue the leaders from jail the moment they call the public to the streets. As you can be sure they will go straight to jail the moment they do this.

      • moctavio Says:

        Who will call who? This will simply drag on like all Dictatorships hat repress do until something happens inside of it or the Dictator passes…

      • A national strike, work slowdowns, and actions to stop oil production may work. This has to be done in a disorganized way, in the sense that nobody in particular should call for it. The problem I see is that Venezuelans keep saying “we are not Cubans” and meanwhile they are allowing Raúl Castro to colonize them, many of them are still trying to count their beans and do business with the government structure, as if any f that was going to survive or matter. I suppose people in Cumana are starting to get a feel for how it’s going to be.

  19. Ronaldo Says:

    The NA should start passing bills that clarify the recall process. Sure the TSJ will nullify everything, but at least it will give hope to people that something can be done.

    Maybe a day of super protests when 10 million Venezuelans go peacefully into to the streets to telll Maduro goodbye.

    Maduro and his cronies will be doing jail time for their corruption of the constitution.

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