The Wait Is Over
We have already seen the EU-EOM (European Union Electoral Observation Mission) preliminary report on the conditions they observed during the regional and local elections in Venezuela.They were about as expected. The question was, what would the report from The Carter Center look like? We were skeptical here at TFT as to whether the Carter Center would give the Maduro regime a pass.Well, the preliminary report is out from the Carter Center so let’s take a look…
The CNE (electoral council) added two opposition members to it’s board. (Good) Many candidates were still barred from running and the TSJ (supreme court) arbitrarily replaced the executive committees of some parties that were allowed that had previously been banned. (Bad) The TSJ disqualified candidate Freddy Superlano retroactively after his victory in the Barinas governor’s race. (Bad) There were many “Puntos Rojos”, the Chavistas red tents used for enticement and intimidation, outside voting centers. (Bad) There were many abuses of the assisted voting arrangement. (Bad) There was a conspicuous military presence at all voting centers. (Bad) There were no voting day technical issues although the limited size and scope of the mission prevented thorough assessment of voting,counting,and tabulation. (Bad?)
So there you have it. I have to admit I was quite skeptical but it appears the Carter Center preliminary report confirms what we already knew. The CNE changes were purely cosmetic and the Chavistas are still running the show. The TSJ is totally partisan and merely an extension of the executive branch (presided over by a convicted murderer and long time associate of Maduro). They have no regard for the rule of law and blatantly stole a legitimate victory away from the opposition. Chavismo cannot be counted on not to intimidate voters. In short, as we’ve previously stated, “they are who we thought they were.”
The Political Risk Report is also out with it’s report on the social media aspect of the elections. From February to November 21st there were almost two million messages on social media pertaining to the elections. Chavismo generated almost 92% of these. 67% of the trending was inorganic.Monday following the elections the “communication channel” of the political party started by Maduro and led by Delcy Rodriguez published a message on Twitter regarding the delivery of the bonus to “people who stood out on social media” via the “Carnet de la Patria” (Homeland Card) system…talk about a quid pro quo.. Of the 344 Venezuela Civil Society trends only two were election related.The other 342 were protesting Human Rights,the economy,failure of services,and health related issues. 97% of the Venezuela Civil Society messages were organic. It’s pretty clear that the government was concerned with putting out an overwhelming propaganda campaign to influence the election outcome while the Venezuelan people were concerned with trying to survive Chavismo.
So, where does this leave us? After enduring the interminable Mexico negotiations, where the Chavistas were seeking sanctions relief and the opposition sought free and fair elections, and months of the Maduro regime assuring the world that “the tiger had changed it’s stripes”, we are where we were before all this, just as the staffers of the EU’s Borrell told us before he sent the electoral observers. The Maduro regime doesn’t meet even the minimal international standards for free and fair elections… and it’s not over. We still have the Barinas governor’s race re-vote in January where the Chavistas will surely steal the election (they already have). And just to be fair, the Russian and Cuban electoral observers found no issue with the fairness of the electoral process proffered by the Maduro regime.
Did we forget to mention that CONATEL (government communications) suspended four radio shows and shut down one radio station in Barinas during the election?
And the Stanford Internet Observer tells us that 277 Twitter accounts generated 860,060 tweets during the elections calling it a “political spam operation by the Venezuela government.
Moving on…AP reports that two Venezuelans have been removed from the US Treasury Department drug traffickers list , however, Freddy Bernal is still sanctioned.
And by the way, Joe Biden invited opposition interim President Juan Guaido to the Democracy Summit. What…no Nicolas?
Hey, we have an update on those 277 Maduro regime propaganda accounts. Aljazeera reports Twitter has removed 3,500 state-backed propaganda accounts including 277 from Venezuela.
The Venezuela Infectology Society says they reject the use of Cuban vaccines for boosters against Covid-19.
And let’s not forget the migrants. The OAS (Organization of American States) committee tells us that Venezuela will soon pass Syria for number one in the world in terms of migrants and refugees.
Inkstick had an interesting article from a former professor at MIT and Harvard. He’s calling for the creation of a new entity to fight “Grand Corruption”, the creeping kleptocracy around the world.He would call it the IACC (International Anti-Corruption Court). The current UN and other international organizations are “toothless”. He contends the time has come for a new,streamlined court to investigate,prosecute,and when kleptocratic governments are still in power to seize assets until they can be returned to the people. While we here at TFT are skeptical it is clear that current international entities are ineffective, not to mention glacially slow. Maybe it’s time for a more aggressive approach? If so, this idea makes sense… which probably means it will never happen.
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