One month after Nicolas Maduro won Venezuela's Presidential election, the country's right-wing Opposition are still refusing to accept the result and respect the will of the people, whilst conducting an orchestrated campaign of destabilisation in Venezuela. In this they are backed up by Washington, with the US Government still failing to follow Spain, France, the UK, Portugal and countries from across the globe in recognising Maduro's Presidency. This e-update looks at the truth behind the anti-democratic attempts to discredit Venezuela internationally, the increasingly hostile attitude of the US administration and how Latin America is united behind Maduro.
1)Audit of Venezuela's Presidential vote reveals 99.98% accuracy
Venezuela's independent National Electoral Council (CNE) has concluded the first stage of the audit of the vote initiated following April's Presidential election and has found "zero error". With 75% of the vote now audited, the level of accuracy with the first result is 99.98%
The audit came about after the losing candidate, Henrique Capriles, refused to accept the result of April's presidential election, that saw Nicolas Maduro elected, and instead claimed that fraud had been committed.
Whilst initially requesting and accepting a process that will mean 100% of all the votes were audited, Henrique Capriles has since said he will not recognise these results.
Commenting on the results of the audit Venezuela's Ambassador to the UK Samuel Moncada said: "This audit once again underlines the robustness and accuracy of Venezuela's voting system. That is why Nobel Prize winner Jimmy carter called Venezuela's electoral system the 'best on the world'
We had already had 18 audits of the election process for April's presidential vote and Henrique Capriles campaign team signed off all of these. Yet they now claim fraud and won't even accept the results of an audit they themselves had demanded.
It seems that Henrique Capriles is simply trying to sully the reputation of Venezuela's electoral process for political purposes rather than raising genuine concerns about Venezuela's voting system".
· This report from Venezuela's independent National Electoral Council outlines the process of audits carried out during the presidential election which took place on 14 April.
2)Summary of CEPR pieces: The opposition is intent on trying to maintain a climate of uncertainty and political tension for as long as possible
Recent articles in the Venezuelan and international press, suggest that the Electoral Council’s rejection of the opposition’s demands is stoking the flames of political conflict in the country. However, as is often the case in the media’s coverage of Venezuela, much of the crucial context on the recent decisions of the National Electoral Council is missing.
Henrique Capriles, after the CNE announced that he’d lost the elections by a narrow margin of around 270,000 votes, refused to accept the results and immediately called for a recount, though other opposition spokespeople called instead for a “complete audit” of the voting machine receipts.
After first calling on his supporters to take to the streets, leading to violent clashes in which nine people were reportedly killed, Capriles finally formally filed a set of demands to the CNE. Subsequently, on April 18th, the CNE agreed to audit the remaining 46% of boxes of voting machine receipts that had not yet been verified (54% of the boxes had been previously verified in the presence of witnesses from both parties AND signed off by representatives of the Capriles' supporting right-wing opposition).
This decision was made in order to keep the peace, despite the unfounded nature of oppositions complaints, and the fact that according to calculations by David Rosnick of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, the odds that auditing the remaining 46% of votes could reverse the outcome of the election are 1 in 25 thousand trillion. What many fail to mention in their most recent articles is that Capriles accepted the CNE’s April 18th decision to proceed with the audit of the remaining voting receipt boxes, and said that the opposition would participate in the process.
To understand the baseless nature of the opposition claims, one must understand the secure nature of voting in Venezuela:
When they enter the voting cubicle, Venezuela’s are faced with a voting machine, which they access by electronic thumbprint recognition. After the voter has made their selection the machine produces a paper receipt, the voter then checks that this matches their vote, and posts it into a sealed ballot box, before finally signing and leaving a finger print in a voting record book to confirm that the receipt accurately represented the choice they had made using the electronic voting system.
Having had their request for all full audit of the boxes of paper receipts met, the opposition now claims that it is in these books the fraud has been committed. However no complaints were made by voters to the CNE that their paper receipt failed to match the vote they had made.
It is clear that, in their latest demand for all full count of the 15 million signatures and fingerprints found in the voting record books, the opposition is intent on trying to maintain a climate of uncertainty and political tension for as long as possible.
· This piece was based on a piece by Alex Main of the US organisation the CEPR. Read the full article at http://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/9034
3)British & Irish Official Election Witnesses Write to the Chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee
The official election witnesses from Britain and Ireland to Venezuela’s April election have written to Richard Ottoway MP saying that,
“In Venezuela, we witnessed why Nobel Prize winner and former US president Jimmy Carter called the country’s voting system the “best in the world”. The digital voting system and its system of allocating everybody a paper receipt makes it almost impossible to commit fraud. The rigour of the process signed off by both campaign teams in the localities before, during and after the election as well as independent observers, makes the system much more secure than that in the UK. That is why we are assured that the election result, whilst close, was a fair and accurate reflection of the people’s will.”
· You can read the full letter at http://www.venezuelasolidarity.co.uk/british-irish-official-election-witnesses-write-to-the-chair-of-the-foreign-affairs-select-committee
4)Growing Concern at US Intervention and Hostile Comments
Venezuela’s government has rejected comments made by U.S. President Barack Obama about the country and accused Washington of being behind right-wing violence that has followed its recent presidential election. A foreign ministry statement said that Obama’s “interventionist declaration” will lead toward deteriorating relations between the countries and “confirms to the world the policy of aggression his government maintains against our country.”
The statement referred to comments the U.S. president made to Spanish-language television network Univision during his trip to Mexico and Costa Rica. In the interview, Obama wouldn’t say if the United States recognizes Nicolas Maduro as Venezuela’s new president following his election on April 14, that has been recognised around the world. Obama also said that reports indicate that basic principles of human rights, democracy, press freedom and freedom of assembly were not observed in Venezuela following the election.
· Read the full piece at http://www.venezuelasolidarity.co.uk/growing-concern-at-us-intervention-hostile-comments/
5)Successful Visits to ‘Southerm Cone’ see Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay Issue Strong Support for Nicolas Maduro as the Legitimate President of Venezuela
Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff: "I'm sure that with President Maduro, I will have the same high-level relationship that I had with President Chávez."
President Nicolas Maduro’s successful visit to Brazil concluded his recent tour of the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) member states. The visit, the first overseas trip of Maduro as President comes ahead of another event at the end of June when he will officially take the Chair of Mercosur.
Visiting regional heavyweight Brazil, Maduro won a seal of approval from President Dilma Rousseff, who pledged to expand trade with Venezuela. A day earlier, Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner had mobilized pro-Venezuela activists to fill a Buenos Aires soccer stadium and signed a range of bilateral cooperation accords with Maduro, and prior to this Maduro visited Uruguay.