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Fri Oct 5, 2012, 12:19 AM

What’s at stake in the Venezuelan elections (Progreso Weekly)


HAVANA – A document published in September 2012 by the press office of the Council on Foreign Relations of the United States, identified as Contingency Planning Memorandum No. 16, signed by Prof. Patrick D. Duddy of Duke University, a former U.S. Ambassador to Venezuela, reveals the options considered by Washington about the next presidential elections in Venezuela.

“If Chavez is reelected in a process judged acceptably free and fair, the United States should seek to reset the bilateral relationship with an eye toward the eventual renewal of high-level communication on areas of mutual interest,” it said. “If the election results appear fraudulent or apparently legitimate results are nullified, the United States should encourage international pressure to restore democracy and suspend bilateral business as usual until a legitimate government is restored.”

In the light of the evidence derived from the many polls that forecast an overwhelming Chávez victory and from former President Jimmy Carter, who – after an on-site examination of the materials set up to control the efficiency of the balloting – expressed his admiration over the transparency that will rule the election, everything indicates that Washington is preparing some sort of big manipulation with regard to this electoral event and a deceitful script to justify an aggression against Venezuela.

To the majority of Venezuelans, the government of Hugo Chávez has meant the recovery of national dignity. A nation prostrate by despair and the indolence of a social system designed to protect the rich and repress the poor welcomed Chávez as its savior and guide toward the construction of a country with well-being for all.

Chávez demonstrated to that nation the value of unity and solidarity as tools to move ahead, taking advantage of the wealth of a country blessed by Nature. He said Venezuela should occupy the place it deserves in the world community of nations, a place it should take without haughtiness or contempt for other, less-privileged countries, but as a paladin of solidarity. more at link

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Arrow 33 replies Author Time Post
Reply What’s at stake in the Venezuelan elections (Progreso Weekly) (Original post)
flamingdem Oct 2012 OP
COLGATE4 Oct 2012 #1
naaman fletcher Oct 2012 #2
Bacchus4.0 Oct 2012 #3
SESKATOW Oct 2012 #4
joshcryer Oct 2012 #8
SESKATOW Oct 2012 #9
joshcryer Oct 2012 #13
SESKATOW Oct 2012 #14
joshcryer Oct 2012 #15
SESKATOW Oct 2012 #16
COLGATE4 Oct 2012 #5
joshcryer Oct 2012 #10
Peace Patriot Oct 2012 #6
SESKATOW Oct 2012 #7
joshcryer Oct 2012 #12
joshcryer Oct 2012 #11
COLGATE4 Oct 2012 #17
Peace Patriot Oct 2012 #19
naaman fletcher Oct 2012 #18
Judi Lynn Oct 2012 #20
naaman fletcher Oct 2012 #21
SESKATOW Oct 2012 #22
naaman fletcher Oct 2012 #23
SESKATOW Oct 2012 #24
joshcryer Oct 2012 #26
SESKATOW Oct 2012 #30
joshcryer Oct 2012 #31
SESKATOW Oct 2012 #32
joshcryer Oct 2012 #33
Peace Patriot Oct 2012 #25
naaman fletcher Oct 2012 #27
Judi Lynn Oct 2012 #28
naaman fletcher Oct 2012 #29

Response to flamingdem (Original post)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 08:54 AM

1. As to the transparency of the election

Univision had a segment Wednesday which showed that the Venezuelan election authorities have released the election ballot to be used in the coming presidential election. Given the high amount of illiteracy there (as in almost all of Latin America), it is common for the candidate's photo to be placed on the ballot next to their name, so that the voter who cannot read is still able to vote. In addition, given that there are multiplicity of political parties, each party's candidate has his/her own 'check the box'.

Because Capriles is a coalition candidate of several political parties, his photo and check the box space appears in several places on the ballot. Univision reports that the Venezuelan election authorities have decided that any vote for Capriles which is not placed in the box of his primary political party of his coalition will not be counted.

If correct (and I have found Univision reporting to be generally correct after watching it for many years) this means that many votes placed for Capriles will simply not be counted. Transparency???

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Response to COLGATE4 (Reply #1)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 10:13 AM

2. It will be interesting to see


If the world's greatest election system reports the number of votes for those ballot spots.

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Response to COLGATE4 (Reply #1)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 10:15 AM

3. there are 4 party boxes with Capriles' picture that will NOT be counted

as Capriles votes. This includes the very first Capriles box reading left to right as the western world does.

I believe two of the checked boxes will be counted as null and two will be given to other presidential candidates even though its Capriles picture. there are numerous political parties, and corresponding boxes, on the ballot with the Chavista coalition and Capriels coalition. The Chavista coaltion occupies the entire first two rows and Capriles more spread out.

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Response to Bacchus4.0 (Reply #3)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 10:25 AM

4. sounds like the opposition are well on the way in making preparations for defeat



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Response to SESKATOW (Reply #4)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 04:33 PM

8. Nope. But it's cute that you deflect from this obvious ballot gaming.

Fortunately they opposition has instructed all people to vote on the bottom of the ballot, where none of the "gamed" voting positions are. This will not be much of a problem for 95-98% of the voters. It will slow things down as people vote for the wrong box and the printout doesn't represent their vote, though.

In any event, Capriles is going to win even with the gamemanship.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #8)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 04:38 PM

9. Apparentely the rich have a problem with reading. I did say to ease up on the conjac


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Response to SESKATOW (Reply #9)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 04:44 PM

13. Capriles has support across all demographics.

Rich, poor, young, old.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #13)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 04:47 PM

14. Red?


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Response to SESKATOW (Reply #14)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 05:03 PM

15. Yes.

He has support from far leftists, most of his supporters are leftists. Many parties featuring his name on the ballot include MAS (Movimiento al Socialismo - Movement for Socialism), PODEMOS (Por la Democracia Social-For Social Democracy), PPT (Patria para Todos - Fatherland for All), Bandera Roja (Red Flag, Marxist-Leninist!).

Chavez has failed them. They don't support Capriles because they're neoliberal facist blackshirt capitalists.

They support Capriles because Capriles is a "unity" candidate that is tired of the bullshit Chavista divisiveness.

-¿Qué van a hacer si la autoridad electoral declara ganador a Capriles?

-Nos pasamos a la resistencia activa. Hemos activado todas las células para denunciar a la extrema derecha. Un gobierno de Capriles tendría al pueblo agitado y movilizado. Eso nos lo enseñó Chávez.

Capriles, someone who ran a platform on fixing the infrastructure Chavez himself admits needs work, who wants to build houses, schools, and stop relying on foreign corporations to do all the work is "extreme right wing."

It's hilarious! People really don't know shit about Venezuela.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #15)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 05:07 PM

16. MUD are falling apart. Now that's hilarious


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Response to Bacchus4.0 (Reply #3)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 01:17 PM

5. I had understood that only 1 of the 4 party boxes

with Capriles' picture would be counted - the other three were to be deemed null and void, but you have more details. Thanks. In any event, does not speak terribly well about 'electoral fairness' in Chavez' model democracy.

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Response to COLGATE4 (Reply #5)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 04:38 PM

10. Yeah, might not help those who can't read the printout though.

A nefarious poll worker could say "it counted, have a good day."

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Response to COLGATE4 (Reply #1)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 04:07 PM

6. Lord I get so tired of this crap from the right. Here we go again!

Literally every election expert in the world disagrees with you.


Facts about Venezuela’s Presidential Elections and the Voting Process

By VARIOUS, October 4th 2012

Election system
Venezuelanalysis.com brings readers two articles with all the facts and background on the voting processs and the presidential elections in Venezuela this Sunday.

Author: Venezuela Solidarity Campaign UK

Venezuelans go to the polls this Sunday (7 October) to elect their president. In total there are seven candidates from president. However the main choice is between the incumbent Hugo Chavez, backed by a coalition of progressive and left aligned parties and social movements, and Henrique Capriles Radonski, a state governor with strong ties to the country's elite and backed by a number of right-wing parties, who have formed a unity coalition known as the M.U.D.


This will be Venezuela's 15th set of national elections since Hugo Chavez was elected President in 1999. That is more sets of elections than took place in the 40 years prior to Hugo Chávez becoming President.It is also one of the highest number of elections held in any country in the world in that time. All have been declared free and fair including by international bodies such as the EU and Organisation of American States (OAS).In September 2012 former US President Jimmy Carter said “the election process in Venezuela is the best in the world” and that Hugo Chavez has always won “fairly and squarely”.Of the previous Presidential election, held in 2006, OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza recently said: “we had no objection. It was fair” and that Venezuela “has a strong electoral system that is technically very good.”The Report of the EU Observer Mission to the 2006 Venezuelan presidential election stated that it was overall conducted “in respect of national laws and international standards,” with “a high turnout, and peaceful atmosphere”.This scrutiny of Venezuela’s election processes will continue at the coming Presidential election with 200 international witnesses, including from the Union of South American Nations (representing all 12 South American countries which vary significantly in their political composition, from Ecuador to Brazil to Colombia).


Venezuela’s elections are overseen by the National Electoral Council, an independent branch of state similar to the UK Electoral Commission.

The trust in this institution has been so great that earlier this year Venezuela's main right-wing opposition coalition, the M.U.D, organised for it to conduct its Presidential primaries. The M.U.D Executive Secretary described the CNE's role in this selection as "an excellent indication of the democratic institutions in the country"[1].

Previously in July 2011, the right-wing party Voluntad Popular held internal elections with support from the CNE in which Leopoldo López was chosen as National Coordinator. López – who is currently the campaign manager for Presidential candidate Henry Capriles Rodonski - expressed his appreciation for the CNE’s role.


As a result of the CNE’s efforts to register people and to make voting easier, Venezuela has had unprecedented rates of voter turnout in recent years. Three quarters of voters went to the polls in the 2006 presidential elections and a record 66% voted in the 2010 Parliamentary elections.

Record numbers are now registered to vote – up from 11 million in 1998 to 19 million today. Over 96% of Venezuelans are now registered to vote, whereas as many as 20% of the electorate were left off the list in the past.

Access to polling stations is also greater than ever before, with there number increasing from 8,000 to 14,000 in the past decade. This has tackled a past problem whereby ballot boxes were often not accessible to those in the poorest areas, where most of the population lives.


Venezuela uses some of the most secure and advanced voting technology for its elections. Venezuela’s electronic voting system is 100% auditable with 17 audits carried out and involving all the political parties at each stage[2].

On the day of voting, the electronic voting machines are activated only when a fingerprint that corresponds to the voter’s ID number in the database is registered. This system prevents fraudulent behaviour such as double voting and identity theft. There is also a clear separation in the voting between the systems that identifies the voter and another where the voter casts their ballot. Additionally, the machines print a paper receipt that can be checked by the individual voter and allows for a full manual count to be made if any results are contested. A manual count of more than half of the votes automatically takes place to ensure that the results tally.

In August 2012, Jennifer McCoy, director at the prestigious Carter Centre, described Venezuela's electronic voting system as “the most comprehensive that...I've seen in the world”.[3]

Of the post-electoral audits she said it had “never had any significant discrepancy between the paper receipts and the electronic votes.” [4]

The Venezuelan public had an opportunity to scrutinise the election procedures in nationwide test-run on 2 September that reviewed the electoral machinery and technology. About 1.8 million voters, around 10% of the electorate, participated in this test with the Executive Secretary of the right-wing opposition M.U.D coalition confirming that that voting in Venezuela is secret and secure[5].


Polls indicate a clear win for Hugo Chávez as the most likely outcome. The average of the 18 polls conducted in September gave Hugo Chavez a 12% lead[6]. Many polls also show president approval rates of over 60%.

In August 2012, the Japanese finance organisation, Nomura Holding published a client analysis stating that Hugo Chavez has a “large lead” against Henrique Capriles Radonski which they found “unlikely to be closed ...before the October 7 election”.[7] Likewise a Bank of America Merrill Lynch report earlier this year described “President Chavez's commanding lead in the polls and high level of electoral support”[8].

This poll lead is undoubtedly linked to Venezuela’s expanding economy, which is growing at 6% per year, as well as new social policies which address the ongoing needs of Venezuela’s poor majority. For example in the past year alone 250,000 new social houses have been built, state pensions made available for all and the minimum wage increased by 30%. These follow the policies that have successfully delivered free healthcare and education for all,slashing poverty rates in recent years.


In light of the aforementioned substantial poll leads for Hugo Chávez, there are growing fears that sections of the right-wing coalition are preparing to reject the results should Venezuelans choose to re-elect President Chavez in October.

For example, Ricardo Haussmann, a key Capriles economic adviser, recently said his campaign will employ 200,000 people at the polling stations so that they can declare their own results to the world before the official announcement is made by Venezuela's independent National Electoral Council (CNE). The intention is clear: to discredit the official results and claim fraud.

As Eleazar Diza Rangel, editor of Venezuela's main national newspaper Ultimas Noticias – which is broadly sympathetic to the anti-Chávez opposition - recently explained the purpose of attempts "to claim fraud at the coming presidential elections of 7 October (would be) in order not to recognise the people's will".

A smear campaign against the independent National Electoral Council (CNE) also appears underway. For example, on August 21, head of the opposition campaign Leopold Lopez announced that the opposition would take action against alleged “risks” that he claimed the state poses to the votes. But even whilst making the claim of “bias” Lopez admitted that "In all the processes that have been done in the past there has not been a single indication that there is no guarantee that the vote is secret".

Others in the Venezuelan opposition are not supporting the tactic of preparing to cry fraud and smearing the CNE. For example Enrique Marquez MP, vice-President of the opposition party Un Nuevo Tiempo, said on 5 September that Venezuela’s voting system " offers no danger to the confidentiality of the vote."[9]


Rejecting the legitimate election results in the face of a Hugo Chavez victory would be totally consistent with how sections of the Venezuelan right have previously resorted to undemocratic means. Most well known is the short-lived coup against the democratically-elected Chavez government in 2002 which abolished democracy altogether until it was overturned by popular demonstrations. In 2003, they unleashed a 64-day oil industry lock-out that saw GDP collapse by a third with the declared aim of ousting President Chavez. They then claimed fraud at the 2004 recall referendum on whether Hugo Chávez would continue as President, which he won 58% to 42%. The opposition promised to provide evidence but eight years on they are yet to do so. Then faced with certain defeat, they decided to boycott the 2005 parliamentary elections at the last minute, seeking to undermine the results, a move opposed by the Organisation of American States.

Since then opposition has sought to use the democratic process to remove Hugo Chavez. In doing so it has accepted the National Electoral Council (CNE) results that saw its presidential candidate Henry Capriles Radonski elected as a state governor, Hugo Chávez's proposed constitutional changes narrowly defeated in a referendum in 2007 and dozens of governors, mayors and MPs from parties of the right elected.

But faced with Hugo Chávez winning another six year term, some in the opposition seem set on resorting to the old ways of ignoring the will of the people.


As is normal in any democracy there is an open and vibrant election process underway with both main candidates regularly organising rallies, visiting towns, doing interviews and daily press conferences.

Whatever views are held of the Chávez-led government, its democratic mandate is without doubt. There is certainly no evidence from previous elections of fraud or manipulation. Jimmy Carter has described Venezuela’s electoral system as amongst the “best in the world.”

Any doubt about the impartiality of Venezuela’s National Electoral Council (CNE) in overseeing free elections is easily dismissed by the fact that (the) right-wing coalition ... recently asked for (the CNE) to oversee their own internal selections. It is not serious for it to endorse the CNE as a legitimate electoral authority in February and denounce it in October.

The truth is that any opposition attempt to cry fraud is really about covering up its own political unpopularity as the polls show.

Any such manoeuvres to undermine the real outcome need to be widely condemned. It is the right of the Venezuelan people to freely determine who their next president is. Their will must be upheld and respected

[1] http://www.eluniversal.com/nacional-y-politica/111205/cne-presta-asisten...

[2] http://www.smartmatic.com/espanol/casos-de-estudio/view/article/audits-a...

[3] http://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/7177

[4] Spanish language interview: http://america.infobae.com/notas/57123-Centro-Carter-hara-solo-un-seguim... English transcript: http://venezuela-us.org/2012/08/29/carter-center-affirms-venezuelan-elec...

[5] http://www.unidadvenezuela.org/2012/09/aveledo-reitero-que-el-voto-es-se...

[6] VSC study see http://tinyurl.com/septpolls

[7] http://laradiodelsur.com/wp-content/uploads/docs/Informe_NOMURA%20Ingles...

[8] Wall Street Journal http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405270230336050457740842288479604...

[9] http://untinternacional.org/2012/09/05/enrique-marquez-el-sai-y-el-secreto-del-voto/

Ten Things You Should Know about Elections in Venezuela

Author: Press Office of the Venezuelan Embassy to the U.S.

This year, Venezuela will hold presidential elections on October 7 and state elections on December 16. They will be overseen by the independent branch of government known as the National Electoral Council (CNE), which guarantees the efficiency and transparency of electoral processes.

Under Venezuela’s new system of participatory democracy, 15 elections and referenda have been conducted in the last 13 years, while in the previous 40 years, just 25 elections were held.

Thanks to efforts by the CNE to increase voter participation, 96.5% of eligible adults in Venezuela are registered to vote. That’s over 19.1 million people out of a population of 27.1 million. The rate of unregistered voters has fallen to just 3.5%, compared to 20% in the past.

Venezuelan voters abroad account for an estimated 0.52% of the electorate. According to the CNE, 99,478 citizens living abroad were registered to vote in absentee as of mid-May 2012.

To encourage voting, the CNE has increased the number of voting centers in Venezuela from 8,278 to 14,025 since the year 2000. It also increased the number of individual polling stations from 7,000 to 38,236.

Venezuela has had some of the region’s highest rates of voter turnout in recent years. 75% of voters went to the polls in the 2006 presidential elections, and a record 66% voted in the last legislative elections in 2010.

Venezuela’s 2012 elections will feature special voting centers accessible to the handicapped. This is one of several initiatives by the CNE to improve technologies and guarantee all citizens the right to vote.

To prepare for the 2012 elections, the CNE has conducted 17 different audits to the electoral registry, the electronic voting machines, and other tools. The different political parties participated in this process to ensure transparency.

For the last dozen years, all major electoral processes in Venezuela have been audited and declared free and fair by electoral accompaniers such as the Carter Center, the NAACP, the Organization of American States and the European Union. Their findings affirm that Venezuela has one of the best electoral systems in the world.

After observing the primary elections of a group of opposition parties in February of 2012, the President of the U.S.-based National Lawyers Guild said: “All of us were impressed with the enormous strides the CNE has made to insure the right of Venezuelans not just to vote, but to be sure their votes are meaningful.”

Creative Commons License.
(My emphasis.)


The Chavez government wiped out illiteracy in Venezuela some years ago. Your implication that Venezuelan voters are stupid peasants who can't read a ballot is ridiculous and a reflection of your own ignorance and extreme bias.


"Given the high amount of illiteracy there (as in almost all of Latin America),...". --COLGATE4


Venezuelans have, as a society, as a country, undertaken fundamental political and economic reform and have created a "New Deal" for themselves. When their democracy was attacked by the rightwing coupsters in 2002 and in subsequent efforts to overturn their democracy and reverse their "New Deal," they peacefully overcame such efforts and peacefully continued with their program of social justice, sovereignty and independence. They are not likely going to reverse themselves on Sunday.

But, if they do--if the pre-election polls and all other polls and indicators are wrong--they will accept the result because of their profound commitment to democracy and the rule of law, and will work, passionately, politically, in social movements, in labor unions, in grass roots organizations of every kind, and in the National Assembly and other forums, to preserve their "New Deal" and to elect another president to preserve and expand it.

This is not so clear as to Capriles and his supporters. The rightwing has a history of delusions that the rich elite in Venezuela was "born to rule." They have cried foul, with wild and substanceless charges, in every election that they have lost, despite the overwhelming, unanimous opinion of numerous international election monitors and the plain facts of the election. It is a sort of temper tantrum they throw, very related to their privileged economic status and to the fascist elements among them who play on this political delusion for anti-democratic purposes and to fuel anti-democratic plots.

The best thing for them to do, if they lose, is to keep building their political organization over the next six years, and try to outdistance their notoriety for anti-democratic opinions and activities--opinions like yours, that Venezuelan voters are illiterate, and activities like the 2002 coup attempt, the oil bosses' lockout and their constant whining about election fraud in a system that could not have received higher praise from all election experts--election fraud for which there has never been any evidence.

But will they do that, if they lose? Will they take it in a mature way and try harder next time, on their presidential candidate and their platform?

It is likely that Capriles is insincere when he says that he will protect social programs. The secret rightwing platform that was leaked is a template for "neo-liberalism"--for undoing the very significant social gains and the widely spread prosperity of the last decade. For this, and many other reasons (for instance, Chavez's 64% approval rating), the undecided voters are likely to go mostly to Chavez and Capriles is likely to lose, possibly by a big margin. But that doesn't negate the sincerity of most of Capriles' supporters nor their potential contributions to Venezuela's government and society. I hope they take this constructive course and will not let themselves be used for civil disorder.

The chances that a failure of democracy next Sunday will occur at the hands of the CNE (the official election commission) are virtually non-existent. They have such an awesome worldwide reputation that they would never risk it with an unfairly designed ballot or any kind of election tampering. So I completely distrust this crap about the ballot and certainly would not trust Univision's or a rightwing poster's account of it.

The chances that a failure of democracy will occur at the hands of Capriles supporters, on the other hand, should they lose the election, are somewhat worrisome, given their history, some of their backers and this sort of hubris on the right--a sense of entitlement that has manifested in the past as a sense of unreality. This ballot fracas is very typical of their tactics when they see a loss coming and when they lose: 'It has to be "fraud." They can't lose. It is not possible that they would lose.' They thus have become manipulable by extremists and coup planners.

And what of the Chavez supporters? Despite their history of peaceful and constructive political and social change, it's possible that some small number of Chavez supporters might cause civil disorder, if they lose, but Chavez will act immediately to stop them. I don't have the same trust in Capriles and some of his backers, given their history. Chavez supporters are used to winning. They have rarely had to face a loss. They've been quite peaceful when they did lose. But such a big loss as this one, with pre-election polls giving Chavez a 10% or better advantage, and so much at stake, I can't say it's impossible--no one can--that a few Chavez supporters might become unhinged. The Capriles campaign's exit poll plan looks disturbingly like one designed to ignite such a fracas. This was precisely the rightwing plan in 2006--use of false polls to instigate civil disturbance, preliminary to another coup-- but they couldn't pull it off (they couldn't get anybody in the military to go along). This ballot objection also looks like it could be part of such a plot. They've done similar things before--trying to set up conditions for doubt and rage. Again, I trust Chavez to quickly squelch any disturbance by his supporters, if they lose. Capriles? I don't know.

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Response to Peace Patriot (Reply #6)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 04:20 PM

7. I hear you PP


The numbskulls are desparate to find any so called reason for defeat

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Response to SESKATOW (Reply #7)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 04:40 PM

12. Yeah, I'm sure you defended all those votes Pat Buchanan got.

Nothing nefarious there at all.

Regardless I don't think it will matter so much.

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Response to Peace Patriot (Reply #6)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 04:39 PM

11. I'm so happy we're on the same page when it comes to their electoral process.

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Response to Peace Patriot (Reply #6)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 05:55 PM

17. It must be comforting to cast any negative

observation of the Chavez regime as simply part of a vast, rightwing conspiracy.

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Response to COLGATE4 (Reply #17)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 08:03 PM

19. Well, there HAS BEEN a "vast, rightwing conspiracy" in Venezuela,

which pulled off a short-lived coup d'etat and a whole lot of other anti-democratic bullshit, and one of the tools in their toolbox is crying "election fraud" when there is no election fraud!

They've done it time and again. They've done it in every election except the one the Chavez government lost (the Constitutional amendment package). Two I haven't even mentioned were their "purple finger" (voter ID) protest and their outright boycott of the legislative elections because they said there was surely going to be election fraud. They ranted and raved against the "purple finger" ID, for reasons nobody could understand, and the CNE got rid of the "purple finger" just to shut them up--and they boycotted the election anyway!

I don't know what you'd call the coup d'etat in 2002 except a "vast, rightwing conspiracy." It involved the Corporate Media, numerous businesspeople, the rich oil elite, the Catholic upper clergy, elements of the military and the police, rightwing politicians and mobs of rightwing thugs (not to mention the Bush Junta and Exxon Mobil). Their reach was "vast" though they never represented many Venezuelans. That was sort of the point. They were going to rule instead of the voters. Their reach was "vast." They were a conspiracy. They were rightwing.

So, gee, forgive me for worrying that they might do it again.

Since that time, they had one more abortive attempt in 2006 (with phony claims of "election fraud" as the trigger), a couple of conspiracies of a different kind (for instance, the oil bosses' lockout, by which the oil elite and Exxon Mobil tried to destroy the economy for the specified purpose of overthrowing the government), and non-stop whining about "election fraud" before and after they lose elections--in an election system called "the best in the world" by election experts.

Don't know how "vast" this particular effort is, to call the election system into doubt. The rightwing's intention to release their own exit poll results prior to the official results smells bad. Pardon me for pointing out the deja vu.

It's pretty dopey to cite that canard--"vast, rightwing conspiracy"--against me, when there has, in fact, been such a conspiracy in Venezuela. But I guess you'd like people to forget that and just regard this latest bit (unfair ballot) in isolation from everything else. i don't trust Univision. I don't trust Venezuela's rightwing when they allege things like this. And I don't trust you. But I will say this: If there's anything wrong with the ballot--say, something that Jimmy Carter would object to, or the OAS, or Unasur--I COMPLETELY trust the CNE to correct it, and I'm quite sure, also, that they would have spotted it before this.

What possibly happened here is a mistake by Capriles' campaign, either in their coalition and how it is presented on the ballot, or in their agreement to the ballot form--for they have been well represented in the design of Venezuela's election! Either nothing's wrong with it, and they're just whining again, or something's wrong with it--at least in their view--and they waited til the last minute to say something in order to have an "election fraud" "talking point," as they have so frequently done in the past, when they knew they were going to lose.

That's putting the best possible light on this. The other end of the spectrum of rightwing behavior in Venezuela is civil disorder and coup d'etat. Vast. Rightwing. Conspiracy.

Apt phrase, that.

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Response to Peace Patriot (Reply #6)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 07:35 PM

18. Wiped out illiteracy? lol. You will believe anything



MONTREAL — In 2005, Venezuela became an official Territory Free of Illiteracy. A massively funded government literacy drive achieved, in just over a year, what decades of neoliberal neglect had failed to deliver: a country where every single person knows how to read.

It’s the kind of story of radical inclusiveness and progressive zeal that has earned the government of Hugo Chávez wide admiration — even from those who might blanch at its heavy-handed approach to civil liberties. There’s just one problem: the government’s claim is verifiably false.

Preliminary results from the 2011 census published by the government’s own National Statistics Institute show that, as of last year, 95.1 percent of Venezuelans can read and write, just 1.5 percentage point higher than a decade earlier. The findings confirm what critics have claimed all along: that the government’s 2005 drive had little effect on the nation’s literacy rate, which has continued to creep up in line with long-term trends, as older people who never had formal education pass away and are replaced by better-schooled generations.

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Response to naaman fletcher (Reply #18)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 10:32 PM

20. UNESCO holds a different view from the right-wing evaluation of Venezuela's system

of putting children of the poor into schools, whereas they could not go before. It's hard to imagine UMNESCO didn't just trust the right-wing scum to tell them what's happening.

UNESCO: Education in Venezuela Has Greatly Improved

Merida, January 27th, 2010 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – According to a recently released UNESCO report on education, Venezuela’s number of children enrolled in school has significantly increased over the last 10 years, and its Education for all Development Index (EDI) has also increased considerably. Venezuela’s education minister welcomed the findings but said some of the data was inaccurate as it did not include any of the social missions.

UNESCO released its Education for All Global Monitoring Report 2010 on 19 January. The 525 page report says that Venezuela’s EDI increased by 5.1% between 1999 and 2007 and by 2.4% between 2006 and 2007. The EDI attempts to measure progress according to access, equality, and quality of education, based on universal primary education, adult literacy, gender equality, and student survival rate to grade 5.

Venezuela’s EDI ranks it 59th in a list of 128 countries, up from 64th three years ago. It has an overall EDI of 0.956 (where 1 is the highest), an adult literacy rate of 0.942 and a rate of 0.959 for survival rate to grade five. It is worth nothing that on this list, Norway ranks first, Japan second, Cuba 14th, the United Kingdom 9th, Mexico 55th, China 62nd and Niger last at 128th. The United States does not appear on the list.

When ranking according to individual components of the EDI, Venezuela ranks 55th for adult literacy rates, 74th for gender equality, and 49th for survival rate beyond 5th grade.

Also, according to the UNESCO report, Venezuela had around 93% enrolment in Primary school in 2007, up from 87% in 1999.


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Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #20)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 10:49 PM

21. WTF r u talking about?


You said "wiped out illiteracy". I pointed you to the facts that your claim is wrong. You then went off on childhood education or something.

Your "Chavez wiped out illiteracy" claims was simply bullshit. Stop trying to change the subject.

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Response to naaman fletcher (Reply #21)

Sat Oct 6, 2012, 01:04 AM

22. Naaman - what do you say is the illiteracy rate in V?????


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Response to SESKATOW (Reply #22)

Sat Oct 6, 2012, 08:01 AM

23. 4.9% as of latest data. nt


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Response to naaman fletcher (Reply #23)

Sat Oct 6, 2012, 12:05 PM

24. And pre Chavez?


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Response to SESKATOW (Reply #24)

Sat Oct 6, 2012, 05:44 PM

26. 6.4?

Did you not read his link?

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #26)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 12:38 PM

30. source?


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Response to SESKATOW (Reply #30)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 02:41 PM

31. Post #18?

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #31)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 03:50 PM

32. Household survey? How representative of you. Man u guys are amateurs


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Response to SESKATOW (Reply #32)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 04:27 PM

33. That's straight from the governments mouth.

Who else is going to do these statistics?

Got a refutation?

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Response to naaman fletcher (Reply #21)

Sat Oct 6, 2012, 12:58 PM

25. You're shouting at the wrong person. Judi Lynn made no such claim.

I am the one who said it--that the Chavez government had wiped out illiteracy. And you're right, that that was inaccurate. I believed a government press release of a couple of years go, without looking into it further.

However, I still credit the Chavez government for making a big effort, even if they exaggerated their success, to eliminate illiteracy entirely, and also, as Judi Lynn, points out, for very significant achievements in education, including doubling of college enrollment. There is literacy and there is quality literacy--being able to read and understand the Constitution, or a ballot, or Gabriel Marquez novels. The Chavez government, and the people of Venezuela, have not only aimed at total literacy, they have aimed at a well-educated, well-informed population, with no one excluded from school because of poverty, and no one held back from education to the limit of their abilities, for lack of money.

Lord, they print the Constitution on grocery bags in Venezuela! They want people to read. They want people to understand. It is the major thrust and policy of the Bolivarian Revolution.

To say that, because a tiny fragment of the population is still illiterate, Venezuelan voters are going to misread a ballot that has been deliberately designed by the CNE to confuse voters and lose Capriles votes, is absurdly false. It is not only an insult to Venezuelans, it is an insult to truth itself.

The CNE has been closely monitored by every major elections group in the world, has been repeatedly certified by all of them, and has been recently praised by none other than Jimmy Carter, as being "the best election system in the world." There is no way that the CNE would risk their reputation on a faulty ballot, and if a mistake of some kind was made, they would immediately correct it, and, if need be, postpone the election. Furthermore, by statute, the CNE includes full and active participation by all parties. If there is a faulty ballot, it is as much the fault of the Capriles campaign as anyone else.

To allege that the CNE has deliberately designed a ballot to favor Chavez, and to imply that Venezuelan voters are stupid and illiterate and the CNE is preying upon them, is worse than a lie. It is vicious propaganda.

I admitted my mistake, but I guarantee you that whoever is putting forth this vicious propaganda will not admit theirs.

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Response to Peace Patriot (Reply #25)

Sat Oct 6, 2012, 07:06 PM

27. It's no big deal, really


That one specific statistic.

What is a big deal though is that Chavez and his mouthpieces have shouted it through the rooftops with full knowledge that it is easily disprovable. So the question is: What else are they shouting that is untrue? If they will lie so easily about something so observable, wouldn't they be more likely to lie about everything else?

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Response to naaman fletcher (Reply #27)

Sat Oct 6, 2012, 07:49 PM

28. There has never been the slightest excuse for being nasty here. It's a Democratic site.

Any right-wing oriented people are far more appropriate with their peers.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #28)

Sat Oct 6, 2012, 08:10 PM

29. What are you talking about?


What was nasty about this?

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