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  HOME | Opinion (Click here for more)

VenEconomy: Stand for Your Right!

From the Editors of VenEconomy

The fatal fate of president-elect (but not sworn-in) Hugo Chávez has put all Venezuelans through a new electoral process again, and in less than six months, where a State confiscated by the chavista regime is at the service of a Cuban military-communist project.

The precedents set at every election speak for themselves about the supremacy that this theft of power leaves over the adversary. An opponent that is systematically cowed by abusive campaigns, endless TV and radio broadcasts from the Government, misuse of State resources, uncertain electoral guarantees and a highly consistent pump of fear into the electorate on the part of the National Executive through their various coercive mechanisms.

Among others, and maybe the wickedest of them all mechanisms, has been that of (and still is) the massive inoculation of perception in the citizen that the vote is not secret, thus violating the Constitution and laws that explicitly dictate that voting is a right “to be carried out through free, universal, direct and secret voting.”

In a bid to undermine the freedom to choose and the safeness to the secrecy of the vote, the Government has performed all kinds of foul plays, illegalities and abuses.

One of those first illegalities was a confiscation of more than 3 million signatures from Venezuelans requesting the revocation of Chávez’s mandate back in 2004, an action that gave rise to the controversial Tascón and Maisanta “lists” that keep being a sort of apartheid to these citizens.

Another diabolic mechanism is the illegal imposition of fingerprint machines, now chained to an Integrated Authentication System, also known as SAI. The National Electoral Council (CNE) justifies them by saying they’re for keeping people from voting twice, a ridiculous reason if proper controls through electoral notebooks and ink smearing of fingers are taken into account.

The truth is more than for identifying the electorate, the fingerprint machines are good for informing the Government – in real time – about who has voted and, most importantly, who has not voted, so they can go look for partisans of the leftist Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela (PSUV) and make them vote late in the day.

What’s more, the fingerprint machine has been devised to trick citizens by making them believe how the voters did at the ballots. This is something no one has made sure of in the multiple elections held to date.

This poses a challenge to Comando Simón Bolívar, led by opposition candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski, in explaining to the electorate that the vote is really secret and that the illegal fingerprint machines are something not to be afraid of.

The confidence about the secrecy of the vote is vital so citizens can go vote freely for the candidate of their choice.

The students of this nation took the first step forward on Thursday to face that challenge as they move across several cities, demanding free, transparent and equal elections. This all happens for saying a big NO to the fingerprint machines.

VenEconomy has been a leading provider of consultancy on financial, political and economic data in Venezuela since 1982.

Click here to read this in Spanish


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