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Venezuela: a developing coup attempt – URGENT ACTION NEEDED

category international | anti-capitalism | press release author Tuesday April 16, 2013 11:14author by Turing Report this post to the editors

On Sunday April 14, Bolivarian candidate Nicolas Maduro won the Venezuelan presidential election by a narrow margin. With 99.12% of the votes counted, there was a 78.71% turn out, with Maduro receiving 7,505,378 votes (50.66%), and Capriles 7,270,403 votes (49.07%). Opposition candidate Capriles declared that he does not recognise the result and demanded an audit of 100% of the vote.

On Monday April 15 Capriles made a speech, which was broadcast live by all private TV stations as well as CNN Spanish. In it he refused to recognise the election results and called for mobilisations to demand a full manual recount of the vote. These included a national pots and pans banging protest on Monday at 8 pm, marches on the regional offices of the National Electoral Council (CNE) on Tuesday 16, as well as a march on the CNE in Caracas on Wednesday 17.

At the same time both the Organisation of American States president Insulza and the United States declared that they were also in favour of a full recount. The Spanish government added its voice to the chorus and said they did not recognise the results of the elections.

This was followed by riots in the streets, road blockades and burning barricades organised by opposition supporters. Prominent opposition leaders spread rumours that ballot boxes and ballot papers were being burnt to prevent a recount, using pictures of the destruction of electoral material from previous election contests (these were taken from the CNE website as can be seen here).

Following the allegation by prominent opposition journalist, Nelson Bocaranda, that Cuban doctors were participating in the burning of ballot papers, dozens of CDI (Integral Diagnosis health Centres) were attacked throughout the country.

Gangs of armed opposition thugs were roaming the streets of the main cities last night. Four Bolivarian supporters were killed as a result of the violence, some of them in drive by shootings, repeating a pattern we saw last week and on election day. PSUV offices were attacked in several states as well as the buildings housing Simoncito pre-school nurseries, Mercal and PDVAL state-run supermarkets and the Petrocasa housing program in Carabobo. The private homes of a number of state officials were also attacked. In the capital Caracas there were attacks against Telesur, La Radio del Sur and VTV state media buildings. (See some PICTURES here and HERE)

This is the real face of the so-called “democratic” opposition in Venezuela. They are attacking all the symbols of the social programs of the Bolivarian government, all the conquests of the revolution.

PSUV campaign coordinator Jorge Rodriguez as well as the new Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro described these actions as a “developing coup d’Etat.” CNE president Tibisay Lucena rejected the blatant imperialist interference on the part of the OAS, the US and Spain. She added that an audit of 54% of the ballot boxes had been conducted, and that the final count of 100% of the vote slightly increased Maduro’s lead.

The Venezuelan elections have been free and fair and the voting system is fool proof. This has been ratified in several elections by institutions which are not suspicious of revolutionary leanings like the Carter Centre. The elections were observed by a range of international bodies, including UNASUR and the OAS, all of which have certified their clean and democratic nature. Even right wing governments like those of Mexico, Colombia and Chile, not known for their sympathies towards the Bolivarian revolution have recognized the result. Capriles himself accepted the results of the October 7 presidential elections, which were organized by the same CNE, with the same voting machines and with the same electoral register.

The bottom line is that the opposition lost the election and refuses to accept the result. The result was close, yes, but there have been other election results international with results which were even closer and these were not challenged. Capriles himself only won the governorship of Miranda in December last year by 40,000 votes and the PSUV accepted the results. Chávez lost the constitutional reform referendum in 2007 by a narrower margin, 1.4% and accepted the result.

As CNE head Tibisay Lucena pointed out, if the opposition wants to challenge the results, there are legal mechanisms to do so, instead of resorting to violence and not recognizing the official institutions.

What we see in Venezuela is an attempt to violate the democratically expressed will of the people. Venezuela has elected a president, albeit by a small margin.

We call on all progressive and democratic forces around the world to remain vigilant, to express their solidarity with the Bolivarian revolution, to denounce the undemocratic maneuvering of the opposition and imperialism, to counter the lies and manipulation of the mass media and to demand respect for the democratic will of the Venezuelan people.

London, April 16, 2013

Related Link: http://www.handsoffvenezuela.org/venezuela_attempted_co...p.htm
author by Turingpublication date Tue Apr 16, 2013 19:39Report this post to the editors

This is definitely a coup attempt.

Venezuela's post-election crisis is growing deeper, with seven people killed during clashes between the opposition and police. Sixty-one others have been injured. Meanwhile, President Nicolas Maduro has accused Henrique Capriles of staging a coup. The deaths occurred on Monday, when hundreds of protesters took to the streets in various parts of Caracas and other cities. The demonstrators blocked streets, burned tires, and fought with security forces.

The fatalities include two people shot by opposition sympathizers while celebrating Maduro's victory, state media reported. One person died in an attack on a government-run clinic in a central state. Two others, including a policeman, were killed in an Andean border state, officials told Reuters.
"The most serious thing is that in these violent actions, seven Venezuelans died," said Attorney General Luisa Ortega. She added that 135 people have been arrested in suspected connection with the violence.

Meanwhile, opposition candidate Henrique Capriles has called Maduro's victory "illegitimate" and called on supporters to peacefully protest the results. The Venezuelan election authority has refused to hold a recount, despite calls from the opposition.

Maduro said on Tuesday that he will not allow the opposition to hold a march in the center of Caracas planned for Wednesday, to demand a recount of votes following Sunday's election. "It's time for a tough hand," he said. Maduro has spoken out against the opposition protests. "Where are the opposition politicians who believe in democracy?" Maduro said, blaming opposition candidate Henrique Capriles for the violence.

His thoughts were echoed by Venezuelan Foreign Minister Elias Jaua. "Those who attempt to take with force what they could not acquire through elections are not democrats," he said.

Related Link: http://rt.com/news/venezuela-maduro-coup-killed-963/
author by Tpublication date Tue Apr 16, 2013 21:34Report this post to the editors

In the months leading up to his death Chavez made if very clear that he felt certain that the CIA were somehow behind his cancer and there can be very little doubt of that since they have both the technical means and resources and the motive.

As part of this plan we can be certain that the coup we now see taking place was also part of that package and there is probably a well laid series of escalations planned. So far with the series of attacks that have happened and mainly on health centres and pre-schools that they are sending one signal only and that is one of terror to all the supporters of Chavez and his successor.

We can only hope in the days, weeks and months that follow that the seeds laid down by Chavez have taken root and grown strong enough to resist these violent people who will probably stop at nothing and incur widespread bloodshed to take power and turn off the flow of benefits to the people and back to the wealthy. It is certainly a dark hour for the people of Venezuela.

author by Turingpublication date Wed Apr 17, 2013 00:44Report this post to the editors

Full story at link.

Merida, April 16th 2013 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – This afternoon president Maduro said the opposition’s call for a general strike today had “failed”. He also blamed the losing candidate in Sunday’s elections, Henrique Capriles, for the seven deaths last night.

Maduro said last night’s violence was part of a plan “to take Venezuela off the road of democracy”, and called on the people to be peaceful and not “fall for provocations”.

He also declared “the coup d’état defeated”, and inaugurated a health centre in Miranda state. However he said it seemed the “destabilisations will continue”. Though there has been no direct attempt to overthrow the government, some government authorities have referred to the opposition’s refusal to recognise the election results as a “coup” or part of an attempt to bring about a coup.

President of the National Electoral Council (CNE) Tibisay Lucena said yesterday that the electoral system functioned “perfectly” on Sunday. She urged Henrique Capriles, who has not recognised the results, to use legal methods to present his complaints. 54% of the votes were audited on Sunday in the presence of booth witnesses from both political parties, and no problems were found, but opposition protestors are demanding that 100% of the votes be recounted.

Telesur reports that according to CNE norms, the opposition have “twenty [working] days to contest the results, they can do it through the Supreme Court, or the CNE, but they should formalise it, and not do it through the media”.

“Majority is majority, and should be respected under a democracy, they shouldn’t seek ambushes and invent things in order to make popular sovereignty vulnerable... that has just one name, “coup-ism” [golpismo],” Maduro said yesterday.

Related Link: http://venezuelanalysis.com/news/8652
author by Turingpublication date Fri Apr 19, 2013 22:59Report this post to the editors

Full text at link.

The US Continues to Undermine Democracy in Venezuela
by DANIEL KOVALIK

I just returned from Venezuela where I was one of 170 international election observers from around the world, including India, Guyana, Surinam, Colombia, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Scotland, England, the United States, Guatemala, Argentina, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, Jamaica, Brazil, Chile, Greece, France, Panama and Mexico. These observers included two former Presidents (of Guatemala and the Dominican Republic), judges, lawyers and numerous high ranking officials of national electoral councils. What we found was an election system which was transparent, inherently reliable, well-run and thoroughly audited.

Indeed, as to the auditing, what has been barely mentioned by the mainstream press is the fact that over 54% of all votes are, and indeed have already been, audited to ensure that the electronic votes match up with the paper receipts which serve as back-up for the electronic votes. And, this auditing is done in the presence of witnesses from both the governing and opposition parties right in the local polling place itself. I witnessed just such an audit at the end of election day on Sunday. And, as is the usual case, the paper results matched up perfectly with the electronic ones. As the former Guatemalan President, Alvaro Colom, who served as an observer, opined, the vote in Venezuela is “secure” and easily verifiable.

In short, the observers’ experience this past week aligns with former U.S. president Jimmy Carter’s observation last year that Venezuela’s electoral system is indeed the “the best in the world.”

Related Link: http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/04/19/the-us-continues...uela/
 
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