Archive for November 29th, 2003

Operation Drugstore

November 29, 2003

 


One of the peculiarities of the complicated rules for the petition drive, purposely designed to make the process difficult, is that each electoral center is assigned a fixed number of forms for the petition drive, based on the number of voters that cast their ballots at the last election. If the number is exceeded, then that center simply ceases to function. Well, many centers have already run out of forms today with two days left in the process, leading the opposition to create “Operation Drugstore” which mimics the way drugstores in Venezuela on the weekends and nights announce which nearby ones are open. I find it absurd to establish a limit like this, but think about it, in the 2000 election people voted both for and against Chavez, but these centers are running out of forms which implies the total number of people that have signed the petition has exceeded the total number of people that voted in that election for or against, but this time around they are all anti-Chavez, asking for his recall. Incredibe!

Operation Drugstore

November 29, 2003

 


One of the peculiarities of the complicated rules for the petition drive, purposely designed to make the process difficult, is that each electoral center is assigned a fixed number of forms for the petition drive, based on the number of voters that cast their ballots at the last election. If the number is exceeded, then that center simply ceases to function. Well, many centers have already run out of forms today with two days left in the process, leading the opposition to create “Operation Drugstore” which mimics the way drugstores in Venezuela on the weekends and nights announce which nearby ones are open. I find it absurd to establish a limit like this, but think about it, in the 2000 election people voted both for and against Chavez, but these centers are running out of forms which implies the total number of people that have signed the petition has exceeded the total number of people that voted in that election for or against, but this time around they are all anti-Chavez, asking for his recall. Incredibe!

Picture from Caricuao

November 29, 2003


Picture from Caricuao, in the Western part of Caracas. Caricuao voted for Chavez in the 1998 and 2000 elections.

Venepoetics on How to watch a tyrant squirm

November 29, 2003

You have to love Guillermo’s post in Venepoetics entitled “How to watch a tyrant squirm”. My favorite is #7:


7. Think about this: The European and American intellectuals who support Chávez (c.f. Free Speech Radio’s report on Venezuelan agrarian reform tonight) and his “noble revolution” would never consent to live under an egocentric tyrant like Chávez in their own countries. But, since they don’t have to live under his psychologically-deranged whims, they can continue to remain safe in their illusions of a “revolutionary” savior who will fix everything.

Venepoetics on How to watch a tyrant squirm

November 29, 2003

You have to love Guillermo’s post in Venepoetics entitled “How to watch a tyrant squirm”. My favorite is #7:


7. Think about this: The European and American intellectuals who support Chávez (c.f. Free Speech Radio’s report on Venezuelan agrarian reform tonight) and his “noble revolution” would never consent to live under an egocentric tyrant like Chávez in their own countries. But, since they don’t have to live under his psychologically-deranged whims, they can continue to remain safe in their illusions of a “revolutionary” savior who will fix everything.

Vice-President loses his cool, CNE tells military not to intervene

November 29, 2003

I did not see it, but there are reports that the Vice-President held a press conference with foreign corrrespondents in which the reporters were quite tough on him. Vice-President Rangel called the signature collection by the opposition a “mediatic show” yesterday and apparently tried to convey the same message to the foreign correspondents who had actually visited barrios to see the long lines both yesterday and today. Apparently the correspondents took Rangel to task on this and other issues to the point that the Government’s TV station stopped broadcasting the press conference. While I am not sure exactly the words Rangel used, he stated something like “this is not an election” adding ” I have to accept that 40% of Venezuelans have signed against President Chavez…..


Separately, the Consejo Nacional Electoral also took to task the armed forces saying that they were in charge of mantaining the peace and the logistics of delivering the material, but they were not to take charge of the forms already signed by the people. Once again, General Gutierrez, the same fascist that brutally gassed unarmed civilians last Dec. 3, 2002, has been overstepping his power in Zulia state attempting to take over electoral material and intimidating people. His name will not be forgotten…

International Reafirmazo information update

November 29, 2003

Updated link for locations of the International Reafirmazo (Thanks Alex!)

Finally signed!!

November 29, 2003


Finally got to sign, lines were shorter but the process was quite efficient. There were four tables processing in parallel. While I was on the line they gave me a practice copy of the form to make sure I would do it right and my signature could not be disqualified. (Little things like make sure the numbers in your national id numbers can not be confused with a different number). Then they took me to a house nearby to check the electoral registry to insure my data was exactly like what I was writing. Then back in line to sign. The lady that processed my signing had a plastic template to make sure I did not write outside the space provided for my signature and my fingerprint. (All of these could be reasons to disqualify my signature, thus the care). Finally, I was asked to wait so that if a mistake was made by anyone signing in the form after me, we could just throw it away and repeat it.


At the polling station where I signed, they processed 2,700 signatures yesterday and so far today they had completed 450 more. Since it is in a very anti-Chavez area, I can not use it for an estimate as typical. What I can do is say that at noon today there are still lines everywhere, even if shorter than yesterday. (In most places the lines are short, but you can see there are always people waiting). There are 2,700 centers total so the numbers seem quite easy. In fact, it took me less than 20 seconds to sign. Let’s assume there is only one table processing the signatures and two people sign per minute and absolutely nobody signs Sunday or Monday. Since the polling stations are opened eight hours a day, that would give an estimate of 960 signatures per day for two days or over five million total. We only need 2.4 million, but the opposition wants the number to be larger than which would be required to recall Chavez when the “real” vote takes place. Seems easy.

Daniel sends pictures in from San Felipe

November 29, 2003

Daniel who can not put pictures up in his blog asked me to put up pics from his sign up center. Three photos are from the collection center at Las Banderas in San Felipe, Yaracuy State, west of Caracas at 10 AM Friday the 28th. At that time, already more than 400 people had signed up The stand is clealy separated by the Army. Cheerful volunteers help people around, protecting them from the harsh sun.


One photo is from Plaza Teofilo Dominguez in downtown San Felipe. At 11 AM 600 had gathered there alreday. The situation there is more chaotic as the soldiers stand closer to the table.




By the way, Daniel has very nice updates on his site of what he is hearing from different parts of the country first hand.

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