Archive for November, 2003

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.

International Reafirmazo locations

November 28, 2003

For those abroad here is the link for the location of the international Reafirmazo and here is a story about how the Primero Justicia party plans to make those signatures count too.

Turnout huge, this is very exciting!

November 28, 2003

This is big, really big. This morning when I saw the big lines I thought that they would become smaller as the day went on. The opposite seems to be happening. I have had friends that have been in line for five hours in order to sign. I have been uanble to sign, between taking pictures, working and going from here to there I have not been able to find a place where the line would take me less than an hour. The TV stations are sending a very subliminal message by showing not the lines in the East of Caracas, but those in the barrios, Catia, 23 de Enero, Caricuao, Chavez’ Barina state and many others. The message seems to be mitigating the effect of intimidation and particularly in these areas the lines seem to get bigger and bigger. As we speak, 5:30 PM the lines are still quite large. This morning I went around the city, I only found one polling station that did not have huge lines, I don’t know if they had a problem or not, every single other one had lines at least three blocks long. The locations were no different than what I showed last week for the pro-Chavez petition. The atmosphere is festive, people are honking, driving around with their emergency lights on and in Caricuao there are fireworks before sunset. These are my pictures:



Where I tried to sign in the morning. From left to right the line going around a plazacompleting 360 degrees circle, I gave up after half an hour



Line in Ave. Romulo Gallegos, a lower middle class neighborhoodfrom left to right note the building to get an idea about the length.



End of sequence from previous line.        Only polling station I found with no line in Petare, TV was showing big lines there at noon.

Oscar sends some pictures

November 28, 2003

Page will get heavy as I want to show the images



Huge lines in anti-Chavez area in San Ignacio                        The rain did not stop the people in the East of Caracas



More lines                                                                                   Huge lines in La Carlota

From the wire services: A picture is worth n thousand words

November 28, 2003

 



Line (AP)                                                                 People wore flags (Reuters)



Kid watches the line in Los Caobos (AP)             Lines in Plaza La Candelaria (Schermbeek)             



Old lady bypasses the line (Schermbeek)                        Even the old had to wait (Schermbeek) 



    Chavistas heckle those in line in Carapita    The rain did not stop people (Schermbeek)



                                Flags in many ways (AP)


Lines in El Recreo (AP)                                                         

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