Archive for February 14th, 2004

Is the opposition better off today?

February 14, 2004

 


I think the answer is a resounding yes, for quite a number of reasons.


 


First of all, it is Chavez who has already said he will not accept a decision to go forward on the recall by the CNE. This is bad for him internationally, as both the OAS and the Carter Center will get much more vocal than they currently are if he acts like outside of  the law and the decisions by the CNE. Additionally, the Supreme Court, even if manipulated by Chavez can only use “reasonable” constitutional arguments in blocking the recall if someone’s rights have been violated or electoral rules have not been followed. Both seem far fetched to prove even if Chavez controls the Court.


 


I know international opinion is not that important short term, but it is important in the end. In fact, Chavez has been able to survive in large part because of the largely positive opinion by the international community that he was the constitutionally elected President of Venezuela. But were he to step so far outside the law, this would definitely help the opposition. I emphasize, it will not get rid of Chavez short term, but remember Fujimori!


 


Today’s move by Sumate to give out certificates to people that signed, was much cleverer than people give it credit for. The CNE really would have to stretch the rules to eliminate one million signatures from the Reafirmazo by the opposition. By handing out these certificates that people signed, Sumate has added a significant unknown variable into this equation.


 


If Sumate distributes five hundred thousand to a million of these certificates (On Sunday Lara and Zulia will have similar drives and there could be a dozen in the days to come), this will create a huge uncertainty for the CNE. Read article 31 of the regulations for recall referenda. It simply says you have five days to show up and say your signature was good and was somehow disqualified. If a person shows up with a copy of his/her signature even if it comes from a “plana”, the signature is simply good according to the rules. Thus, the CNE would need to disqualify 1.4-1.5 million signatures to really feel comfortable about it. This would require outright (and outrageous) fraud by the CNE.


 


By revealing that he would go to the Supreme Court, Chavez might have relieved some of the pressure from the CNE Directors themselves. They could simply argue that the decision was taken out of their hands when he said that and the TSJ will decide for them


 


Finally, there was no violence today, which is Chavez’ game…Definitely much better off.


 


(P.S. That things are better for the opposition, does not mean things will get better.  If you can, read today’s interview in page A-6 of El Nacional with someone that knows Chavez quite well, Captain Luis Valderrama, who was in charge of taking Valencia in the 1992 coup attempt. Just in case, should my blog dissapear sometime in the future, look for it to surface somehere else in the blogosphere under the name Satan’s Poop. Only the paranoid survive)

Is the opposition better off today?

February 14, 2004

 


I think the answer is a resounding yes, for quite a number of reasons.


 


First of all, it is Chavez who has already said he will not accept a decision to go forward on the recall by the CNE. This is bad for him internationally, as both the OAS and the Carter Center will get much more vocal than they currently are if he acts like outside of  the law and the decisions by the CNE. Additionally, the Supreme Court, even if manipulated by Chavez can only use “reasonable” constitutional arguments in blocking the recall if someone’s rights have been violated or electoral rules have not been followed. Both seem far fetched to prove even if Chavez controls the Court.


 


I know international opinion is not that important short term, but it is important in the end. In fact, Chavez has been able to survive in large part because of the largely positive opinion by the international community that he was the constitutionally elected President of Venezuela. But were he to step so far outside the law, this would definitely help the opposition. I emphasize, it will not get rid of Chavez short term, but remember Fujimori!


 


Today’s move by Sumate to give out certificates to people that signed, was much cleverer than people give it credit for. The CNE really would have to stretch the rules to eliminate one million signatures from the Reafirmazo by the opposition. By handing out these certificates that people signed, Sumate has added a significant unknown variable into this equation.


 


If Sumate distributes five hundred thousand to a million of these certificates (On Sunday Lara and Zulia will have similar drives and there could be a dozen in the days to come), this will create a huge uncertainty for the CNE. Read article 31 of the regulations for recall referenda. It simply says you have five days to show up and say your signature was good and was somehow disqualified. If a person shows up with a copy of his/her signature even if it comes from a “plana”, the signature is simply good according to the rules. Thus, the CNE would need to disqualify 1.4-1.5 million signatures to really feel comfortable about it. This would require outright (and outrageous) fraud by the CNE.


 


By revealing that he would go to the Supreme Court, Chavez might have relieved some of the pressure from the CNE Directors themselves. They could simply argue that the decision was taken out of their hands when he said that and the TSJ will decide for them


 


Finally, there was no violence today, which is Chavez’ game…Definitely much better off.


 


(P.S. That things are better for the opposition, does not mean things will get better.  If you can, read today’s interview in page A-6 of El Nacional with someone that knows Chavez quite well, Captain Luis Valderrama, who was in charge of taking Valencia in the 1992 coup attempt. Just in case, should my blog dissapear sometime in the future, look for it to surface somehere else in the blogosphere under the name Satan’s Poop. Only the paranoid survive)

A very good day

February 14, 2004


It was a good day today. The opposition marched to protest the fact that the CNE should have, by law, decided yesterday whether there would be or not recall referenda agaisnt President Chavez and both opposition and pro-Chavez Deputies to the National Assembly. It has been so long since the law has been enforced in Venezuela that our rights can be violated without anyone saying much about. We did not hear all week from the “Fiscal” the Attorney General/Prosecutor whose name is Isaias Rodriguez, who is in charge of upholding the law and defending the rights of the people. In fact, the only thing we heard from this shameless personality of this stupid revolution was when he came out to complain about the attacks on the Electoral Board. But he said nothing when Chavez said he would not accept a favorable decision by the CNE for his recall.


But it was  a good day. People marched, peacefully, cheerfully and protested once again against the injustices that are taking place day after day.  There was no violence whatsoever. Even if we were not allowed to reach the CNE, demonstrating the inequality under the law prevailing in Venezuela, a huge number of people went out as shown in the pictrure above. At the end of the march, Sumate, the ONG that organized the petition drives, set up tables with volunteers to hand out digitized copies of the forms in which people had signed. The copy had the form in which you signed, digitized with the other nine names fuzzied out. Th copy would include te number of the form, the line, the “Acta” number and the box in whichit was handed in to the CNE. The objective of this was to have people be able to prove they signed if their signatures were to be disqualified. Thus, a very clever move against the tricks of the Government.


I actuall worked as a volunteer handing out thee forms to the marchers. I missed the march, but I had a great time watchng people’s emotions when giving their copy of their signature. I saw just about everything everything in terms of emotions. People would turn happy, solenm, some would get teary eyes. Others thanked us profusively for a job well done. Others shook hands. Some screamed in joy. It felt good, really good!


Since I was working, I was unable to take many pictures. I took most at the beginning of the day, when the lines were light. I hope they convey some of the emotions I felt ans saw.



People setting up early on the morning. The boxes with their signs, ready for the people. The team I worked with before we started.



On the left a true victim of the violence and the impunity of the Chavez era, Mr. Mohammed Merhi, picks up his copy that he signed in favor of the recall against Hugo Chavez. Mr. Merhi’s son was killed on April 11 2002. To this day Venezuelan justice has been unable to tell him who killed his son.


In the middle a very happy nun picks up her proof she signed. On the right, this girl is tense as her proof is not found.



Happiness and suprise at the same time, when first seeing your signature. Very happy that she is there. Older lady with sign saying the recall will go through, waits for her copy.

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