Archive for March 18th, 2004

The CNE database mess: Discrimination and bad faith

March 18, 2004

 


Since I got the presentation from Sumate on their analysis of the CNE data, I have wanted to discuss it, but their graphs would have made it very heavy if I placed them in my home page. Instead, you can find the Sumate presentation right here, where you will learn how absurd the whole process has been. You can study and we can discuss it in the comments.


 


In the presentation, you will find, among many other things, the 35 characteristics ‘used” by the CNE to disqualify signatures, despite the fact that only five were typified in the regulations as causes for disqualification or questioning. This does not bother Carrasquero the “impartial” who claims to have a degree in law and respect the rights of the people. Does not bother the Attorney general, the Constitutional Hall or the Peoples’ Ombudsman. Weird, no?


 


But Mr. Carrasquero, who claims to be a lawyer and Mr. Rodriguez, who is a psychiatrist, authorized the Chavista-controlled “Technical Committee” of the CNE to manipulate the signatures at will, ending with a mess of numbers that could not pass or satisfy even the most superficial audit. They deserved to be renamed the “political” committee.


 


But one of the things that really caught my attention is shown in the following map of Caracas, in which dots have been placed, the size of which indicates what percentage of the forms at each polling center in the city were disqualified or placed under observation.



 



 


 


What I found fascinating about it is that it proves to me why the forms with the same calligraphy were necessary. For those of you who do not know Caracas, you can simplify the socioeconomic distribution of its population as being poor on the West side (mid-left to left on the image) and East side (extreme right of the image) with the band in the middle being where what is left of the middle class lives.


 


Well, it is remarkable that what this picture actually shows is that the rules were loaded against the very people that Chávez and his revolution are supposed to represent, love and rule for. It is very simple, the rules were quite strict (look in the presentation at the 35 types of errors), and you had to write clearly and carefully, within a restricted space and in a certain order. Well, the result was that those living in the poor areas had a much higher percentage of rejections or signatures sent for observation.


 


In fact, it had to be that way. It was precisely in the lower class areas of the cities where those at the poll booths helped those signing the petition the most in filling out their personal data. Therefore, it is those areas that generated more forms with the same calligraphy. In fact the map above can be used by someone that knows Caracas to identify barrios, even those entrenched within middle class neigborhoods, very simply. Even where there are few large size dots, look for the bigger ones. 


 


Ironic isn’t it? The revolution created rules that in the end violated the rights of those that are supposed to support it the most. Or was it simply revenge for opposing the revolution despite being poor?


 


The amount of bad faith involved can be shown in the following “live” form which the CNE disqualified. Look at it. Try to figure out how or why it was placed under observation. The answer below the image.


 



 


The above form represents one out of more than 8,500 that had one, only one signature placed under observation for the oxymoronic concept of having the same calligraphy. Yes, signature number three from the top was disqualified for having the same calligraphy. Against what? Nobody knows. You would think two would be placed under observation, no? Oh, but Mr. Carrasquero, Rodriguez and Battaglini (who apparently is deaf-mute) are experts in law, statistics and now on relative oxymoroonic calligraphy, a field in which they will have time to study and practice a lot once the Vth. Republic is but only a memory and they are guests of the prison system of the VIth. Republic.

The CNE database mess: Discrimination and bad faith

March 18, 2004

 


Since I got the presentation from Sumate on their analysis of the CNE data, I have wanted to discuss it, but their graphs would have made it very heavy if I placed them in my home page. Instead, you can find the Sumate presentation right here, where you will learn how absurd the whole process has been. You can study and we can discuss it in the comments.


 


In the presentation, you will find, among many other things, the 35 characteristics ‘used” by the CNE to disqualify signatures, despite the fact that only five were typified in the regulations as causes for disqualification or questioning. This does not bother Carrasquero the “impartial” who claims to have a degree in law and respect the rights of the people. Does not bother the Attorney general, the Constitutional Hall or the Peoples’ Ombudsman. Weird, no?


 


But Mr. Carrasquero, who claims to be a lawyer and Mr. Rodriguez, who is a psychiatrist, authorized the Chavista-controlled “Technical Committee” of the CNE to manipulate the signatures at will, ending with a mess of numbers that could not pass or satisfy even the most superficial audit. They deserved to be renamed the “political” committee.


 


But one of the things that really caught my attention is shown in the following map of Caracas, in which dots have been placed, the size of which indicates what percentage of the forms at each polling center in the city were disqualified or placed under observation.



 



 


 


What I found fascinating about it is that it proves to me why the forms with the same calligraphy were necessary. For those of you who do not know Caracas, you can simplify the socioeconomic distribution of its population as being poor on the West side (mid-left to left on the image) and East side (extreme right of the image) with the band in the middle being where what is left of the middle class lives.


 


Well, it is remarkable that what this picture actually shows is that the rules were loaded against the very people that Chávez and his revolution are supposed to represent, love and rule for. It is very simple, the rules were quite strict (look in the presentation at the 35 types of errors), and you had to write clearly and carefully, within a restricted space and in a certain order. Well, the result was that those living in the poor areas had a much higher percentage of rejections or signatures sent for observation.


 


In fact, it had to be that way. It was precisely in the lower class areas of the cities where those at the poll booths helped those signing the petition the most in filling out their personal data. Therefore, it is those areas that generated more forms with the same calligraphy. In fact the map above can be used by someone that knows Caracas to identify barrios, even those entrenched within middle class neigborhoods, very simply. Even where there are few large size dots, look for the bigger ones. 


 


Ironic isn’t it? The revolution created rules that in the end violated the rights of those that are supposed to support it the most. Or was it simply revenge for opposing the revolution despite being poor?


 


The amount of bad faith involved can be shown in the following “live” form which the CNE disqualified. Look at it. Try to figure out how or why it was placed under observation. The answer below the image.


 



 


The above form represents one out of more than 8,500 that had one, only one signature placed under observation for the oxymoronic concept of having the same calligraphy. Yes, signature number three from the top was disqualified for having the same calligraphy. Against what? Nobody knows. You would think two would be placed under observation, no? Oh, but Mr. Carrasquero, Rodriguez and Battaglini (who apparently is deaf-mute) are experts in law, statistics and now on relative oxymoroonic calligraphy, a field in which they will have time to study and practice a lot once the Vth. Republic is but only a memory and they are guests of the prison system of the VIth. Republic.

Intimidating the media via the tax office

March 18, 2004

Last night I was ranting about the limited freedom of speech that Venezuelans enjoy and I am sure than more than one reader, even among those that oppose Chávez, was thinking that I was exaggerating. Well, today my point was proven extensively by the fact that the tax office SENIAT showed up at the offices of Channel 2, Radio Caracas Television to present a tax fine for Bs. 2 billion.


The origin of the tax fine is the fact that the station donated to the opposition air time to broadcast its message against the government. How political can you get? The message is clear, the Government will use whichever and whatever means under its control to actually stop the opposition from speaking out, essentially limiting free speech and threatening the media this way. That a tax office can be manipulated to show up to argue that it is illegal to donate air time to the opposition is simply absurd and illegal. It also violates the right of free speech.


 


In fact, one wonders what type of ethics these guys have. The Government TV station VTV, broadcasts all day the message not only of the Government, but also of Chavez MVR party. This is simply a violation of corruption laws which do not allow Government funds to be spent on political acts of any party. Moreover, the Government TV stations, in contrast to the other media, gives absolutely NO space to the opposition, even reaching the point of faking images to “demonstrate” that opposition marches have small attendance. Finally, all TV stations are also forced to broadcast long speeches by Hugo Chávez where all he is doing is promoting himself, his so called revolution and those of is party. How fair is this?


 


While these are dangerous signs, it also shows a certain level of desperation on the part of Chavez and his cronies. Blocking the referendum at all costs, killing people, torturing them and even disappearing some and now attempting to silent the media are in the end simply a sign of weakness. Hopefully they are also acts of desperation.

The inmoral authority speaks up

March 18, 2004

Meanwhile, that sorry icon of “impartiality” in Venezuela, the President of the Electoral Baird (CNE) accused the OAS of having a position partial to the opposition and against President Hugo Chávez.


Mr. Carrasquero (I refused to call him Dr.) said that both the Carter Center and the OAS have a partial position and that he ratifies this and has proof of it. Assuring the press that the report of the OAS and the Carter Center does not conform to the truth, he indirectly called for the international observers to leave the country, saying this is a sovereign country.


 


Well, Mr. Carrasquero, I accuse you of being partial to Hugo Chávez. You have voted every single time to favor the positions of the Government and never, not once, have you voted with Ezequiel Zamora and Sobella Mejias, who at least can prove that they have voted both ways. Moreover, Mr., Carrasquero you say that if the opposition wanted the recall vote, it would take place in May or June. Well, I remember when you first announced the regulations for petitions that you said the same thing about a recall taking place in February or March. Today it is March 18th. and the possibility of a recall vote seems as far as it was then.


 


The problem is that since then, you have not done your job; you have been derelict and inefficient in fulfilling your duties, you have not followed the law or deadlines that you yourself approved and have been worried more about the future of Hugo Chávez than the people’s right to express themselves as guaranteed by the Constitution. That, Mr. Carrasquero happens to be your job, facilitating that the will of all those people you claim to care so much for is expressed. Instead, you have constantly placed obstacles, argued against statistically valid concepts, twisted the law and attempted to disqualify morally the two CNE Directors that have gone against your wishes.


 


You have also mysteriously met with your friend and President of the Constitutional Hall Ivan Rincon, in true Mafiosi fashion, to conspire against the people and in order to favor Hugo Chávez.


 


Mr. Carrasquero, do you really believe that you can call yourself impartial?


 


A good friend and frequent reader of this blog assures me that Carrasquero was a man of honor until recently. In that case, I can only wonder what despicable act represents that skeleton in his closet which makes him act like such a low life and lackey of despicable Hugo Chavez.


 


Two weeks ago, Marta Colomina reminded Mr., Carrasquero in an article that the President of the Peruvian Electoral Board under Fujimori is serving a jail sentence in that country. I can only wish the same thing on this sorry and pitiful mediocre character for violating the rights of 3.4 million Venezuelans.

The inmoral authority speaks up

March 18, 2004

Meanwhile, that sorry icon of “impartiality” in Venezuela, the President of the Electoral Baird (CNE) accused the OAS of having a position partial to the opposition and against President Hugo Chávez.


Mr. Carrasquero (I refused to call him Dr.) said that both the Carter Center and the OAS have a partial position and that he ratifies this and has proof of it. Assuring the press that the report of the OAS and the Carter Center does not conform to the truth, he indirectly called for the international observers to leave the country, saying this is a sovereign country.


 


Well, Mr. Carrasquero, I accuse you of being partial to Hugo Chávez. You have voted every single time to favor the positions of the Government and never, not once, have you voted with Ezequiel Zamora and Sobella Mejias, who at least can prove that they have voted both ways. Moreover, Mr., Carrasquero you say that if the opposition wanted the recall vote, it would take place in May or June. Well, I remember when you first announced the regulations for petitions that you said the same thing about a recall taking place in February or March. Today it is March 18th. and the possibility of a recall vote seems as far as it was then.


 


The problem is that since then, you have not done your job; you have been derelict and inefficient in fulfilling your duties, you have not followed the law or deadlines that you yourself approved and have been worried more about the future of Hugo Chávez than the people’s right to express themselves as guaranteed by the Constitution. That, Mr. Carrasquero happens to be your job, facilitating that the will of all those people you claim to care so much for is expressed. Instead, you have constantly placed obstacles, argued against statistically valid concepts, twisted the law and attempted to disqualify morally the two CNE Directors that have gone against your wishes.


 


You have also mysteriously met with your friend and President of the Constitutional Hall Ivan Rincon, in true Mafiosi fashion, to conspire against the people and in order to favor Hugo Chávez.


 


Mr. Carrasquero, do you really believe that you can call yourself impartial?


 


A good friend and frequent reader of this blog assures me that Carrasquero was a man of honor until recently. In that case, I can only wonder what despicable act represents that skeleton in his closet which makes him act like such a low life and lackey of despicable Hugo Chavez.


 


Two weeks ago, Marta Colomina reminded Mr., Carrasquero in an article that the President of the Peruvian Electoral Board under Fujimori is serving a jail sentence in that country. I can only wish the same thing on this sorry and pitiful mediocre character for violating the rights of 3.4 million Venezuelans.

Martini takes a stand…

March 18, 2004

The Electoral Hall of the Venezuelan took a very strong stand today when it issued a communiqué signed by its President Alberto Martini, where it ratifies that its role its to consider all cases relating to referenda processes and declaring that the request by the Constitutional Hall to hand over all of its files was not valid.


In its communiqué the Electoral hall reminds the Constitutional one that its decision to look into the referendum injunctions simply does not exist. The Electoral Hall also reminds the other one that independent of the injunctions reaching the Constitutional Hall, the Electoral Hall will continue knowing about all cases having to do with referenda.


 


In the press release the Electoral hall cites Article 60 of the Organic Law of the Supreme Court which says that all decisions have to be signed by all Justices independent of whether they have subscribed the decision or not as long as the number of those signing constitutes four fifths of the Justices of the Hall. Thus, the decision by the Constitutional Hall needs to be signed by four Justices.


 


The Electoral hall also reminded the Constitutional one that that there was no quorum, which was ratified by affidavits from two of the Justices of that Hall which did not participate.


 


Well, Dr. Martini has proven he has some b…, I am glad someone still has them to stand up to these sorry examples of Justices in the Venezuelan Supreme Court.

Martini takes a stand…

March 18, 2004

The Electoral Hall of the Venezuelan took a very strong stand today when it issued a communiqué signed by its President Alberto Martini, where it ratifies that its role its to consider all cases relating to referenda processes and declaring that the request by the Constitutional Hall to hand over all of its files was not valid.


In its communiqué the Electoral hall reminds the Constitutional one that its decision to look into the referendum injunctions simply does not exist. The Electoral Hall also reminds the other one that independent of the injunctions reaching the Constitutional Hall, the Electoral Hall will continue knowing about all cases having to do with referenda.


 


In the press release the Electoral hall cites Article 60 of the Organic Law of the Supreme Court which says that all decisions have to be signed by all Justices independent of whether they have subscribed the decision or not as long as the number of those signing constitutes four fifths of the Justices of the Hall. Thus, the decision by the Constitutional Hall needs to be signed by four Justices.


 


The Electoral hall also reminded the Constitutional one that that there was no quorum, which was ratified by affidavits from two of the Justices of that Hall which did not participate.


 


Well, Dr. Martini has proven he has some b…, I am glad someone still has them to stand up to these sorry examples of Justices in the Venezuelan Supreme Court.

Ana Julia Jatar and the smell of dictatosrhip

March 18, 2004

Analyst Ana Julia Jatar closes her article in Descifrado entitled: “Three against three million” by saying something which resonates with my current thinking and goes along what I was saying in my last post yesterday:


“For this Government it is clear that because it ahs a hard time mobilizing the million of citizens that it would need to win the electoral battle, it has decided to concentrate its efforts in the votes of those that it is easier to control.


 


For the citizens it must be clear that they no longer have a Supreme Court and thus, no judicial power. That is why it should not surprise us that yesterday the new strategy by the Government, that of judicial terror, became evident, ordering the detention of Mayor Enrique Capriles Radonski and threatening to jail other public servants elected by popular vote.


 


Today the smell of dictatorship is much stronger, we Venezuelans have been left without referees, and the worst part, without justice”

A death and a report of signs of torture

March 18, 2004

 


This morning when I got up and read El Universal, I decided that tonight I would translate the article entitled :”Coroner’s Report: Venezuelan protester’s autopsy reveals signs of torture” and combine it with the sad news that victim number fourteenth of the recent Government repression had died yesterday.


 


Well, FT took the trouble of translating the article so I will just point to his article which is right here. Actually, I have been posting so late recently, that between the two of us and the aid of the time difference we essentially provide 24×7 coverage.


 


Victim number fourteen of the recent repression was Juan Carlos Urbano. He worked at a fruit store near where the protests were taking place, arranging the produce in the stands. The trajectory of the bullet that killed him came from high above. Given that the Government had taken over the surrounding buildings, it would be difficult to blame the opposition, but we know better.

Into a totalitarian void

March 18, 2004

Not much to say about today’s decision by the Constitutional Hall. This is what they decided at an illegal meeting, with no quorum and in a decision signed by only three Justices. It simply ratifies last Thursday’s order to the Electoral Hall not to do anything. Ratifies that we live in a totalitarian country with no rule of law.


This decision is illegal, immoral and violates all prior jurisprudence. The Constitutional Hall’s convoluted argument is that they named the electoral Board, so that they have jurisdiction. If they had not named it, they would have found a different argument. When you have no scruples or morals, it is always easy to find a reason, legal or not.


 


Thus, the law of the jungle prevails now in Venezuela. We have jumped into a new void of illegality and totalitarism. The outlaws win again, except only the perverse could consider it a victory to plunge a country deeper into fanaticism and polarization. The recall referendum was the only peaceful road to resolving, either way, the political conflict in this great and suffered country. It appears as if there will not be such a resolution now and we do know who was responsible. Hopefully, history will judge these three Justices as traitors to their oath, the people and the Constitution.


 


We have gone from a diffuse Constitutional Dictatorship to a well defined totalitarian regime with no laws. The country is now in the hands of the President of the Supreme Court Ivan Rincon. The same man who in April 2002 offered his good services to become President and replace Chavez. But he was not chosen, but came very close to playing the role of Pedro Carmona in that tragic soap opera of errors, even resigning to “facilitate the transition” after he was not picked. This sorry character will now decide when and if the full Court meets to consider the conflict. He could take months to do it. It is unclear if he was bribed, offered to be lifetime President of the Supreme Court or extortioned by the Government to act the way he has. We will probably never know.


 


What we do know is that this regime and its lackeys are willing to twist the law and their morals to fit whatever situation is required to preserve Hugo Chavez in power. Whether it is the recall referendum, human rights violations or jailing opponents, there is nothing that will stop them now.  Ivan Rincon will now, once again, delay, postpone and manipulate. Despite his obvious bias, he will not recuse himself or morally accept to step aside. And the country will fall into an abyss of violence, because of this weak an amoral man.


 


The only vestige of democracy left in Venezuela is a limited ability to be critical of the Government. Limited, because the media is constantly threatened by the Government. Limited, because the government boycotts media sympathetic to the opposition, refusing to place ads in them. Limited, because reporters are constantly threatened and attacked and the precautionary measures of the Human Rights Commission of the OAS have been all ignored. Limited, because when there is repression on the streets, an inordinate number of reporters ends up injured or even dead.


 


So, the next step will be for the Government to shut down a TV station using any argument, using the same lack of scruples that they the Justices of the Constitutional Hall have shown in the last few days. Supporters of the Government will back the measure against these traitors who happen to be fellow Venezuelans. Opposition supporters will go out to support the media. Who knows what will happen then. Protesters will be called common criminals. Victims will be called accidents. Desaparecidos will be ignored.


 


In the meantime, the democratic will and rights of 3.4 million Venezuelans have been disposed of by the Electoral Board, the Supreme Court and the Government. And there is no one to restore them.

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