Archive for December 2nd, 2007

Updates continue as absurd delays in place

December 2, 2007

10:56 PM Rosales on TV saying that last year he accepted defeat and he expects losers to admit defeat tonight.

11:08 PM The President of VTV Anselmi was just on the Government’s TV channel and the guy was absolutely drunk!

11:26 PM Globovision says 90% of data in CNE. What is going on!

12:00 PM It’s midnight, do you know where you money for the automated electoral system is? I don’t either, but is not even close like the NYT is reporting, what I hear is that its 5% for the NO

It is 12:30 PM, while Globovision is saying the CNE is being careful, I think it is being irresponsible, either trying to change teh results or see what Chavez says or does. This is what creates rumors and uncertainties. If the US$ 300 million system is this bad, they have to resign tomorrow. This whole delay can only be justified if the difference is less than 0.3% as 90% of the vote has been counted.

12:53 PM No witness says he is not being allowed to see the totals and this violates the laws and the agreements. He was told he was not allowed in because of the “violence”

1:00 As witnesses for the No vote fight with the military to have their rights respected, General Baduel comes on TV and says this delay is inexplicable and causes innecessary tenisons and he had warned the Electoral Board about this. Violent discussion between the military and the witnesses for the No who feel something may be up.

Useless automated voting system, 11 PM and no results

December 2, 2007

So, Venezuela spent close to US$ 300 million in a voting system that is supposed to be bullet proof, state of the art and transparent and almost six hours after the President of the Electoral Board ordered polls closed we still do not know what happened?

What a joke!

I really can’t feel good about these delays when the Vice-President, who was the same one who bought the system and found no conflict of interest by jumping from one position to the other and is now the spokesmen for Chavez Electoral campaign.

Something is going on and I don’t like it!

Race to the finish…updated as it arrives

December 2, 2007

5:20 PM Two friends at polling booths report in the East of Caracas lower abstention, higher anti-Chavez votes

5:31 PM Globovision report Chavista group detained in Zulia trying to vote twice

6:01 PM Globovision says it has been a strange session as Venezuelans like to vote early as abstention looked high but is comparable to last year’s

6:29 PM CNE says 50% of tallies are already in, with 90% in, they will announce results.

6:45 PM 2001 reports November inflation was up 4.4%, this number should have been released yesterday, but was not.

6:37 PM Government saying Yes won by 6-8%, Comando del No saying No won by 4%

8:03 PM Two sources saying abstention is around 44-45% (one is Italy’s La Repubblica). If this is true, then things have to be close.

8:09 PM From a good source, the Government withdrew its advertising from tomorrow’s paper celebrating the victory

8:32 PM Mood shifting towards No win

9:39 PM Both BBC Mundo and El Pais have shifted from Si wins, to “close”. I hear is not even close.

10:39 PM No results yet at this time, whatever happened to the best and most expensive voting system in the world?

Chronicle of a No vote in the Venezuelan referendum

December 2, 2007

I went around and there are some small lines left, not worth taking pictures of them. Then I decided to go and vote at 2 PM, the time when reportedly the stduents were planning to go out. Below, the chronicle of my vote:

   
There were five lines, fairly crowded as I got there, uneven, but roughly 40 people ahreadd of everyone in eachg line. On the left an overview of the school where I vote, on the right the people waiting in line.
   
It started raining, so they moved us under the roof which made it seemed more crowded. On the right the infamous fingerprint system.

   
On the left: Gotcha!                                On the right, the schoolroom where I voted, noted the lady on the right voting, the ballot box also on the right. The lady on the right explained the process to each voter.
   
On the left the screen before I had chosen by vote. On the right a picture of my ballot. I can prove I voted NO on both blocks.


Finally, the terrible indelible ink on my finger. Yuk!

Not just a day in the life…

December 2, 2007

8:30 AM Reports are that voting is light everywhere, pro-Chavez or pro-opposition.

12:00 AM I took spin around Caracas from one end to the other and it is better than people had told me but it is also a very mixed and somewhat confusing picture.

First I went to my voting center upper middle class and anti-Chavez and lines were not long but it would have taken me about half an hour to vote so I decided to postpone it. I then did a spin nearby and all seemed similar lines maybe 20-50 meters long in definitely pro-Chavez areas.

Then I went towards Petare along the Romulo Gallegos. Near Boleita a lower middle class area that tends to go slightly pro-Chavez (55-60% in his favor), there were longer lines maybe 100-200 meters in length.

Then came the surprises. I went to Petare, pro-Chavez territory and saw four schools, three had no lines whatsoever. In fact I almost missed one because it was empty and was able to park the car and take a picture in the middle of the road (below). The fourth one, by contrast, had the longest lien I saw today about three to four hundred meters.

Then I went the other extreme towards Caricuao, another pro-Chavez area and there were no lines anywhere.

Top left: Center in Petare, extreme East of Caracas, absolutely empty. Right: Center in Caricuao, armored truck and all, also absolutely empty.

I also saw empty centers in Avenida Urdaneta near downtown and Avenida Sucre towards the West.

Left: Instituto de Nuevas Profesiones between Dos Caminos and Boleita and Upel on the right near Boleita.

Left: I think this was Dos Caminos, bad picture taken through the window of the car. Right: Colegio Cervantes en Las Palmas with some lines about 20-50 meters long.

Left: I went this way to take a picture at this school where I took a picture with soldiers in line two years ago, but the street was blocked and the line was all the way down the street, about 200 meters. This is near the Ministry of Education in downtown Caracas, the street goes towards Avenida Baralt. Right: The guy with the motorcycle and the nuns with the shopping bags seem oblivious to the electoral event as a Chavez sign with scribbled No’s on it stands behind them.

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