[Marxism] Venezuelan opposition and the election

michael a. lebowitz mlebowit at sfu.ca
Fri Apr 12 19:49:11 MDT 2013

  Venezuelan Government Releases "Evidence" that Opposition is Planning
  to not Recognise Election Results

Cabello presenting the "evidence" on public television this morning (VTV)

Merida, April 10^th 2013 (Venezuelanalysis.com) -- This morning United 
Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) leader Diosdado Cabello presented 
evidence, including phone recordings, documents, and emails, allegedly 
proving that the opposition has plans to not recognise the 14 April 
presidential election results.

Cabello played an audio recording of a phone conversation to the public 
in which Joao Nunes, Capriles' bodyguard and driver, said that Capriles 
won't recognise Sunday's results if he loses.

In the recorded conversation, which lasts just over a minute, Nunes 
talks with another person, "Michell", who says "It's looking to be full 
on, man". Nunes responds, "Man, they're going to rob it from them in the 
streets...". Michell then says, "Looking at it from here, here what they 
are saying is that he's not going to recognise [the elections] if he 
loses... there's going to be problems, full on problems".

Cabello also showed an email allegedly sent from Amando Briquet, of 
Capriles' campaign team, to Guillermo Salas, member of the organisation 
Esdata. Esdata <http://esdata.info/> has reported on Venezuela's 
electoral process since Chavez was elected in 1998, and claims there are 
"statistical irregularities" by the National Electoral Council (CNE) 
which "violate the right to elect".

In the alleged email, dated 6 April this year, Briquet wrote, "...we 
need everything set out in Washington for checking over by the [Capriles 
campaign]. It's necessary that all documentation is presented 
internationally if we decide to take the road of not recognizing the 

Cabello said opposition umbrella group MUD's secretary, Ramon Aveledo, 
was involved and that he had requested documentation from Salas "in 
order to be able to support their decision not to recognise the results".

Further, Cabello denounced an alleged meeting between the head of 
private, opposition supporting newspaper, El Nacional, Miguel Otero, 
with Capriles and Briquet. Cabello accused the three men of meeting in 
order to "discuss not recognising the elections".

Finally, Cabello said an organisation called Patriotic Board (Junta 
Patrotica), which includes Guillermo Salas, signed a document which they 
sent on 7 April to Vicente Diaz. Diaz is a CNE director known to side 
more with the opposition. In the document the Patriotic Board allegedly 
expressed its decision to not recognise the CNE's reports.

Cabello told press he'd made the information public in "order to 
guarantee peace; this is a ...warning so that they know we know what 
they are planning to do".

Public prosecutor Luisa Ortega also verified that seventeen people have 
been detained in Sucre, Monagas, and Aragua states for sabotaging the 
electrical system. Blackouts have been more common over the last two 
weeks across Venezuela.

"A small group has been sabotaging the electricity system, and that's 
why there have been some power outs, but they aren't the part of the 
majority of the people, because the people don't want destabilisation, 
they want peace," Ortega said. She informed that the crime of sabotaging 
the electricity grid is punishable by up to 30 years prison.

According to Wilmer Barrientos, head of strategic command of the 
National Bolivarian Armed Forces, the seventeen people detained were 
"caught red-handed" damaging electricity facilities.

In Merida this afternoon, opposition supporters, after a large rally 
where Capriles spoke, committed various acts of violence in the city. 
Some of the perpetrators were drunk, and some wore balaclavas, making it 
likely they were part of the violent Movement 13 group based on Merida's 
University of Los Andes. They attacked the offices of the goverment 
youth, INJUVEM, of public radio YVKE Mundial, the state government 
building and its workers, and various privately owned shops in the 
centre of the city. The number of injuries is as yet unknown, and the 
national guard have calmed the situation.

Other events over the last few days have also pointed towards an 
opposition strategy of destabilisation and not recognising Venezuela's 
electoral power.

Yesterday Capriles refused to sign a CNE document of commitment to 
recognise the election results, instead signing his own document. There 
he committed to "respect the will of the people" but attacked the CNE 
for supposedly being "negligent" and "biased" towards the government, 
and Maduro's campaign for supposedly "taking advantage of the poor" and 
using public media.

On Monday, there was some violence and some people were injured, in an 
upper class suburb of Caracas. According to reports by residents of the 
area, it now appears that Maduro supporters were attacked by the 
opposition group JAVU, which then went to the press and blamed 
"Castro-communists" for the violence.

On Saturday government officials also released a recorded conversation 
that allegedly reveals the use of "mercenaries" by the Venezuelan 
opposition to create chaos in the lead up to the elections.

Maduro alleged that the "mercenaries" were already in Venezuela and had 
three objectives: to sabotage the electrical grid, increase the number 
of murders, and assassinate Maduro. He alleged that they were 
coordinated by the Central American right wing, with some sectors of the 
opposition. He said his information was based on conversations recorded 
by Venezuela's intelligence organisations.

Foreign minister Elias Jaua claimed the "mercenaries" are led by a 
retired colonel of the Salvadoran armed forces, David Koch, and 
coordinated by Salvadoran right-wing politician Roberto d Áubuisson.

Yesterday Maduro released a photo 
<http://fotos.cloud.noticias24.com/revmin630x4.jpg> of one of the 
supposed mercenaries, Julio Cornejo, and asked the Venezuelan public to 
inform authorities if they see him.

Michael A. Lebowitz
Professor Emeritus
Economics Department
Simon Fraser University
8888 University Drive
Burnaby, B.C., Canada V5A 1S6
Home:   Phone 604-689-9510
Cell: 604-789-4803

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