Carter Hugo

Bland to the bone

The Carter Center has just published a sprawling, 118-page report on the 2013 Presidential Elections in Venezuela (see PDF here in Spanish). It goes through what happened in that dramatic election using the scrupulously impartial, non-controversial tone of an organization trying to remain an honest broker between the two warring factions. Now, normally I would pass this off as…

Patricia Ceballos

Polls vs. chavismo vs. guarimbas vs. naysayers

Today, two by-elections were held in the cities of San Cristóbal and San Diego. In both cities, the opposition mayors – elected a few months ago by huge margins – were indicted and jailed in quickie trials for allegedly not doing enough to stem opposition protests. The MUD coalition quickly decided that the candidates for…

We're following you

Rationing the secrecy of the vote

Buenos Aires’ La Nación newspaper has a thorough feature story on the Tarjeta de Abastecimiento Seguro, the government’s new fingerprint-activated card to control how much you can buy at government stores. For example, did you know the CNE is behind the whole operation? And that when you register for the card, they ask for a…

Maduro desde mi corazon

The longest election

One year ago today, Nicolás Maduro was elected President of Venezuela. One year ago, Henrique Capriles was elected President of Venezuela, and Nicolás Maduro stole the election. It’s safe to say that each and every Venezuelan believes one of those two things. Venezuela’s drama is that each one of the camps of believers is extremely large. With…

CNE

Give us the CNE

Dear UNASUR Foreign Ministers: Thank you for your interest in the Venezuelan conflict. Now that you helped make the OAS a veritable “circus,” we can start discussing the visit you agreed with the government, the one to help jump-start “dialogue” with the opposition. People in the opposition have nothing but contempt for most of you, but, you’re…

La unidad repartida, por @janabadi

(A guest post in Spanish from Venezuelan economist Anabella Abadí) ALGUNAS DEL 8-D QUE DEBEMOS DECIR… Anabella Abadi M., ODH Grupo Consultor Tras menos de 24 horas de que la rectora Tibisay Lucena diera a conocer los primeros resultados de los comicios del 8-D, algunos partidos de la MUD se comenzaban a repartir la torta.…

An aside on the importance of retail politics

Lots of rumours, but nothing solid yet. We’ll have to wait. I spent the afternoon canvassing Petare on motorcyle (more on that in a couple of further posts), but since we’re on the topic, it suddenly hit me: the difference between people who think these elections are futile and those of us who still think…

CC and the election

I’m in Caracas, so sorry in advance for the light posting. This is just a short note to remind you to follow our 8D election coverage. We’ll try to have as much content as possible for you, as we always do. This election closes a cycle that began some four years ago. The MUD experiment…

An argument full of holes

Re. the opposition’s strategy to get out the vote, Quico said: “The reason people were able to vote with cédulas chimbas, or to do coercive votos asistidos, is that opposition witnesses were forcibly barred from doing their jobs. By guys with guns. Backed by guys in uniforms. That basic power imbalance is still there. There’s…

Fix your collar, @hcapriles

There’s a lot to like in this expertly-made video. The message has been trimmed of all its fat. It gets to the point quickly, concretely. Capriles makes a strong case as to what happened last Arpil, and what is at stake this December 8th. It’s simple, direct, covincing. It baffles me, though, why they couldn’t…

Is Maduro really that desperate?

  Sure sounds like it. He has designated December 8th, the day of the upcoming local election in Venezuela, as a “Day of Loyalty and Love for Chávez and the Fatherland.” I kid you not. The stated rationale behind this bizarre move is that December 8th, 2012, was the day of Hugo Chávez’s last speech,…

Venezuela is Trolling You – Further-evidence-as-though-any-were-needed Edition

Oh, Tibi, never change… Venezuela and Russia Sign Electoral Cooperation Agreement La presidenta del Consejo Nacional Electoral, Tibisay Lucena, y el vicepresidente primero de la Comisión Electoral de Rusia, Stanislav Vavilov, suscribieron este miércoles un protocolo de cooperación bilateral para el intercambio de experiencias en material electoral, especialmente enfocado hacia los avances tecnológicos que caracterizan…

Observers get a taste of chavismo

The international observers from Spain’s Instituto de Altos Estudios Europeos just came out with a damning report regarding the Venezuelan election. Basically, they think there are numerous elements to claim fraud, and ask for a comprehensive audit of the vote. The money quote comes from Table 5, the narration of their visit to the Liceo…

All in the family

At an emotional memorial service for the three-month anniversary of Hugo Chávez’s death, we see, placing their hands on the hallowed grave of the Comandante Supremo, in no particular order: Hugo Chávez Senior, Chávez’s brother, Chávez’s “son” Nicolás Maduro, Maduro’s wife Cilia Flores, and … the chief of Venezuela’s supposedly impartial Electoral Body Tibisay Lucena!…