ELECTIONS WITHOUT DEMOCRACY
By Carlos Sanchez Berzain
What Venezuela is living after the presidential election of April 14, is just the predictable result of elections that take place in countries without democracy. This is the reality for those who conceived the 21st Century Socialism. They prepared to stay in power using a fraudulent institutionalized system to "win" elections and simulate a democracy.
The deceased Hugo Chávez together with the Castro dictatorship and the current leaders of Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Argentina, developed the Alba project or knows as well as the Socialism of the 21st Century. They masterminded to convince citizens and the world that elections are in themself democracy.
The Chavez model in Latin America replaced political Constitutions of the State in each of the countries where the main objective of their leader is to perpetuate in power. With this in mind they tampered with the constitutions transforming them into ordinary laws which are possible and easily manipulated, and at the same time, launched the total subordination of the democratic institutions. These leaders ended with the division of power; full authority is concentrated in the Executive; they subjected institutions responsible for maintaining the balance of power. They controlled the judiciary, which became a mechanism of repression and political persecution; they put an end to any form of checks and balances, the put themselves above the law and overall abolished the rule of law.
In that way, they organized the electoral power according to their interests and designed it to appear transparent; it would serve to produce election results favorable to the regime. They appointed subservient staff, they took over the referees, organizing it and deploying it according to their convenience, where the current attitude of the Venezuelan electoral power is not only part of the process for which the Venezuelan Government was prepared when it destroyed democracy
The Inter-American Democratic Charter in its 3rd article establishes the essential elements of democracy: "respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms; access to power and its exercise subject to the rule of law; the holding of periodic, free, and fair elections based on universal and secret suffrage as an expression of the sovereignty of the people; the plural regime of parties and political organizations; and the separation and independence of the public authorities ".
Neither of those exists today in Venezuela or in countries of the 21st Century Socialism, because they are not democracies. They are States where elections are only a farce, organized to keep the appearance of democracy.
Venezuela is now the case that the international community must recognize as a simulated democracy in which the States and Government ceased long ago d to be so. It is time to work for the return of democracy in those countries as in the 1970s when there were military dictatorships. Now we must recover democracy of the hands of these civilian dictatorships as is the case of Venezuela.
(*) Bolivian Lawyer and political analyst. He has been Minister of State and member of Congress.