Maduro is committing castrochavist electoral trickery and will falsify his reelection in Venezuela

Carlos Sánchez Berzaín

By: Carlos Sánchez Berzaín - 09/06/2024

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The electoral process for this forthcoming 28th of July elections in Venezuela is taking place without respect for human rights or basic individual freedoms, without the rule of law or separation and independence of the branches of government, with existing political prisoners and exiles, with political persecution and State-terrorism. These are “elections under a dictatorship” from 21st Century Socialism, or Castrochavism, in which the popular rejection of the dictator and/or candidate exceeds 80% and Nicolas Maduro is repeating the fraudulent process that will ultimately falsify the results to declare him the winner.

Dictatorships use the call for elections and the voting process to attempt to gain legitimacy for their criminal indefinite permanence in power. With governments that are repudiated and feared by the people for their violation of human rights, the misery and insecurity they have cast the peoples from Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Nicaragua into, elections in these countries have become mechanisms for the manipulation of votes by the dictatorship. The definition for this arrangement is “Vote-Catching Dictatorships, the regime that concentrates absolute power into a person, or group, or organization, represses human rights and individual basic freedoms, and imposes and manipulates the votes as electoral events in which people vote but do not elect.”

In Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Nicaragua, elections are held with State-terrorism, with leaders of political organizations who -by the regime’s decision- are persecuted, imprisoned, and exiled. Dictatorships disqualify and exile candidates who have good chances to win. Under dictatorships, despicable laws have made universal suffrage practices and process disappear, controlling the entire electoral system that allows them to manipulate voters’ registries and voting results, without competent and suitable judges that can ensure impartiality, and with the dictatorships’ electoral and judicial magistrates that are puppets of the regime, without freedom of the press, sharing the popular repudiation with “functional opposition members” that the regime promotes and uses for the simulation of a counterfeited victory that is manipulated by fraud.

Right at this moment, however, the peoples oppressed by dictatorships of 21st Century Socialism, do not have other options to exit from the dictatorship and regain their freedom and democracy, other than by participating in the “voting under dictatorship” with the label of “elections,” without any condition of democracy, but with the hope that the massive and almost total rejection of dictators and dictatorships is reflected in the defeat of the dictator and that the international community abandons its apathy, collaboration or complicity with the dictatorships.

The fight to regain freedom and democracy in Venezuela concentrates on the elections that the regime has called for this 28th of July. Based on factual conditions, we expect a clear defeat of the dictator and/or candidate Nicolas Maduro who, according to independent polls, “has a backing of only 9.8% of the electoral population against a 61.1% for Edmundo Gonzales Urrutia.” The ranking of popularity of heads of State in Latin America, published by the Bloomberg Line, in January of 2024 gave Maduro a 19% approval, and ranked him as one of the most unpopular dictators of the region. Factual reality also shows Maduro’s repudiation to be in excess of 80%.

Under these conditions, only an electoral dictatorial fraud can falsify the results and when it comes down to it, 21st century socialists have lots of experience and success doing exactly that. They have already done this before in Venezuela, in Bolivia in 2020, in Nicaragua in 2021. This is a system that controls the voters’ registry, the numbers, locations, and existence of voters and also controls electoral officials, the entire legal apparatus, and chooses the opposition’s candidates creating a functional opposition, falsifies polls, and extensively uses disinformation, disqualifies candidates with a possibility of winning, just as it has done with Maria Corina Machado and with Corina Yori. This criminal “vote-catching” dictatorship could best be described as a sporting event wherein the dictatorship sets the rules, owns the referees, places the players from the opposing team, manipulates those in attendance, controls the registries, the reporters, and the electronic result boards showing the results.

In Nicaragua, in 2021, Ortega and Murillo had a rejection margin of over 80% of the population. They arrested and imprisoned all of the opposition’s candidates, left undisturbed all functional candidates from the opposition and “Ortega won the election with 75.92% of the votes with the participation of only 65.23% of the voters” and now he is the President of Nicaragua? In Bolivia, in 2020 the dictatorship regained power with the election of Luis Arce, falsifying the results on the first round of voting with 55.11% of voters and was declared the winner -before even finishing the counting of votes- by the functional opposition that weakened and divided a better democratic option and did not have electoral control!!!

In this factual setting, the peoples and political leaders from Venezuela must report each and every act of electoral fraud and seek to have physical and documentary control to perform simultaneous counting of the results. The request to be “witnesses at each balloting precinct” and to document all voting -something that Machado and Gonzales have already done- is most important before “the day after the fraud.”

*Attorney & Political Scientist. Director of the Interamerican Institute for Democracy.

Translation from Spanish by Edgar L. Terrazas

Published in Spanish by Sunday June 2, 2024

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