In a better world such repression would have provoked objections from the Organization of American States. Its Democratic Charter is a pledge by all members to stand up for democratic principles throughout the hemisphere. Yet since the charter was ratified in 2001, the OAS has done nothing to stop the destruction of institutional checks and balances by left-wing caudillos like Chávez. It has used its power, under the leadership of Secretary-General Miguel Insulza (a Chilean socialist) since 2005, to beat up on countries that push back against what Chávez called “21st century socialism.”
Details of the audit were unclear. Ms. Lucena said the revision would be electronic and wasn’t the same as a recount, which is what the opposition had demanded following the election. “This should not be interpreted as any sort of ‘scrutiny,’” she said in televised comments.
Which, from the looks of it, means that they’ll just go over some data from the electronic voting machines while ignoring the paper ballots, fingerprint data, and the voting location records.
I do not want to offer any opinion because it is a complex matter to evaluate how good the news really is. Capriles team seems happy with it so for the time being let’s roll. However I will note that the CNE is talking of 30 days of audit and who knows how many more for a final verdict. In short the regime is accepting an audit as long as it gives it time to come up with a better strategy to confront the opposition and smash it down before the result is out. At least that is my worry at this time as a one week audit should already generate enough info to see if it is worth going on.
In Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, at least according to the chavista-controlled board of election, won last night. Henrique Capriles Radonski demanded a recount, asserting that electoral fraud had taken place. Here’s his speech last night (in Spanish),
Evidence has emerged of a link between the FARC and Islamist terrorist groups in the North African Maghreb after two Colombian nationals were arrested in Algeria last month by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Spanish intelligence services.
Luis Alberto Lacalle, abogado y presidente de la Republica Oriental del Uruguay de 1990 a 1995 envia un afectuoso saludo a la Fundacion HACER de Washington DC desde el 25 Aniversario de la Fundacion Libertad de Rosario
Last week Venezuela’s acting president and presidential candidate Nicolas Maduro officially inaugurated his campaign by publicly stating that Hugo Chavez had spoken to him in the form of a bird (but apparently not as a parrot). In the spirit of the occasion (all puns intended), and in keeping with a red Chavista shirt theme, I’m illustrating this week’s Carnival with the most famous red bird of all, the Angry Bird, instead of the usual map.
Washington’s 51-year embargo makes it illegal for U.S. citizens to visit Cuba for mere tourism, although tens of thousands of Americans travel there each year on academic, religious, journalistic or cultural exchange licenses.
Wearing a local indigenous hat at a rally in Amazonas state, a largely jungle territory on the borders of Brazil and Colombia, Mr Maduro said: “If anyone among the people votes against Nicolas Maduro, he is voting against himself, and the curse of Maracapana is falling on him.”
He was referring to a 16th Century battle when Spanish colonial fighters defeated indigenous fighters decisively.
“If the bourgeoisie win, they are going to privatise health and education, they are going to take land from the Indians, the curse of Maracapana would come on you,” the candidate continued.
While he was at it, he claimed to be “the grandson of enslaved indian women.” Venezuela abolished slavery in 1854. Colombia abolished slavery in 1851. His mother was born in Colombia in 1929 and his father graduated from high school, also in Colombia, in 1947, so it is a physical impossibility for Maduro (born in 1960) to have had a grandmother at least 106 years old.
Either Maduro’s nuts, or he has such a void of ideas that the only things he’s got left to campaign on are ignorance and superstition.
You take your pick.
You would think the Cuban propaganda machine would have come up with something better, but then, they don’t do elections in Cuba, they only do “elections”.
But back to the curse, I’m not sure what the hey he’s talking about, either. The battle of Maracapana took place in 1567, when the Spanish army massacred thousands of indians. Unlike the legends around King Tut, there have been (as far as I could find as of the writing of this post), no legends associated with that specific massacre. This website says “the bourgeoisie is the curse”.
Which makes sense if you’re a Communist.
Getting under Maduro’s skin is the very clear-minded Puerto Rican musician Willie Colon, who has extensive ties to Venezuela and has become an indefatigable twitterer.
Speaking in the riverside slang that citizens of both countries love to share, Mujica apparently didn’t realize a microphone was on when he basically called Fernandez a “old shrew” who is “worse than her one-eyed” late husband, Nestor Kirchner. “The one-eyed guy had more political sense. This one is just stubborn as a mule,” he added, alluding to Kirchner’s strabismus.