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Democracy and the Recall Referendum in Venezuela Part II

By Aleksander Boyd

London 24 May 2004 – “Margarita López Maya, Ph.D., is a Professor at the Center for Development Studies at the Central University of Venezuela, Caracas. Luis E. Lander, is a Professor with the Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences at the Central University of Venezuela, Caracas. They have authored a number of articles and books on contemporary Venezuela and Latin America.” So it goes the last paragraph of the latest piece of spin of Venezuelanalysis.

These two Venezuelan ‘experts’ talk about the country’s winter (I guess that their air cons are so powerful that they feel cold) and the signature delivery tactics of the opposition. Excerpt from their thoughtfully written analysis “the second and more serious problem was that more than 800,000 signers did not fill out their own petitions. This was in clear violation of a rule requiring all signers to print their own name and other information on the petitions. This rule also exists in California and other U.S. states, and is designed to prevent fraud. It was well-publicized in advance not only by the CNE, but also by the opposition, with television commercials.” Underline added by me

I hereby respectfully invite Dr. López Maya and Professor Lander to inform us the specific article or provision contained in the norms and regulations imposed by the CNE where it is explicitly requested that all signers have to print their own name and other information on the petitions.

To spare you the hassle of researching here is the link to the norms and regulations for referenda set out by the CNE:

http://www.cne.gov.ve/documentos/reg_referenda01.asp

Furthermore if you can not find it there try this one containing the entirety of Venezuela’s electoral legislation, including the constitution:

http://www.cne.gov.ve/leyes.asp

Paraphrasing you to conclude “Had the CNE followed the letter of the law, those signatures could have triggered a recall referendum” as it was ruled by the Electoral Chamber of the Supreme Court. It escapes me how on earth a Ph.D. and a University Professor, who obviously are defending the indefensible, have the bloody nerve to write such nonsense and pretend to be either taken seriously or even respected.

Addendum

As I wrote this brief article, Martin Sanchez (Venezuelanalysis editor), beat me to it and produced another brilliant piece of journalism where he criticizes the Houston Chronicle. He mentions "... several inaccuracies and blatantly false statements which raise serious questions about the journalistic integrity of that newspaper." What about the integrity of your government sponsored outlet mate? No 'blatantly false statements' there? No questions about 'journalistic integrity'? These 'journalists' certainly need all the "misiones" that Chavez can throw their way!!

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