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Electoral Coup d' Etat in Venezuela

By Daniel Duquenal

Is Chavez stealing the election? I have received a phone call in the middle of the night (presently as I write it is 4:30AM). Carrasquero, ALONE, has announced 4.8 million for the NO to 3.2 for the SI. Interestingly it is the same result I went to bed with, but in the reverse order.

But there is a problem: Mejillas and Zamora went right on TV to announce that this announcement was done by Carrasquero alone, wihout gathering the 5 directors to put it to a formal vote of the CNE as it should be. In addition they claim that a few other things are not done yet, that actually the official report of the "Junta Totalizadora" is not out. That is, the guys in charge of adding up the numbers are not at work!!!!

But it gets better: neither the OAS, nor the Carter Center, nor even Smartmatic, the automatized system provider, agree with that declaration of Carrasquero. And lo'and behold, instead of celebrating, the foreign minister and the OAS ambassador went to the OAS and Carter Center delegations at the Tamanaco hotel for "consultations". If the resutls are really in, what consultations do we need?

It gets even better: in the middle of the night, just as the announcement was made in the middle of the night, Chavez supporters were gathering earlier, AFTER midnight, slowly, in front of Miraflores Palace. And Chavez is on is balcony claiming victory, as I am typing. But something rings funny in his voice.

I do not buy it. As long as the OAS and the Carter Center do not accept the results, I am not buying it.

And it does not seem that they are going to approve that any time soon....

PS: El Universal is already putting up these info. And as I am reading, at 2 AM El Universal was reporting trouble.

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