Category Archives: Democracy

Principles of constitution or laws aimed at democracy, rule of law, transparence, decentralization, deregulation, or other purpose considered useful for democracy

El régimen de Maduro solo tiene 10% de respaldo

El estudio Assessment of Voter Intent Using Three Different Polling Methods in Venezuela October 2015: Evidence for Fear Bias in Traditional Polls and Media Bias in Online Polls concluye que el respaldo actual para el partido oficialista en Venezuela es de tan solo 10% ±5%. El estudio se basa en tres encuestas paralelas, o mejor dicho, las mismas preguntas por tres métodos distintos para poder medir y corregir por sesgo. La evaluación de las respuestas revela:

    • Encuestas tradicionales (los que vez en los medios) tienen un sesgo, conocido como “factor miedo”, y por eso subestiman el respaldo por la oposición mucho
    • Encuestas en Facebook tienen un sesgo que se puede llamar “factor medio”, y por eso subestiman el respaldo por el oficialismo algo
    • El respaldo real por el PSUV en las parlamentarias es de 10% ±5%
Graph of intention of vote
El respaldo al PSUV es 10% ±5% dejando 90% ±5% para la oposición

Abstract

Las encuestas de opinión en Venezuela no son fiables, y tampoco lo son los resultados de las elecciones. Se ha argumentado que existe un “factor miedo” en las encuestas tradicionales. Por otro lado, ahora es fácil de realizar encuestas en Facebook, pero las respuestas en línea son muy diferentes tanto de las encuestas como de los comicios. Este estudio se realizó para evaluar la precisión de los diferentes métodos de encuesta, y para estimar el verdadero respaldo para el régimen. Para evaluar los factores que influyen en la respuesta, se hizo una serie de preguntas sobre diferentes temas en la puerta de domicilio, en la calle, y en Facebook. En cada caso se les aseguró el anonimato, pero el análisis sugiere que los encuestados desconfían del encuestador en diversos grados, dependiendo de método de encuesta. Un análisis de la correlación entre el uso de los medios de comunicación y las respuestas revela una correlación en ciertos temas que sesga los resultados de Facebook. Encuestas tradicionales suelen subestimar severamente el apoyo a la oposición, y las encuestas de Facebook suelen subestimar el apoyo al régimen. Sobre la base de este estudio, se estima que el verdadero apoyo al régimen en un 10% ± 5%.

Quiero enfatizar que los que participaron en ejecutar la encuesta dentro de Venezuela, violando las leyes de la dictadura, son héroes de la democracia. No puedo mencionar sus nombres porque pueden ir presos o peor, pero un día su Patria les agradecerá, Dios con ellos.

El manuscrito ha sido enviado a un periódico cientifico internacional con “peer review”. Como su evaluación no termina antes de las elecciones, y el resultado puede ser de interés público, respetando las normas el manuscrito como presentado ha sido “self-archived” en la página personal del autor. 

Stop the political ebola

The present world order is based on the sovereignty and equality of states. This means that state A deals with state B regardless of how they deal with their citizens, because that is their sovereign prerogative. The only exception is if they start war or commit crimes against humanity. However, if they want to be a brutal dictatorship in which the leaders take all resources and leave the people in misery, that is their business. Why should we care?

There are several reasons to care. First, it affects us economically. Second, it’s a moral problem. But most importantly, it has turned out to be a huge security problem.

After the end of the Cold War, a new feature in global relations has appeared: The franchise of quisling regimes that come to power through outside help, election fraud either through corruption, illegal campaign contributions, or outright ballot stuffing, vote rigging, or electronic election fraud. Once in power they corrupt the system to perpetuate themselves in power. If necessary they change the constitution to allow their own reelection. The intelligence to enable this in Latin America comes from Cuba, and the military muscle comes from Iran and Russia, with a little help from Belarus. The economic muscle comes from China.

Until now this disease has been limited to Latin America, a continent that USA and Europe ignores at their own peril. However, now this “political ebola” has reached Spain. A populist party that is a carbon copy of the one in Venezuela is raising the possibility that the virus could spread to a new continent. As a side effect, these “zombie democracies” are now in majority in the Organization of American States, and have effectively destroyed that “immune system” of American democracy.

How is this possible? It’s possible because states deal with states, without much concern for the nature of that state. It’s as if the world body doesn’t have an immune system that detects the virus, and allows it in without concern for the DNA inside the virus. How could a body do this differently? Simply by analyzing the DNA and treating the virus differently depending on its DNA.

How does this translate to international relations? We could imagine the outside of the virus as the paraphernalia of a foreign state, while the DNA of that state corresponds to its Democracy, Non-interference, and Accountability (DNA). A country with bad DNA should be isolated. This means isolating first and foremost Cuba and Russia, because they are not democracies, they have no accountability, and they are interfering with other countries, establishing quisling regimes in them.

This network of quisling regimes, whose leaders sold his soul to the devil, electoral dictatorships that depend on the Cuban security service G-2 for their hold on power, includes Bolivarian Venezuela under Hugo Chávez, Ecuador under Rafael Correa, Bolivia under Evo Morales, Nicaragua under Daniel Ortega, Argentina under Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, and probably by now also Brazil under Dilma Roussef. Several other countries are possibly in the same category, but it’s not an easy thing to determine without a close examination. What is for sure is that most countries in Latin America are in immediate, yes immediate risk of falling into the zombie democracy category. And now also Spain.

This zombie democracy franchise is not new in itself. It was the dominating feature of European politics in the 1930’s. It’s not about socialism or fascism, it’s not about right or left; it’s about right and wrong, about democracy or dictatorship. Populism is anti-democratic, and it paints itself in any color as long as it is a popular color at that time and place. If the impopular government was leftist, the populist wave becomes fascist. If the impopular government was rightist, the populist wave becomes communist. But there is no difference between them, as evidenced by the fact that both Mussolini and Hitler started on the left and finished on the right.

What can the world do?

The infected nations should be isolated, like one isolates a patient sick in ebola. The concern should be with the people of foreign nations, not with their governments. There has to be a test: Does the government represent the people? If it doesn’t, treat them like Pariah.

Today the test is if the government is “legitimate”. What we need to do is to redefine what “legitimate” means. We also need to vigorously investigate the legitimacy of the democratic process in other countries. Those nations that deny access for such scrutiny should automatically be labeled undemocratic, and be treated as Pariah.

The most important practical effects of being an international Pariah shall be the requirement of visa for any visit to a democracy, and strict supervision of economical transactions to prevent the purchase of quisling candidates. This political ebola must be stopped, while there are still democracies around who can do it. This new world order places people first, not governments.

Queen of Shame: Elizabeth II

Last Friday, the Organization for American States (OAS) voted to hold their meeting behind closed doors, and then they took the ongoing crisis in Venezuela off the table. They needed two thirds majority to do this, which they barely got, so the votes of each country mattered. Among the 22 votes counted in favor of a private meeting were 8 from kingdoms that have Queen Elizabeth II as their head of state, while one of her kingdoms abstained. If those 9 had voted for transparency, the vote would have been 20 to 13 AGAINST closing the doors; the meeting would have discussed Venezuela, the whole world would have been shown the atrocities there being committed, and most certainly the OAS would have expressed outrage.

Queen Elizabeth II and a victim of Crimes Against Humanity
Elizabeth II and Geraldine Moreno, shot in the eye with a shotgun by the Venezuelan military during a peaceful demonstration. RIP.

Why does the OAS vote matter so much? My contacts in the Swedish foreign department have for years told me that “until the OAS acts, neither Sweden nor the European Union will act.” They respect the OAS as the supreme body for supervising the state of democracy in the Americas. Last Friday the OAS voted to turn a blind eye to Venezuela, and immediately the Cuban puppet regime in Caracas deployed all of the Cuban soldiers there present to suppress the uprising in a most bloody and cruel way. Just in the first 48 hours after the vote, 5 unarmed civilians, including a pregnant woman working as sign language interpreter on TV news, were gunned down by either the military or the regime’s thugs. Many more were injured, and thousands were attacked in their homes with gunshots, shotgun shots, and tear gas grenades shot through their windows.

Elizabeth II is the queen over nine American kingdoms who are blocking the discussion in OAS:

Kingdom	                          Prime Minister        Population
Jamaica	                          Portia Simpson-Millor	 2,711,476
Bahamas	                          Perry Christie	   351,461
Belize	                          Dean Barrow	           349,728
Barbados	                  Freundel Stuart	   285,000
Saint Lucia	                  Kenny Anthony	           180,000
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines  Ralph Gonsalves          109,000
Grenada	                          Keith Mitchell	   103,328
Antigua and Barbado               Baldwin Spencer	    86,295
Saint Kitts and Nevis             Denzil Douglas	    54,000

With the exception of Jamaica they are all tiny. Barbados abstained, but in the face of Crimes Against Humanity, inaction is complicity.

All of these kingdoms, except Barbados, are receiving very favorable financing from Venezuela, but only Jamaica has been transparent about how the money is being used. Ex-president Manuel Zelaya of Honduras said in private, when he was trying to get his country to accept the same deal with Venezuela, that this loan with 1% interest over 25 years, and we are talking about hundreds of millions of dollars, “will not have to be paid back”. Zelaya took the money and spent it as he seemed fit, figuring that if and when time came to repay it the one on the hook would not be him personally but Honduras as a nation. Why would we expect that the other members of PetroCaribe got a different deal? Their vote in OAS shows that they have been bought. Look at the video when their ambassadors are voting: They are turning their heads down and voting with SHAME.

In all fairness, Elizabeth II is also the queen of Canada, and Canada voted in favor of transparency. It is a pity that her reputation will be tarnished by the actions of these apparently corrupt kingdoms, who are supporting a vile dictatorship, and not just that: They are covering for a war of aggression, because it is Cuba that is controlling Venezuela, it is Cuba who calls the shots (quite literally). And as if that wasn’t bad enough, they are covering for War Crimes, since the Cuban soldiers are fighting in Venezuelan military uniforms (of the army and of the national guard). So to sum up:

Elizabeth II is the queen over nine kingdoms that are covering for crimes against humanity, crime against peace, and war crimes.

Some will object that she doesn’t have the power to do anything about it. That is an unacceptable position in the face of the worst crimes known to man. If I were in her position, I would rather abdicate as queen over those nine kingdoms, than have their betrayal of the human race destroy my good reputation from my other kingdoms. To do nothing would be a sign of cowardice, and I don’t believe Elizabeth II is a coward.

The Stolen Election in Venezuela April 14, 2013

Here I will gather some links and documents regarding the stolen election, for convenience.

This document has been created by the opposition, in English. Most information is only available in Spanish, there is lots and lots of it, but I’ll here try to collect the English material.
Electoral Abuses April 14, 2013

Here is a 4 minute video in English showing how the dictatorship has responded with tyranny after the people refused to accept their stealing of the election: Venezuela Needs Help

Here is a 10 minute video in Spanish only about the stealing of the election: Video Maduro ilegítimo

Klasskamp måste jämställas med rasism

Sedan Andra Världskriget vet alla att rasism är ett brott mot mänskligheter, och att det kan användas som psykologiskt vapen för att söndra och härska. Men av någon outgrundlig anledning har ännu inte klasskamp förts upp på samma lista som rasism. Det är dock en precis lika förhatlig företeelse. Faktiskt finns det mera anledning att sky klasskamp, därför att den utgör den större faran.

Judehatet i Nazityskland har traditionellt betraktats som ett fall av rasism, men vid närmre kontroll visar det sig att den bakomliggande orsaken är klasskamp. Det bara råkade vara så i Tyskland (och Europa) att judarna av religiösa skäl var pengalånare, eftersom det under medeltiden var förbjudet för kristna att ta ränta, och ingen vill ju låna ut pengar gratis. Judarna var därför nödvändiga för en fungerande ekonomi, men blev också hatade när folk hamnade i skuld till dem. Orsaken till judehatet var därför att de var kapitalister i ordets allra mest grundläggande mening: De som tillhandahöll kapital. När Marx talar om klasskamp mot kapitalisterna, och Hitler om rasism mot judarna, så blir alltså effekten precis densamma.

Problemet med att inte erkänna att klasskampen är det grundläggande brottet mot mänskligheten uppstår när man överför detta till andra kontinenter och kulturer, där klasskampen inte sammanfaller med rasism, och därför riskerar falla mellan stolarna. Min käpphäst är Latinamerika, där Castro och Kuba har sått klasskamp i årtionden. Syftet med retoriken är att söndra och härska, inget annat.

På Kuba, efter revolutionen, vände sig Castro och deras mordiska gäng mot de sanna revolutionärerna, mot frihetsälskarna. Ett långvarigt inbördeskrig började, och regimen avrättade efter skenrättegångar tusentals frihetskämpar, även sådana som de visste var helt oskyldiga till det de anklagades för. Det var en ren utrensning av fiender. Jag rekommenderar denna dokumentär om vad som hände (med engelsk text).

Därefter vände sig den Kubanska diktaturen mot andra länder, först och främst Venezuela på grund av dess oljetillgångar. Castro har försökt ta över Venezuela sedan tidigt 1960-tal, först med en väpnad invasion, sedan med gerillakrig, därefter med en revolution, så med ett par militärkupper, och sedan slutligen genom att utnyttja det demokratiska systemets svagheter och få deras Manchuriska kandidat – Hugo Chávez – vald till president. Varefter han omedelbart förstörde landets institutioner inifrån, släppte in Castro, och lät Kuba ta fullständig kontroll över alla delar av Venezuelas statsmakt.

Hur lyckades Kuba med detta? Genom att söndra och härska. Vapnet var klasskamp. De delar av folket som Marx kallade “trasproletariatet” hetsades mot den egentliga arbetarklassen, mot tjänstemännen, och mot överklassen i en klasskampsretorik fylld av hat och våld. Castro genom Chávez lyckades alltså få trasproletariatet att med vapen i hand ta all makt och inflytande från alla de landsmän som hade någon utbildning, och istället med hull och hår lämna över fosterlandet till ärkefienden Kuba.

Därmed hade Castro vunnit, men till vilket pris? Jo, till priset av att Caracas nu är världens mordhuvudstad. Hela 90% av dessa mord går ouppklarade. Och till priset av att pöbeln är så fylld av hat, att de inte längre uppvisar mänskliga reaktioner. När en riksdagsman från regimen slog och bröt näsan på en riksdagskvinna från oppositionen, inne i plenisalen, så skrev folk på nätet “rätt åt henne, hon förtjänade det”. När polisen sköt ihjäl en obeväpnad demonstrant som fredligt krävde att rösterna skulle räknas om, så tycker regimanhängare att han förtjänade att dö.

Denna så kallade klasskamp har gått så långt att det inte längre finns någon skillnad mellan den, och judehatet i Nazityskland. I bägge fallen har de oskyldiga offren för hatet fråntagits allt människovärde, och i bägge fallen är det en regim som med vett och vilja har provocerat fram dessa brott mot mänskligheten i politiskt syfte. I Tyskland var Hitler ansvarig, i Venezuela är Castro ansvarig.

Det är heller ingen principiell skillnad mot Stalins regim; folkmordet i Ukraina vintern 1933 var av precis samma skrot och korn: Kommunisterna tog böndernas mat och hindrade dem från att lämna sina gårdar, där de följaktligen svalt ihjäl utan att de ansvariga kände något dåligt samvete. Det är detta som är pudelns kärna: De som begår de brottsliga handlingarna är så hjärntvättade att de inte reagerar. De verkligt ansvariga är de som har utarbetat strategin, propagandan. Att sprida rasism är redan brottsligt. Det är hög tid att klasskamp jämställs med rasism.

Proof of Election Fraud in Venezuela

There have been warnings from the so-called alternative opposition in Venezuela, groups outside of the established politics, alleging that the voter rolls are inflated with zombie voters, or “votantes fantasmas” as they are called in Spanish. Millions of them. Now after the election it has been proven, as this video shows. I’ve tried it out myself before cne.gov.ve shut down the service yesterday. It’s true. The same physical person (name, birthdate, address) appears two times with different ID numbers, voting at the same polling place but at different tables. Maybe we should call it “shadow voters,” as in both the person and his or her shadow will cast a vote. Based on the prior estimates of the number of these shadow voters, this can have increased the vote for Chávez by about 2 million. Remove them and Capriles would have won handily.

Another – and unexpected – method of fraud has now also been denounced. It was unexpected because it is so brazen; it requires the cooperation of thousands of election technicians. Voting is electronic in Venezuela, so there has to be technicians to manage the voting computers. At the end of the election day, these computers are sending data to a central location for summing the results up. The fraud was executed, according to these technicians, by changing the figures in the computers before transmitting them, and – obviously – before printing the reports that are signed by the poll workers. It was possible by giving all the technicians the usernames and passwords of people with the highest access level, something that was provided by SEBIN (the political police) on the election day morning. The technicians were made to cooperate by bribing them, and if that didn’t work, by taking their families hostage, says the document, and backs up its credibility by providing URLs, user names, passwords, and access codes to the entire Venezuelan election system. (Several of the computers are apparently blocked from access from abroad, but were online yesterday for access from within Venezuela.)

A source on the ground has told me that at his voting table, there were 250 persons that he knows to be supporters of Capriles who voted, yet Capriles only got about 150 votes according to the computer. This observation is consistent with the method of election fraud that the CNE whistleblower technicians allege, and adds to their credibility.

The fact that there has been fraud is in plain view. All you have to do is to look at this map of the result (from El Nuevo Herald). It has the western state of Zulia in red, but that state is the stronghold of the anti-Chávez opposition. The fraud is so blatant that people understand it took place even though the opposition candidate himself says that “we have found no evidence of fraud.” He is obviously being disingenuous. Why? I don’t know, but I do know that it is typical of electoral dictatorships, where the opposition is in a dependent situation in relation to the regime. It’s a case of the Stockholm syndrome.

Map of election result
The official election result from CNE. Red states were won by Chávez, blue by Capriles. Note that Zulia in the far west is red!

Chávez stal valet

När den ordinarie tiden för röstning var ute, stod det klart för oppositionen att Capriles hade vunnit bekvämt, med ungefär 5%. Lite senare förklarade Chávez att han hade vunnit, och att hans anhängare borde ge sig ut för att fira (det var mot reglementet att han sa det). Och så kom det uppgifter om stridsvagnar på gatorna i Caracas och andra städer runt om i Venezuela. Sen kom chocken, valmyndigheten CNE förklarade att Chávez hade vunnit med 54% mot 45% för Capriles. Lite senare kom förloraren modstulet ut och – tvärt emot vad alla förväntat och vad han själv lovat – sa han inte att han skulle kämpa vidare.

Nu dagen efter kommer det fram vad som hände. Capriles fick ett erbjudande. Ge sig frivilligt eller möta beväpnad milis och militär med stridsvagnar. Den 7 oktober 2012 insåg venezolanerna att demokratin är död. Djungelns lag gäller. Det råder en kollektiv chock nu. Som om någon nära har dött. Aldrig tidigare har nämligen Chávez stulit ett val så uppenbart, så grovt, med så mycket hot om våld, så “in your face”. Vad som kommer att hända härnäst kan ingen veta.

Demokratin i Venezuela, 1958 - 2012

The Electoral Dictatorship of Venezuela is Failing

A recently published book is focusing on an important subject. In ”The Dictator’s Learning Curve – inside the global battle for democracy,” William Dobson writes about the Arab Spring, but also about Venezuela, Russia, Iran and others. We have got used to dictatorships being totalitarian, controlling the inhabitants through brutality. The standard image of a dictator is a military coupster with epaulets on his shoulders. But the last 20 years that type of dictator has been in the minority.

Most authoritarian countries today celebrate elections, and make an effort to appear democratic. This is in and of itself nothing new; ”Tiden” (a Swedish social-democratic political magazine) wrote about these electoral dictatorships already in the 1930’s. Back then they existed in Europe, including the Baltic states, and the model was Nazi Germany, a country that aspired to appear to follow the constitution.

A contemporary case that is given a lot of attention in the book is socialist Venezuela and the “Bolivarian revolution,” the term Hugo Chávez uses for the project to unite Latin America under socialism. Already 1999, the same year he took office as a democratically elected president, he convened a Constituting Constitutional Assembly. The assembly consisted of 125 “chaviztas” and 6 others, elected in a rapid election where the distribution of mandates was far from proportional. All the powers were gathered in this assembly, which was not sanctioned by the constitution, and the whole process was legitimized by referenda before and after.

But were those polls free and fair? The days after June 28, 2009, when Zelaya’s attempt to hold an illegal referendum about convening a constituting constitutional assembly in Honduras had been stopped, the Attorney General found electoral material where the result of the referendum already was tabulated: A huge victory for “yes”. The ballots and the tabulation sheets came from Venezuela. What is the term to use when the tools of democracy are used to overthrow the constitution? And with support from a foreign power? There is no doubt that the procedure in Venezuela in 1999 was unconstitutional. It was a coup d’état sanctioned by the Supreme Court.

Early in 2002 Chávez announced changes in the popular state-owned oil company PDVSA. It provoked a strike, which got popular support. On April 11 a million-strong demonstration marched to the presidential palace, where they were being shot at. Both sides accused the other. The end result was that Chávez was forced to resign, but General Baduel had him reinstated after 3 days.

The shooting of the unarmed demonstrators became a water divide. In 2003, democratic organizations gathered 3.2 million signatures demanding a referendum for recalling Chávez. After many obstructions the regime was finally forced to hold a recall referendum on August 15, 2004.

Based on opinion polls and exit polls it was universally expected that ”yes” would prevail, but the election authority unexpectedly announced that ”no” had won, and Chávez could remain in office. Seven peer-reviewed articles about the referendum have since been written in two scientific journals (International Statistical Review, and Statistical Science), and the conclusion is clear: Chávez’s presidency would have been revoked if it hadn’t been for fraud in the vote-counting from the electronic voting machines, which were used for the first time on that occasion.

One of the article authors, Guillermo Salas, describes how an electoral dictatorship has to succeed with four things in order to achieve democratic legitimacy:

  1. create an electoral system that allows for fraud,
  2. create faith in this system,
  3. create an expectation that the regimen candidate will win, and
  4. get a ”seal of quality” on the result.

According to Salas the strategy has been implemented in the following way:

  1. electronic voting has been introduced,
  2. the opposition assures that the process is transparent,
  3. opinion polls show that the regime will win, and
  4. either the opposition accepts defeat, or an international election observer approves the result.

A complementing strategy is to occasionally allow the opposition to win, but only in cases where it doesn’t matter, such as governors and parliaments without power.

On October 7 the next presidential election will be held. The opposition has united behind Henrique Capriles, a 40-year old bachelor and governor for the second most populous state. While Chávez is suffering from cancer and moves with difficulty, Capriles is radiating health and youth. As a way of compensating for the total domination of the media on the part of the regime, Capriles has travelled around the country holding election meetings, in spite of assassination attempts. Politically he is close to social democracy, just like Carlos Andrés Pérez, called CAP, the president that Chávez tried to overthrow in a military coup in February of 1992.

The election campaign of Chávez is predominantly negative. He calls Chávez an “adulating wretch,” and has threatened with civil war “if the opposition wins.” Venezuela’s former ambassador to the United Nations, Diego Arria, said in an interview September 7 that Chávez’s words about “civil war” in effect was a veiled threat to carry out a massacre, since only one side in the conflict is armed. This is the first time in Latin America that the executive has threatened the citizens, he said, and compared it with Hitler’s threatening of the Jews, Milosevic’s of the Muslims, and Kaddafi’s of the opposition. (Arria was a witness against Milosevic in the war crime tribunal, and chairman of the UN Security Council when it condemned Libya for the bombing over Lockerbie; Chávez would refer to Kaddafi as his “brother.”)

Chávez accuses the opposition of being “ultra-right”. When Chávez calls the social democrat CAP “ultra-right” it says more about how far left he himself is ideologically. Although he, during the election campaign in 1998, replied “no” on the question whether he was a socialist, in 2007 he stated that he is a Trotskist, and Fidel Castro has said that Chávez politics “of course” is communist.

As it turns out, Fidel Castro of Cuba is namely behind Chávez’s power grab in Venezuela, according to a new book by General Carlos Peñaloza, former head of the army in Venezuela. Already in 1984 he identified Chávez as an infiltrator in the army, and in December of 1989 he had Chávez (who by then was serving in the presidential palace) arrested on suspicion of planning to murder the president. However, the president (CAP) didn’t believe the accusations, and allowed Chávez to continue to serve. The rest is history.

Peñaloza’s book is called “El Imperio de Fidel” and deals with Fidel up to 1967. The follow-up will deal with Chávez’s role as Fidel’s “successor”. One could also call Chávez Castro’s quisling, considering how the Cubans have plundered Venezuela since 1999: a large part of Cuba’s revenues come from Venezuela. Venezuela is also the bridgehead of influence in Latin America for the Cuban dictatorship. There is therefore very much at stake for the Castro brothers on October 7.

According to political consultant and analyst Eric Ekvall, who for 30 years has been based in Venezuela, Capriles now has an advantage of 15 points after correction for a systematic error in all opinion polls (due to fear of being registered as having anti-regime opinions). Fearing a huge electoral loss the regime has taken new illegal actions. The electronic voting machine is now equipped with a fingerprint scanner. The same system first checks the voter’s identity using the social security number; then decides whether the person should be allowed to vote; and finally records his or her vote. The regime is in total control. There is no possibility for the opposition to manually verify if it’s the right person who is voting, or if the same physical person is voting multiple times. The fingerprint is in effect not used, but the scanner has a psychological effect. According to a poll commissioned by the opposition, 63% of voters do not trust that the vote is secret.

Scientific research has shown that electoral dictatorships can survive only because the opposition has more to win from losing than from winning. The iron grip of the regime can only be broken if there is a strong third force. Nobody can know today how strong the popular resistance is in Venezuela. Unless the election is canceled, the regime will probably declare itself the winner, the people will take to the streets, and then we’ll find out how the militias and the military will react.

Smoking Gun for Election Fraud in Venezuela

A last-minute illegal rule change has removed the last shred of transparency from the October 7 presidential elections, effectively turning the country into an “electoral dictatorship.”

With opposition candidate Henrique Capriles appearing the likely winner in the October 7 presidential elections in Venezuela, and incumbent president Hugo Chávez repeatedly having asserted that he will never allow himself to be removed from power, the regime has now announced illegal last minute changes to the election procedures, which may allow for large-scale but un-detectable election fraud, according to Voto Limpio.

Election experts at Voto Limpio warn that these last-minute changes to the election rules may be designed to allow the regime to declare victory regardless of how people actually vote. Under the new rules, neither the printed voter roll, nor the indelible ink will be used to prevent multiple voting, or to verify that a voter is eligible to vote. Instead a “black box” machine will pronounce who gets to vote and who doesn’t. By violating all democratic norms, the rule change itself is thus the proverbial “smoking gun.”

Together with the irregularities in the un-audited voter rolls, widely suspected to contain millions of “zombie voters,” these changes will make it possible for government supporters to vote several times, and for opponents of the government to be denied the opportunity to vote even once. As Joseph Stalin said, “It’s not who votes that counts, but who counts the votes.”

These procedural changes were published August 28, just six weeks prior to the election. The deadline for any changes according to the law is six months. Another illegal change, that time to the election law itself, was made 4 months before of the election: The article that prohibited any device from being attached to the voting machine was changed to allow finger-print scanners to be connected.

Independent tests have revealed that the finger-print scanner was incapable of performing its duty, to assure the principle one person – one vote, yet the regime insisted on using it. There has been suspicion that the purpose of the scanner really was to intimidate fearful voters, given that 8.5 million Venezuelans are directly dependent on government payouts, and given that the regime in the past has denied benefits to persons and family members just for having expressed support for the opposition.

However, with the latest rule change it has become clear that the introduction of the scanner has done away with the traditional methods to check identity and prevent double voting. The new rules say that as long as half the name is correct the person can vote, even if there is no match in fingerprint, or indeed no fingerprint at all. Furthermore, if the machine says that a voter already has voted, that voter will be denied the right to vote, even if there is no record of him/her voting in the voter roll, and even if there is no sign of ink on the finger. The determination of voter eligibility is thus a process into which the opposition or independent election observers have no effective insight or control.

These two patently illegal changes could be a result of Chávez’s poor polling results. Political consultant and analyst Eric Ekvall, who has managed campaigns in Venezuela for several decades, estimates that “Capriles is now leading Chávez by 15 points, taking into account the ‘fear factor’ bias in local polling,” which pollsters attribute to the fact that about one in ten Venezuelans lie to poll interviewers out of fear of being identified as an opponent of Chávez.

Venezuela has used electronic voting since 2004, and has, according to Guillermo Salas – a Venezeulan student of the subject – committed election fraud ever since. The typical procedure has been to hugely inflate the number of votes for the government, while somewhat decreasing it for the opposition. The result is that the number of voters in some areas has become larger than the population.

The latest changes allow for so much arbitrariness that they effectively render the elections meaningless, given that the regime now will have full and complete control over who “wins” the election. The fraud that the regime apparently is preparing is not detectable using traditional election supervision; it would take complete electronic surveillance of all communications to and from all locations involved in the voting and vote count, in order to detect it. Nobody has the access required to effectively supervise these elections.

The fact that Cuba is connected to Venezuela by an optical cable means that the fraud might even be executed in Havana, rather than within Venezuela. The only thing required for a “zombie vote” to be cast at a polling place, making it indistinguishable from a real vote, is a fake ID. All Venezuelan IDs are now issued on Cuba, and it has been reported in media that they are being issued for political purposes, to foreigners, and that multiple IDs have been given to the same person.