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Venezuela: opposition predicts massive attendance to the repair process

By OAI Press

OAIPRESS. Caracas. May 26 de mayo 2004 - Only 72 hours before the signature collection drive is to begin, in support of the petition to activate a recall referendum against President Hugo Chavez Frías’ mandate, the Venezuelan opposing alliance met today with members of the foreign press, accredited in the country, with a view to surmise the delicate political picture of events that Venezuela is going through.

During the forum, Alberto Quiros Corradi, a representative of the Coordinator Coalition before the National Electoral Council (CNE), which is the principal voting agency in Venezuela, pointed out before the foreign correspondents the opposing organization’s absolute democratic convictions, regardless of the events that might take place during the signature collection drive, and even during the presidential recall referendum.

The representative of the democratic alliance emphasized that international observers of the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Carter Center have been able to make their observations ever since they arrived in Venezuela in the middle of the year 2002. He maintained that from that time on, detailed reports have been drafted periodically evidencing all the country’s events in matters concerning the presidential recall referendum and the situation of Venezuela’s Human Rights. “We do not understand why the governmental sector is bent on demanding the withdrawal of the current observation representatives at this point of the game. What was observed is already observed, and all that has been observed is in the reports. Each and every one of the same substantiates what has been happening in Venezuela for quite a while. To deny what is in these reports is to bleed by the wound”.

With regard to the coming drive to verify the petition that may activate the recall referendum, Quiros Corradi showed great optimism in pointing out that all tendencies point at a massive mobilization of Venezuelans who are willing to re-confirm their decision. In his statement, this opposition’s leader reiterated that –in spite of the endless tricks that pop up day after day as the date for the verifications or “reparos” gets closer, some guidelines were able to be established with the CNE in order to at least guarantee the drive’s operation.

“The drive’s rules for its transparency were negotiated with the Electoral Council and the field of action is quite acceptable. Now then, what they are trying to do is quite clear to us, in ignoring the already discussed guidelines and imposing such an absurd figure as that of the “repentant” (arrepentidos). (A person who, should he/she wish to do so, may attend the verification drive in order to invalidate his/her petition under the precept of “repentance” (arrepentidos). Their intentions are also clear to us in attempting to eliminate the information centers with the sole purpose of promoting turmoil. But they will not achieve this. We are talking of an estimated mobilization of 90%, and this figure gives them the shivers”.

Quiros Corradi set forth that the Democratic Coordinator Coalition’s sole responsibility is calling for national unity, whatever happens. Now then, the spokesman of the opposition’s coalition was very clear in stating that “unity does not mean impunity” when making reference to a supposed scenario that surmises the ousting of the Venezuelan President. “Whatever happens, Chavez will have to respond for his acts. Carlos Andres Perez did so and so did many others. No witch-hunting will be carried out here. “Chavismo” (Chavez followers) and “Emerrevismo” (Followers of the political party “Movimiento Quinta República” MVR) are a part of the political reality and they will continue being so, with or without Chavez’ ousting. It is essential to set clear before the world that our vocation is democratic. I repeat, what we expect is to call for national unity.”

Regarding the scope of the hasty amendment of the Supreme Justice Tribunal (TSJ), promoted by the officialism, Quiros Corradi expressed that such measure is very “coherent” with the officialism’s methods in this stage of “desperate hours”. As of six years ago, the National Government’s anti-democratic methods have shown a noted in crescendo. The absolute control over all public institutions is a fact in Venezuela and the world has witnessed it. What little is left in Venezuela is a “threatened freedom of speech”. Institutions do not work as they should and the officialism’s pretensions are aimed at creating a package of laws that will smother democratic mobility”. However, Alberto Quiros Corradi encouraged a new hope when he expressed that inside the present Supreme Justice Tribunal (TSJ) there are persons that will make themselves be heard in view of the unacceptable intention of the government to tailor a Supreme Justice Tribunal that is custom-made to its needs.

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