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Is Ambassador Alvarez Herrera shareholder of Venezuela’s e-voting company?

By Aleksander Boyd

London 07 June 2004 – The Miami Herald exposed the regime’s stake on the consortium Smartmatic, Bizta and CANTV (SBC) a few days ago. Said ‘strategic’ association will be in charge of, none other than, running electronically, in unprecedented and untested fashion, the recall vote on Hugo Chavez’ mandate. The Herald cites “a large and powerful investor in the software company that will design electronic ballots and record votes for Venezuela's new and much criticized election system is the Venezuelan government itself. Venezuela's investment in Bizta Corp., the ballot software firm, gives the government 28 percent ownership of the company it will use to help deliver voting results in future elections, including the possible recall referendum against President Hugo Chávez.”

Orlando Ochoa Terán has also warned in Quinto Dia about the details of this venture thusly “the SBC Consortium will be the last resort of the Bolivarian Revolution in its attempts to stall the recall referendum. The deal resulted after instructions were given to FONCREI by Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel (JVR) to secure the official participation in the venture which was registered in the Fifth Mercantile Registry, located in the ground floor of tower B in “Cubo Negro” building in Chuao Caracas. Lawyer Gisela Rangel Avalos de D’Armas –Vice President Rangel’s daughter- is the head of said registry. JVR is part of the gang of architects of the SBC consortium together with “wonder boys” Alfredo Anzola and Antonio Mujica, families Gabaldón – Anzola and Herrera – Oropeza, and of course the ineffable creator of the Bolivarian Revolution doctrine of “business is business” Venezuelan Ambassador to the USA Bernardo Luis del Carmen Álvarez Herrera. Should any doubts in regards to the unholy character of this alliance rise it is sufficient to say that the documents that substantiated the Miami Herald’s claims –kept in archive 9 of the aforesaid registry- ‘magically’ disappeared the day after the allegations were made public. Needless to say that such disappearance of public records constitutes a flagrant violation to the law.

It is rather curious to read the ‘defence’ presented by Ambassador Alvarez Herrera to the Miami Herald where he alleges “'the whole process led to a decision that was best for Venezuela.” To what Venezuela would Ambassador Herrera be referring to? He then expresses “the companies that were chosen have the highest technical capacity,” would the hint to the supreme ‘technical capacity’ of the venture mean that the recall referendum results are already rigged? The Herald seems to have encountered a number of inconsistencies between company directors, their roles and addresses.

My guess is that Hugo Chavez’ admission to abide to the constitution and participate in the recall is clear evidence that he is most confident that he will come out of it victorious. Will the Ambassador’s ‘high technical capacity’ venture keep Chavez in the presidency?

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