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The Electoral Coup d'Etat in Venezuela

By Daniel Duquenal

Mid morning update - The opposition is strangely subdued. This is the first thing that I am hearing from people that I talk to. Well, what did people expect? For the opposition to take arms and go to the streets on a rampage? Specially when Chavez has given the day off to public workers and when lots of business decided not to open?

No, the action will come later. There is a simple reason for that: when a government pulls out such an outright lie one must expect the worse from it. They probably are just waiting for a final "provocation" from the opposition to start mass arrests, or something equally unpalatable. So, we must keep cool heads for the next few hours.

Some of the morning talk shows were cancelled outright. The only noteworthy apparition, for me anyway, was William Ojeda in Globovision (not that the other ones were not worthy but the mission of Mujica and Martin was to keep cool, thus not high on drama). Well, Ojeda is a "Street Leader". That is, he is one of the few opposition guy who has been working really close to the popular areas and has carved for his movement a real niche. Polls actually give him a good position in the popular areas of Caracas. His comment was quite simple: where is the chavista celebration, besides a few paid for fireworks and petards? (which was already mentioned in a previous post, by the way, keen observer that this blogger tries to be).

Ojeda is right. If chavismo did indeed get the numbers they claim to have gotten, where is the celebration? I have an answer: they know their relatives and neighbors and they know that the NO was not that high. They feel the scam. It is just too obvious and they have been cheated so often in the past that they know a scam when they see one. The TV is showing images of a rather quiet city. And the rain in Caracas adds a very interesting gloomy touch to what should be a chavista major celebration. They committed fraud and they know it and they know we know it.

People are consternated. Some mention to me the foreign press which is giving Chavez the winner. And what else did they expect? Is the New York Times going to send a team to recount the ballots? Do they care about anything else but stable oil prices? The foreign press today can only but report what the official institutions of Venezuela are reporting. Even if they aready know that they are not to be trusted, those are the news at this time and they must report it. They will someday denounce the fraud, but they must be sure of it first. I will say one thing: the bigger the lie the more of a chance for people to buy it! And Chavez has just done so. It is inconceivable in civilized countries with real institutions (the US and Western Europe in particular) that a government could lie and commit fraud the way Chavez has been doing for 3 years now. Look at how long it took Britain to finally accept that Mugabe was a thug and act on it. Look how many weeks Fujimori survived the adverse verdict of the OAS.

I did take a short nap and now I am back in full swing. But I must go to work for a little while. My work computer has its modem shot so I will probably not be back with a comment until mid afternoon. Meanwhile I want to thank all those that have sent support. I really appreciate it, and I must recognize that I need it to keep the good fight. But I ask you to keep sending it to other bloggers, to write US and European papers, etc, etc... DO YOUR BIT FOR VENEZUELA!

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