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BBC interview on Venezuela’s recall

By Aleksander Boyd

London 31 August 2004 – Today I finally got on the mail an audio tape recording of my interview at the BBC’s World Today programme. More than two weeks have come to pass since referendum day and still the opposition’s plight to have a proper audit has not been granted by the three chavista crooks running the CNE. My impressions, from what I have gathered from contacts in Venezuela, are shared by a very large number of people.

I shall not waste readers’ time arguing the case in favour of exit polls, contrasting its results with those of the CNE. Conspiracy theories will not fade away in the near future as long as electoral officials do not permit a clear and transparent scrutiny of the ballot boxes and tallies –selected by the opposition-, however time is running against us. We now see how opportunist figures as Teodoro Petkoff and Claudio Fermin are swiftly abandoning the opposition’s sinking boat in an attempt to emerge as the new political light adversaries of Chavez, disgusting behaviour indeed.

Venezuelans from both sides of the political divide have the right to know the truth about the results. Only an open audit not controlled by the CNE can dissipate our doubts. The regime is trying desperately to turn the page making void and baseless invitations to the opposition to dialogue and to continue participating in the rigged game that our politics have come to be. With an arbiter like the current CNE, what’s the point of going to elections or more graphically throw ourselves again to the abyss?

The recall results from places where the vote was manual show a contrasting difference with ‘reality’ however the regime will have none of it. More and more people feel that the only way out of this deadlock is to follow the ‘advice’ given by senile ex-president Carlos Andres Perez. One thing is clear though, Hugo Chavez’ problems are far from over; his recent radicalisation demonstrates that he just does not observe democratic precepts and his sheepish calls for consensus are nothing but empty words to please the international peanut gallery.

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