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Venezuela's Vice President: electoral observers, what for?

By Aleksander Boyd

London 22.03.06 | The wretched Vice President of Venezuela, Jose Vicente Rangel, a.k.a. columnist Marciano of chavista rag Diario VEA, treated the nation to an article whereby he concludes that Venezuela no longer needs international electoral observation missions, for reports produced by such entities are reason for much disagreement and fierce debate amongst local political actors and parties. Quite obviously, from his position of power, he's already stated loud and clear that said missions won't be invited in the future, a fact that I was able to confirm, extra officially at least, with respect to the European Union. You see, when Jimmy Carter and Cesar Gaviria gave the imprimatur, disregarding proper procedures, to the utterly rigged recall referendum of 2004 that oxigenated Chavez's dictatorship, both of them were, by the very VP Rangel and the whole chavista panoply, celebrated as example of objectivity, impartiality, performance, electoral expertise, etc. The card "the referendum was free and fair according to the international observation missions" was trumped in all areas where heated discussion, about the lack of electoral transparency arose, "hey Carter and Gaviria said it was fair" was the official mantra.

This time round neither the OAS nor the European mission were so lenient vis-a-vis the many irregularities that characterize electoral processes nowadays in Venezuela. Reports produced by both organizations have highlighted the unfairness, lack of transparency, intimidation tactics, violation to electoral legislation, the Europeans even explained what took place that fateful 23 of November 2005, when a Venezuelan technician demonstrated, beyond any doubts, that the Smartmatic machines are totally unreliable, for the secrecy of the vote no longer is guaranteed. The off the record admission, by one of the European technical experts present in the audit conducted in Fila de Mariches, that indeed the secrecy of the vote is remotely compromised, which would have caused a thorough investigation and possible decommission of the voting machines had such an event occured in Europe, is more than enough to conclude that any and all authorities elected with the use of Smartmatics are illegitimate.

It is quite amusing to see the official reaction. We saw how Chavez scolded and insulted international observers, we saw how his minions chose to disregard and ignore the unfavourable findings and now the Vice President expresses that he would rather have Venezuelans observing elections so that subsequent issues can be resolved by those directly involved. Who will these Venezuelans be, the lackeys of Ojo Electoral or others appointed by an electoral council distrusted by the majority of the population?

For once I wholeheartedly agree with Jose Vicente Rangel, for I believe that Carter, Gaviria, Insulza, Silva Peneda, Perina or any potential future guests are but a bunch of useless parasites that lack the spine and moral stature to express in unequivocal terms what they've observed, i.e. that elections under Chavez have become the quintessential example of electoral rigging.

The news however are now official: Hugo Chavez will be reelected with 10 million votes and no international or national observer, lest of course sycophants in the payroll, will cast doubts upon the legitimacy of the presidential race results.

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