Monday, May 02, 2005

Anything to avoid clean elections 

As anyone who has followed Venezuela recently knows the opposition has often asserted that the recall referendum of last August 15th was fraudulent. Never mind that it was observed by both the Carter Center and the OAS neither of which found any evidence of fraud. And never mind that no evidence of fraud was ever presented that could withstand close examination. Many in the opposition simply take it as an article of faith that the elections were fraudulent.

So, one would think the opposition would work on ensuring that any future elections were more transparent, better monitored, and sqeacky clean, right? Wrong. The opposition knows that Chavez is very popular and that they themselves have little support - they can read opinion polls. So now they just have to try to avoid elections altogether or at least make sure that the elections don't gain international recognition.

And what do we see along these lines today? We see that one of the biggest accusers of fraud, Tulio Alvarez, is begging the European Union not to send observers to monitor the upcoming local elections:

"Estamos claros que la Unión Europea es una organización seria en observación electoral y, en vista de que tienen unas normas muy estrictas, nosotros venimos a ratificar que se mantienen las condiciones fraudulentas e irregulares", fueron las palabras del abogado constitucionalista Tulio Álvarez, al acudir hoy a la embajada en Venezuela del actual país presidente del grupo económico, Holanda, para solicitar que la UE se abstenga de participar como observador en los próximos comicios. "Nos preocupa que gente seria como la Unión Europea esté estudiando la posibilidad de venir a verificar este proceso", dijo Alvarez, quien representa a la recién conformada organización "Verdad Venezuela".Agregó que al CNE "no le conviene que participe gente seria que cumpla con parámetros de observación internacional" y dijo "estar convencido" de que no darán acceso para que la misión de la Unión Europea fiscalice todas las etapas del proceso.Para el jurista es irrelevante si viene o no el Centro Carter debido a que está "absolutamente desprestigiado" después de lo ocurrido en el referendo revocatorio presidencial realizado el 15 de agosto de 2004. Álvarez aseguró, en cuanto a la posibilidad de participar en las próximas elecciones de concejales y juntas parroquiales, que "no nos vamos a suicidar con aquellos que quieren participar a cualquier costo en los proceso electoral".


"We are clear that the European union is a serious election observation organization and, in light of their having very strict rules, we are coming to tell them that here there are still irregular and fraudulent election conditions" were the words of constitutional laywer Tulio Alvarez, at the embassy of the current head of the European Union, Holand asking that the EU not participate as observers in the next elections. "We are worried that a serious group such as the European Union is studying hte possibility of coming to verify the process" said Alvarez, who represents the newly founded group "True Venezuela". He added that it is "not in the CNE's [Venezuela's electoral council] interest to have serious people participate who fullfill the parameters of international observers" and said "I'm convinced" that they won't give access to the EU mission to analyze all the stages of the elections. For the jurist it is irrelevant if the Carter Center comes or doesn't come given that they are "completely discredited" after what happened in the presidential recall referendum of August 15, 2004. Alavarez assured, with respect to participation in the coming local elections that "we are not going to commit suicide with those who want to participate at whatever cost in the electoral process".

So there you have it. One of the chief promoters of the fraud accusations regarding the recall referendum, who never presented any evidence of fraud, doesn't want foriegn observers to come any more. The last time they came it was a disaster because all they did was verify that Chavez did indeed whip the opposition in clean elections. And now Chavez even has a higher level of support than he did last August. So of course Alvarez doesn't want the EU to come and verify that the elections are conducted cleanly. After all, all clean elections will do is show how much support Chavez has!!


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