From Venezuela: An Open Letter to Jimmy Carter
Venezuelan blogger Daniel Duquenal writes an open letter to the morally challenged former American president, Jimmy Carter:
Open letter to Jimmy Carter: Don't you have any shame?President Carter,
somewhere Quixotic I want to forget in GeorgiaI have just read that you are planning a trip to Venezuela sometime in April, depending how the rioting goes. Right... I also learned that you have written to Maduro and Capriles, arguably the leaders in Venezuela. In particular I note this sentence to Capriles that was picked up by newspapers: "send signals of their willingness to alleviate the present state of tension"; though in all justice you also wrote the following: "It is difficult for elected officials from opposition parties to resolve differences when they feel threatened and persecuted". However, that you assume that in Venezuela today the opposition has concessions it can make do betrays an extremely poor understanding of the situation. Or utter cynicism, your choice.
Please, desist from your trip: you have absolutely no credibility in Venezuela. Here is why.
Your last actions in Venezuela have had disastrous results for the democracy here. When these became obvious you remained strangely silent for years, and only suddenly you wake up again. I will summarize just three of them that would require from you the most sincere apology and attempts to make amends if we are ever to consider you seriously again.
You promoted in 2003-2004 a discussion table so that we would go to a recall election. We should have never had to negotiate on that since it is a constitutional right. But your "negotiation" gave in fact the ability to the regime to manipulate the conditions for that right as it pleased, resulting not only in electoral fraud but also into the Tascon List which it is still in application today. I have yet to read an unambiguous stern condemnation of the Tascon List from your part. In case your forgot, the Tascon List was the list with the names of the millions that signed for a recall election and who since have been actively discriminated against by the regime. Also, the members of that table that you were supposed to protect have done poorly since, without a word of protection from you. In short, your lenience toward Chavez then was a nice stepping stone for the abuses that came later.
You called very early, too early, the result of the recall election of 2004 as fair. You always refused to look at the statistical evidence presented by many people that questioned the quality of the result. By doing so you gave an argument to Chavez supporters around the world that this was the "best" electoral system even though with time even the Carter Center has come to acknowledge some problems. Following this laxity we got an outright stealing of election in April 2013 that we are waiting, by the way, for the Carter Center to at least make a strong "exhortation". In short, your blind eye to early electoral violations have not only allowed for Chavez autocracy to consolidate but has allowed Venezuela to lose free and fair elections altogether.