Bland to the bone
The Carter Center has just published a sprawling, 118-page report on the 2013 Presidential Elections in Venezuela (see PDF here in Spanish). It goes through what happened in that dramatic election using the scrupulously impartial, non-controversial tone of an organization trying to remain an honest broker between the two warring factions.
Now, normally I would pass this off as simply one more foreign organization unable to grasp the real problem in Venezuela, but the Carter Center is different – its knowledge of Venezuela is too deep for us not to care about its blasé position.
For instance, it describes in flat, studiously non-judgmental terms the way the Supreme Tribunal not only refused to hear Henrique Capriles’s extensively documented “impugnación,” but actually went on to fine him, and urged the Prosecutor General to jail him just for having the temerity to complain.
Think about that for a moment.
The report describes this outrageous event as though they think punishing and harrassing people for filing a lawsuit is just something that normally happens, and that one must be careful to evaluate even-handedly.
It’s hard to see what the Carter Center thinks can be achieved with this approach. Can it really be that they don’t grasp the way in which, by this point, studied impartiality bleeds more and more into complicity?
The report goes through the whole story of the death of Chávez, the designation of Maduro as Interim President, and the election, including the campaign. They detail the complaints from the MUD, as well as the shots fired back from the TSJ and various government organisms. They emphasize how the machines are OK, and how the fingerprint scanners work pretty decently. They lament the fact that the audits are not done in the presence of both sides – confidence in the system seems to be the thing that most worries them.
Towards the end of their pusillanimous brick, Carter Center lays out its recommendations, which include pretty much everything: clean up the electoral registry, limit the cadenas, control this, do that, etc.
The whole thing sounds very reasonable … until you realize exactly what they are saying.
After documenting in minute detail the many ways in which rampant abuse of power was in full view throughout 2012 and 2013, their reaction is to turn to the same guys who did the cheating, look at them sternly, and say “well…do better next time.”
It’s a 118-page monument to guabineo: sure, on the one hand one-side-has-all-the-power-all-the-incentives-all-the-opportunities-all-the-ideological-reasons-all-the-guns-and-all-the-money-to-cheat-and-there’s-plenty-of-evidence-that-they-cheated-because-just-between-you-and-me-they-did-cheat but, on the other hand, they say they didn’t cheat. Who are we to say one way or the other?
It’s like their alarm bells have been disconnected.
Continue reading HERE.