Venezuela’s dictatorship holds an ‘election,’ hunger wins by a landslide

When you hold a Cuba-style election, there are never any surprises. Everyone knows who will win when your only option to avoid starving to death is to vote for the dictatorship.

In Venezuela yesterday, hunger won by a landslide.

Naky Soto in Caracas Chronicles:

Hunger’s Victory

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Once again, without prior notice, the CNE changed our voting station and we had to vote within walls decorated with drawings of el finado’s face, several versions of his crooked eyes and Fidel’s portrait, in a so-called camp of pioneers. Upon watching me enter, the idiot who acted as secretary of my table said “Una escuálida más,” a violation of my human rights, but if I could practice restraint with the space imposed by the CNE, I could do it with him as well. There were no pictures of the candidates in the ballot, only the logos of the political parties and the candidates’ names in small letters. At 4:00 p.m., I was the fourth person to sign the records.

Surrender

These elections were marked by defeat at too many levels: the imposition of the ANC’s election, gubernatorial elections, the induction of the winners before the ANC, the results in Bolívar state being tampered with and the ouster of Zulia’s legitimately elected governor. They were also marked by imprisoned mayors and those who were forced to flee the country, by the administrative disqualification of so many politicians with unresolved proceedings, as well as by notable mistakes committed by the opposition’s leadership and the expectations they created without preparing any answers for potential failures. A disenchanted electorate, consumed by the anguish of shortages, hyperinflation, the collapse of public services, sealed the ruinous path of institutional decay, of an illegal CNE that decided, with the greatest brazenness possible, to act as the Administration’s instrument once again.

Attacking your peer

Voting or not voting wasn’t a dilemma. It was, instead, a reason for digital confrontations that included discreditations and insults among the same victims of the failed State, the consequence of infamous decisions. Abstention was sold as the best way to demonstrate our insatisfaction with institutions, more than justified with what I described above. For others, it was an act of surrender that only eased the way for the regime violate our electoral rights. In my mind, abstention did nothing to undermine power, it only gave them stability, wrapped with the ribbon of the certainty that I couldn’t do anything to change it.

The day’s barbarities

Plan República didn’t prevent the attacks from chavista armed groups, the pressure of red spots or the campaign they carried out near voting stations, but they did prohibit voters from exercising their rights if their arms, legs or feet were uncovered. Additionally, Plan República prevented journalists from accessing electoral centers, some were stripped off their phones and forced to erase pictures, while others were even detained. When you have the chance, check Venezuelan Electoral Observatory’s work (@OEVenezolano on Twitter). At the end of the process, there were abundant complaints for voting stations that hadn’t closed despite long hours without voters.

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