The Popular Consultation Begins

The Popular Consultation Begins
Citizens, Guaidó says, are rejecting the chavista regime through the consultation.

Photo: PresidenciaVe.com

Briefing

Guaidó says a lot of people are participating; State media doesn’t mention abstention in the “elections” and proclaim a “victory”; Most of the international community rejects the legislative elections

Naky Soto

  • The opposition’s answer to the legislative elections of chavismo, the Popular Consultation, started on Monday. Caretaker President and AN Speaker Juan Guaidó said that there’s been an important participation rate in the consultation through the mechanisms made available, and that it’s “a lot more than expected”. Guaidó reiterated that citizens will express their will on December 12th on the street, as a response to the dictatorship and an alternative to exercise the majority. On December, 12th, people who haven’t been able to express their opinion online can come to points and do it manually. The consultation is held in Venezuela and abroad and the organizing committee is going to issue statements updating citizens every 24 hours.
  • “Abstention, more than a victory, is a scream. The opportunity to transform what Venezuela is saying into mobilization. If you want to reject the government, here’s a mechanism,” said Guaidó.  He also reiterated the need for the international community’s sanctions on Maduro’s regime after the “electoral process” on Sunday: “It’s proven, the fraud, the rejection for a dictatorship that intends to make the crisis worse,” said Guaidó. “Maduro’s fraud has been defeated, diplomatically and politically, what’s coming now is mobilization,” said Guaidó, who emphasized that the democratic cause has the challenge of conquering media censorship to obtain high participation rates in the Popular Consultation.
  • Monday was marked by international rejection of the alleged elections on Sunday.  Even though local headlines said Nicolás had “recovered the AN”, all throughout the day countries expressed their rejection of this rigged process, denounced the electoral failure of chavismo’s new imposition and announced that they don’t recognize the results and their poor legitimacy. The terrible performance of the CNE was also notorious, and there was no access to public information on its website. They used the excuse of the nation’s poor infrastructure, especially with power outages, as something affecting them too.
  • Official information about the “elections” never mentioned the abstention. The version doing rounds on state media just repeated the words “triumph” and “democracy” over and over and talked about how everything will be perfect starting 2021. Maduro stuck to the victory script, congratulating himself several times.
  • The CNE president (imposed by the TSJ), Indira Alfonzo, announced that 5,264,104 Venezuelans participated on Sunday; 31% of the electoral registry. But according to the second bulletin by the CNE, it was 30.5 %, lower than the first announcement. Alfonzo announced the amount of votes obtained by each party (legal or hijacked) on Sunday. PSUV got 4,277,926 votes (69% of the total); the prêt-à-porter opposition got 1,095,170 ( 17.5%); the alliance of deserters from the opposition got 259,450 (4.1%); the Communist Party 168,743 (2.7%); other organizations got 405,017 (6.4%). As this shows, chavismo forgot many years ago the importance of proportional representation of minorities, and of citizens too: 30.5% of the electoral registry is less than half of how many people participated in the 2015 elections.
  • The National Association of Private Educational Institutions’s president, Fausto Romeo Monte, said that the failure of telecommunications is a factor affecting online schooling, so we have to generate new strategies so students can return to schools. They requested a meeting with the Education Ministry to plan for a return in 2021, interweekly.
  • Indigenous people still don’t have representation in the AN. It doesn’t matter what Indira Alfonzo says, it’s an abuse that in 2020 there are second-class Venezuelans who have to elect representatives to vote for them. A second-degree election violates their political rights and will happen after the election itself, on December 9th. Alfonso was bold enough to say that’s “respecting traditions” of Venezuelan Indigenous communities.
  • Jorge Rodríguez said that switching Maduro’s voting center, while he voted, was for security reasons: “Any citizen can change voting center. There was a security reason, we were informed of an event that was going to happen yesterday,” he said.
  • A joint statement by 16 countries of the international community was issued, asking the rest of the world to reject this election. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asked allies to keep recognizing Juan Guaidó as caretaker president and urged them to condemn this mockery. The EU asked for presidential and parliamentary elections that are “credible, inclusive and transparent”. Josep Borrell explained that the EU won’t recognize the new National Assembly when this mandate starts. Germany criticized the elections because they weren’t “free nor fair” and didn’t comply with the “minimum international standards”.
  • The UK’s Foreign Minister Dominic Raab said that the vote wasn’t “free or fair” so he called on “all Venezuelan leaders” to back a solution for this situation. Colombia’s government called the elections “a fraud”, and Brazilian Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo said it was an “electoral fraud”: “This is more oppression and hunger for Venezuelans.” Uruguay expressed concern since the electoral process wasn’t done following “democratic values”. México, Argentina and Bolivia remained quiet. Only Cuba and Russia congratulated the regime for the process and expressed trust in the role of the new National Assembly.
  • Last night, Russian “observers” met with Maduro and announced that Russia will restart relations with the AN.

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