May 15, 2022 10:15 am

With impossible conditions, Chavismo dynamites the opposition’s objective of calling a recall referendum

CARACAS.- The mirage of the recall against Nicolás Maduro died on the fourth day of his birth to give reason to those who warned that it was the penultimate political trap of Chavismo. This is how the new National Electoral Council (CNE) decreed it, by imposing an express schedule with impossible conditions to collect on Wednesday of next week the 4,200,000 necessary to call the referendum.

“Five voters per minute would have to be processed for 12 hours in all the machines in the country, with no margin of error”, denounced Roberto Picón, rector of the CNE itself, who together with Enrique Márquez saved his vote in the resolution of the electoral arbitrator.

To meet such a goal, it would be necessary for the signatories and processors at the 1,200 collection points, which met hours later, to be as fast as the Jamaican Olympic sprint team and with the resistance of the best ‘Ironman’ on the planet.

Picón stressed that the audit of the software that guarantees the inviolability of the process has not been carried out and that no independent witnesses have been named. In short, a clearly revolutionary process.

“It is a buffoonery, it is not humanly possible to collect the signatures within the established schedules. Nor should citizens be exposed to huge queues at the peak of omicron. We are facing a coup against the Constitution. The president of the country does not want to be counted,” reacted former Governor César Pérez Vivas, one of the leaders who opted for the recall referendum (RR). In addition, the CNE demands that the goal of 20% of signatures of the electoral registry not be accounted for at the national level, but rather be region by region: 23 times more difficult, because in addition between six and seven million people have fled Venezuela and will not be able to participate from their host countries.

06/12/2020 The President of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, after voting in the legislative elections in Venezuela, on December 6, 2020 POLITICS SOUTH AMERICA VENEZUELA PRESIDENTIAL PRESS VENEZUELA

To work a miracle and achieve such a feat, the conveners should later exceed in a referendum the votes reached in 2018 by the “people president”: 6,245,862. “They know they are losing the RR and they want to make it unviable,” said Nícmer Evans, a former Chavista leader. The recall formula, one of Hugo Chávez’s inventions for the 1999 Constitution, had caught on especially among former followers of the “supreme commander”, enemies of Maduro today. Even the Communist Party of Venezuela (PCV), today faced with madurismo, had shown its support for the initiative.

The conveners have announced that they will not give up their fight and that they will carry out acts of protest to activate the mechanism, in a final attempt to save a process whose complexities were manifest.

“The dictatorship is afraid of the example of the Barineses (Chavismo lost the cradle of the revolution despite forcing a second vote). After his defeat in 2015, the regime and Maduro have hijacked the right to vote of the Venezuelan. The challenge is to defend the will of the people. We continue to fight for conditions for a free and fair election,” reacted Juan Guaidó, president in charge, who like the rest of the Democratic Unity had remained on the sidelines of the process. Nevertheless, several leaders, especially Voluntad Popular (VP) had slipped inside the party their interest in joining the RR in the next few hours.

“Regardless of whether or not you agree with the RR as a fighting strategy, what is undeniable is that it is a constitutional right that was also taken from us. As such, it must be denounced and the dictatorship must pay yet another cost. Everything adds up”, added Freddy Guevara, one of the main leaders of VP.

Most of the opposition considers that the presidential elections of 2024 are the main possible card against the revolution, who for the moment refuses to return to the negotiating table in Mexico. Elections for which Maduro has already advanced his desire to continue at the forefront of Chavismo, even with the proposal of a government plan with a final date in 2030.

“Yes, they behave like this in front of the RR, imagine with the presidential ones. Naivety is not useful in ridicule of this type”, recalled the economist Henkel García.

08-21-2021 The President of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro SOUTH AMERICAN POLITICS VENEZUELA PRESIDENCY VENEZUELA
08-21-2021 The President of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro SOUTH AMERICAN POLITICS VENEZUELA PRESIDENCY VENEZUELA

The few days that have elapsedFrom the beginning of the process until its execution on Friday night, on the contrary, they have aroused certain misgivings in the opposition and in civil society. The RR was already generating new barricades and conflicts among those who oppose Chavismo, so it was expected that the process would take longer to make a greater dent within the Democratic Unity.

One of the conjectures, majority among the leaders, is that the ruling party has wanted to put an end to a “snowball” that threatened to get bigger due to the Venezuelan people’s desire for change, which polls place between 74% and 84%.

But another sector, more minority, predicts that the government maneuvers have not ended, they even see the imposition of a new schedule from the judiciary to prolong the opposition’s agony.

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