Thursday, April 18, 2013

Crackdown and repression in Venezuela: the struggle for the future

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." - Martin Luther King Jr.

Electoral Fraud in Venezuela: Stolen campagn
  Over the past 48 hours the messages from Venezuelan opposition student leaders were crystal clear and that is that repression is underway in their homeland and the current regime is seen as a dictatorship that ignores the rights of Venezuelans as outlined in their Constitution and people die:

TR @RoderickNavarro We have jailed students across the country, pursued and intimidated at home youth leaders for nonviolent protest ... You can not pass under injustice with silence.

TR @diegoscharifker Before the threats that I have received, I just want to remind them that power is not eternal ...

TR @RoderickNavarro In Merida demonstrations, thugs with Maduro flannels shoot students and citizens, there are already wounded with bullets

TR @DiegoScharifker These irresponsible ones are plunging the country into a political & institutional crisis. Venezuela is not your estate!

TR In Castillejo Chavista thugs launch rockets to the houses of developments that bang pots and pans in protest!

TR @RoderickNavarro Here they want to impose a Venezuela at gunpoint & bullet, shouting & swearing ... Revenge and hatred: dictatorship ...

Back on October 7, 2012 following Hugo Chavez's supposed re-election the following observation was made on this blog:
"Venezuela is not a democracy. Power has been concentrated for more than a decade into the hands of Hugo Chavez, his political party and Cuban handlers. The judiciary and the Congress were subordinated to Hugo Chavez. What you have had in Venezuela today is a contested elections in a non-democratic country. If Capriles is able to take power then the hard work begins to rebuild Venezuelan democracy and if Chavez is victorious the struggle to begin a democratic transition continues."
The same holds true today with the outcome of the Capriles-Maduro election and the voting irregularities that surround it. The Washington Post has outlined the main charges of the democratic opposition against the government:
— Government supporters forced Capriles’ observers out of 283 polling places, threatening them with guns in some instances. There were 722,983 votes cast in those polling places, and the lack of witnesses allowed the possibility of fraud, including double-voting.
— Government backers on motorcycles, traveling in menacing packs, turned pro-Capriles voters away from the polls.
— There were 3,535 damaged voting machines, representing 189,982 votes.
— Voting rolls included 600,000 dead people.
— An unspecified number of votes were recorded for people whose official birth dates would make them 100 to 120 years old.
— In 1,176 of the 39,319 voting machines, Maduro got more votes than Chavez had in the October presidential election even though Chavez was far more popular and won nationally by a far bigger margin.
— Maduro supporters held get-out-the vote campaigns at 421 polling stations in violation of election laws prohibiting partisan material at voting centers.
In addition, the Capriles camp notes the National Electoral Council says about 100,000 votes were cast abroad and they had not been counted as of Wednesday. His campaign estimates more than 90 percent of those votes were for the opposition leader.
The National Electoral Council and the courts are dominated by Chavista loyalists and are almost certain to reject Capriles’ push for a recount.
Furthermore, the reaction of the Chavista regime to nonviolent demonstrators and the violence visited upon them for wanting to demand a recount contrasts powerfully with the 2006 Mexico elections.  Hundreds of thousands of Mexicans were able to nonviolently protest the election results and demand a recount. Why does the present government threaten violence against nonviolent protesters exercising their rights?

Because Venezuela is on its way to becoming another Cuba where human right are systematically repressed. In addition, Venezuela has been at the forefront of undermining regional human rights bodies. The Cuban presence in Venezuela and the impact of the Castro regime and its coordination with the Chavez-Maduro government has been profound.

Now is the time for all people of good will to maintain their vigilance with regards to events in Venezuela and the plight of the nonviolent, democratic opposition. In Cuba, the democratic opposition has organized nationwide pots and pan protests in solidarity with the Venezuelan opposition.

TR @PedroArguellesM Cacerolazo starts nationwide in support and solidarity with the democratic and anti-Chavez Venezuelan opposition

TR @AntunezCuba Announcement: National pots and pans protest in in solidarity with the people of :

They are also suffering tonight acts of repudiation and violence by a brutal regime.

TR @SaraMartaCuba Castro henchmen, thugs assaulted home of Antunez, there are injured, call him at 53424037

Time to pray for Venezuela and to engage Venezuelans with solidarity in order to defend democratic and nonviolent values. Time is running out.

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