The president of the National Electoral Council (CNE), Indira Alfonso, announced today at 1.30 in the morning that with 83% of the votes counted, the number of participation was 31%, which represents 5.2 million votes , which contrasts with the low influx of voters and the general apathy of Venezuelans that was observed throughout the day by some parliamentarians classified as fraudulent by the opposition and the international community.
After about six hours of waiting, Alfonzo issued his first bulletin, saying that peace had triumphed. Their figures contrast with the abstention of 81% registered by the Electoral Observatory against Fraud of the opposition. The official results give as the winner the Chavismo made up of the Great Patriotic Pole and the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (Psuv) won the majority with 177 seats out of the 277 deputies.
The new Chavista parliament, questioned for its lack of transparency and cheating, does not even reach the heels of the legitimate National Assembly that was elected in 2015 with the highest vote of 14 million voters, 74% participation, a record number in the republican history of the country.
Regarding the long delay of the CNE, the interim president Juan Guaidó commented in his tweet that “At this time the dictatorship is still manufacturing results and now they know that even its social control scheme is in check, many did not fall into blackmail and lies. We know they will try to advertise about 30% but without transmission, electricity or credibility due to the obvious loneliness ”.
With the announcement of the results, Nicolás Maduro said at that time of the morning that “5 years ago I went out to acknowledge defeat and now thanks to the people we now celebrate a victory.”
Before Alonzo’s announcements, Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino López said: “There is not much to say, there was no incident, we congratulate the Venezuelan people,” at the closing of the Republic Plan in which some 108 thousand soldiers participated.
“Everything went completely normal,” said General Padrino López. “We have a new National Assembly that will take office on January 5 to re-institutionalize the country, to do its task of legislating,” he added.
A small line of voters, all older adults, with a distance of two meters between each one, religiously formed at 7:00 in the morning at the Rafael Napoleón Baute Basic School, a voting center located in the José Félix Rivas sector, the neighborhood most populous in Petare and Latin America with almost a million inhabitants. In that electoral center where some 9,000 voters are registered, they had organized people with preference so that they did not wait to vote. But such a paripe was not necessary because the center was empty. The older adults flowed freely to the tables with hardly any waiting.
In less than 20 minutes the grandparents had completed the quick process, rewarded at the end with the allocation of a bag (before it was a box) of “CLAP” (Local Supply and Production Committee) food and perhaps a Christmas leg if they have the right lucky to receive it. The blackmail and threats of Diosdado Cabello: “he who does not vote does not eat” were more real than ever.
At 12:45 a.m. local time, only 7.6% of Venezuelans had cast their vote at the polls, many of them forced to participate. This represents only 1,520,000 voters, out of a list of more than 20 million registered with the National Electoral Council. This figure was offered by the Observatory against Fraud, created by the president in charge Juan Guaidó, given the little transparency of the Government of Venezuela with the data, which in a second newsletter reported that 70.2% of the centers had a “red dot” of the ruling PSUV party where they controlled the voters.
“There is more queue at gas stations than at voting centers,” say opponents who pass near a voting center. Where the Chavista organization failed most was in the centers of the middle class where the board members, guarantors of the process, did not show up for work. Lazy and sleepy they simply did not appear as was the case at the Santo Tomás de Villanueva School, where opposition leader Henrique Capriles votes. It was 11 in the morning and the school had not yet opened so they had to improvise by calling in volunteers to start the voting process.
More in the center of Caracas, at the Liceo Andrés Bello, a Chavista bastion, located in the Spanish neighborhood of La Candelaria, where more than 15,000 voters vote, another line of older adults waited to vote, but not without first registering at the “red dot” of Chavista control, located 200 meters from the center. Then they would go on to remove the food bag that will allow them to feed for the next three days.
What was remarkable was that voters did not want to testify to the press out of shame, perhaps because they had allowed themselves to be blackmailed by the bag of food. Very few can resist the blackmail of Chavismo due to a pension of 2 dollars a month that is not enough to buy a dozen eggs.
Those who voted for Parliament to screw Nicolás Maduro into power, agreed that “we vote to have food and housing guaranteed that we will not have with the opposition.” Chavista populism has not changed in 21 years of power.
According to the Observatory against fraud, in 55.9% of the voting centers and PSUV red dots (Chavista awnings located near the centers) asked for the national card to corroborate who went to vote and who should be called late in the day to force them to pay. A recurring practice of the regime in elections. But only in 15.7% of the red dots did they distribute food and other populist benefits.
Political analyst and journalist Pedro Pablo Peñaloza compared the legislative elections as a game of cards that Maduro played alone, in which he places and arranges the pieces at his convenience.
The west of Caracas, which was an area considered Chavista, showed its desolate streets, when in previous processes the line of people extended for several blocks. The touch of the bullseye and the fireworks, used by Chavismo to wake up the voters at 6:00 in the morning, did not sound this time. «They don’t give us anything. A flour that does not work, on the other hand they give those in the ministry all the luxuries. They gave them their “Hallaquero Combo” (Halca is the typical Venezuelan Christmas dish) and we are starving. How am I going to vote for you Maduro if you are treating us badly? This is the heartbreaking testimony of a Venezuelan who has gone viral on social networks during the electoral farce mounted by Maduro.
In some areas in the west of the capital city, PSUV songs were heard from vehicles that made tours to invite people who had not yet done so to vote. “Let us all go out to remove this imperialist Assembly,” a voice echoed from a loudspeaker.
In his statements to the press, Nicolás Maduro said that voting in this fifth process of the Chavista era to elect a new National Assembly is safe. “There are no excuses for not going out to vote (…) we have to get rid of that disastrous Assembly that brought the plague of sanctions,” he said. Maduro was accompanied by his wife Cilia Flores, the campaign manager, Jorge Rodriguez; the Minister of Petroleum, Tarek El Aissami; and Vice President Delcy Rodríguez. Maduro called on Venezuelans to “abide by the results of this historic process.” He reiterated that what the outgoing Assembly did was “direct a betrayal of the fatherland, which led us to a difficult situation,” he said in relation to the sanctions.