Red Eco Alternativo
Saturday 14 August
The private television stations in Venezuela have begun a campaign to create consensus in international public opinion that governmental fraud has taken place. Since early in the morning, one will see the reporters transmitting from various voting locations, in neighborhoods controlled by the opposition, denouncing irregularities in the accreditation of voting officials. Concretely, supposedly forged authorizations are appearing that the CNE (National Electoral Council) didn't issue. In the State of Carabobo, which is governed by an anti-Chavista, Salas Roemer, the denunciation refers to the fact that the newspaper El Nacional - one of the most important in the country - had distributed propaganda for the NO vote [i.e. pro-Chavez] within the prohibited period in the run-up to the election.
As a result of these facts, and through dialogue with various Venezuelan journalists, we recognize that the ground is being cleared to accuse the possible victory of Chavez as having been fraudulent.
Additionally, CANTV, the only privately-financed telephone company in Venezuela, and directed by one of the April 2002 coup leaders, yesterday disrupted the signal of Aporrea, the most important alternative media outlet in the country. This agency has created a network to follow the events from the voting locations in real time. Nevertheless, Aporrea will continue transmitting regardless.
Tomorrow, 14 million Venezuelans will go to the polls. Only 1.5 million will use manual voting in those areas which lack the infrastructure to install electronic voting machines, of which there are more than 19,000 in the country.
Almost 80 international observers are coming representing countries, and dozens also participate on behalf of various social, political, and human rights organizations, among others.