El Universal reported today that while five of Venezuela’s states (plus the capital district) account for approximately 52% of the country’s population, its residents will only elect 39% of the National Assembly’s deputies on December 6. The discrepancy, the article points out, is an artifact of the electoral system and is not unique to Venezuela. However, El Universal points out that the effects of this malapportionment have been increased by the elimination of the Senate in 1999 and the Ley de Procesos Electorales from 2009.
Out of the country’s 19,504,106 electors, 51.74% live in the Distrito Capital (the Caracas area) and the following five states: Zulia, Miranda, Carabobo, Lara, and Aragua. These electors will choose a total of 64 National Assembly deputies on December 6. The other 100 deputies will be chosen by the 48.26% of electors who live in the country’s 18 other states.
El Universal also points out that this marked imbalance is particularly evident when states are compared side-by-side. While Amazonas state will elect one deputy per 160,548 residents, Zulia state will elect one deputy per 342,653 residents.
While speaking at a PSUV event in Anzoategui state earlier today, National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello urged supporters to take to the polls on December 6, and to not simply trust that the party will win.
Cabello attempted to motivate his listeners by saying:
What, are you angry? So am I. But we have to talk. What are you going to do? Are you going to stay home? A chavista would not vote for the opposition, but he might stay home, and we have to bring him out (…) this is an essential task. Don’t get too comfortable.
Governor: Lack of Cell Phones Proves San Felix Lootings Were Planned
Shortly after a looting spree in San Felix, Bolivar state on July 31 made national headlines, the Venezuelan army issued orders to its units in the area to stay on the alert for similar events, and categorized what happened in San Felix as an event planned “by groups that generate violence”.
Today, the governor of Bolivar state, Francisco Rangel Gomez, told Televen’s Jose Vicente Rangel in an interview that he had concrete evidence that the looting spree had been planned. The evidence: the people arrested didn’t have as many cell phones as Gomez would have expected.
The men had the following exchange on Jose Vicente Hoy earlier today:
Francisco Rangel Gomez: According to our investigations — and we’ve even gone in among the people, the different groups, the communities, because this is what we did right at the moment that this started to happen — this was all premeditated. We have no doubt about this. There’s lots of evidence (…) one piece is really simple: here in Venezuela, we all have cell phones. Some people even have two or three. But in San Felix, 92 people were arrested, and there were only two cell phones. Only two.
Jose Vicente Rangel: What does that mean?
Francisco Rangel Gomez: Well, it’s really strange for everyone to leave their phones and go out without a cell phone (…) also, some of the people were armed. There were shots fired, and normally when people go line up they’re not armed (…) they go ready to buy food and go home with that food, to do what they have to do. Well, there were shots fired there starting in the morning, and just before the looting started some men on motorcycles fired shots and incited the riots.
Rangel Gomez said that there was plenty more evidence to support the theory that the San Felix riots were planned, and that the authorities were working on other leads.
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