Journalist at El Impulso have found that in Lara state alone, 81 voting centers clearly display pro-PSUV advertisements, or are located inside buildings owned and operated by the PSUV. The 81 voting centres in Lara affected by the apparent lack of impartiality will serve approximately 30,000 electors on the December 6 parliamentary elections.

In an article published in the newspaper today, some of Lara’s newly-created voting centres are in government installations. As an example, the article points to a voting center in the 19 de Abril sector of Barquisimeto, which contains a clinic, a dormitory for Cuban doctors working in Venezuela, and the headquarters for the People’s Guard. The building and its surroundings are replete with pro-PSUV advertisements.

The head of the campaign in Lara state for the Mesa de la Unidad Democratica, Macario Gonzalez, estimated that nearly 600 voting centres around the country are in apparent violation of the impartiality needed to conduct fair elections. Gonzalez said:

There are about 600 affected by some kind of propaganda, either subliminal or direct, in favour of PSUV candidates (…) This is a strategy to provoke abstention from the opposition. They are small electoral centres whose end result in Lara, we have no doubt, will favour the MUD candidates. However, this is considered to be a flagrant irregularity that is an attack on impartiality, and above all else constitutes favouratism.

The article also points out that some of the voting centres in Lara are also named after PSUV figures, including former governor Luis Reyes and one center called Por Aqui Paso Chavez [Chaves Came Through Here]. Gonzalez pointed out that while schools used to house voting centers during elections, “that has changed”.

Colombia Extends Citizenship to Deportee’s Families

The government of Colombia announced yesterday that it was extending citizenship to the Venezuelan family members of any Colombian citizen deported last week. The announcement was made yesterday by Colombian Foreign Affairs Minister Maria Angela Holguin, who said:

Venezuelans who want to come and live with their husbands or with their Colombian families will have Colombian citizenship.

Holguin said that one of the Colombian government’s top priorities is to see that the deported families “live together”El Nacional points out that while Colombian citizens were the target of last week’s deportations, many of their Venezuelan family members might have chosen to stay behind to protect their homes and belongings.

Vielma Mora: Deportation Against Socialist Values

Tachira state governor Jose Vielma Mora said today that deportations go against socialist values. Instead, Vielma Mora suggested to reporters today that the Colombian citizens in question were not deported, but rather “placed into Colombia”. Vielma Mora said:

That word you keep repeating, repeating and repeating — we’ve placed citizens in Colombia. That word, “deportation”, is contrary to our socialist and humanitarian values. I want to remind you that many people were placed in an air-conditioned area to avoid trauma.

Maduro Signs Agricultural Deal with Vietnam, Says Colombians Planning Assassination

Maduro met with Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang yesterday and signed a deal for the production of rice and the raising of cattle to come into effect in 2018.

Speaking to VTV from Hanoi, Maduro also said that he had evidence that Colombian interests were planning to assassinate him. Maduro said:

I have evidence which I will show, [that shows] how there is a campaign to murder me out of Bogota, [a campaign] of hate that we haven’t seen in 15 and 16 years of revolution.

Maduro did not explain what the evidence he claims to have was or when he planned to show it to the world. He directly implicated Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos in the alleged scheme by saying that the plan to assassinate him had Santos’ “consent”.

Below, a picture of Maduro enjoying a toast with Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang yesterday:

Poll: 59% of Venezuelans Support Border Closure

A poll conducted by the Hinterlaces firm found that 59% of Venezuelans support closing the border with Colombia as a means to deal with the smuggling of basic necessities and gasoline into the neighbouring country. 20% of respondents said that they did not agree with the closure.

The poll, which was conducted between August 24 and 28, also found that 69% of respondents believe that Colombian paramilitaries had infiltrated Venezuela and were operating in its territory, while 55% agreed with the establishment of zones of exception in Tachira last week.

Fire in Tocuyito Prison Leaves At Least 16 Dead

A fire overnight at the Tocuyito prison near Valencia left at least 16 people dead and another 17 injured. The victims were eight women and eight men. El Universal reports that at least some of the victims were visitors.

The Ministry of Penal Affairs has yet to comment on the event.

Questions/Comments? E-mail me: invenezuelablog@gmail.com

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