The Maduro regime conducted a practice run today of the municipal council election, which is scheduled to take place on December 9 of this year. That day, Venezuelans will vote to elect representatives to 4,900 positions all around the country.
Sandra Oblitas, the vice president of the Consejo Nacional Electoral[National Electoral Council] (CNE), said this afternoon that the practice run was going well, and that there are a total of 373 voting centres around the country participating in the event.
Maduro posted a message on his Twitter account this afternoon on the practice run:
I want to congratulate the CNE and the Venezuelan people for their participation in this Electoral Simulation for the Municipal Council elections of this coming [December 9]. We’ve once again demonstrated our unquestionable democratic devotion. We have the best electoral system in the world!
Venezuela’s electoral system is widely recognized as at best a deeply flawed one, and at worst one that is rigged entirely to the benefit of the ruling PSUV party.
In the constituent assembly election of last year, for example, the regime falsified the total number of votes cast in order to give the impression that more Venezuelans participated in the event than they actually did. This fact was reveled by SmartMatic, the company that provided the voting machines for the election, the head of which said in a press conference that the regime had “manipulated” the results:
Based on the robustness of our [voting machine] system, we know, without any doubt, that the turn out of the recent election for a National Constituent Assembly was manipulated. It is important to highlight that similar manipulations are made in manual elections in many countries, but because of the lack of electronic security and auditing safeguards, they go unnoticed.
SmartMatic subsequently stopped providing voting machines to the regime. It had provided voting machines for every election in the country since 2004. It was replaced by an Argentinian company called ExCle.
Venezuela/ELN, FARC Link Highlighted in Colombian Press
Colombia’s El Tiempo
In the article, El Tiempo points out that guerrillas with the Ejercito de Liberacion Nacional (ELN) and dissident members of the now-demobilized Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) have set up shop in Venezuela, and are now heavily involved in the illegal mining industry, “specifically gold, diamonds and coltan [ore]”.
According to the article–and despite assertions to the contrary from Maduro–the Colombian guerrillas are working hand in hand with the Venezuelan military to profit from the mining. Citing National Assembly deputy Americo de Grazia and former deputy Andres Velasquez, the article states:
This [collaboration] works as a kind of labour alliance in which the National Bolivarian Army has a passive role, merely with their presence in some checkpoints and by turning a blind eye to the [guerrilla] activity in the area.
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