Hugo Carvajal, the former head of military country-intelligence-turned-regime-critic, spoke out today about a man whom he claims played a key role in rigging the 2018 presidential election in Maduro’s favour: Carlos Quintero.
Carvajal made several allegations against Quintero in an open letter that he posted on his Twitter account:
According to Carvajal’s letter, the Consejo Nacional Electoral (National Electoral Council, CNE) perpetrated “electoral fraud” during the May 20 2018 election with the help of Quintero, whom he revealed worked in the communications department of the Venezuelan military intelligence agency between 2002 and 2004.
Carvajal claims the following:
During that same year [sic] he was sent to help the National Electoral Council–CNE–to act as the Director of Electoral Registration while Jorge Rodriguez was head [of the CNE]. Later he [Quintero] became the head of informatica [roughly “data” or “digital data”], a position in which he was responsible for the supervision of the data of every electoral voting system and mechanism.
Carvajal then claims in the letter that between the years 2004 and 2012, Quintero “was the first person who found out” about election results in the country, that he was the second person, and that former president Hugo Chavez was the third.
Carvajal further alleges that starting in 2017, Quintero began to receive orders from the CNE to falsify electoral results. Carvajal does not provide any evidence for his claim, save for something that he claims Quintero said in 2017:
All I need is a call from Cilia [Flores, first lady] or Diosdado Cabello to alter the results at our convenience.
Carvajal was the head of Venezuelan military intelligence from 2004 to 2014. He formally broke from the Maduro regime on February 21 of this year, when he released a video statement accusing the president of betraying Chavez’s legacy and of heading a corrupt dictatorship.
UNHCR: “Majority” of People Fleeing Venezuela Need Refugee Protection
In the same statement, the UNHCR claims that given the scale of the Venezuelan exodus, making individual determinations regarding refugee status may be “impractical”, and so it recommends that Venezuelans be granted “group-based recognition” as refugees.
The UNHCR argues that its recommendation to grant group-based refugee recognition to Venezuelans fleeing their country is based on the following:
… because of the threats to their lives, security or freedom resulting from circumstances that are seriously disturbing public order in Venezuela.
While the UNHCR is recommending this step, it is not guaranteed that individual states will comply.
The term “refugee” is defined by international law as follows (p. 80):
… a person who… owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or unwilling to return to it
Claiming the title of “refugee” is a legal mechanism that is, in theory, supposed to afford individuals with certain protections and guarantees in the country in which they have made the claim.
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