How the Venezuelan Elections Were Rigged

A few weeks ago on July 30 President Nicolas Maduro conjured up a vote to replace the National Assembly (67% of seats held by opposition representatives) with a new Constituent Assembly whose representatives would be handpicked by Maduro. The fix was in prior to the vote.

There was some subsequent, albeit brief, press about Smartmatic, the offshore Venezuelan company that has been providing hardware and software for computerized voting systems since 2004. The president and cofounder of the company, Antonio Mugica, told the press from his office in London that his company noticed irregularities in voting amounting to about one million ballots cast over the number of actual voters. Of course, this message was not released until Smartmatic people left Venezuela. Why would he stir this up? He had not been paid. The media uproar died down shortly thereafter, since he was finally paid by Maduro.

Mugica’s associate cofounder of Smartmatic, Alfredo Anzola, is worthy of mention. Anzola was a passionate supporter of former president Hugo Chavez. When Chavez faced his first recall vote in 2003, he needed to act quickly to ensure his Bolivarian revolution would continue. First, he stalled through his reconfigured Court stating that signatures collected for the recall vote were invalid. As Chavez continued his electoral kabuki dance, he engaged a company, SBC, to devise computerized voting systems to be used in national elections for the first time. SBC was comprised of Smartmatic, a Venezuelan-owned computer company based in Boca Raton, Florida and Sunnyvale, California; Bizta, a Venezuelan company of seven people, based in Caracas; and CANTV, the Chavez government-owned telecommunications company, with 28% ownership.

The de facto mayor of Caracas today, Jorge Rodriguez, happened to be the president of the CNE (Consejo Nacional Electoral – National Electoral Council) in 2003/2004 that presided over the first computerized election. He assumed the role of mayor after the current president Nicolas Maduro imprisoned the legitimate mayor of Caracas, Leopoldo Lopez, an outspoken critic. As an aside, Lopez was released shortly before the 30 July 17 election, and placed under house arrest. After the election results were announced, Lopez and another fellow critic were arrested by Maduro’s secret police, again in the middle of the night.

Anzola was such good friends with Chavez and Rodriguez that his paths crossed often with his soon to become partner, Delcy Rodriguez, sister of Jorge. Their father, by the way, was the head of the Venezuelan Socialist party when he was killed in 1976.

The August 2004 elections, held a year late, resulted in a startling victory for Chavez, garnering 58% of the vote to stay versus exit polling showed the exact opposite. Oddly enough, the computerized voting systems sold and managed by Smartmatic were “bidirectionally networked” to communicate with CANTV (government telecommunications company and partner of Smartmatic). Manipulating basic Boolean algebra assured that a “1” became a “0” and vice versa at the central server. Local printers showed people how they had actually voted. There was no collusion according to Jimmy Carter who witnessed the voting and stated that there were less than 0.1% irregularities.

In early 2008, Alfredo Anzola was getting a new contract with the CNE from his partner’s brother, Jorge Rodriguez. In April 2008, he complained openly about irregularities in his contract scope of work including software changes. Shortly after, Anzola was involved in a small plane crash in Catia La Mar. He was rushed to a hospital where the Rodriguez’s and Chavez buddy, Diosdado Cabello, looked over him while he died. Diosdado Cabello presided over the National Assembly with Chavez’s initial constitutional change. He has also been accused of international drug trafficking.

Delcy Rodriguez and president Maduro’s wife are two members sworn into the new Constituent Assembly. Delcy heads this new Constituent Assembly, the main purpose of which is to rewrite Chavez’s constitution to drive Venezuela further left as a socialist totalitarian regime.

Why was this year’s July 30 election bogus? First, the “real National Assembly” held an election on July 16, 2016, simply asking Venezuelans if they wanted to change the National Assembly and the current constitution. Furthermore, they asked if Venezuelans wanted the National Guard to enforce the existing constitution. The resounding 97% of the vote said to keep it as is. Venezuelans have been clamoring for President Maduro to follow the constitution and allow aggrieved Venezuelans to vote for his revocation. He has not permitted this, since he knows the overwhelming answer.

The July 30 vote was bogus for other reasons as well. Government employees were encouraged to obtain a Carnet de Patria (Country Card). This CdP would be used as a form of identification instead of the usual Cedula (national identification card). On the obverse side shows one’s Cedula number. Oddly enough, on the reverse side, there are two other numbers. If one enters each number into the National Electoral Council website, other people’s data show up. Oh yes, one’s treatment for salary increase, promotion, place in line for bags of food, are contingent upon voting and supporting rallies. Government employees are bussed from faraway states to show “support” at key Maduro-sponsored rallies. They must don their red shirts and red hats.

Venezuelans have been trying since early 2003 to oust Chavez and his regime. It started when the employees of Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA), held a nationwide strike. Half of nearly 36,000 PDVSA employees who were caught striking were fired. Today there are 120,000 employees and oil production is 40% of what it was before Chavez took over in 1999. Now the corruptocrats are running out of other people’s money, much which they have stolen to line their own pockets, the other is to fuel the revolution.

Venezuelans have been clamoring for help to oust these corruptocrats for 14 years. Fooled once by Chavez’s consolidation of power through the change in constitution in 2000, they have tried through democratic processes to right the ship. This has not happened due to rigged elections for the presidency.

Brian G. Tomlinson is a retired Project Director of industrial megaprojects built on five different continents and is a periodic contributor to American Thinker.