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May 24, 2018

Venezuela Defends Election Results from Charges of Fraud

Nicolas Maduro remains president of Venezuela after securing a second term on Sunday with more than sixty-seven percent of the nine-million plus votes cast, compared to just under twenty-one percent for his nearest rival, Henri Falcon of the Progressive Advance Party. The main opposition party refused to participate. However, a majority of Western countries and transnational organizations have refused to recognize the vote and, in the case of the United States, leveled crippling sanctions on the Maduro government, citing electoral fraud. The elections had been moved up from December of this year to widespread disapproval amid continuing protests and the Organization of American States is considering whether to suspend Venezuela at its meeting later this year. Today, the acting senior official at Venezuela’s embassy in Belize called a press briefing at which he formally denied electoral fraud, stating that it is simply impossible under the automated system his country uses.

 

Mykel Lenin Castillo Pena

Mykel Lenin Castillo Peña, Chargé d’Affaires, Venezuelan Embassy

“As you know, the Venezuelan electoral system is one hundred percent automated. Only those who vote outside of Venezuela do so manually. The altering of results is technically impossible in the Venezuelan electoral system. The automated voting in all its parts is a system which guarantees the electoral process, this includes a review of audits during the different steps of the process, which prevent the will of the people from being mocked or manipulated. Electoral fraud is a myth fueled by complaints that have not been sustained and that seek media shows. One of those examples was the accusations of the company Smarmatic (former supplier of the National Electoral Council) who pointed out that in the elections held in July of 2017, for the election of the National Constituent Assembly, the results were inflated by one million votes. The complaint remained there, without any evidence. It is curious to note that at the time of the complaint, the company was on the black list of the Treasury Department; once it denounced the fraud; the company was removed from the blacklist.”

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