Sunday, November 21, 2010

Venezuelan electoral System is fraudulent

San Francisco, November 1st, 2010
Tibisay Lucena CNE Director and President
Centro Simón Bolívar,
Edificio Sede del Consejo Nacional Electoral,
Frente a la Plaza CaracasCaracas, Venezuela
Teléfono: 58-212-408.52.00
Fax: 58-212-408.50.06

Sandra Oblitas Ruzza - CNE Director and Vice-president
Vicente José Díaz Silva – CNE Director
Socorro E. Hernández CNE Director
Tania D' Amelio Cardiet - CNE Director
Xavier A. Moreno R - General Secretary

Ref.: Publication of the results of overseas votes – Parliamentary elections of September 26, 2010

Venezuelans who live and vote abroad are concerned that the results of our votes have not been published in the pages of the CNE. Article number 125 of the Organic Law on Electoral Processes of Venezuela requires the CNE to the “Publication of the Results of Electoral Processes”.

Article 125. The Consejo Nacional Electoral (National Electoral Council) shall order the publication of the results of electoral processes in the Electoral Gazette of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela within thirty (30) days following the proclamation of the elected candidates.

To this date, after October 25 marked the 30 day established period to publish overseas electoral results, we find that the CNE has yet to comply, because its website is missing the publication. The Venezuelan National Electoral Council boasts of having one of the most modern electoral systems in the world, but not having complied with the publication of our information reveals exactly the opposite. Unfortunately, this recurring fact discourages the participation of Venezuelans living abroad in the electoral processes.
We are concerned that the same will happen as with previous elections, for example, the results of the Recall Referendum of the Constitutional Amendment proposed by President Hugo Chávez, which took place on February 15, 2009; overseas results where never published by the CNE.
Additionally, we would like to ask the CNE the early opening of the Permanent Electoral Registry (REP) at the consulates abroad, so that more Venezuelan citizens can exercise this important right.
Awaiting compliance with the law and the publication of the electoral results on the website of the National Electoral Council, we remain,

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Noriega: Chavez the Cocaine Capo?

AEI's Noriega in The American: Chávez the Cocaine Capo?

Chávez the Cocaine Capo?

By Roger F. Noriega Tuesday, November 9, 2010

One of the world's top drug kingpins may soon be telling U.S. prosecutors everything he knows about Venezuelan officials who have abetted his cocaine smuggling operations.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez should be very troubled that a man whom President Obama has branded one of the world's most significant drug kingpins, Walid Makled-Garcia, may soon be telling U.S. federal prosecutors everything he knows about senior Venezuelan officials who have abetted his cocaine smuggling operations.
Makled-Garcia's devastating testimony comes on the heels of fresh evidence of Chávez's support for terrorist groups from Spain, Colombia, and the Middle East and his apparent illegal support for Iran's nuclear weapons program. Slowly but surely, Chávez is being unmasked as a mastermind of a criminal regime.
According to a federal indictment unsealed in New York last Thursday, from 2006 through August 2010, Makled-Garcia conspired with Venezuelan officials to ship tons of cocaine from airstrips in that country to Central America, Mexico, and, ultimately, the United States. Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara called Makled-Garcia "a king among kingpins." Indeed, the Justice Department has designated him a "priority target," as one of the most dangerous and prolific narcotics traffickers.
Makled-Garcia was once known as one of Venezuela's most wealthy entrepreneurs. He came on to the radar screen of U.S. antidrug authorities years ago, when he was suspected of using his family business operations in the Venezuelan port of Puerto Cabello and his close ties to the Venezuelan military and Colombian narcotraffickers to smuggle cocaine. With the active complicity of dozens of senior Venezuelan authorities, Makled-Garcia allegedly operated a drug smuggling network using airstrips in Venezuelan territory. The family also is suspected of being involved in more than a dozen murders, including those of a respected Venezuelan journalist and a Colombian narcotrafficker.
Based on the U.S. indictment, Colombian authorities arrested Makled-Garcia on August 18, and are currently considering a U.S. extradition request for the notorious suspect. In the meantime, in a jailhouse interview with Colombia's RCN TV last week, Makled-Garcia said he has enough evidence of high-level drug corruption-including videos and bank records-"for the U.S. to intervene and invade Venezuela, as with [Manuel Antonio] Noriega in Panama.
"I gave money to 15 Venezuelan generals," the 41-year-old prisoner told RCN. "If I am arrested for a DC-9 loaded with drugs from the Simon Bolivar Airport, general Hugo Carvajal [director of Venezuela military intelligence], general Henry Rangel Silva [head of internal intelligence], general Luis Mota [commander of the national guard], and general Nestor Reveron [head of the anti-drug office] should be going to jail for that very reason."
In an interview last month with the Venezuelan newspaper El Nacional, Makled-Garcia said, "As evidence of what I'm saying, I have vouchers, account numbers where I have deposited money in the name of wives, brothers and sisters" of "ministers, generals, admirals, colonels and five deputies of the National Assembly."
Acting Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration Michele M. Leonhart issued a statement last Thursday making it clear that she expects Makled-Garcia to be surrendered to U.S. authorities. "Due to the outstanding work with our partners in Colombia and elsewhere, Makled-Garcia is behind bars and awaiting extradition to the United States for the crimes in this indictment," she said. "He has built a vast global drug trafficking empire on illicit proceeds. His arrest will impact worldwide supplies of drugs, and we are committed to now ensuring he faces justice in the United States."
Of course, Chávez is desperate to get his hands on Makled-Garcia.He pleaded with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos to send the Venezuelan detainee home, where he would no doubt be silenced by Chavista police and judges. Santos is unlikely to risk his country's long-standing alliance with U.S. law enforcement by sending Makled-Garcia anywhere but the United States. Moreover, as a signatory to the UN Convention Against Torture, the Colombian government also must satisfy human rights concerns by making a determination that Makled-Garcia will not be subject to torture if he is surrendered to Venezuela.
In a televised interview conducted during a visit to Cuba, Chávez said Sunday that he expected the United States to use Makled-Garcia's allegations "against Venezuela and its president" as a pretext "to take Venezuela to the International Criminal Court, to include Venezuela among states that support narcotrafficking and terrorism, as part of the 'empire's' game to mount operations against the Bolivarian Revolution."
Indeed, U.S. law enforcement agents and prosecutors have Venezuela's criminal network in their crosshairs, and Makled-Garcia is ready to implicate senior ministers and military leaders. Some may think that the conspiracy goes no higher than members of Chávez's inner circle. But Chávez appears to know better.
Roger F. Noriega was ambassador to the Organization of American States from 2001 to 2003 and assistant secretary of State from 2003 to 2005. He is a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and managing director of Vision Americas LLC, which represents U.S. and foreign clients.

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