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Post Election Woes in Venezuela Include Violence and Death

Post Election Woes in Venezuela Include Violence and Death

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Nicolas Maduro's election legitimacy questioned
Nicolas Maduro's election legitimacy questioned

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Published by: Jerry E. Brewer, Sr. on Apr 29, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Column 042913 Brewer 
Monday, April 29, 2013
Post Election Woes in Venezuela include Violence andDeathBy Jerry Brewer 
Over 78 percent of Venezuelans went to the polls earlier thismonth, on April 14th, to choose a new leader to replace the latePresident Hugo Chavez. Nearly 50 percent of the voters soughtto make a huge change in political direction to rid themselvesand their nation from over a decade of misery, aggressivegovernment controls, and corruption. And the final vote count has been met with cries of foul andfraud from not only the anti-Nicolas Maduro/Chavez regime, butalso by many from the international community.With an estimated difference of the posted final results of 235,000 votes -- 50.7% for Nicolas Maduro to 49.1% for Henrique Capriles -- the opposition is demanding a recount.Capriles has aggressively and bravely led the charge, at muchrisk to himself amongst threats to have him arrested andimprisoned for simply demanding fairness and justice.Blood has been shed on the Venezuelan homeland with acurrent estimate of nine deaths and 78 injured. Many argue andare posting within blogs from Venezuela that the numbers far exceed those government estimates. Social sites such as YouTube, as well as blogs are showing graphic video and still shotsof shootings by Venezuelan authorities and pro-Madurosupporters.One graphically shows what are described as national guardmembers on a motorcycle shooting an unarmed young man andkilling him. This from a covert photographer on a rooftop. Another shows uniformed officials running up the street and intoa fenced-in residence and shooting at an unarmed family withintheir own private compound. Photographs being circulated showatrocities of graphic carnage of bullet wounds, people beingdragged by military and police officials, and related beatings inthe street.Government officials, through government sites, reported that"after the governing body (National Electoral Council) issued theresults, there were calls made through social media andnetworks like Twitter, by direct and subliminal messages,encouraging citizens to take street actions. Hostile actions andcontrary to the law, which led a sector of the public to attack
another sector of the population." A statement by the Attorney General, in the area called LaLimonera, Baruta municipality, Miranda state, reported "twodeaths occurred when a group of people linked to theopposition, in a hostile and violent manner, hindered freevehicular traffic." Much of the government versions describe theopposition as firing at the pro-government Chavistas. Twochildren (11 and 12) in the parish of Antonio Borjas Romero of the Maracaibo municipality, Zulia state, were also killed in theviolence.With an apparent strategy by pro-Capriles supporters tocircumvent the tight media constraints against the Venezuelanhomeland that were perpetuated by Hugo Chavez's iron fistedrule and continue under Maduro, many have taken to exposingthe truths of what they are witnessing by using cellular phones(with video and still photography) and posting to internationalsocial sites.Borrowing a page from the late Hugo Chavez's propagandadoctrine that he adopted from his mentor, Cuba's Fidel Castro,Maduro quickly blamed and accused the US CIA of beingcomplicit in anti-Maduro shenanigans. In fact, President Madurowarned of more to come, and announced an arrest."We have captured an American who was financing violentgroups. I have ordered the arrest of this man and we will tryhim. I have ordered the interior minister to arrest anyone seen inthe video he filmed and any person involved in fascist violenceagainst Venezuela." The man has been identified as TimothyTracy, and he is being accused of espionage.Tracy (35) is reportedly from California. Friends and family of Tracy told the Associated Press that he has been in Venezuela"since last year making a documentary about the confrontationbetween the opposition and a socialist government that isstruggling to maintain its once-high popularity after the death of charismatic President Hugo Chavez."Venezuela's interior minister accused Tracy of working onbehalf of U.S. intelligence, "paying right-wing youth groups tohold violent demonstrations in order to destabilize the countryafter Maduro's narrow election win."Hugo Chavez frequently accused the US of trying to invadeVenezuela, as well as assassinate him, to justify the massivesquandering of Venezuelan's oil wealth on Russian weaponsand military hardware, among other waste and abuse of Venezuela's financial coffers.What remains in this contested presidential election inVenezuela is a deep ideological divide that questions thelegitimacy of Maduro's regime before a world audiencedemanding transparency and fairness.

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