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Atlantic Council

LATIN AMERICA CENTER Maduro: Fraud and Six Years of Failure

TIMELINE OF A The 2018 presidential election in Venezuela was marred by a series of tactics employed by the
FRAUDULENT ELECTION government which included barring opposition parties and leaders from participating in the election,
as well as coercing and intimidating Venezuelans to vote for Maduro. Given the electoral conditions
in the country, the election results were condemned by multilateral institutions such as the European
Union (EU), the Organization of American States (OAS), the Group of Seven (G-7), and the Lima
Group, as well as more than fifty countries.

April 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018 April 2018 May 2018
The Supreme The Maduro regime The CNE changed the elections date The CNE changed CNE President Tibisay Election Day
Court of Justice imprisoned former to April 22. the presidential Lucena announced Maduro warned that if a "capitalist
blocked the Interior Minister and election date and that any political party government" won, he would personally
revalidation dissident chavista The CNE announced that the Primero set a new date of and individuals who take up arms to defend the revolution,
of the “Mesa Miguel Rodriguez Justicia (PJ) party would not be allowed May 20 to coincide promote abstention in stating "I would take a rifle to start the
de la Unidad Torres, thereby to participate in the presidential elections. with elections the electoral process armed revolution.”
Democratica” blocking him from for the State will be sanctioned.
(MUD) to participating in the An opposition coalition from the MUD, Legislative Council
prevent it from election. that included parties such as Accion and Municipal During a campaign
participating in Democratica (AD), Primero Justicia Councils. rally in Carabobo
the elections. and Voluntad Popular (VP), announced state, Nicolás Maduro
that they would not participate in the declared that all
upcoming presidential elections due to Venezuelans with the
concerns of possible fraud. Carnet de la Patria must
vote on May 20. Voting
is supposed to be
voluntary in Venezuela.

Maduro declared victory in the presidential
election, with only 46 percent of Venezuelans
participating in the election. In the 2006, 2012,
COUNTRIES THAT CONDEMNED COUNTRIES THAT REFUSED TO and 2013 presidential elections, 79 percent of
Venezuelans, on average, voted.
CNE member Luis Emilio Rondon refused to
acknowledge the election results, alleging that
minimal democratic conditions were not met.

The organization Observación Ciudadana
denounced over 2,000 cases of coercion and
intimidation by the government during the
presidential campaign.
European Union REMAINED NEUTRAL Observación Ciudadana detected and
Organization of American States denounced government control stations
Group of Seven or “puntos rojos” in 97 percent of the
Lima Group polling stations. The Carnet de la Patria
was requested in 95 percent of the 4,020
observed polling stations.
Atlantic Council
LATIN AMERICA CENTER Maduro: Fraud and Six Years of Failure

The May 20 election was characterized as neither free nor fair by both the opposition and the
international community. The government’s reluctance to comply with internationally recognized
standards and the Venezuelan Constitution further signals its illegitimacy, as displayed in the chart below.

The Right to Elect
Electoral Bodies and be Elected Voter Registration Balloting Election Observers

Electoral Management All eligible citizens Voter registers should Polling stations are To ensure transparency
Bodies should be are guaranteed the be maintained in accessible, that there and to increase credibility,
established and right to universal a manner that is is accurate recording the legal framework
operate in a manner and equal suffrage transparent and of ballots and that the should provide that
Internationally that ensures the as well as the accurate, protects secrecy of the ballot is election observers can
Recognized independent and right to contest the right of qualified guaranteed. observe all stages of
impartial administration elections without any citizens to register, and election processes.
Standards of elections. discrimination. prevents the unlawful or
fraudulent registration
or removal of persons.

The National Electoral All citizens have the Guarantee the timely Electoral propaganda will To accredit national or
Council (CNE) will right to participate and correct updating of not be allowed to: international observers
be composed of five freely in public the electoral registry, Be produced outside the in electoral processes,
people not linked to affairs, directly or in a permanent and period of the electoral referendums and other
organizations with through their elected uninterrupted manner. campaign established popular consultations
political ends; three of representatives. by the National Electoral of a national nature, in
them will be postulated Council. accordance with the
Venezuelan Law by civil society, one by provisions of the law.
the Faculties of Legal No person may be
and Political Sciences compelled or coerced
of national universities, under any pretext in the
and one or one by the exercise of their right to
Citizen Power. suffrage.

More than 2/3 of The majority of No updated electoral Puntos rojos (red points— Limited presence of
National Electoral opposition political registry. The electoral or, pro-government “international observers”
Council (CNE) members parties /candidates registration process control points) and from friendly governments
are politically linked were not allowed to opened for less than electoral propaganda and non-governmental
Illegitimate: with the government. participate. three weeks but never outside the polling entities. However, Maduro
The Venezuela Case communicated widely. stations. The beneficiaries did not permit the
of social missions and participation of many
public servants coerced to internationally-recognized
cast ballots. election observers.
Atlantic Council
LATIN AMERICA CENTER Maduro: Fraud and Six Years of Failure

MADURO’S FIRST TERM BY THE NUMBERS Oil Production Inflation Rate
million barrels per day (bpd) of oil
Maduro’s first term (2013-2018) has led 1,300,000%
Venezuela to sink into a deep economic,
political, and social crisis. The country
currently suffers from declining oil
productivity—its most important source 2.754
of revenue—severe hyperinflation, a
rising number of political prisoners,
1.137 43%
and a deepening humanitarian crisis,
which have already led to an exodus of 2013 2018 2013 2018
source: opec source: imf
more than 3 million Venezuelans and
deteriorating living conditions.
Maduro’s track record and most notable
failures during the past 6 years:
Poverty Index 200,000
Violent Deaths
24% 48% 160,000

Minimum Wage 120,000

USD $105.18 1,899,590 15,277,492
Venezuelans Venezuelans
in poverty in poverty 40,000


2013 2018 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
source: encovi source: ovv

Emigration State-Sponsored Violence
USD $2.3 786,916 3,000,000+
Venezuelans had Venezuelans had
left the country left the country

2013 2018 8,292 12,000 More than
source: cendas, dolartoday, venealogia 2013, 2018
Extrajudicial killings
Arbitrary arrests 1,300
2013 2018 Political prisoners
since 2015
source: unhcr, nov 2018 source: oas
Atlantic Council
LATIN AMERICA CENTER Maduro: Fraud and Six Years of Failure

2019: A Need for Increased Pressure to Return to Democracy
With conditions set to worsen further, this year calls for new steps to restore democracy
in Venezuela. A coordinated plan for international pressure on Venezuela should be
conducted by countries in the Western Hemisphere, Europe, and beyond.

The International Community: The Venezuelan National Assembly:
Design and Implement a New Call to Action Renewed Momentum

Three immediate options for the international community: The National Assembly should be empowered to build
momentum for a democratic transition by:
Further Legitimize the Venezuelan National Assembly
The international community should recognize the a. Appointing a National Assembly delegate to lead
democratically elected National Assembly as the only official diplomatic outreach.
legitimate national body in Venezuela b. Securing opportunities for its members
to participate in international forums in
Coordinate and Amplify Sanctions representation of Venezuela.
Impose further and coordinated targeted sanctions on c. Calling for the opening of a humanitarian channel
government, military officials, and other perpetrators of and by establishing a dialogue with international
crimes (crimes against humanity, corruption schemes, organizations to coordinate its implementation.
drug trafficking, human trafficking, undermining d. Deepening engagement with and calling for
democratic institutions) additional assistance from the international
community, including the US, the Lima Group, and
Generate sanctions that target cryptocurrency the EU, to help build conditions for a democratic
transactions by the regime, which serve to foster transition.
corruption and pay off those in power (financial sources, e. Creating mechanisms to incentivize government
sources that provide software, parties involved in digital and military officials to help restore democracy.
currency transactions)

This list should serve as a starting point for future actions by the international community.