Who Won the Venezuelan Election? Maduro Claims Narrow Victory, But Capriles Decry Fraud
Victory comes with excited smiles and effervescent speeches. When those are lacking, there is something odd about any victory. A suspicious feeling lurks in the air. This is the feeling after seeing Venezuela's election results. The margin was around 1.5% favoring the government's candidate Nicolas Maduro over the opposition leader Henrique Capriles; a very suspicious margin. If you add the concerned faces of Tibisay Lucena, the president of the National Electoral Council (CNE), and those people accompanying Maduro during his” victory” speech, you start thinking, "why aren't they more joyful?" There is something worrisome about their victory. They seemed worried indeed.
Thousands of fireworks were fired from various government buildings all around Caracas, the capital, just minutes after the CNE's announcement (around midnight), overwhelming the population, even in neighborhoods of highly concentrated opposition voters. Where they prepared? Fireworks accompanied by motorcycle gangs wandering around the streets are clear acts of intimidation; an intention to quell any rebellious spirit to what seems to be an election fraud.
Fraud that was decried by Capriles in his speech after Maduro finished his. He decried more than two thousand irregularities all around the country. He decried results that contradict, in his words, the truth about the people's decision. He added, "the country's peace is in that the truth be known." In few words, he rejected the results. This proves the fears of many that the regime's political machine could produce any result they wished in order to remain in power. The good news is that now the Venezuelan democratic opposition has a steadfast leader to face this powerful enemy.
Capriles forwarded a demand by CNE's rector Vicente Diaz (the only opposition rector of the five composing the CNE), that a recount be made of 100% of the votes; vote by vote; a bleeding process, but the only way of proving if the elections were, after all, fair. The battle for the post-Chavez Venezuela is just beginning.