Spanish – The inconsistencies within the so-called “popular consultation” in Venezuela are increasingly evident. After the recent announcement by the National Communication Center of the Interim Presidency regarding the dates of the process and how it would take place, several questions arise regarding this voting act that will span one week.
Today, there are many gray areas in this electoral event that is perceived as a thermometer to measure the confidence that exists towards the Venezuelan opposition. Among the most particular aspects, the use of an unprecedented step in Venezuelan history stands out: the implementation of digital voting.
Such a method, now put together by the organizing committee of the referendum, brings with it certain approaches that, when studied rigorously, give the impression of taking away the gravity that this strategy of struggle implemented by the coalition against the Venezuelan regime deserves.
A source revealed to the Panam Post that the virtual vote (to be active from December 5-12) would be implemented through Facebook, Whatsapp, and the web. The option of a possible application that would allow users to access and register their responses to the vote could also be implemented in a complementary manner.
This new information that comes to light contributes to the other issues that cast doubt on the process and its validity in the eyes of the Venezuelan citizenry, which is increasingly skeptical of changes in government that may come about far from the peaceful path.
The questions of the referendum: a possible and uncomfortable last-minute-change
The option to vote virtually is just one of the issues in the implementation of the referendum. Other questions that come up include the budget for this activity and the modification of the questions, which must be approved by the National Assembly.
According to Blanca Rosa Mármol de León, a member of the organizing committee of the referendum, defining new questions remains a real possibility. However, several opinions remain on the table before making a change that will again require a referendum and approval by the National Assembly when there is less than a month left.
The essence of the questions that citizens will vote on is not too different then what was discussed on July 16, 2017, when Venezuelans were asked to express their rejection or support for the Constituent Assembly of Nicolás Maduro.
However, the representatives of the committee are determined to talk about a difference in certain circumstances that make these proposals relevant:
- Do you support all the mechanisms of national and international pressure so that within the framework of the Constitution, free, fair, and verifiable presidential and parliamentary elections are held, the usurper regime of Nicolás Maduro Moros is put to an end, the Venezuelan people are safeguarded from the humanitarian crisis, forced migration, and crimes against humanity, and thus peace, well-being, and progress of the Venezuelan people are guaranteed?
- Do you reject the event convened by Nicolás Maduro Moros’ dictatorship for the 6D, or any other date, as long as conditions for free, fair, and verifiable elections do not exist, and request the international community to ignore its results?
The budget- the missing piece
The question that also remains unanswered is the origin of the funds that will be destined to build the apparatus that will allow the execution of the referendum. Some members of the organizing committee are trying to explain this thorny issue with cautious pronouncements.
On this topic, Mármol de León told El Pitazo that a report written by members Horacio Medina and Isabel Pereira would be presented for discussion.
However, the date for the presentation of this document is also unknown.
A point raised was that the committee members have not received “a single dollar” so far and that for now, they are working to ensure the transparency of the process.
In previous statements, Guaidó referred to the financing of the referendum. He said that “we will have to look for support to be able to execute it and for the people of Venezuela to express themselves,” just as they did in 2017.
Beyond this sort of encrypted message regarding the resources for the referendum, there is also another unanswered question: What is the source of this capital required to set up the logistics?
While these questions are being answered, Guaidó has already sworn in his campaign command called “Venezuela raises its voice” to promote participation in the consultation.
Additionally, the leader of the opposition coalition also announced the installation of the “Regional Commands for Freedom and Free Elections.” The objective of these is to “reject fraud, call for participation in the referendum, and join the protest of each of the sectors of the country.”