jueves, 25 de abril de 2013

Venezuela's Capriles says state "stole" elections, writer chides "complicit" neighbours

Venezuela's former presidential candidate Henrique Capriles Radonsky accused the socialist government of President Nicolás Maduro of "stealing" the 14 April elections, a bitterly fought contest whose results the opposition had yet to accept. The Table of Democratic Unity (Mesa de Unidad Demócratica, MUD) led by Capriles has demanded a recount of all votes and Capriles said on 24 April that the opposition would not settle for less. "We won't let them mock us, we will not accept a partial audit or some absurdity, and if there is no response we shall tell the country what our next steps will be," El Nacional reported. He said addressing the government, "you stole these elections...and you are the ones who must explain to the world what hapened." He accused the government of intimidating opinion and referred in particular to a video of the Venezuelan Labour Minister Ricardo Molina posted on the Internet, wherein he purportedly threatens to dismiss civil servants who voted for the opposition, without regard for labour laws. Molina later said his words were taken "out of context, they always do this." One of the country's academics alleged on 25 April that public-sector employees were being dismissed, apparently for having voted for Capriles. Ligia Bolívar, director of the Human Rights Centre at the Andrés Bello Catholic University (Ucab) in Caracas said "there is a disconcerting and massive situation of dismissals of civil servants for exercising the right to vote;" she suggested state agents had listened to people's telephone calls and said "mechanisms" for finding out who had voted for the opposition included checking the websites Twitter and Facebook, Globovisión reported. A web account had been opened she said - presumably on such websites - called Denounce the Traitor (Denuncia al traidor). Separately, the Peruvian novelist and Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa rebuked Latin American leaders for their hasty recognition of the new Venezuelan government, calling them "accomplices against the Venezuelan people," EFE and other media reported on 23 April. Vargas Llosa made his comments to a Brazilian publication, Epoca. He said "Latin American presidents should not give legitimacy to a possible electoral fraud" by attending Maduro's inauguration. Maduro was sworn in as president on 19 April in the presence of foreign politicians and officials. These included all Latin American presidents except those of Chile, Ecuador and Paraguay, the latter presently having no ties with Venezuela. Vargas Llosa singled out Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff in this "deplorable" act of recognition, but said "she is not the only case." He observed that the close results and transfer of millions of votes to the opposition in spite of the government's "disproportionate" resources, "clearly mean" Venezuelans were reacting to the ideology of the late President Hugo Chávez and wanted "democratization...[a] change of policies. It is an important, perhaps fundamental moment in the history of Latin America."

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