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Why Is Maduro’s Presidency Unlawful?

Above Photo: From

Has this question ever been made by those who try and convince us that Nicolas Maduro is a dictator, a usurper and that his 2019-2025 term as president is unlawful? Or are they just repeating what someone else is saying?

The 12 countries gathered in the Lima Group started to make this opinion a trend. They issued a statement that reads: “…the electoral process carried out in Venezuela on May 20, 2018 is unlawful since not all Venezuelan political actors participated in it, independent international observers were not present and it did not have the necessary international guarantees and standards to be a free, fair and transparent process.”

Venezuelan opposition leaders -we mean non-democratic opponents- restlessly and groundlessly of course repeat that President Maduro usurped power.

In despair, U.S. Vice president Mike Pence himself felt compelled to convene personally an opposition march for January 23rd, due to Venezuelan opposition leaders’ incompetence, while insisting repeatedly  that President Nicolas Maduro is a dictator, a usurper and therefore unlawful.

It’s a clear strategy: repeat a lie over and over and people are bound to start believing it.

Now let’s debunk these falsehoods:

Presidential elections were carried out. They were held on May 20th 2018, that is to say before January 10th 2019 deadline for the presidential term 2013-2019. This was in accordance with articles 230 and 231 of the Venezuelan Constitution. The National Constitution would be infringed if elections took place after January 10th 2019. Or even worse, if there were no elections at all.

It was Venezuela’s opposition which demanded to move up the date. Elections took place in May instead of December, as it has traditionally been in this country, because opposition leaders demanded that the framework of talks in the Dominican Republic be held during the first quarter of 2018.

Voting in Venezuela is a right, not an obligation. Those who freely, though guided by some non-democratic political organizations that fostered abstention, decided not to vote are fulfilling their right as well. It does not delegitimize the electoral process though, especially if it means ignoring and disrespecting 9,389,056 people who indeed decided to vote and use their democratic right to vote.

A total of 16 political parties took part in that election; including the PSUV, MSV, Tupamaro, UPV, Podemos, PPT, ORA, MPAC, MEP, PCV, AP, MAS, COPEI, Esperanza por el Cambio, UPP89. In Venezuela, it is not obligatory that all political parties take part in the electoral process. They have the right to decide whether to take part in it or not because our system is indeed democratic. The fact that three political parties (AD, VP and PJ) decided freely not to participate does not make the electoral process unlawful.

Six candidates ran for president: Nicolas Maduro, Henri Falcon, Javier Bertucci, Reinaldo Quijada, Francisco Visconti Osorio, and Luis Alejandro Ratti. The last two decided to quit before Election Day.

Maduro won by a broad margin: 6,248,864 votes, or 67.84 per cent of the ballot. He was followed by Henry Falcon with 1,927,958 votes, 20.93 per cent; Javier Bertucci with 1,015,895 votes, 10.82 per cent; and Reinaldo Quijada, who got 36,246 votes, 0.39 per cent of the total. There was a 46.91 percentage difference between Maduro and Falcon.

The electoral process was monitored by about 150 people, among them 14 electoral commissions from eight countries; two electoral technical missions; 18 journalists from around the world; one European deputy; and one technical-electoral delegation from Russia’s Central Electoral Commission.

Elections took place with the same electoral system used for the 2015 parliamentary elections, in which Venezuela’s opposition swept the board. It is an automated system that is audited before, during and after every election. It is a system that guarantees the principle of “one voter, one vote” because the voting machine is only unlocked through a fingerprint that guarantees the legitimacy and confidentiality of the vote.

Eighteen audits were made to the automated system. Representatives of candidate Falcon participated in all of them and endorsed all the reports expressing agreement with the electoral system at the end of each of them. Audits are public and aired live through the National Electoral Council TV channel. Once audits are finished, the system is locked and can only be opened by the simultaneous introduction of secret codes distributed among each political organization.

None of the candidates who participated in the electoral process questioned the results. There was no evidence of fraud nor did not anyone present any evidence or specific claim of fraud.

The Presidential elections on May 20, 2018 were free, transparent, reliable, trustworthy, and in accordance with the Venezuelan Constitution and laws despite the antidemocratic call from the opposition to abstain.

Others are trying to usurp power in Venezuela under the argument of there being a power vacuum, which is not contemplated in the Constitution, and to establish a “transitional government”, which is not provided for in the Constitution either. And to cap it all off, they are trying to exert power from abroad violating article 18 of the Constitution, which establishes Caracas as the seat of public powers.

Therefore, usurpers, unlawful and antidemocratic are terms that apply to the others.

They are being unlawful and the fact that some opposition groups are supported by imperialist governments abroad to exert power not given by the people or the Constitution is where the real attempt to usurp power lies.

Let’s repeat this truth a thousand times.

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