by Stephen Lendman
On April 14, Venezuelans elected Nicolas Maduro president. He won fair and square. It's official. A nationally televised Monday ceremony announced it.
Opposition candidate Henrique Capriles cried foul. He called Maduro "illegitimate." He refuses to recognize election results. He demands a recount. He wants "every vote" counted. National Electoral Council (CNE) president Tibisay Lucena responded.
A manual recount of all votes isn't needed to confirm accuracy, she said. Proper auditing checks were implemented. It's routine. They're done before, during and post-elections.
Over half the Sunday vote total was checked. She called doing so "a statistical proportion that in any part of the world (would be) considered excessive."
Fourteen audits were conducted. They assure a free, open and fair process. America takes no precautionary steps. Corporate-controlled electronic voting machines choose winners and losers.
People have no say. They get the best democracy money can buy. Venezuelans get the real thing. Not according to Capriles.
He "announced demands upon the Electoral Power since last night and has refused to recognize the results announced by this body," said Lucena.
"That is his decision, but in Venezuela a state of law exists which must be respected."
She warned that "harassment, threats or intimidation" won't be tolerated.
Maduro said opposition forces implemented a destabilizing strategy. He accused Capriles of calling for a coup d'etat.
"(I)n Venezuela, preparations are under way for an attempt to de-recognize democratic institutions," he explained.
He urged unity. He reached out to opposition supporters. He promised to advance Chavez's legacy.
He faces major challenges. They include crime, government inefficiency, inflation, corruption, a weak currency, overreliance on imports, making Venezuela less oil-dependent, maintaining economic growth, as well as countering internal and Washington-directed destabilizations schemes.
Capriles resents oligarch power. He has close ties to Washington. On April 16, Hands Off Venezuela  headlined "Venezuela: a developing coup attempt - URGENT ACTION NEEDED."
Spain's government refuses to recognize election results. Opposition forces plan disruptive actions. They organized "riots in the streets, road blocks, and burning barricades…."
"Prominent opposition leaders spread rumours that ballot boxes and ballot papers were being burnt to prevent a recount…."
Photos shown lacked credibility. Opposition journalist Nelson Bocaranda falsely said Cuban doctors participated in burning ballots.
Dozens of Diagnosis Health Centres (CDIs) were attacked nationwide. "Gangs of armed opposition thugs" roamed city streets post-election.
Four Bolivarian supporters were killed. Some were by drive-by shootings. A "pattern" seen "last week and on election day" repeated.
PSUV offices in several states were attacked. Other targets were chosen.
They included buildings housing Simoncito pre-school nurseries, Mercal, PDVAL state-run supermarkets, the Carabobo-based Petrocasa housing program, Caracas-based Telesur, La Radio del Sur, and VTV state media buildings, as well as private homes of state officials.
Communication Minister Andrez Izarra said Lucena's home was targeted.
Maduro's right explaining what's happening as a "developing coup d'etat." Bolivarian symbols and Chavistas were attacked. Venezuela's electrical grid was targeted.
Salvadorian and Colombian mercenaries were caught red-handed. They were stockpiling C4 explosives, weapons and munitions. They came to incite violence.
They "came to kill," said Maduro. "They want to kill me."
A Caracas-based friend emailed the following overnight:
"Several leaders were shot to death. Several Barrio adentro hospitals were set on fire. Personal attacks and harassment targeted PSUV members….Nicolas activated an anti-coup plan."
"Worker organizers went on TV voicing their opposition to a silent strike. They say they will seize factory control if the situation goes that way."
"Six deaths and 61 injuries were reported. A business owner reported being called by the opposition. They told him to close and join a silent strike. He said he needed to stay open. They same night, his store was set on fire."
"Chief prosecutor Luisa Ortega Diaz plans speaking on national TV. She'll announced measures against violence."
"She'll determine whether actions were orchestrated in order to impose higher penalties to the perpetrators."
"So far, 135 people have been detained."
Latin American leaders and many others recognized Maduro's election straightaway. They sent congratulatory messages. Obama's done neither. He's noticeably silent.
Opposition forces lost. They refuse to accept what happened. Destabilization plans remain ongoing. Washington's very much involved. Maduro, other PSUV officials, and Bolivarianism are targeted. Updated reports will follow.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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