At the beginning of August Smartmatic, the company that ran the recent Venezuelan election for its new Constituent Assembly, alleged that the vote had been conducted fraudulently.
As the headline shows, the allegations – which is what they still were and are – were used by forty countries as a reason to protest against the new Assembly – but in fact the Guardian article admits that the ‘proof’ for the claim is merely an allegation by the voting-management company:
However, doubts have now been cast on the doubts by the revelation by former Labour Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott’s revelation that Smartmatic‘s UK-based Chair called for regime change in Venezuela just before the Constituency Assembly elections.
The voting system used to recently elect the country’s Constitutional Assembly was run by the UK-based technology firm Smartmatic – whose chair is Lord Malloch-Brown, an ex-UN high official and former Labour foreign minister.
After the election, Smartmatic told the media that turnout figures were at least a million less than the authorities reported.
The country’s National Electoral Council denied the claim.
Malloch-Brown is also co-chair of the International Crisis Group – which called last month for a “transitional government” with a “mutually acceptable interim president”
The Venezuelan government, meanwhile – in spite of denying the allegations – has begun a legal investigation into them. Which is, again, not the kind of behaviour typical of supposedly-despotic regimes.
The regime-change call must raise questions about a potential conflict of interest on the part of Smartmatic – and add to concerns about the representation of Venezuela in the western media.
We’ve already seen that the situation in the South American country has been grossly misrepresented, with supposed ‘democracy protesters’ interested in anything but democracy and in fact responsible for the vast majority of violence and fatalities – even setting people on fire for supporting the government – as well as for manufactured ‘shortages‘.
Now there is a question-mark over claims that the Constituent Assembly elections were rigged.
Prescott’s words make a pertinent closing thought:
we shouldn’t ignore the power of opposition bent on regime change, encouraged by the US, who’ve sought to destabilise left-wing governments in South America for decades.
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