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Venezuela: FRSO meets National Electoral Council president

By Tom Burke

The Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO) labor delegation with Tibisay Luc

Caracas, Venezuela – The Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO) labor delegation met today with Tibisay Lucena, president of the CNE (the National Electoral Council) to discuss the upcoming elections. Lucena spoke about this election as very important in the face of U.S aggression and the economic war.

Lucena explained the electoral processes in Venezuela are a result of democratic changes put forward in the 1999 Constitution after President Chavez was elected. The CNE is a new branch of government, the electoral branch, that oversees a fair and democratic process. This is in addition to the legislative, judicial and executive branches. The fifth branch of government as conceived by Simon Bolivar in 1826 is the Moral Power.

On March 8, right-wing terrorists set fire to the CNE warehouse, destroying the voting machines meant to be used later this year. This came days after the pro-U.S. opposition had called for marches on the Presidential Palace.

In response, the Bolivarian Revolution called for a counter-protest. Over half a million people marched through the streets to support President Maduro and against the attacks on democracy. The Venezuelan government is searching for those responsible.

Though the arson attack was a setback, Lucena assured that the election will carry on this year as expected. Getting new voting machines is aggravated by U.S. economic sanctions.

The FRSO labor delegation explained how the billionaire class in the U.S. can essentially buy elections. A FRSO member also brought up issues with voter suppression of African Americans, Chicanos, Latinos and others that prevent them from being able to vote.

Lucena discussed some measures in the Venezuelan constitution and the steps CNE takes to ensure fair elections and higher participation. She also described the various ways they audit the votes afterwards. The CNE has worked on the efficiency of the process to the point that they can get official results within three hours. Lucena said, “Elections are a key point of our democracy. That is why our election infrastructure is being attacked so much right now.”

She also invited people to accompany the upcoming elections and spoke about Venezuela's sovereignty.

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