Venezuela vote: Turnout figure ‘tampered with’

BBCTurnout numbers for Sunday’s controversial vote in Venezuela have been “tampered with”, the company that provided the voting system alleges. Venezuela’s electoral authorities said more than eight million people, or 41.5% of the electorate, had voted for a new constituent assembly.

But the CEO of Smartmatic, Antonio Mugica, said the actual turnout differed by at least one million. The opposition has called for a criminal investigation to be opened.

What did the voting firm have to say?

“It is with the deepest regret that we have to report that the turnout numbers on Sunday 30th July for the Constituent Assembly in Venezuela were tampered with,” Mr Mugica told a media conference in London. …

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During the last several decades, the United States has invested billions of dollars in trying to help the governments of Latin America and the Caribbean deliver better lives for their citizens. This has meant helping them increase internal security by combating the illicit growing and trafficking in narcotics and the activities of terrorist groups, as well as helping them to shore up their democratic and free market institutions.

Unfortunately, in recent years, continued progress in these areas has been threatened, not least by the radical populist governments in Venezuela, Bolivia, and elsewhere. These governments have instituted retrograde agendas that include the propagation of class warfare, state domination of the economy, assaults on private property, anti-Americanism, support for such international pariahs as Iran, Russia, and even transnational criminal organizations.

We are a group of concerned policy experts that fear the results of these destructive agendas for individual freedom, prosperity, and the well-being of the peoples of the region. Our goal is to inform policymakers and international public opinion of the dangers of these radical populist regimes to inter-American security.