Jun 10

Like it or Not Venezuela Is a Democracy

Venezuela FlagAmerica does not believe in democracy. Remember the 2006 Palestinian elections when Hamas won? There was a total administration freak out over that one. Democracy is only valid if people vote for what the United States government wants. That’s in the Constitution. Look it up!

For a decade and a half, the United States has claimed that Venezuela couldn’t possibly be a democracy. They voted for Hugo Chavez! We don’t like Chavez. Therefore, Venezuela is not a democracy. Q-fucking-D.

Well, now Chavez is gone. Unfortunately, those stupid Venezuelans blew it again! They voted for someone else that the United States doesn’t like: former Chavez vice-president Nicolas Maduro. Don’t these Venezuelans know how democracy works?

It turns out that they do; it is just that they have an old fashioned idea that democracy involves the will of the people and related institutions. In fact, they have a very good electronic voting system with a clear paper trail that allows for vote audits. And thus far, they have audited 53% of the 14 April 2013 election results. And guess what: Maduro won fair and square.[1]

Well, a group of 14 economists and statisticians mostly from the United States have had enough. In an open letter, they say that the audit “leaves no room for doubt about the result.” They’ve calculated the probability that the election results are wrong at one in 25 thousand trillion. Yet, “The State Department has called the outcome of the election into question, and refused to recognize the results.” And even worse, the mainstream media just follow along, giving the impression that somehow Maduro stole the election.

I understand that a lot of people in the United States didn’t like Chavez and don’t like Maduro. My colleague Michael J.W. Stickings at The Reaction is one. And even I think that Chavez could have done a lot more with the resources he had at his disposal. What is not open to question is that Venezuela is a democracy and that the 14 April 2013 election was a free and fair one.

The government of the United States has to accept that it can’t always get its way. Is it any wonder that the Republican Party won’t compromise on anything when the government itself takes the same approach to the rest of the world? Regardless of what we think, other countries have a right to manage their own affairs. And that is especially true when we prop up truly vile dictatorships only to scream about the outcomes of free and fair elections that don’t go the way we want.

[1] The election was fairly close. Maduro got 50.6% and Capriles got 49.1%. There was a post-election audit of a random sample of 53% of the votes. It found no irregularities, but Capriles refused to accept defeat. He demanded that all of the votes be recounted. Eventually, the election commission relented and agreed to recount the rest of the votes. After first being satisfied, Capriles rejected this and asked for complete access to the entire voting system. It ought to be clear that the only election result that Capriles will accept is one where he wins. And that goes for the United States as well.

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