CARACAS – Venezuela’s National Electoral Council (CNE) rejected on Tuesday what it considered gross interference by several governments around the world that have spoken out against this country’s presidential elections to be held Sunday, May 20, and asked that they respect the Venezuelan people.
“To those foreign governments... which with their gross interference call for the suspension of our electoral process, this National Electoral Council tells them here and now: it’s not foreign governments with their grotesque, objectionable and immoral meddling that can tell us what to do,” said the head of the CNE, Tibisay Lucena.
This Monday the so-called Lima Group, made up of 14 countries of the Americas, made a “final call” for Venezuela to suspend its presidential election this Sunday, since its members consider the balloting “illegitimate” and “lacking credibility.”
Though Lucena mentioned no country in particular, she said the only thing that is acceptable is for the governments of the world to learn from Venezuela how to hold “elections that are civic and transparent.”
During the presentation of the security plan for the elections, she said the CNE obeys only “the Constitution, the laws and the sovereignty” of the nation.
She also told those who promote abstention that they should “let Venezuelans decide what it is they want to do.”
“The vote can’t be underestimated, least of all by anti-democratic media that try to impede the electoral process,” she warned, and gave assurances that “the conditions are in order” to hold the elections next Sunday.
For his part, Venezuelan Attorney General Tarek Saab invited Venezuelans to get out and vote, despite the “terrible pressure” and the “negative international attitude” promoted from “big international laboratories,” which, he said, are working to “undermine Venezuelan democracy.”
The same objections were expressed by Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez.
On May 20, Venezuela will hold its presidential election, in which the Venezuelan opposition, largely united under the MUD coalition banner, will have no candidate in the race because, it says, there are no guarantees that the results are to be trusted.
In the presidential balloting, Nicolas Maduro will seek reelection against opposition candidates Henri Falcon, a dissident Chavista, former evangelical pastor Javier Bertucci and engineer Reinaldo Quijada.