Chavez Blames Washington for Election Boycott

Venezuela's main opposition parties have decided to pull their candidates out of Sunday's legislative elections, complaining of problems with the automated voting system. But according to this article from Argentina's Clarin newspaper, Hugo Chavez says that the cause of the election boycott has nothing to do with voting machines, and everything to do with George W. Bush.

November 30, 2005

Original Article (Spanish)    

Electoral Trouble for Chavez - But a Handy Scapegoat.

RealVideoBBC NEW VIDEO: Venezuelan Opposition
Parties to Boycott Elections, Nov. 30, 00:01:48

The Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez, today held the United States responsible for the sudden pullout of several parties from the legislative elections on Sunday. It is part of a "new plan of Washington to destabilize" this country, the head of State affirmed.

In a challenge to the government, three of Venezuela's main opposition parties announced yesterday that they are pulling their candidates out of the elections, after denouncing irregularities in the system of automated voting.

Chavez warned that "the latest plan of the imperialists and their lackeys has only just begun," and that the intention is to muddy the first phase of the legislative polls. But the main goal is to "plant the seeds of destabilization" with a view on the presidential election of 2006.

Opposition Supporter. Sign Says, 'Lies, Traps, Swindles.'

The Venezuelan President also spoke of the alleged existence of jails and secret CIA flights on the Continent [Europe] and described the American government as "Genocides, murderers, terrorists and kidnappers."

"The king (Bush) is naked, every day (American) imperialism exceeds its own immoralities, every day additional internal and external crises explode around him," Chavez said in a televised speech.

"Now there is a new issue in Europe, the CIA is kidnapping people and taking them away in airplanes, passing over countries unannounced, and without asking for permission. They believe they are the landlords and that they can do as they please," he added.

The newspaper the Washington Post published a story on November 2, that the CIA had locked up and interrogated suspected al-Qaeda terrorists in prisons built in East Europe during the Soviet era. A day later, the group Human Rights Watch said it had evidence that the CIA had transported presumed terrorists captured in Afghanistan to Poland and Romania.

Such clandestine prisons would violate the European Convention on Human Rights, which is a binding treaty on all the member countries in the E.U.

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