Chavista and Opposition Mobilizations Continue Across Venezuela, CNE Closed over Concerns

Mobilizations took place Wednesday in defense of the Bolivarian Process as well as in favor of the opposition’s demand for a recall referendum this year.


Caracas, September 7th 2016 ( – Mobilizations have continued throughout Venezuela as Wednesday marks nearly a week since September 1st’s massive Chavista and opposition demonstrations. On Wednesday, Chavista marches organized themselves into “anti-imperialist platforms” while opposition called on their supporters to convene outside of the National Electoral Council(CNE) offices across the country. Opposition demonstrators requested the CNE present their deadline to turn in the 20 percent of signatures necessary to move forward with the recall referendum timeline against President Nicolás Maduro.

Venezuelan media outlet, Últimas Noticias (ÚN), recorded mobilizations in at least eight of the country’s 23 states and the capital representing both Chavista and opposition forces. Venezuelan state media sources as well as commercial media outlets like ÚN reported that demonstrations were carried out “in normalcy”.

United Socialist Party of Venezuela’s (PSUV) Vice President for the states of Miranda and Anzoátegui, Elias Jaua, reiterated Chavismo’s presence in the streets stating that, “[the government looks to] dismantle armed groups linked to Popular Will (VP). They will not take Venezuela to a civil war, here there is a State, a justice system, and above all, a people dedicated to peace, live and solidarity.”

However, the CNE did close its doors Wednesday out of concerns over employees’ safety and potential confrontations between opposition demonstrators and workers. The government granted CNE offices across the country additional protective measures with increased security ahead of this week’s mobilizations.

On Thursday, CNE rector Tania D’Amelio denounced what she referred to as intimidation against the electoral body and its officials by the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD), reports multi-state operated news outlet teleSUR.  “There’s a double standard. I know there is a political sector of the opposition that wants democracy, which participates in strengthening democracy, and then, there is a sector which is against democracy, against peace and is the one that precisely makes the call to go to [CNE] regional offices” she expressed.

On August 9th, CNE President Tibisay Lucena presented the official recall referendum timeline and technical requirements necessary to fulfill the process constitutionality. She emphasized that before any electoral process, CNE is charged with accomplishing all technical aspects to guarantee, “transparency, security and efficiency.”

“I invite the Venezuelans to review the schedule [for the recall referendum] published on our site, there are several steps missing. Between September 14th and 16th, there should be a proposal presented and then a process of collecting signatures, there are several technical and logistical steps that are reflected in this technical report,” Lucena announced last month.