|National Electoral Council President Jorge Rodriguez speaks to reporters during a press conference in Carabobo state, following the attack.|
Caracas, Venezuela, July 16, 2005—Early Friday morning a grenade was thrown at the regional headquarters of the National Electoral Council (CNE) in the Venezuelan state of Carabobo. However, the grenade filed to explode. CNE president Jorge Rodriguez announced that security measures would be increased in light of the attack.
Venezuela is currently preparing for elections of city council members, which will take place on August 7.
|Grenade that was used during the attack on the regional electoral council headquarters.|
Jorge Rodriguez said with regard to the attackers, “they will not threaten us… If they continue, as we know they will, in an escalation of violence, they will receive a resounding response from the Venezuelan people and the CNE, in defense of the right to vote and of Venezuelans political rights.”
“They will not be able to prevent that the vote takes place this August 7th, as the CNE has planned,” added Rodriguez.
Pro-Chavez party leader Willian Lara said that the attack is a terrorist act that seeks to create obstacles for the upcoming local elections. Lara did not attribute the vote to the opposition in general, but to a small minority, saying, “We have seen that the Venezuelan opposition, in its majority, is going to participate in the August electoral process.”Venezuela’s opposition parties are divided about whether to participate in the vote, with some, such as the small Alianza Bravo Pueblo (ABP – Brave People’s Alliance) party arguing that Venezuelans should abstain. Others, such as the former governing party Acción Democratica (Democratic Action), from which ABP split several years ago, saying that the opposition should participate. As has often been the case, the smaller parties that have little chance of winning any posts are the ones arguing in favor of abstention, while the larger ones, which want to defend or win new posts, are opposed to abstention.