Venezuela Election Officials Denounce Fake Information Announcing Chavez’s Recall

Venezuela´s Electoral Council announced the existence of a prerecorded fake press conference announcing definitive results of the recall referendum currently under way

Caracas, Venezuela, Aug 15 ( Venezuela’s National Electoral Council (CNE) announced today at 2:45pm the existence of a prerecorded fake press conference using the voice of CNE President announcing definitive results of the recall referendum currently under way.

CNE board member Jorge Rodriguez and CNE President Francisco Carrasquero made the announcement, which was initially not covered by the local commercial media, forcing the CNE to make use of a media link-up order. Local commercial TV stations are openly opposed to the Chavez government and campaigned against him.

In the recording, Carrasquero’s voice can be heard saying that “the CNE tally committee has determined that the Yes referendum option obtained 11.431.086 votes, and therefore President Hugo Chavez has been revoked.”

The fake recording was allegedly intended to be released tonight at 8:00PM.

Carrasquero ordered an exhaustive investigation on the matter, and mentioned that one of the voices in the recording resembles that of a well know media announcer.

“This is a grave electoral crime, which is trying to influence the will of voters who has not voted yet,” Carrasquero said.

Opposition politicians dismissed the CNE announcement as a “media show” or a “cartoon”.

Voting lines spanned more than six blocks at the Miguel Antonio Caro High School voting center in western Caracas.
Credit: Martin Sanchez,

Information and Communication Minister Jesse Chacon alerted about the existence of an opposition web site that has been announcing false referendum results.

Chacon avoided mentioning numbers that preliminary numbers “confirm what recent polls had found.” Recent polls gave Chavez an advantage of between 8 and 31 percent over the opposition. A poll taken Aug 4-8 by Evans/McDonough Company, Inc. and Varianzas Opinion gave Chavez a 12% advantage in voter intention over the opposition. Respected world media outlets have also predicted Chavez’s victory.

Chacon said that unlike the opposition, the pro-Chavez camp has never announced fake or forged numbers, and urged people to wait for the CNE to make the official announcement.

After highlighting the predicted low abstention numbers, the Minister said that historically, the poorest sectors of Venezuelan society have had the highest levels of abstention, and that therefore the current high voter turnout benefits President Chavez, whose main support base is in the working class.

Election officials have extended the voting time until 8:00pm due to high voter turnout.