However, news reports that repeat these claims of election "fraud" are, not surprisingly, thin on details or hard facts to back up the claims.
Therefore, as a public service, Narco News has conducted an exhaustive search across the Internet and throughout the news media for the concrete accusations of those who claim "fraud" in yesterday's historic, record-turnout, vote. We present them to you, kind reader, so you can make up your own mind how substantive, or unsubstantive, the opposition claims are in reality.
All quotes guaranteed verbatim from the blogosphere and online news sites!
First, the facts:
With 94.49 percent of the electronic voting machines reporting, the National Elections Council of Venezuela informs that the "NO" vote - against recalling President Hugo Chávez - has amassed such a wide margin over the "YES" vote - by those who wanted to depose the elected president - that the trend is irreversible:
NO: 4.991.483 (58.25%)
YES: 3.576.517 (41.74%)
That is a total of 8,568,000 votes.
That means that only about 470,000 votes are left to count, but the pro-Chávez vote already enjoys a comfortable margin of 1,414,966.
So even if the opposition gets every single vote left uncounted, the pro-Chávez side will win by almost a million votes. More likely, the remaining votes will fall in similar percentages as the 95 percent already counted, bringing the final total to something like 5.26 million "NO" votes to 3.76 million votes.
I don't have much else to say other than the results were official. VIVA CHAVEZ The Venezuelan people triumphed today.
And at two o'clock the next morning, the country and the world await the results.
I'm still here in the Narco News informational war room, with various Venezuelan colleagues, waiting for the National Electoral Council (CNE in its Spanish initials) to hold its press conference. So far both sides - the supporters of the "yes" vote and supporters of the "no" vote - have refrained from offering results in public, although both have spooned out discordant numbers, off the record, to us and the rest of the press.
In the immortal words of that great American philosopher Tom Petty: "They Way-aiting is the hardest part!"
We are aware of all the exit poll information on both sides - and we have seen the conflicting claims of at least two other websites regarding so-called "exit polls" - but we will not publish them here and I would like to explain why...
First, it is illegal under Venezuelan law.
Second, it is illegal for good reason, in a country where the Commercial Media unanimously reported, in April 2002, "Chavez Resigned" when the president was, in fact, kidnapped at gunpoint. Here, the Commercial Media has shown its willingness to blatantly lie in order to destabilize and impede democracy, and more of that kind of behavior continues today...
The story points out that:
More than 10,000 Venezuelans now live in the Houston area, estimates Wladimir Torres, 51, publisher of the monthly newspaper El Venezolano de Houston. That's up from the 1,592 Venezuelans counted in the 2000 census.
... But the Bayou City also has attracted thousands of these immigrants because they expected to find jobs here, particularly in Houston's oil sector, where former employees of the (Venezuelan) state-owned oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela, or PDVSA, can utilize their experience.
"We call on all citizens who want to participate to do it calmly and knowing that your vote will be secret," Carter told a large group of national and international reporters.
Asked if he observes that there are human rights in Venezuela, Carter said, "There are free elections in Venezuela... There is transparency in the process... There is freedom of the press in Venezuela... For these reasons and more I believe there is respect for human rights in Venezuela."
On Thursday, Narco News outed New York Timesman Juan Forero who, in an unguarded moment, revealed his true observation that Chávez will win tomorrow's vote. Flushed out on The Narcosphere, Forero had little option but to confess the same to his readers in today's NY Times. Forero, in serious cover-his-ass mode, scrambles to make up for months of lost time with these words in today's Times:
"He (Chavez) now has the backing of about half of the Venezuelan electorate, according to some polls, making it harder for the opposition to muster the nearly 3.8 million yes votes it needs - at least one more than Mr. Chávez got when he was re-elected in 2000 - to end his term and bring a new presidential election. Even if the opposition gets the votes, if Mr. Chávez gets more votes, he will remain in office."