CARACAS, Tuesday April 16, 2013 | Update

International viewers unable to attest to clean vote in Venezuela

International guests said that in the absence of a vote recount, Nicolás Maduro's legitimacy is at stake

International viewer requested authorities to audit all tally sheets (EFE)
Tuesday April 16, 2013  01:33 PM
"After what we have lived and seen, and the delicate situations we have witnessed, we may say that we cannot objectively and categorically attest to a fully democratic and clean vote in this great country," said Spanish Gustavo Palomares, the president of the Institute of Higher European Studies. He was one of the international guests accredited by the National Electoral Council (CNE) and invited by the opposition coalition.

In this sense, international guests supported the petition of opposition candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski for a thorough and objective recount of "each tally sheet, each polling station, and each voters' roll."

Palomares added that they were not implying that an electoral fraud took place. Rather, their request was intended at using a method provided for under the international electoral law for the real data gathered on April 14 to mirror who was elected as the new Venezuelan president.

International guests said that in the absence of a vote recount, Nicolás Maduro's legitimacy is at stake.
The rock of discord

A shipment of over 30,000 tons of phosphate arrived at Puerto Cabello port in late July on board the Shi Long Ling, a Chinese-flagged vessel that began its long journey in northern Africa. The cargo boat docked on July 26 after traveling more than 3,200 nautical miles. Undoubtedly, this would just be considered one in many cargo ships crisscrossing the oceans if it were not for the fact that Venezuela has denounced Western Sahara occupation by Morocco and yet purchases the territory's natural resource products from the occupying power.