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Irina Echarry: I enjoy reading, going to the movies and spending time with my friends. Many of the people I love are dead, or are no longer in Cuba. I will do my best to transmit my thoughts, ideas or worries via these pages so you can get to know me. I will give an idea of my age, since it helps explain certain things. I’m over thirty-five, and I think that’s enough information. I don’t have any children yet, or nieces or nephews. There are days when I transform myself into a child with no age at all in order to see life from another angle. It helps me break the monotony and survive in this strange world.

The Pleasure of Watching a National Assembly Session

April 17, 2013 | Print Print |

Irina Echarry

The Venezuelan National Assembly session on April 16, 2013. Foto: gob.ve

HAVANA TIMES — Thanks to the television channel Telesur, I was able to catch part of the ordinary session held by Venezuela’s National Assembly on Tuesday, April 16.

Today, Venezuela is a politically effervescent country, divided into two, well-defined camps: those who support Maduro’s presidency because they are followers of Chávez’ ideas, and those who support Capriles because they are detractors of Chávez’ national project.

According to the broadcaster, and several friends who live in Caracas, the streets have seen riots, the burning of tires, acts of vandalism in various Comprehensive Medical Care Centers (CDIs) and at several headquarters of Venezuela’s United Socialist Party (PSUV), threats, mud-slinging, vendettas and deaths.

During the segment of the National Assembly session I was able to follow, there was talk of blows between the deputies. One side would accuse the other of instigating the violence that reigns in the country. And it was curious, for me, that all deputies, no matter what their ideology, spoke of sovereignty, freedom and dignity.

The opposition is asking that the ballot boxes be opened and that votes be counted again, one by one, to dispel the people’s doubts about the election. Someone at the session insinuated that Venezuela does what Cuba tells it to do and facetiously asked Raúl Castro to give Maduro the green light to authorize the re-count.

In addition to voicing some remarks on the conduct of those who had incited the violence, a Chavista who was clearly offended called deputies of the opposition hypocrites, cowards and traitors, concluding with a warning: “We know who you are, you won’t be able to run away this time,” a clear allusion to the 2002 coup, when Carmona fled the country following Chávez’ restitution as president.

Venezuela is facing a complex political situation. Violence, be it in the form of actions with deadly consequences or of verbal aggression, is never advisable.

I hope peace returns to Venezuela’s streets, though, I must confess, I haven’t the slightest idea as to how that can be achieved without further bloodshed.

On the television, I saw stern faces, furious people, and it frightens me to think that things could get worse than they are. I cannot deny, however, that I enjoyed following a National Assembly session where the deputies do not simply raise their hands in unison [as in Cuba], as though performing a well-rehearsed choreography, to approve a measure advanced by the President, who, what’s more, has no interest in encouraging any type of debate.

It was refreshing to watch a heated, lively National Assembly session, one that addresses the country’s reality, something very different from what I see when they televise parts of Cuba’s National Assembly sessions.


What's your opinion?

  • dawn

    again, it makes no sense to speak of opening the boxes and counting one-by-one…. what is in the boxes are receipts of the votes cast and already counted one-by-one by the voting machines….. the receipts are used to test that the machines functioned properly and to insure the voter (who reads the receipt after voting electronically) that the machine recorded their vote correctly. 54%, WAY more than statistically necessary, have been audited in this way already showing that the machine count is accurate. Agreeing to counting the paper receipts defeats the purpose of using an automated system…that is, the automated system is used to PREVENT fraud and manipulation that is found in manual voting… think Florida.

  • JustGimmeSomeTruth102

    Check the difference between the number of ballots in the box and the number of people who actually signed at that station to vote that morning…any difference is “stuffing”.

  • Friedrich Joestl

    Hola Irina. Understand, that 4 U its a pleasur. We usually shut off TV when any of those idiots ore full assembly of bastards comes on air.