Update: Venezuela's Political Disaster - November 25, 2006
Venezuela's Political Disaster - November 25, 2006
Following the AP IPSOS Poll results published in The Washington Post and reported by CNN:
AP Poll: Chavez Way Ahead in Venezuela, by Ian James, The Associated PressFriday, November 24, 2006; 12:05 PM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/11/24/AR2006112400122.htmlI am confused with this type of poll results. Is it disinformation? Are those of us based abroad getting other views of the situation in Venezuela as published by the Venezuelan press and reported by trusted witnesses attending the Opposition marches in Venezuela? How many election related offices does Chavez own outside allegedly owning Smartmatic, the infamous e-voting software company? Does Chavez own or finance IPSOS? The fact that IPSOS offices is based in France and was officiated in 1999 after Chavez took power may hold a lot of clues.
Please read analysis written by Maritza Ramirez Agena "When Is a Poll Not a Poll?Sometimes Numbers Do Lie" published on www.11abril.com. Ms. Ramirez Agena examines the fear factor among the interviewees questioned about who they would vote for. I have posted this article on my blog on this date.
On this Saturday, Venezuelans are gathering in Caracas to show support for Opposition candidate Manuel Rosales. I do not have pictures yet, but I am getting messages from the march from loved ones with tears on their eyes fascinated by the large crowds:
For pictures please double check later on www.eluniversal.com, www.urru.org, www.vcrisis.com, www.globovision.com, www.unionradio.com.ve.
My blog is: http://maruangarita.blogspot.com/
When Is a Poll Not a Poll? by Maritza Ramirez Agena
When Is a Poll Not a Poll? Sometimes Numbers Do Lie
http://www.11abril.com/index/articulos/IpsosPoll20061125.asp Maritza Ramirez de Agena (November 24, 2006)November 25, 2006 Ipsos, an international polling company, conducted a poll related to the upcoming Venezuelan presidential election for the Associate Press that was released (officially) on November 24th. In the AP-Ipsos poll, when voters were asked: “For whom would you vote?” The results show: Chavez 58%; Manuel Rosales 25%; a 33 point lead.Ipsos is a company with over 30 years of experience, based in Paris, as Mr. Jaime Seijas, one of Ipsos’ directors in Venezuela explained to me today during a phone conversation. Mr. Seijas told me that Ipsos opened its office in Caracas in 1999. I called Ipsos-Venezuela to ask a few questions about the methodology used in the study. I was also curious about whether or not Ipsos-Venezuela was affiliated with other market research firms in the country. I was told that Juan Vicente Zerpa, the Country Manager, was in Mexico attending an annual meeting. Mr. Jaime Seijas was kind enough to take my call.Mr. Seijas said the study was conducted in 21 of the 23 Venezuelan states. He confirmed that 75 municipalities were selected and stratified by region, city size, and household income. The sample included individuals from the following groups: A,B,C 20%, D 40% and E 40%. All this information so far, does not raise suspicion as to the introduction of bias into the results.The problem is that the Venezuelan arm of Ipsos may have inadvertently ignored a factor that could render their survey, invalid; the “fear factor. “Ipsos conducted the study door to door! Yes, in a “random manner” (every fifth household in a clockwise fashion from a designated starting point). Nonetheless, please note that the Venezuelans who opened their homes to strangers to answer questions related to Chavez and their voting intension were thinking only these things:• How do I know this person is a pollster?• How do I know he/she is not associated with the government?• Why are they coming to my home?• Who will have access to this information?• What are they going to do with this information?• I cannot answer freely; they have my home address and know who I am and where my family lives!• If I say I have no intension to vote for Chavez, I may be fired!• If I say I have no intension to vote for Chavez, I may get hurt by hard-core Chavistas; my family can get hurt too!It does not matter that Ipsos has 30+ years experience conducting survey-based studies. They have no way to successfully conduct opinion polls in countries where the government publicly threatens its citizens with massive layoffs and physical violence if they do not support the incumbent regimes.It really does not matter that Ipsos interviewed people in 21 out of 23 states in Venezuela or how representative the sample was. It does not matter how accurately they stratified the sample in the 75 municipalities selected to conduct the study. None of this matters, because the individuals they interviewed are not free to answer questions about their government. Venezuelans are not free to vote for whom they want to vote, they are not even sure their vote will be private. Venezuelans are not certain that the government will not suffer reprisals against them if they vote for Manuel Rosales. I would like to quote Minister Rafael Ramirez during a speech given to employees of the Venezuelan Oil Company a few weeks ago:“Those who seem to have forgotten that we are in the middle of a revolution will be beaten until they get it!”I consider it imperative for the international media, not to ignore the fragile condition of democratic freedoms in Venezuela. I would like to take this opportunity to ask for discretion and professionalism; to dig under the covers to find the real story. Regarding the poll published by AP-Ipsos, I think their statement: “There are other sources of potential error in polls, including the wording and order of questions and the political and social context in which interviews are conducted” was greatly underestimated. It is clear the “fear factor” was not filtered by the methodology implemented. The results cannot be considered representative, even less so, accurate.
For more information, please contact:
Maritza Ramirez de Agena firstname.lastname@example.org
My blog is: http://maruangarita.blogspot.com/
Venezuela's Political Disaster - November 24, 2006
As I have been repeating for the last several weeks, the possibility of fraud by Chavez in the e-voting process is loud and clear. It is imperative that international organizations, including law enforcement, take preventive measures to assure that Venezuelans have the right to a democratic presidential election.
Attached below please find link to letter from Mario Vargas Llosa to the Organization of American States already denouncing fraud that is taking place in Venezuela:
Next is link to newspaper El Impulso from state of Lara claiming that military staff have been arrested and suffering lack of medical treatment because of greeting the Opposition candidate Manuel Rosales:
En el internado de San Felipe Arrestados militares por saludar a Rosales Los efectivos de la GN que le aceptaron el saludo al candidato opositor Manuel Rosales, cuando a mediados de esta semana visitara al exgobernador Eduardo Lapi, en el internado judicial de San Felipe, habrían sido objeto de severas sanciones. Así se lo confió el propio Lapi, ayer, al periodista Javier Oropeza, director de El Caroreño. Lapi reveló que las autoridades del penal, donde lleva internado cinco meses, insisten en no permitirle un examen médico, pese a que sufre de una úlcera sangrante. Su gastroenterólogo particular recomendó una endoscopia, que las autoridades carcelarias y los tribunales no autorizan.
Please read Sumate's website to keep updated on the current presidential election process in Venezuela. http://web.sumate.org/
I invite you to please read Election Watch report written by Alexandra Beech posted on my blog on this date.
All your cooperation in reporting the terrible political situation in Venezuela will be greatly appreciated.
My blog is: http://maruangarita.blogspot.com/Resources:
Election Watch by Alexandra Beech
By Alex Beech
One of the alarming realities of the political climate in Venezuela is that violence is not only tolerated, but encouraged. In recent weeks,President Chavez has threatened opposition figures with jail, and themedia with closure. The government's grassroots leader, Lina Ron, has reminded the country that the revolution is "armed." The president ofthe country's oil company, Rafael Ramirez, has threatened stateworkers with a loss of job if their vote doesn't favor Chavez. As always, the government's bark has been so loud that everyone assumes that it lacks a bite. But incidents during the past few days indicate that Chavez's sharp teeth are starting to show.
As elections near, politically related violence is on the rise. On Wednesday, as opposition candidate Manuel Rosales arrived at the San Carlos airport in Cojedes State, hordes of government supporters wearing pro-Chavez red t-shirts attacked Rosales. Surrounded by his security detail, Rosales exited the airport amid screams, as debris was hurled at him from shouting protestors. As the opposition candidate's retinue sped away, pro-government protestors ran towards parked motorcycles and chased it.
The effort looked well-organized, signs that the Chavez campaign team may be panicking about the rise in popularity that Rosales has achieved in the past few weeks. Moments later, as Rosales addressed his supporters in the same city, pro-government supporters cut acable, shutting off his audio. The silence lasted a minute, but reminded everyone that in Venezuela, everything is fair in love, war,and small town campaigns.
The incident was the latest in a series of obstacles the opposition candidate has faced; in Valencia State, airport authorities prevented Rosales's plane from landing at the airport, delaying his planned appearance at a rally by two hours.
Journalists Attacked by Presidential Guard
4:45 pm, est - On Wednesday, a Globovision news team was attacked by the Presidential Guard as it covered a protest outside the presidential palace. A female reporter and a news team had responded to a call by protesters demanding housing. As the reporter began to report the story on-camera, the team was approached by three soldiers who attacked the news team. The reporter's assistant, Edwin Moreno,was beaten. Cameraman Jose Luis Ochoa's back shows marks and bruises.The news team is being treated at Clinica Mendez Gimon.