In late February, Venezuela’s government began accepting presidential candidate registrations and announced a snap legislative election for April. The country’s opposition denounces the process as a sham and Maduro as a dictator, both of which may be true.
Oddly, a third voice — the US government — also weighed in. Per US state media outlet Voice of America, “the United States, which under President Donald Trump has been deeply critical of Maduro’s leadership in crisis-torn and economically suffering Venezuela, on Saturday rejected the call for an early legislative vote.”
Given the perpetual public pearl-clutching over alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election, that’s some major league chutzpah.
The US State Department wants “‘a free and fair election’ involving full participation of all political leaders, the immediate release of all political prisoners, credible international observation and an independent electoral authority.
Let’s take that one at a time.
Participation of all political leaders? In some US states, it’s harder for a third party to get on a ballot than in, say, Iran.
The immediate release of all political prisoners? Last I heard, US president Donald Trump hadn’t pardoned (among others) Leonard Peltier.
Credible international observation? The US proper committed to admitting international election observers in the Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe’s 1990 Copenhagen Document, but many US states forbid international observers or, for that matter, local observers who aren’t affiliated with one of the two ruling parties.
Electoral authorities? The two ruling parties control them all and routinely use them to suppress threatened competition, as do pseudo-private entities like the Commission on Presidential Debates, which makes giant illegal (but government approved) in-kind contributions to the Republican and Democratic candidates in the form of televised candidate beauty pageants which exclude the opposition parties.
…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…