Chavez not to be contended?
In response to today's article (1/12/05) concerning Venezuela's Hugo Chavez lack of opposition in the upcoming elections, apparently to be his ninth victory in even less years, I would like to point out that the only 'independent' observation to be printed was that of Sumate. For those that aren't aware, Sumate was awarded a hefty grant in 2003 by the US funded National Endowment for Democracy for the purposes of 'electoral education', "which some observers took to mean that the group was backed by the U.S." Therefore it would negligent to assume this view is reliable.
An alternative source could have been the Organization of American States (OAS) who said, with regards to the main issue of contention, the use of fingerprint scanners, that with the removal of the scanners the voting machines were completely safe and reliable to use. An OAS spokesperson said on Monday, "The secrecy of the vote in this process will not be violated."