Nicaragua’s Rivas congratulates Venezuela on elections

Amid post-electoral violence in Venezuela, Nicaragua’s sullied electoral boss congratulates his counterpart for doing a ‘magnificent’ job managing the poll

Nicaragua’s Roberto Rivas may not be the best judge of electoral credibility, but he’s certainly consistent in his assessment of what passes for a free and fair polling process.

On Tuesday afternoon, Nicaragua’s de facto electoral chief—accused of rigging the past three polls on behalf of the ruling Sandinista Front—called his Venezuelan counterpart, Tibisay Lucena, to congratulate her on a bang-up job.

Roberto Rivas knows a good election when he sees one (photo/ Tim Rogers)

Unfazed by Venezuela’s political crisis, which has led to seven deaths and more than 70 injuries amid bouts of post-electoral street violence, Rivas congratulated Lucena for her “magnificent” work.

“I talked to my colleague by phone yesterday at 2:40 in the afternoon to congratulate her for her magnificent management of an electoral process that was transparent, orderly and democratic, and which resulted in compañero Nicolás Maduro being elected president of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela,” Rivas said in a press release.   

“At the same time, I expressed the solidarity of Nicaragua’s Supreme Electoral Council following the acts of vandalism by the enemies of democracy in her country in recent hours, as part of a plan of violence that aims to destroy regional electoral buildings and generate internal stability,” Rivas said.

Rivas also discredited rumors on Twitter that Lucena has fled the post-electoral turmoil in her country to go hide in Panama. “In no moment has she left the country,” Rivas said.

“Finally, I want to repeat my congratulations and my confidence in this electoral process—it’s a lesson in democracy that millions of Venezuelans trust in their institutions,” Rivas said.

 What Rivas failed to mention is that the other half of the country is expressing its mistrust in Venezuela’s electoral system and are demanding a full recount after the initial tally showed the incumbent candidate with a twiggy 1.6% advantage over the long-shot challenger.

Opposition candidate Henrique Capriles claims he won the election and says a recount is necessary to determine a legitimate winner. Capriles’ call for a recount has been echoed by the U.S. and the Organization of American States. Other countries, including Nicaragua, have recognized Maduro’s victory.

Opposition congressman William Davila, after Chavista lawmakers tried to convince him to change his mind about who won last Sunday’s elections (photo from Twitter)

Venezuela’s institutions, which are controlled by an increasingly hysterical cadre of Chavistas who continue to howl about coups, violence and international conspiracies, are closing rank around their president-elect.

 The president of Venezuela’s Supreme Court today claimed that a manual recount is impossible and blamed the street violence on Capriles. The Chavista president of Venezuela’s Congress has called for a full investigation of Capriles amid shouts to put the opposition candidate behind bars.

The official violence even spread to the halls of Venezuela’s congress today, where two opposition lawmakers, Julio Borges and William Dávila, where reportedly attacked by and injured Chavista lawmakers during a session of congress.

But by Rivas’ electoral standards, that’s all just part of a job well done.


For more reporting on the Venezuelan crisis, follow photo-journalist Girish Gupta


  • Nelson

    This article in incorrect and deceiving the true facts!

    …”Capriles’ call for a recount has been echoed by the U.S. and the Organization of American States” Contrary to this statement, the General Secretary Jose Miguel Insulsa has sent congratulation to the elected President Maduro and called for reconciliation to the officials and oppositions followers.

    The electoral law in Venezuela doesn’t contemplate 100% recount, as part of the process and requested by Mr. Capriles, the Venezuelan National Electoral Bureau did performed a recount of 54% of the ballots concluding the results are accurate and transparent.

    The content of this article is aimed to provoke and plant in the mind of readers the typical alarm, and to smear a clean process in Venezuela, identical lines of writing by the fascist publications creating a chaos with 8 people dead in Venezuela, this is what I call “mercenary journalism”, irresponsible!

    • Tim Rogers

      Not exactly. Many OAS member states have recognized Maduro’s win, but OAS Gen. Secretary Insulza has officially backed calls for an audit. As we report in this story, Venezuela’s Supreme Court says a full manual recount is impossible—so there’s the rub.

      On Tuesday, Insulza said he respects the decisions taken by the competent authorities in Venezuela and called for “essential mechanism to ensure the governability of any country.” But so far he has not issued any official statement to congratulate Maduro, as you claim.

      ND is reporting that the situation is complicated and volatile, which is accurate. ND is not trying to provoke alarm. After all, it’s Maduro (not us) that is yelling about coup attempts, conspiracies to destabilize Venezuela, fascism, international plots to kill him, violence and chaos. That, my friend, could be interpreted as words of alarm.

      • k

        Nelson, Reuters reported on April 15th that the OAS Secretary General, José Miguel Insulza, had not only expressed his support for a full recount of votes cast, he “Offered to help to carry it out”.

        He seems to have backed down but at the time he said it, was it (to quote you) designed to “provoke something or smear a clean process in Venezuela”?…who is to say that the OAS Head’s comments didn’t create some of that “chaos with 8 people dead”…”Irresponsible!”, you seem to be shooting the messenger.

        • Nelson

          Mr.or Mrs K, I’m going to give you another example of the deceiving intentions of this article.

          Roberto Rivas is identify by many as a man instrumental in cloudy manipulation in previous electoral process in Nicaragua, when the writer of this article expresses “….Rivas congratulates his counterpart for doing a ‘magnificent’ job managing the poll”, this is interpreter by any reader as a sarcastic comment, or, that the process in Venezuela is equally cloudy as it was in past elections in Nicaragua.

          Especially when mentioning ‘magnificent’ in a process that is being questioned and placed in doubt by the opposition in Venezuela, spread in terms and with the intentions and consequences we all know.
          A question for you, is it a need for this ?

          This comment is intended to intensify on the reader the doubt on the Venezuelan process as a vitiated system without a proof, a comment intentionally opposed to the hundred of observers which they categorized as a transparent system…this technique is constantly used in journalism with the only intention to deceive the facts, is called manipulation of the facts, when the writer is not openly lying, but rather accommodating the accuracy of the information to influence his way to the reader, in other words, this is pure deception!

          I must disagree with you…the messenger deserves to be shot!

          • Tim Rogers

            It would certainly appear to be tongue-in-cheek, but only Dr. Rivas knows whether the tone of his congratulatory letter was sarcastic or genuine. Or perhaps he was being ironic. In any event, I sense your confusion so to clear up any misunderstandings, you better to ask him yourself. As for your shoot the messenger comment, I admire your own percipient use of irony to denounce the type of fascist intolerance and rightwing calls to violence that President Maduro has been warning us about. Very clever of you, sir!

          • Kelvin

            Nelson, sorry about the k, t’was an error. Before we shoot the messenger, is there any chance of a fair trial or can we at at least hear some pleadings from him about the percentage of readers that agreed with his sarcasm? (or at least smiled).

      • Nelson

        With all your respect Tim Rogers, I have no idea what source of information is feeding your mind to publish this information much less your desire and swindler intentions. I saw yesterday a live, to the minute, Insulsa’s statement wishing President Maduro success in his endeavor, and this morning on Telesur was retransmitted.

        The Venezuela’s Supreme Court said a full manual recount is impossible because contrary to the electoral law of others countries is NOT part of the procedure to verify ballot accuracy in a fully automated system recognized as such for transparency and accuracy by international observers including the Carter Center who has supervised more than 100 electoral process around the world.
        The recount consider up to 54% and this pure truth is not intended to rub public opinion, perhaps only yours!

        The Supreme Court blames Capriles for his incendiaries statements that later he retracted…what a coincidence that the 8 people assassinated are all party official followers, what a coincidence the neighbors and medical clinics attacked and burned, are living quarters provided to those who lost their humble houses by the floods 2 years ago by previous Hugo Chavez government. Get true information Tim Rogers, facts!

        Agree that the country is in state of alarm created by Capriles followers, but this article far from being impartial is loaded with inaccurate and deceiving comments, not the first one, not the only one and perhaps not the last one.

        True journalism is conveying to the public facts, as it! regardless of the writers political inclination, articles with double intention like this one, telling half the truth and exaggerating facts and issues are deceiving and are to be left to a charlatan.

        Readers deserve better, and so, this is called once again, mercenary journalism!

  • Ken

    Nelson makes a good point, although Rivas entering the fray is definitely newsworthy. This guy has so little credibility (anti-credibility?) that his defense of the electoral process makes it appear that Venezuela’s election really was crooked. The amazing thing is how little shame Rivas has, although perhaps Rosario put him up to it and expects to be able to sanitize his image the way she has her own.