Venezuelan Cardinal Tallys Recall Vote as "Gigantic Fraud"

CARACAS, Venezuela, AUG. 16, 2004 ( The recall referendum held Sunday on Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez was a «gigantic fraud,» says Cardinal José Castillo Lara.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

The National Electoral Council reported today that Chávez won 58.3% of the votes in the recall, compared with 41.7% who voted for his ouster. The tally was 4.99 million votes to 3.57 million.

The Venezuelan-born cardinal told Vatican Radio that a «gigantic fraud» took place in the referendum.

«There was a move to the ballot boxes never before seen in Venezuela,» he said. «But the electoral centers, changing the dispositions, used people of the ruling party in the vote-counting.»

«Exit polls at the ballot boxes showed that there was 65% in favor of ‘yes,’ that is, of the revocation of the mandate, and only 35% or at most 40% in favor of the president,» said the cardinal, who is an expert in juridical questions and president emeritus of the Pontifical Commission for the Vatican City State.

The cardinal also said that governmental representatives bought votes at the ballot boxes.

«Poor people were given the equivalent of U.S. $50 or $60 if they voted ‘no,’ that is, to keep the president in the government,» he added.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry


Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation