What’s Happening in US Election Matches What Happened in Venezuela

Irreg­u­lar­i­ties that have tak­en place in this year’s U.S. pres­i­den­tial elec­tion are eeri­ly sim­i­lar to vot­ing manip­u­la­tion that helped Hugo Chávez stay in pow­er in 2004, accord­ing to a senior for­mer CIA official.

He described Chávez, who ruled Venezuela from 1999 until his death in 2013, as a “new kind of dic­ta­tor.” Upon his tak­ing pow­er, Chávez revised the country’s con­sti­tu­tion to increased the pres­i­den­tial term of office from five to six years, but also allowed peo­ple to call off his pres­i­den­cy in a ref­er­en­dum, which required 20 per­cent of sig­na­tures of all 11 mil­lion voters.

By 2003, oppo­nents of Chávez man­aged to col­lect enough sig­na­tures to trig­ger a ref­er­en­dum. “That’s when he start­ed to pan­ic,” the for­mer intel­li­gence official—who is also an expert in Latin Amer­i­can pol­i­tics and counterterrorism—told The Epoch Times. “So he start­ed talk­ing to a com­pa­ny called Indra, which is a Span­ish com­pa­ny that runs elections.”

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