How Venezuelan expats vote

We finally got the Consejo Nacional Electoral, the National Electoral Council, to publish the results of the 2010 elections at the Venezuelan embassies and consulates.

Those elections were bound to attract less expats to the voting centres. They could only vote for something called Parlatino, which  is a Latin American "Parliament" most people haven't got a clue about. The  Parlatino really has very little power, it is mostly a networking club for second-rank politicians. There are hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans abroad who could vote but for several reasons only 56031 are registered to vote. Of those, only 15434 went to vote on this occassion, less than 28%, much less than ever. This is not a trend, it is simply there was little interest to vote for the Parlatino.

Still, you can see the position of Venezuelans abroad: 74.79% of them voted for the alternative forces and against the Chávez regime.

If you check out the map below you will see a lot of red. Those are the countries where the Chávez government got more votes. How come? mostly, because the ones to vote were the embassy employees only. In places like Algeria or Poland there are hardly any Venezuelan. In places such as Belarus and Russia there are still some old commies and quite some people studying in several institutes (not least to become Chávez's "intelligence officials", as is the case for a group in Minsk).

In places such as Norway you have another picture: there are a couple of hundred Venezuelans at least and almost all of them are oppos, but most of them live in the very West of the country, far from Oslo. They are mostly workers in the oil sector and their families. Netherlands as a whole delivered more votes for Chavismo because Venezuela has quite some employees in the ABC islands. Most Venezuelans in the Netherlands proper (but for the embassy employees) vote for the alternative forces. As for Italy: I don't know.  Perhaps somebody can tell me whether the Venezuelan embassy there is so large.

There will be more Venezuelans voting abroad next year. Still, our plan should be to move as many more of our compatriots to register. We should -should- have not just 56 thousand votes but over a hundred thousand. Over 80% of them are bound to vote for the alternative forces. To do that, we nee to campaign a lot. Venezuelans abroad can help to turn the tide, to take Venezuela towards democracy and sustainable development.

Ps. The government still hasn't published the votes abroad for the 2009 referendum. Chávez's people will probably argue even 56000 votes would make no difference, but that is not the point. They have to publish it, specially after Maduro said over 50% of Venezuelans registed to vote abroad actually signed a petition supporting the referendum, which is a lie.