Even if Herrero was clumsy in stating as a non-Venezuelan what we all know, the Venezuelan government did not respect any procedures: they just sent their "intelligence" force to grab him and took him to the first airplane, without allowing him even to take his passport or personal belongings with him.
Do you know what European politicians the Venezuelan government likes to invite?
People like former Belgian senator Jacinta de Roeck, who was an "observer" for the CNE in 2006. Among other things, she wrote in her own site the following (go to Infomappen and then Venezuela):
"Separate talks with the people in the street show that clearly. You have three types of Venezuelans:
* those who are 100% against him (usually the wealthiest). They have no good word to say about Chavez, the bosom friend of the great bogeyman Fidel Castro and - perhaps even worse - the friend of the poor people;
* those who are 100% for him (usually the poorest part of the population). Their position is often made intuitively, without criticism. They wear his picture on their shirts, they are cheerful when they call his name. For them, Chavez is an idol, he is the man whowill improve their lives. And he does it already, they see that;
* And then there is the group of critical viewers: Chavez is the only alternative that can currently take Venezuela out of the social clift, but they have a lot of (very constructive) criticism, and they fear a Venezuela Cuba-style.
In the original, in Dutch:
"En dat deze president wind doet opwaaien is zeker. Losse gesprekken met de man in de straat tonen dat duidelijk aan. Je hebt drie soorten Venezolanen :
- zij die 100% tegen zijn (doorgaans de meest gegoeden). Ze hebben geen goed woord over voor Chavez, de boezemvriend van de grote boeman Fidel Castro en - misschien nog erger - de vriend van de arme volksmens;
- zij die 100% voor zijn (meestal het armste deel van de bevolking). Ook hun standpunt is vaak intuïtief gevormd, zonder kritische kanttekening. Ze dragen zijn foto op hun shirt, ze glunderen als ze zijn naam noemen. Voor hen is Chavez een idool, het is de man die het leven voor hen beter zal maken. En dat doet hij nu al, ze merken het;
- en dan is er de groep kritische beschouwers: Chavez is het enige alternatief dat op dit ogenblik Venezuela uit het sociale slop kan halen, maar ze hebben wel erg veel (opbouwende) kritiek, en ook vrezen zij een Venezuela à la Cuba."
I am not in any of these three groups and I know most opposition are not in any of those three groups either. I believe Ms De Roeck has been very insulting. It is like saying every Fleming is a racist unless he votes for her. Actually, there are more people in Flanders who vote for an extreme right party (Vlaams Belang) than there are rich people in Venezuela who dislike the poor. Opposition can be upper-middle class, middle class or poor in Venezuela. Definitely the vast majority are not opposed to improving the lives of the poor.
But I reckon a person like Ms De Roeck is the kind of politician the CNE wants to have in Venezuela. I am curious about the political parties of the observers the regime invited this time. It would be the most leftiest from the social democrats or rather people from the communist parties of Europe (not that Chavismo is about socialism or communism) and not all of them.