Sunday, 6 December 2009

Venezuelans in Europe: 1

The following map shows the number of Venezuelans who were "normal registered voters" at Venezuelan embassies in Europe in February 2009. There are no numbers for countries without diplomatic representations (Belarus data is still missing). I put numbers for the Netherlands with the Antilles in brackets.

Embassies always add a list of additional voters who are supposed to be employees and the like, people close to chavismo who are supposed to "have just arrived", so the actual number of real voters grows a bit. For Belgium there were about 22 extra voters (apart from the 189 you see above), a very large number considering there are also embassy employees in the main list.

Registered voters are just a small fraction of the Venezuelans living in Europe. There are many who are not registered for many reasons. The main reasons are:

  1. lack of Venezuelan ID: the Venezuelan government does not want to give IDs abroad, it oly gives passports. Venezuelans can only vote using the ID, not their passports. They need to go back to Venezuela to get the normal ID and this is not always easy (specially as getting an ID in Venezuela is like a lotery: sometimes difficult, sometimes impossible, sometimes easy)
  2. lack of interest
  3. belief their votes won't be counted
  4. illegal residence: some are living illegally and cannot register as they have no legal address in Europe. My guess is there are not so many Venezuelans in that situation in Europe, as opposed to the US, but that is my guess.
  5. magic wand: quite some Venezuelans have found out at the very last minute their registration was moved from, say, Berlin to Tucupita. It is not easy to beam yourself like that to Tucupita or elsewhere on election day.
There are hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans who are EU nationals (mostly Spaniards, Italians and Portuguese, but also from all other European countries). Still, it is very hard to know how many are living in Europe now and how many in Venezuela.

It is even harder to calculate the amount of Venezuelans who could possible vote and are living in Europe right now. There are at least 600 Venezuelans living in Belgium and at least half of them could vote (and only 89+22 registered). In Norway there are at least 150 families living in Western Norway alone (most oil engineers who were sacked from PDVSA and went with their families to work in the Norwegian oil industry), there are some more in Oslo as well (although less). There are many more than just 9000 Venezuelans in Spain right now.

I know many more Venezuelans who are not registered than those who are.

Last time the Venezuelan government really counted Venezuelan votes abroad (really as opposed to on sports) was in 2006. As the average Venezuelan abroad tends to oppose Hugo more than the average Venezuelan in Venezuela, Hugo got only 24.47% of the votes against 75.37% for Rosales (yeah, the guy who is "in exile", but probably also corrupt) . It is much more difficult to cheat abroad, specially as the counting is manual, as people tend to be better-organized (most Venezuelans in Europe are professionals) and as there are no Venezuelan soldiers mobbing Venezuelan voters.

In early 2009, Minister of Affairs Maduro declared more than half the registered voters abroad signed a petition in support of Hugo's referendum, which is completely false and absolutely irreconcilable with the previous votes and with our exit polls and just common sense.

From 2007 onwards the regime decided to discourage more exile Venezuelans abroadfrom voting by not publishing results from embassies any further. Results are still "counted'": Venezuelans go to the embassies, they get the counting going on after hefty discussions with the embassy employees and they see results in the place and get the "actas", the official declaration of results, but they know the government won't publish those results. You can see here where the results for the 2009 should be by now.

The Venezuelan opposition has repeatedly demanded (with registered letters and all) the publication of results for the embassies and consulates. The red-very red National Electoral council has just ignored them. Although we know 50000+ votes more (Europe + Americas + Asia + Africa ) do not have change things radically, we know 1) those results would encourage more Venezuelans abroad to register and 2) results would have shown Maduro has been a criminal by lying about more than half of the registered voters abroad signing a petition in support of Hugo's referendum.

Today, Hugo is celebrating the 11 years of his reality show Aló Presidente and telling people he intends to do them at least 11 years more. That is what I call a robbolution.

Venezuelans abroad need to denounce to the international media about all the shenanigans with their votes. They also need to carry out a massive campaign to encourage all Venezuelan grownups to register to vote. There could easily be more than 200000 voters abroad and their voices could count...if they worked on that.

Are you a Venezuelan living in Europe? What has been your experience? Do you know of other Venezuelans who are living legally in Europe but are not registered?


  1. First of all I did not think that there are so many venezuelans in Germany. Surprise.

    I know over here 5 venezuelans who are legally living in Germany and who are not registered.
    One of them is my wife. The reason not to register and to vote is quite simple:
    The family in Vzla.

    I mean I am a german and I got threads posting against Chavistas or Chavista Propaganda from a editorial office - if you ever want to travel to Venezuela again - just shut up.
    (I did the mistake to send an e Mail where the addressblog was attached so they had my name and address)

    Viele Gruesse

  2. Hallo.
    There are more. Those are just Venezuelans who were registered as voters on February 2009 and it is official stuff, I have seen the actas myself.

    Thus, those numbers are those who are

    +18 years old
    live legally in the land
    have a Venezuelan ID (it is very stupid the Venezuelan government does not allow to vote with a passport: a Venezuelan ID is very easy to falsify, a passport much less so - even if it is still possible -)
    decided to register

    I am sure there will be at least twice as many grownup Venezuelans in Germany.
    The people you know are no exception.
    They should register. Nobody can see for whom they vote in the future.

  3. Well when the vote has only as much counts for Chavez as ppl working in the embassy..
    But strange enough there are also Chavistas around that do not work for an Konsulat or Embassy...

  4. Hola Kepler,

    You will be amazed how many Venezuelans are living here on the Canaries Islands.

    And I think that two third is not registered.

    It does not matter where or when you go to the city of Tenerife. You always bumb into a Venezuelan.

    By the way it is not difficult to let yourself register in Spain.


  5. Hi, Alpha. Sure, 2/3 would be a good guess. As I said: less than 80 registered in Norway and there are at least 150 families in the very West. It is not easy to go from there to Oslo, so I imagine few of them are registered and at least 2 of each family must be over 18, I think. So: the amount of Venezuelans who could actually vote in Europe is well over 50000. All in all, if half of the Venezuelans living abroad would register and force the counting of their votes, we would have a weight in the elections.

  6. Hola Kepler,

    I agree totally.

    I wish I knew a way to let them see how important it is for those Venezuelan to let them register.


  7. You can tell them recent scientific research shows a very strong correlation between female attractiveness and electoral participation: beautiful women vote more than ugly ones.

    Men will always follow the women.


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