The United States embassy for Venezuela has been caught deleting tweets undermining the integrity of the December 6 National Assembly elections in the country and calling on Venezuelans not to participate in them.
“Tomorrow in Venezuela there will be no elections but rather a fraud carried out by the illegitimate Maduro regime. The world is watching. And Venezuelans are organizing to report it. Are you ready to defend democracy? I don’t vote on December 6,” one tweet read, linking to a website purporting to track election irregularities.
The concept of “defending democracy” has been one commonly employed by the opposition during their many coup attempts on the government, dating back to 2002.
The deletion was spotted by Adrienne Pine, Associate Professor of Anthropology at the American University in Washington D.C. and one of 300 foreign election observers who oversaw the contest earlier this month.
It is not clear why the U.S. embassy decided to go back and delete its posting history, especially as that continues to be the official line of the United States government. Accusing Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro of “brazenly rigging these elections,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo described the contest as “a political farce intended to look like legislative elections.” “The United States, along with numerous other democracies around the world, condemns this charade which failed to meet any minimum standard of credibility,” he added.
But the American position is disputed by the international observers, including Pine herself, who was impressed by the level of election security. “It was really amazing to see it firsthand. There are so many fail safe measures in the system to ensure that there can’t be fraud that I was just blown away,” she said on the latest edition of the MintCast, MintPress’ video podcast. “COVID security measures were completely integrated into the electoral process itself,” she added.
The Council of Latin American Electoral Experts, who also oversaw the vote, verified the results, noting the “increased citizen confidence in political organizations and candidates.” A number of former heads of state, including those of Ecuador, Spain, Honduras, and Bolivia also attested to the process’s veracity.