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Sunday, April 20, 2008


Electoral scandal in Colombia

I found this in the Miami Herald, but a search reveals the information hasn't appeared in a single other corporate media outlet:
A former Colombian congresswoman whose vote was key to approving a constitutional reform that cleared the way for President Alvaro Uribe's reelection bid in 2006 claims she was offered certain benefits for her ballot, in apparent violation of Colombian law.

Yidis Medina said in a previously unseen 2004 video that Uribe, then-Interior Minister Sabas Pretelt and Alberto Velásquez, then secretary general of the presidency, offered her "whatever she wanted" in exchange for her vote favoring the reelection.

According to Medina, 17 other congressional representatives were also approached with similar offers.

The granting of special benefits to congressional representatives in exchange for votes has been standard practice throughout the history of the Colombian Congress.

But a 2003 constitutional amendment backed by Uribe outlawed the practice.

Medina, who at first opposed the reelection proposal, admitted in the interview that she requested several government positions for friends and supporters to change her vote. She said she also accepted an offer by Uribe to appoint one of her close friends to a consular position.

She voted in favor of the proposal in mid-2005, allowing Uribe to run for reelection in May 2006.
OK, now go back and change the words "Colombia" to "Venezuela" and "Alvaro Uribe" to "Hugo Chavez." Now imagine how many outlets would be featuring this story, and the reaction from Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly, et al., not to mention Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and John McCain.

And while you're at it, remember that Chavez put his proposal to extend the limits on Presidential terms of office up to a vote of the people, not up to a vote of easily-bribed members of Congress.

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