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RE: [change-links] Alarcón proposes observers for Fl orida

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  • Walter Lippmann
    Keep a few things in mind which may change your opinion: The first thing which has to be done is to demand official status for the election observers. Recall
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 31, 2004
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      Keep a few things in mind which may change your opinion:

      The first thing which has to be done is to demand official
      status for the election observers. Recall the United States
      has been demanding observer status for outfits like the
      Carter Center and the OAS in Venezuela. Recall that the US
      is complaining loudly about Cuba's electoral system, which
      Washington wants to replace with the one in Florida. For
      these reasons, the most important thing we can do is to
      shine the light of international publicity on all of this.

      Don't give up the fight before it has even begun! Read:
      http://www.granma.cu/ingles/2004/julio/lun19/30elec.html

      And don't forget the history of fraud and segregation at
      the ballot box going back through the years. Read this:
      http://www.granma.cu/ingles/2004/julio/lun12/29elec1.html


      Walter
      ========================================================

      -----Original Message-----
      From: mrosario@... [mailto:mrosario@...]
      Sent: Saturday, July 31, 2004 3:45 PM
      To: change-links@yahoogroups.com; CubaNews
      Subject: Re: [change-links] Alarcón proposes observers for Florida

      What good would it do to "observe in Florida" since hundreds of thousands
      are prevented from voting simply because they were convicted once or more
      times in their lifetime. Some had their convictions over 30 or 40 years ago.
      Yet they can't vote in Florida.
      The only thing they will "observe" in Florida is some manipulators taking 40
      or 100 absentee ballots of senior citizens and manipulate them.


      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Walter Lippmann" <walterlx@...>
      GRANMA INTERNATIONAL
      Havana. July 30, 2004

      ELECTIONS IN THE U.S.A.

      Alarcón proposes observers for Florida

      . "Miami is one hour away from the Carter Center, from the
      OAS office, and a couple of hours from the UN
      headquarters," the president of the Cuban parliament
      informs Granma International . "The least they should do is
      to verify the electoral process in a country that prompted
      the scandal of the century during the last elections," he
      emphasized

      BY JEAN-GUY ALLARD-Special for Granma International-

      THE United Nations and the Carter Center, which send so
      many observer missions throughout the world, need to send
      observers to Florida to verify the electoral process " in
      the country that prompted the largest election scandal of
      the century during the last elections," affirmed Ricardo
      Alarcón de Quesada, president of the Cuban parliament,
      speaking to Granma International.

      "The U.S. system is diabolical," commented Alarcón, whose
      extensive knowledge of the U.S. political world is well
      known. "It is designed precisely to make it very difficult
      to exercise the right to be registered. It is impossible to
      know who is included, who is not included. It's going to be
      four years since the last election and the issue of those
      on the lists and that whole maneuver by Bush is still being
      discussed... He is already preparing the conditions for the
      next fraud."

      That is why, Alarcón emphasizes, the United Nations should
      respond positively to the request by a group of Black
      congressmen: "A very simple one. That they send an observer
      commission. Moreover, it is a very cheap mission because
      the United Nations is in the United States. There's no need
      to travel to another country. It's there."

      Likewise, the OAS is in Washington, he added, as is the
      case with the Carter Center, "which spends its time
      traveling around the world, which is based in Atlanta."

      "And Atlanta is, I would say, one hour's journey from
      Miami. It is very easy. They can go and observe and even go
      home to sleep at night. And that they should carry out a
      verification process, but starting now. Not just observing
      whether there are disturbances or not during the elections.
      Begin with the electoral rolls. With the right to be
      registered. With the campaign, which is the dirtiest thing
      in the world."

      EXAMPLES OF BRAZIL AND VENEZUELA

      The president of the National Assembly of People's Power
      recalled how in Brazil, nobody criticized the last
      presidential elections, which Lula won, but which were
      organized by his predecessor, with computerized voting
      machines.

      "The organization was excellent, the results were known in
      record time, all with machines. But in Brazil, every voter
      took away with him or her a little piece of paper
      confirming his or her vote. That is in Brazil, which is a
      Third World country, and using Brazilian technology."

      Alarcón also commented that during the last elections in
      Venezuela, nobody said that fraud had been committed.
      "Neither during prior ones. Nor in the ones prior to that
      one. Nor during the last seven... neither has the
      opposition claimed that Chávez had not been elected by the
      votes. And now there is a whole maneuver of verification
      and control for the August 14 referendum."

      "So, a minimum of consequence is needed," he affirmed.
      "They should at least verify the electoral process in a
      country that prompted the scandal of the century during the
      last elections."

      A number of denunciations have been made by individuals and
      groups in Florida who are taking steps "because they fear
      that they're going to do the same thing again" in a state
      where Jeb Bush, the brother of one of the main candidates,
      controls the organization of the elections.

      "They're the same as during 2000. The National Association
      for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and various
      groups are calling on Black people to register to vote. The
      same thing happened last time. In 2000, there was a large
      increase in the number of Black people who took all the
      steps to be able to vote and many of them were prevented
      from doing so. Afterwards, there were the traps, the
      maneuvers to rob them of their votes."

      In reference to the use of computerized voting machines,
      Alarcón emphasized that in the case of Florida, it is "a
      voting system that leaves no trace."

      In November, "not even those people with magnifying glasses
      will be there, analyzing how the voter wanted to vote.
      There will be no written testimony. How is it that this
      vote is not going to be controlled internationally when it
      is moreover the country that dispatches the most missions
      to pass judgement on the quality, decency and integrity of
      electoral processes?" he asked.

      "AN ABSOLUTE VIOLATION OF A UNIVERSAL PRINCIPAL"

      The fact that nearly 600,000 people are deprived of their
      voting rights, in Florida alone, for having legal records,
      is "an absolute violation of a universal principal,"
      Alarcón observed.

      "These are not individuals who are serving sentences;
      rather, they are people who have already completed their
      sentences," he emphasized.

      The president of the Cuban parliament commented that in
      some southern U.S. states, including Florida, "We're not
      just talking about people who have served a prison term in
      a penal institution, we're talking about people with a
      criminal record. It might mean that someone has violated a
      traffic law which has led to him or her spending a night in
      jail, or in a police station or paying a fine, but he or
      she is marked with a record."

      In addition, he said, it should be considered who creates
      the lists, who controls them and "who guarantees me that I
      have been removed from the lists if I have been erroneously
      placed on them."

      Alarcón recalled how in the year 2000, the Florida Civil
      Rights Commission certified 17,000 Black people who were
      prevented from voting, "some because they unduly appeared
      on the list, others because they didn't appear on the list
      as voters, according to what they were told; others because
      they were not allowed to approach the building where the
      polls were where, in some cases, armed patrols blocked the
      access."

      "As Michael Moore says in his documentary, it is very
      simple: look at the skin color. Let the white one pass. Not
      the Black one. Because the immense majority of Black people
      vote against the Republicans."

      He then recalled how as a result of the Civil War, when
      slavery was abolished, a number of Black senators were
      elected, until the Southern states applied such restrictive
      regulations that it never happened again - with the sole
      exception of the state of Illinois - until the Voting
      Rights Act that Johnson passed in 1964.

      "With the whole struggle for civil rights, one century
      after the Civil War, it was acknowledged that they had a
      federal constitutional right, and thus the Southern states
      lost the possibility of restricting the vote as they did up
      until 1964 - according to income, education, and a whole
      series of excuses."

      But even so, there continued to be traps, he said, "like it
      was during the 2000 election, violence reported by tens of
      thousands of people. We're not talking about an allegation,
      about what someone said, this is something that everyone
      knows."

      Alarcón recalled the case of Jews from Miami Beach voting
      en masse for the only anti-Semitic candidate (Buchanan)
      because the ballot was designed to be confusing. "And those
      votes led to Gore winning."

      "That is why I am proposing a one-hour trip, from Atlanta
      to Miami, including President Carter and his experts. And
      that they go now!" .

      ELECTORAL "TRANSITION"

      . "What impresses me in the 'transition' plan for Cuba
      published by the White House," Alarcón commented, "is when
      they speak of the electoral system: the priority, the
      central element, is to eliminate the system of automatic,
      universal and free registration by which everyone, upon
      arriving at voting age, becomes a voter, and instead apply
      the U.S. system."

      "It seems like a bad joke," he added.




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