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  • Attorney for Trump's legal team, Sidney Powell, held a press conference Thursday in which she directly blames Commander Hugo Chavez, deceased in 2013, for

    Attorney for Trump's legal team, Sidney Powell, held a press conference Thursday in which she directly blames Commander Hugo Chavez, deceased in 2013, for "communist interference" in the 2020 U.S. presidential elections. | Photo: Twitter/@AngelWarrior321

Published 19 November 2020
Opinion

In the Trump administration's newest scheme to discredit the U.S. presidential elections and claim widespread voter fraud, it baselessly seeks to claim that the Venezuelan government, particularly the late Commander Hugo Chavez, are to blame.

The Trump administration's legal team—represented by Sidney Powell, the attorney for Trump's first National Security Advisor who was caught lying to the FBI, Mike Flynn—held a press conference Thursday in which she accused late Commander of the Bolivarian Revolution, Hugo Chavez, along with Cuba and China, of "communist interference" in the 2020 U.S. presidential elections. 

Based on the testimony of "one very strong witness"—an unnamed Venezuelan source, purportedly an opposition military defector once close to Chavez—Powell falsely claims that Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic, two electronic voting system companies involved in the U.S. elections, used technology created in Venezuela under the direction of Chavez in the U.S. presidential elections.

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Powell claims that Chavez supposedly had the technology created to ensure he would never lose an election after the recall referendum in 2004 led to an allegedly unwanted result. The witness whose affidavit was submitted in Lin Wood's plea in Georgia on behalf of the Trump campaign was, according to Powell, with Chavez when the late leader saw how the voting technology operated to "make sure the election came out his way, which was the expressed purpose of creating this software."

Powell then makes the jump to allege that this witness, upon learning of Biden's widening advantage after mail-in and early ballots were processed in the week after November 3rd, knew that the same thing had happened in the U.S. elections as had occurred in the Venezuelan referendum more than 15 years earlier, purportedly due to Smartmatic technology. 

While Smartmatic founder and CEO are indeed Venezuelan businessmen Antonio Mugica, and Smartmatic's election technology has been used in Venezuelan (as well as Brazilian, Belgian, Chilean, Estonian, British, U.S. numerous other) elections, there is no active partnership or ownership deal between the firm and Dominion Voting Systems, according to AP and statements released by both firms. 

Dominion, whose technology is used for voting and vote tabulation in over 30 U.S. states, including the contested races in Michigan and Georgia, has been the target of a barrage of false claims from the Trump campaign in an attempt to discredit the election results, including now that Dominion somehow has deep ties to Venezuela.

Smartmatic, an international company, founded by Venezuelans and incorporated in Florida, has clearly stated that it does not use Dominion software or technology. Dominion has said the same about Smartmatic. 

According to Eddie Perez, a voting technology expert at the OSET Institute, a nonpartisan election technology research, and development nonprofit, there's no reason to believe Dominion has ties to Venezuela, nor a partnership with Smartmatic.

In the U.S. presidential elections, Smartmatic only provided technology and software to Los Angeles County, and not to any of the battleground states whose vote the Trump campaign has questioned or challenged to date. 

Furthermore, in an open letter signed by 59 election security specialists released November 16, it was confirmed that that is "no credible evidence” that the 2020 election outcome was altered by exploiting technical vulnerabilities. 

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