For Venezuela poll com­puter Maduro ‘does not ex­ist’

Muscat Daily - - WORLD -

Cara­cas, Venezuela - Af­ter months of dev­as­tat­ing short­ages, deadly protests and mount­ing chaos, many a Venezue­lan has wished Pres­i­dent Ni­co­las Maduro never ex­isted.

The com­puter sys­tem han­dling Sun­day's con­tro­ver­sial elec­tions to his pow­er­ful new con­sti­tu­tion re-writ­ing body ap­pears to feel the same way.

When Maduro scanned his ID card as he cast his bal­lot - the first Venezue­lan to do so - the screen spit out the words, "This per­son does not ex­ist or the ID was can­celled."

The mes­sage, dis­played on the screen of a poll worker’s cell­phone, was cap­tured by TV cam­eras and soon went vi­ral on­line. The ID card in ques­tion is the ‘fa­ther­land card’ in­tro­duced by Maduro's so­cial­ist gov­ern­ment to buy sub­sidised food and ac­cess other so­cial pro­grammes.

As Maduro de­liv­ered a speech at the polling sta­tion, he paused to the­atri­cally whip out his card.

“Let’s check my fa­ther­land card so it will be per­ma­nently reg­is­tered that I came to vote, and so my fa­ther­land card will be en­graved with it for life: That I voted the his­toric day of the con­stituent as­sem­bly,” he said. He then pre­sented his card's bar code to be read with a scan­ner. “Did it read it?” he asked the young poll worker. “Yes, it did,” she said, with­out ap­pear­ing to show him the mes­sage.

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