‘Conspiracy theory’? Corporate media earlier reported Chavez ties to Dominion Voting Systems

Analysis by WorldTribune Staff, November 23, 2020

Since they have already established it is they and not state legislatures or the courts or the Constitution which decides who won an election, the major media have declared in unison that any investigations into election fraud are “conspiracy theories.”

That includes the ties between Dominion Voting Systems and socialist Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez.

The New York Times said the attorneys pursuing this angle are steeped in “unsubstantiated conspiracy theories about a voting software company affecting the election’s outcome.”

Past reporting, from outlets that are not exactly right-leaning, has established clear ties between Dominion and Chavez. It is long known that Chavez rigged his elections.

In December 2017, investigative journalist Brad Friedman wrote for the Huffington Post: “As part of a detailed investigative exposé series in 2008, as we broke the story of Hart Intercivic’s quietly attempted hostile takeover of Sequoia, we revealed the fact that — despite representations to the contrary, possibly even to U.S. government investigators — the IP (intellectual property) for the vast-majority/near-entirety of Sequoia’s voting systems was actually secretly owned by the Hugo Chavez-tied, Venezuelan-based firm, Smartmatic.”

In 2004, Smartmatic, which specializes in building and implementing electronic voting systems, bought Bizta, in which both Smartmatic and the Venezuelan government had large stakes. The Miami Herald revealed that the Venezuelan government owned 28 percent of Bizta, which was operated by two of the same people who own Smartmatic.

“Bizta and Smartmatic had partnered with Venezuelan telephone giant CANTV to win a $91 million contract to supply electronic voting machines for Venezuelan elections, including the controversial 2004 referendum Chavez won,” the report said.

In 2005, Smartmatic purchased Sequoia Voting Systems, one of the leading U.S. companies in automated voting products.

The New York Times itself reported in October 2006 that the U.S. government was investigating Smartmatic’s ties to the Chavez regime.

Smartmatic’s chairman is a member of the British House of Lords, Mark Malloch Brown, a former vice-chairman of George Soros’s Investment Funds, former vice-president at the World Bank, lead international partner at Sawyer Miller, a political consulting firm, and former vice-chair of the World Economic Forum who “remains deeply involved in international affairs.” The company’s reported globalist ties have caused members of the media and government officials to raise questions about its involvement in the U.S. electoral process.

As Friedman reported: “The continuing control of the IP was discovered by The BRAD BLOG long after the (largely) Rightwing outrage which had forced a federal investigation into Smartmatic’s control over American elections had died down. The initial concern had come following revelations that Smartmatic seemed to be directly tied to the Venezuelan President Chavez. Angry sentiment led by CNN’s Lou Dobbs and some members of Congress (including NY’s Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney) led to an investigation by the federal Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), subsequently forcing Smartmatic to divest of Sequoia. Sequoia was then supposedly purchased away from Smartmatic by a team of its U.S. executives, in order to make it fully independent from the Chavez-tied parent company.”

Friedman continued: “But that divestiture was a lie. Sequoia hadn’t publicly disclosed that Smartmatic still retained legal ownership of the IP used in all of their voting machines, a fact that wasn’t publicly revealed until our exposé which forced a subsequent admission by Sequoia’s then CEO and President Jack Blaine. Blaine admitted — in what he thought was a “confidential” company-wide conference call convened to explain the attempted Hart takeover to employees after they’d read the news on The BRAD BLOG — that the company hadn’t actually acquired the the IP from Smartmatic in their deal.

“So who now owns the IP for Sequoia’s voting machines used in some 20% of the U.S.? If you believe Dominion’s press release, which states ‘Dominion has acquired Sequoia’s inventory and all intellectual property’, that would be Dominion.”

Friedman went on to note that Venezuela’s Chavez “is still tied to a huge percentage of U.S. Elections, as now overseen by a Canadian firm (Dominion).”

In August 2017, the UK’s Guardian reported that turnout figures in Venezuela’s assembly election, which used the Smartmatic system, were inflated by at least one million votes.

The vote, which favored the party of dictator Nicola Maduro, was boycotted by the opposition and was criticized around the world as an assault on democratic freedoms.

Dominion Voting Systems spokesperson Michael Steel claimed in an interview with Fox News: “Our election system is run by local elected officials and non-partisan poll watchers. We simply provide a tool to count the ballots and to print and count ballots. There is no way such a massive fraud could have taken place and there are no connections between our company and Venezuela, Germany, Barcelona, Kathmandu, whatever the latest conspiracy theory is.”

Lorie Wimble noted in a Nov. 22 report for noqreport.com: “It’s true that the system is run by local election officials, but what Steel did not mention is that shortly after testifying before the Senate in January, Dominion released a correction to their testimony that stated many of their machines had remote access capabilities. He was also accurate when he said the company he’s representing has no known connections with Kathmandu. The rest of what he said is comprised of lies. Even CNN had to acknowledge a connection to Venezuela in their attempt to debunk a connection to Venezuela, George Soros, and the Clinton Foundation.”

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