Mysterious Fire Destroys Venezuela’s Voting Machines

View of the facade of the CNE headquarters in Caracas, on March 8, 2020. - A fire -that has not yet been completely extinguished- broke out in a warehouse of the National Electoral Council (CNE) in Caracas where the equipment used in the elections is stored. (Photo by Federico PARRA …

Thousands of voting machines mysteriously went up in flames near Caracas, Venezuela, this week, shortly before Nicolás Maduro’s socialist regime planned a fraudulent election to regain control of the National Assembly, the country’s last democratically elected institution.

In a news conference on Sunday, National Election Council (CNE) chief and Maduro loyalist Tibisay Lucena announced that around 50,000 voting machines and 582 computers used in the country’s fraudulent elections had gone up in flames in a warehouse outside Caracas. She also confirmed that the regime would conduct an internal investigation.

“Burnt in this fire were 582 computers belonging to the civil registry, 49,408 voting machines, and 400 electronic ballots,” Lucena said. “Very little could be recovered. It was a great effort, but the fire was greater.”

“The electoral council wants to know the truth: What was the origin of the fire and how did it spread so rapidly?” she continued. “No hypothesis is being discarded.”

The regime’s official narrative was regurgitated by liberal media outlets such as the Associated Press despite the fact that the regime has effectively rigged all elections since Maduro seized power in 2013 to benefit him and his United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV).

The regime has long wanted to retake control of the National Assembly, which as the country’s only legitimate lawmaking body has ruled Maduro’s grip on power illegal following rigged presidential elections in 2018, and sworn in its leader Juan Guaidó as the country’s interim president. Guaidó has since been recognized by the majority of Western democracies, including the U.S., of being the rightful president of Venezuela.

Although circumstances surrounding the attack currently remain unclear, Lucena’s eagerness to blame the political opposition, a tactic used practically every time the socialist government causes a problem in the country, may add fuel to growing speculation that the arson was an inside job.

In her accusation, she cited the behavior of anti-Maduro activists attempting to undermine the creation of an illegal lawmaking body known as the “national constituent assembly” that aims to transform the country into a Cuba-style one-party communist state.

“The electoral process is far from being destroyed … If there are groups who think that they’re going to stop electoral processes, constitutionally established, they are very wrong. They haven’t accounted for the determination of the men and women of the electoral branch,” she declared.

“In 2017, those who did not want elections were vicious against the voting machines,” she continued. “They attacked operators, they burned vehicles, they made death threats, they burned voting machines, but the election took place.”

In January this year, ten people tragically perished in a fire at a sugar plantation outside the northern city of Cagua. The group, who were hunting rabbits in the area, reportedly became encircled by flames and could not escape. Seven of the victims were children aged between 10 and 14.

Follow Ben Kew on Facebook, Twitter at @ben_kew, or email him at


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.