The Smartmatic Story: From Venezuela With No Love

November 24, 2020 Updated: November 25, 2020

Commentary

Many have debated, and Rudy Giuliani only vaguely explained on Lou Dobbs’ show by saying they had “different theories” of the case, why the Trump legal team separated from Sidney Powell.

Occam’s Razor has a simpler explanation: What Powell is investigating—complicated trans-national computer fraud, involving multiple countries, not just the United States, with immense implications for the democratic system worldwide—takes considerably longer to explicate and prove than the time available to question a presidential election before votes are certified and the Electoral College meets.

This was corroborated by discussions I held with two men in a position to understand a great deal of this fraud that they say originated in and still emanates to a great degree from Venezuela (with a little help from Cuban, Iranian, and Hezbollah friends, possibly others).

These men wish to remain anonymous because they fear for their safety operating in foreign territory as they frequently do.

One of them is a former CIA officer who served in the Directorate of Operations and as chief of station in several countries. The other is of Venezuelan birth and lives in the United States.

In recent years, in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and others, they have worked to “flip” leaders and military personnel inside the Venezuelan and Cuban establishments, many of whom were involved with or had information about the extensive narcotics trade undertaken by those two countries as well as Iran and Hezbollah.

This billion-dollar criminal enterprise, particularly regarding Hezbollah in this instance, was on the brink of an exposure and prosecution that was ultimately ignored, as Politico reported, by the Obama administration on the urgings of the mullahs in order to protect the then-incipient Iran Deal.

Some of what these men told me can be authenticated, some not for reasons beyond anyone’s control at the moment. I leave it to readers to decide for themselves.

Nevertheless, for the record, and to understand what we are dealing with, the following members of the Venezuelan leadership are currently indicted in the United States for narcotics trafficking: President Nicolas Maduro, National Assembly leader Diosdado Cabello, petroleum minister Tareck El Aissami, Vice President Delcy Rodriguez, former intelligence chief Hugo Carvajal, and Venezuelan Army Chief of Staff Vladimir Padrino.

To give an idea of the extent of the crime, notorious Mexican “narcotrafficante” El Chapo was said to be worth $1.2 billion. Diosdado Cabello, I was told by one of my informants, is worth in excess of $20 billion! That puts him up there among the richest people in the world. Mix petrodollars—Venezuela, in whatever condition, has one of the richest oil fields on the planet—with drug dollars and you have a lucrative cocktail.

Smartmatic

The two men spoke with me about the origins of the Smartmatic system, which they analogized in some respects to 9/11, mentioning that it was another example of how we tend to underestimate our adversaries, in this case their computer capabilities.

With China and Russia to worry about, Venezuela has been more or less off our radar, but, given the figures above, it shouldn’t be. Their ruling class—not their people, clearly—has enough working capital to do as much damage as anyone.

More than a mere Banana Republic, they are a growing criminal state with tentacles reaching into Colombia and across the Atlantic into one of the major parties of our NATO ally Spain, I was told.

But back to Smartmatic.

In 1998, socialist Hugo Chavez, on his way to being maximum leader for life, changed the constitution of his country, allowing him to serve a six-year term instead of five—with the caveat that if 20 percent of Venezuelans were to sign a petition demanding a recall, an election would be held.

To the surprise of Chavez, such a petition was forthcoming and his attempt to invalidate the signatures failed.

A system had to be invented to guarantee the caudillo’s victory in the forthcoming presidential recall referendum.

Enter Smartmatic, a company founded in Delaware in April 2000 by three young Venezuelan engineers.

January 2004, a Venezuelan government agency, the New York Times reported, invested $200,000 in a technology company owned by those same three.

A Businessman’s Investment

According to the gentlemen I talked with, that money came from a businessman who had been approached by Cuban intelligence to make the needed investment in the nascent Smartmatic in order to improve their technology to the necessary level.

(NB: Since Chavez, Cuban intelligence has had a near total control of significant Venezuelan actions, including the selection of Maduro to replace Chavez when he died from cancer, according to my sources.)

This same businessman, I was told, has ”flipped” and is currently under protection by one of our agencies—presumably the DEA—in a foreign country where he is giving evidence in a criminal prosecution of the Venezuelan government.

We can hope information is also being gleaned that we can all learn from. One of the regrettable aspects of the U.S. government is that our agencies like the DEA still seem to compartmentalize. As far as is known, the Department of Justice is not yet involved.

This businessman is the second to make affidavits on this matter after the Venezuelan military officer cited by Sidney Powell a couple of weeks ago.

Shortly after this businessman’s investment (August 2004), Hugo Chavez won the referendum only to have it denounced as fraudulent by local civil-rights organizations.

This last is corroborated in an extensive English-language interview by Debbie D’Souza of Maria Corina Machado, a Venezuelan civil rights leader and politician, who has been the subject of persecution.

Among other things, Ms. Corina Machado recounts the formation of Súmate, an ad hoc group that was able to muster the necessary signatures for the recall election in a single day (Feb. 2, 2003), garnering a total of 3 million when only 2.4 million were necessary.

But that was an extraordinarily happy interlude in the tragedy that is Venezuela. A Bolivian friend of mine, a recent visitor to the country, told me he saw starving people in their streets resembling images from the Holocaust.

Ownership

But back again to Smartmatic. Who owns it?

It’s unclear, although it putatively started in the United States (See above). By 2006 it was used in disputed elections in Argentina, apparently to fix them, and in 2011 it was set up in the United Kingdom by no less than deputy U.N. secretary-general Lord Malloch-Brown, “who took up leadership positions of [George] Soros’s funds and institutes in 2007.”

Hmmm…

Equally important, a 2006 WikiLeaked email tells this story:

“Smartmatic has claimed to be of U.S. origin, but its true owners — probably elite Venezuelans of several political strains — remain hidden behind a web of holding companies in the Netherlands and Barbados. … The company is thought to be backing out of Venezuelan electoral events, focusing now on other parts of world, including the United States via its subsidiary, Sequoia.”

Beyond the initial three engineers, Smartmatic, and then Sequoia, had at least thirty anonymous investors, including, possibly, a then Venezuelan vice-president, as found in WikiLeaks’ system at CARACAS 00002063 001.2 OF 004.

Dominion

But where does Dominion fit in? Weren’t they the ones with the U.S. voting machines?

Well, in 2010, after working more than five years for Smartmatic, the former vice president, development at Sequoia who was also their chief software architect, Eric Coomer, went over to Dominion Voting Systems as vice president of U.S. engineering.

Responses by Dominion/Smartmatic/Sequoia people have been from deliberately opaque to nauseating public relations. Only true forensic computer research will solve anything, not to mention abandoning computer voting altogether (probably the right approach).

Mysteries abound, as, no doubt, Sidney Powell would agree. No matter what level of Kraken she releases, there may always be more.

One of those alleged by my sources, and one that I cannot check, is that someone high up in the Democratic National Committee is a “former” Chavista.

Sabotaging Our Election

Another surrounds a trip taken to Mexico City on Oct. 21, 2020, by Ambassador Richard Grenell—a man tremendously admired by my sources and by me.

Amb. Grenell went there to meet with Jorge Rodriquez, the brother of now Venezuelan vice-president Delcy Rodriquez (see the list of indictments above). Jorge is a man, we can assume, of tremendous wealth and something of a “power behind the throne,” as is his sister Delcy.

As the New York Times explains, amidst its predictable huffing and puffing about the State Department not having been informed of the meeting, the purpose was to negotiate the departure of Maduro and company, thus freeing the Venezuelan people from their long national nightmare.

It was a laudable goal, surely, but bound for failure for reasons unknown to Amb. Grenell. (I contacted him to discuss this, but he demurred.)

According to my sources, Rodriquez was well aware at that point that his country’s leadership was participating in the sabotage of our election through their computer system.

That made any negotiation moot, but more than that Rodriquez truly despised the United States to such an extent he would want no part of an agreement.

Grenell would have no reason to know this, said my sources, but Jorge’s hatred would have been motivated by more than the usual anti-Americanism. It had vengeance attached. Although Jorge himself could now fairly be called what’s known as a “boligarch” (today’s wealthy Venezuelan businessmen—Bolivar revolution oligarchs), his father was a communist guerrilla who, many years ago, was killed.

Jorge blames the CIA.

As I type this, word has come that Sidney Powell is about to release her first “Kraken,” concerning voter fraud in Georgia. As I wrote the other day, win, lose or draw, her grievances must be aired for our sake, but more for our children and grandchildren.

Something has gone seriously wrong.

Roger L. Simon is an award-winning novelist, Oscar-nominated screenwriter, co-founder of PJMedia, and now, editor-at-large for The Epoch Times. His most recent books are The GOAT” (fiction) and I Know Best: How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Republic, If It Hasnt Already” (nonfiction). Find him on Parler @rogerlsimon.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.