The NY Times is finally reporting something reported since early 2005: a close tie between the regime of Hugo Chavez and the Smartmatic voting machines being used in many US elections.
This story was explored in considerable detail by Alekzander Boyd - a Venezuelan expatriate.
One of the things he discussed was the rather close tie between ex-President Jimmy Carter and Hugo Chavez.
"The USAID, IFES, Carter Center, CNE and Smartmatic connection In June 1998, the National Electoral Council (CNE) of Venezuela contracted the International Foundation for Election Systems IFES to renew and make recommendations regarding proposals for an automated voting system in Venezuela [21, page 29 ].
IFES has been awarded (award number AEP-I-00-00-00007-00) an "indefinite quantity contract" (IQC) by USAID with the following purpose: "To support the transition to, and consolidation of, democratic governments through which citizens choose their leaders and participate in all levels of political decision-making, particularly in transition and sustainable development countries" [22, page 30 ].
According to Carter Center's America's Programme director Jennifer McCoy "President Carter had traveled several times to Venezuela, including monitoring the 1998 and 2000 elections, and he and President Chavez built a very good personal relationship" .
Such warm relationship may have come about due to the fact that the Carter Center is the sole subcontractor of IFES for the aforementioned purpose. "
The machines were used - unsuccessfully-in Chicago in 2005.
Incidentally, I've read a LOT of criticism ( which seems well-warranted) of the Diebold machines ,but can't help wondering how much of that criticism was generated by the Smartmatic/Sequoia operation.