CARACAS – The Venezuelan opposition alliance, the Democratic Unity Roundtable, or MUD, admitted that the demonstration it called for Saturday in Caracas was poorly attended, but said it has no doubts about winning the legislative elections next December.
The march scheduled for Caracas and in all 24 of the state capitals around the country “against hunger, against crime, for freedom, for unity,” finally attracted several dozen people in a single street of the Venezuelan capital.
Asked what happened, MUD Executive Secretary Jesus Torrealba told reporters that the demonstration was reduced to a “meeting of activists.”
“This is a meeting of activists, of militants. The great mass of citizens are standing in line” at stores to find products that have become very scarce in regular establishments but are available at inflated prices from informal vendors,” Torrealba said.
The head of the MUD coalition of political parties in opposition to President Nicolas Maduro said that times are so bad in Venezuela that “the government is in the process of taking a beating from the opposition.”
“We’re all indignant about what is happening in Venezuela, we all want change, a real change to democracy and freedom,” Torrealba said.
Despite the setback suffered from the demonstration in Caracas, Torrealba said that “no one is going to take our eye off what is really hurting the immense majority of Venezuelans – hunger, shortages of food and medicines, crime and murder” because of the reigning insecurity.
For Freddy Guevara, leader of the Voluntad Popular party whose founder, Leopoldo Lopez, waits in prison for the conclusion of a criminal trial for the alleged acts of violence the government accuses him of, said the reason why Saturday’s march was poorly attended was because of MUD’s dispute with the Christian Democrat party Copei.
“The government is messing with MUD, but however much they try to sabotage us, we’ll keep going forward, committed to voting and to demonstrating in the streets,” Guevara said, a reference to the MUD’s separation from the Copei party, which this week led to the removal of its secretary general, Roberto Enriquez, on hand for the march through Caracas.
Enriquez told EFE on Saturday after the demonstration that “it’s true our Copei people are in tears today” because of “a faction of traitors” suspected of being under government orders, but he insisted nonetheless that “the opposition will win the elections in December.”