The election of the members of the National Constituent Assembly (ANC) has evidenced what all the polls have been showing: the popular support for the chavista project collapsed.
No one buys the results announced by Tibisay Lucena, head director of the National Electoral Council (CNE), last Sunday night starting with those members of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) who know, because they lived it first-hand, that the voter turnout was low, despite all the threats from the leaders of that political sector starting with Nicolás Maduro.
The chavismo movement was also fractured by this ANC process. The Attorney General Luisa Ortega Díaz, who was already distancing herself from the illegal rulings of the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ), definitively broke up with the country's rulers. The same can be said of former Ombudswoman Gabriela Ramírez or Hugo Carvajal, a lawmaker for the PSUV and retired army general. Added to these are all the members of the so-called critical or democratic chavismo including Héctor Navarro, Nicmer Evans, Freddy Gutiérrez and retired army general Miguel Rodríguez Torres.
None of them has joined the ANC as its installation has been overwhelmingly condemned at international level.
So far, 40 countries have rejected it and insist that the Government should return to a constitutional course. Apart from this, many ordinary citizens who call themselves followers of chavismo will be disappointed when they find out that the ANC won't solve any of the serious problems they suffer.
On the other hand, the ANC is already wreaking havoc as expected. Antonio Ledezma, the Metropolitan Mayor of Caracas, and Leopoldo López, national coordinator of the Voluntad Popular (popular will) opposition party, were returned to their cells in the Ramo Verde military prison. However, Ledezma was put back under house arrest by Venezuelan authorities on Friday. Separately, Ortega Díaz was removed from office on Saturday with the members of a legally elected Parliament in December 2015 facing repression without immunity.
Peace in the graves is what the Government has been offering so far.
In the face of what is to come, a stronger and broader unity is imposed. The political parties that make up the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) opposition coalition must work together. Everybody there must be taken into account and not, as has been happening in the last few months, that a group of four impose their own decisions without even discussing them.
Others outside that unity, from political parties that have been rejecting chavismo for years to those people distancing themselves from the ruling political movement, must be incorporated as well. There is a need to discuss and trace a path to restore democracy in the country. It is necessary to assess what has been done over the last year and a half and, in particular, in the last four months.
The results have not been as expected. The protests that have been taking place for months had four objectives¬ to which was added preventing the ANC from happening – and none was achieved. It is necessary to take some time to reflect, draw conclusions and take up the fight.