The Opposition must organize itself quickly and find the most expeditious way to choose a unitary candidate as broad as possible for these upcoming presidential elections. Organizing itself to overcome abstention and to defend the votes on Election Day is another urgent task
Rumors came true on Tuesday after Diosdado Cabello, Vice President of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), requested the National Constituent Assembly (ANC) to order the National Electoral Council (CNE) to bring forward the country’s presidential elections to April. It was hard to believe that the chavismo regime didn’t try to take advantage of the current benefits to turn a minority into a majority.
The Opposition, the half still within the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) coalition and the other half outside of it, is now faced with the need to make a decision that is going to be critical for the future of Venezuela. Making Venezuela a country with a future will entirely depend on bringing the dictatorship of Nicolás Maduro to an end.
Without these two conditions, which are not the only ones, it will be impossible to defeat the authoritarianism of Maduro and the people who support him.
The decision to bring forward the elections may also jeopardize the negotiations taking place in the Dominican Republic. It was clear that sectors of the government were seeking to pull out of the talks with the Opposition. A proof of this was the statement by the Minister of the Interior, Gen. Néstor Reverol, ensuring that a disloyalty of a member of the Opposition in the Dominican Republic had helped to track down the hideout of police officer Oscar Pérez and his group, who were shot dead last Monday for rebelling against the Maduro government.
The Government knows well that is not convenient to withdraw from those negotiations. It doesn’t want them, but it doesn’t want to appear as the deal-breaker either. That’s why it is looking for any excuse to justify its decision today. This is not the first time that government officials are sanctioned. As a matter of fact, other sanctions had been announced while the negotiations were taking place. But the decision of the European Union this week seems to give more strength to the most radical sectors of chavismo.
Both, as usual, have their pros and cons. We must also see what the countries that have followed this process will decide to do.
In any case, the Opposition must organize itself quickly and find the most expeditious way to choose a unitary candidate as broad as possible for these upcoming presidential elections. Organizing itself to overcome abstention and to defend the votes on Election Day is another urgent task. We see no other way out but to go to that process.