Venezuelan opposition alliance, which came together least year, seemed to be falling apart owing to difference of opinion. This fragmented set up is most likely to benefit the current Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, who is contesting for his second term in the country’s upcoming parliamentary elections, set for December.
One faction of the opposition alliance is led by Juan Guaido, who wants to boycott the elections altogether as a mark of resistance towards Maduro’s corrupt and repressive regime. The other factions is headed by Henrique Capriles, who along with his followers have been planning to run their own candidates in the elections. But Capriles needs Turkish government to act as a mediator between Maduro and him for taking things forward. Contrasting goals and scattered opposition leaves Venezuela far more vulnerable and susceptible of losing its democracy to military rule.
At a time when Venezuela is going through a dictatorship, the unity is essential. Venezuelans don’t want to see their leaders fighting. They want to see them fighting for them.US envoy to Venezuela
Maduro’s supporters mocked Capriles, a former presidential candidate along and his closest ally Ivan Stalin González for their shifting stand on elections from boycotting to contesting. Capriles said that in his opinion opposition should campaign for elections in order to voice regular concerns of Venezuelans who are struggling to live in a broken democracy and damaged economy.
“We’re looking for a political event that mobilizes this country,” Capriles, who narrowly lost to Maduro in 2014, said in video message. “When a person slides into poverty, the only thing he has left is the vote, this expression against this hunger-spreading regime.”
Capriles’ concern is backed by Venezuela’s Catholic Church and the country’s biggest business association, the two most major civic societies, who not only stand in opposition to Maduro government, but also rejects Guaido’s take on saving democracy but quitting elections.
Guaido holds major backing from external partners including US and an alliance of over 60 democratic nations, who recognises his as the country’s rightful leader. He believed that with participating of opposition leaders in the elections Maduro’s dictatorship, which has been wearing a veil of democracy, would gain legitimacy. Guaido called it a rigged vote. He strongly feels the need for a strong and united opposition to combat Maduro’s web of tyranny. Last week, Guaidó in a virtual meeting with the US envoy to Venezuela said, “At a time when Venezuela is going through a dictatorship, the unity is essential. Venezuelans don’t want to see their leaders fighting. They want to see them fighting for them.” In this clash of ideology between the fragmented wings of Venezuelan opposition, Maduro’s is sure to emerge as a winner. These turn of events could easily make way for Maduro dumb democracy and covert autocracy.