The new Unity of the Opposition in Venezuela

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With the help of Juan Guaidó assumed a leadership role within the Venezuelan Opposition, the formerly fractious Maduro seem to find opponents to a new unity. How did it come about?

One of the reasons why the head of state, Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela in Power for so long, is the disunity and fragmentation of the opposition forces in the country. The fact that many formerly prominent opposition politicians either arrested, under house arrest, in exile, or completely had a falling out, is the head of state, Nicolás Maduro have in the past been very responsive.

But suddenly everything seems to be different. With the unexpected rise of the Parliament’s President, Juan Guaidó to the self-proclaimed interim President also seems to be the Opposition like a Phoenix from the ashes to ascend.

A new voice

The sociologist Héctor Briceño from the Institute of development studies at the Central University of Venezuela in Caracas, sees it as a positive sign that Guaidó occurs as the sole spokesman of the Opposition: “It shows that the Opposition has overcome the inner struggles and disputes in the years 2016 and 2017, as she was very much coherent and even contradictory on-the-go”.

Despite his youth and short political career, it seems to be the deputies of the center-left party “Voluntad Popular” has managed to unite the opposition forces. “Guaidó not demonstrated unity, he speaks only for himself,” says Briceño. “Every speech of Guaidó an internal discussion between the various Parts of the Opposition, in which General guidelines are agreed,” said Briceño.

Opposition politician López: house arrest and was sentenced to 13 years in prison.

The Venezuelan analyst Jesús Azcargorta not surprised that Guaidó plays a leading role in the Opposition or even by some as the “redemptive Savior” is seen. “But he is not alone. Behind him many powers with very different interests,” emphasizes Azcargorta in the DW-interview. Guaidó have managed these partly divergent currents within the Opposition to focus on the ultimate goal: The departure of Maduro and the restoration of democracy.

The old grandees of the Opposition

This reorientation, and reorientation within the Venezuelan Opposition was sorely needed. The founder and party leader of the “Voluntad Popular”, Leopoldo López, is for 18 months under house arrest. In 2015, he was convicted of incitement to violence to 13 years in prison.

Another prominent personality of the Venezuelan Opposition Henrique Capriles. The two-time presidential candidate, was completed in April 2017 politically cold, when the government informed him that he should not be permitted to run for a period of 15 years for a political office. The public confession of Capriles for Guaidó was an important step towards the unity of the Opposition, Briceño. “It is not particularly remarkable, since Capriles was in the past so cooperative,” said the Venezuelan sociologist.

Henrique Capriles: May take 15 years of public office

Coordination at the top of the Opposition

Now a division of tasks seems to emerge. The international relations of the former President of Parliament Julio Borges, who is currently in exile cares. Borges was appointed by Guaidó to the Ambassador for the States of the so-called Lima-a group that belongs in addition to Canada, the majority of Latin American countries.

The new strategy is to make a single opposition leader to the front and demonstrate unity. “We see excellent cooperation of Guaidó with the other leaders of the Opposition. As a representative of the political party “Voluntad Popular”, he discusses his approach with his own party leader Leopoldo López and coordinates with Julio Borges, the party chief of the “Primero Justicia,” says Briceño.

The primary aim is, according to the Statements of the leaders of the opposition parties, the removal of Maduro from the presidency. What comes after that, and when you are competing again with each other, will decide in the course of the transition process.