The Venezuelan Opposition Battles Against Itself

Juan Guaidó called for “unity around legitimate institutions” and rejected the notion of his extended presidency as the sole goal, and while opposition figures break away from his leadership, he insists on the importance of agreements and integration.

An actual house of cards.

Photo: The Washington Post

  • Caretaker president and AN speaker Juan Guaidó explained on Sunday night that it’s the National Assembly that has received the support and that unity isn’t for him, it’s for legitimate institutions. He said that his proposal didn’t contemplate extending the caretaker presidency, and he emphasized three key goals: “The road is clear: the end of the usurpation, transition government and free elections. The consultation is about how to achieve those goals.” Guaidó wants to complete this phase of presenting the opposition’s new plan this week, to sign a unity pact. He thinks there’s been important progress: “90% of sectors have the same commitment. That’s how it happened in 2015 and 2018. People don’t want to see fights between leaders. They want to see agreements for Venezuelans’ sake,” he said about the disagreements that were all over social media during the weekend. Guaidó expects to talk to Capriles on Monday, August 31st, “seeing as it’s a possibility that he’ll participate in the regime’s electoral fraud (…) there are differences that disappoint Venezuelans and are louder than the agreements. Differences only benefit the regime,” he said. Juan Guaidó says “everyone should join us, because we need everyone.” 
  • On the other hand, Vente Venezuela’s founder, María Corina Machado, informed after her meeting with Juan Guaidó that they weren’t able to reach an agreement as to the proposal of a unity pact to face Nicolás. Machado thinks that Venezuelans already answered in the consultation of July, 16th, 2017 and that’s an unfulfilled mandate. “There’s an alternative option for freeing Venezuela, and it’s the Stabilization and Peace Operation,” said Machado, an operation that requires a solid strategy and leadership that doesn’t involve accomplices and corrupt officers. She reminded Guaidó that he has 120 left in the AN, complete his mandate and deliver on the promises he made to Venezuelans. She thinks that Nicolás’s regime won’t leave with an electoral process. Juan Guiadó replied that unity is around legitimate powers and that there’s “no other way,” adding that his duty was to build unity to get rid of the dictatorship. 
  • Delcy Rodríguez reported on Sunday 922 new cases of coronavirus, for a total of 45,868 cases they’ve admitted to.  She also reported six deaths, for a total of 381 deaths they’ve admitted to. After nine days of under 1000 deaths per day, chavismo had 1,067 deaths on Saturday. On Sunday, numbers remained similar. 
  • Unfortunately, the director of San Cristóbal’s Social Security Hospital Ramón Chávez; Dr. Julia Morales in Trujillo; and Dr. Maudlin Olivares, who was only 30 years old, died of COVID-19. 
  • Nicolás said on Sunday that the quarantine beginning on August 31st until September 6th will be week number 25 of his 7+7 formula. “We’ve nailed the method, the way, precisely with the 7+7 formula,” he said. He also asked his Health Minister to call on the workers of the field to “protect themselves.” You know, disregarding that there’s no biosafety gear and horrible condition of public utilities, Nicolás wants them to be more responsible. 
  • UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights Michele Bachellet celebrated that deputy Juan Requesens was granted house arrest and called the decision a “positive step,” asking that similar measures be taken with other prisoners to advance in the political dialogue. CONAS, however, detained deputy Armando Armas’s mother, Nidia Cuartin, after they raided her home in Anzoátegui state. Deputy Armas presides the Foreign Policy Commission of the National Assembly and his mother is a renowned retired criminal judge, who was a justice in our TSJ and the Judiciary Council.  She’s 76 years old, and imagine how efficient the coercion strategy was, that she decided that she wouldn’t talk to the press even hours after she was released. In the words of the president of the Interparliamentary Union, “persecuting deputies is serious, but going after their families is atrocious.” 
  • Nicolás said yesterday that he supported “all measures that will bring us to a process of participation and profound dialogue” and to “elections” in December. He called himself a man of peace and dialogue (?), who doesn’t hold grudges and he promised an important week “for reconciliation.” He meant the announcement of candidates. 
  • The reformer at Cardón refinery, crucial for the supply of gas in the country, stopped because of a mechanical failure and lack of nitrogen, reported Reuters. Union leader Iván Freites said that this unit of the refinery hasn’t worked since August 27th, for lack of supplies: “We aren’t producing gas, the naphtha reformer is paralyzed because of the lack of nitrogen, the company that supplies nitrogen said: there’s no credit line for PDVSA,” said Freites in a tweet. 
  • Deputy José Manuel Olivares denounced that Vargas governor Jorge Luis García Carneiro threw a party and gave a TAG Heuer watch to Andrés Goncalves, Vargas secretary of citizen security. In his state, there’s no medical attention or water, cooking gas, gas or food. 
  • The EU assured they welcome the measure of house arrest for deputy Juan Requesens: “The EU will continue to back a political solution to the Venezuelan crisis, starting with free, inclusive, transparent elections,” wrote Josep Borrell.
  • The U.S. Southern Command has seen an increase of drug trafficking coming to and from Venezuela to Europe and Central America: “Venezuela has become a criminal paradise for drug terrorists and drug traffickers,” said on Saturday the director of operations of the Southern Command, Andrew Tiongson, and added that his team has seen an increase in the drug trafficking flow and the flights leaving Venezuela. 
  • Chargé d’Affairs James Story said on Sunday 30th that the American administration’s position is obtaining international support for unity behind legitimate powers and Juan Guaidó as AN speaker. He reiterated that the “elections” in December don’t meet the minimum conditions to be called democratic, free, fair or transparent. 
  • Last night, the constant rain wasn’t strong but it lasted for hours, leaving many Venezuelans without electricity. It’s the best way to summarize chavismo: strategic for remaining in power, inefficient for any other sphere that demands actual managing of the State. It’s complex, apparently, to oppose as a sole entity those who have destroyed Venezuela. Will it be possible to reconcile the opposition’s perspectives?

Naky Soto

Naky gets called Naibet at home and at the bank. She coordinates training programs for an NGO. She collects moments and turns them into words. She has more stories than freckles.