The Venezuelan Diaspora Should Register to Vote in the Primaries

If you can vote in any of the cities where the process will take place, don’t waste this opportunity to keep moving the needle, aunque sea un poquito, hopefully towards a democratic transition

No one can really question the reasons why Venezuelans have mistrust in any electoral process (organized by the state or by the opposition). Although we love to vote in elections, there have been too many disappointments, too many instances of fraud and irregularities, and above all, deception on the opposition leadership at different times. Those in the diaspora have an additional hurdle: overcoming this mistrust, and doing this while trying to make a living in a new country. 

But we have an excellent opportunity from the diaspora to hopefully move the needle a little further on our way to hopefully regain our democracy. In preparations for the 2024 presidential elections, the Venezuelan opposition has agreed to carry out a primary electoral process in October 2023 to define, with the votes of the majority, who would be the presidential candidate to contest power. Yes, we know that conditions to organize that election, until now, are far from being democratic, free and fair, and we are not even sure if the National Electoral Council will provide conditions for Venezuelans in the diaspora to vote in those 2024 elections, but we have agreed to continue with primaries nonetheless and with the participation of the diaspora.

In spite of all this, we must register to vote in the upcoming Venezuelan primaries, and we must support whoever wins that process. 

For one, we must stay engaged in all possible scenarios that may bring about democracy in Venezuela. This one may be far from ideal but it is another opportunity that cannot go to waste, and honestly, the alternative would be inaction. This is also the reason we must also support all negotiation processes that the international community is pushing for regarding Venezuela. 

Secondly, we may be in the diaspora but we will forever be Venezuelans, and our politics has also forever changed now that we have over 7 million Venezuelans throughout the world. So we are called to be part of those processes, and honestly, I personally want to be reflected in the definition of a leader that will articulate our views and positions regarding Venezuela, its democracy, and the respect for human rights.

Finally, it is our time to show that those of us in the diaspora exist and that we matter. We need to dismantle those narratives that say that the numbers are false, or that there are not Venezuelans who were forcibly displaced because of more than two decades of corruption, state mismanagement and violations of human rights. We do exist, we matter, and us registering is a way to show power in the numbers.

So don’t lesve it for later. The deadline is July 9th, 2023. You only need a cellphone, and ID and being already registered in the Electoral Registry. Here is the website to register:
* Opinions are personal. They do not represent those of the Organization of American States (OAS).