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The Venezuelan opposition, between uncertainty and the possibility of renewal

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Although the projections for the regional and local elections of November 21 in Venezuela are unfavorable for the opposition, the electoral event may mean, according to analysts, a door to renew leaderships, validate some current ones or finish weakening them.

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But experts maintain that, at the same time, the divisions in the opposition bloc are worrying -especially for citizens who want a political change, since they play against the search for the objective of giving oxygen and confronting the ruling party that, even With his internal fights, he is united in the face of the public, to participate in electoral processes.

According to the president of the firm Datanálisis, Luis Vicente León, the Venezuelan opposition, specifically those who until now are at the head of the most representative leaderships grouped in the so-called unitary platform, are looking for “the opportunity to validate new leaders, new or old.”

He stressed that this is the objective of the opposition, despite the “disadvantageous conditions” that go beyond the guarantees offered by the National Electoral Council (CNE), which was renovated this year.

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The opposition faces – Leon assured – a government that controls media, money, and imprisons or disqualifies politicians, among other elements.

Consequences of division

But to this are also added the internal problems that they face as opposition, and which are increasingly marked, starting with the division. Precisely, the latter is what makes it more difficult, in León’s opinion, for the anti-Chavismo to obtain the majority of the 335 mayoralties or the 23 governorships.

The analyst points out that this same condition can even affect that search for oxygenation in leadership and, in that sense, complicate the scenario even more for those who are already in an expiration period.

“And that kills the opposition? No. Eight out of ten Venezuelans want change; the opposition is there beyond its leadership, its parties and its institutions. It is the opposition to (Nicolás) Maduro, to the revolution, and that revolution is not going to die in the short term, and it is going to continue searching and fighting, but it is true that a major failure in the regionals weakens the opposition’s work, “he said. .

The Venezuelan opposition has faced multiple divisions for more than 20 years and, in the last six, it has achieved two moments of unity as a bloc: when it won the 2015 parliamentary elections and in 2019, when it coalesced around the establishment of a “ interim government ”to ignore the re-election of Maduro in questioned elections.

The latter, failed and without real government power, a strategy that today within the same sector is perceived as failed, because the Chavista administration continues to lead the country, which gave way to divisions.

For the political scientist and professor at the Central University of Venezuela (UCV) Ricardo Sucre, the opposition, instead of having proposed an “internal government”, had to concentrate on seeking “less unequal” electoral conditions, because to date international support is weakened, and sanctions and pressures did not succeed in removing Maduro.

In Sucre’s opinion, the opposition “should have been built” more as a “political actor” than as an “interim government” and, based on that, to articulate all sectors in the search for elections.

“They abandoned their internal spaces,” he stressed, noting that they entered the electoral struggle “late” to “try to recover it.”

An “infinitesimal” probability of winning

With such a scenario, the probability that the opposition will win the majority of the mayoralties and governorships is “infinitesimal”, according to Datanálisis.

In around nine states, there are divisions over the candidacies opposed to the Maduro government, as regional leaders, independent and belonging to different opposition groups, have been launched.

The most emblematic cases, because they are considered “important” governorates and that have been or are in the hands of opponents are Lara, Táchira and Miranda, entities that have established natural leaders with clear popular support, but that will have to compete with opponents who are also opposed to the Government. and that, according to analysts’ forecasts, they will divide the opposition vote.

On the other hand, there are specific cases, such as Aragua, in which the opposition Richard Mardo was emerging as a clear winner, according to the polls, but could not appear due to the persistence of political disqualification.

In several entities similar situations to those of Mardo occurred, including Caracas, but the disqualifications were lifted in recent weeks.


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