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"Presidential" to First Candidate: Guaidó Prepares to Run in Venezuela's Opposition Primary |  International

“Presidential” to First Candidate: Guaidó Prepares to Run in Venezuela’s Opposition Primary | International

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Quito during a press conference in August.Miguel Gutierrez (EFE)

Three and a half years have passed. In January 2019 Juan Quito He launched a push against Nicolás Maduro, which has earned him the recognition of the White House and dozens of governments as Venezuela’s “interim president.” The Leader of the Opposition has today decided to run as a candidate in the presidential election organized by the United Platform of the Opposition in early 2023. This option has caused internal dissension, which according to the version spread among the anti-Savista ranks to their allies in the United States.

Quaido will be supported by his party, Voluntad Popular, from which he has publicly dissociated himself. Tried to oust Maduro It tried to force a transition from power and to the head of the so-called interim government. This move results in a metamorphosis from “Quaido President” to “Quaido Candidate,” with some contradictions. Some of his allies, such as Delza Solorzano, have let him know they no longer support him. The call for opposition primaries has spurred a surge of new candidates. Quaido’s position will lead to consultation, as the opposition leader will be one more contender, while fears of Chavismo’s retaliation increase in this context.

The so-called interim presidential system — initially respected by other opposition parties and backed internationally — is today a dwindling, powerless institution — imposed in 2019 by opposition forces questioning Maduro’s legitimacy after the 2018 election. On the other hand, the group that Guaidó shaped like a government cabinet is today a place that often receives criticism, and the relationship between the allied opposition parties, Chavismo, has also deteriorated under accusations of mutual corruption. Further..

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Chairman It has lost basic support in the international community, including Strategic Colombia. Dissensions have grown among his collaborators. The three major opposition parties, Democratic Action, Justice First and An Nuevo Tiempo, have lost confidence in him. Two allies of his new coalition, christened Save Venezuela, Encuentro Ciudadano and Radical Gas, also recused themselves.

Things have changed a bit with America. Quito expressed his irritation to the State Department over visits by top US officials to negotiate directly with Nicolás Maduro on easing some sanctions. Meanwhile, political dialogue with Chavismo in Mexico, where there was some hope, has already been in a state of total stagnation for a year.

There is an urgent need to set up a national consultation to choose a leader and a strategy that is already thinking about the 2024 presidential elections. Some polls show that 51% are interested in participating in these internal primaries. Guaidó has decided to run, his supporters say, because his numbers in the polls are still salvageable. It is political capital to protect. They say it will go as far as it can go. In recent measurements, his name is one of the few saved from the relegation zone along with Manuel Rosales, Henrique Gabriels and María Corina Machado. He still travels the country, challenging Maduro, denouncing corruption in Chavismo, protesting deficiencies in public services, talking about democracy and organizing digital meetings to explore the dimensions of the Venezuelan state’s failure at Chavista hands.

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When he posts declarations on his social networks, he is showered with taunts and insults from viewers who feel cheated. However, his collaborators assure him that things are different on the street. “Everywhere we go, people greet us, treat us warmly. It’s not like it was before, but we don’t feel hostility on tours,” says one of them, who did not want to be identified.

“Quaido is in no worse shape than this Other Leaders of Opposition, Quite the opposite,” says Benigno Alarcon, director of the Center for Education and Government Studies at the Andrés Bello Catholic University. “Anyone who thinks that Quito is finished as a political leader is wrong. Knowing that he is alive as a leader, he is going to present himself as a candidate. He has lost a lot of support, but it is also true that six of the ten organizations that make up the Unity Platform continue with him. I am one of those people who think that everyone, including handicappers and scorpions, should attend these primaries. Juan Guaidó, the best democratic leader of these years, should also be there,” he concludes.

“Many oppose the conflicting signals that Quito is giving. “All options are on the table, it’s an approach that has no logic or foundation,” says Stefania Vitale, a political scientist and expert at the Center for Development Studies at the Central University of Venezuela in Sendez. “He has the right to present himself, of course he does. What is happening here is that it is not fixed. Speak clearly to people. Many baseless promises are made here. He has to accept that he did not succeed and that he made a mistake. What are you going to compete for? What will happen to the interim government?

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Vitale openly mentions the possibility of Guaidó’s presence Prosecuted and disqualified along with other opposition leaders. The Platt opposition leader is currently discussing the date of this primary consultation, which is scheduled for early 2023, and it seems everyone is ready to participate. One of the topics of current debates is establishing what to do and what mechanism to plan in case a Chavista legitimately vetoes an elected candidate or re-increases repression.

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