In Venezuela, the symbolic consultation of Juan Guaido does not mobilize massively

An expatriate Venezuelan participates in the consultation in Cucuta, on the border between Colombia and Venezuela, Saturday, December 12.

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido failed to massively re-mobilize the opposition as in 2019, for the symbolic consultation he convened against the regime of Nicolas Maduro. The opposition however claimed a triumph “Historical”.

The organizers of the consultation organized on the sidelines of the electoral system offered a first provisional assessment, Saturday, December 12, ensuring on Twitter that 6.4 million people participated: 3.2 million in the country, 844,728 in the outside, and 2.4 million on the Internet.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also In Venezuela, the opposition wants to mobilize its base with a “popular consultation”

The so-called “Popular consultation” asked Venezuelans if they supported “All national and international pressure mechanisms” in favor of“Free presidential and legislative elections” and whether they rejected the December 6 elections. This consultation had started via Internet Monday and was to be done face-to-face Saturday on nearly 3,000 sites in the country.

On the last day of the consultation, sites appeared to be half empty. In Caracas, journalists from Agence France-Presse (AFP) noted a low attendance on most.

Guaido denounces government “censorship”

The “Participation in the consultation far exceeded the fraud they had organized” on December 6, however assured Mr. Guaido on Twitter, referring to the legislative elections boycotted by the main body of the opposition, at the end of which the Unified Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), in power, and its allies had won more than 91% of the 277 seats in the Assembly.

Blanca Rosa Marbre, of the organizing committee, assured that, due to the “Strong participation by Telegram, the platform was saturated”. Mr. Guaido also denounced the “Censorship” government and the lack of support from the country’s television media to broadcast its appeal.

The opposition reported“Intimidation” and threats around the sites planned for consultation, by “Pro-regime armed civilian groups”, in certain regions of Venezuela and certain districts of the capital. At Cota 905 (Caracas), “A consultation point” had to be closed, MP Rafael Veloz told AFP.

In advance, Mr. Maduro had minimized the importance of the consultation convened by Guaido, whom he designated as a “Charlatan” and an “Puppet” in the hands of the United States. “No one could believe that this consultation by Internet has a legal, constitutional value, only an informative value”, he said Thursday in front of deputies, without referring to Mr. Guaido by name.

Read also Venezuela: the coalition supporting Maduro wins the legislative elections, the EU and the United States do not recognize the result

Less popular than he was when he proclaimed himself president in January 2019, Juan Guaido – recognized as interim president by some fifty countries, the United States in the lead – played his game with this symbolic consultation, before the end of his term. Speaker of Parliament until January 5, he called for a boycott of the December 6 legislative elections.

A similar initiative in July 2017

The consultation convened by Mr. Guaido and the legislative elections organized by Mr. Maduro both recorded a high level of abstention, noted political scientist Jesus Castillo Molleda, for whom “The two sectors have lost the street, they are not connected to people’s problems”.

For analyst Rafael Alvarez Loscher, “The opposition failed to channel discontent because it failed to achieve its goals, and that demoralized people”. “Although they are against Maduro, few see the need to associate their name with something that has no legal or political effect”, he added.

Read also In Venezuela, more than 7 million people take part in the consultation against Maduro

This is not the first time that the opposition has invited to take part in a consultation organized by its own means. A similar initiative led, in July 2017, to the rejection of the Constituent Assembly, a body 100% “Chavist”, installed in August of that year, after months of suppressed demonstrations which had resulted in one hundred and twenty-five deaths.

The opposition then assured to have gathered 7.6 million votes against the Constituent Assembly, which has assumed the majority of parliamentary powers and must be replaced by a new National Assembly on January 5.

The World with AFP


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here