The Venezuelan opposition failed to mobilize its base

During the popular consultation aimed at countering the government of Nicolas Maduro, on December 12 in Caracas.

Saturday evening, in Caracas the Venezuelan opposition celebrated the result of the popular consultation organized against the regime of President Nicolas Maduro. “A historic triumph”, congratulated the organizers, saying that 6.4 million Venezuelans had participated. The figure is unverifiable. At the same time, social networks informed of the drowning deaths of 19 Venezuelans who tried to reach Trinidad and Tobago by sea. The circumstances and the outcome of the tragedy remain uncertain.

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“There is nothing to celebrate in Venezuela, sighs historian Margarita Lopez Maya. The whole country has collapsed. “ The figures confirm the dramatic toll: Venezuela has lost more than 70% of its GDP in five years, more than 5 million of its inhabitants have fled the country, 30% of children under 5 suffer from undernutrition.

“The country is deeply fractured, the legislative elections of December 6 and the popular consultation organized by the opposition have confirmed it again, continues Mme Lopez Maya. But the political leaders of the two camps seem completely disconnected from the reality and the tragedy which the population lives on a daily basis. “ While in Colombia, opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, who recently fled his country, said on Friday: “The people are hungry for freedom. “ “People are just hungry”, insists the historian.

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Mme Lopez Maya worries to see “The horizon of a political transition is moving further away”. At the end of bitter debates which deepened its internal divisions, the opposition mainly called for a boycott of the legislative elections of December 6. Nicolas Maduro’s Unified Socialist Party (PSUV) and its allies therefore won the ballot hands down. With 69% of the votes, the ruling coalition won 91% of the seats in the new assembly: the electoral system which, in 2015, played in favor of the opposition, this time amplified the victory of the PSUV.

Deserted polling stations

By organizing a “Popular consultation”, the abstentionist opposition intended to take its supporters to the streets to show that it is in the majority in the country. Mr. Guaido wanted to regain control and silence his detractors, more and more numerous within his own camp.

Venezuelans were invited to demonstrate their rejection of the government of Nicolas Maduro by answering three questions, on the Internet throughout the week, or in person this Saturday, December 12. All day long, the Chavistas posted on social networks photos of “polling stations” set up by the opposition, or almost deserted. Independent observers confirmed that the crowd was not at the rendezvous in the streets of Caracas.

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