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The Future Of The Venezuelan Opposition in 2023 Without Juan Guaidó

Without Juan Guaidó, the Venezuelan opposition is in a moment of reconstruction to recover internal unity, then trust the voters and thus be able to compete again in the 2024 presidential elections ...

Juan Guaido

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LatinAmerican Post | Santiago Gómez Hernández

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Leer en español: El futuro de la oposición venezolana en 2023 sin Juan Guaidó

If there is a Latin American president who has experienced obvious relief for his government, it is Nicolás Maduro. From having almost the entire international community against him to being a pariah in the international system, with an economic, social, and political crisis that was taking his government to the extreme, to today having a much more encouraging future.

But, after having Maduro against a rock and a hard place, the table changed and today the socialist president has the upper hand. Still, as Maduro regains power, the opposition appears to lose it. Today the balance leans towards the ruling party.

With primary elections set for 2023 (but without a defined date), from now on the Venezuelan opposition begins to analyze the panorama and make decisions that can recover lost power and dream of a democratic change in the country. The winner of these primaries will have the opportunity to collect all the opposition votes to compete against Nicolás Maduro.

Without Juan Guaidó At The Helm

The most important figure in the Venezuelan opposition in recent years had been Juan Guaidó. Who at the time was elected president of the National Assembly controlled by the opposition and who was therefore elected as interim president of Venezuela, today does not seem to be the one called to lead in the next elections.

With 72 votes in favor, 29 against, and 8 abstentions, the deputies elected already in 2015, ended the Interim Presidency of Guaidó. This leaves the former figure of the opposition abroad and recognized as the legitimate president of Venezuela in several Western countries.

One of the reasons for this decision was the corruption and bureaucratization scandals that this figure suffered. But also due to the loss of its influence, having lost the vast majority of international support and recognition. Likewise, it demonstrates the intention of the opposition to find a new strategy to deal with a Chavismo that has screwed itself into power and that has managed the electoral, judicial, and legislative system for decades.

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Added to this is the little support that the Interim Government has had among ordinary Venezuelans. Every day the population sees with little hope a political change. Not only because of the government but because of the response or strategy of the opposition. It is for this very reason that Guaidó's change tries to propose better strategies that can achieve better conditions.

However, this change in strategy makes two things clear. First, the proposal not to recognize Maduro as president and bet on Juan Guaidó was a failure. It did not achieve its goals and today it takes a step aside with the most relevant international figure of the opposition in recent years. Second, that re-participating in government-organized elections seems to be the path they will take. A path that Maduro has absolute control over today and that has even managed to overcome the worst moments of crisis, making it even more difficult to win electorally.

However, depending on how the opposition decides to play the cards, from January 2023 to the 2024 presidential elections (according to the constitutional date), unless the ruling party plans to bring them forward, which could play against an opposition that is under reconstruction. , with new faces and trying to reestablish his connection with the voters.

Looking for a new leadership

With Guaidó out of the interim presidency, the opposition leadership is once again vacant. Additionally, with the primary elections in sight, it will be the opportune moment for the election of the new visible head. Among the possible pre-candidates are the well-known Henrique Capriles, Manuel Rosales, María Corina Machado, or even the possibility of Guaidó renewing his support with an electoral victory.

Dialogues in Mexico

The only way for the opposition to trust in fair and free elections that allow them to compete against the ruling party is through the agreements in the dialogues in Mexico. For several months now, the government and the opposition have been trying to reach an agreement that creates a context of trust so that the next elections have the participation of all political movements and thus fully recover the democratic recognition of Venezuela. On the one hand, Maduro insists on asking for the economic sanctions against his government to be lifted before conceding key points, and on the other, the opposition calls for reliable elections to be held first since their only guarantee is sanctioned.