Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, called on Sunday for the unification of the opposition and to resume street activities “as soon as possible” for the presidential election.
Guaidó, who on a day like today in 2019 proclaimed an interim presidency arguing that the president’s re-election Nicholas Maduro a year earlier it was a fraud, he said that the sectors of the opposition must go to a process of “legitimation of leadership” through primaries.
“For me it is necessary to call the streets (…) if the dictatorship intended to keep us in the houses,” added Guaidó at an act in a park in eastern Caracas and which has served as an informal venue for sessions of opposition deputies since government and military sympathizers prevented them from entering the National Assembly building in January 2020.
“We are talking about organizing ourselves now, we are talking about a presidential election, we have to organize now,” said the opposition leader. The presidential election is scheduled for 2024, although in the past the Maduro government has advanced the date of its completion.
The new call for peaceful street mobilization would be on February 12, when Venezuela celebrates the youth dayGuaidó said during a commemorative act of the 64 years of the overthrow in 1958 of the military dictatorship of Marcos Perez Jimenez.
After coalescing around the figure of Guaidó, the Venezuelan opposition has been fracturing after a series of setbacks such as a failed civic-military action in April 2019, abstention in the legislative elections of December 2020 and not having been fully unified for the regional elections last November.
However, in the midst of harassment by the ruling party, which has caused the exile of several opponents and collaborators of Guaidó, a recent electoral victory of the opposition in a bastion of the ruling party, by winning the governorship of the state of Barinas, where the late former president Hugo Chavez; Opposition sectors debate their strategy of returning to the streets ahead of the presidential election.
Maduro’s government “fears the street, fears the grassroots organization,” he added when speaking to reporters. “Barinas demonstrated it and the buffoonery demonstrated it, the ridiculousness that they have just done by assassinating a constitutional right” such as calling a recall referendum of Maduro’s mandate.
The highest electoral body said on January 17 that it received from three civil organizations to start the process of an eventual call for recall, but on Friday the board of the electoral body authorized a schedule to collect the signatures in a period of 12 hours, a period that members of the organization, related to the opposition, said that the procedure was not feasible.