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End of Guaidó’s Interim Government in Venezuela: the Proposal that Divides Venezuelan Opposition

Poner fin a interinato de Guaidó: la propuesta que divide a la oposición venezolana, EFE

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Mixed reactions have arisen among the Venezuelan opposition to the possibility of Juan Guaidó’s interim government being removed after four years in which, according to a proposal of the parties Un Nuevo Tiempo, Primero Justicia, and Acción Democrática, it failed to achieve international recognition and political transition in Venezuela.

With 72 votes in favor, the proposal passed on Tuesday to a second discussion in the National Assembly elected in 2015. While another proposal presented by Voluntad Popular, to extend the interim for another year, obtained 23 votes. The option of declaring the Parliament in permanent session arose -Encuentro Ciudadano, Proyecto Venezuela and Nuvipa-, but was denied, so there were also 9 abstentions.

“It should not be an obstacle”

Nora Bracho, president of Un Nuevo Tiempo in the state of Zulia, presented the proposal in Tuesday’s session. Although she acknowledged the effort made by Guaidó, she said that the leader must be aware that the interim government has not obtained the expected results and that, therefore, it must be corrected.

“When exercising politics we must have the capacity to offer viable and visible solutions, and the interim government must not mean a bureaucratic obstacle in this battle. Nor can it be a reason for division. This has to give us the great reflection that we must continue looking for solutions and unify efforts that will allow us to reach the goal of liberating Venezuela”, he stated.

Andrés Velásquez, national director of La Causa R, a small opposition party, warned that eliminating the interim government is a ‘legal magnicide’ with catastrophic consequences for Venezuela.

“The interim government and its presidency in charge are constitutional institutions that must prevail until free presidential elections are held in Venezuela. It is unheard of that they intend to continue only with the Delegate Commission without assuming the constitutional responsibility of filling the vacuum left by the tyranny,” he said.

He accused Un Nuevo Tiempo, Primero Justicia and Acción Democrática of “handing over” Guaidó to “obtain personal perks” from the Maduro regime, such as getting some candidates habilitated to participate in the 2024 presidential elections.

“We ratify our support for the constitutional continuity of Juan Guaidó as president-in-charge of Venezuela and our commitment to the struggle for democracy and freedom, demanding the holding of primary elections to choose a new political leadership to amend this and so many other errors committed,” he said.

“It has been useful for not recognizing Maduro”

Ending Guaidó's interim: the proposal that divides Venezuelan opposition, EFE
Nicolás Maduro, Venezuela’s dictator (EFE)

Parliamentarian Ismael García recalled, in the session of the National Assembly, that Guaidó’s interim government has served for countries of the world not to recognize Nicolás Maduro as president of Venezuela.

“It has been useful for many things, for helping, for not recognizing Maduro. I speak on behalf of the people who are tired of the way politics has been managed in our country, our retirees and pensioners; it is to that country that we must respond, not to those politicians. I cannot remain silent,” he stated.

“It does not legitimize the regime”

Tomás Guanipa, vice-president of Political Affairs of Primero Justicia, assured that the Maduro regime would not be granted legitimacy because its illegitimacy originates from the fact that there was no free presidential election in 2018.

“Maduro’s regime remains illegitimate in the eyes of the free world, and that is why we Venezuelans are fighting to achieve a free and democratic election that will allow us to have a legitimate government,” he said on Twitter.

Guanipa said that the reform they are proposing is aimed at protecting assets in a transparent manner and that, in order to achieve that goal, they propose an institutionality that guarantees it. “The struggle of the Venezuelan people for free and democratic elections continues to have the support of our international allies, and it is precisely the National Assembly elected in 2015, the reservoir of that international support,” he added.

“Rebuilding unity”

The leader José Manuel Olivares ratified, in the face of speculations that arose in social networks, that he voted in favor of the proposal for the reform of the Statute governing the democratic transition in Venezuela.

“Proposal supported by the majority, by more than 70 % of the National Assembly, which puts an end to the interim government and seeks to rebuild unity, a broad unity, where everybody is present and without distinctions. A unity that goes to the reconquest of the electoral path”, he expressed.

“It’s nothing more than a parliamentary coup”

Sergio Vergara, deputy for the Voluntad Popular party and who presented the continuity proposal, warned that the disappearance of the interim presidency is nothing more than a parliamentary coup and that, in addition, it means opening the international path for the recognition of Nicolás Maduro.

“Trying to violate the separation of powers established by the Constitution when the National Assembly assumes competencies that correspond to the Executive is nothing more than a parliamentary coup,” he said.

The congressman said that the Constitution does not foresee any mechanism for the Parliament to create institutions or bodies to administer State resources and funds for purposes to be fulfilled by the Presidency of the Republic, nor to substitute the Attorney General, who, Vergara said, may authorize attorneys-in-fact to represent the country in lawsuits.

A fact that, the deputy warned, puts at risk the protected assets abroad and the representation of the interim in different lawsuits, such as the gold that is being held in England or other processes in judicial and arbitration courts.

“With Guaidó’s head on a platter”

Yon Goicoechea, also from Voluntad Popular, questioned under what precepts UNT, AD and PJ are proposing to eliminate the interim government. He assured that with this action they are putting “Guaidó’s head on a platter” to the Chavista regime.

“Does that seem like a good way to strengthen the opposition for a presidential election? The interim government has not been able to remove Maduro, but by ending with Guaidó you strengthen the dictatorship even more. It’s like if someone earns 100 dollars and he doesn’t have enough, but to solve the problem he burns the bill,” he said.

He affirmed that the international interlocution of the opposition would be weakened, assets would be put at risk and it would give a stab to the 2015 Parliament. “Does anyone think that the Assembly, already weakened, is viable without the presence of one of its major fractions?” he questioned.

“Learning to lose”

Alfonso Marquina, general coordinator of Primero Justicia in Lara, admitted that, after four years, they must recognize that the political process that began in 2019 with Guaidó at the helm has weakened and that it is not well perceived by Venezuelans nor by the international community. In addition, he pointed out that the reinstitutionalization of democracy, rule of law and a government that addresses the problems and great needs suffered by Venezuelans was not achieved.  

“Democrats have to learn to win, but we also have to learn to lose. We have to understand that political processes are changeable. Just as in the past there have been parlamentwho believed and supported Chavismo and today they are here in the opposition, I cannot disqualify them for that. I simply believe that they made a mistake and it is human to err, but it is divine to rectify.”