With the emergence of Chavism, back in the late 90’s Venezuela, the country experienced a complex process that was fundamentally marked by the decline of traditional parties, a deep discredit of liberal democracy and a growing anti-politics sentiment that zigzagged with socialism or progressivism both in businessmen, social groups, new politicians and, of course, the media.
That was the context that finally made it possible for Hugo Chávez, a man who came with blood on his hands after the failed military coup of February 4, 1992, to end up free, with his hands free to enter the political arena. His first meeting after leaving prison was with the tyrant Fidel Castro in Havana, but we did not see him. Later, Chávez won and with him came a conglomerate of emerging parties that, according to his rhetoric, aimed at the “renovation” of the country.
Within this range of new parties and leaderships, the then young professionals Julio Borges, Enrique Capriles, Carlos Ocariz and Leopoldo López stood out, later the ideologist of the group, Gerardo Blyde and the female shock figure Liliana Hernández joined them. They were the initial group of Primero Justicia, which in any case, were migrations from traditional parties such as Acción Democrática and COPEI.
Later, migrations from the ranks of AD followed and Manuel Rosales emerged with “Un Nuevo Tiempo” —“jocosely called ‘Un Nuevo Adeco”— but, after the dictatorship of Borges in Primero Justicia, López, Hernández and Blyde went to UNT, from which López later left and created his own party: Voluntad Popular. It is worth mentioning that the common trunk of all these new Venezuelan parties is that they are center-left or progressive. Except for María Corina Machado, who created the center-right Vente Venezuela.
All of them have led the opposition or at least verbally expressed it, first against Chávez and later Maduro. An opposition that was integrated by the old parties such as Ramos Allup of AD and COPEI plus the new ones that formed multi-party blocks such as the “Coordinadora Democrática”, then “Mesa de la Unidad Democrática” and now “Plataforma Unitaria”. But beyond the different names, the figures were always the same: Borges, Capriles, Ocariz, Blyde, Lopez, Rosales and to a lesser extent Machado.
Throughout these 20 years of Chavismo in Venezuela (which is nothing more than a narco-pretorian-neocommunist system), the opposition has always sold itself as “candid”, “inexperienced”, “honorable”, “principled” or “democrat”, those who were always defeated by Chavismo politically and electorally because they are subjects who play dirty and dishonestly, deceiving their adversaries and stealing their victories.
But this assessment that the Venezuelan opposition is “myopic” or that they “look foolish” before Chavismo, began to gradually fall apart, first during the protests of 2014 and then 2016, on both occasions they turned their backs to the young university students, what was worse and unforgivable when Ocariz handed over to the heroic patriot captain of the National Guard, Juan Carlos Caguaripano, the disregard to the massacre of the uprising Policeman Óscar Pérez, the countless media shows of dialogues between the usurper regime and the fake opposition, that time and again, always end the same result: regime whitewashing.
In crude terms, the Venezuelan opposition has spent 20 years of farce, playing a role of cohabitation with the narco-regime, serving as accomplices in the perpetuation of Chavism and its crimes, in exchange for a few coins and small quotas of power. By anchoring themselves in this dirty and deplorable action, they keep the Venezuelan population subsumed in the most abject poverty and at the mercy of criminal groups in uniform (military and police of the regime) or local and international criminal groups such as the FARC and the ELN, without counting the plundering perpetrated by foreign powers of Venezuelan wealth.
Finally, Maduro’s whitewashing operation today underway by the “Unitary Platform”, agreed with the regime to participate in the elections for governors this 2021 and to ask the Biden Administration (marked by its disastrous foreign policy) to lift the sanctions that were imposed by Obama and rightly tightened by Trump.
Fortunately, this despicable plan has been denounced by some voices such as María Corina Machado; David Smolansky in the United States; Alessa Polga in Canada and Tamara Sujú in Europe, who in the immediate future, I am sure, will embody the fight against this false opposition seeking to build a genuine opposition until liberating Venezuela.