Explaining the opposition in Venezuela

It is becoming increasingly difficult to explain that among the divide between Venezuelans, the characterization of chavistas and opposition does not represent the diversity of the conflicts that unease the political spectrum of the country these days. That wouldn‘t be a problem if it weren‘t for the hostility, when not the aggression, one is supposed to mount because of what is perceived as a soft take related to the regimes moves. I don‘t recall the bitterness of the critics I‘ve received from those who call themselves opposed to chavismo in the followers of the late President Chavez. That worries a lot, not because I believe I‘m right and they‘re wrong, but because that‘s just the behavior I disagree the most regarding chavismo.

I am not a fan of Leopoldo Lopez since our days in Primero Justicia, I don‘t consider politics as some kind of groupie performance, my differences are political and they don‘t have anything to do with any other matter. It was comprehensible that the strategy used in 2014 to push for a way out of the political crisis was a clear mistake that would only undermine the weak consensus amid the political parties that make the Opposition. It is because of the fragility of the Opposition that any extreme measure would not only discourage their approach to persuade those frustrated with Maduro‘s government, but waste time and effort within the coalition.

The problem with the above is that to the eyes of those who believe in extreme measures the speech is considered to be government friendly. That of course is a very weak justification for the aggressions and animosity, but what really matters is the terrible argument it makes for those who are expecting a broader appeal from the opposition. Here‘s another issue representing some sort of conflict in the opposition: the radical tendency opposes the moderate take that favors the appeal towards frustrated chavistas. Then that would make another division between those who oppose the current administration: the radicals, the moderates and the former chavistas.

My bet would be to become an alternative for those who feel betrayed by Maduro, because if change is the name of the game, without them it‘s impossible, it‘s just plain math, the Opposition needs them to be bigger and stronger than the government. It‘s not enough they don‘t like Maduro, their vote is necessary for the opposition in the upcoming parliamentary elections. The problem is that the conflict between these two options, radicals and moderates, generates the opposed effect in those searching for an alternative. And to reject chavistas is the most chavista attitude at this moment.

Opposing chavismo goes way beyond criticizing them but refusing to adopt what has been their hallmark, there are other issues as personal ambitions that I will discuss in future posts but right now what is urgent and cannot be delayed is a clear path with no shortcuts such as burning tires or other distractions that feed the government for an excuse to use violence against the people.

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