EspañolVenezuela’s Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD), the country’s largest opposition bloc, has named its new executive secretary: journalist and former member of the Venezuelan Communist Party (1971-1974), Jesús Torrealba.
Torrealba succeeds Ramón Guillermo Aveledo, who resigned last July after five years leading the Venezuelan opposition. The new head of the MUD accepted the position at event held before representatives from each of the political parties that compose the coalition.
“On October 4, we will hold a big demonstration. We will also announce a national plan for mobilization,” Torrealba said on Wednesday. He also stated that he will seek “a new agreement between the political class and low-income sectors” and assured the coalition that he will “not do it as a caudillo,” refering to the late Hugo Chávez’s leadership style.
Habemus secretario de la MUD chuo pic.twitter.com/gRzdmkD8fz
— Julio Montoya Medero (@juliocmontoya) September 24, 2014
Torrealba, 56, is an educator, broadcaster, and was the host of the popular television program The Radar of the Barrios. The show was broadcast on Globovisión until May 2013, when the network was sold and subsequently adopted a new editorial line more compatible with Chavismo.
Vicente León, head of the Venezuelan consulting firm Datanálisis, believes the Torrealba appointment to be good news. “He has a gift for mass communication and an understanding of the masses, especially with the poor. He visits them, he knows them, and he shares his everyday life with them. He has an easiness that the opposition badly lacks,” said León.
Venezuelan political scientist John Magdaleno told AFP that Torrealba has “great communication skills” and is well received by the lower-income classes. Magdaleno, however, questions whether Torrealba will have the ability to build consensus.