EDITORIAL: There Are Two Venezuelan Oppositions, One Real and One Collaborationist
The international community needs to understand there are two opposition groups in Venezuela: one is fighting against the dictatorship, the other is fake.
Recently, a Spanish individual asked what was holding back the coalition of parties of the presumed opposition to Chavismo, the Coalition for Democratic Unity (MUD, for its acronym in Spanish.) Naively, he thought that this electoral platform was the only one that represents the Venezuelan opposition—despite its constant blunders—and did not understand the recent criticism and rejection of it. Like him, many view the MUD as the only political representation of a weary and jaded population. But it is not so.
The Coalition initially came about as an electoral platform to confront the official Venezuelan United Socialist Party (PSUV), but the MUD now claims absolute leadership of the fight for freedom in the country—and has monopolized the word “unity” to impose its agenda.
Once the dictatorship abolished the last vestiges of a democratic process, the MUD, as an electoral platform, became a sterile fantasy. From that moment on, when Maduro’s regime illegally put a stop to the recall referendum of 2016, the self-interests of certain politicians revealed themselves, and everything became clear.
It is not about perception. It is not about speculation, either. It is facts. It is the behavior of the Coalition’s leadership that has exposed them. Fortunately, it is a conduct that every time is more in the open, allowing Venezuelans to determine that there are two oppositions, and one isn’t opposing. One is cooperating with the regime–it is fake.
Today, we can speak openly about this duality. Again, the facts clearly state it. And Venezuelans are aware of it. Polls, testimonials, and popular outbursts demonstrate it. The majority of the democratic Venezuelan society, committed to the true rescue of freedom, rejects those who intend to make themselves leaders in this fight for freedom. They disavow accomplices of the regime; those who hide behind a supposed dissidence to continue with their scoundrel-like acts.
Nonetheless, the international community does not have the same perception. Those most interested in rescuing freedom eye the political crisis in the country with uncertainty, and give their support to the group with the means to profile themselves as the only representation of an entire society—but they are not. The official Venezuelan opposition does not confront the regime. They are, actually, an essential part of the system. And it is vital to properly define them.
It is they who, despite their tragic and failed history, insist on maintaining a dialogue between a group of criminals decided to uphold an authoritarian regime. They are the ones who downplay the crisis—who become tongue-tied when speaking of humanitarian crisis or tyranny. They are the ones who still do not denounce the existence of a narco-state, but speak of a regime with good intentions, capable of reaching a settlement.
They are the ones who do not show up to congressional sessions when new representatives of the National Electoral Council are to be designated. The ones who incoherently vote to declare that Nicolás Maduro occupies his office illegally, but call him “president” the following day. They remain the few who still call him “president.”
They are also the ones who are willing to recognize the illegal Constituent Assembly, giving legitimacy to a totalitarian regime; who cooperate with the government by openly rejecting the sanctions on the dictatorship from friendly states and, at the same time, condemn any alternative to depose the regime. They are, of course, the ones who ask the Chavista Armed Forces to stay out, and who, whenever military officers make a public protest, are quick with their condemnation. Those who wanted to capitalize on a protest that never belonged to them, and later tried to control it, until deciding to abandon it and participate in fraudulent elections. They are the ones who believe that totalitarianism can give them a space to exist, and those who constantly argue over the privileges that come with any public office position.
Those are the accomplices. The ones who believe in the good faith of a regime that has imposed misery, and thus continues to hold meetings in a country whose government is allied to the regime. The ones who kneel to totalitarianism, and who assure that “bending to it” is an excellent demonstration of principles. In the end, they are the only ones who can walk freely through a captive country; and who, despite having annulled passports, can easily leave the country.
But fortunately, there is another opposition. One that has remained true to the principles inherent to the fight for democracy—and who every day receives more support.
This is the real opposition. One whose leaders are deserving of the vigilant support of a rational society, committed to freedom. It is an opposition composed of people from all sectors of the population: intellectuals, politicians, journalists, economists, and activists. All hold different ideological beliefs but come together for the goal of rescuing a captive country.
This is the opposition that has from the beginning denounced the regime’s true criminal and authoritarian character. The opposition that is not naïve, and understands the urgency to resolve the critical situation. The one that does not insist on sterile or alternative strategies. That has understood that options run out, and civil disobedience seems to be the only effective tool left. It is the opposition that maintains its principles intact; that denounces complicity and is attacked whenever it tries to become a real alternative.
This is the opposition that does not speak of removing a dictator, but of crushing an entire system. One that does not cede to ideological abetments. It is the opposition that is disabled by the government, and the one that ends up in jail. The one that suffers from repression. The one that unsettles all sides: the accomplices, the mediocre, and the criminals. The opposition dedicated to confrontation. The one that speaks of a humanitarian crisis, of a narco-state, and explains how the tenure of a dictatorship is a threat to the stability of the region. The one that applauds the imposition of sanctions to criminals and those who assure that any alternative to putting a stop to the misery is pertinent. They are the ones that demand the only remnant of the legal state, the Parliament, to do its job. The ones who convened a plebiscite and the ones who proclaim that the voice of over seven million Venezuelans has not been heard. They are the ones who speak of initiating a transition to democracy.
Despite what some may say, revealing the existence of the former, collaborationist opposition, does not mean torpedoing those whose efforts are also necessary. The main enemy is not Nicolás Maduro, but the system in its entirety. And to reject a sector of the opposition that cooperates actively with the regime is, at the same time, to reject an essential part of that totalitarian system. This cooperating opposition has allowed the regime time and again to shrug off what pressure has been applied. It is the faction that sabotages any attempt at isolating the regime and maintains itself vigilant in rejecting any real, and necessary, alternative to achieving freedom. It is fundamental that the international community understands: in Venezuela, there are two oppositions, one that is real and one that is not.
The media must remain true to universal, unyielding values. The truth is, unquestionably, an essential part of these values. It is because of this, and the reasons cited in this article—that constitute an open and well-known reality for Venezuelans—that the PanAm Post decided to speak with clarity about the duality of the country’s opposition.
We are committed to the propagation of freedom in the region and the world. Defending and establishing values will always be a priority. Today, Venezuela lacks any kind of freedom. This is why the PanAm Post has taken the responsibility to support the true forces involved in rescuing that captive freedom. We have to make sure the international community is aware that there is currently a fake opposition in Venezuela that takes advantage of its image as the official opposition platform to aid the Maduro regime in its attempt to impose totalitarian socialism.