Venezuelan opposition leaders return from exile

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The truce that the negotiations between Chavismo and the opposition in Mexico entail is encouraging the return to Venezuela of opposition leaders who remained in exile. The government of Nicolás Maduro is allowing his return due to the heating of the electoral landscape before the elections of governors and mayors that will be held in November and the wear and tear of the structure created by Juan Guaidó. Grace, however, does not even by far include the bulk of the opposition leadership in exile.

The return to the country of these politicians, with little noise, has been tolerated by the government of Nicolás Maduro itself, interested in these months in promoting the electoral participation of the opposition and in weakening Guaidó’s agenda.

Back in Venezuela, Enzo Scarano has been seen, prosecuted by Chavismo in 2017, and who today aspires to the governor of the Carabobo State; Juan Miguel Matheus, deputy, secretary of doctrine of Primero Justicia and drafter of the Transitional Statute that bases the Interim Presidency of Guaidó from the National Assembly; José Manuel Olivares, head of the interim government for attention to the humanitarian emergency and Tomás Guanipa, secretary general of Primero Justicia, who until recently served as ambassador for Guaidó’s representation in Colombia.

A little earlier, Américo de Grazia, a militant of the Radical Cause, had returned, a fierce deputy who denounced the anarchization of the mining areas in the south of the country and the alleged complicity of the Maduro government in these events. De Grazia has distanced himself from his party and has run as a candidate for the governor of Bolívar State.

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These leaders were linked to the interim presidency that Juan Guaidó decreed, with the help of the international community, when he assumed the leadership of the National Assembly in 2019, at which time the re-election of Nicolás Maduro as president in 2018 was challenged. as opponents of Chavismo, but they have moved their positions with respect to two years ago.

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“I got tired of hearing that all the options were on the table,” declared José Manuel Olivares -aluding some statements by Donald Trump about Venezuela-, while he made a tour as a candidate through coastal towns of the Vargas State. De Grazia has also distanced himself, questioning “the mantra of the opposition” in relation to the “end of the usurpation, transitional government and free elections” that Juan Guaidó promulgates and that he once made his own. The opposition leader has invited the population to undertake achievable objectives to improve their quality of life. “I have returned to the country. For those of us who have a regime label, this will always represent a risk. But here we are, for our party and for Venezuela, ”Tomás Guanipa wrote in a tweet.

The sociologist, writer and political analyst, director of the Human Rights NGO Provea, Rafael Uzcátegui, assures that “it is about assuming that the Venezuelan problem will not be solved in the short term: exile will lose influence over time. . The Government is interested in turning the page of the 2018 presidential elections, which were so criticized, and pretending that there is a loyal opposition that can do politics within Venezuela. “

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The historian and political analyst, Pedro Benítez, maintains that “Maduro wants to send signals in the framework of the negotiation so that the sanctions on his regime are lifted, he needs the economy to improve for a new reelection.” “Although it is positive, the return of these leaders complicates the outlook for the opposition for unitary agreements, which are necessary to confront Chavismo in the election of governors and mayors,” he adds.

The decision to participate in the regional elections is taken by almost all opposition parties, but has not been announced or reasoned by any leader. Without a framework discourse, spontaneous candidacies now proliferate in the democratic field in all municipalities and states, which raises concern about the possibility of assembling a unitary front. The dispersion of efforts can translate into a spectacular failure.

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