The formation of a new National Assembly in Venezuela with an overwhelming Chavista majority – the result of the unaffordable December elections in which the majority of the opposition chose not to participate due to the lack of guarantees and transparency – has further complicated the Venezuelan crisis. Significant, in this sense, is the position of the European Union, which has not recognized the legislative elections by not considering them democratic and which, in turn, has chosen not to continue giving the treatment of interim president of the Caribbean country to Juan Guaidó, as had been happening since January 2019,
The recognition of the Venezuelan opposition leader as president, which some countries still maintain, emanated from his condition as president of Parliament. Despite the fact that Guaidó and his team have chosen to maintain the continuity of the Assembly based on the Constitution, in a somewhat convoluted maneuver, the head of diplomacy of the 27, Josep Borrell, has chosen not to give rise to the recognition of another Parliament, although it has emphasized Guaidó’s leadership and the EU’s commitment to its efforts to restore democracy in Venezuela, which seems like a coherent decision.
The Venezuelan opposition’s struggle to find a way out of the country’s crisis is beyond any doubt. It is undeniable that Chavismo has done everything possible so that the forceful and legitimate victory of the 2015 parliamentarians was in vain. The persecution and treatment to which hundreds of opponents have been subjected all these years testify to this. The democratic international community must continue to accompany their efforts. However, it is clear that the strategy that Guaidó has led the last two years has not yielded the expected results. The opposition leader had the support of dozens of countries, including Spain, to achieve the removal of Nicolás Maduro from power, the formation of a transitional government and the convening of free elections, which is the ultimate goal to be aspired . The fact that the EU has chosen not to continue recognizing him as interim president, far from deepening divisions and criticism, should serve for the opposition, starting with Guaidó, to pick up the gauntlet and channel efforts in a different way. In that sense, it would be positive if the new US Administration had a similar position.
The situation in Venezuela is dire and unsustainable. And it cannot be ignored that the main person responsible for the country’s authoritarian drift has been Nicolás Maduro all these years, who should leave power as soon as possible. For this reason, the EU does well to regret the constitution of this Parliament, a consequence of non-democratic elections, which were held despite the suggested postponement in order to guarantee adequate voting conditions and send an electoral observation.
In these circumstances, both the opposition and foreign countries that want Venezuela to regain the democratic path must reflect on how to improve the strategy to achieve that goal. Especially important is that the opposition that demands democracy maintain a unity of action. Chavismo, with its authoritarian drift and terrible management, is responsible for the crisis that has sunk the country. The solution is democracy. Maduro has shown not to be for work. New ways must be sought to achieve this.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.