Venezuela Machado's roadmap to defeat the dictatorship

María Corina Machado, who has become an unprecedented political phenomenon, has presented an ambitious roadmap to confront the Bolivarian revolution

Venezuela Machado's roadmap to defeat the dictatorship

María Corina Machado, who has become an unprecedented political phenomenon, has presented an ambitious roadmap to confront the Bolivarian revolution. The final results of the primaries, which give her 2,253,825 votes, 92.35% of those cast, have not only confirmed her as a democratic standard-bearer for next year's presidential elections, they have also granted her the endorsement of the people anti-Chavista to lead the opposition, whose traditional parties were defeated without palliatives.

"I am the candidate of Venezuelans, of those who voted and of those who did not do so out of fear. I received a clear and unequivocal mandate to fight tirelessly against Maduro," stressed the candidate illegally and unconstitutionally disqualified by Chavismo with the objective of not being able to defeat the "son of Chávez" at the polls, whom he leads by more than 40% in the polls. But Machado is clear: "I want Venezuelans to have one certainty, our participation in the 2024 elections is a fact."

It seemed impossible, but it has happened again. Venezuelans, who seemed surrendered to the excesses of the dictatorship and the normalization process implemented by its international allies, have once again raised their voices to ask for freedom, as they already did with the protests of 2014 and 2017, with the parliamentary victory of 2015 and with the challenge of the presidency in charge of Juan Guaidó and the international community in 2019.

"Today we live in a closed autocracy, not a bad government, not a competitive autocracy, as happened in 2012 when the last opposition primary was held. An autocracy that is maintained under three premises: a humanitarian crisis designed by those in power to keep the society, a historical diaspora and the violation of human rights as the main State policy. Even so, 2.5 million came out to vote in a democratic, transparent and free process, which does not exist today in the country, and they did so almost by acclamation for the person who proposes a clear route: an urgent change, democracy, freedom. No concessions within the system, not a bigger cage. No. A change to recover democracy," political scientist Walter Molina Galdi elaborates for EL MUNDO.

The first point of María Corina's plan, which has grown by two million support since the 2012 opposition primaries and which has also surpassed the then winner, Henrique Capriles, by 300,000 votes, confirms the transformation from candidate to unifier of the popular will with a legitimacy of origin never seen before. Machado intends to build a great alliance, which she calls the Great National Agreement, where everyone fits, not only the opposition parties, but also civil society, unions, guilds and students. Previous attempts to build something similar have hit the wall of reality, cemented by egos, politicking and bribery from those in power.

The winner of the primaries also intends to build an "apparatus for electoral integrity like never before", in which she would also serve as campaign manager. In her first approach to Venezuelan politics two decades ago, Machado headed the electoral organization Súmate.

In principle, Machado has shown generosity with the losers of the process and with parties and leaders whom he previously faced without fainting. "We have to build democratic governance together for the moment we reach the presidency of the Republic," highlighted the coordinator of Vente Venezuela.

The second step of the roadmap is the rearrangement of negotiations with the Maduro government. "What happened on Sunday, far from weakening the negotiation process, strengthens it," said Machado, who will hold a formal meeting with Gerardo Blyde, the head of the opposition delegation.

"He has moderated his speech and proposals regarding the negotiation, recognizing Blyde's work as chief negotiator. He proposes that the opposition delegation should be more representative of Venezuelan society, something in which he is right, but he must take care that the changes do not increase the fragmentation in the opposition political leadership and give the government an excuse to cool down the negotiation. Its most important twist is the recognition that it is necessary to negotiate with the Maduro government, although it suggests that the opposition should do so when it is in a situation of greater strength and therefore less dependence on US foreign policy, which is difficult to happen in the short term," explains Mariano de Alba, senior advisor to the Crisis Group, for this newspaper.

The partial agreements in Barbados between the government and the opposition made it possible for Maduro not to prohibit the former thanks to the concessions granted by the US government. Of course, several points of the pact were breached, since Chavismo used part of its usual section of repression and harassment to make it difficult for Venezuelans to vote, including censorship and information silence in the media.