Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Hapless Venezuelan Opposition

This isn't anything new, but it still has to make you shake your head. After years and years of complaining about Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro and the state of the Venezuelan economy, the opposition remains as divided--or even more divided--than ever.

One of Venezuela's most high-profile politicians has called an anti-government march on Saturday, but the main opposition coalition is not endorsing the protest, underscoring fissures among critics of the country's socialist government.
On Tuesday, the coalition that includes Lopez's party said it would not endorse the rally because it had been unable to reach a consensus under the circumstances. The statement suggested the difficulty of coordinating with an imprisoned leader, though even when he was free, Lopez clashed with other opposition politicians about the wisdom of big street protests. 

In other words, we have some massive ego collision going on. Add to that the fact that collectively the opposition has done nothing to explain to Venezuelans why they deserve their vote. It's hard to imagine anything but a tiny minority of Venezuelans wanting Leopoldo López in charge of anything. He symbolizes the rich, elite, out of touch politician that brought Chávez to power in the first place.

Whenever legislative elections are finally announced (and the fact that they haven't been is ridiculous) then the opposition faces the very real problem of Venezuelans choosing to a) stay at home; or b) vote for the devil they know.

Update: check out the Inter-American Dialogue Q&A with several different people on the same topic.

h/t David Smilde


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