Venezuela’s Former MUD Leader Slams Opposition’s Failure at Polls

"The MUD was liquidated from within," Jesus 'Chuo' Torrealba.


The former executive secretary of the Venezuelan opposition Democratic Unity Roundtable, MUD, Jesus ‘Chuo’ Torrealba, has blamed the leadership for their losses during last weekend’s regional elections.

Torrealba said a “bad strategy” was at the heart of their defeat at the polls.

President Nicolas Maduro’s United Socialist Party of Venezuela, PSUV, made decisive gains in last weekend’s regional polls, winning 18 of the 23 state governships in Sunday’s vote.

In an interview with Vladimir Villegas for Union Radio, Torrealba cited several reasons for the opposition’s failure, but mainly attributed it to the lack of direction at the top.

Torrealba said, “What did not work was the leadership! The leadership has to assume that it was not successful and in any civilized country, in any serious country, when a leadership does not achieve its aims, it will says ‘I’ll step aside, other Venezuelans who can lead the people to the victories that deserve will step in.’ This is the only country where a leadership fails – it failed in the insurrectional thing, it failed in the elections and instead of saying ‘we failed’ they say “it was a bad strategy, we are good but the strategy was bad.’ For the love of god!”

Torrealba went on to slam his fellow party members over the unrest earlier this year.

Violent street protests organized by the opposition broke out in April and continued for several months. More than 100 people were killed.

The former MUD executive secretary also criticized the leadership’s inability to recognize its failings. Refering to a call by the opposition in July to start a civil disobedience campaign, he said it was another plan which had not succeeded. 

“At this moment, a leadership that is defeated, instead of acknowledging its errors and opening a path for change there, insists on something incredible.”

“They failed in their proposal for insurrection – what do I mean when I say insurrection well you remember the speech on the 3rd of July in Chacao. The four key phrases used then were – national uprising, upsurging rebellion, zero hour and general strike. That’s a proposal for insurrection. The insurrection failed, they failed at these past election and on top of that they don’t like dialogue. So if you don’t want to vote, you’re bad at insurrection, and you don’t wan’t to dialogue, what do you want – collective suicide?”

He said the party imploded and was not recognisable on the regional elections ballots.

“The MUD was liquidated from within. There were people who said “we need to get rid of Chuo Torreable and we need to make the directorate disappear.” You don’t need to have a single spokesperson, anyone who cares to should be a spokesperson. The MUD’s acronym also disappeared, I want to remind anyone listening that on the ballot on July 16, the word MUD was nowhere to be found. The ballot was signed by a phantom organization called the ‘Liberatory Movement’ – do you remember? The MUD was liquidated. So that brings us to the situation now. Perhaps between April and July there was someone who said, ‘If I liquidate the MUD, great, because then I can direct the opposition to my liking.’ But now that there is a crisis you say, ‘Damn, we are really missing a structure with collective leadership and a coherent voice that provides orientation.’ So I think we need to recover that.”

Some sections of the opposition are alleging fraud, while others  – including those who failed to win their posts – have recognized defeat.

The head of the Organization of American States, OAS, Luis Almagro, said participating in the election meant becoming “party to fraud.” 

Torrealba expressed concern regarding the international reaction as well as the candidates’ ability to reverse their fortunes.

“The MUD was the ballot that was able to defeat the PSUV. Now to have leaders who say voting doesnt matter, or that the strategy is in question, well … I mean some leaders that have convinced their base that voting isnt important to the point that 3 million voters were abandoned. That should be reviewed. The other important thing about the MUD was its international importance. Those were the three letters that acheived international recognition. So now that we don’t have international representation we have Almagro scolding the MUD, the Pope questioning the MUD and the MUD questioning the Pope and the European Union screaming ‘fraud’ – we will see. First, we have to see if that’s true. And Trump, it’s not that he is supporting the MUD, he is in his own game. And he takes whatever along with him.”

Slightly edited for clarity by venezuelanalysis.com.