Venezuelan Opposition Coalition Leader Resigns amid Divisions

The general secretary of the opposition Democratic Unity Table (MUD) coalition, Ramon Aveledo, announced his resignation today.

By Ewan Robertson

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The general secretary of the opposition Democratic Unity Table (MUD) coalition, Ramon Aveledo, announced his resignation today. (Reuters/Carlos Garcia Rawlins)
The general secretary of the opposition Democratic Unity Table (MUD) coalition, Ramon Aveledo, announced his resignation today. (Reuters/Carlos Garcia Rawlins)
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Mérida, 30th July 2014 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – The general secretary of the opposition Democratic Unity Table (MUD) coalition, Ramon Aveledo, announced his resignation today. 
Aveledo’s decision takes place as opposition parties hold closed door meetings to try and overcome internal differences. The resignation is understood to have taken many opposition figures off guard. 
“I’m not leaving [the MUD], I’m just changing battle post,” said the lawyer and professor, who took up the job in 2009. No names have yet been put forward for his replacement. 
Under Aveledo’s tenure, the opposition managed to hold internal primary elections and put forward a single presidential candidate, Henrique Capriles, in the presidential elections of October 2012 and April 2013. Capriles lost to Hugo Chavez, and then narrowly to Nicolas Maduro, on those occasions. 
The opposition split again this year after a hard-line faction launched a strategy of protests and street barricades dubbed “La Salida (The Exit)”, which demanded Nicolas Maduro’s exit from office. The wave of unrest left 43 dead and hundreds injured. During this time Aveledo and some other opposition figures participated in dialogue talks with the government, and were criticised by hard-liners for doing so. 
Aveledo indicated in his resignation speech that his exit was intended to help the process of re-unification in the opposition coalition.
A spokesperson of the Popular Will (VP) party – whose leader Leopoldo Lopez led the unrest movement and is currently under trail for alleged incitement to violence – welcomed Aveledo’s resignation as “positive” and “an opportunity to form [a coalition] that serves the country”. 
However several more moderate opposition parties disagreed with Aveledo’s decision. The leader of the New Time (UNT) party said the resignation was “unnecessary”, while a spokesperson for Democratic Action (AD) blamed the Salida strategy for the situation. 
The vice president of the governing United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), Diosdado Cabello, claimed the opposition coalition was in disarray. 
“The MUD is beyond repair, it is in total loss…there’s no way something new can emerge from its ashes,” he said. 

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