Venezuela: Opposition Division Deepens as More Key Figures Support Henri Falcon

Some politicians are calling to vote for Falcon, who has most of the vote intention after President Nicolas Maduro, but the MUD is still boycotting the process.

Henri Falcon
Henri Falcon

Two weeks into the Venezuelan presidential elections, several opposition politicians have decided to support Henri Falcon’s candidacy against incumbent President Nicolas Maduro, who is currently leading the polls, but others are still boycotting the process.

“I want to send a message to the Democratic Unity Board [MUD] and the Broad Front: we’re on time to rectify. History shouldn’t charge us for not taking the best moment to change the country. Today’s politicians can’t be separated from the chaotic situation, that’s why the government is playing the division game. It’s good that representatives Zambrano, Reyes and Campos are supporting my proposals and vision to rescue democracy,” said Falcon during a press conference.

Timoteo Zambrano, a representative at the suspended National Assembly (AN), announced the creation of a parliamentary platform called “Let’s Change” (Cambiemos, in Spanish) in support of the opposition candidate Henri Falcon.

Zambrado said the platform aims to “search for coherence in the country,” and that it could even become a political party in the future. “We invite you to vote for the transforming change hand-in-hand with Henri Falcon,” he said.

The group is also supported by representatives Teodoro Campos and the first vice president of the AN Julio Cesar Reyes.

Falcon has severely criticized the MUD, a group he used to be part of, for boycotting the elections. Last Friday, a day after the MUD reaffirmed their position towards the May 20 elections, Falcon said the opposition groups boycotting the elections would disappear because of their attitude.

“You will disappear as politicians and as parties for not understanding the dynamics of a country that demands solutions and not conflict,” said Falcon.

Jesus Chuo Torrealba, a Venezuelan politician and journalist who led the MUD coalition for two and a half years, also expressed his support for Falcon in a video issued Monday, in which he explains why abstaining from voting is useless.

“In the first place, voting doesn’t legitimize the dictatorship. Every dictatorship is illegitimate by definition and there’s nothing that can legitimize it,” said Torrealba.

“Voting means telling all the peoples and governments in the world that here in Venezuela the people are willing to confront the government by all means, and that’s why we believe that voting for Falcon could mean promoting the necessary political conditions so a new political direction can emerge in Venezuela,” he said.

But still, the MUD rejects taking part in the election, which they call a “fraud” even before they take place. On Friday, the opposition coalition demanded the government push the elections until December, something both leading candidates are against.

“The ones turning their backs on the electoral conditions are the other political parties and not me. I have faced elections in even worst conditions as an opportunity, as a slit to recover democracy and leave Maduro,” said Falcon.

“They keep lying to the country! Those who speak with the government behind the people’s backs and today are denying them the opportunity to vote.”