Ramon Aveledo, the executive secretary of the Mesa de la Unidad Democratica (MUD) – the largest united bloc of opposition parties – resigned from his post today. Aveledo said that while he will no longer run the opposition bloc, he will remain with the organization in a different role.
Speaking at an event commemorating the birth of Simon Bolivar, Aveledo said:
I’m not leaving Unidad, I’m just changing my battle station. From the executive director position which I’ve held for five years and which I’m not passing on, I hold my head high and take on new responsibilities as a fighter of the Unidad.
The Unidad we’ve all built together does not belong to any single one of us. But let’s not confuse ourselves, for the Unidad is not res nullius, that is, “nobody’s property”. It’s much more than a Lego building that can just be brought down with one sweeping motion and rearranged however you want it with your own little flag at the top.
During his speech, Aveledo highlighted his belief that the Unidad is an open space that welcomes different opinions.
Freddy Guevara (pictured below, on the right), the director of the Voluntad Popular party (which is a member of the MUD) thanked Aveledo for his time at the helm. Guevara said:
We thank Ramon Guillermo Aveledo for the work he’s done not only for Unidad but also for all of Venezuela during these past five years in his role as executive secretary of the Mesa de Unidad Democratica. I know that he made important efforts to bring together different parties with different goals. The most important thing is for us to take this seriously, to remain committed and remain sensible so that we may understand that the Mesa de Unidad must be strengthened, so that we may face the crisis and the intense abuses we Venezuelans live.
Diosdado Cabello also weighed in on the news today, although his analysis of the situation was decidedly more dramatic. Speaking on a radio show, Cabello said:
The MUD cannot be repaired. The MUD is completely lost right now. There’s no way to fix it. There’s no way for something new to come out of its ashes. Just because he’s [Aveledo] is resigning doesn’t mean he’s leaving… they don’t like him, but that’s another thing.
Aveledo’s departure appears to throw Venezuelan’s de facto opposition into disarray for at least the short term while a new leader is found.
U.S. Places Travel Ban on Venezuelan Officials
The U.S. State Department announced that it is placing travel bans on Venezuelan officials determined to have committed human rights violations during the protests this year.
The full statement can be found on the Department of State website here.
ABC News is reporting that the travel ban affects 24 high ranking Venezuelan officials, including cabinet ministers, military officials, and judges. No names have been officially released.