Accion Democratica (AD), one of the largest and oldest political parties in Venezuela, has left the Mesa de la Unidad Democratica (MUD) opposition bloc. The news broke through El Nacional, which cited a party insider for the information.
According to the anonymous insider, the split occurred as a result of irreconcilable differences inside the coalition among its member parties. Among them, the insider explained, is the fact that the MUD did not hold primaries to elect its new leadership last year, resorting instead to appoint them based on “personal agendas”.
The insider provided El Nacional with the following assessment of the MUD’s current state, and that of the political opposition in general:
Stubbornness paralyzed the opposition alliance. There was non-compliance with signed agreements from all of the [member parties], and the paralysis [that it suffered while] assigning an executive secretary left the country without an opposition, with no local agenda, with no message for Venezuelans, and waiting for a magical solution or a miracle from the international community to bring about change in the country.
With its move, AD has left the MUD with just “three big” parties, earning the nickname G3 (for 3 grandes).
MUD’s Days Appear Numbered
AD’s departure could be the death knell for the MUD, which has been struggling with internal divisions and an overall lack of direction since 2016.
In 2015, the opposition bloc stunned the country when it was able to come together and mount an electoral campaign for the National Assembly elections that year, which turned out to be the largest electoral defeat that the ruling PSUV has ever suffered.
While the MUD won a supermajority in the legislature, it was never successful in translating that victory into tangible political results, largely due to the Maduro regime’s relentless repression of the National Assembly.
In 2017, when the country was plunged into chaos once more in protest against the regime, the MUD proved itself largely ineffective in channeling the energy from the streets anywhere. When the MUD’s vague allusions to a final showdown between regime and opposition forces in July of last year fizzled into nothing, the coalition drew the ire and disappointment of Venezuelans who had once looked to it as the most credible challengers to the regime.
EU Parliament Approves Measure Calling for Emergency Aid to Venezuela
The European Parliament (EP) approved a resolution today calling on member states to provide emergency aid to help alleviate the Venezuelan crisis. The aid would be destined not only to Venezuela, but also to neighbouring countries that are seeing increased numbers of Venezuelan migrants, like Colombia and Brazil.
The resolution–titled “The migration crisis and humanitarian situation in Venezuela and at its borders”–calls on the international community to make a concerted, joint effort to deliver aid to Venezuelans both in the country and in the region.
53 Countries Call on Regime to Accept Aid
The United Nations Human Rights Council heard from 53 countries today which banded together to issue a joint call for the Maduro regime to allow humanitarian aid to flow into the country in order to alleviate the suffering cause by the crisis.
The call was led by Peruvian ambassador Claudio Julio de la Puente Ribeyro, who said:
We call upon Venezuela to recognize the gravity of its situation and to open its doors to humanitarian assistance, to co-operate with the Council’s human rights mechanisms.
According to the CBC, the session got heated when the representatives from Cuba and Bolivia–among Venezuela’s last remaining allies–“repeatedly interrupted” the Peruvian ambassador as he spoke.
The Maduro regime maintains that there is no humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, and that reports to the contrary are part of a global propaganda war aimed at discrediting the Bolivarian revolution.
Below, the joint statement issued at the UNHRC by the 53 countries.
Cabello Looks for Connections Between US Invasion Talk, Opposition
PSUV vice president and Constituent Assembly president Diosdado Cabello said in his weekly television show yesterday that he was going to launch an investigation to look for connections between talk of military invasion from the White House and the Venezuelan opposition.
Cabello’s announcement follows in the heels of a report by the Associated Press (AP) yesterday which revealed that United States president Donald Trump openly mused about invading Venezuela on a number of occasions and settings late last year.
In his television show last night, Cabello declared that Trump’s invasion talk is directly connected to the political opposition in Venezuela, and that he would work to prove that. He said:
I’m going to take this case tomorrow to the National Constituent Assembly so that an investigation can be opened. Really, that’s enough, traitors against the motherland!
Cabello also suggested that the Constituent Assembly was ready to decree “new laws” in order to adequately deal with the opposition. He said:
… if we have to approve laws so that they can be severely punished (…) let the world say whatever it wants to say, we will not allow ourselves to be overthrown.
Cabello also explained that, in his view, anyone who has ever asked for humanitarian assistance for Venezuela was in fact asking for military intervention and qualifies as a “traitor against the motherland”. Cabello explained:
“Humanitarian channel” is nothing more than military intervention.
Since calls for the creation of a humanitarian channel to allow food, medicine and other scarce resources to enter the country are widespread, virtually every opposition politician–and likely millions of private citizens–would qualify as “traitors against the homeland” under Cabello’s definition of the term.
Cabello also said hat the regime was particularly interested in the work that opposition politicians in exile have been doing. Without giving any names, Cabello’s comments suggest that figures like Antonio Ledezma, Carlos Vecchio, and David Smolansky–whose life in exile has been spent raising awareness of the Venezuelan crisis–is particularly offensive to the regime.
On these figures and others like them, Cabello said:
It’s likely that they will [try to return to] Venezuela. What we’re not sure of is how they’d leave.
Venezuela Marks Independence Day with Military Parade
July 5th is the anniversary of the signing of the declaration of independence, and as per usual the day was marked by a military parade in the Paseo Los Proceres in Caracas.
The video below shows Maduro and his wife, Cilia Flores, waving at onlookers as they traveled to their stand along the parade route:
In the video below, Maduro claps as infantry soldiers march past his stand overlooking the parade route:
The video below shows today’s parade, which lasted a little over two hours:
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