The Venezuelan opposition of the unitary platform of parties of the interim government of Juan Guaidó has made every effort to demand that the regime Nicolas Maduro the release of political prisoners and the empowerment of opposition leaders in exchange for their participation in the regionals in the second round of negotiations to be held from September 3-6 in Mexico City.
The two sides of the dialogue have made progress in their previous talks in Caracas, as demonstrated by the coalition of parties that announced their participation in the regional and local elections on November 21, registering 22 of the 23 candidates for governor and a large part of the 335 applicants mayors in the National Electoral Council.
The delegations of the parties are the same that began the meetings on August 13 in Mexico with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding in Mexico, mediated by Norway, and the international observation of Russia and the Netherlands.
In the document, the representatives of Guaidó and Maduro commit to debate seven points such as establishing political rights for all, giving electoral guarantees for all and an electoral schedule, lifting sanctions and returning the assets of the Republic abroad, respect for public powers, renounce violence and reparation for victims , protection of the national economy and social protection measures.
In the accepted terms, the objective is to reach an agreement of an intense, integral and peaceful negotiation to establish clear rules with respect to the national Constitution. “Nothing is agreed until everything is done,” is the slogan. The parties can make partial agreements.
Nine members in each delegation
The lawyer and former mayor of Baruta, Gerardo Blyde, is the head of the opposition delegation, led by Guaidó who is recognized by 50 governments as interim president of Venezuela. It includes Luis Emilio Rondón from the UNT party, Stalin González, Mariela Magallanes from Causa R, Carlos Vecchio from Voluntad Popular, Claudia Nikken (executive secretary), Luis Aquiles Moreno from AD, Tomás Guanipa from Primero Justicia and Roberto Enriquez from Copei. It has not yet been confirmed whether Freddy Guevara would replace Vecchio.
On the part of Maduro, the president of the Chavista National Assembly, Jorge Rodriguez, elected in December of last year, is the head of the official delegation. It is made up of the governor of Miranda, Héctor Rodríguez, the son of President Nicolás Maduro Guerra (Nicolasito), and also Vice President Delcy Rodríguez, Jorge’s sister, who did not appear in the first Mexican round. The regime has not reported on the rest of its representatives.
It has not been easy for the opposition coalition to agree among its 49 members to participate or not in the elections after a long period of indecision due to the lack of guarantees and conditions in the process.
The Maduro regime has only granted small gestures such as the authorization a month ago of the Mesa de la Unidad Democrática (MUD) card, banned in 2017, so that the opposition coalition had a way to participate.
The deputy and secretary general of Acción Democrática, Henry Ramos Allup, made it clear that they will participate even when they do not have all the electoral guarantees. “What we defend is the constitutional right of elections and not the recognition of Maduro,” he said.
He acknowledged that the negotiations in Mexico have made it possible to resolve issues such as political disqualifications and even stated that almost all of them have been resolved.
“We are struggling with the disqualifications (in the negotiation) and we have achieved many authorizations, a good part of the disqualifications, practically all, will be resolved,” he said.
He also argued that the opposition “cannot continue to live on fantasies,” nor that sitting at the table with Chavismo in Mexico means recognition of the administration of Nicolás Maduro.
“The process in Mexico does not mean that for them we are members of an interim government and the fact that we are there does not mean that we recognize it,” concluded Ramos.
For his part, Freddy Guevara, coordinator of Voluntad Popular, released 15 days ago, affirmed that they will demand the freedom of all 332 political prisoners in Mexico and he warned about the 61 cases of patients behind bars who require medical attention because they are in danger of dying.