The Venezuelan opposition faction backed by the United States announced plans Monday to hold a primary contest next year to choose a presidential candidate for the planned 2024 election, AP reports. The Unitary Platform said in a statement that it has reshaped into a “broad and inclusive” organization with clear rules and areas of concrete work.
The last attempt at talks between supporters of opposition leader, Juan Guaidó and those of autocratic populist president, Nicolás Maduro, brokered by Norwegian officials, ended in October when the government withdrew after a high-profile Maduro adviser was extradited to the US to face charges of alleged money laundering, The Guardian adds. There is now pressure from civil society groups for talks to restart, even though direct support for Guaidó has faded.
Reports that the United States is preparing to lift sanctions on the Maduro regime are causing concern to Venezuelan democrats and civil society activists.
Meantime, the Maduro regime still murders dissidents and holds hundreds of political prisoners, The Wall Street Journal adds. There have been no free and honest elections in Venezuela in two decades. The regime supports the Cuban dictatorship with oil shipments, while Havana remains the most destabilizing, antidemocratic actor in the Western Hemisphere. Both are allies of Russia.
The Atlantic Council hosts a conversation between on-the-ground and diaspora leaders as well as the international community and male allies on the path forward with women leading Venezuela’s future democratic rebuilding. Participants include Miriam Kornblith, Senior Director for Latin America and the Caribbean at the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).
TUE, MAY 24, 2022 • 8:00 AM ET RSVP
West must not lift sanctions on Maduro, says Venezuelan opposition https://t.co/6MaGnQl6rv
— Democracy Digest (@demdigest) May 17, 2022