Venezuela: opponent Juan Guaido assures that Maduro “can be beaten” with a union

Venezuelan opponent Juan Guaido, “interim president” until the end of 2022, believes that Venezuelan head of state Nicolas Maduro, whom he calls a “dictator”, “can be beaten” if the opposition overcomes divisions which cost him his symbolic post.

He hopes that the primaries that could take place in the first half of this year will be a boost, he said in an interview with AFP in his office in Caracas.

The opposition put an end in December to the “presidency” and the “interim government” of Mr. Guaido, who hoped to continue the adventure, intended to oust Mr. Maduro from power. Support from international and other opponents as well as potential rivals, however, had waned.

-Are you disappointed by the former allies who withdrew their support for the “provisional government”?

“More than disappointed, I think that today, as Venezuelans, we feel disgust, not towards the allies, but towards everyone’s behavior (…). More than being disappointed by one, two or three people, I share the feeling of disgust for what is currently happening in Venezuelan politics where we should transcend partisan interests and continue to fight for the common good (…). share of responsibility.

We focus on what we have been demanding since day one: free elections, a presidential election that we have had since 2018, and the mission to achieve: to reunite the democratic alternative, which is the majority (In Venezuela).

There is a process of recomposition, of reconstruction (…) and I believe that we also have an opportunity just around the corner, which is the primary (…) We must prepare immediately”.

-The turn to the left of several South American countries has weakened international support for your “interim presidency”?

“The repressive apparatus of the state is the main reason why” Maduro remains in power, assures Juan Guaido (AFP – Federico PARRA)

“Getting closer to Maduro is a mistake (…). Yes, it is certain that the approach of Alberto Fernandez (president of Argentina) towards Venezuela has weakened the position of the provisional government. it is better for a country to firmly denounce a dictatorship than to relativize it, as President (Gustavo) Petro (in Colombia) did, as (Manuel) Lopez Obrador (in Mexico) did. “Has he lost his position? It’s not a personal question. In any case, democracy (…), the international community lacks the tools to deal with dictators.”

-With these divisions, is a victory for the opposition in the 2024 presidential election possible?

“If there is unity, no doubt. The problem is not Maduro,” he said. “The problem today is to reunite the democratic alternative. Once the democratic alternative is reunited, Maduro can be beaten 100% (…). Faced with the possibility of a free and fair election, Maduro is absolutely weak, vincible”.

– Is the opposition losing its strength in the negotiations with the government which resumed last November in Mexico?

“My candidate is the union. My candidate, therefore, is the primary”, promises Guaido (AFP – Federico PARRA)

(The elimination of the interim presidency) does not put us in a better position in relation to the dictatorship (…), but we are ready for an agreement which concerns the electoral conditions so that the election is a political solution to the conflict we are experiencing in Venezuela”.

-Will you be a candidate?

My candidate is the union. My candidate, therefore, is the primary and when we have primaries, when we have a timetable, I will make a decision. Today, all (the main opposition leaders) are ineligible, imprisoned or in exile. So much will depend on how Mexico develops and whether we can hold competitive primaries and free and fair competitive elections.

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