The main opponents of the regime of Nicolas Maduro, banned from running for the May 20 election, call for abstention.
The world | 18.05.2018 at 10h56 • Updated 18.05.2018 at 10:58 | By Remy Ourdan (Caracas, special envoy)
Exhausted by years of adversity, fractured and henceforth unpopular, the Venezuelan opposition is the great absent of the presidential election of Sunday, May 20th. Its main parties and leaders were banned from voting by a power, from year to year, more and more authoritarian – “Dictatorial” according to them – and his own followers no longer believe in a breath that could change the game.
The opposition, nineteen years after the advent of Chavismo, five years after the arrival of Nicolas Maduro, less than a year after the series of demonstrations that had killed dozens, has become invisible.
In this last week of election campaign between the three authorized candidates – President Maduro, the former soldier then governor Henri Falcon, and evangelical pastor Javier Bertucci -, the historical opposition, the one that has lost only one point against Maduro in 2013 and has occupied the streets of Caracas for four months in 2017, struggling to make his voice heard. “Maduro will proclaim himself winner. Maduro is a dictator who does not believe in any institution and simply wants to stay in power, “said Juan Andrés Mejia, MP Primero Justicia On the morning of May 16, Admiral Luis Brion Square, in the center of Caracas, where the opposition parties have arranged meetings with their supporters, they are barely 20 time. The police are more numerous than the demonstrators. Shields in front, they immediately take action to repel the handful of activists present.
At 10:01, one minute after the official start of the event, the place is returned to the Caracassians going about their ordinary business. The old men and clusters of teenagers, who traditionally occupy the benches of Place Brion for hours, sit down with an amused air.
A first group of opponents of the party …