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Opposition in Disarray as Venezuela’s Early Presidential Election Looms

LADB Article ID: 80574
Category/Department: Venezuela
Date: 2018-04-20
By: Andrés Gaudín

Despite an unending international smear campaign, coupled with persistent attempts by the opposition to weaken his government at home, President Nicolás Maduro has managed not just to stay afloat, but to take the offensive and revert the chaotic situation in Venezuela. Since Feb. 7, when mediation talk held in the Dominican Republic broke down, Maduro has put the opposition on the ropes. In that first week of February, the government accepted the opposition’s demand that the next presidential election not take place before April 22. But once the agreement was laid out—with April 22 as the chosen election date—the Mesa de la Unidad Democrática (Democratic Unity Roundtable, MUD) opposition coalition refused to sign it. The government’s lead negotiator, Information Minister Jorge Rodríguez, blamed the impasse on “top US officials,” saying they “pressured the opposition so that MUD wouldn’t sign the agreement.” Various analysts agree that MUD’s decision was dictated by powerful outside forces—from the US, the European Union, and other Latin American nations—that let it be known they are not willing to accept the forthcoming Venezuelan election results.

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