The ironies of the Venezuelan opposition, part 15


Hello, everyone, and welcome to today’s installment of VenOpIronía. This time, it’s all about Venezuelan oppos who give new meaning to old clichés about rats jumping from sinking ships. Well, these “rats”, like their rodentian counterparts, aren’t stupid. Majunche Capriles Radonski (must resist temptation to type RATonski!), far from being a uniter, is as much a divider as Dubya, and these people are all living proof:

The National Opinion Party (OPINA), which belonged to the so-called Unity Table (MUD), and supported candidate Henrique Capriles in the October 7 elections, in which he lost, announced on Thursday that it has decided to separate from the opposition coalition and withdraw its support from the right-wing candidate.

“We wish to announce to the country our firm disposition to support Nicolás Maduro as candidate for the presidency of the Republic. We have made this decision very conscientiously, with full responsibility, bearing in mind the future of Venezuela, the need to develop and guarantee the process of change, and the transformations of our country. OPINA is a 51-year-old organization, which has Bolivarianism as its doctrine,” said the party’s secretary general for the capital region, Marcos Torres.

Accompanied by Omar Quiaragua and Rodrigo Carrizo, both members of the party directorate, Torres stated that the decision to withdraw support from Capriles Radonski follows an internal dispute which began three years ago, when the party split between those who supported President Hugo Chávez and those who supported the right.

However, following the death of the revolutionary leader, OPINA held an extraordinary meeting on March 16 to analyze the new political situation and as a consequence, the organization considered “that the process of revolutionary change initiated by President Chávez must continue in order to perfect the important achievements made in social, economic, and educative matters, in health, culture and sport, because they have benefited the majority of the Venezuelan people,” Torres explained.

“OPINA participated in the so-called Unity Table, supporting Capriles Radonski. This decision was already under study within OPINA, the party was divided, some supporting Capriles and others among us supporting Chávez; lamentably, at that time they [Capriles supporters] were in the majority, but later, many opened their eyes and took the decision to support the candidacy of Maduro.”

In OPINA’s view, Nicolás Maduro “possesses the credentials, the experience, the capability, and the honesty to efficiently hold the highest office in the land.”

Party representatives added that they support achievements of the Revolution, such as “the social missions, the pensions to almost 3 million senior citizens, the construction of new homes, Mission Barrio Adentro, among many others which have improved the quality of life for the Venezuelan people.”

Translation mine.

And these people aren’t the only ones who’ve seen the light. In addition to the originally-Bolivarian contingent of OPINA that unhijacked itself by junking support for Capriles, we have…

…Yolanda de Díaz, who says she feels she has been “deceived and defrauded” by Majunche. She is trading in her Capriles shirt for one supporting Nicolás Maduro, “man of the people”. She has seen the good Chavecito’s missions have done, and is angry and disappointed in Capriles for his “two years of inactivity” on behalf of his own constituents.

…Luis Toro, who says he has two reasons: his friendship with William Ojeda (of the PSUV), and his desire to see his municipality, Petare, improve. The barrio is in a very poor state, “invaded”, its streets clogged and impassable. This thanks to Capriles.

…Luis Vargas, who has a radio show called “Hot Coffee”, and says Mission Barrio Adentro deserves to be “dignified, not eliminated”. He’s very unimpressed with Majunche’s “old” discourse about the presumed evils of the Cubans and his fanatical anticommunism. He also denounces various opposition figures associated with Majunche as violators of human rights. He praises Maduro’s willingness to work with the grassroots from all parties, regardless of how corrupt the leadership is, and his willingness to recognize that the base is not to blame for the crookedness of the top level. He finishes off with a fiery declaration in favor of the revolution.

…Byron Velázquez, a youth activist, who supports Maduro because the opposition has often excluded young Venezuelans and failed to hear them out, despite its oft-professed fondness for “students”. He praises Chavecito’s social programs for their positive impact on the youth.

…and Leandro Pérez, who praises Maduro’s straightforwardness and his humble origins, finding that they represent the fighting spirit of ordinary Venezuelans. He speaks out for tolerance, inclusion and participation. He calls on fellow oppos to “dare to think differently” and support Maduro, too.

It’s funny, but hearing these folks talk, I’d never guess that any of them were ever opposition supporters. They all sound remarkably like dyed-in-the-wool Bolivarians!

And I’m not at all sure that this is what Majunche had in mind as he was trying so hard to be more Bolivarian than Bolívar and more Chavista than Chavecito. Instead of pulling off loose PSUVistas, he’s losing his own support…to the PSUV.

If that’s not ironic, then tell me…what is?

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