In an interview published this Sunday, May 16, by the Spanish media outlet El País, Henrique Capriles Radonski challenged Juan Guaidó—without mentioning him directly—when Capriles revealed an imminent change of opposition strategy. According to the interview, Venezuela’s far right now wishes to participate in the regional elections of November 2021.
The two-time loser in presidential elections remarked that voting is the ideal and most plausible alternative for an opposition that did not achieve anything in almost three years of a “maximalist” strategy.
Capriles concluded that the “all or nothing” approach did not remove President Maduro, but did weaken the opposition. He also stated his new conviction—for the time being—that the way to solve the problems in Venezuela is political, and that those who offered a way out by force did so by deceiving the people, because according to him, that option was never a real option.
“People were misled when they were told that all options were on the table. A forceful solution was never proposed here, but it was fueled by the frustration of the people, ” said the right-wing politician.
Back to reason
For Capriles, the opposition has to return to reality, and understand that although they do not recognize Maduro, they must admit that he is the one with power, and only by understanding that, can a reasonable process of dialogue take place.
In addition to suggesting a radical change of strategy for an opposition accustomed to the extremism of violence, the right-wing politician revealed in the interview a semantic shift that is quite significant in a debate characterized by derogatory adjectives.
For example, Capriles did not use the word “dictatorship,” and he did not irritate his throat by saying “regime,” but instead referred to Chavismo as a political reality, without disparaging insults.
Additionally, he conceded that President Maduro—invariably caricatured as an autocrat delighted with the excesses of power—had shown political restraint, .
“I believe that Maduro has people around him who demand economic and social solutions. That is why he has made gestures that can begin to open the doors of a discussion about an agreement, a political solution, that will allow democracy to be recovered,” said Capriles, following the new anti-Chavista script.
Additionally, he recognized that the appointment of the new CNE changed the landscape of the game, and that this electoral power would be “the least bad” in the last 22 years.
Because of Trump
The anti-Chavista acknowledged that the opposition was not going in the right direction, and even tried to place the blame on disgraced former US President Trump as contributing factor to the opposition’s past errors.
“Nobody wanted to confront Trump’s policy,” commented Capriles. “To me as a Venezuelan within Venezuela, his management did not mean anything—it only worked for Trump to win politically in Florida.”
Expressing opinions bearing the trademark of the opposition—one would almost believe they were manufactured on the same assembly line—Capriles exhibited an excessive dependence on the “international community” and especially on “Europe.”
He asked the old continent to come and observe the November elections as a way to give them credibility and legitimacy, as if the legality or legitimacy of decisions made by Venezuelans depends on the endorsement of Europeans.
Capriles’ statements revealed a political and moral subservience, though he subsequently tried to appeal to Venezuelans’ desire for sovereignty when he said that the “US does not decide who has power, we Venezuelans decide it.”
Last year, a few months before the parliamentary elections, Capriles made overtures similar to his current ploy when he opened the door for him and his followers to participate in the elections, but then he suddenly changed his mind and parroted the familiar US and European script declaiming the lack of electoral conditions. At that time, President Maduro accused Capriles of being co-opted by the Europeans, and serving as their mouthpiece to try to discredit the parliamentary elections held on December 6, 2020. Finally, Capriles and his followers chose not to participate.
Featured image: Enrique Capriles, a zigzagging member of Venezuela’s opposition. File photo courtesy of RTVE.
(RedRadioVE) by Carlos Arellán with Orinoco Tribune content
Translation: Orinoco Tribune