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Maduro laughs at loss of National Assembly while the opposition may yet have the last laugh

The reactions the Venezuelan community across the world had to the 2015 elections were akin to everyone’s reaction to Leonardo Di Caprio’s first Oscar Award. A reason why many Venezuelans were satisfied with the outcomes was because although they seemed small, they are promising for the nation’s future. The Democratic Unity Roundtable triumphed over Maduro’s Socialist party with a two thirds majority, a basis upon which the party can affect Venezuela’s economy positively in the near future. With 57 percent of the Venezuelan people’s votes, 67 percent of the seats in the National Assembly are currently occupied by members of the Democratic Unity Roundtable, a party that wishes to answer the plights of civilians that were wronged by Maduro’s government.

Now the question for most Venezuelans is whether the first blow to the Chavist Socialist Party in 16 years will make a difference in the way the state is run.

We must first note that Nicolas Maduro’s abysmal failures mainly stemmed from the falling oil prices and the weighing down of political autocracy on Venezuelans. Lives were made miserable as he unleashed police violence against civilian protesters who fought for their basic needs, as well as the infamous toilet paper roll which is one of the many scarce commodities that people lined up for in the streets. However, Maduro’s current budget surplus was well spent on social policies which has lifted millions out of poverty. It’s not too shabby for a President who stayed faithful to the Chavista ideal of being a man who gives back to the people. Or at least tries to.

Needless to say there is a lot to criticize about Maduro, and a lot of Venezuelans would like to say goodbye to his days as President. The obsession with getting a president out of office isn’t as simple as winning the National Assembly. Nor is it necessarily an effective strategy given that there are some positive elements that come with Maduro’s rule as president.

The National Assembly is a lower level game for Maduro given that Venezuela is a Presidential Republic. In the mean time, the Democratic Unity Roundtable must learn how to work with Maduro. Setting aside political differences, cooperation on a number of issues is a possibility with Maduro.

The primary policy problems the Democratic Unity Roundtable should address first and foremost are the release of political prisoners such as Leopoldo Lopez, who has received a swarm of petitions from Amnesty International.

On the other hand, the dangerous endemic ignorance regarding the Zika Virus is another real threat.

From a more economic point of view, giving property titles to citizens that have benefited from the Housing Mission bills should be on the Democratic Unity Roundtable’s agenda as well.

By and large, should the Democratic Unity Roundtable want to see Maduro out by 2019, it is important to note that the aforementioned goals are a must on the checklist for a better tomorrow in Venezuela. It is imperative that politicians who have stood for democracy and have been falsely incarcerated are set free to partake in a legitimate political system. It is also essential that basic medical needs are attended to for the preservation of the common Venezuelan folk’s health in times of widespread sickness.

Even though Maduro has been doing a decent job on social policies, no one said seeing the opposition ameliorating them by tackling new issues would do harm.

But, on the flip side it is not guaranteed that a Supreme Court under Chavismo will look favorably upon these proposals given that Maduro, as head of the executive can veto them at the snap of a finger. All that the opposition can do before the Chavistas in the Supreme Court is clearly show how the realization of said proposals does not endanger Maduro’s Socialist agenda.

In the mean time Democrats should listen to the bold statements of Américo De Grazia, an opposition leader in the National Assembly. He suggests a triple-barreled strategy that will send Nicolas Maduro out of Presidency before 2019, the year that marks the end of his term. This strategy seeks to draft a constitutional amendment that will allow for a recall referendum. Their hunt for brownie points in the Venezuelan political system goes even further, as they also wish to create a campaign advocating for Nicolas Maduro’s resignation as President.

It’s really one hell of a political clash in Venezuela, and with such proposals, we don’t know if Maduro will activate his raging bull mode, while the people go back to the streets to support his early resignation.

 

Victor Percoco

 

Image source: wikicommons

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