The worst-case scenario for the opposition is to maintain the status quo we have now. Some people want to keep it. Maduro with his Assembly and us talking about extending the current one, of continuing it. It’s a pretty complex precedent for the future, because we open the door for Maduro to say he’s going to continue his government without making a choice.
We must not invent figures, but go out to achieve a concert of the international community with the United States, Europe, the Vatican, the countries of Latin America.
To try to align the entire international community to take on the political solution on the basis of an agreement that places sanctions as a tool to negotiate a reinstitutionalization of the country: a new electoral power to recover the route of voting and an election schedule for two processes not recognized by the world: presidential and those of a recognized parliament.
America’s position is going to be critical.
It is precisely on January 20 that Joe Biden takes over as president instead of Donald Trump, Guaido’s strong ally and strategy.
There are people in Venezuela who fantasized about Trump until they lost rationality, as if they were a god.
The biggest mistake that could have been made was to have put the solution to the Venezuelan crisis in Trump’s hands. It was more than obvious that it was an internal game to win in Florida using us Venezuelans in here.
I live here in Caracas. There are 25 million people left. The solution cannot be without regard to the Venezuelan 25 million.
The new administration must understand that this plan has been exhausted and cannot continue the status quo: the interim.
May we align the United States, Europe and the international community with the search for a political solution, which goes through a process of agreement, of negotiation, which has not been successful so far. It’s true, but that doesn’t mean the problem is method.
You spent two years away from the microphones. In September he fought for conditions for December 6 and is now making a challenge, a critique of the opposition’s strategy since Guaidó became president in January 2019.
I wouldn’t say challenge. In Venezuela we must seek a change of government. How? I don’t ask for a new path, but to open paths. We can’t be storytellers of the tragedy.
In Venezuela there is hunger. People didn’t go to vote because they’re sick of Maduro, you and me. There’s a fed-up and that’s not good. We must open paths not by promising fantasies, but by talking to people with the truth, with a credible route. Getting the vote back is my way.
But they’re going to accuse him of breaking the unit…
Unity is not an end, it is a method. Some speak of unity but when they went to April 30 (2019, the insurrection that led to the release of opposition leader Leopoldo López) there was no unity.
I am a believer in the unity of the country. But the opposition today doesn’t have a leader, there’s no leadership, no one who’s a boss. It doesn’t exist. This was a political capital that accumulated and was thrown away, pure common places, speeches spent.
It’s not like I’m more or looking for prominence. The closest we have come to conquering power with votes has been in my election to Maduro (in 2013) and the National Assembly (2015). Unpositioned to end the status quo, we will disappear as an alternative in this country.
He talks about negotiation, but many opponents are fed up with those words because he never leads to anything…
No negotiation is going to succeed with the microphones, on TV. Successes are achieved in confidential processes.
And why do you tell people that now that’s going to happen?
I wouldn’t tell him. We’re in the pothole, nothing is believable, people want to see results. Am I going to make it? We’ll see, I don’t know. What I do know is what my theory of change is: regain the confidence of the Venezuelan and let him believe again, which is expressed above all with his finger on the screen against Maduro (on the voting machine). His failure on Sunday is not our victory.
Opponents are again in the search for strategy and leader…
We enter a desert that I hope will be very short.
Why will it be short now?
Because on that side (of chavism) there are voices who are aware of the gravity of the crisis.
But don’t economic openness and dollarization give government relief and leeway?
While en Venezuela will not solve the political crisis, only adventurous investors will come. The dollarization is US$1 billion. Venezuela can’t live with that.
He believes then that economic pressure is what will cause the government to seek those spaces for dialogue…
I think Maduro gives contrary signals, but there are people inside who are aware that there are no resources. The pension is a dollar. Cuba is better off than Venezuela economically. It’s not viable. They can keep resisting, yes. But I think there’s a awareness that’s fragile. Every day more conditions are generated for someone to come one day and put a punch in.
Yes, a military man who takes power because there is no water, gas… But the Venezuelan seems to have infinite patience. Maybe it is, and maybe nothing ever happens. What I’m clear about is that with speeches from common places it’s not going to happen. I have nothing personal against Guaidó, but that’s over, it’s finished, melted, closed, ready.
I don’t have any public office today, I’m happily a daughter’s dad. I hadn’t had children because I was 100 percent in my country and I said, I’m going to take advantage of this break to have kids…
And now you’re willing to focus again on your country?
I’m a social fighter…
But you’re not just a social fighter…
Sure, on a par, I do politics, I talk to everybody. It is not true that the international community has only one interlocutor in Venezuela. They realize you have to hear other voices. There was a bet on a plan and that plan failed and politics is like that. You win and you lose.
How are you going to get along with Guaidó?
Next year a reconstruction of the opposition must come
Another, the ones that are necessary. Life is a process of permanent reinvention. The worst thing is to be in a state of denial. You have to rebuild the opposition (…)
When Guaidó was the figure, I backed him up, but don’t ask me to take the dips, the mistakes have to be thrown out tenderly. Pretend to top down the government from the Altamira distributor (the attempted insurrection of April 30, 2019), please… It cost very expensive. You have to see all the adventures that have cost us.
Isn’t it naive to think that the government is finally going to cede power?
We have reached a point where neither they have been able to with us nor us with them. Neither do you have the strength to disappear to me, nor do I have the strength to disappear them. The opposition, we, we exist and there are many of us left.
The stage is different, Venezuela is another. There is awareness that if there is no agreement here, in the end it will be bad for everyone. Anarchy isn’t even good for chavism, because it’s a monster you don’t control and it goes against you.
Are there people there who can suddenly share what I’m saying? Yes. You’ll tell me, who? And I’m not going to tell you. Never mind. It’s not a conspiracy. I don’t conspire. If I want to be president, I have to think about this country in the long run.
It’s no secret to anyone, I’ve been a candidate twice.
The important thing is where I feel useful for this country. If you’re like president… I’m not betrayed by the ego or anything like that. I’m not in politics for realitos (money).
I don’t come from a poor family, I’m not poor, I never have been, but that doesn’t mean I don’t understand poverty. That’s where they’re wrong with my last name. I don’t defend the rich, who already have someone to defend them. I defend the poor. I’ve been in the neighborhoods for years. Nobody tells me sifrino. Sifrino me?
It’s not a leadership dispute problem, it’s fundamental. What is your vision and what is mine, what is your commitment to the poor of this country and what mine is. Watch social media and you’ll see what matters most to them: speaking in the Spanish Parliament or in the neighborhood in Petare. There’s the answer to what’s going on inside the opposition.