End to Trump's "regime change": Guaidó agrees to participate in Venezuela's elections
With the United States and the European Union as possible observers, Juan Guaidó had no choice but to accept the elections. He was set to confirm this week.

The Venezuelan opposition is on track to define its participation in the regional elections in November this year. If it materializes, it would be an important gesture of the majority parties that chose to promote abstentions in the last three elections (presidential elections of 2018, the regional elections of 2019 and the legislative elections of 2020).

The Government change in the United States is a decisive factor for the opposition to modify its strategy and resume the electoral route. The predisposition of the opposition to participate in the roundtable in Mexico and be part of the electoral process puts Juan Guaidó, who is isolated, in an uncomfortable situation.

The main challenge of the opposition lies in building a platform of unity that includes the Democratic Assembly, which has references such as Henri Falcón or Timoteo Zambrano, and the G4, a space that contains the parties with majority Primero Justicia, led by Henrique Capriles; Acción Democrática, led by Henry Ramos Allup; Nuevo Tiempo, led by Stalin González; and Voluntad Popular, led by Juan Guaidó and Leopoldo López.

"Maduro's government has made the poor poorer"

The latter are the most affected by the turnaround for having put all their chips in international pressure and social mobilization to remove Nicolás Maduro, a strategy that failed miserably.

LPO spoke with Venezuelan sociologist Damián Alifa, who said that "everything seems to point to the G4 joining the electoral route. At least, this is what many of its spokesmen say. This would imply that most of the opposition would bet on the electoral route."

Henrique Capriles

"The abstention sectors would be extremely reduced to individuals or very small parties such as Vente Venezuela, led by María Corina Machado or Causa Radical," he added.

Everything seems to point to the G4 joining the electoral route. At least, this is what many of its spokesmen say. This would imply that most of the opposition would bet on the electoral route.

Regarding how the electoral scenario is shaping up, Alifa said: "For now the projection is very uncertain because not all the candidates are officially in and even after the nominations are made, it is possible that some groups will negotiate, decline, etc. However, there is a strong possibility that opposition candidates will be dispersed, which will obviously favor the government."

"We are talking about states in which there could be more than four opposition candidates, not to mention the scenario at the municipal level in which there is still much to be defined," he added.

LPO consulted G4 sources who confirmed that Juan Guaidó is delaying the definition because "they do not want to go, but they have no choice", adding "They are planning to announce it at the end of this week," he said.

The expert considered that "the great challenge of the opposition will be to defend the governments run by them: Táchira, Mérida, Anzoátegui, Nueva Esparta. In addition, they will try to recover Zulia and fight over Miranda and Bolivar. It will not be easy to take over any of these opportunities."

"In states like Zulia and Bolivar, the opposition can take advantage of the aftermath of discontent and internal fights from the Chavismo wing after the internal elections of PSUV. However, in other states, the Chavismo wing will take advantage of the dispersion. Currently, the Chavismo has high chances of keeping most of the governors under its power," he projected.

On the other hand, an official close to Henri Falcón told LPO that "the return of the electoral route is good news but there are still disagreements with the G4. It has to make alliances because they will most likely lose in states with more than one opponent."

Henri Falcón, a candidate running for governor of Lara.

The possibility of normalizing the electoral participation of all political forces opens the doors for the United States and the European Union to play the role of observers. This assigns more legitimacy to the process and is a breath of fresh air for the Venezuelan regime that seeks to give concessions in exchange for the lifting of sanctions.

There is a strong possibility that opposition candidates will be dispersed, which will obviously favor the government.

The Rector of the National Electoral Council, Roberto Picón, announced that the European Union will define whether they will participate as observers after the completion of the nomination process. At that point we will know whether the US and the EU will support the process or openly celebrate the process, reducing the possibility of disregarding it, as they have done in recent years.

Everything points to an election that will be recognized, tacitly or explicitly, but it will also depend on what happens during the second round of negotiations in Mexico, and the tone of the political dialogue that, ultimately, might end up defining the steps that will follow. 

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