CARACAS, Wednesday January 23, 2013 | Update

Venezuelan dissenters to choose presidential candidate by consensus

The executive secretary of opposition Unified Democratic Panel (MUD) read a twelve-item manifesto intended to defend Venezuela vis-à-vis the current political uncertainty. According to the document, if a presidential vote is held any time soon, the MUD will present a candidate chosen by consensus

MUD’s executive secretary: We will fight to enforce the Constitution (Photo: Reuters)
Wednesday January 23, 2013  02:42 PM
Venezuelan opposition leaders gathered in Caracas on Wednesday to commemorate the events of January 23, 1958, when dictator Marcos Pérez Jiménez was overthrown. The ceremony began with a video footage showing images of what happened on that day. During the event, the opposition alliance Unified Democratic Panel (MUD) was relaunched as organization.

"The country is certainly not a man in uniform," said MUD's Executive Secretary Ramón Guillermo Aveledo at the beginning of his speech. He claimed that "Venezuela belongs to everyone. We are all necessary at this very moment of uncertainty. The country has the right to know what is going on."

Aveledo said that "the truth and the Constitution" are essential for Venezuela to overcome political uncertainty.

"The end of dictatorship and the onset of freedom were achieved through unity," Aveledo remarked as he recalled the events of January 23, 1958 and the struggle to gain democracy in Venezuela.

As some people tried to disrupt his speech on the occasion of the 55th anniversary of democracy, Aveledo said, "Dictatorship is over."

Twelve-item manifesto

After calling upon Venezuelans to bolster unity in order to fight for peace and personal security, Aveledo read out a 12-item manifesto including the opposition alliance's commitment to choose a single presidential candidate in the event that a new election is held any time soon.

The MUD undertook to respect the Constitution and advocate the rights of Venezuelan citizens, particularly that of "political prisoners and exiles suffering this political drama."

The group also pledged to fight for the defense of decentralization and sovereignty by rejecting other governments' meddling in our country's domestic affairs, especially the Cuban government.

The MUD vowed to "fight against violence, impunity, corruption, and drug trafficking and its allies inside the branches of government; reinstate the feeling of fraternity and trust between civilians and military officials; and the permanent dialog among all sectors of the country."

Translated by Jhean Cabrera
Whose victim am I?

They are marching in step to the same tune. There is a coordinated effort to position the idea. The Twitter hashtag  #YoSoyVictimaDeLaGuarimba (I'm a victim of "guarimbas", or protest barricades) can be read on all pro-government Twitter accounts, including those of the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), the National Assembly's Press Office, the state-run food distribution network PDVAL, state airline Conviasa, the Venezuelan embassies in foreign countries, radio stations and the huge media network responsive to the Government's interests and messages.

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