CARACAS, Monday June 09, 2014 | Update

Venezuelan dissenters to seek early elections

Deposed opposition Deputy María Corina Machado set out a three-step plan for political change

Leopoldo López Gil, the father of opposition leader Leopoldo López, said that for recovering the country "sacrifices" would be needed (Adolfo Acosta)
Monday June 09, 2014  11:59 AM
"It is time to reap the achievements of this heroic deed," stated last Sunday opposition leader María Corina Machado from a platform in Chacaíto (east Caracas) before a modest rally. She announced, along with opposition party Voluntad Popular leaders, "the route for the national liberation."

Machado set out a three-step plan for the "reaping." The first step is to create "a wide bottom-up unity, where every social expression is heard. A unity that allows MUD's (Democratic Unified Panel) parties and leaders such as Henrique Capriles, Antonio Ledezma, and Leopoldo López to be brought together. We must incorporate the students' movement, professional associations, citizens' assemblies, trade unions, grassroots groups, communal councils, and cultural groups," among others.  

The idea is them to be "united in a great national movement to reach consensus on the Venezuela we want," said Machado.

In her view, the second step is to "demand the resignation of (president) Nicolás Maduro amid a great national outcry."

The last step of the road map is to "renew a social pact, where all Venezuelans can get together and renew public powers." Machado pointed out that the mechanisms are on the Constitution: an amendment or a National Constituent Assembly.

Additionally, in his address, Mayor of El Hatillo municipality David Smolansky argued that "there are politicians who want the country to collapse and there are others willing to stand up in order to achieve a change actively, bravely."

Smolansky once against lambasted the dialogue between the government and the MUD. "After two months (of dialogue), whom have they set free? What collective has handed over at least one gun?" asked Smolansky, as he reaffirmed the "fight on the streets." 

For his part, student leader Carlos Vargas (from Andrés Bello Catholic University) announced that the students' movement agreed to seek the republican national unification, "where everyone works for the same goal." Vargas also said that they would stage a march on June 24.

Leopoldo López Gil, the father of opposition Voluntad Popular party's coordinator Leopoldo López, said during the event: "Independence is not achieved without sacrifices. You cannot win a January 23 (1958, when Dictator Marcos Pérez Jiménez was overthrown) without people dead. Sadly, in order to recover the country, a lot of sacrifices are needed. And you are going to do those sacrifices on the streets, because that is what it is about."