Venezuela: the example of Barinas
The triumph of the opposition unit in the Venezuelan state of Barinas, with Sergio Garrido as a candidate, stood above the entire Chavista state apparatus. As is its wont, the regime did not stop at ethical questions: There was no lack of threats of all kinds, censorship of the media and journalists or the relocation of voters and polling stations at the last minute. He put into practice all the strategies that have served him in the past elections to twist results, but this time they were not favorable. In part, the ruling party failed because this time the opponents really organized themselves to monitor the vote, claim and denounce.
With this defeat, Chavismo lost one of its emblematic fiefdoms, despite having massively mobilized military personnel, ministers, and national leaders under the undeniable protection of the Miraflores Palace. As much as the followers of the dictatorial regime of Nicholas Maduro tried to minimize the defeat because it was a regional election, the magnitude of the advantage, its forcefulness and meaning did not allow them to claim ignorance of their rivals.
The resounding electoral victory has ended up consolidating the certainty that, by voting and keeping the opposition united, favorable results are obtained. Had it remained fragmented, the Maduro regime would have reaped a new victory to the detriment of the atomized opposition forces. Barinas has become the main recent reference of what opposition forces can do when they are grouped around a candidate, an organized platform and a single program..
The example of the behavior of the opposition in the recent elections in Barinas should also be taken into account by the main referents of the opposition coalition to the government of Albert Fernandez. His triumph in the legislative elections of last November 14 was far from being translated into an effective and creative opposition. The first thing that was observed were fights for positions, for offices in Congress and other issues unrelated to the needs of a country in crisis.
Both from the Fernández-Fernández binomial and unfortunately also from the opposition itself, they try to weaken and alienate the opposition coalition. The responsibility for their misunderstandings and divisions, added to the consequent lack of leadership, arises in many cases from putting purely personal ambitions before the serious and pressing problems suffered by Argentine society.
As long as the opposition does not overcome these limitations and build a robust unity, the citizens who supported them with their vote will once again be frustrated and the necessary alternation in power will be, once again, threatened. In the unity of the opposition lies the only force capable of putting an end to the official excesses.