LAS VEGAS (Oct 23, 2018) – The Roundtable for Democratic Unity (Mesa de Unidad Democratica, or MUD), Venezuela’s parliamentary opposition movement, was quietly but officially dissolved today. The decree passed by the Constituent National Assembly, the pro-Maduro rubber stamp congress, legally and formally dissolved all political parties that did not participate in the most recent national elections, from which the MUD was banned. The MUD’s doom was spelled out a year ago but today is when it was codified by the new rubber stamp congress.
The only recognized political parties in Venezuela are now members of the “Great Patriotic Pole”, the unanimous majority in the Constituent Assembly; mostly the ruling United Socialist Party (PSUV) and numerous frontman parties like the Communist Party of Venezuela, the Revolutionary Party of Labor, and the People’s Electoral Movement.
MUD leader Henrique Capriles, who has widely been labeled a collaborator with the regime by other Venezuelan opposition politicians, despite having been assaulted and beaten this year by colectivos (pro-regime paramilitary gangs), has not made any public statements over the MUD’s dissolution. Capriles only commented on his Twitter that his radio appearance for this evening was canceled due to technical difficulties.
The Libertarian Movement of Venezuela’s national coordinator Yomar Moreno says, “It’s the official dissolution of a corpse used for show by the dictatorship, and one step closer to reaching our freedom.” In 2017 the regime used the MUD to maintain the appearance of legitimate multiparty elections, but there is no longer any need to pretend.
Meanwhile the National Assembly, which exists somewhere between a symbol and Venezuela’s rebel government after being dissolved by the rubber stamp Constituent Assembly, passed a resolution today that the Spanish socialist politician José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero is not welcome in Venezuela, as his “dialogues” with the government on behalf of the UN only give the regime time to recuperate from international pressure.
Those who are formally organized against the regime fall into two general camps. One is Agreement for Change (Concretación por el Cambio) led by Henri Falcon and the Advanced Progressive Party, which is moderate and favors electoral change. The other faction is the I Am Venezuela Alliance (Soy Venezuela), led by María Corina Machado and the classical liberal party Vente Venezuela. The Libertarian Movement of Venezuela signed on to Soy Venezuela in late 2017. Soy Venezuela makes no bones about catalyzing the collapse of the Maduro regime.
Also this week, Attorney General Tarek William Saab announced there would be consequences for anyone who says that the late Caracas city councilman Fernando Albán was murdered. The National Intelligence Service claimed the anti-Maduro politician committed suicide by jumping out of a 10th story window while detained at the National Intelligence Service headquarters. “For anyone who doubts Venezuela is under a dictatorship, Saab was appointed unconstitutionaly by the Constituent Assembly,” says Adriana Flores Márquez of Vente Venezuela. “And yes, they murdered Albán.” Márquez lives in exile in Argentina since the regime was hunting her in 2014.