Venezuela’s opposition force has been a loosely allied coalition, but managed to control the National Assembly, or unicameral Congress, in December 2015.
(Soundbite) Jose Alvarado, Presidential Commissioner for Social Security Mission
“The opposition force has a half-ambiguous position, doesn’t it? They generate violence but deny the fact every time one talks about it. For example, they call for violence, but then say they never call for violence. This is what they are trying to generate. They are trying to generate violent acts and blood, in order to force a possible foreign intervention.”
In 2014, the opposition force took to the streets and clashed with police, leaving 43 dead.
(Soundbite) Jose Gregorio Villegas, Caracas Resident
“I think the opposition force is a group that has been acting wrong since long. They want to take power with violent actions and with the help of foreign interventionists. This is going to cause a more serious problem, for them and for all of us. In contrast, I think there is also a group who are intelligently aware. If President Nicolas Maduro was elected by the majority of us, then they should stop attacking him so much. They can make their claims but should respect democracy.”
In 2016, while trying to push through a referendum to recall President Nicolas Maduro, the government opponents repeatedly staged open protests, which always ended up in bloodshed and vandalism.
(Soundbite) Luis Blanco, Caracas Resident
“Yes, the opposition has done many good things, but they should not act that violently. Sometimes they leave the government to do the things they want. They must not take to the streets. The street strategy is not applicable. Demonstrations should be conducted in peace. Now we have to mobilize the guards, the police and even the army. It can’t be like this. We want to go through the situation for the common good of Venezuelans.”
With Congress in arms, the Venezuelan opposition force acts stronger than ever before.
But they face stiff walls all elsewhere, as other official institutions and the military force stand with the government with firm allegiance.
Street protests, lobbying of regional countries, as well as alliance with foreign countries and organizations have become the alternative retreat of the Venezuelan opposition force.
(Soundbite) German Valencia, Caracas Citizen
“The opposition force here is not really the opposition that it should have been. They have to act more fairly and more impartial, and with a little more dedication to the people, but not only looking for chops for themselves. It should not be like that. The opposition here is very intelligent and capable people. Why don’t they do it (the right way), as it is good for all? Venezuelans has not only 5 and 10 million people. We have 32 million people, and maybe more.”