Henrique Capriles asks Venezuelans to vote in regional elections

Venezuelan opposition leader Henrique Capriles Radonski speaks during a news conference in Caracas on November 19, 2021 – AFP

The opposition leader and twice candidate for the presidency of Venezuela, Henrique Capriles, called this Friday (19th) for a “reunion” with the vote in Sunday’s regional elections that will be held with the participation of the majority of opposition parties after years of abstention.

“I haven’t voted for four years, my last vote was in 2017 and on Sunday I’m going to vote (…) Don’t stop voting, I think we have to rediscover this right and that’s what I’m going to do and I’m sure millions of Venezuelans will too they will,” he said during a press conference in Caracas.

Capriles’ appeal comes at a time of deep divisions in the Venezuelan opposition, which has not won individual candidacies in most regions.

The official highlighted that the main adversary to defeat is the government of President Nicolas Maduro.

“The adversary is not (Juan) Guaidó, nor any other leader of the democratic forces, the adversary is Maduro,” Capriles said, referring to the opposition leader recognized as president of Venezuela by fifty countries, although in practice Maduro holds power.

“The debate is normal, no one needs to be scandalized because there is a debate in the democratic forces (…) In my opinion, there has to be a re-launch of democratic forces and a new stage for the future”, he said.

In statements on Oct. 21, Capriles, who lost to Hugo Chávez in the 2012 elections and a year later, after the then president’s death, to Maduro by a small margin, launched an appeal to end a “fatal dispersion” within the divided opposition.

Some 21 million Venezuelans are called to elect 23 governors and 335 mayors, as well as municipal and regional legislators, in a process in which the main opposition parties decided to participate after three years of boycotts and requests to abstain.

The elections will feature an observation mission from the European Union, which returns to the country after 15 years, in addition to the Carter Center, founded by former US President Jimmy Carter, which returns to Venezuela after eight years of absence.

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