The legislative elections, shunned by voters on December 6, and the consultation organized by the opposition, with mixed success, testify to the great weariness of Venezuelans, for lack of a political solution to the unprecedented crisis that the country is going through. The death of 14 migrants at sea on Saturday 12 December tragically confirmed the despair of a population without a future in the country of the Bolivarian revolution.
Mixed success for Juan Guaido’s opposition
A week after the legislative elections which attracted less than one in three voters to the voting booths on Sunday, December 6, the opposition to Nicolas Maduro’s regime has only half succeeded in its bet.
→ READ. Venezuela: Juan Guaido’s response to the government
According to the first data communicated by the organizers of the consultation organized on the fringes of the electoral system, some 6.4 million people took part in this referendum, that is to say by going to a polling station on Saturday, December 12 (3.2 million voters), either from abroad (844,728) or online (2.4 million).
Venezuelans were invited to answer three questions on the requirement of “End of the usurpation of the presidency by Nicolas Maduro”, on the “Rejection of the electoral event of December 6” and on a call “To the international community to save our democracy, face the humanitarian crisis and protect the people from crimes against humanity”, of which the regime is accused.
A deadlocked country
According to the opposition, this consultation would be a success. The “Participation far exceeded the fraud they had organized”, on December 6, welcomed Juan Guaido on Twitter. For the leader of the opposition, recognized as interim president by some fifty countries, the essential has been achieved: this higher participation allows him to still consider himself as the legitimate president of a “People’s Parliament” and to call for a mobilization on January 5, date of the beginnings of the People’s Assembly now controlled by the authorities.
→ THE FACTS. Venezuela: Nicolas Maduro accused of “possible crimes against humanity”
But even though the opposition has reported« intimidations » and threats around the sites planned for consultation, by “Pro-regime armed civilian groups”, in certain regions of Venezuela and certain districts of the capital, it emerges from the two weeks which have just passed in the country of the Bolivarian revolution, a great weariness.
The regime is rejected by a population facing an unprecedented economic crisis of proportions difficult to imagine in a country at peace. But the hope aroused by Juan Guaido at the beginning of 2019, during his ascension to the head of the National Assembly, fizzled: at the end of November, a survey by the Datanalisis institute indicated that only one in 4 Venezuelans had a good image. by Juan Guaido.
A population trapped
The message of these two consultations is that Venezuelans no longer believe in a political outcome. They know the regime will not make any concessions, despite US sanctions targeting Venezuelan oil, and that the elections are fraudulent, but they also doubt Juan Guaido’s strategy.
Under these conditions, leaving seems the only alternative: according to the UN, more than 5.4 million Venezuelans – out of a total population of 29 million inhabitants – have left their country since 2015. ” The movement, which had dried up with the pandemic and the closure of borders, especially Colombian ones, has resumed in recent months with the relaxation of anti-Covid measures », Explains a French businessman in Caracas.
→ REPORT. Venezuela: gasoline shortage further aggravates crisis
The exile continues today at a pace estimated by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) at around 600 daily departures. But not all arrive safely: at least fourteen Venezuelans, including three children, perished Saturday, December 12 in a shipwreck between Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago.
According to some accounts, they left Venezuela on December 6 for the larger of the two islands, Trinidad, located 11 kilometers from the coast. Before being arrested and detained for illegal immigration, then sent back to their country aboard the same boat.