Andrés Caleca: Maduro and his entourage are doing everything to avoid the transition to democracy

Andrés Caleca: Maduro and his entourage are doing everything to avoid the transition to democracy

AME8089. CARACAS (VENEZUELA), 08/04/2023. – The opposition presidential candidate Andrés Caleca participates in a joint political event of the opposition today, in Caracas (Venezuela). The 13 candidates for the opposition primaries on October 22nd, who will define the standard bearer who will face Chavismo in the 2024 presidential elections, signed this Friday a document with the “common principles” that will govern their government program if they win the elections next year. The signed agreement establishes that the country “must advance in changes that consolidate a new political, economic and social model,” as long as it is “based on common principles, from which the unitary candidate (whoever wins in October) will design its structural reform program.” EFE/ Miguel Gutiérrez


For Andrés Caleca, former President of the National Electoral Council and former candidate for the opposition Primary, the electoral process that is underway on the route to the presidential elections called for next July 28th, is riddled with violations to the electoral law, electoral regulations and hamstring electoral conditions.

By Dexcy Guédez//Corresponsalía

“That is, on no previous occasion ever, not even in the elections called under the dictatorship of Marcos Pérez Jiménez. That is the reality,” added Caleca.

He highlighted that, first of all, elections have been called in an absolutely rigged context, totally induced towards the regime’s victory and re-election of the option that is now Government.

He considered it necessary to take into account the context of the “judicialization” (subjecting to lawfare) the most important opposition parties, the elimination of cards of the opposition parties without any justification, but also the disqualification of the most important Venezuelan political leaders, including the unitary candidate of a very important sector of the Venezuelan opposition, which is María Corina Machado.

Electoral process under censorship

Caleca insists that the upcoming electoral process will be carried out in the context of very real censorship of the media in Venezuela, with its own characteristics, but still censorship in the end, because there is practically no written press, television is totally muzzled. Likewise in the last two years 400 media outlets, including more than 200 radio stations, have been eliminated.

“That is, it is an absolutely undemocratic, authoritarian, abusive context. Added to this is a National Electoral Council designated in violation of the Constitution of the Republic, which establishes that the members of the National Electoral Council must be five citizens independent of all political militancy,” he pointed out.

He highlights that three people who were open, clear, and evident militants of the Government party and two militants of the opposition party were appointed to head the National Electoral Council, absolutely violating the Constitution of the Republic.

“It is in this context that elections are called, and also early. The Venezuelan electoral tradition indicates that the elections, including the Suffrage Law repealed in 2005, clearly established this. It establishes that the elections will always be held the first or second Sunday of December of the year prior to the end of the constitutional period,” he said.

He recalled that this had been the case since 1958 until the elections had to be brought forward in 2012, in response to the serious health condition suffered by President Hugo Chávez, who wanted to be re-elected at that time.

Then, in 2018, the next period, violating all that tradition, they called the election for May of that year, and this time they did the same thing again, they called it for July.

“It must be said that this is not exactly illegal, because the law was repealed in that aspect, or that article of the law was modified, eliminated, but obviously it is another example of the Government’s malfeasance. But, as if that were not enough, an electoral schedule is presented by the press (Not the Electoral Council) and it is not legally valid.”

He explained that for an electoral schedule to be valid it must have been published in the Electoral Gazette, and from that step on the timing of the schedule begin to run.

“At this point this has not happened, that is, the schedule has not been published in the Electoral Gazette and, consequently, the National Electoral Council has been changing the dates, the conditions, the circumstances at will. Furthermore, there is a tremendous institutional fragility that in a serious country could effectively lead to all these elections ending up being an absolutely invalid process,” Caleca warned.

Unconstitutional disqualification

In relation to the possibility of accepting the presidential candidacy if the Unitary Platform chooses him, he responded affirmatively, remembering that he willingly participated in the Primary.

“I was a candidate for the Primary and I could not win, but María Corina Machado clearly won and has not been able to register due to the arbitrariness of this Government. It is an unconstitutional, illegal disqualification. She declined her candidacy in favor of the candidacy of Professor Corina Yoris and again the National Electoral Council did not allow her to register, violating all procedures.

He emphasized that the substitute candidate does not have any prohibition or disqualification and the rectors of the electoral body simply did not feel like giving her admittance to the operating registration system.

“And they say it clearly: we are not going to accept any candidate that comes from María Corina Machado,” he reiterated.

Regime slows down the transition

According to Caleca, there is a transition underway in the country although in his opinion, Maduro and his entourage are trying to avoid it by all means.

He insists they are doing everything in their power to avoid that transition. However, the mood of the country is confirmed by all the surveys and the daily lives of Venezuelans: citizens want change.

“People are desperate to change the situation in Venezuela after more than 25 years of an absolutely incapable regime that has led Venezuelans to experience one of their worst tragedies in all of history, without a civil war or colonial war of national liberation or anything like that. Simply indolence of rulers who are perhaps the worst in history,” he remarked.

He estimated that 80% of the country wants to vote and wants to do so to change the situation in Venezuela, which for him is already the beginning of a true transition.

Fascist mood

Asked about his opinion of the draft of the ‘Law against Fascism’ being discussed by the Chavista National Assembly, he pointed out that: first, it demonstrates the fascist spirit of those who consider themselves anti-fascists and; secondly, it shows weakness, because they are trying to stop a country that already got out of hand.

“When not even the Chavistas will vote for Maduro, all they have left is threats. Now, these people are very clumsy and legislate thinking that they are going to stay here for 100 years. They say that they will not ever leave power, neither under bullets or votes. Imagine that on July 28th a democratic option wins and that this fascist law is in force by the time the new government assumes power,” Caleca remarked.

In his opinion, this legal instrument makes all those in the Government guilty of the very law that they themselves have approved.

“That is an unusual thing. I said it in a tweet yesterday, I will see them in January racing in the National Assembly to repeal that law, because this will come back to them like a boomerang. Of course a democratic government will not apply that stupidity,” Caleca remarked.

In his opinion, the people around Maduro who declare that fascism includes everything up to liberalism. This has no head or tail and demonstrates not only the repressive mood, but also the deepest ignorance.