Divided and weakened, the opposition in Venezuela does not give in, however, in its intention to annul the mandate of President Nicolás Maduro. Days ago, the Electoral Justice gave the green light to carry out a recall referendum. But the process is complex and Chavismo has already begun to apply a number of obstacles.
César Pérez Vivas, former governor of Táchira, is the main representative of the Movement for the Recall Referendum (MOVER), which last Monday officially presented, together with two other civil organizations, the request to revoke Maduro, whose questioned mandate arrives this year in the middle of his term (2019-2024).
Surprisingly, the National Electoral Council (CNE) admitted the requests and activated the presidential recall.
In just four days, this Friday at the last minute, he announced the schedule of the process to collect the signatures of the voters next Wednesday the 26th, enabling 1,200 voting centers.
However, the convening organizations objected to the announcement on the grounds that it is technically impossible collect 20% of the signatures -representing 4.2 million of the 21 million voters registered in the official voter registry- in each of the 23 states, in a single day from 6 in the morning to 6 in the afternoon.
The opponent César Pérez Vivas, promoter of the recall referendum of the mandate of Nicolas Maduro.
The 1,200 authorized centers are insufficient when the normal should be 14,000 schools, says the opposition. Thus, each voter would have to vote in 5 seconds to total the amount required by the CNE, which makes it an insurmountable obstacle.
Pérez Vivas is a 64-year-old lawyer from Tachira, leader of the Christian Democratic party, Copei. He was a deputy between 1988 and 1998, and then between 2000 and 2005. In the interview with Clarion explains the details of new frustration that Venezuelans who seek to democratically remove their president live.
-What do you plan to do in the face of the obstacles that the regime has put in place to prevent the recall?
-This Monday we are going to protest to the CNE to demand in writing that it respond to us and rectify the hasty call to collect signatures. It is impossible to collect 20% of the manifestations of will. Physically it is impossible. And the most serious thing is that it denies the right to the entire population. It is like filling 10 liters of water in a 2 liter container.
Posters of the official party of Venezuela, in a street of Caracas, months ago. Photo: EFE
-The CNE violates its own regulations?
-The CNE ignores its own 2007 regulations. The collection of signatures must be announced 15 days in advance. That was not fulfilled and they announced it in four days. They must also give three days of collection and they reduce it to just one day. There is also discrimination and inequality before the law. Voting by state is an invention of the Chavista rectors and the Supreme Court of Justice, according to the 2016 ruling.
-Doesn’t it seem very naive on your part if you knew the regulations of the CNE?
-We are not naive nor do we seek protagonism. We are aware citizens who have exposed the totalitarian and demagogic vocation of Maduro and his clique.
-Why do you think Maduro advanced the collection of signatures?
-Because the political parties and Juan Guaidó were going to pronounce themselves this January 23, an emblematic date of democracy, in favor of supporting and accompanying the recall referendum and Maduro panicked, was afraid of him and went ahead to abort his impeachment.
-The obstacles are a way to kill the recall?
-It is a way to kill the recall. Maduro seeks to abort the process, he is afraid and terrified of telling himself, that is why he denies that right by calling an act of impossible execution.
“We are going to denounce Maduro for violating voting rights before the OAS, the UN, the European Union and the International Criminal Court.”
-Do you plan to give up your attempt to remove Maduro from power?
-No, we are going to insist on our goal. We are going to continue fighting for the exercise of the right to maintain resistance and be prepared for when favorable circumstances arise.
-Do you mean by 2024, when Maduro’s term expires and the presidential elections are called?
-We are not leaving. We will insist. We are going to exhaust all the resources that the legal order allows, both inside and outside Venezuela.
-What actions will you take at the international level?
-We are going to denounce Maduro for violating voting rights before the OAS, the UN, the European Union and the International Criminal Court.
-What are you going to do on Wednesday 26?
-We are going to protest before the CNE to rectify its schedule. You have six months to do it and adjust the regulations correctly. He has the political and moral duty to rectify or lose face in history for the abuse of power committed, trampling on the rights of Venezuelans.