Former head of Spanish government, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, proposed April 8th that all political parties in Venezuela build a large peace agreement to solve the acute political, economic and social problems that Venezuela is undergoing. The proposal was supported by the ruling party and rejected by the opposition. If the proposition succeeds, the agreement would be signed after the presidential elections May 20th, 2018.
This proposal represents a new attempt to solve the differences between both sides, following the unsuccessful negotiations of January-February 2018 in the Dominican Republic. Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro welcomed Zapatero’s statements and said the elections will be “an opportunity for the victory of the Bolivarian revolution, which was established by Commander Chávez in 1999.”
However, different members of the opposition rejected the idea. The presidential candidate Henri Falcón affirmed that “the only agreement of national unity with which we have committed ourselves to is to defeat Maduro”. Although polls indicate that voting intention in favor of Falcón is low, he is the main opposition candidate to Maduro’s government. The opposition coalition Mesa de Unidad Democrática (MUD), declared that it will not sign an agreement that opposes the democratic interests of Venezuelans.
The problem adds to the refusal of the United Nations (UN) to send an election observation mission. While this can be understood as a non-recognition of the electoral process’ legality, Diosdado Cabello, Vice President of the ruling Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela (PSUV), said that “the UN only goes to countries with problems in their electoral systems, and Venezuela is not the case”.