Venezuela’s U.S.-backed opposition faction said it plans to hold a primary next year to choose a presidential candidate for elections scheduled for 2024.
The Unitary Platform said in a statement that it had transformed into a “broad and inclusive” organization with clear rules and concrete areas of work.
“From this moment on, we will begin a process of in-depth consultation with the whole country to jointly build this powerful single candidate selection mechanism,” he said.
The announcement follows a recent meeting between opposition representatives and U.S. officials in Central America to discuss the way forward for the unified platform as negotiations with President Nicolás Maduro’s administration remain stalled. ‘dead end.
Talks were suspended in October after a key Maduro ally was extradited to the United States on money laundering charges. Maduro then conditioned his return to the negotiating table on the release of businessman Alex Saab, extradited from the African nation of Cape Verde.
The negotiations, aimed at resolving Venezuela’s longstanding political impasse, took place in Mexico City under the leadership of Norwegian diplomats.
The United States and other countries withdrew recognition from Maduro after accusing him of rigging his 2018 re-election as president. In his place, they recognized Juan Guaidó, who was the head of the then opposition-dominated congress and who remains the leader of the Unified Platform.
Over the past five years, the United States has, with little success, tried everything from punitive oil sanctions to criminal indictments and support for clandestine coups in its campaign to eliminate Maduro and restore what it considers like the stolen democracy in Venezuela. But in March, US officials met Maduro in Caracas as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine upended the world order and forced Washington to rethink its national security priorities.
The United Platform also announced on Monday that it had appointed an executive secretary to “contribute to the harmonious development of the debate and the strengthening of unity” of the faction.
“We reaffirm that the united struggle has the fundamental objective of achieving political change, knowing that this is the only real way to end the suffering of millions of Venezuelans.”