Venezuelan dissenters to choose presidential candidate by consensus
The executive secretary of opposition Unified Democratic Panel (MUD) read a twelve-item manifesto intended to defend Venezuela vis-à-vis the current political uncertainty. According to the document, if a presidential vote is held any time soon, the MUD will present a candidate chosen by consensus
"The country is certainly not a man in uniform," said MUD's Executive Secretary Ramón Guillermo Aveledo at the beginning of his speech. He claimed that "Venezuela belongs to everyone. We are all necessary at this very moment of uncertainty. The country has the right to know what is going on."
Aveledo said that "the truth and the Constitution" are essential for Venezuela to overcome political uncertainty.
"The end of dictatorship and the onset of freedom were achieved through unity," Aveledo remarked as he recalled the events of January 23, 1958 and the struggle to gain democracy in Venezuela.
As some people tried to disrupt his speech on the occasion of the 55th anniversary of democracy, Aveledo said, "Dictatorship is over."
After calling upon Venezuelans to bolster unity in order to fight for peace and personal security, Aveledo read out a 12-item manifesto including the opposition alliance's commitment to choose a single presidential candidate in the event that a new election is held any time soon.
The MUD undertook to respect the Constitution and advocate the rights of Venezuelan citizens, particularly that of "political prisoners and exiles suffering this political drama."
The group also pledged to fight for the defense of decentralization and sovereignty by rejecting other governments' meddling in our country's domestic affairs, especially the Cuban government.
The MUD vowed to "fight against violence, impunity, corruption, and drug trafficking and its allies inside the branches of government; reinstate the feeling of fraternity and trust between civilians and military officials; and the permanent dialog among all sectors of the country."
Translated by Jhean Cabrera
Cristian Fonseca, a businessman in La Candelaria district downtown Caracas, was doing the accounts in his small shop office on Sunday December 21, 2008. The Christmas shopping season kept him working late hours into the night. It was around 11 p.m. and his phone rang. A friend broke the bad news to him over the telephone.