“For the famously fractious Venezuelan political opposition, these have been weeks marked by uncharacteristic unity and strategic thinking. While achieving their ultimate goal—the ouster of Nicolás Maduro and restoration of democracy—remains uncertain, the opposition has strengthened to a point where transition seems possible, if by no means certain.
“For the past several months, Venezuelan opposition figures have focused anyone who would listen on the date of January 10, 2019. That day, they argued, would mark the start of a new presidential term for Maduro, a term obtained via fraudulent elections, therefore rendering Maduro an “usurper” of the presidency. The argument was legally sound, but in a world where questionable electoral processes seldom hinder an incumbent’s ability to assume and exercise power—witness, most recently, Juan Orlando Hernández’s reelection in Honduras despite the OAS’ refusal to certify the result—it appeared unlikely that January 10 would represent a “before and after” moment for Venezuela’s strongman…”
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