The international community is obliged to guarantee fair and transparent elections
The Venezuelan institutional crisis has entered a completely different scenario than the sterile and dangerous paralysis experienced so far with the decision of the Nicolás Maduro regime to free more than 100 political prisoners and persecuted persons and to request the international observation of the United Nations and the European Union for the parliamentary elections scheduled, in principle, on December 6. The announcement by an important part of the opposition led by Henrique Capriles that it is considering going to these elections, although presenting reservations regarding the conditions that still have to be met and the date, opens a way for a peaceful and democratic solution to a situation that has placed the Caribbean country in a dire state in the social and economic sphere.
It is true that Maduro has moved a fundamental piece by officially requesting international observation of the elections. On the contrary, the release of some political prisoners should be considered only a first step – yes, positive – since it has not been total, and prominent figures such as Juan Guaidó, Leopoldo López or Julio Borges remain prosecuted or confined. The release and pardon of all political prisoners is rightly considered by the international community as an essential condition to attend the electoral process called by Maduro.
It in turn depends on the entire democratic opposition that this channeling leads to a satisfactory solution, which is none other than the return of democracy to Venezuela. The refusal, for now, of the sector led by Guaidó – recognized as interim president of Venezuela by about 60 countries, including Spain – should not become a castigation that condemns this opening. The desirable and necessary evolution of gestures and events should culminate with the participation of all political forces in the elections, which would give them greater legitimacy. In this context, it seems reasonable that Capriles’ proposal expressed in an interview with this newspaper that electoral observation should not be limited to the strict holding of elections, but that it be extended to the entire process, with a prior report from the Union European to study whether the necessary conditions will be met by December 6.
And although the election of its parliamentarians is the exclusive responsibility of Venezuelan citizens, it is up to the international community to provide all its support so that it occurs with total freedom and transparency. International supervision is one of the conditions permanently demanded of Maduro to recognize the vote and a fundamental contribution of democratic nations to the normalization of the institutional situation in Venezuela.