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The faces of a diverse dissidence

Lilian Tintori, wife of politician Leopoldo López, became a voice that has carried the message of the Venezuelan opposition to the world
Photo: Jorge Serratos/EL UNIVERSAL
15/07/2017
17:21
Caracas
Sonia Izquierdo
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The opponents of the government of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro are a varied group which includes different sectors of society that demand free elections. In recent years, they have gained strength and presence based on mobilizations inside and outside the country.

For years they have sought the attention of neighboring countries in the face of the shortcomings they face. They have denounced through social networks, forums, and media the shortage on food and medicines.

The imprisonment of opposition politician Leopoldo López in 2015 attracted international attention and since then his wife, Lilian Tintori, has become a voice that has carried the message of the opposition to the whole world and has managed to meet with presidents of the continent, including Enrique Peña Nieto and Donald Trump.

In the elections of December 2015, the opposition bloc achieved what has been its most important political victory by winning the majority in the National Assembly with the coalition National Unity Table (MUD).

On January 5, 2016, an Assembly was established with 112 deputies from the MUD and five from the ruling party. Since then, clashes with the other two powers of the Venezuelan government (the Executive and the Judiciary) have been constant. Last March, the High Court tried to assume its functions, which generated a wave of internal protests and international condemnation.

Scholars, politicians and even retired military personnel, faithful to the principles of Hugo Chávez, have turned their backs on Maduro's government.

Outside Venezuela the opposition also has forts and the strongest is in the United States, where the Venezuelan community that has emigrated organizes collections to send aid, mainly food and medicines, for their relatives.

After the victory in the 2015 elections, the opposition has come across many obstacles. In 2016, its petition to hold a referendum to remove Maduro from the government faced all kinds of obstructions on part of the government, until it was eliminated. Now, it has a new test with the referendum against the Constituent Assembly, which, although it will have no real effect, will show the government the magnitude of its force.

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