So tomorrow Lopez and Machado and, rather unexpectedly, Ledezma are planning to gather for the the first formal street activity to force the regime to do.... whatever. The regime will of course do as it pleases since its directions come now from Havana, military barracks and drug cartels. None of them have much use for any proposal from the opposition, finding increasing creative ways to silence it before guns start talking in earnest. But that is not really the issue discussed here.
The opposition is basically divided in two camps: those that think that the economic situation will play by itself and that within months Maduro will be forced to resign and a new chavista government will sit down and prepare a transition. And those that want to speed up the process and are in no mood to negotiate anything besides a speedy transition.
Clearly Primero Justicia and the old guard (AD, COPEI, MAS...) are playing the card of wait and see. Many reasons for that. They all see Voluntad Popular as an upstart that does not deserve what it got last December. They think Machado is a shrill. They think that after their failed tragedy for 2013 (admittedly with major success but a failure in the end since in theory Maduro is now in for the next 5 years) they need to regroup and try to make some agreement with the government so that they can remain a viable political option since they believe that Maduro ain't Chavez. They think Capriles has still some pristine appeal and that his flip backwards triple somersaults are not noticed. They think Santa is for real.
On the other side you have a coalition in formation, of those who think that the time of principles have come, that the role models are Aung San Suu Kyi and Vitali Klitschko. This is the opposition that has a clearer idea about the fascist/commie lot in front. That coming coalition has its starting point tomorrow at Plaza Brion of Chacaito in Caracas; where interestingly 12 years ago was held the very first large scale protest against Chavez over his plans on limiting private education and parents role. I was there, at the very start, for the record.... But I will not be tomorrow as I am with health obligations and the like.
Whether I attend is not the issue, whether lots or few show up tomorrow is not the issue. This is just starting and I doubt Capriles could rally more people behind a "no short cuts [to unseat Maduro]" slogan while he sits down to negotiate as if nothing with a regime that he used to claim was illegitimate. I am sorry, he is sounding more and more like a loser. But I digress.
The thing is that the opposition needs to settle a new strategy on the fast, within weeks, and certainly before chavismo holds its summer congress and gets a major propaganda boost. The opposition needs to be on the offensive before, well before the regime starts pretending all is fine. And thus I agree with the group that wants to bring unrest to the streets, that wants to try to capitalize politically on shortages, insecurity, lack of jobs, inflation, etc... And Capriles needs to decide once and for all if he wants to be governor of Miranda or leader of the opposition because clearly he can't be both.
The problem is that there is no easy way for that. The primary option is not an option after last time. The regime will make sure this time around to find out who voted for the primary and the Tascon list will be seen after that as a child game. Unless of course we limit the primary at a game set by SUMATE and limited to declared political activists. Right now, under an open dictatorship, electoral options to settle internal opposition problems are limited. So what can we do?
Well, as I pointed out it is time for a major face-lift for the MUD, or to move ahead with a more dynamic and combative grouping, even at the risk of having the collaborationist to remain outside. Which, if you think of it truthfully may be a good thing. There are ways to do that. You could call for example for a political congress that can include all the opposition elected officials, or a delegation of them anyway. You can supplement that with organizations that can prove they represent something. Since there is no way to know what the political parties truly represent today we could commission a series of polls and allocate a political representation to that congress according to the average poll result (to be represented you need to accept the poll and pay for your share so empty parties are eliminated, sorry). Etc.
Then that congress needs to go beyond the MUD who has served well its time but who has reached the end of its road. What I would propose is a shadow cabinet of sorts, leaders clearly identified in charge of countering incessantly the regime in a given area, and organize a continuous political pressure at all levels. We are going the Ukraine way, whether we like it. I chose Ukraine for comparison because over there we can say roughly that half are ethnic Russians (chavistas) supporting the current president while the other half supports Western values and may or may not be ethnic Ukrainians (the variety of the Venezuelan opposition).
Either that or go the Cuban way.