The regime treachery has been exposed just before Christmas and they have remained quiet since. But it is just a lull, they are surely thinking about their next step. The opposition reacted fast, a surprise for chavismo used by Chavez to do illegal stuff during holiday breaks. More important, the recent quiet maybe due to divisions of chavismo as one side is getting tired of the acts of a minority only interested in saving their skins. The internal crumbling cannot be hidden anymore.
On the opposition side things have not been going well. Capriles, again, shot himself in the foot which maybe be a reflection of the delusion inside his party, Primero Justicia, at being the recognized leaders of the opposition. Apparently they seem to think that MUD label votes were pretty much PJ label votes. I am not going into the stupidities of Capriles, I am through with him. Let's just say that if his strategy helped for 6D vote, his humanity and political sense are now highly questioned.
So, in face of the current situation what should the opposition do first as of January 5?
What we need to be fully aware of is that a confrontation with the regime is unavoidable. The only things to be settled are the date and intensity of the confrontation. If all goes well we can hope that such confrontation will be an electoral one, not a violent one. And we can advance the latest date for the confrontation: December 2016 when governors's term ends. Yet four other electoral confrontation are possible depending on the degree of regime's despair.
Maduro may resign. New presidential elections need to be called to complete the six years term (1). This would be the wisest for the regime, to let the opposition burn itself dealing with the economic catastrophe next year. The problem with that option (and all others for that matter) is that it gives the opposition time to investigate the wasted oil bonanza of the last decade. In fact that option may be the worst one for the regime, as the ones discussed next give them time to prepare better some form of golden exile.
Maduro is stubborn and with the help of a portion of chavismo a recall election is called. This has to take place BEFORE summer as a later date could reach the fatal 4 year mark in the term and allow chavismo to seat an appointed vice president to complete the term (article #233 of the 1999 constitution). In short if the opposition choses or has to chose that way it should be decided by May at the latest considering the economic costs and the developing economic crisis. Note that the success of this maneuver depends on the electoral participation and the ability of the opposition to campaign actively.
Referendum/referenda for constitutional amendments. This could be a compromise between the opposition, the army and a sector of chavismo. This tool (#341) can be used in many ways, to free the judicial system of political control, to diminish the presidential power, to change electoral system, to approve reforms that the regime blocks, etc... It also has the advantage that it requires a simple majority inside the opposition so divisions are possible in case a faction decides to go to the dark side (yes, I am looking forward to see the new installment of the ninenalogy). The problem with this approach is that it depends on too many variables, one if the eventual willingness of Maduro to play the game and recognize defeat, accepting to stay in office just to preserve the "Chavez legacy", whatever that may mean. In short the regime would evolve into some form of parliamentary system where cohabitation is possible, French way.
Constitutional reform/assembly. The reform (#342) is a more extreme form of the referenda discussed above. This one would be to unseat the judicial system at large, change the electoral system and reestablish a bicameral congress as a way to create a containment wall against a fast return of chavismo, undo a persistent undue military influence and obtain the reinforcement of decentralization. The constitutional assembly (#348) is the ultimate weapon of mass destruction if the judicial power in the hands of chavismo is used in excess against any opposition initiative. The problem with a constitutional assembly is that it is a bomb that can sweep away all parties as the economy degenerates. On the other hand it can be called at any time if the opposition retains the 2/3 vote, and can be called through signature gathering process and a referendum as long as the opposition retains a working majority.
The consequence of the exposed above indicates that elections are on their way and the opposition needs to get ready for it from the very start, on January 6. For this it needs to do the following actions, ALL EQUALLY IMPORTANT.
Change the composition of the CNE to gain a 3 to 2 majority inside the electoral board.
If time allows modify some key sections of the electoral law and work on gerrymandering negative effects for regional elections of December 2016.
Free political prisoners as everyone is needed on board to campaign, while annulling some of the resentment appearing due, among others, Capriles foot in mouth approach to politics.
Improve access to all parties to media, which means reform the CONATEL law that gives CONATEL too much punishing control over media, return of RCTV network, change ANTV into a true form of C-span, and more. There is no need to investigate the suspicious purchase of some media as those ones have less and less rating. Just allowing for new blood will be enough to finish off this mercenaries (I am looking at you, Universal, Ultimas Noticias, Globovision, etc...)
Change the law on the comptroller office which allows this one by fiat to bar anyone to run for election if it so pleases the regime. It is enough to demand that for barring someone to run for office a fair trial with its subsequent verdict are necessary. And make it retroactive.And more but those ones are the crucial. The point is that all of these can be voted within three months and be made effective by June.
Of course, these must be made while the assembly attends other extremely urgent matters but nobody said that the work of the New Assembly would be easy and cool.