The Venezuelan opposition almost had a moment to rejoice last week. On Thursday, the European Parliament awarded one of the world’s most prestigious human rights prizes, the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, to the “democratic opposition in Venezuela.” All the declarations of support and the standing ovations, however, were drowned out by the reality on the ground in Venezuela, where the temporarily united pro-democracy coalition has started unraveling.
The renewed turbulence among the forces fighting the relentless usurpation of power by President Nicolas Maduro and his United Socialist Party of Venezuela, or PSUV, comes as one more piece of dispiriting news for beleaguered Venezuelans, who see no end in sight to their ordeal. Above all, it means that the chances that the opposition can retake power during the 2018 presidential election look more distant than ever.
The fact, though, is that those chances looked decidedly dim even before the latest crack in coalition unity emerged.