January 24, 2018

Interview with Luis Florido, national political coordinator of popular will party

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Hardline opposition party seeks ‘constitutional exit’ for president

By Vera von Kreutzbruck
Herald Staff
Luis Florido is the national political coordinator of the Venezuelan hardline opposition party Popular Will, founded by jailed opposition leader Leopoldo López.

He talked yesterday to the Herald about his views on the ongoing mediated talks between Maduro and the opposition, the role of the Vatican, as well as those whom he believes to be responsible for the violence in the streets.

Florido and his party are pushing for a “constitutional exit” of current Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.

To give testimony of the violent crisis his country is suffering he assisted the last two Union of Southern Nations’ (Unasur) meetings on March 25 and April 8. He also attended those talks to represent his party at the Democratic Unity coalition (MUD).

However, Popular Will refused to join the ongoing mediated dialogue, unless the government releases all opposition prisoners.

What is your analysis of Thursday’s mediated talks between Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and the opposition?

It was a televised show, not a debate.There was no gesture, no results. It was a demonstration of cynicism by the government who is responsible for the violence reigning in the streets. They only exposed their point of view.

Maduro asked all participants on Thursday to condemn jointly the violence in the streets.

It is the government who is harassing, torturing and killing Venezuelan citizens. More than 40 people dead and hundreds injured.

Do you believe that the violence of the last two months in the streets comes only from the government and not from the opposition?


Do you think then that the ongoing dialogue between the opposition and the government will not help end the conflict?

No. How can I believe that when José Pinto was sitting at the table in the Miraflores palace talking? The leader of the terrorist group Tupamaros, who has been terrorizing our country for so long. They are the artisans of the violence present in the streets.

Would your party consider joining the peace talks?

We believe in dialogue. But we will only start one if the government agrees sine qua non, beforehand to our conditions, which are, among others, to free the political prisoners.

Nonetheless, you participated in Unasur’s talks in March and April.

I participated to give a clear testimony of what is happening in our country. We are looking for a constitutional exit of Maduro. The state’s policy is to intimidate people with violence, to torture citizens. Maduro finances the violent colectivos (pro-government grassroots groups) who intimidate protesters in the streets who want change.

What about the Vatican’s role as a mediator?

The Vatican is supposed to be a mediator but in reality yesterday it was a spectator, it was not leading the debate.

You don’t think that the Vatican can help end the conflict?

Their presence is important because of what the Vatican represents. For example, Pope John Paul II helped bring democracy to Poland and also contributed to the fall of the Berlin Wall.

What do you think about Capriles’ intervention in these talks?

It is not our task to comment on this. We will not comment on particular individuals.

What is your response to the government’s accusations that the United States is financing the opposition?

They have been saying this for the last 15 years. His confrontational discourse goes on and on, like a stuck record.

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