CRACKS widened in Venezuela’s opposition alliance on Thursday as Come Venezuela (VV) leader Maria Corina Machado attacked the coalition’s decision to stand in December’s regional elections.
The second-largest Democratic Unity Roundtable (Mud) party, Democratic Action, announced it would stand candidates separately in the elections, despite the coalition completely boycotting last month’s assembly elections called by President Nicolas Maduro.
However, right-wing leader Ms Machado wrote on Twitter on Thursday: “Today VV deviates from the route chosen by the Mud,” calling it “surrender.”
“While the Mud follows this route, VV will not be part of the coalition,” she said, demanding it press on with the four months of regime-change riots that have left 124 dead.
“For Maduro to stay until December? No. We cannot accept it,” Ms Machado wrote.
“We are consistent with what we have promised the country, which was to struggle for the exit.”
Ms Machado was a founding member and president of Sumate (Join Up), which organised the failed 2004 recall referendum against late president Hugo Chavez with funds from the US State Department’s National Endowment for Democracy.
Her signature was one of 352 on the decree suspending parliament and declaring Pedro Carmona president during the short-lived April 2002 coup against Mr Chavez.
Meanwhile, Mr Maduro called for a summit of leaders of Latin American nations to find a solution to the crisis. “Respect is the only path to peace, not threats or violence or the economic and commercial blockade,” he said.
Mr Maduro also offered “mutually respectful” dialogue with the US when he visits New York next month for the UN general assembly. “Mr Donald Trump, here is my hand,” he said.
Also on Thursday the Credit Suisse bank banned trading in Venezuelan government bonds over “recent development and the political climate” there.
Any future transactions involving Venezuelan officials or assets will have to go through additional screening, according to a leaked memo.