Español Many of the “icons” of the protest in Venezuela have questioned the progress that will be made by holding regional elections this October 15, which many expect to be fixed by Nicolás Maduro’s regime.
In an interview with AFP, some of the most recognized Venezuelans who spoke out during the wave of protests between April and July of this year expressed an uncertainty about the electoral process. Of the five questioned, two said they are refusing to vote, while the rest said they were disappointed the elections were taking place.
Wuilly Arteaga, the protester who became famous for carrying his violin during demonstrations, said he does not support participation in regional elections. “I would not vote,” Arteaga said, and called the elections “a very hard blow” for the youth of the resistance.
According to the young violinist, Venezuela is ruled by a dictatorial regime and regional elections are a front that allows Maduro to pretend Venezuela is still a democratic country.
The woman who stood in front of an armored truck of the Bolivarian National Guard, María José Parra — also known in Venezuela as the lady of the tank — insisted that the previous months’ protests were not looking to celebrate these kinds of elections, but rather the departure of Maduro. However, she said she believes that “there is no reason to give away the elected positions to the incumbent government.”
Caterina Ciarcelluti — the so-called Wonder Woman who became famous after a photograph of her fighting back against the Bolivarian National Guard became viral — said she has mixed feelings about this weekend’s elections, but that she will vote nonetheless.
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“So much to fight for and we did not get what we wanted,” she said. “The government got away with it. Nothing amounted to anything, just a torturous silence.”
Victor Salaza, who became famous when a photo of him set on fire went viral, will also vote. He said it with certainty, despite the fact that his fingerprints were burnt off during the oppression that followed their protests. “He sees the elections as a new hope,” Salazar’s sister told AFP.
But Hans Wuerich, who undressed during protests and climbed a tank, told AFP that he wouldn’t vote in regional elections.
He said he feels “impotent because the country remains the same,” especially now that “absurd” regional elections will be held. He said elections only breathe life into the government while the people still go hungry.
“We wanted elections,” he said, “but they weren’t the ones we wanted.”