CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — A coalition of political parties in Venezuela led by U.S.-backed Juan Guaidó said Sunday that it won’t participate in upcoming congressional elections called by officials loyal to President Nicolás Maduro.
A group of 27 opposition parties rejected the Dec. 6 election as “fraud.”
The vote would determine control of the National Assembly led by Guaidó and the only branch of Venezuela’s government that Maduro doesn’t control.
“We will fight together to choose the fate of our country,” Guaidó tweeted Sunday. “Now we must mobilize our majority that desires to live with dignity. Together we’re going to beat the regime!”
The coalition has invited Venezuelans to unite behind a fresh push against what they call Maduro’s “dictatorship.” It has also asked for international help in the campaign against Maduro.
Maduro didn’t immediately respond Sunday to the opposition’s decision, but he has said that it is important for his allies to win back control of the National Assembly. He has accused opposition leaders who control the congress of being manipulated by the United States.
Venezuela is in a political and economic crisis during which roughly 5 million people have fled the nation in recent years. The once-wealthy oil nation lacks basic goods, including a reliable supply of gasoline and a decent health care system, which is especially fragile as the coronavirus surges.