“Let’s imagine for a moment the country that is coming”: Edmundo González Urrutia speaks slowly and monotonously, but his speech arouses passions. It is the first mass act of this illustrious unknown who became the Venezuelan opposition candidate to face Nicolás Maduro on July 28.

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The rally was held this Saturday, May 18, 2024, in La Victoria, a city in the state of Aragua, one hour from Caracas. This career diplomat was born here 74 years ago.

“I guarantee a peaceful alternation,” promises the candidate, hailed with the slogan “You see it, you feel it, Edmundo president!” that thousands of attendees chant.

González Urrutia was designated by the Democratic Unitary Platform (PUD) coalition as a unitary candidate after the disqualification of the favorite María Corina Machado and the veto of the first option to replace her, Corina Yoris.

His candidacy was registered in extremis, during a short extension of the application period. In principle it would be provisional but the PUD parties ratified it unanimously.

“Everyone with Edmundo. We are going to radical change,” The campaign song plays over the speaker over and over again. “We have no excuse, we already have a candidate. Let’s build the future. Let the neighbors find out that Edmundo González is María Corina’s man.”

María Corina Machado is the soul of the campaign. Dressed in white, she arrives at the event where the people are, something that has already become a tradition: everyone wants to touch her, kiss her, hold children. The heat is scorching, but she doesn’t lose her smile. After 10 minutes, she arrives on stage to applause.

“We are victorious,” he assures

Maria Corina Machado

While Machado catches his breath, Edgar Benarroch, an academic who grew up with González, speaks and analyzes the difficult mission of overthrowing Maduro, who is seeking a third term that will see him reach 18 years in power and more than three decades of Chavismo.

“We have to clean the house to raise the Venezuela that we want to achieve”, he indicates. “You have to be careful of poisonous and poisonous animals that will jump, but they will have to leave.”

At every pause, people clamor for María Corina, as everyone calls her, without a last name, so that she takes the microphone once and for all.

“This bright day is a historic day that we will remember for the rest of our lives,” Machado said with the brio that characterizes his speeches. “We are victorious and Victorians”, the name of this city where a key battle in the independence of Spain was fought in 1814. Venezuela.

“They believed that they were going to take away our strength, that they were going to frustrate or demoralize our people. And no, sir, the only thing they gave us was more reasons to fight”Machado continued to applause.

He is then followed by González Urrutia, presented as “the next president of Venezuela“.

He promises “a country in which the president does not insult” his adversaries, marking distance from the always belligerent style of the ruling Chavismo for 25 years. “A country in which when you get home from work you know that your money is worth it, that when you turn on the switch there will be light, there will be water. A country in which health is not sick and education educates. A country without political prisoners” .

The attendees specifically ask on their banners for an end to electricity or water cuts, or lines to refuel with gasoline, all of which are more frequent and severe in the province.

González had already attended a political event in Caracas this week, but much smaller than the one in La Victoria.

In parallel, Chavismo organized a march in this city, following a strategy of following Machado.

Diosdado Cabello, considered the number two of Chavismo, called González a “puppet,” a “monigote.” “He is the candidate of those who asked for sanctions, of those who asked for blockades, of those who asked for invasions,” he snapped from the stage.

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Source: https://www.noticiascaracol.com/mundo/maria-corina-machado-y-edmundo-gonzalez-protagonizan-multitudinarias-marchas-en-venezuela-cb20

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