By Leonor Alvarez (La Prensa)
HAVANA TIMES – The separation of the Civic Alliance (AC) from the National Blue and White Unity movement (UNAB) is now official. Juan Sebastian Chamorro, executive director of the Civic Alliance, and Violeta Granera, member of the UNAB political Council, confirmed that both organizations have agreed to a separate “definition of roles” in order to continue working towards conforming a Great Opposition Coalition.
“It’s not a separation stemming from internal fighting. It was agreed to do this to define the roles of each one in conforming the Great Opposition coalition,” Granera clarified.
In the same way, she added that both organizations will continue “working in unity” against the regime of Daniel Ortega, each in a different role, “but with the common objective of uniting against the dictatorship.”
A strategic separation
Granera explained that “this agreement is a strategic political separation to continue working on the unity of the opposition.”
For his part, Chamorro confirmed the information and assured that they will be “communicating something more”, soon.
Jose Pallais, also a member of the Civic Alliance’s board of directors, explained that both opposition organizations have been working autonomously for months “as independent actors in the construction of the Great Coalition.”
However, he added, it wasn’t until yesterday, January 6th, that “the de facto situation within which we’ve been operating for months was formalized.
The Alliance is an opposition organization that was born out of the first attempt at a national dialogue between the Ortega regime and representatives of opposition groups. This dialogue was convoked by the Episcopal Conference and held between May and June of 2018, with the Episcopal Conference serving as mediator. Among the initial participants were rural leaders, student leaders, business owners and opposition politicians.
Looking towards a national coalition
The UNAB also arose out of the civic protests of 2018, as a network to organize all the different expressions of the opposition. It’s currently composed of 92 organizations at a national level.
The Civic Alliance promoted the creation of the UNAB, from the time it was constituted.
Guillermo Incer Medino, a member of the UNAB Political Council declared: “The Alliance is the founder of the UNAB, and it recognizes that the Civic Alliance is distinct from the other organizations that make up the Blue and White Unity because it has national and international recognition, which puts it in a different status than the other organizations.”
Incer ruled out the idea that this separation is the result of differences or quarrels between them; rather, he affirmed that it was something they had been talking about “for months”.
“We’ve been discussing the fact that – if we’re going to form the foundation stone for the coalition – there’s ambiguity as to whether the Alliance is part of the UNAB. [If it is] then why are you going to form a coalition with someone that’s a member? So, we agreed together that it was healthy for people’s clarity to have the UNAB and the Alliance be seen as equals, not as one over the other,” he expressed.