14 May 2021 ~ 0 Comentarios

Venezuela or the impossible mission

By Carlos Alberto Montaner

Who said in Spain “stupid as a bullfighter”? He was certainly not referring to “Guerrita,” the bullfighter Rafael Guerra, who noted, “That which cannot be, cannot be and, furthermore, is impossible.” Well said. He was a philosopher, not a fool. The Venezuelan opposition, which is about 80% of the nation, has been asked an impossible mission –to get rid the easy way of Nicolás Maduro, Diosdado Cabello, Delcy and Jorge Rodríguez and the mob that rules that unfortunate society. The United States government, the OAS, the European Union and the Lima Group have requested it, the same entities that give all their support to Juan Guaidó.

“The easy way” is a democratic and open electoral solution, a really clean election. Without a doubt, Juan Guaidó and his government team really want that such a thing could be possible. Suddenly, the problems would begin to be solved. The nearly six million people who have escaped from the Castro-Chavista paradise would return home in a more or less orderly fashion. In a couple of years, PDVSA would be rebuilt, and the Venezuelan economy would grow exponentially again. That’s what happened during a long period in the reviled 40 years that Venezuelan democracy lasted, the best four consecutive decades that the history of that tortured nation has known.

Guaidó has the ability to delegitimize the upcoming electoral process, but he doesn’t have the resources to violently remove Maduro from power. Maduro, for his part, lacks the objective forces to kill or imprison Guaidó. It’s a tie. On the other side of the complicated situation, Maduro knows that the country has escaped from military control. They could not even defeat the ELN guerrillas when they had a disagreement over drug handling, which is what the cartels fight for. Of course, almost the entire opposition is not willing to participate in elections endorsed by a fraudulent electoral arbiter, chosen by Maduro to perpetuate himself in power. It would be suicide, and smart politicians don’t usually do it.

However, President Juan Guaidó offers Nicolás Maduro a dialogue. Why would he do it if he has already said that he does not intend to participate in the officially designed mock election? Perhaps, to convey first-hand a way out of the impasse that Maduro has put the country into. Perhaps to solve for the first time by peaceful procedures the crisis that Venezuela is suffering.

Maduro is between a rock and a hard place. Nobody wants to be linked to a drug lord. He has been, in all fairness, transformed in a Noriega-like ruler. It is he and not Guaidó who has to bring solutions to the table. Barely 5% of the nation lives decently because they have dollars. That will get worse. US sanctions have had an impact. Within 90 days, judging by the reports of Russ Dallen from “Caracas Capital,” there won’t be a dollar or an ounce of gold in the country’s reserves. Iran and Turkey are far away, and they will not want to further irritate the Americans. The Chinese and the Russians think the loans won’t be repaid. Especially the Chinese. The high-ranking military will have nothing to steal. The reports of “the Cubans” to Díaz-Canel are shocking. They no longer believe that Maduro can overcome the crisis and think of other trusted people to replace him.

What can Guaidó offer Maduro in exchange for his resignation without persecution? Perhaps the creation of a mixed cabinet, formed by the government and the opposition, that first of all would grant freedom to all political prisoners and call elections without arbitrarily disqualified candidates, and with an electoral college free of suspicion? If I were in Maduro’s shoes, I would consider it. I would even make sure that the US sanctions can be lifted, as happened to General Manuel Cristopher Figueras. It is a matter of time before the armed forces carry out a military coup.

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