In a period of political, financial, and humanitarian crisis, the Venezuelan government has agreed to uphold dialogue with the opposition, with the assistance of mediators.
The Vatican, Unasur’s president, and several ex-presidents including Spain’s Rodriguez Zapatero are serving as intermediaries for the talks that are taking place after the Supreme Court of Justice denied the application of a recall referendum. The opposition responded to the court ruling by calling for a massive march directed toward the Miraflores Palace, the principal workplace of President Nicolas Maduro, to ask for his resignation.
The call for protest was canceled after the Vatican intervened to prevent a “bloodshed” that could have had major implications for the Western Hemisphere.
Even when most representatives have agreed to the talks, the opposition is reluctant to believe that Maduro intends to negotiate the democratic alternative for the government change that Venezuelans are calling for. The recall referendum would have ousted Maduro from the presidency, but it was halted by the court, which in turn is considered to be a puppet of the regime.
A dialogue for peace or convenience?
On his latest public announcements, Maduro has insulted the opposition and labeled some parties as terrorist groups, which goes against the Vatican’s mediation in the talks, where the main objective is to prevent any other human loss due to a political dispute.
Some opposition leaders argue that the Vatican seeks its own interest, and the same could be said for the other mediators that are participating in the talks. But what seems to be the key behind the talks is that, at its core, the Maduro regime is rotten and will eventually crumble due to internal and external pressure, seeing that the only thing that the government is successfully achieving is stalling the game in the short term. With an opposition majority, the National Assembly also tried to stage a public responsibility trial against Maduro, which was also halted by the Vatican.
Currently, Maduro’s nephews are being tried for trying to smuggle hundreds of kilos of cocaine to the U.S. The trial has proceeded slowly and many dubious questions have risen, and many are asking about the people who are paying for their defense. The evidence shows the “narcosobrinos” holding bricks of cocaine and talking about funding First Lady Cilia Flores’ campaign for becoming a National Assembly representative.
Besides Maduro, one of the leaders in the Chavista regime is Diosdado Cabello, who has been accused by a Venezuelan military defector as the head of the Cartel de Los Soles (Suns’ Cartel), which earned its name due to the uniform that Venezuelan military officials wear.
Cabello was one of Chavez’s closest supporters, and Cabello now boasts considerable influence over the Maduro regime. Currently, Cabello and Maduro appear to be allied, as they have realized that if one were to betray the other, it would mean certain defeat for both.
The lawful means for changing the government are explicitly portrayed in the Venezuelan constitution, but the government has maneuvered so that there will be no governor elections nor recall referendum any time soon. These measures have put the government at a crossroad, where international agents have to intervene to stop the opposition from pushing the government off a cliff on to a disaster of continental proportions.