Venezuela’s Opposition is on the Verge of Repeating its mistakes
Talks, dialogues, negotiations, mediation are not the problem. The problem is the terms.
I am not Venezuelan. I have been called an ‘honorary Venezuelan’ on several occasions, and more often, Venezuelans thank me for my contribution to upholding human rights in their country. I always respond, saying, “It is nothing, I am reciprocating the favor of the seventies; Maduro is Videla.” Moreover, the destruction of democracy in Venezuela is a threat to democracy in the entire region. Therefore, we all should be concerned.
I am not from the right. I have never been. I am from a place where the military members of the “process” rounded up my classmates, young school children, and other minors. I have compared the motorcycle collectives to Ford Falcon without a license plate.
I have followed the events in Venezuela closely. I have close colleagues and dear friends. A few of these friends are like my family. I have followed the Venezuelan diaspora, exile, and migration. Also, I have accompanied Luis Almagro to Cucuta twice to see the situation upfront. I have participated in hundreds of meetings with democratic leadership and international leaders. I have also written academic papers and many opinion pieces about the Venezuelan tragedy.
I have prefaced my piece like this to say that I am going to be tough, with myself to begin with, but not only with myself. I believe that I have earned this right. I confess I have forecasted the imminent fall of Maduro multiple times only to realize that I was mistaken and make the same mistake again in a few days. I have insisted that my obstinate and misguided predictions were well-intentioned.
However, it is not enough. In a country with inflation over a million percent, the government falls. When a country’s economy shrinks more than 50% in five years, the government falls. When almost 90% of the population is below the poverty line in the same period, the government falls. In a country where food is scarce, the government falls. In a country where a kidney patient can’t access dialysis treatment, the government falls. In a country where there is no electricity, and consequently, there is no water, the government falls.
Now put all these tragedies in one country, and the government does not fall. It is paradoxical; and the country is Venezuela, where theory and history are defied every day.
Also, surely, we know very well why the government doesn’t fall. The government isn’t a political party, nor a coalition, nor a political or military institution. Instead, it ‘governs’ a transnational criminal organization that is holding the Venezuelan people hostage. Watch any movie featuring a bank robbery – my favorite one is Dog Day Afternoon starring the brilliant Al Pacino – to know that the heartless criminals don’t let the innocent people go free just because they asked nicely.
Continue reading HERE.