A recently published Bloomberg article has revealed that the Washington-backed Venezuelan opposition has proposed an easing of the economic, financial and commercial sanctions to “woo” the Nicolás Maduro government into returning to the negotiation table that was being held in Mexico last year. The Venezuelan government withdrew from the talks after diplomat Alex Saab was illegally extracted by the US government to the United States.
According to former deputy Juan Guaidó’s interview to Bloomberg, the plan he presented to the US government could kick off before the dialogue sessions are resumed and would request from the Venezuelan government, in exchange, prompt “free and fair” elections, as well as changes in the judicial system.
Guaidó told Bloomberg in Caracas that the offer “is on the table, aimed at strengthening the opposition in its role as interlocutor and the possibility of an agreement,” and that “the dictatorship needs to give an answer.”
However, this was far from being Guaidó’s position when he proclaimed himself as president of his fictitious government, a moment when the support of the media and various countries inflated his emboldened attitude and he did not want to negotiate anything with the Bolivarian government.
According to Bloomberg, “an official for the State Department said the US does not preview actions on sanctions.” Yet that same official declared when questioned by Bloomberg that “the Maduro regime can create a path to easing sanctions by engaging in sincere discussions with the opposition to create the necessary conditions to enable free and fair elections to take place in Venezuela.”
In line with his masters’ narrative, Guaidó wants to make Venezuelans believe that the blockade is the responsibility of the government and not of his fake presidency that promoted the blockade together with the looting of state assets. It is also worth remembering that it has been President Maduro who has promoted all the dialogues that have taken place, looking for a way out of the crisis.
Why the change in discourse?
Everything seems to indicate that Guaidó does not want to be left out of the political arena in which the country’s stability is being re-established, since other sectors of the opposition have been moving away from his belligerent discourse. Moreover, the fact that Guaidó’s international support goes on decreasing has led him to try to adapt to the new circumstances and soften his position.
However, not only Guaidó who never had any strategy of his own, but also the US seems not to want to lose prominence, time or resources in this regime change project. The decadent empire bet heavily on a false president whose “power” got diluted in a very short time, and the continuation of US support has been publicly questioned, although no concrete steps have been taken by Washington in this regard.
What has been the outcome of three years of “parallel government” and harsh “sanctions?” The political crisis and the criminal blockade deepened, having catastrophic consequences for the entire population. Moreover, the looting of Venezuelan assets and resources abroad became a common practice of the fake government.
However, the primary objective of this strategy was not fulfilled, which was to weaken and put an end to the Bolivarian Revolution. Even without oil revenues and with a steep deterioration of the quality of life for most Venezuelans, President Maduro managed to overcome the crisis. He even emerged unscathed from more extremist strategies such as putting a price on his head, Operation Gideon, and Colombia’s constant threats.
Without a doubt, the circumstances in which Venezuela finds itself today are very different from those of 2019. Beyond the deterioration and looting, the “sanctions” tactic could not achieve the stated objective. Considering this paradigm shift, and especially taking into account the defeat of the Guaidó token, for how long could the opposition plan on continuing with the same strategy?
The truth is that their unilateral coercive measures were strongly questioned due to the devastating consequences they had on the most vulnerable sectors of the country, measures that did not cease even with the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Several recent reports, such as that of the UN Special Rapporteur, Alena Douhan, and that of the anti-Chavista economist Francisco Rodríguez, revealed the criminal nature of the “sanctions” and concluded that these are politically motivated; that they attack the most fundamental human rights, and violate international law.
The Sanctions and Security Research Project has published a new report by @frrodriguezc on the humanitarian impact of sanctions in #Venezuela. The report explores sanctions and economic statecraft in the midst of crisis in Venezuela. Read more: https://t.co/JmyEgIeuLI pic.twitter.com/0R62DSzNDl
— Kroc Institute (@KrocInstitute) January 6, 2022
Other voices joined in the denunciation of the blockade and its nonsense, including personalities of the Venezuelan opposition and US politicians.
Guaidó’s new narrative coincides with that of the US ambassador to Venezuela, James Story, who in January said, according to Bloomberg, that the US is “willing to lift, ease and change sanctions when there are negotiations that bring about changes to restore institutions and democracy in Venezuela.”
As previously stated, the Venezuelan government’s willingness to dialogue is undeniable. The fact that the negotiations in Mexico have been temporarily suspended does not mean that they have been discarded altogether, unlike anti-Chavismo on many occasions; rather this has been a stance of dignity in the face of an illegal event—the kidnapping of an ambassador, Alex Saab.
However, in early January, President Maduro indicated that the government could return to the negotiation table if “positive actions” were taken to restore talks in Mexico. This is a sign that Venezuela could return to the negotiation table if certain demands are met and not because it feels cornered by the United States and Guaidó, who seem to be stuck in a loop without any strategy or policy except the destruction of Venezuela. How to get out of this loop without making it look like a defeat?
In the interview to Bloomberg, Guaidó declared that “we expect to start negotiations as soon as possible.” At the same time, he also threatened that a “failure to reach an agreement” would further tighten the financial war against the Bolivarian Republic. But the reality is that Guaidó seems to lack the power to make such demands.
Although Bloomberg does not admit that the historical collapse suffered by the Venezuelan economy is due to the multifaceted hybrid war and the imperial blockade, it does acknowledge that Chavismo has strengthened itself politically with its victory in last November’s elections, the end of hyperinflation, and the growth of the Venezuelan economy in 2021 for the first time in seven years. All this ended up burying the “parallel government.”
The current moment makes us ponder what pieces do the opposition and the United States have left to play on Venezuela’s political chessboard.
The failure of the nationwide signature collection campaign for the recall referendum, which sought to force a referendum to remove President Maduro, has been another setback for the Venezuelan opposition, who could collect only a little more than 1% of the 20% of signatures required to call for a referendum.
“Venezuelans will not have another opportunity to remove Maduro through the ballot box until elections scheduled for 2024,” informed Bloomberg.
When justifying this new defeat, which Guaidó attributes to a government tactic and not to demobilization and division in the opposition, he considers that, “Without this option, the challenge we now have is how to mobilize ourselves, how to organize ourselves, how to find safe spaces for participation where people can express themselves.”
Although the “sanctions” policy has not changed and the White House has not made any comments about it, at least a change in the discourse is in sight. It remains to be seen if the United States and its vassal Guaidó will join the dialogue proposed by Chavismo, something that would signify another victory for the Bolivarian government over the imperialist war against Venezuela.
Translation: Orinoco Tribune.