A solitary fight?

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A solitary fight?February has come and gone, and it leaves in its wake a country in a complete state of turmoil. If this uprising has gained anything so far, is has been unveiling the brutal way in which the Venezuelan Government treats its “fascists” countrymen, and the cheap theatrical façade of democracy that chavismo uses to depict abroad.

Nevertheless, the protests are at a stalemate. I fear that this may continue for several weeks or even months, paving the way for more political repression from the Government and the so-called “colectivos.” In any normal democracy, the different branches of government would have made an immediate inquiry into the assassinations of civilians, ministers would have resigned, and international pressure to stop the violence in the country would have made a significant contribution in order to achieve this. But we’re long past that.

On this latter point, with the exceptions of strong remarks and concerns from a few former & current presidents from Latin America, the European Parliament, and the UN Secretary-General among others, Venezuela seems alone in its struggle against a totalitarian regime. Jose Miguel Insulza, the infamous OAS secretary-general, has stated that “the times of intervention are long gone”, justifying that there’s no interest from the OAS side to do something about the issue, other than recommending a round of talks between the opposition and the Government with no external oversight.

The problem that Mr. Insulza seems unwilling to realize is that one half of the country uses the State’s apparatus, resources, media, and judiciary in order to harass, persecute and coerce the other half. For all the olive branches and white doves offered in any peace-related dialogue, without any foreign oversight from an honest broker, these offerings would only try to serve chavismo as it endeavors to appease these protests, and the bloodshed would go on as usual. This point was highlighted by Hector Schamis at the Spanish newspaper “El Pais” a couple of days ago here.

So ruling out the possibility of an OAS mediation, what other external “shocks” might change the tide?

A couple of weeks ago, the conservative Heritage Foundation think-thank assembled a panel of discussion on Venezuela that included Otto Reich (former US Ambassador to Venezuela), and Leopoldo Martinez among others. You can see the broadcast from C-SPAN here.

After the discussion, US Senators such as Marco Rubio and Bob Menendez took heed and are proposing a bill in the US Senate that includes cancelling travel visas and freezing financial assets in the US to members of the Venezuelan Government and their families. I guess we have to be thankful they didn’t include an embargo. It is still unclear how this scenario would trickle down into chavismo and the region’s divergent governments, but it might alleviate the tension by signaling to those carrying out the oppression against civilians that their actions will not go overlooked.

Still, it is regrettable that a country such as ours, who used to promote and uphold democratic values throughout the region as an honest broker of our own is now fighting alone, while the rest of the region looks the other way in a silent manner.

1 COMMENT

  1. At this point, i just want World War III to start.I want to see those nukes blow this shit up.I’m so depressed to be living here, i’ve got dreams,we want a family, we want safety but we can’t escape this really bad dream.

  2. I think blanket visa bans and asset freezing of military officers ranked Colonel and above, and their immediate family, plus civilian authorities like viceministers and above, presidents of autonomous institutes, etc, (plus immediate family) might put some peer pressure on Maduro to listen up.

  3. The problem is that whatever the US does will backfire because it will be spun wildly out of context by the Chavista propaganda machine.

    • Clearly, the Chavista propaganda machine will just make up whatever they want, but they do that already. I would love to hear the revolutionary elite explain to their supporters waiting in 4 hour lines for Harina Pan the injustice of the US freezing their foreign bank accounts full of millions of dollars.

      • there are no shortages, ergo no 4-hour queues for staples, according to Greg Wilpert of Telesur’s English-language programming.

        • Well, in his defense, he was actually referring to “staples”. Not things like harina PAN, sugar, oil or anything else. Devious semantics of those Telesur people!

          Of course, the excess supply of staples might, just might, be the result of the shortages in paper. Hmmm.

  4. We have been alone in this fight for along time. I think to expect anything else from the international community at this point is simply delusional. This so-called government will only fall by its own weight and from pressure from within.

    Venezuelans, with the recent exception of the students, seem to be politically numb. Or are they so afraid of what will come that they just prefer to sit there and not make any choices at all. For decisions have to be made, and none are easy this late in the game, with no money in the kitty and no food on the shelves.

    The Venezuelan people have to wake up, a generation has already been lost.

  5. When right wing dictatorships were throwing ppl from airplanes in Argentina, “la caravan de la muerte” was executing ppl all over Chile, Right wing dictators and left wing guerrillas were killing thousands in central america or in the case of Nicaragua the other way around we were there. Leftist from the south came by the thousands and so did anticommunists from many regions. With a few exceptions theyve left us by ourselves. A little different then how we acted. The Betancourt Doctrine is the exact opposite of this attitude. Prohibido olvidar!

    • Ah… the much forgotten “Betancourt Doctrine” of the first two puntofijista administrations, later dismissed under Caldera I in favor of “Ideological Pluralism”…

      Recordar es vivir.

      • Yes, it is. One of the many things which made Venezuela a beacon of democracy and solidarity in the fight against dictators in the region but apparently Latin america has a very short memory

  6. It is not one half the country repressing the other half. That’s the kind of rhetoric that does not help matters. While I can’t agree with Chavistas in 99% of stuff, I don’t think they are all part of the repression machine. Responsibility must fall on those who truly exercise the repression, which means those running the government.

  7. “Cuando ya van tres semanas, está claro que la estrategia represiva del gobierno venezolano es selectiva, quirúrgica dirían algunos: evitar la matanza indiscriminada, por ahora al menos, buscando controlar la revuelta por medio de un efecto disuasivo. Que sean la fatiga y el miedo los que vacíen las calles. De ahí que los muertos sean 14 y no 140 ó 1.400. ”

    Éste es el gran problema que hay que hacer entender a la comunidad internacional. Los muertos de Maduro son como mínimo 14.000. Porque esas muertes no son “violencia desatada” ni “hampa común”. Son grupos armados por Chávez y Maduro a los que se les dio rienda suelta para robar, violar, secuestrar y asesinar a cambio de ser paramilitares del progreso; por no decir que son un mecanismo de control social.
    Estamos MUCHO peor que Siria y Ucrania. Pero este es el único país del mundo donde el régimen ha logrado maquillar su genocidio de manera tal que ni nosotros mismos lo vemos como tal.

  8. The Oil Riches are both VNZA’s biggest fortune and misfortune….With free and reduced Oil flowing from PDVSA to other South American Nations, none of them are about to “offend” the Regime or help the legitimate voice of the people who are being massacred in the streets….The Oil bounty has become a noose around VNZAs neck….

  9. Suspect Venezuelan oil shipments to Alba countries and Argentina are probably at a low ebb , the regimes growing financial dificulties have finally caught up with these expensive gestures of revolutionary generosity and they are likely being reduced .

    Ramirez announced recently that supplies to Cuba were 70kbd , thats the equivalent of some US$ 2.400 .000.000 per year , about 4/5% of total exports , even if the figure is higher it signals a concern that oil supplies to Cuba are becoming an uncomfortable topic for the regime in Venezuela. specially with the growing harships which have started to be felt by all in a plunging economic situation.

    Additionally the Ministry announced that it was considering IMPORTING foreign light crudes to mix with the faja heavy crudes in order to be able to export more of the latter . Ligh crude production in Venezuela is falling fast as fields age and heavy crude cant be sold outright without first mixing it with diluents (which require well run refineries) or light crudes ( transforming it into synthetic light crudes requires a huge time consuming investment) .

    This is going to blow peoples mind away , Venezuela the country with the largest reserves of crude in the world is going to start importing crude . this is a sure sign that heavy crude production in the faja is being severely curtailed by a fall in available light crude productions . This is the history of a disaster foretold , a least 5 years ago people familiar with Pdvsa faja production warned me that come a few years the heavy crude oil production would have to be shut down because there wasnt enough light crude in eastern venezuela to mix with the heavy crude and allow for its continued production . This may be a big deal with big financial repercussions . Time will tell.!!

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