Chavistas are from Mars, the opposition is from Venus

upside down movieThe worst part about Nicolás Maduro’s New York Times OpEd is not the amount of lies it contains, but the fact that most chavistas honestly believe them.

Whether it’s the claim that chavismo has reduced poverty, enhanced democracy, or provided great health care and education, they really buy the whole dog-and-pony show. I venture to say that Nicolás Maduro himself probably believes every single word his flunkies wrote for him in that OpEd.

To me, the real tragedy in Venezuela is that the two sides cannot agree on anything (well, we both want the Vinotinto to do well … or do we?).

There is no single truth in Venezuela, no common ground on which we can both stand in order to bridge our divides. It’s not just that we have different ideas, it’s that we have different ideas about what reality is – all of it. It seems as though both sides live on different planets.

When we can’t even agree on who has killed more people than whom, dialogue is impossible. So while we have some fun countering Maduro and picking apart his bogus claims, we would be wise to put this particular tree in its proper topiary context. That’s where I went this week in my Transitions piece.

The value added:

In order for Venezuela to be viable, dialogue needs to happen. But with the two sides’ positions so diametrically opposed to each other, there is little hope that a solution can be found.

Judging by recent electoral outcomes, the two sides in this struggle are of roughly equal size. But their outlooks are so radically different that it sometimes seems as if they live in different countries altogether.

As the international community tries to separate truth from fiction and play a constructive role in trying to foster dialogue, they would be well served in keeping their expectations low. Judging by where the two sides stand, dialogue has never seemed less possible.