Show up, save face, and enjoy the canapés


"¡Cualquiera que dialogue con el enemigo es un traidor a la patria! ¿Cuánto le habrán pagado a esa gente que habla con un rrrrégimen dictatorial?"
“¡Cualquiera que dialogue con el enemigo es un traidor a la patria! ¿Cuánto le habrán pagado a esa gente que habla con un rrrr-égimen dictatorial?”

Memo to Maria Corina, Ledezma, and the rest of the Intransigents: who ever said that sitting down and talking with the government meant abandoning the streets? Can’t we do both things?

The Israelis and the Palestinians have always sat down while their forces on the ground were doing their thing. It’s the way conflicts develop. And if the lady in the picture can talk to her enemies, why can’t the MUD? Closing yourself off to dialogue is silly, and only feeds the intransigent and irrelevant voices such as this one that spew conspiracy theories. As long as you’re fighting it out, what harm is there in listening to the other side?

I know where you are. I’ve been skeptical about dialogue from the start. I also think sitting down can be a trap. But after two months of protests and scores of people dead, it’s become a matter of preventing a greater loss of human lives. The greater good calls for putting skepticism aside. The pressure to show up is simply too large to ignore.

You might feel good by saying that “el diálogo con el rrrrrrégimen es traición a la patria” – I sure do! But the last guy who talked that way to the end ended up exiled in Peru, and his movement is in tatters.

Let’s get real here: we might dislike it, but there is no loss in sending Omar Barboza and asking him to sit down and talk (does he have anything better to do?), in sending Ramon Guillermo Aveledo to ask for conditions to be met for dialogue to continue (he won’t get anything, we save face by saying we are open to dialogue, and no harm is done). There is also the off chance that we might get something in return.

Otherwise, how can we possibly expect to, say, get the students out of jail? Is there another plan? Is there another hashtag that will get us out of this mess?

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