Making Sense of the Shannon-Diosdado Confab

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image-2014-11-10-18513179-70-jackson-diehl-washington-postWashington Post op-ed columnist Jackson Diehl has the first comprehensible account of what the effing eff Senior State Department official Thomas Shannon was doing in Haiti a week ago meeting Venezuela’s druglord-parliamentarian Diosdado Cabello.

In Diehl’s telling, Shannon’s key goals were to save Leopoldo López’s life and to help ensure fair legislative elections this year as a way of engineering a soft-landing for the regime.

If so, well done Mr. Shannon!

But Diehl also stresses that allowing meaningful international monitoring of this year’s elections was a key U.S. demand in Port-au-Prince. In her announcement today, Venezuelan elections chief Tibisay Lucena implied that only UNASUR would be invited, and then only to “accompany” the elections.

There are multiple problems with that. First off, UNASUR – the Union of South American Nations – was founded by Chávez and is widely seen as pliant to the Venezuelan regime. What’s more, “accompaniment” is not “monitoring”. Even the Carter Center – not exactly a full-throated CNE critic – has declined to participate in “accompaniment” missions in Venezuela, noting that:

The concept of accompaniment differs from observation in that the purpose of accompaniment is to invite foreign individuals to witness the day of the election with a largely symbolic political presence, while the purpose of observation is to invite international organizations to comprehensively assess an electoral process to enhance the integrity of the voting process, contribute to voter confidence, and inform the international community and domestic stakeholders. (Emphasis added.)

Ni es lo mismo ni es igual.

In short, whether UNASUR accompaniment will meet Shannon’s demand for meaningful, impartial international election observers seems very much open to question.

Man…busy news day!

1 COMMENT

  1. So whether UNASUR monitoring would meet Shannon’s demands is very much open to question.

    If oppo parties from UNASUR were represented among the monitors, proportionate to their vote, that might improve things. Imagine if the Brazilian legislators who had a short visit to Venezuela last week were among the monitors! Could the Brazilian legislature force that on Dilma?

    But regarding what did happen w Shannon and Godgiven in Haiti last week, who knows? The more I read about Venezuela in recent months, the more I realize how little I know.

  2. Just giving DDC a photo op with Shannon was worth a lot to the regime , it sort of made DDC appear as if he wanst being investigated by the DEA (which not the case at all) . At the same time improving relations with the USA despite appearances is very important for the regime now that its accosted all around the world for being a dictatorial , human rights violator . Shannon has some big hands to play and in the diplomatic world this kind of bargains are not rare. The US wants to have the parliamentary elections held and maybe also have the regime start a more benign policy in the treatment of the persecuted oppo leadership. A final restoration of relationships is still in the works but its gone to cost the regime lots more to get there .

    • Remember The Us goes for the national interest of the US, stability and status quo, they really do not care. They gave Mubarak in Egypt a lot of $$$ for the army and exercises etc (of course after a month of arab spring an disaster, they use their back channels to remind the military, something like look do something, you know we give you this Xamount every year, and suddenly mubarak’s panitas say : well you are going to jail! (as if they were not there during the 30 years!) That is one of the issues with making foreing policy of the US. Sometimes, a Senate representative for the us, says something, and in the rest of the world takes it as if were the Executive, and is not. (that is one of the issues they know they have, and many countries still don’t get it) That is the thing when i read Venezuelans being happy about what a congressperson says or support or whatever, that is nothing (well is like a salute to the flag)… They want stability period…

  3. I believe you haven’t taken into account the larger picture scenario… The US and the whole International Community for that matter, don’t really care about human rights violations or the proliferation of strong democracies, maybe sometimes they do, but recent events have shown us that that´s no really the case as long as they keep their status-quo.

    That been said, i think that we should take a deep look into last week Zeta Magazine edited by Rafael Poleo N°2005 “Shannon-Cabello what are they up to?”

    The first article by Motaner starts with recent pools done by DatinCorp which reveals that 74% of venezuelans think that the general situation of the country is bad or poor. 45% opposition, 22%goverment, the outstanding 49% simply wants to leave for good.

    Then he breifly resumes the overall panorama of the country, and three possible scenarios chavismo could take.

    With that intro then we get into the second article by Rosales titled “Orwellian Diplomacy”. Why is it that Cabello is the chosen one to carry out the diplomatic mission? it´s simply cuz he´s got the Boots, and given the economic fragility that faces Venezuela, a public riot or up-rise could have devastating effects in the whole region, if anarchy takes over Venezuela due to the current polical-economic unestability or crisis it faces, payments of all sorts stop immediately and most of venezuela´s “friends” would therefore collapse.

    The author then states that the Lula-Cabello meeting was probably about continental politics. However the Haiti meeting was more about the issue of Cabello beeing a Narc-Capo and what to do about it.

    With the last article on mind you then have to consider the global economic situation, specifically the US and UE who are still suffering due to 2008, when illicit capitals were laundered by all those investment funds, then what would be the logic option for worlds superporwers to recover their economies? logic would dictate that you should end the problem at it´s roots, the before said meaning that the superpowers must, at all cost eliminate and imprison those who own ill-acquired fortunes as we´ve witness in the last few moths with Swiss Banks, The Andorra Accounts, FIFA, PetroBras and so on.

    Then what did Cabello and Shannon really talked about? One can only speculate that the US intelligence has enough on him to put him away for life, however with a weak and unorganized opposition, the ever vanishing remains of chavismo who could keep Venezuela in order in case the WORSE comes to happen???? That´s Right! You´ve got yourself a man in Mob Boss: Diosdado Cabello. Or maybe i have an incredible imagination Sancho!

  4. Inviting one body that just so happens to be sympathetic towards Chavismo to the elections would have the exact same outcome as having elections without any observers at all.
    I hope to God that Shannon isn’t duped that easily.

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