Translated by Javier Liendo

National Dialogue in Venezuela

National Dialogue has started today, presided by Mgr. Emil Paul Tscherrig, Apostolic Nuncio in Argentina and special envoy of His Holiness, during a meeting between representatives of the Government and the Opposition, with the goal of establishing the conditions to convene a first plenary meeting in Margarita Island on Sunday, October 30th, 2016.

This meeting, held under the auspices of UNASUR’s General Secretariat, represented by its Director of Political Affairs, included the Holy See and former presidents Leonel Fernández, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and Martín Torrijos, as Mediators.

In this context, the Mediators presented a proposal with the premises, issues, methodology and schedule for Dialogue, based on exploratory meetings.

All parties agreed to work together to determine the conditions to guarantee the safety and peaceful development of the public protests prepared for the next few days.

This meeting has been held in an atmosphere of respect, cordiality and political willingness, to advance this process with the essential goal of defending the Venezuelan people, their future and their capacity to overcome the fundamental economic, social, political and institutional issues that the Venezuela society is experiencing.

The goal of the National Dialogue is finding common ground, building trust, overcoming discord and promoting a mechanism to guarantee peaceful coexistence.

The Mediators emphatically call Government and Opposition representatives to respect and comply with all agreements, and we invite all those who participated in the exploratory phase, who have ratified their will to negotiate, to keep working with the same commitment.

Ernesto Samper, Secretary General of UNASUR, was grateful for the political will expressed by the Government, representatives of the Opposition, the Holy See and each of the former presidents, who made this important step possible.

Caracas, October 24th, 2016.

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  1. Even though I understand the verb “celebrar” is not what it means in English, it is hard (at least for those whose first language is not Spanish) not to translate from this document a sense of premature self-congratulation.

  2. The winner in these unveiling negotiations will be the side that can blame its opponent for walking away from the negotiating table. The smart money should be placed on the Chavistas. They can sit at the negotiating table for years exercising their dictatorial power to squeeze the last ounce of value out of your economy. Call me a skeptic.

  3. I hope that there is more to this than meets the eye.
    The timing of this “dialog” expired months ago for the Opposition but this is the perfect time for the Dictatorship to diffuse unrest.
    The Pope is being played, like a fool, wishing I am wrong.

  4. “In this context, the Mediators presented a proposal with the premises, issues, methodology and schedule for Dialogue, based on exploratory meetings.”

    Of which the rest of us, it seems, will know nothing. I get that negotiations are not normally public, but basically without knowing what they think are the “issues” that need to be negotiated and the “methodologies” … people will need a clear comunication about what is the point of all this. Real points. Not platitudes. What is what this will give if successful. If not the MUD is giving again time for nothing when time is coming scarce.

  5. Sorry, but I find this whole thing outrageous. Leopoldo Lopez sits in a jail cell and the Pope blesses the dim-witted criminal who put him there? Really? Did that really happen? All political prisoners should be released before there are any blessings to be bestowed by this, or any other Pope. Would the Pope Francis I bless Kim Jong-un as well? Beyond belief.

    • Exactly! It is obvious few in the MUD want LL out of prison, especially now when change could be coming

      Epe! La Mud son ratas de Mieerrdaa!

      • All popes love their power and their ability to be seen as mediators.

        the days of popes or the vatican leading for freedom is long gone. pope john paul ii would have stood up for human rights. francis could care less. he is every bit a socialist tool as the next.

        Remember this the next time a priest asks for money to support the church. notice how francis made no attempt to visit political prisoners? God is not impressed.

        I am baptist and could give a rip about the vatican.

        Jim and Tammy Baker didn’t come close to the extravagence of the Vatican these days.

    • Balaguer cried with eyes full of tears when giving the funeral oration at Chapitas funeral…..’weve all lost a father’ he moaned …….a month later he had convinced the remnants of the regime, still very much in control of the army to resign from office and exile themselves allowing Santo Domingo a return to civic normalcy ……., the vatican has very experienced players at the diplomatic game ……you dont wear your heart in your sleeves when you are trying to achieve something difficult ……this is not the time for engaging in self glorifying moral melodramas ………but of being coolly calculating and pragmatic for the good of all…!!

  6. The Pope has lost credibility. He is condoning the continued murder of Venezuelan citizens.
    The time to talk is over. It is time to act.
    The true men of Venezuela need to overcome their fear for their own safety and realize that there are times when sacrifice must be done for a greater cause.
    How many fathers are going to continue to watch these tyrants starve your children, or let them die from curable illnesses due to the lack of medicine?
    Thomas Jefferson said. The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
    Ask yourselves, if not me who? If not now when?
    How many of you will continue to cower in the face of danger? A brave man dies once, a coward dies a thousand deaths.
    The world is watching the people of Venezuela and prays for the restoration of freedom . Freedom is something that must be earned, protected and cherished.
    This is the time to teach your children that democracy is only one generation from being lost and that all citizens are duty bound to protect it.
    For God’s sake will someone finally be man enough to act for the country that you all claim to love?

  7. So many Nobel peace prizes in the making that my head is spinning (I counted at least 10, 11 if Fidel Castro takes part in the negotiations). Congrats for all involved.

  8. Does anybody in this forum think that ANYTHING will come out of this dialog??? The PSUV will propose the infamous “Mesas de Trabajo” and months will go by with no change. What a waste a time!!!

    I keep saying: shut the freaking country down until these bastards leave!!!

  9. Lol, I’m pretty sure the Vatican is borrowing a couple phrases from VTV’s populist-demagogue toolkit, like this thing of beauty:

    “The goal of the National Dialogue is finding common ground, building trust, overcoming discord and promoting a mechanism to guarantee peaceful coexistence.”

    What kind of Jorge Arreaza bullshit is this??

    • The populist-demagogue newspeak from the Vatican disappointed me actually.

      Where is the “todos y todas”? Where is the global warming reference, the LGBT rights mention, the call to stop the destruction of forests by greedy capitalism, the women struggle, Israel enslaving the Palestines, etc, etc … so many important topics that they could put there. Yet they chose not to do. Shame on them.

  10. Every weapon should be used to break the stranglehold that these criminals have on your country.
    The military and police need to make the decision to protect the people of Venezuela that they are duty bound to protect or to support an illegal regime that is bound to fail. If they choose to protect the illegal dictator and his cronies, they should pay the consequences.
    When they attempt to close a road. drive over them. Make every policeman and soldier fear for his life and the lives of his family. Instill doubt in them that their families will be alive when they return from their criminal activities. If need be burn their homes.
    A baseball bat, a kitchen knife, a razor blade or even a cup of bleach in their face is all that is needed to begin the exodus of these cowardly tyrants.
    Bring the suffering of the people, to the people that are keeping this tyrannical regime in office. Publicize the address of every judge and put up pictures of his children.
    Carry pieces of metal that can be stuck through the wheels of the motorcycles when Maduro’s enforcers terrorize protesters.
    Make these bastards fearful to go up a staircase or get on an elevator alone.
    These cowards will run and hide. They are not disciplined forces. Just thugs in uniforms.
    When they drop their weapons, seize them.
    Make the government officials fearful of showing their faces.
    The longer this regime stays in power the more innocent people will suffer and die.
    The time to act is now. For the sake of your own wives and children.

  11. Zapatero is involved? isn’t him the same idiot that was Capriles and Lopez told to go screw himself after he presented those worthless Chavista proposals of calling off the referendum in exchange for more seats at the TSJ? No wonder half the MUD was kept in the dark.about it, How typical of our culture. No wonder we are in the hole we are,.

  12. So now the pope joins in on the referendum-bashing fun!

    It doesn´t matter what the constitution says, in fact, why even have one if everything can be solved by these constructive and productive dialogue sessions?

    The fact that venezuelans have a right to a recall referendum against Maduro given to them by Chavez´s constitution? That´s just fascist nonsense, these people asking for the referendum don´t represent the REAL venezuelans, the ones that stormed the Assembly on Sunday to defend their god given revolution, the ones paying homage every day to their supreme magnificent eternal commander leader, the ones pushing this glorious revolution forward with hard work and productivity.

    I think skepticism on these new rounds of pope-sponsored dialogue is perfectly normal on the part of the majority of venezuelans, and anger is another perfectly normal emotion to be feeling right now. How can people trust MUD if they pull this kind of bullshit every time? Keeping everybody in the dark about these questionable decisions makes one wonder: how many faces does the MUD have? They organize massive marches, give people hope by promising change, only to fall short in the execution and caving in to the regime, the church, immoral ex-presidents and however asks them to please stop harassing poor Maduro and Co.

    The opposition has to realize where and when they stand: the numbers are there, the anger is there, and they are far greater than those of chavismo, this should give them leverage should they know how to use it, but instead they play the regime´s game, always one step behind and dragging all of the country with them. This blindness must be on purpose, there seems to be no other explanation.

    I don´t understand why every time the MUD gives a surprise blow, it´s to the people it says they represent, and not to who they claim to fight against. So they are as guilty as chavismo of destroying people´s hopes of change. With the pope giving a hand too, mind you.

  13. There is an old spanish saying ‘ A Dios Rogando y con el Mazo Dando’, translates into something like ‘praying to God while mashing ones club’ . MUD leaders have made it clear that the vatican sponsored discussions will not stop the street and institutional actions already decided in last sundays NA which shall continue unabated , The discussions will proceed in paralell with other previously agreed actions not in lieu of them ….!! The teeth gnashing at the betrayal that discussions represent may be a tad misguided..!!

  14. I am not a violent person. There are times in history when people have to make the decisions that alter the outcome of events for the good of all people.
    If this were happening to my family and I was watching my children or my wife suffer and starve, I would kill the people responsible for it.
    Eventually this will happen. The most dangerous man is someone with nothing left to lose.
    Maduro, the Supreme Court members, his associates and his drug smuggling Generals will become target of the innocent victims that they have imposed so much hardship on.


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