For Wednesday, October 25, 2016. Translated by Javier Liendo.
“Don’t allow the government to make you think what they want you to think.” Henrique Capriles
While Argentina’s Mauricio Macri and Uruguay’s Tabaré Vázquez used our institutional crisis to explain why Venezuela can’t be a member of Mercosur, and Luis Almagro denounced that the Venezuelan Commission before the OAS demanded the Permanent Council to terminate the contract of their Communications manager, Sergio Jellinek, which the secretary called an act of censorship, the PSUV found a foothold to diffuse the tensions that spiked during the National Assembly’s session on Sunday: the dialogue, sold as the exclusion of any other instrument to overcome this crisis.
Chavismo’s great advantage is their shamelessness, the impunity that allows them to screw up and brag about it, their collective lack of talent, which makes them always behave the same way regardless of the context.
How could we feel anything but suspicion when Jorge Rodríguez -Sunday’s agitator- appeared yesterday as the PSUV’s representative in the dialogue that’s yet happen? It’s evident now that the assault did have a symbolic as well as an objective purpose: tarnish the legitimacy of any negotiation with the ruling clique, due to the poor credibility their representatives worked so hard to achieve.
Prudence demanded, then, that they send the only representative with authority but no political aspirations. That explains why the only spokesman for the opposition was Jesús “Chúo” Torrealba.
Let’s put it like this: any political leader who appeared yesterday in the picture for the formal call to dialogue with the Vatican as mediator, would get the flak for the impertinence of applying that tool right after declaring the violation to the constitutional order. Prudence demanded, then, that they send the only representative with authority but no political aspirations. That explains why the only spokesman for the opposition was Jesús “Chúo” Torrealba. The legislative agenda, the call to street protests and the dialogue that’s yet to happen can all be handled simultaneously. What’s inadmissible is disrespecting the people who need transparent and appropriate information, characteristics that aren’t part of the Democratic Unity Roundtable’s communicational strategy. If you want to roll your eyes at someone -or twist their necks-, it should be them.
Only the PSUV benefits from convincing us that the dialogue and the protests are mutually exclusive mechanisms to restore the constitutional order.
Comfort for the afflicted
Appropriate information from the MUD is the only way to mitigate the totally justified panic that people feel in our current political context. Someone should’ve explained what the Vatican’s call means in view of today’s parliamentary session; someone should’ve clarified whether the Vatican’s mediation was complementary to that of the former presidents; because it’s sensible to see that, if today’s session takes place and the street protests move along, the opposition gets more leverage for negotiation. Only the PSUV benefits from convincing us that the dialogue and the protests are mutually exclusive mechanisms to restore the constitutional order. It was irresponsible for so many political leaders to say on Twitter that they knew nothing about the dialogue, the same one we’ve been reading about for months, latent despite the lack of progress.
“No dialogue has started here,” said governor Henrique Capriles this Monday, admitting the confusion created by the declaration of the start of negotiations, but cautioning that this confusion doesn’t change the work agenda, that everything they’ve proposed still stands and that if you’re angry, you should take to the streets and support the protests, because this is an open fight against the dictatorship. That’s why he remarked that the National Assembly must decide today; that Nicolás only wants to buy some time and that the rallying point for tomorrow’s march will be the Francisco Fajardo highway in Caracas, and they’ll announce Thursday’s activities then, and on Thursday, they’ll announce Friday’s activities. Capriles asked us to ignore the government’s game to destroy the Unity.
“The national dialogue has started.” Emil Paul Tscherrig, Apostolic Nuncio of Buenos Aires and special envoy of the Vatican to mediate in the Venezuelan crisis, was the one who said that phrase, which created so much confusion. He said it upon reading the communiqué that establishes that the government and the opposition agreed to start a plenary of negotiations in Margarita next Sunday, October 30th, with the goal of: “finding common ground, building trust, overcoming discord and promoting a mechanism to guarantee peaceful coexistence.” Almost simultaneously, Nicolás was meeting with Pope Francis, who didn’t take any pictures with the night visitor. Whatever they say, meeting with a guy who failed in his tour to boost oil prices -which dropped again- isn’t very inspiring. In fact, the Holy See’s statement after the visit is a rosary of common places of good will and lack of coherence for the people it was addressed to. I’m not sure Nicolás knows what social cohesion means.
Ark of the Covenant
Through a statement, the MUD established a stance about the announcements made yesterday by the Nuncio of Buenos Aires, in which they say that the presence of the Vatican in the Venezuelan conflict is a triumph that strengthens the mediation and that it’s fortunate for this to happen right when the government decided to violate the constitutional order, because dialogue is another space to fight for the restitution of democracy in Venezuela. The MUD establishes other three fundamental scenarios: the street, the National Assembly and the international community. Thus, they ratify the Assembly’s session today, October 25th, to evaluate Nicolás’s political responsibility in the crisis; they restate the call for the Takeover of Venezuela tomorrow, October 26th and define the four goals of any negotiation with the government: respect for the elections, the release of political prisoners and the return of those in exile, attention for the victims of the humanitarian crisis and respect for branch autonomy. They conclude by demanding the negotiation to take place in Caracas, open to public opinion. We’ll see how the mirror of justice responds.
I’ll spare you the unfortunate statements issued by the PSUV’s spokespeople. One of the certainties for the Vatican is that they’re the expression of evil.