After an all-nighter at La Rinconada, the government and the opposition (minus VP) have set up a wide-ranging, Vatican-mediated dialogue effort to try work through the crisis.
A tense series of handshakes were the preamble to a marathon session that yielded a complex, four-front approach to negotiations: with the Vatican leading one table, and each of the three former Presidents (Zapatero, Torrijos and Fernandez) leading the other three.
Naky has all the details.
In his messaging, Chúo Torrealba is stressing the election of a new National Elections Council board.
For opposition supporters, this raises all kinds of longstanding, deeply entrenched fears about getting played again. Because we’ve seen this too many times: the government only seems to want to talk to us when it’s against the ropes, playing for time, looking for ways to demobilize opposition protests.
Nobody is more aware of this dynamic than MUD, which have been on the receiving end of this kind of tactic. This, of course, is why MUD insisted on — and obtained — a credible mediator, in the form of the pope’s personal envoy.
In his messaging, Chúo Torrealba is stressing the election of a new National Elections Council board. The thinking seems to be that there’s a real threat that you’ll just never have another fair election again without it. But of course, all the old demands are on the table too: freeing political prisoners, allowing the Legislature to legislate, moving towards early elections, etc.
What’s underlying all this? I think, basically, it’s that Chúo and MUD’s other moderates agree with Rodrigo that you can’t improvise non-violent resistance, and in current circumstances, radical street action would surely turn violent. On his RCR show this morning, Chúo argued that there’s nothing the government would like more than a violent confrontation on the streets, because violence is the only domain where they’re clearly superior to us.
For one thing, Perú’s call the Interamerican Democratic Charter to be activated is now surely a non-starter.
Where does this leave the escalating agenda MUD promised just a few days ago? I have no idea. Chúo can repeat that “dialogue is jut one more arena for our struggle” until he’s green in the face, he can keep saying that the street agenda will run parallel to dialogue from now to kingdom come, and it won’t make it true.
For one thing, Perú’s call the Interamerican Democratic Charter to be activated is now surely a non-starter. Talk of “political trials” and abandono del cargo is thin on the ground as well. The crisis is volatile as ever, but MUD’s seeming inability to stick to one course of action for more than a day or two is…not doing much for our confidence.
Amaneció, y todavía no hemos visto…Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.