2:45AM. They finally talked. First it was Ernesto Samper, nothing relevant. Then the Papal Nuncio Celli read the communiqué which sums up the consensus between both parties, starting with the creation of four worktables -each one with a mediator- on the following topics:

  • Peace, Rule of Law, and Sovereignty, with José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.
  • Truth, Justice, Human Rights, reparations to victims, and reconciliation, with the Vatican’s coordinator.
  • Economics and social, with Leonel Fernández.
  • Trustbuilding and Electoral Schedule, with Martín Torrijos.

They’re riding this donkey now, and they’re going to have to steer it.

Of those topics, they’ll work on the joint commitment for keeping peace, revision of political prisoners (wrongly called detainees by the Government), the case of Amazonas deputies, schedule and institutionality of the CNE, elections as stated by the Constitution, functioning and autonomy of the branches of power (impossible with the PSUV in power), improving the conditions of food supply and the joint effort of the State’s mechanisms to improve the Economy (ibidem, it’s not about organization, it’s a problem with the model).

Celli said both parts commit to reducing agressiveness in their speeches and immediately installing the worktables, which will have periodic reviews. The next meeting will be held November 11th. The question we’re all asking: until then, what? So far, it’s an expression of good will.

So, Jorge

The Government’s spokesman was the signature verifier, responsible for the whole 1% sham. A message in itself. Jorge Rodríguez resumed his psycopathic smile, only this time it was supposed to stem from the joy the triumph of peace sparks in him. He dared describe it “as an epiphany, as if Christmas had come early”.

The same spokesman who committed to dialing down agressiveness took seconds to start talking about his adversary’s hate campaigns and those who weren’t at the dialogue. It was a profoundly contradicting message, as were his gestures and those of his companions, which included an Elías Jaua who I’m not sure was awake. When he said: “this is a certain possibility for peace to be imposed”, he summed up PSUV’s perspective for life: imposition.

Chúo on VTV

I admit I laughed when I saw Chúo Torrealba on VTV. The station’s anchors must have had, at least, a fit of itching. Marginally, it was a more structured message which responded to all flanks of the issue as seen on Twitter. They were there to answer the Vatican’s invitation, a mediator for which they asked, amd to ensure Venezuelans can survive this crisis peacefully.

They made concrete demands for peace: liberation of political prisoners, normalizing the situation of the Amazonas deputies -key to exercising parliamentary majority-, reactivation of elections: “either the recall or early elections” (…)

They made concrete demands for peace: liberation of political prisoners, normalizing the situation of the Amazonas deputies -key to exercising parliamentary majority-, reactivation of elections: “either the recall or early elections” (…) We stated the need to reform the CNE to have an organ that, instead of blocking, organizes elections. Chúo reaffirmed the parliamentary agenda -juicio político-, and that the street protests will continue, although they’ll “reformulate” some things -obviously the “pa’ Miraflores” of 3N-. In any case, the Government shouldn’t march towards the National Assembly, if they want the mediators to believe anything they say.

And now?

There’s now a negotiation table. The width of the topics makes it hard to focus on what’s important: regaining political institutions through votes. This is the fourth table’s topic and they better answer fast.

Dialogue with these thugs will be hard.

The second axis for expressing political good will is the liberation of political prisoners. This will be painful for many Chavistas, so they need to do it gradually. They have the “not marching to Miraflores” chip in their hands, regardless of how much Nicolás uses it in his favour. For now, he’ll have to cut back on the homophobic comments and his obsession with Capriles and Ramos Allup.

They’re riding this donkey now, and they’ll have to steer it. Dialogue with these thugs will be hard. The country’s impatient for concrete results, as this process clearly suspends the Democratic Charter activation, as well as accusations against the International Criminal Court.

On it goes.

Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.


  1. I think Chuo and MUD are in a very difficult spot. I really hope that these negotiations work. If they do, there could be a transition in Ven without widespread violence. The alternative is only violence. However, if there is no progress in two months time, massive street protests are the only option. This is Maduro’s last chance.

  2. I think it is MUD who is on the spot, though why they would have to wait 10 days to get cracking with the talks is itself a stall tactic. MUD has three major political axes hanging over their head, momentarily standing down: The Democratic Charter activation, and the International Criminal Court. If the Chavistas fail to make consesions, to actually negotiate and want to simply rant against the “imperialists and right wing oligarchy,” they will cook their own goose. It’s impossible for me to imagine them giving up Lopez, and my sense is that they will do anything to keep him behind bars, even fold on a slew of other issues. But it seems one thing is for sure: Maduro will have to compromise, and since he doesn’t know how, this should be interesting.

    • This is Maduro’s last chance. He must compromise properly, show good faith. Otherwise, he will push Venezuela into the chasm and then there will be nothing but violence. I am not Venezuelan but I do love Venezuela and I just don’t want there to be widespread violence in that country. However, if Maduro is insincere, there will be no alternative and the opposition must push and push street demonstrations with also its vigour. Otherwise, it will fall under the yoke of a horrible, long-term dictatorship. There must be proper, coherent coordination between MUD within Ven and with outside supporters. Set a proper time frame for Maduro to act. If he doesn’t, there has to be huge demos in Ven and the OAS must invoke the Democratic Charter in tandem. The Pope would also have to speak out against Maduro.

  3. A mistake if you ask me. The Chavistas f*cked the opposition yet again. The sensible thing would be to demand the release of political prisoners, replacement of the corrupt CNE and the corrupt Supreme Court by November 3rd, and offer to cancel the march to Miraflores and sacking Maduro in return, and give them until noon, November 2nd to comply.

    Negotiations won’t work, not with this monstrosity. The best opposition can hope for is for a few bones from the Chavista table. This turn of events is precisely what happened in Zimbabwe in 2008.

  4. I cannot help feeling a depressing sense of déjà vu at this development. There is a small part of me which wants to feel encouraged, but the larger part feels that these “negotiations” will only serve to kill the momentum that has been generated by Opposition. If that momentum is killed, will they ever be able to restart it? The next time, the political repression may be so complete they may not have the communicational tools any longer. The social control of the government’s goons may have consolidated to the degree that there is too much fear of reprisals to allow them to generate mass protests. The MUD may end up so thoroughly discredited with the population by failing to deliver change that they will be unable to lead the Opposition. Do the MUD leaders understand the risks of this course? Does this really provide a better chance? I sure as hell hope so… but I have doubts…

  5. I think that marching to Miraflores should happen as planned. Maduro is not man enough to resign, but a million people peacefully telling him to leave would be something even the Pope would enjoy.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here