The  last week — from Tuesday for Americans to Saturday for Venezuelans — were nothing short of jump-from-a-22nd-storey-window-depressing. This weekend saw the “results” from the MUD-Government dialogue announced and the many reactions that ensued, leaving us to drown in a sea of communiqués.

The Thing Itself

If you feel as though the agreements were insufficient, ultimately useless, and written quite recognizably in PSUVspeak, you’re far from alone

In summary, five points were agreed at the dialogue tables:

  1. To combat “boycotting and sabotage” in the Economy, and to work for the supply of food and medicines.
  2. To overcome the National Assembly’s contempt, solving the Amazonas deputies situation and to “work” towards naming the two CNE rectors.
  3. To declare the importance of the Esequibo.
  4. To declare to “Convivir en Paz”.
  5. To invite one governor per part.

If you feel as though the agreements were insufficient, ultimately useless, and written quite recognizably in PSUVspeak, you’re far from alone.

Within MUD

I must confess my confusion. It seems as though we’re simultaneously sitting at the dialogue, but criticizing the government for not being committed to it, but defending it, but criticizing it, but calling to re-mobilize, but demobilizing. I understand nothing

Among the first and loudest of many reactions within MUD was the communiqué released by Voluntad Popular, which calls for resuming the political trial on Nicolás Maduro and the street protest agenda. This was accompanied by a barrage of tweets by Leopoldo López himself and other VP members like Freddy Guevara.

But the MUD’s clockwork orange wasn’t alone, as members of basically all parties tweeted their say, including those sitting at the negotiation table. I must confess my confusion. It seems as though we’re simultaneously sitting at the dialogue, but criticizing the government for not being committed to it, but defending it, but criticizing it, but calling to re-mobilize, but demobilizing. I understand nothing.

And the People?

So what do the other factors beside MUD think about the dialogue? If we’re to believe Datincorp, then 68.26% of Venezuelans don’t believe in Chavismo’s willingness, which is to say they don’t trust the process itself.

Simultaneously, the Movimiento Estudiantil, never to be left behind, issued its own communiqué considering the current results insufficient, calling for an opening of the humanitarian aid channel, and pledging to keep the protest agenda. It’s nice to be reminded that there may be other sources of Leadership.

Oh right, the Dictatorship

He ruled out negotiating an electoral exit to his term, and joked about how he was glad MUD was committed to staying in the dialogue from now to December 2018. Is the message clear enough now?

Last but far from least, what do our government officials have to say about the results? First, they all seem pretty happy, which is a statement in and of itself. Moreover PSUV’s golden boy Héctor Rodríguez told José Vicente Rangel on his TV show that MUD has “lost political capability in the AN”, and that “the alternative can’t be guarimba and violence”. I think it’s a relevant reminder at this point to note that these people have control of almost all mainstream media. My point: most Venezuelans have access to only PSUV’s information as “truth”.

But of course, Nicolás Maduro’s statement is the most important. He ruled out negotiating an electoral exit to his term, and joked about how he was glad MUD was committed to staying in the dialogue from now to December 2018. Is the message clear enough now?

In other news

Sometimes we have so much terrible news on one front we forget the appalling news on another one. So a quick recap on the non-dialogue horrors of this week:

With the dialogue drama as a smokescreen, Dictator Dumbo announced the extension, for 60 days, of the Economic Emergency Decree. Of course, he quoted the economic war and his usual strand of nonsense as excuses.

Finally, murder watch

The murder of 9 people in Cariaco is currently being investigated. The tragedy shook up what’s usually a sleepy fishing town. Also on fishermen and tragedy, two men in Tacarigua de la Laguna were murdered. Although at least on this front, it seems the killers have been found. And lastly, a cab driver in Maturín was murdered by men posing as oil workers.

It’s been a busy, heavy weekend. So on we go.

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Carlos is a Law and Liberal Arts student at Universidad Metropolitana, and a teacher of Philosophy, Entrepreneurship, and Public Speaking at Instituto Cumbres de Caracas. MetroMUNer (@MetroMUN) and VOXista (@voxistas). But really, he's just an overcompensating, failed singer-songwriter.

12 COMMENTS

  1. “1. To combat “boycotting and sabotage” in the Economy, and to work for the supply of food and medicines.”

    That’s the one that bothers me, because the regime defines the natural laws of economics as “sabotage”. It is difficult to grasp perhaps, but to the regime, the natural laws of economics, free markets, supply and demand, the causes of inflation, capital requirements, and all, are an intentional “guerra economica.” To them, these are not principles of economics analogous to principles of physics. To them, these are intentional “sabotage” of their “water flows uphill” principles of socialism. This is on a par with their statements that Venezuela is “a democracy”.

    In less dramatic but perhaps more easily understood terms, to the regime “the Economy” is a centralized control of prices and raw materials and “deeveesas”. To them, that is not working as it should: NOT because it is unsound, but because it is being “attacked” in the “guerra economica.”

    To the rest of the world which prospers under free markets, economic principles are simple and easy to understand: Alfonso wants to buy a chicken, Hector wants to sell a chicken, so they get together and negotiate a price. To the regime, that is “sabotage” of “the Economy.” To the regime, a true “Economy” is: the government determines how much it costs to raise a chicken to sell, and determines the price at which the chicken must be sold.

    Does this make sense to anyone?

    • What I don’t understand what is the MUD thinking by agreeing to this statement. By agreeing to combat “boycotting and sabotage” are they not agreeing that it exists and that is not a fiction invented by the Government to excuse their own incompetence and economic policy failures?

      Did they actually let themselves get trapped into answering to a “Do you still beat your wife?” scenario? That would be amateurish, but that is what it looks like.

      • I totally get what you’re saying, and it made me think that maybe “boycotting” is a word the MUD got in to represent the discrimination of distribution of CLAP bags? Or perhaps discrimination in the distribution of hard currency in exchange for BF? So the MUD got the “boycotting” to point to, and the regime got the “sabotage” to point to? Pure speculation on my part, but what could “boycotting” mean?

        Random thoughts:

        When definitions of words change, it’s like trying to understand Chinese. I’m waiting to see what actions actually take place, and even that is hard because MUD says “prisoners will be released within hours”, then that becomes “a list of prisoners to be released, will be released soon”, and that becomes “Ledezma will not be released” … where are the political prisoners actually released? As far as the implementation of “boycott” and “sabotage” … apparently that has to wait, too.

        I’d like to think that press releases about negotiations are ALWAYS vague and disappointing, and that language is ALWAYS encrypted to the point you wonder if those people are from the same planet you are on, and that negotiations ALWAYS take time for parties to think it over, but Venezuelans who should know much better than I what’s up seem to think it’s all a bunch of BS, and apparently they aren’t willing to “wait and see”.

    • “That’s the one that bothers me, because the regime defines the natural laws of economics as “sabotage”.” Bingo!

  2. To combat “boycotting and sabotage” in the Economy, and to work for the supply of food and medicines.
    To overcome the National Assembly’s contempt, solving the Amazonas deputies situation and to “work” towards naming the two CNE rectors.
    To declare the importance of the Esequibo.
    To declare to “Convivir en Paz”.
    To invite one governor per part.

    I just want to repeat…this is baffling. How pathetic is MUD?

  3. What a sad show of capitulation. This unbelievable acknowledging of PSUV retórica is clear demonstration that we are at an important crossroad for our leaders, either capitulate or simply go to jail for golpistas. They decided to capitulate.

  4. The agreement shows that the MUD are operating on an understanding that they have virtually no leverage. Somebody has to go organize some leverage.

      • Well, I lay a good deal of blame on the Vatican for why they took place in the talks, because nobody says no to the Vatican, apparently, but you’re right about agreeing to the points. They need not have endorsed the farce.

  5. the Outcome. The govt is bad because its job is to improve the standard conditions of living of the people. The govt failed. The govt must be removed.

    the Outcome. The MUD is bad because its job was to lead the people to change the govt. MUD failed. The mud must be removed.

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