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:
- 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.
If you feel as though the agreements were insufficient, ultimately useless, and written quite recognizably in PSUVspeak, you’re far from alone.
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.
Solo la presión popular de calle organizada, generará las condiciones necesarias para conquistar el cambio que Venezuela clama
— Leopoldo López (@leopoldolopez) November 14, 2016
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.Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.