So, as part of the Dialogue effort — no, seriously, that’s still going on, didn’t you know? — the Support Team led by former Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero has put a detailed proposal on the table. It calls for a kind of grand bargain between the government and the opposition to ride out the rest of Venezuela’s constitutional crisis.

Here —for the first time, we think— is the full text:

It’s a curious document — a kind of alternate constitution, really, setting out a whole new institutional mechanism to work through our political conflict.

The Plenaria Conjunta is a government of National Unity by another name, in other words.

It starts by urging mutual recognition between the Executive and the Legislative branch, then calls for the adoption of an “Implementation Mechanism” in the hands of a “Joint Plenary” (Plenaria Conjunta) made up of four representatives of the government and four representatives of MUD, together with the Vatican and the three former presidents: Zapatero, Leonel Fernández of the Dominican Republic and Martín Torrijos of Panama.

Much of the rest of the document deals with this Plenaria Conjunta, which is tasked with minor things like “solving the problem with shortages,” “guaranteeing balance between the branches of government,” “reconciling Venezuelan society”, “strengthening elections institutions”, “fighting violence and crime.” Casi nada. 

The Plenaria Conjunta is a Government of National Unity by another name.

If you think Zapatero is off in Cloud-Cuckoo Land here, you’re going to love the fourth point. It establishes that nobody on the Plenaria Conjunta is to act for party political advantage, everyone has to respect everyone else, and a rainbow-farting unicorn is to chair all meetings.

Point Five then goes through the areas the Plenaria Conjunta is enabled to make decisions on (tl;dr: everything) before we get to the truly crazy-ass bit: the gloriously deranged Point Seven, Mecanismo de Garantías.

Look, I’m not rally partial to histrionic, vestment-rending appeals to National Sovereignty — they’re usually rhetorical fluff put forward by ideological scoundrels out to swindle you.

This, you’ll agree is the crux of the matter: we’ve had tons of agreements with the government before, and they always stiff us when the time comes to implement. So, Señor Rodríguez Zapatero, what’s the plan for when they do that, huh?

The brilliant solution: binding arbitration…by the “acompañantes”: a panel made up of a bunch of foreigners, and very likely to be chaired by a Spaniard!

Look, I’m not rally partial to histrionic, vestment-rending appeals to National Sovereignty — they’re usually rhetorical fluff put forward by ideological scoundrels out to swindle you. But let’s be clear: this proposal reverses the Declaration of Independence of 1811. 

Zapatero’s cunning plan is for us to overcome our political differences by giving the final word to a Madrid politician (a.k.a., him.) Which, granted, would be a hilarious way for a self-style Bolivarian revolution to end. Sadly, it’s unthinkable a government like ours would agree a document like this in good faith, which makes the whole proposal a bit of a joke, really.

Even if the government did accept it —which it won’t— the opposition shouldn’t. It’d be humiliating. And, again, the language of national humiliation is so puteado, it’s easy to discount it, but make no mistake: this document is genuinely humiliating.

But even if both the government and the opposition accepted it (chances of that = winter olympics in hell territory) it wouldn’t work. Because Captain General Zapatero has no legions in Venezuela. He has no mechanism to enforce any decision the arbitration panel makes.

We have a perfectly serviceable constitution. We just need to implement it.

So the way this would shake out is entirely evident: we’d waste six months going through the baroque Plenaria Conjunta process the document sets out, we’d come to a decision, the government wouldn’t implement it, we’d go through the humiliating Mecanismo de Garantías, the Captain General would rule against the government…and they’d just ignore him.

Likely, they’d get Supreme Tribunal (TSJ) to rubber stamp a decision calling the arbitral panel unconstitutional, which it very obviously is. Which is a handy reminder that TSJ remains the joker in the deck — able to overrule everything: the Assembly, the Mecanismo de Garantías, the constitution, grammar, and common sense. Until you’ve dealt with the fact the Tribunal’s become an evident joke, you’re busy looking for new and creative ways to sweep the problem under the rug rather than solving it.

We don’t need a whole new set of of para-constitutional/neo-colonial mechanisms layered on top of the constitution. We have a perfectly serviceable constitution. We just need to implement it. There are no shortcuts to that, sadly.

And for that to happen, the dictatorship has to be overthrown first.

22 COMMENTS

  1. Zapatero fue el que intentó implementar algo tan rimbombante como la Alianza de las Civilizaciones (no se rían y busquen en google, verán que es verdad). Ese documento está entonces a su “altura”. No veo en ese texto ninguna intención de nombrarse a sí mismo nuevo Virrey de Venezuela pero estamos de acuerdo en que es un disparate.

  2. Going back on independence doesn’t seem like such an awful idea. Venezuela is clearly unable to solve its’ internal problems, and will remain unable to do so for another two generations at least. Foreign rule could solve much of that within a generation.

    There is historical precedents – Dominican republic voluntarily asked to become a protectorate of France for a few decades. It’s now one of the richest countries in the region, whereas its’ fiercely independent neighbor Haiti is one of the poorest.

    I’m not saying it’s a good way to go and it may be unworkable. It is certainly better than any alternative we know is workable however.

    • I wonder which is more humiliating to have a starving nation (being an oil rich country) or to get help from other countries in exchange for the mighty pride. But from this article it looks Venezuela still has enough margin to spare for the pride which is a good thing (or not?).

      Venezuela is like a drug addict. The high time is good, overwhelmingly good. Now is the down time. The nation can’t forget the high time even when being in the bottom.

      That is why the addiction never can be gotten over, unless getting help from others. To get help from others, first there must be a strong will to actually want to get over it. But to have that will, first people needs to recognize the addiction as a problem.

      The offer might be humiliating, but even if Spanish had offered something non-humiliating, would the nation seriously consider the offer? Probably not, right?

  3. Given that by definition “los Acompañantes” have been accompanying us, and have been in touch with the Venezuelan reality for the last trimester, and they have been reading local newspapers and are aware of citizens opinions. How is that they come up with a document that avoids, again, the use of the political prisoner figure? How is that such a small attention is paid to the electoral process? I don’t think this document was published to be considered, it works better as a demoralization or physiological bomb. You just drops this, and social media does the rest. With other opposition so ill-intentioned document should call for the dissolution of that dialogue, and a public demand to the Vatican because they suppose to pay attention to these things.
    Isn’t something that the Vatican representatives on the table always have accents, doesn’t this affect his image for us? Not only he is a priest who compulsory avoids confrontation, but to that, we have to add that he might not understand, as a native speaker should, what is being said? Personally, that freaks me out!

  4. “The way this would shake out is entirely evident: we’d waste six months going through the baroque Plenaria Conjunta process”

    You (oppo) are going to waste six months going through meaningless motions anyway…

  5. As long as the Robolucion has any significant say in Venezuela’s present or future, Venezuela will not progress; as long as the 90% poor have at least an arepa or two daily to eat, the Robolucion will continue to have a significant say in Venezuela’s present and future….

    • I read something similar about the Chinese during the early stages of the Japanese occupation “99% of the Chinese doesn’t care about who is in charge as long as they and their family members have the bowl of rice. The other one percent of the Chinese cares about pushing the 99% for their bowl of rice.” – Paraphrasing of course, but the message is the same.

  6. “Nada está acordado hasta que todo este acordado” —- ta bien pues

    I also think that this Plenaria will not yield much of anything …
    It will be interesting to see how this suggestion is addressed by the govt. & the MUD

  7. I think the hyperbolic tone about reconquest is not really appropiate (although you may think I’m partial…)

    But yea, that thing is bullshit. Broken by design. Worthless.It basically says 2 things when boiled down. One, there is going to be a National Unity government, and two, somebody is to enforce it.

    On both counts questions like why would the government actually accept that or what is the end penalty those giving “Warranty” can level on whoever does not deliver… nothing.

    All in all, another bubble of nothingness from Zapatero.

  8. “We don’t need a whole new set of of para-constitutional/neo-colonial mechanisms layered on top of the constitution. We have a perfectly serviceable constitution. We just need to implement it. There are no shortcuts to that, sadly.
    And for that to happen, the dictatorship has to be overthrown first.”

    – Amen

  9. Surrender your sovereignty to unelected foreigners? Sounds like they want you to join the EU. Goldman Sachs can help you with that.

  10. Is this the document MCM deconstructed in her video? She does a good job explaining. More gaslighting from the regime.

    Zapatero will make out in the long term if and when they re-arm the Navantia corvettes….this is about five years away but serious negotiations can begin after Saudi Arabia’s Navantia corvettes are spec’d out and construction underway. This is very secret for now….Saudi is very tight lipped about defense contracts so there is little public info.

    Zapatero could earn in the order of $20million on such a deal. It also brings jobs to the shipyards which translates to votes

    Re-arming the corvettes will be a future priority but many hurdles to overcome. This project is around $500M to $1B depending on overall configuration which may include additional sensors and electronics.

    Partners include Thales from France and Brahmos from India. Russia is in the mix and plays a role.

    I know military experts who balk at this. I say wait and see….they dont know this crowd.

  11. La propuesta es mala, por todas las razones que dices. Pero la oposición es tan estúpida y cobarde que es capaz de aceptarla. Ese ese el problema. Como la oposición no se imagina o se no se quiere imaginar a sí misma capaz de hacer cosas distintas a las que ha hecho o hace, no tiene lógicamente más alternativas que aceptar cualquier propuesta que le hagan, por muy estúpida que sea. Es la trampa fatal en la que cayó hace tiempo, cuando a un genio se le ocurrió la frase “no queremos una guerra civil”. Es un problema de límites mentales y físicos. La oposición se autolimita terriblemente en todos los aspectos y a estas alturas sólo un tarado puede negar que esa estrategia no funciona.El gobierno la verdad puede hacer lo que le dé la gana. No tiene obstáculos de ningún tipo, porque ya sabe de antemano cómo van a reaccionar sus contrincantes. Por eso de verdad no le da miedo incrementar la presión nunca. Yo haría lo mismo en su lugar. Yo tenía una novia hace años que revisaba mis mensajes todo el tiempo y me dijo una vez algo que me sorprendió: “en verdad tendría más sentido si te cogieras a esas tipas en vez de escribirles nada más”. Y bueno, la moraleja es que en vez de decir “no hay golpe malo”, la estrategia debe ser crear la amenaza creíble de un golpe. Si no existe la voluntad de destruir al gobierno, de derrocarlo, no va a pasar nunca. No hay otra manera. Sí hay golpe bueno y hay que actuar en consecuencia. No es fácil, pero si no se da el paso de aceptarlo, entonces se vuelve imposible. A todo los autolimitados hay que considerarlos enemigos y apartarlos.

  12. The MUD leaders are like remoras eating the trails of the shark. They were the onces who apeace the streets last november because they were afraid that their place (as everlasting remoras) would be taken for other people.

    There are not much difference between them and those profiting from the government.

    MUD leaders are now looking to catch a gobernacion or alcaldia.

    This is why the MUD leadership must be removed (open primaries anyone?) and that’s what people must go for.

    Remember what happened with the deputies that didnt show up to renew CNE or how the delay of several months to start asking for the RR.

    It’s quite obvious that there are “leaders” controlling the times so any upcoming transition will be handing the power out to them.

  13. “You see these dictators on their pedestals, surrounded by the bayonets of their soldiers and the truncheons of their police … yet in their hearts there is unspoken fear. They are afraid of words and thoughts: words spoken abroad, thoughts stirring at home — all the more powerful because forbidden — terrify them. A little mouse of thought appears in the room, and even the mightiest potentates are thrown into panic.”
    ― Winston S. Churchill, Blood, Sweat and Tears

  14. The MUD is as bad as Maduro. Instead of doing what is best for Venezuela and the people, they are all trying to accumulate power for themselves to gain when Maduro is gone.
    The fractured opposition is the biggest obstacle to reclaiming Venezuela for Venezuelans.

Leave a Reply