Unthinkable deals will have to be cut to save the Republic — possibly as early as this week. You can add that to the staggering bill Venezuela will have to pay for the Chávez era. Add it to a wasted trillion-dollar oil boom, a generation lost, our first major exile and whatever Russia wants from us.

Nicolás Maduro leaving his office and the country sounds gorgeous, even sexy (the only way to place “Nicolás Maduro” and “sexy” in the same sentence). I want it, you want it, my cafetalero kin can’t wait for it! But as we game out what it will take to end the conflict, you start to realize Maduro resigning is the easy part. He’s a Head of State, you can always find someplace to stash one of those away.

The question is, what will it take for Cabello and El-Aissami to go as well?

Because, make no mistake: a solution that leaves two drug kingpins in charge of the country is no solution at all.

It may be that the real hold-up isn’t Maduro. It’s Cabello and El Aissami. Finding a solution for where they go is going to be just as urgent as allowing international aid, ridding the Armed Forces and police from their bad apples and refinancing our whole debt.

Technically, El Aissami is the Vice President of the Republic, while Cabello is just a lowly PSUV Vice President. In fact, they are both faction heads — leaders of informal networks of government activists that control huge swathes of the state. They are the key movers in the party-state structure, something terrifying if you’re on the side that wants them out.

A solution that leaves two drug kingpins in charge of the country is no solution at all.

Of course, getting them to step aside is tricky, since both are up to their necks in drugs connections. Tareck’s been named by the Treasury Department under its Kingpin Act powers. Diosdado’s indictment is, we suspect, still sealed. Their ships are piles of ash: their best alternative to crushing the opposition is a supermax cell in Colorado.

Just ask yourself: how far would you be willing to go to avoid the next 40 years in there?

The challenge is to find a solution they can accept and that will eliminate them from the Venezuelan political sphere forever. The diplomatic work of finding some country somewhere that will agree to take them in and live out their lives quietly as they spend a portion of what they’ve stolen is not sexy, but it needs to be done.

Where could it be?

It has to be a place that shields them from the threat of a potential extradition to the US. Russia? Saint Vincent and the Grenadines? La isla? Personally, I think MUD should push for Russia — just because we need some actual physical distance once they’re gone.

The outline of a deal is easy to imagine. They agree not to participate in public life, we agree not to go after all their assets — only some. A formal declaration banning them from public life may be needed, too. It sounds like a cute formality, but one worth checking to avoid some foolish derrière-biting down the line.

None of it will come cheap. Whichever country takes the paquete is going to want something in return. If it’s Russia, we’re probably talking about a widening presence in the Faja del Orinoco and Arco Minero mining area.

That’s the sort of proposal MUD will eventually have to come to terms with. It’s brutal, expensive and almost as bad as defeat.

But what it buys is priceless: A chance to start anew.

There is, after all, no point in chopping off only one of the Hydra’s heads.

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  1. My two cents. The US/EU have created a ring of geopolitical instability around Russia (think Ukraine, Afghanistan, Syria). What do you think would please Russia more? A stake in the Faja del Orinoco (hint: Russia is already long, very long oil and gas), or seeing instability go out of control in the US’s very own back yard?

    Solution #2 Have the US take these two crooks out with drones – would be the simplest thing to do. They are terrorists after all (not just drug dealers). More elegant, cleaner and less cumbersome, oh and it sets a deterrent for future criminals.

    • Russia is quite fond on making new centers of instability around itself. Afghanistan and Ukraine are two such examples, Georgia is a third and Turkey may be a fourth.

      That said, I’m sure the Kremlin would welcome instability in US neighborhood. Expect to find Russia uncooperative.

  2. NOOOOOOOOOOPE, specially those 2, there can’t be no “The challenge is to find a solution they can accept and that will eliminate them from the Venezuelan political sphere forever. The diplomatic work of finding some country somewhere that will agree to take them in and live out their lives quietly as they spend a portion of what they’ve stolen is not sexy, but it needs to be done.” They’ll try to organize terrorist acts from abroad and stir shit up in Vzla, they need to be taken out and completely neutralized, either life in jail in some cold, gray US max security prison with all the billions they stole taken away from them, or, well, killed. None of this gay negotiation stuff, monsters like these must be castrated or killed.

    • Diego, “They’ll try to organize terrorist acts from abroad and stir shit up in Vzla” You give these guys too much credit. Your comment infers that these guys care about a “cause”. They just want their money and get the [email protected] out with their lives.

  3. I’m afraid that Venezuela may need the French solution to the problem – guillotine.

    Not that I’m advocating it or anything, but the other options are mostly gone.

  4. Part of the issue with Central and South America is the proclivity to pardon. Take Chavez as an example. How did that work out?

  5. Everything that is worthwhile, comes with a cost.
    If allowing these narco-criminals to flee into exile is the price of freeing the people of Venezuela from the horrors that they have inflicted on the people, coming to an accommodation with them should be considered.
    This has the appearance of the bank that is surrounded by police while the bank robbers have hostages and are negotiating for a helicopter and safe passage.
    There is the legal concept of duress at play here also. Contracts that are made under duress, E.g. a gun being held to someone’s head to force them to sign a contract, are not enforceable under the laws of most countries.
    Using the concept of Duress, I would say that the MUD should promise them anything they want in order to accelerate their departure and revoke the promise at the first opportunity and prosecute them to the fullest extent they can.
    Perhaps the MUD’s promises of exile will not be recognized by the US DEA and they still will end up in custody. I doubt these psychopaths can assimilate into normal life. Most likely their criminal enterprises will continue wherever they go.
    I like the idea of them going to Cuba. Gitmo, not Havana. Should they end up in a country that is a signatory to the Rome Statute, their exile may be short lived, Especially one that receives US foreign aid. These people could still be prosecuted by the ICC. Leaving the MUD to keep their promise while they still are prosecuted.
    My personal solution would be a 40 caliber round, one inch above the bridge of there noses and right between their eyes.
    A Glock 22 would leave 20 more rounds to solve many of the other issues connected to this regime.

  6. Interesting article. Thing is that these guys are accused of way more than just corruption. They are kingpins like Manuel Noriega who is rotting in jail nowadays. Same should be applied to them.

    Deals should be made with people like Ortega. If we want fundamental changes. We cannot expect that every citizen will support the political views of the mud. There should be broad support because it will take a long time till things will improve

    • Noriega is no longer among the living if memory serves.

      As for Godgiven, if he’s the least bit nervous about his future, I can’t detect it watching him on TV. That kinda worries me. If anyone has been spot-on predicting chavismo’s future, it’s he.

      • As I understand it, cocaine is much like a refined upper; it has a way of making the user feel very much in control, whether that perception is true or not. Just sayin’ .

      • True. But he was serving time till he passed away. And serving time is what Godgiven and Tareck el Corrupto should do.

        They should be set as examples and punished heavily. Thats the only way to exterminate corruption from political bodies

  7. You know, that kind of thinking sounds like a problem we had back in 2002 and needs to be updated to the 2017 reality.
    There was a time when Chavez had some popularity ~40% maybe? then you would have to negotiate and give him some concessions to avoid a civil conflict in Vzla.
    But today in 2017 the regime has at best 10%, if many were free to express their true opinion.

    So why we have to give them these concessions?
    Would they even accept it?

    The task now is to make it easier for the rank and file of the military to stand up and switch to the side of the people. Once that is done all the cronies would have nothing to protect them.

    It goes without saying that Justice needs to be served to honor the victims, to bring closure to all Venezuelans and move forward.

    If the armed forces are rotten all the way to the bottom or simply don’t have the cojones to pull it off, then the answer would be a foreign intervention and apply something similar to the Irak experience minus the mistakes that were made.

    Saddam Hussein was given an ultimatum and also provided with an escape route, but ended up hanged by his people.

    If the US is unwilling or unable to do such intervention all we have is our Resistencia but that means that they would naturally claim political power and who knows where that would lead, it could be good or bad.

    • And it was Baathist generals in exile in Syria who financed and directed the violence against shiites for years in Iraq just out of spite. Expect a similar response from this lot. They need to be in jail.

  8. If that’s the price we have to pay to end this nightmare then take them….They will be far away in exile and we can start getting out country back.Maybe justice will never be served but who cares at this point.Many bad people are never brought to justice that is life.We need to move on and if they get a pass so be it.

  9. I’m afraid they would rather go into civil war rather than risk spending anytime in jail… they are smart enough to know what happen to Enersto Pinochet…

  10. Quite ingenuous–the hold-up isn’t NM, it’s Cuba; it isn’t TEA/DC, it’s the major corrupt/narco/sanctioned Military. TEA/DC will go out like El Chapo.

  11. Now that we are talking about negotiations, have we forgotten who is the owner? The owner is in Cuba. What is the point in talking with two underbosses, when the capo di tutti capi is in Havana?

    Cuba might claim (as it did this week, that they have nothing to do in Venezuela and expect everybody to leave a sovereign state alone). However, it is known to all, thousands of Cubans “internationalists” play with Venezuelan politics on behalf of Cuba. They have deeply permeated the military units. It would be hard for institutional armed force members to organize units that could act against the regime without the Cuban snitches finding out. They even have control on all public records, IDs, passports, the REP and have even manufactured an election winner out of a dead donkey. Yes, Venezuela in essence is a colony of that little island.

    The US should come out in the open with indictments against Godgiven and Tarek. This can be followed by oil sanctions on PDVSA. With definitive drug implications, diplomatic pressure (mainly by the European Union), and squeezed by lack of funds & oil as well as promises for a relatively small supply of oil for the foreseeable future (yes, a repugnant idea, but even a pimp understands that nothing is forever), Cuba might consider throwing those two characters under the bus/facilitate capture (those two SOBs have to be judged in the US (Noriega style) and their assets confiscated), and also consider the repatriation of the “internationalists”.

    Barring that, and after many deaths, the US and other neighboring countries might have to intervene in a major scale.

  12. Maduro himself can take out Cabello and El Aissami. Create a situation where either Cabello and El Aissami threaten or suggest disloyalty Maduro and he will act. Some fake news about Cabello claiming the presidency by September will get the Cubans and thus, Maduro, riled and they will resolve the issue.

    Where is the CIA when we need them?

    • Bah, Maduro is the patsy. The puppet.

      Cabello is the puppetmaster, along with El Aissami (in league with the Cubans). I am under the impression that if anyone meets a sudden end, it will be Maduro when he caves in to reality. El Aissami will claim he fell down a slippery 3 flights (!) of stairs at Miraflores and accidentally (!) strangled on an electrical cord (!) when he came to the bottom.

  13. The first pic makes El Aissami look like Gene Wilder in Young Frankenstein.

    If Cabello were to tip his head back and fold his arms across his chest? Il Duce!

    I expect a very few are so entrenched in Chavismo, that they will fight on until they meet the same end as Il Duce, (to their delight oddly enough). These fanatics see themselves as modern day Che Guevaras. A few more might fall on the sword and gladly accept prison. Martyrdom suits them, and it gives them a chance to pontificate upon their release.

    The rest will find sanctuary in a friendly nearby country. Possibly Bolivia (until Morales leaves), but more likely Cuba, as Venezuela is awash in Cuban infiltrators anyway. These malandros will be hard to suss out and will take every opportunity to pee in the collective soup of any recovering Venezuela project.

    I doubt Russia will take them, as any negotiated exit will be too bitter of a pill. They will get nothing in return, especially if the new Venezuela refuses to make good on bad Chavista deals. Russia, China and Goldman Sachs are all going to be left holding an empty bag of a new Venezuela that will be bankrupted, but better for it. Venezuelans are resilient, and the world knows their sad story of Chavismo.

    My 2 cents.

  14. “Because, make no mistake: a solution that leaves two drug kingpins in charge of the country is no solution at all. ”

    That’s the only solution they want to have.

    “Just ask yourself: how far would you be willing to go to avoid the next 40 years in there?”

    Both of them are willing to slaughter 30 million of people.

    “The question is, what will it take for Cabello and El-Aissami to go as well?”

    Here’s another and more difficult question: What will it tak to kick out the cuban invaders as well?

  15. Russia? It can be a wonderful place to visit, particularly if you like to see stuff that is different from the most popular tourist places in the West. It helps if you speak Russian and if you have been long used to the Russian ways of thinking.

    And I cannot imagine Diosdado would ever accept to live in Russia even if he could live there in a villa on the outskirts of very European Saint Petersburg. Diosdado would rather die. He is not Yanukovich.
    He is a Venezuelan murderer, not an Ukranian or a Kyrgyzian one.

  16. “None of it will come cheap. Whichever country takes the paquete is going to want something in return.”

    All we need to tell the Russians or any country willing to hide the 2 mega-narcos is that Tarek and Cabello are multi-billionaires who can jump- start the economy of any major city all by themselves.

  17. You miss the most important point: do they really have to negotiate? I mean, you don’ t decide if they leave or no. They do. If they feel like they need to get out, they will ask for it. But you can offer them anything you want as many times you want, and it is still their choice.

  18. What make some people here believe that they will stop pushing dope? how many criminals and mobsters after being given a new name and place under WPP went back to their old ways?, also Aissami got terrorist charges because is well know he got a parnertship with Hezbola, what country would be willing to take that filth?, even if there is a country willing to take them the cost would be so high that we might just remove Cuba name and place a insert country here in that deal, criminals only stop until they caught or dead and this two criminals like all those criminals in PSUV got an enormous amount of resentment and hate against Venezuela and his people that would probably grow even if they are allow to leave with a sweet deal, believe that they will find a way to keep fucking with Venezuela.

  19. This is a strange article. It treats the downfall of Maduro as inconsequential. Maduro can only be deposed by a powerful street rebellion. If such a rebellion occurs don’t you think the other criminal honchos know how to run for their lives? You won’t have the problem of Cabello and El Aissami at all.

  20. What? These are international criminals, as well as everyone around or near them, including wives, sons, daughters y complices. Promise to treat them, including family who know what they are doing, have done to the country, with the same respect as given the protesters in the Helicoide. Or take the bullet, let them choose.


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