Photo: Presidencia Ecuador
In addition to thanking them for their support and saying that he’ll soon attend the invitation of President Martín Vizcarra (he was initially due to visit Peru this Sunday) caretaker President Juan Guaidó made a balance of his tour, an exercise of governance that must’ve been painful for chavismo. “Our dilemma today is between dictatorship or democracy, between poverty and misery or prosperity and progress. As long as we keep the union of all factors and the mobilization, time is on our side,” said Guaidó about a process where he admitted mistakes. He asked public employees not to keep cooperating with the usurpation that has taken over bureaucracy, the same way that he asked the Armed Forces not to allow the use of paramilitaries or the people’s massacre. Guaidó said: “We’ll request all the necessary international cooperation to rescue our liberties,” shortly before remarking that we’re making huge progress. “If the regime tries to kidnap me and carry out a coup, we’ve detailed the steps to follow. Mobilization must continue and there are clear instructions for our international allies,” Guaidó said, hopeful in the possibility of building opportunities so that people can return to the country, and of returning to the street today with those who live here, clarifying that the only one who talks of war is Nicolás, that we all want peace and that hope was born and won’t die.
Despegando de la Base Aérea Naval de Salinas, Ecuador.
Gracias Presidente @Lenin por el profundo apoyo a nuestra causa.
Gracias también a las fuerzas armadas de su país, fueron ellas un muro de contención ante las pretensiones de Correa.
¡Son ejemplo para la region! pic.twitter.com/MxnwULSzuw
— Juan Guaidó (@jguaido) March 3, 2019
The European Union cautioned that “Any measure that could put at risk Juan Guaidó’s freedom, safety or personal integrity would represent a major escalation of tensions & meet firm condemnation from the international community.”
Any measure that could put at risk @jguaido’s freedom, safety or personal integrity would represent a major escalation of tensions & meet firm condemnation of international community.https://t.co/s3XNB7UYuC
— EU Council Press (@EUCouncilPress) March 2, 2019
Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela did the same, saying that any action that seeks to affect Guaidó’s personal safety “would be confronting the people and the more that 50 countries that support him.”
El Pdte interino @jguaido fue designado por la Asamblea Nacional electa democráticamente por el pueblo venezolano. Cualquier acción que pretenda afectar su seguridad personal o interrumpir su retorno a Venezuela sería enfrentar al pueblo y a los más de 50 países que lo apoyamos.
— Juan Carlos Varela (@JC_Varela) March 2, 2019
Brazil’s government also asked that Guaidó could return without incidents and that his rights and safety be respected, while Denmark’s Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen said: “Guaidó must be allowed to exercise his parliamentary mandate free of intimidation. Any action against his freedom should result in firm condemnation from the international community.”
Clear warning from #EU to Maduro. @jguaido must be allowed to exercise his parliamentary mandate free of intimidation. Any action against his freedom should result in firm condemnation from the international community. #dkpolhttps://t.co/pzMY8HP3CT
— Anders Samuelsen (@anderssamuelsen) March 2, 2019
Other movements on the board
Rupert Colville, spokesman of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, said that an advanced commission will travel to Venezuela in the coming days, with the goal of verifying whether conditions are set for High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet to travel. This coincides with Chilean President Sebastián Piñera’s statement, criticizing his predecessor, Bachelet, for failing to condemn “Maduro’s dictatorship” and the human rights abuses committed in Venezuela. The situation in Venezuela was the main topic of a phone call between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. State Secretary Mike Pompeo, held on March 2nd. White House Security Advisor John Bolton said this Sunday that the U.S. seeks a broad international coalition to replace Nicolás and “the whole corrupt regime.” He criticized Cuba’s influence in Venezuela: “20,000 to 25,000 Cuban security officials by reports that have been in the public. But this is the sort of thing that we find unacceptable,” said Bolton, adding later that there are backstage talks about the Venezuelan Army’s future, cautioning Nicolás that if he arrests Guaidó, he’ll only accelerate the day of his ouster, because “the opposition is united in a way that’s unprecedented in the last twenty years.”
At the other side of the spectrum, Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell said that he was surprised by the “resilience” shown by Nicolás regarding Guaidó’s agenda. World-class cretin. Besides the shipment of humanitarian aid from Guatemala, German Development Minister Gerd Müller said that Germany is willing to facilitate five million euros for humanitarian aid, but before making any contribution, there must be conditions to allow it. A delegation of the Caribbean Community will meet this Wednesday with Mike Pompeo; as you know, Caricom still pays with diplomacy all the oil that chavismo gave them and that’s why they now support “a significant dialogue between the parties.” Brazilian natives offer their help and support to Venezuelan communities. Seven Pemon natives have already been murdered by state violence.
Regime propaganda minister Jorge Rodríguez made an entertaining recycling exercise, about the five points that Nicolás’s administration proposes for a dialogue table: respect for sovereignty, for peace; lifting sanctions against Venezuela; a mechanism to allow the regime and the opposition to discuss their differences and the non-interference of other nations in the country’s internal affairs; denying the possibility of elections proposed by the Contact Group created by the European Union. This Sunday, Freddy Bernal denounced that the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) finances terrorist groups that seek to enter Venezuela, coordinated by general Clíver Alcalá Cordones, to cause internal chaos “against military and police units, food and fuel supply centers, and to commit targeted murders of political and military leaders.” In psychology, this is called a projection. Sadly, he didn’t explain why the military blocked the Union bridge with containers.
The cost of returning
Guaidó suggested that he’d use the Maiquetía Airport for his return. The airport’s facilities are already teeming with military intelligence and SEBIN officers, even at the Control Tower. The tour (received with honors, broad press coverage, impact on Venezuelan citizens abroad and concrete results in cooperation) was successful, but all the pressure that declined for Nicolás during Guaidó’s absence, now comes revitalized and forces him to make a decision: does he arrest Guaidó or not? When? How? The broad international support and the exercise of reminding him about the actions that a potential detention might unleash are already a hit for this regime. The support comes both from democratic reasons and the panic because migration might not stop, with much more desperate people, with problems that surpass even the challenge of inserting them in society. “We want to return,” our compatriots said, and other countries need them to return. Everything starts with the end of usurpation.
“We have little to celebrate and much to do,” said Guaidó. See you today at 11:00 a.m.Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.