The last four negotiation processes between the Nicolas Maduro and the Venezuelan opposition They have concluded without first offering the country a concrete and realistic solution for a population that is still sunk in its worst crisis. Now, the two political forces of the South American country are sitting face to face in Mexico in a fifth attempt, with particular aspirations that, as in previous events, everything seems to indicate that this time they will not allow a consensus to be reached either.
According to experts consulted by ABC, there are two specific differences in this process in relation to the previous ones: the first is that the expectations that the socialist president will leave power are low, or almost nil; while the second focuses
on the international pressure that has been growing in recent years.
The director of the firm Datanálisis, Luis Vicente LeonHe explains, in conversation with this newspaper, that he does not believe that Maduro’s departure will be achieved in the near future because he considers that the Chavista leader “does not see the opposition as a threat” in this new approach. “There is no way of knowing that this new negotiation will be a success. There is no way to guarantee who will win in a political negotiation, but what we do know is that the debate in this negotiation takes place between the two parties that have to be there.
The Acting President, Juan Guaidó, repeats for the second time in a negotiation with the Chavista regime, after the dialogue with Maduro failed in 2019 in Barbados. Now with Norway Once again as a mediator, the opposition leader has shown his high expectations for the results that, he has said, will favor Venezuelans, without insisting on Maduro’s departure from the Miraflores Palace.
Meanwhile, the socialist leader maintains a speech with an air of victory over the process, and claims to have “crushed” the interim president. This other step that was taken on August 13 has been seen with good eyes by 50% of Venezuelans, according to Datanálisis.
However, for the radical opponent Maria Corina Machado The meetings in Mexico -which for the moment have only achieved the creation of a ‘memorandum of understanding’ – are a ‘shame’, because ‘by recognizing Jorge Rodríguez as a representative of the’ Government of Venezuela ‘, they, the signatories, have put the tombstone to the Interim Office ».
The memorandum in question has the signatures of the Chavista and opposition representatives who seek to materialize a comprehensive agreement that favors all Venezuelans and puts an end to the country’s painful crisis. According to the pollster, 19% of the population also rejects the approach.
León has said that the dialogues in Venezuela have pulverized the hope of the population for a true political solution, and Venezuelans have been skeptical about Maduro’s possible departure. “After several attempts, what has happened is that Maduro is still in power, and there seems to be no credible hope that he is putting him at the exit. Another reality is that the opposition has weakened.
For the economist and political analyst, the current negotiation has a “redirection of expectations, that is, what people expect is not what the parties announce (conditions of the opposition and the regime). People are not confident that this can happen. What the population does believe is that this negotiation can conclude with specific partial agreements and that they can serve the people.
For the director of Datanálisis, “today expectations are re-dimensioned, and there is no doubt that political speeches will always be different from reality.” In that sense, he has said that even the actors who participate in Mexico know that Maduro’s departure is not an option at this time and therefore it is not being considered.
The Venezuelan internationalist has also spoken with ABC Giovanna De Michelle, according to which, even though the circumstances in which this dialogue is taking place “are completely different from the previous ones, there is no real disposition to achieve a peaceful solution to the very serious crisis that is being experienced in Venezuela.” He also said that this time there is greater international pressure than in previous years: “There is a lot of international observation about the development and the eventual outcome of this process.”
In the words of De Michelle, Chavismo is trying to “buy time” to legitimize the elections for governors and mayors on November 21, while the opposition “aspires to a general advance of the elections, including presidential elections.” However, in his opinion, the Maduro regime probably will not accept holding elections of any kind, using as a pretext that the Constitution does not contemplate it.
One failure after another
Since Maduro came to power, after the death of Hugo Chavez In 2013, at least five negotiation processes and political dialogues were carried out in Venezuela. But none of them have managed to depose the Chavista president. And this time, optimism seems to have slipped away. The first attempt to get the two parties to agree to peace occurred in 2016, with the former presidents Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, Martin Torrijo (Panama), Leonel Fernandez (Dominican Republic) and the Vatican as mediators. But the effort was in vain due to differences at the negotiating table.
The following year, and with the protests against Maduro in context, the possibility of a new dialogue table was explored, and after several exploratory meetings in the Dominican Republic, the negotiation failed before finding real solutions for the country. In January 2018, the Chavista and opposition representatives, in an attempt to make a “clean slate”, had a rapprochement with the then Dominican president, Danilo Medina, as a host. After several meetings, the dialogue did not prosper, as the opposition denounced Maduro’s “obstacles” in the process, something that the Chavista regime translated as “pressure” from the United States towards the opposition leadership.
The lethargy culminated in July 2019 when both parties returned to a dialogue table in Barbados, this time with Guaidó at the head of the opposition and Norway for the first time as a facilitator of the negotiation. Two months later, Guaidó, who presided over Parliament, announced that the opposition was ending the dialogue after Chavismo rose from the table in protest against the sanctions imposed by the United States.
The error of the opposition
In the past, the opposition made a very important mistake: generating high expectations in the population with the negotiations. For Luis Vicente Léon, “the opposition was very arrogant previously and said that he was going to the negotiation to discuss the moment, the plane and the people who would go with Maduro to Cuba, Russia or China, and when he said that there was nothing else to do. negotiate”. From his perception, with this approach, “whose only success was Maduro’s exit from power, was a nil success. The opposition went to negotiate with a Maduro who was never destroyed.
Now the current negotiation is developed with a recognition of roles. The opposition recognizes the Government and the regime gives its place to the opposition platform in this new process. “This does not mean that the Government is being recognized as legitimate, but it is being recognized that this Government is the one that controls the territory and the public powers and with whom it is necessary to negotiate.” According to León, “not recognizing who controls power was an unsustainable game over time.”