Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Dialogue and Words in Venezuela

In a variety of ways, the Venezuelan government is indicating that it is open to dialogue. The Venezuelan ambassador to the OAS noted that:

“El diálogo está abierto inclusive para hablar sobre aquello en lo que estamos en desacuerdo, no todas las quejas las consideramos válidas, pero estamos dispuestos a escuchar y tenemos ya algún tiempo discutiendo con la oposición”, expresó Chaderton, en entrevista con CNN.

The government has said similar things before, and there is one problem. If you look at President Maduro's own words, through the state news agency, you see that "dialogue" is accompanied by accusations that the other side are fascists, coup makers, racists, arrogant, and abusive ultra-right militia joiners. In that story alone, he says "fascist" or "fascism" ten times.

At this point neither side seems interested in dialogue. Indeed, the mere phrase "la salida" makes that clear on the opposition side. Maduro says he wants dialogue but it's tough to take that very seriously given all his other comments. When Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos (who has had a pretty positive relationship with both Hugo Chávez and Maduro) suggested dialogue, Maduro basically told him to shut up and butt out.

So where does that leave Venezuela? The military has already declared itself on the government's side, which makes this a very different situation from Honduras in 2009 or even Venezuela in 2002. Chávez worked for years to transform the military, and in the absence of any obvious splits (of course, plenty is going on that we don't know about) a coup is unlikely. If there is no dialogue, then it seems the country waits for the protests to peter out. Even if there is financing top keep it going and organized, people get tired of having their lives disrupted. Will they tire out?


Herrera,  7:28 AM  

There has been fifteen years of dialog invitations attached to 155.788 deaths...

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