Monday, February 23, 2015

Ernesto Samper on Venezuela

UNASUR President Ernesto Samper issued a statement about the Venezuelan crisis.

Considero que la próxima visita de los Cancilleres puede ser muy útil en el propósito de contribuir a una despolarización del ambiente político que se vive en la hoy compleja realidad de Venezuela y ayudar a concitar un acuerdo nacional sobre el manejo de temas como el ajuste social de la economía que parece ser inevitable.

Diplomatic talk is generally vague and hopeful, but this is exceedingly so. I can't think of any way in which the visit of a few foreign ministers will contribute to depolarization, particularly when one of the ministers will be coming from Ecuador. This statement/visit is prompted by the arrest of Antonio Ledezma and at the very least the visit will have no impact on depolarization of the ministers don't question that arrest--but that will no happen.

I found it interesting that Samper suggests there could be some sort of national accord on economic reform, which he calls "inevitable." This is one way in which he deviates from the line about "economic war." If he believed it were such, he wouldn't be talking about reform. In an interview he mentioned it again:

"Para mí es claro que el telón de fondo de esta crisis es la situación económica que puede afectar e, incluso, llegar a comprometer la estabilidad democrática de Venezuela"

This is the point I'll be paying more attention to. Samper appears to be saying that easing the economic crisis will reduce political tension. That may or may not be true, but he seems to believe it enough that he wants UNASUR to be involved in facilitating national discussion about it.


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