To talk or not to talk, that is not the question – Venezuela down the rabbit hole

September 18, 2017Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 9.14.35 AM

To talk or not to talk

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A new attend to broker a dialogue between the Venezuelan autocratic regime, and the embattled opposition will take place in Dominican Republic on September 27. Danilo Medina hosted high-level delegations from Venezuela for two days in the latest foreign-led effort to ease a standoff alarming the world. “We advanced definition of an agenda on Venezuela’s big problems. A commission of friendly countries was agreed,” the Dominican leader told reporters, saying Mexico, Chile, Bolivia, Nicaragua would join the process with others to be announced.

Mexico and Chile have been bitterly critical of President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist government over rights and democracy issues, while fellow leftist-led Bolivia and Nicaragua are staunch allies.

Maduro routinely calls for dialogue, but previously he has used talks as a stalling tactic to help his image without producing concrete results. A dialogue brokered by former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and the Vatican in 2016 did nothing to advance opposition demands. To talk or not to talk, is not the question. There is no other feasible solution to a deep political and humanitarian crisis. But before being played as fools again by the government, the opposition is demanding certain guarantees for de dialogue to take place, these include:

  • Elections with international observers to be scheduled
  • The release of all political prisoners and the lifting of bans imposed on opposition leaders
  • Recognition of the opposition-controlled National Assembly
  • To paid immediate attention to the economic and social crisis

Rather than reform the economy to boost private production and attract foreign investment, that which would reduce starvation rates, Maduro resorts to this rabbit gimmick. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

Venezuela down the rabbit hole

Due to U.S. sanctions, Venezuela’s PDVSA told oil traders it will no longer send or receive payments in U.S. dollars, instead choosing to work with euros. That is the answer “to the economic blockade” given by Vice President Tareck El Aissami who is promising that a basket of foreign currencies will “liberate us from the dollar.” But the policy is self-destructive. A political posturing that will impose self-harm on the Venezuelan economy with no practical purpose.

 

The only new policy designed by the Venezuelan government that could be more extravagant and self defeating is the proposal to raise and distribute rabbits among the poor to prevent an impending famine.

 

To force on desperate Venezuelans an improvised and completely foreign diet with no US$ dollars for the economy could only come from a dictator’s mind in a totalitarian regime going down the rabbit hole.