VENEZUELA Economic-Political Crisis: International Mediation Efforts amid Local Miscommunication and Distrust

Many local and international entities are advocating for "peace" in Venezuela. But definitions of "peace" vary significantly. Photo (c) Globovision 2016Many local and international entities are advocating for "peace" in Venezuela. But definitions of "peace" vary significantly. Photo (c) Globovision 2016

Dialogue facilitators between the Venezuelan government and opposition have called to “stop the campaign of public disqualification” to advance the process that seeks to reverse its political and economic crisis.

“We call upon all political leaders of the National Government and the Bureau of Democratic Unity (MUD) to respect the content and spirit of the ‘Living in Peace'” Joint Declaration  adopted on November 12, by the secretariat of Union of South American Nations (UNASUR).

The document requests to “stop the campaign of public disqualifications that does not contribute to peaceful coexistence” in Venezuela, in order to “preserve the achievements” reached after meetings that began on October 30.

The Secretary General of UNASUR, Ernesto Samper, the mediation representative of the Vatican, Monsignor Claudio Maria Celli, and former heads of state Leonel Fernandez (Dominican Republic), José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero (Spain) and Martín Torrijos (Panama) accompanies the dialogue between the Venezuelan government and the opposition alliance, MUD.

Photo (c) La Patilla 2016

Multiple international public figures have become involved in Venezuela’s internal destabilization affairs. Photo (c) La Patilla 2016

Last Saturday, both parties committed themselves to maintaining a “peaceful, respectful and constructive coexistence” in order to find a way to solve the on-going socio-economic and political crisis.

Recent talks have also discussed whether the opposition will reactivate a recall referendum against President Nicolas Maduro, whose proceedings were suspended on October 20, or to hold elections for the first quarter of 2017.

The next meeting is scheduled for 6 December.


Photo (c) Noticiero Digital 2016

Opposition has expressed concern for the dialogue’s mutual  implementability. Photo (c) Noticiero Digital 2016

Mayor Carlos Ocariz, one of the opposition delegates amid talks with the government, has called on UNASUR and other entities to demand President Maduro’s compliances with the agreements reached so far.

“We demand mediators and UNASUR that they put on their pants and demand that the Government clarify, fulfill and agree to their promises,” the politician told media.

Faced with this, the mayor of Caracas claimed that they will continue to fight the  Government until their “fundamental rights” are returned.

More recently, a dozen Venezuelan student union representatives gathered before the Spanish embassy in Caracas to demand the former head of the Spanish government, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, a mediator in the country’s dialogue, to concretize the results of those talks.

Photo (c) Andes 2016

Many student protests that reach English-language mass media sources are backed by opposition entities. Photo (c) Andes 2016

The students – mainly MUD backed – also asked for the results of the dialogue agreements between the Government and the opposition to be put into practice.

“We Venezuelans need results and Venezuelans want to see concrete facts to exercise our right to vote,” said Hasler Iglesias, president of the Federación de Centros Universitarios of the Central University of Venezuela (FCU-UCV).

The dialogue between Nicolás Maduro’s government and the opposition began on 30 October and during the second meeting, held on 11 November, agreements were reached at various points required by the MUD opposition alliance. These agreements, by the Government, include the release of prisoners and the entry of medicines and food into the country.


Photo (c) The Guardian 2013

Although no longer President of the National Assembly, Diosdado Cabello continues to be known as the “second in command” of national officialism. Photo (c) The Guardian 2013

Despite opposition demands, many Chavistas dismiss the possibility of dialogue propositions, including general elections for the first quarter of 2017.

Among the most prominent officialist voices is former President of the National Assembly, Diosdado Cabello, who claims to see “no future for dialogue” in Venezuela.

“I hope (this recent dialogue) is successful, but I do not see much future, especially when these people (opposition) say that their demand is that there must be general elections in the first quarter of 2017, that if not they rise. There will be no general elections, “Cabello said in an interview on the private Televen channel.

Cabello added that such early elections would “violate the Constitution”, while opposition leader Lilian Tintori counter-argues that early elections would contrarily respect said document.

About the Author

Ailana Navarez
Ailana Navarez is Editor-in-Chief of Pulsamerica Mangazine and Deputy Editor of International Policy Digest. She has published over 100 international relations-related articles as a political analyst / journalist with a concentration in Latin American political leadership analysis, commerce, international relations, history and security affairs. As a photographer, she has covered international summits – including of MERCOSUR and the UN. She has also written for World Press. Navarez holds a BA in Government and Psychology at Harvard, pursuing an MA in Homeland Security at Penn State, and is certified in Competitive Counter Intelligence, Technical Surveillance Countermeasures and Countering Terrorism & the Asset Threat Spectrum. She speaks English, Spanish, Portuguese and Hawaiian Creole.