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The last olive branch

By Luis Manuel Aguana

In all this confusion that has arisen from the official position of the US government with its proposal called Democratic Transition Framework for Venezuela” of March 31st (see official proposal at the only rational political reaction has been that of the Maduro regime, rejecting the proposal. And make no mistake, it is possible that this is precisely what the Americans are looking for. We will see below why.

It would be difficult to understand the new position of the United States government in support of the proposal of cohabitation with the regime formulated by the government in charge of Juan Guaidó (see my last note Emergency Cohabitation, in, bringing from the past the same approaches made in the framework of the dialogue conversations that had taken place in Oslo and Barbados, of a transition government together with representatives of the regime, but without Maduro and Guaidó on the ballot, which brought the unanimous rejection of the opposing country.

And they know for a fact that this is not exactly a solution to the Venezuelan crisis, not only because it ignores the real political situation of the National Assembly which is not even in a position to meet in the Federal Palace by orders of the regime, but because of the shortcut of criminals who hold power in Venezuela, who have in their pockets many - if not most - of the deputies of that official opposition, which is why Guaidó did not want to enter the Chamber on January 5, 2020 when all the opposition factions were already inside. Are those deputies the ones the Americans want to see appointed to a Council of State? I insist, I do not believe in political naivety. What are the Americans looking for then?

My question would not be why the gringos came up with a proposal that fully supports President-in-Charge Juan Guaidó with his National Emergency Government, only hours after it was announced, and after his own Justice Department put a price on the heads of those in power in Venezuela. My question is directed at how they intend to help us resolve the crisis with something they know in advance will not work. I mentioned earlier that things in the United States do not work as they do in other countries.

A year ago I was analyzing the issue of military intervention in Venezuela (see Conflict of interests, in and I repeat what I mentioned on that occasion because it fits in with what I am going to say next: "The American administration functions as an orderly composition of watertight compartments where the only one who has the vision of the whole is the President. Anyone who says that the whole will do or will not do something is not telling the truth because that is only within the competence of the President of the United States. What's more, Elliott Abrams, who is what you can call here a Deputy Foreign Minister in his area, may be saying that and at the same time the DOD (Department of Defense) may be about to launch the troops in Venezuela and the DOS (Department of State), on which Abrams depends, may not even be aware of that maneuver if the President does not inform them, and they may be the last to know internally. Things there do not work as they do here or in any other country. So you see how ridiculous marras' claim is? And even more ridiculous are those who repeat it”. And the statement was precisely "in Venezuela there will be no military intervention by the United States"...

Hours after it was announced -after years of investigations- by an autonomous power of the US State, the Justice Department and the Attorney General, that the main persons of the regime had been pointed out as criminals who should be put at the order of the US justice, with a price on their heads, the same government comes out to support this joint formula of Guaidó where it is possible for characters of the regime pointed out by the Justice Department to position themselves in key positions of a transition government, and suspend their sanctions. What does that mean? That the U.S. Executive Branch made a decision independent of its Judicial Branch for some reason, backing Guaidó's cohabitation plan, which offers not only a lifeline to Maduro and his regime but a whole ship for all of them to jump on. Is that good? I don't think so. Let's see.

As I mentioned at the beginning, the only people who have reacted rationally to this proposal are the characters of the regime. And why do I say this? Because the only ones who would not be saved there are those who have been singled out by the Justice Department because they have concrete and open accusations over their heads; and no matter how much the Trump government that has no power over its justice, or a possible Venezuelan transitional government, saves them with a supposed Council of State Act, they will continue to be sought out and persecuted internationally with a price over their heads. And if these same characters are precisely the ones who hold power in our country, what could be the expected rational response? The one just given by the regime: that they go to hell.

Therefore, this proposal is not viable, no matter how well intentioned or naïve it may have been, or how ignorant of the Venezuelan political reality those who made it may have been, regardless of the fact that it appeared to support the position of Guaidó and its government in charge. In the best case of being able to carry out this proposal, it will be difficult for this "Council of State" described above to end up in the hands of the opposition. It would fall under the control of the "little table" and the PSUV, not to mention the fact that it is unconstitutional for the powers of the President of the Republic to pass into the hands of a body that is not described in the Constitution (points 5 and 6 of the Transitional Framework). But since the Constitution has already been given everything, one more does not make a difference.

Now, if they already know that the proposal is unworkable, what is left? To leave things as they are? That's no longer possible. Maduro and his thousand thieves are fugitives from American justice. What do we do with that? It said at the end of a previous note something that I didn't end up explaining in detail (see After March 26th, in What happens in Venezuela will be decided by who specifically ends up displacing Nicolas Maduro Moros from power and apprehending those designated by the U.S. justice system, including Maduro. If negotiations/cohabitation are not possible, as Guaidó and the G4 aspire to, and the Americans accidentally do, because they want to avoid the inevitable, then the displacement must be forced. And that displacement will take everyone by the horns, G4 included (go soak your fences!). I doubt very much that at this point Guaidó believes that cohabitation with these criminals is still possible. But any stupidity is possible in the absurd world of Venezuelan politics...

If that action is carried out by the military High Command of the current regime and they are handed over to the US authorities, the next thing will be what they decide. And that will not be precisely to look for Guaidó to put him in Miraflores at the expense of the President-in-Charge. The person they designate will take power, with the usual initial decrees that make that legal. If an international military coalition does it because the regime did not accept this last olive branch as a world symbol of peace from the Americans, then it will be the gringos and company who will decide to whom they will hand over power after an intervention, with the same initial legal coverage as any government that begins in those circumstances. The rest is fairy tales and the gringos know it. The clock is ticking for everyone...

Caracas, April 1, 2020


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