Contributed by Joe Montero
Although not making so many headlines as a few months ago, the situation in Venezuela is moving along.
Since the American backed and self-proclaimed president Juan Guaido, failed in his attempt to stage a coup, and the subsequent corruption allegations involving many of his aids, his flame has dimmed considerably.
The news coming out of Venezuela suggests that the mood of the population is shifting further against the US backed opposition.
No more Trump rally 11 August
Video by AP Archive
The Trump administration in Washington, it turns out, has been involved in behind the scenes talks with Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro government’s representatives for months. Guido has been involved in secret talks since last February.
This is quite a different picture to the one that has been presented by Washington.
The attempted coup- failure led to international peace talks brokered by Norway. Guido attended. Donald Trump condemned the talks and told Guido not to take part, and by doing so showed a major breach in unity.
All this while secret talks were being carried out with the Maduro government.
Paralleling these talks, there have been internal talks in Venezuela, between the government and some of the opposition parties and prominent people. They have been called the National Dialogue Table for Peace, and have achieved an agreement, where the National Assembly, previously boycotted by pro-government deputies and declared null and void.
The Assembly will be recalled. They n boycott is over and a new election for its deputies will be held within months. Juan Guaido remains its president by agreement, at least for now.
A key point of agreement is a policy on the lifting of sanctions in exchange for oil.
The objective of the agreement is to maintain the nation’s sovereignty, by building the broadest possible unity among the political forces and the population in general.
Those opposition parties that have become involved, said that they had made mistakes and it is time to correct them, and that talking and not confrontation is the best way to work out differences.
It is not likely that this shift will reverse the political transformation of Venezuela over the last twenty years of the Bolivarian revolution. But it stands a good chance of involving other forces in the nation’s development.
Guaido has denounced the talks, called them a distraction, and headed straight to the United States for support.
Venezuelans signing the petition
Video by Ruptly
Another significant event, was last week’s presentation by Venezuela’s vice-president on a massive petition to the United Nations General Assembly. More than 13 million Venezuelans signed the No More Trump campaign petition collected over a month, till 10 September. It demands the lifting of the sanctions imposed on the country. This represents most of the Venezuela’s adult population.
Venezuela’s Vice-President Addresses General Debate, 74th Session
Video by the United Nations
Meanwhile, Nicolas Maduro has been on an extensive trip to Russia, where a new trade deal has been signed. Cooperation with China has also been stepping up.
A delegation led by Diosdado Cabello, first vice-chairman of the ruling United Socialist Party (PSUV) and president of the National Constituent Assembly (ANC), visited Vietnam and North Korea, where further where further agreements for cooperation were made.
Two results of the changing situation are that the threat of a naval blockade has lessened, and the threat of a military invasion is no longer as immediate a danger as it was only months ago.
Pro Juan Guaido rallies continue. But the numbers are now much smaller and dwindling.
The strategy of the Maduro government is to build a unity across the political spectrum that will make it much harder for the United States led sanctions to continue.
Conditions remain fluid and could easily change at any moment. The reaction of Washington is going to be important. Either the opportunity to get out of a messy situation will be taken advantage of, or there will be a digging in of the heals. The sanctions could easily be maintained regardless. The military option is always there.
Washington’s goal to strengthen it influence over Latin America remains. A loss in Venezuela would be a considerable setback. There is the oil as well. Control over reserves accounting to 80 percent of the world’s known supply, would be a strategic coup for Washington and extremely profitable for the American oil companies.
Venezuela’s vice president also presented the United Nations with evidence of Colombian military camps just across the border and for use as springboards for incursion into Venezuelan territory.
Whatever happens, international opinion is going to important.
the world must be informed about what is going on and public opinion mobilised, to ensure that the people of Venezuela are supported in pursuing a peaceful future, and achieving their right to choose the direction of their nation’s development.