Once, due to its weight, the international issue began to capture local attention, the regime managed to shift the spotlight and signed an agreement with a mini-opposition, this being a very similar deal to the one that was offered before the fraudulent elections of May 20, 2018. This forced the Frente Amplio to publish the offer that was rejected by the Barbados negotiation regime. It included the creation of a joint executive between both parties and kept the government run alternative congress (ANC) and the Supreme Court in operation until possible elections. This arrangement would not have resolved any of the citizens’ needs, since it did not allow the lifting of any sanctions or the entry of fresh money for that matter. Finally, this all proved that only an opposition aligned with the real stakeholders (United States, Colombia and Brazil) and exerting local pressure will force the regime out. We’ll see when that point is reached. Meanwhile it is not sensible to forget the international situation. The themes of the week are:
- The mega-crisis of the displaced
- The military solution is no longer unthinkable
The mega-crisis of the displaced
The refugee crisis in North Africa and the Middle East has been receiving greater coverage than Venezuela, but it has reached comparable magnitudes, and with the US embargo beginning to have an impact, the scale of the problem can only get much worse, and faster. The volumes of displaced Venezuelans are beginning to exceed the sensible limits of all neighboring countries and in such important media as The Economist they cannot ignore it and so they article titled Millions of refugees from Venezuela are straining neighbors ’hospitality, where they raise the possibility of 8 million Venezuelan refugees.
An institution of great influence and prestige such as Brookings has published the article Get ready for the Venezuela refugee crisis, written by Michael O’Hanlon (Brookings Research Director) and Juan Carlos Pinzón (Colombian Ambassador to the United States and former Minister of Defense) and they warn that “even though things may not reach that extreme, it is easy to imagine scenarios in which ten million Venezuelans become refugees – with many millions more within the country struggling just to survive as the Food sources and public health conditions deteriorate further. ”
The external military solution is no longer unthinkable
Many of us gave little relevance to the TIAR when it was raised, the Right-to-Protect and 187.11seemed much more effective and direct. However, the discussion within the OAS provoked and revealed very important attitudes and concerns and the military option is now definitely in the environment. Two relevant and reliable allies of the Guaidó government, namely Chile and Peru, fought for the “military” wording to be excluded from the text of approval of the TIAR and Peru finally abstained anyway. The most logical explanation is that the other members of the Lima Group have deduced by the positions and the demonstrated disposition that the United States, Colombia and Brazil are indeed seriously considering the possible use of the TIAR as a legal basis for more forceful actions.
Brookings is a serious think-tank, that has been critical of the Trump Administration, and in the aforementioned article on the Venezuelan refugee crisis it develops different scenarios that are necessary to consider: “We trust that neither Colombia nor another Latin American country will propose or support a regime change operation in Venezuela. However, with the presence of the FARC and ELN in the Venezuelan territory dedicated to drug trafficking and illegal mining, Colombia with one of the largest military forces and resources, is well placed to respond in case of an emergency. It may be necessary to create, protect and provide supplies to a large area in which the displaced population takes refuge, either inside or outside Venezuela. This area could be a sanctuary for dissidents, an escape valve for part of the displaced and potentially a location for an eventual opposition government, in what could become a temporarily divided country. Since extremist groups are using the territory of Venezuela to plan actions in Colombia, precise military operations against them will be required in the short term, because the Venezuelan government cannot control its own territory. The time for diplomacy is rapidly slipping away, and this would not be a primarily combat operation, even though it would require units capable of fighting. ”
The effect of the sanctions begins to multiply, and this past week all transnational corporations listed on the New York Stock Exchange, regardless of their national affiliation, cut off their services to the Venezuelan government and its companies, as well as all organizations related to individuals previously sanctioned. These sanctions affect all public services, with the exception of CANTV, so that Internet interruption will not be justified. It will be felt progressively, as there will be failures that cannot be repaired and their impact is spreading to companies such as BOD, outside and inside Venezuela.
It is true that the Russians have allowed the Venezuelan regime to keep Caracas fueled. But the effect on Cuba has already appeared with the Fuel Crisis in Cuba reminiscent of the «special period of the 90s», also generating the “bachaqueo” of gasoline when gasoline becomes the latest black market commodity in Cuba. To top it all off Twitter suspended accounts of the Cuban government.