It is hazardous to write a post with such a title: it passes its expiration date before I press "publish". But since Maduro canceled at the very last minute his trip to Chile Bachelet's swearing in, we might give it a shot.
First, about that trip. I am not going to echo wild rumors that he could not go because it would have been kind of a one way ticket for him... I think that there are much more reasonable explanations to be found. See, Maduro had called for a UNASUR meeting following the swearing in of Bachelet, thinking that he could count on a favorable support from them. But I suspect that he realized this was not a sure thing. Why?
If UNASUR was unwilling at first to do anything to monitor the Venezuelan situation it was due to two factors: many South America countries have big business with Venezuela and other have internal situations that at the moment cannot allow them to risk a volley of insults from Maduro and co., like Panama just suffered. But in the last two weeks things must have been changing. This is my speculation on that.
Big debtor countries are realizing that Maduro remaining in office is no guarantee that they will get paid someday. The way the economy is tanking is actually a deterrent to trust Maduro with Venezuelan debt. At this point, threatening him a little is not necessarily a bad idea, the more so if it is done behind closed doors at a UNASUR meeting. I have named of course Brazil.
Santos of Colombia was basically paralyzed because of the general elections coming and the FARC negotiations. The FARC are not helping and since they receive support from Venezuela, well, you get the point. But if last Sunday Santos lost some ground in the legislative elections he is not only able to still cobble together some kind of majority and he is basically now a shoo in for reelection. Since in addition Venezuela also owes big $$$ , there is no reason for Santos now to be more direct in his approach.
Peru government was fooled April 2013 when Maduro promised a real electoral audit that never happened. Since this was at a specially convoked UNASUR session by Peru, there is no reason why Peru would not decide now not to pass its bill.
The Venezuelan crisis has an effect in Chile. The large Venezuelan exile community was ready to protest on inauguration day! In addition, the idiocy of unreconstructed commies and socialists who blithely say that Caracas 2014 is like Santiago 1973 is creating a wedge in Bachelet's coalition before she is sworn in as the christian democrats in decline are still strong enough to cause her plenty of problems is they were to break from the concertacion turned into nueva mayoria. The woman does not need the aggravation and it will cost her little to side with the CD, score big trust points with business and remind the commies that if they are back close to power it is because she is willing to suffer it, not because they are imposing themselves.
Not to mention that Paraguay is a foe, that Uruguay is a maverick getting close to election time where it needs to convince moderate voters to remain in office and there you have: after promoting UNASUR as the only group to be invited to discuss Venezuela, the regime suddenly feels that not even UNASUR is safe anymore.
But Maduro is not helping his cause. First, he would have arrived today with yet one more student death and another one in coma. Clearly in now a month and a week, protests show no sign to go down though they are starting to change and style. No one in LatAm fails to notice how incompetent Maduro and his regime are at finding a way out, how they are unable to consider anything else but repression and insult. It is now impossible for the regime to hide that its only active "support" is Nazional Guards and, more importantly, paramilitaries. The chavista hoi polloi remains deadly quiet compared to the opposition one.
Second, today as he did not go to Chile, Maduro decided to start a radio program. So, what is the problem you say? I will start by telling you that this may be a sign that Maduro was already planning not to go to Chile and had already set up his alternative agenda. Nice touch for the Chilean ambassador, even if that one may be delighted by the absence of Maduro. But it gets worse when you hear some of the declarations of that radio show to get in touch with the needs of el pueblo.
The opposition cannot get to marching into Caracas. I suppose this means that Caracas is now the capital of only chavista Venezuelans.
The opposition are cowards that should sit down in front of him: he wants to see their face. Nice way to promote a dialogue to find peace.
The mayor of Chacao is wimp who directs the guarimabas. If he has evidence for it why has he not arrested him yet? After all Lopez is in jail for way less than what he accuses Muchacho of.
Guarimberos cash in two monthly minimum wages a week. OK, Maduro did not say that, but his interior minister. He shows no real proof for that. It is financially impossible. And it is ludicrous enough that only official propaganda media reports it. But I am putting it because all of these go so well together. That is just the excuse they are trying to make up to blame on Muchacho all the abuses committed by the regime in Chacao and Altamira.
I am sure that all of this will be duly reported to all the foreign ministers that may be inclined to help Maduro. It is not going to make their jobs any easier.
So let's leave a regime that is trapped in a vicious cycle of lies and repression and let's look where the opposition is at. Not much in a way. Capriles or anyone else is able to direct the marches that are non stop. Lopez is in jail but his movement is directing a march tomorrow to demand the resignation of the ombudsman who had the temerity to throw into relativism torture, the first step to make it legal. Another good move for the regime international cause, by the way.
The fact of the matter is that the opposition leadership is following, not leading the protest and if by any chance someone had an IT moment that person could suddenly become the leader to overthrow the regime. That easy. That is why the regime is so nervous, so willing to say anything anywhere anytime as long as we do not talk about the real problem: since I have been in Caracas I have seen with my own eyes how food and medicine stocks are going down.