It is necessary to repeat this over and over: the current Venezuelan regime CANNOT yield to a democratic transition. Its leadership is way too compromised in particularly obscene corruption to which you add drug trafficking big scale. If they lose power these people will end up in jail, in Venezuela or outside. Even if some sort of amnesty is pronounced as they know only too well that amnesties only last so long: see Pinochet, the Argentine army, etc...
In short there is about a couple of hundred "officials" that are perfectly aware that there is no future for them outside of holding to power for dear life. A peaceful democratic exit is not possible with such a crowd. We tried already 3 times and it failed the three times. They will kill as needed and with today shock media they do not need to kill that many to browbeat down irate crowds. At this point the only way out for Venezuela crisis is considerably accrued international pressure and creation of an international safe haven for the top tier of the regime.
If you do not agree with this then you are either a chavista/commie or an idiot, though admittedly one does not exclude the other. In any case you have nothing to do in this blog and you can stop reading right here. Have a nice day!
Now back to those who understand what is truly going on in Venezuela.
The state of this top tier is rather dire in spite of all appearances and alleged political victories as reported by idiotic journos in search of a headline, any headline before they move elsewhere for the next one. You know who you/they are even though most of them have stopped reading real blogs that know better.
Thus nothing has changed on that regime hold. Except perhaps the description of the groups inside chavismo. There are only two now, even though there may be complicated inner divisions inside each group. But even though there may be two, or more, groups inside of chavismo we must grant them something: their disciplined public outreach. We know that some would not mind a nice and nasty bloody purge, but from their public declarations you would not know it. That is the strength of the dictatorship today, as things worsen even the inner dissidence is willfully planned and included in the message. All mirrors. On the opposition side you have cacophony and the ensuing collapse. The will of power of these people cannot be underestimated. For example, while the country tries to find some solace through the holidays the illegal constituent assembly is hard at work, while some of the opposition leadership is nowhere to be seen, having discreetly left on vacation........
The two groups within chavismo struggling to impose over each other are the know-nothing and the somewhat scared ones.
The know-nothing are those that want no negotiation, no compromise. Nothing, regardless of the international consequences. The consequences at home do not matter for them: they will kill/jail/maim/send-into-exile whomever they need to get rid of. Period.
In this group we can include Diosdado Cabello reputed as a top capo. And many of the military that carried the repression and murders of earlier this year. They know their fate is sealed: they need to retain office for as long as possible until they have at least time to place into safety their relatives and friends. The recent guilty verdict against the nephews of Maduro in New York with quite a few guaranteed years of jail did not mellow them. Their crimes are much worse than those of these two idiots.
The other group is the one that thinks that perhaps some negotiation is advisable. They do not have the guts to murder what it takes to retain power (but a few crimes do not scare them, mind you). What motivates them is elsewhere. They know who the know-nothing are. They know that one day they will strike. They know that the day will come when the hunger riots become real business and real repression may come then. They know that they might be brought down in the cross fire, either by angry mobs or by the know-nothing on rampage. They also know that if the know-nothing prevail they will be the ones purged so as to place the blame on them. Etc. In short they know how a thug drug trafficker totalitarian state work and they are not on the good side of that leadership.
But that negotiating group is weak an unorganized for the task at hand. The "dialogue" proposal came from them but it was not heartfelt, dialoguistas do not understand that they would have to yield some real power. In short they think that as long as they are less harsh on the opposition this one would support them against the know-nothing. Whatever it is, it is not going to work because the know-nothing have been able to counter and sabotage any move the dialoguistas may have advanced, good or bad.
Who are those dialoguistas? Hard to say. It seems that the official top shrink psychopath Jorge Rodriguez may be one of them in that he would very much like to enjoy his riches in peace and perhaps even get some social position. Yes, he craves that as any serious psychopath craves. Heck, why not include even Maduro? As a "legal" ex-president he could get a much better exile situation that any other guy. And certainly his sinister wife Cilia Elena Florescu understands that. Unfortunately for them as long as they do not stick together better, as long as they do not accept that a transition is the inevitable outcome of a serious negotiation, they are doomed to fail and be hung high and dry by any of the other parties, from the opposition to the know-nothing.
So this is what is in charge, so to speak. You need to understand that and keep it in mind as you look to other aspects of the crisis. If you do not do that nothing else will make sense. And do not trust nicely packaged media: if you do not detect some of what I wrote above, the naked truth unfortunately, you are not dealing with serious writers. Fancy perhaps, serious no.