Today we had one more episode of the painful soap: dialogue in Santo Domingo. Apparently there was, or there was not, a draft, or a pre-draft, agreement, or an agreement to make an agreement someday. Who knows? Probably even the people in Santo Domingo are not quite certain of what the hell they are doing there.
To make things crystal clear to readers I am just going to point out two things.
One brief: the last truly neutral observer, Chile, has decided to withdraw its observation until the parts decide to become serious. Translation: the Maduro regime is not serious so Chile is not going to spend further tax money on junket trips to Santo Domingo. Mexico and Paraguay got the point earlier. In front of the Venezuelan opposition MUD negotiators there are left the chavista ones, with their observers of Bolivia, Nicaragua and Saint Vincent (a tough choice for most corrupt one) and the umpires who are no umpires, the president of Dominicana and Zapatero. Why the MUD is still sitting befuddles me.
The second thing is a tiny bit longer. There is no negotiation possible. The opposition wants fair elections. The regime cannot give that because they will lose in fair elections. The opposition wants to annul the illegal constituent assembly. The regime cannot allow that because it is their own guarantee against any return to office of the opposition. All the rest, political prisoners, humanitarian aid and the like are mere details, props that the MUD tries to use to justify its sitting at a negotiation table where they know deep down that no negotiation will ever take place.
The regime cannot yield because losing power means jail for too many of them. If the opposition leadership were to recognize the illegal C.A. it would be its end as no one would go and vote for them, not even for dog catcher.
As long as the regime does not decide of its willingness to leave power there is no negotiation possible, international sanctions notwithstanding. Only then could we have a true negotiation, the one that decides the time table of regime withdrawal, and the tolerable amnesty that shall be included.
Al the rest is B.S., just one more regime strategy to gain time.