Act 1 was the expulsion of Spain's ambassador to Venezuela. The regime clearly sought to pick up a fight with Spain's government starting with Maduro's own lewd comment on a sexual position that Mariano Rajoy should take so the Venezuelan people would have a better go at him. Whether disappointed by the muted reaction of Rajoy who dismissed Maduro as a nothingness or the sanctions of Europe against 7 high ranking Venezuelan officials, Maduro decided to expel the Spanish ambassador in Venezuela. I suppose that in their minds, those of Maduro and his foreign office, they thought that Rajoy just asked the 28 EU countries to write those sanctions as some form of revenge. After all, this is how it works inside the regime where Maduro or Diosdado call the high court to jail of disbar whoever they want. But in the EU that is not the way.
Act 2 was Argentinian president Mauricio Macri visiting French president in Paris, both fresh out of the Davos summit where both did rather well. During the press conference to everyone's surprise, probably even Macri's, Macron had the strongest words against the Venezuelan regime heard from any European head of state so far, and as strong or stronger than those of Trump or Santos. He said that the authoritarian drift of the regime was unacceptable and that the EU should apply further sanctions, as well as other countries (I am looking at you Macri).
|Guy Savoy may not be offering arepas in his menu but|
lack of food in Venezuela may have been in the talks.
The Macrons night out with the Macris.
We can learn a few things from that. First, for Macron to come out so strongly during a press conference without notes means only one thing: he is well informed on the Venezuelan dossier and has taken a personal interest in it. In serious countries the president or chancellor or prime minister is the last one to speak, when all decisions are already taken. Preliminaries trial balloons are left for foreign ministers and the like. When intellectual Macron speaks that is that.
The second thing is that not only Europe is willing to act (following the US and Canada had) but it is sending a clear message: the group of Lima, first 12 countries and now 14, is asked to start taking actions. That is, they had the nice talk against Maduro's regime but it is time for them to go beyond words. They cannot leave all the dirty work to the others. We must note that for better or for worse Macron is currently the leader of Europe. The UK is plagued by Brexit and Theresa May seems clearly in deep water; Merkel is neverendingly trying to form a government; Italy is getting ready for elections; and Spain still emerging from its crisis does not have yet the weight to be a singing voice there. So, for the time being Macron is the stable leadership filling up the temporary vacuum and as such they all sort of agree on that. And certainly countries like Sweden, Netherlands etc. are seeing eye to eye against Venezuela.
Which bring us to act 3, the poor reaction of Venezuela. We are certain of one thing, Venezuela read poorly the potential European reaction. First, they clearly do not understand that EU decisions of that nature must be taken unanimously, or at least unopposed. That is, even Greece's Tzipras did not go against the EU sanction decided a week ago. The second thing is that European solidarity is much stronger than Venezuela ever expected. Insulting Rajoy and then pretending to be the aggrieved party by expelling his ambassador is seen as an insult for all EU countries. I mean, Casa Amarilla did not have the talent to expel the resident EU ambassador in Caracas, they just cowardly, and for obscure and racist reasons, picked up on the Spanish one.
The communique against Macron words by the foreign ministry at Casa Amarilla will remain an example on what not to write, whether Macron is right being besides the point. Never mind that the communique to refute the EU on the expulsion of the Spanish ambassador speaks of all but the reasons why Venezuela felt justified in expelling the said ambassador. A very messed up structure at Casa Amarilla, what happens when all career diplomats are replaced with incompetent and ignorant people put there because they will not be red faced when they utter the most stupid inanities. In both communiques the regime cannot argue, just mock. Simply pathetic, a text book case of ideological but incompetent diplomacy that more than likely does not even benefit at the home front since the chavista lumpen will not understand the references....
Act 4 has started to unfold as Macri today felt emboldened to state that Argentina will not recognize the presidential elections to be held in current conditions. He is joining other countries that have already said so. We must note in Macri's words the following:
"A esta altura creo que a Maduro no le interesa nada de lo que se le planteé, él tiene claro que quiere tener un dominio sobre Venezuela por muchos años y aquel que no le guste lo que hace, lo que tiene que hacer es irse de Venezuela". At this point I believe that Maduro does not care about anything that he is told, he is certain that he wants to retain domination of Venezuela for many years and whomever does not like what he does has just leave Venezuela.
Which is the crux of the matter in the renewed rejection of Maduro's dictatorship, a refugee crisis of dimensions never expected in the Western hemisphere, just so that a camarilla of military narco gangsters can go unscathed while keeping disturbing the whole area.
1- The thread I wrote last night in Spanish late, and developed more here in English. It is 4 tweets in a row.
Si fuese chavista yo no me sacudiría las palabras de @EmmanuelMacron hoy. Aún más si las dijo frente a @mauriciomacri en su visita a Francia.— daniel duquenal (@danielduquenal) January 27, 2018
Eso demuestra varias cosas: