Following Venezuela from afar is a painful exercise. All that I see are missed opportunities and grand thuggery in action. Not surprising of course when you know the actors. What is most offensive though is the reaction of these actors; as if they expected the outcome to be different than what was predictable.
I am speaking for all, not only the opposition post April 30 debacle, but also the regime failure to come up with a solution to its power holding problems, only insuring that everything will happen again. And let's not forget the international community either desperately clueless or desperately weak (or both).
Whatever was the intent of April 30 it looks now like a botched attempt. True; they were probably forced into an early "uprising" and yet it is not quite the excuse. My feeling is that as usual there was no plan B, not even a plan to minimize the damage least all turned out awry. But what could the opposition expect when dealing with character like the well known thug that presides the high court; Mikel Moreno, who in any normal country would not even be allowed to work as doorman to a lower countryside court?
I have no doubt that the opposition was somewhat betrayed on April 30: it was double crossed. maybe even triple and quadruple crossed. You do not conspire with people that have been conspiring for decades: experience will allow them to roll over you as they please. I suppose it had to be attempted. One day we will read it all in history books.
The regime was shell shocked on April 30. I think that not all of them knew what was going on, and since they know all about conspiracy they probably overdid it, not knowing or understanding who was truly conspiring against whom. Regardless, the regime survived for another day, but its reaction was dismal and only bringer of worse days to come in its survival struggle. One useless reaction has been to jail and prosecute dozens of representatives, one of them the vice president of the National Assembly who after three weeks we do not know whether he is alive and well. The repressor image remains alive and well enhanced.
Meanwhile the obsession of survival has left the regime totally oblivious of the economic disaster upon us. To the lack of electricity and water, add now the lack of gas. If it is uncomfortable for the populace, the main threat is not in people pestering, it is in whatever little production the country could still manage. That terrible needed production is at a standstill or erratic, depending whether a blackout happens, whether delivery trucks can find gas. One can imagine that the apparent slow down in hyperinflation may be due to that, nothing to buy, no actual paper cash to buy anything anyway, in addition to pauperizing the country, of course. No goods, no money, no inflation. Il suffisait d'y penser.
While we await the outcome of a regime lost in its own troubles we could look outside for help, but little can be expected. After April 30 we had all sorts of reactions, all equally unhelpful. I mean, can't they put enough pressure on Maduro to force him to at least show evidence that the VP of the National Assembly is still alive? International gatherings go and come. Nobody holds their breath anymore. And then there is Oslo where out of nowhere the regime sat down with opposition envoys. For nothing, as expected. The regime asks for sanctions to be lifted in exchange of vague electoral promises. The opposition wants Maduro gone and real elections held. No agreement is possible. Why talk? That little Oslo bit of talking, necessary anyway since one day there will be the need to sit down and make a deal, caused more harm than good. The regime did not benefit on anything, and probably made its case worse as Norway will be a prime witness of its cynicism. Neither did the opposition benefit. Some of our allies did not approve of such improvised (?) negotiations. Other were miffed not to have been warned. Nobody is happy about Oslo, not outside, not at home as this junket to Oslo revived older self destructive wounds of "dialogues" past.
May has been a month where books can be written from. Had I been in Venezuela writing as before you would have been bombarded by at least one post a day. Now, from here, this simple post seems already too long.
The truth remains unchanged: the regime is a corrupt narco state whose "leaders" know they face jail if they do not have power to shield them from that fate. There is no possible peaceful compromise possible. These thugs have shown that they have absolutely no respect for basic human rights, even less so for their own harried supporters. The only way out is through some show of force. The very least is to have the accusations at the Hague criminal court prospering and Interpol post indictments capture orders; not only on the culprits but also on those who benefit from them, family and friends. Why that has not happened in full force yet is a mystery, but the longer the delays the closer to a terrible military intervention we get.
But then again, the problem may be becoming to whom give Venezuela after intervention.