somewhere Quixotic I want to forget in Georgia
I have just read that you are planning a trip to Venezuela sometime in April, depending how the rioting goes. Right... I also learned that you have written to Maduro and Capriles, arguably the leaders in Venezuela. In particular I note this sentence to Capriles that was picked up by newspapers: "send signals of their willingness to alleviate the present state of tension"; though in all justice you also wrote the following: "It is difficult for elected officials from opposition parties to resolve differences when they feel threatened and persecuted". However, that you assume that in Venezuela today the opposition has concessions it can make do betrays an extremely poor understanding of the situation. Or utter cynicism, your choice.
Please, desist from your trip: you have absolutely no credibility in Venezuela. Here is why.
Your last actions in Venezuela have had disastrous results for the democracy here. When these became obvious you remained strangely silent for years, and only suddenly you wake up again. I will summarize just three of them that would require from you the most sincere apology and attempts to make amends if we are ever to consider you seriously again.
You promoted in 2003-2004 a discussion table so that we would go to a recall election. We should have never had to negotiate on that since it is a constitutional right. But your "negotiation" gave in fact the ability to the regime to manipulate the conditions for that right as it pleased, resulting not only in electoral fraud but also into the Tascon List which it is still in application today. I have yet to read an unambiguous stern condemnation of the Tascon List from your part. In case your forgot, the Tascon List was the list with the names of the millions that signed for a recall election and who since have been actively discriminated against by the regime. Also, the members of that table that you were supposed to protect have done poorly since, without a word of protection from you. In short, your lenience toward Chavez then was a nice stepping stone for the abuses that came later.
You called very early, too early, the result of the recall election of 2004 as fair. You always refused to look at the statistical evidence presented by many people that questioned the quality of the result. By doing so you gave an argument to Chavez supporters around the world that this was the "best" electoral system even though with time even the Carter Center has come to acknowledge some problems. Following this laxity we got an outright stealing of election in April 2013 that we are waiting, by the way, for the Carter Center to at least make a strong "exhortation". In short, your blind eye to early electoral violations have not only allowed for Chavez autocracy to consolidate but has allowed Venezuela to lose free and fair elections altogether.
A few months after the recall election you interceded so that your friend and noted narcissistic opportunist Gustavo Cisneros would not be hurt too much by Chavez after his initial opposition. Maybe you wanted to keep fishing pabon in peace with him? Whatever that meeting was it started with the political self neutering of Venevision network, which was followed by the closing of RCTV, its main business competition and little by little in the end of freedom of expression and information on the air waves of Venezuela. Have you ever expressed regrets? Cisneros certainly has not. In short, you are in part, large part maybe, responsible that in Venezuela today we have lost freedom of expression.
Based on these three items I shiver at the thought of what future calamity your announced visit would bring to us. Maybe the validation of concentration camps so that protesting students could cool off for a few years while not endangering themselves or the community?
I can assure you that half of the country has no respect nor credibility for you and the other half thinks you are a mere fool that they can use and discard as needed.
I think that not only you should desist from your trip, but should never mention us again. You have cursed us enough as it is. We will appreciate your future silence since nothing good ever comes from your statements on Venezuela. Worry not, I am sure we will find more worthy mediators.
Note: this does not apply necessarily to the Carter Center who could be considered for future elections as it has shown signs to finally understand how unfair elections are. They do not have credit or trust in Venezuela but they can still do amends if they operate together with objective organizations like the European Union observers. But you, we do not want. If you were to persist in coming after this letter I promise to do my best to counter your visit, circulating petitions, picketing myself your hotel if needed, even if the Nazional Guard of Venezuela starts beating me up because of you.