One should never forget that the crisis in Venezuela is also about Venezuela and its place in the world. All is not played at Caracas alone and the world is wondering what it will do with the ruins of Venezuela that will still be seating over quite a nice pile of oil, hydroelectric power and even some usable agriculture as the world will run out of arable land.
As such, UNASUR, the faulty creation of Brazil's Lula as a lame attempt at excluding the US from its own hemisphere policy making, is facing doom at its first real challenge ever. The more so when idiots like Uruguay president Mujica come out on a CNNE interview implying that only the opposition in Venezuela is violating its constitution when CNNE has been proving it otherwise for months now. Mujica positioning squarely on Maduro's side is simply scandalous: he is either and idiot, either misinformed, unforgivable for a president, or either simply vicious. Not excluding the three together, obviously.
The problem of UNASUR is that even if there is a unanimous interest in preserving the status quo in Venezuela (the only ones that could have expressed a dissenting opinion having being duly neutralized) it is failing at that, and losing face along the way. In short, the South American security organization is demonstrating that not only it cannot influence events in Venezuela, but that it will be unlikely to do so anywhere else in the sub-continent. Heck, even Ecuador's Correa has expressed misgivings on Venezuela economic decisions as the source of all the trouble. That can only mean that UNASUR is more and more reluctant to support what appears to be a loser and that its secret agenda may be in fact to substitute Maduro for a more acceptable chavista. Well, one can always speculate, no?
That is the outlook I chose to comment on what happened today, the closed doors meeting between the UNASUR delegation and the opposition MUD where this one drew the line in the sand. That line is simple: the regime needs to prove that it means a real dialogue, that it means to go back on the road of creating working institutions as the only way to face the economic and political crisis. The ways to reach that goal may be discussed but not the goal. And this was served to the UNASUR, telling them to go and talk to Maduro and Cabello and if they fail, please, stop wasting our time.
They did not say that in these words of course. But that is what it all meant today. After all, time is running out for the MUD as it failed to include the hard core protest, the visionary politicians, the students in the "negotiation team". You know that the MUD feels cornered when you read the extensive interview Capriles gave today, which in my opinion did not help him much even though he toughened his stance somewhat. He still seems lost at sea, he still seems to fail to understand what is truly going on in Venezuela, he still does not seem to appreciate the extent of the economic tsunami on its way. Or worse, he prefers not to see reality. And he certainly did not read, nor could possibly understand I add, the Aguiar OpEd of today announcing the danger of a decisive split inside the opposition.
But things are not rosy for chavismo either, which should make UNASUR even more reluctant to accompany Maduro until the bitter end. For example, we learn that the July congress of the PSUV, Maduro's party, will "debate" only ideological matters and that there will be no questioning of authority, no change, no nothing. That is, PSUV not only represses democracy outside, but it reveals itself more Leninist than ever.
But it gets better: Maduro announced Saturday that now he will create "communal militia", that is, the unconstitutional system of communes to replace the constitutional system of states and districts, will be supplemented with its very own militia system. Of course, besides creating yet a new network of fascist control and denunciation, it is also an acknowledgement that Maduro, and the regime, fear more and more an outright military intervention.
The question is: will Maduro understand that perhaps, just perhaps, throwing a few real bones to the MUD will do him more good than harm? I am not holding my breath. It is for UNASUR to decide whether it will sink with Maduro or it will wake up and rise above ideology. Let's say that I ain't holding no breath neither.