Monday, March 09, 2015

The extraordinary failure of UNASUR

I was going to write a scathing post in Spanish about the visit of a UNASUR delegation to Caracas yesterday but reading Twitter this week end I realized that no one in Venezuela was fooled. No need to write in Spanish to add water to the mill.  My criticism of Ernesto Samper and Maria Angela Holguin would be more useful in English.

For those that can be excused not to know about UNASUR, this organization is limited to countries in South America. It was the brain child of Lula as a way for Brazil to 1) exclude the US from that region (and weaken OAS, always a potential problem for rogue regimes) 2) be an instrument for Brazil to control the rest of the subcontinent, if anything due to its sheer size now that there would be no US counterweight and 3) shoulder up the leftists regimes getting into place in the area. Of course, such an organization set up in the interest of some political groups rather than the interests of nations was doomed from the start. Chavez joined in eagerly as he thought it a mean to lead in South America. Lula allowed him to believe he was doing so when in fact Chavez was doing Brazil's dirty work, etc. That Colombia and Paraguay joined in reluctantly did not help, but I suppose that they thought it was better to monitor these creeps from inside than from outside.

UNASUR not only has been a failure, a still born organization (only good enough to set up a shining palace seat in Quito apparently), but its only noteworthy action has been to shore up the weakening Venezuelan regime in its attempt at demise democracy altogether. Already the failed attempt at moderation after Maduro stole the 2013 election served only to weaken the winner Capriles (though his own stupid mistakes helped a lot). But the visit of UNASUR Friday was the worst, the shameful, the most partial intervention of an alleged international organization that took place in recent memory. A little bit, all proportions guarded, as if the foreign ministers of France, the UK and USA of A would have gone to Berlin in 1934 and told the Jews and Social Democrats to sit quietly and take part in a dialogue process directed by Hitler who was the legal chancellor of Germany.

That is right, the UNASUR commission on Friday told the world that in Venezuela there was a separation or powers, that Maduro was the person indicated to lead the dialogue process, Two of the members of that commission we need not expand much on. The Brazilian foreign minister comes from significant political trouble at home and his mission is to seek ways that Venezuela can pay some of the huge debt it has with Brazil. That Dima has a very likely personal dislike of Maduro will not stop Brazil from trying to trade ingratiating moves against solid payments. After all, Brazilians have a general disgust against Spanish speakers which incessant bickering has allowed themselves to be spoiled of half a continent.

The Ecuador foreign minister, Patiño, is a rat, always promoting the left while at home economy is run from the right, in US dollars, please. With Patiño the regime can do no wrong. Period. At least he had the decency in Twitter to write that he met with MUD members, not MUD leadership. So at least he is awre at an obscure level that things are not right.

My beef is with the colombians in the group, two of them. Let's start by the UNASUR secretary, Ernesto Samper, former Colombian president, who has no visa to go to the US, I understand. That is because his political life has been fraught with accusations of being in bed with drug traffic money for his campaigns. One does not understand why such a flawed candidate made it to UNASUR secretary. The more so that he was, I understand, sponsored by Santos.

Since his arrival at the secretary chair Samper has multiplied hs marks of support for the Maduro regime. And he overreached himself this time around. I will start wth his only tweet so far.

UNASUR visit to Venezuela opened the ways for a political dialogue that was kept close for over a year.

Except that it did not. First UNASUR spent its time with Maduro and the dignitaries (so to speak) of the regime. That is the overly partial high court, TSJ, which has not handed down a decision adverse to the regime since we can remember. That is the nation's prosecutor who has jailed whomever MAduro ir Chavez demanded to be sent to jail. That is the electoral board, CNE, from where to our great surprise UNASUR announced that parliamentary elections would be held in September. See, the CNE had been mute on that matter until UNASUR let the cat out. I suppose.

All of these visits are unnecessary but cannot be avoided and we can note that apparently UNASUR expressed concern about how some political cases were handled. And all of these visits were to active enforcers of the dictatorial nature of the regime. You could say that UNASUR also met with the opposition. It did not. The foursome invited certain leaders of the opposition but it did not invite its actual official representative, Chuo Torrealba. And to make things worse, most who attended left without talking to the press, grim faced. Clearly the reunion with the opposition was not a success.

In case you doubt watch Torrealba's words. You do not to understand Spanish to figure out that you know what is hitting the fan.

And to add insult to injury Samper said that there is separation or powers in Venezuela, that dialogue must be directed by Maduro as the legitimate head of state, that UNASUR will be against anyone that demands or forces the departure of Maduro, etc...  And also that UNASUR will try to find food for us...  No words about monitoring fairness of elections that are proposed as the panacea to all our evils, no visit to political prisoners, no acknowledgment of torture and murder, etc...

But if Samper has always been a lost cause, just rotting more and growing his stench as days pass, one must wonder about the fourth member of the foursome: Maria Angela Holguin, foreign minister of Colombia. I suppose that sensing that her visit was a P.R. failure she had the sagacity to pretend this week end that the UNASUR visit had nothing to do with restarting dialogue (contradicting Samper) and just an inquiry as to the coming elections process, as the natural solution to our woes, As if any election since 1999 has solved anything in Venezuela.

What are we to do from that visit, shameful and more so when Holguin pretends otherwise. I certainly understand that Colombia's Santos has mired himself in the swamp of negotiations with the FARC and that he cannot afford to antagonize further Venezuela because of that. But Holguin has already often been criticized for more coziness than necessary with the regime.  Apparently none of them wants to think about what would happen to Colombia if a million or two hunger refugees were to pour across the border.  Santos will probably pass into the history books as a failure as it is likely that if his negotiations with the FARC makes it to a referendum they will not be approved, this while he left Venezuela rot. Never mind that the negotiations gave plenty of time for the FARC to rearm, reorganize and secure shelter inside Venezuela.

Of course, they may actually have a plan, they may actually think that things can be worked out with the regime. Which is a truly sad thing because they seem to ignore that you cannot negotiate with mafia like individuals, bonafide fascists who will not accept any agreement unless signed under their terms. How much time will be wasted with UNASUR?  There is no discussion with these people in my mind. Unless UNASUR means at the very least electoral business and become the guarantors of next elections, from fairness to vote counting, there is no point for the MUD in sitting with such a farce, a "comparsa" as we say here. Let them go codle Maduro and share responsibility in the coming starvation and blood bath.

Meanwhile, real people, not those with dirty interests and secrets at UNASUR, worry a lot about Venezuela.


  1. Boludo Tejano4:41 AM

    That is right, the UNASUR commission on Friday told the world that in Venezuela there was a separation or powers

    In a sense, UNASUR is correct. Chavismo has the power, the oppo does not. Thus is power separated in Venezuela. All kidding aside, anyone who claims that there is separation of powers in Venezuela, considering how the judiciary has conducted iself- or forced to conduct itself- is either woefully ignorant or a damned liar.

  2. Goes to show you that the entire continent is corrupted, except perhaps for Uruguay.. Heck. all politicians, worldwide. The Gringos and European regional associations are not much better. Creeps, that's the word, Daniel. All of'em. Except in some regions they are a bit more educated, and they can't get away with such gargantuan obscenities such as "separation of powers in Vzla".

  3. The left is determined to push its shitty, failed Marxist agenda against the evil gringos even if it destroys the whole region. More destroyed economies and eventually more bloodshed and pointless revolutions are coming. I hope Latin America doesn't turn into the Middle East. The root of this cancer is in Cuba and hopefully will soon be gone.

  4. I just read this in El Pais:

    "El presidente Barack Obama endureció este lunes la posición de Washington frente a Venezuela, al declarar una “emergencia nacional” frente al país sudamericano por la “amenaza inusual y extraordinaria a la seguridad nacional y política exterior” que, afirma, supone la “situación” venezolana para Estados Unidos¨"

    These actions are usually taken with the consensus of the Senate and House leadership. And this means the USA is tired of Unasur, Brazil, and the other pigmies, providing aid and succor to a clear and present danger. I suspect there will be emergency actions prepared to facilitate the exit of US citizens from Venezuela.

    1. Anonymous1:40 AM

      The "National Emergency" language is pro forma for these types of EO.

      But it also gives latitude in case quick responses are needed to changing conditions on the ground.

      Anon 242

  5. Milonga10:32 PM

    Did you watch Oppenheimer Report yesterday at CNNEE? It was about Almagro´s sole candidacy as OAS Secretary General. As Uruguayan, I am thoroughly embarrased! Among other things, when Oppenheimer insisted: are you going to apply the Democratic cause in Venezuela? he answered that Unasur was going to take care of that and they´re OK and he´s OK with that! Shame!!!!!!! These guys will burn in hell sooner or later. Creaps!

  6. Charles Lemos5:12 PM

    I read your blog for insights on Venezuela but I have to say Daniel that your expectations that UNASUR or any Latin American government can wave a magic wand and solve Venezuela's morass is simply sheer fantasy. I spent a year back in 1993-1994 working in the Colombian foreign ministry and I can tell you that there is no way in hell that any Colombian government official is going to make any statement beyond expressing "regret" or "deep concern." The reality is this: Venezuela is a mess of its own doing. It is not for us in Colombia or in Latin America to solve your problems. I don't disagree with you that a humanitarian crisis is around the corner and that has grave repercussions for Colombia specifically and for Latin America generally, it clearly does but Latin American governments do not intervene in the domestic affairs of other nations as a general rule. That the US has declared Venezuela a "national security threat" isn't about Venezuelan military capacity, the country has none to speak of really, but rather that Venezuela is imploding internally and that implosion is going to increasingly spill out of Venezuela into the region. This is Haiti of 1991-1994 with the only difference is that the Haiti of 1991 was a country of 6.7 million people and the Venezuela of 2015 is a country of 30.5 million people.

    On a personal note Daniel, I'd strongly advise that you leave Venezuela as soon as possible. I know you love your country but the situation is truly hopeless with the worst yet to come.


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