Monday, January 23, 2017

An unacceptable proposal

Comments to the mediators' proposal has been included. I also include an additional conclusion next.

Commenting the proposal makes it even worse than what I thought it was at first. One wonders whether the regime wants any dialogue, of any type. It all seems to point to the regime looking for an excuse to dissolve the National Assembly since this one cannot stay in a dialogue under such conditions. One is left to consider how come the Vatican was drafted into such a scam. Or even if international pressure actually wants Maduro a couple of year more in office because other problems are more important. The money part of the proposal would indicate that, a goal to reach any sort of agreement so that the National Assembly votes the funds to pay Venezuela's commercial debts without it supervising the corruption of many of those. Truly a gross and amoral proposal.

The mediators of the Venezuelan crisis, appointed basically by the regime, have been accused with just reason of taking the regime side. That the late comer Vatican has been embroiled in the mess comes from Obama's decision to avoid any trouble in Venezuela until the November election. Little good it did to him, and lots of damage for Venezuela. Meanwhile the Vatican is in deep doodoo losing its credibility for nothing to the point of threatening to withdraw. One wonders what pushed the Vatican to get involved so easily in such a mess, apparently against the own opinion of the local clergy authorities (we do have two cardinals now, you know).

Early December the opposition alliance, MUD, decided to withdraw from further discussion since the engagements taken by the regime in earlier sessions had not been met. This was patent, public knowledge, and included the treacherous annulation of a Recall Election on Nicolas Maduro. The mediators did not take much notice and limited themselves to say that all will resume mid January. It did not as the opposition saw no point.

But the regime has troubles, big financial troubles, and needs desperately the National Assembly to approve additional debt. As such the mediators came back last week with a proposal that is, in my opinion, totally unacceptable. And not only my opinion as Accion Democratica leader Ramos Allup has already announced that it will not sign the document, called misleadingly, "Agreement for democratic cohabitation" when the regime in the past two months has taken all possible measures to wreck any possible cohabitation. The repression that has been taking place since naming the narcoterrositlover Tareck El Aissami as vice president is eloquent enough on the intentions of the regime.

But the mediators, oblivious of the country political moment, persisted. What could you expect? UNASUR president Samper is an ex narco-president of Colombia, friends of the FARC, Correa, Castro, etc...  Zapatero, ex prime minister of Spain, leaving in utter discredit, tries to refurbish his leftist image that he had to drop when leader in Spain. Fernandez of Dominican Republic will likely seek reelection and is always looking for "business" and uses his leftist friendships as an excuse for his way more liberal economic policies. Only Torrijos of Panama seems retrievable from that sorry lot.

The proposal as such is unacceptable for many reasons. The basic one is that it demands on the opposition to accept part of the blame for the current crisis even though the disastrous economic policies that have led to the political crisis are the regime's unique and sole responsability. Never mind the constitutional violations to neuter the National Assembly duly elected by a large majority of the people. Even the legitimacy of the political prisoners claim by the MUD should be tempered as a bipartisan commission would review those claims. No point holding your breath on that last item.

Going into details would be too long. I will post below parts of the Spanish text with my comments. However I will work on that through the day so you may revisit this entry later if you are interested in those details.  Even if you do not read Spanish I will try to put in italic letters my comments, as explicitly as possible.  When I am through I will add an "updated" in the title so you will know.

Note: the refusal by AD to sign on will be very likely followed by the one from Voluntad Popular who has taken the brunt of the current repression. Were UNT or Lara governor to sign on, that would mark the death knell of the MUD unity.  Which may be a good thing if you ask me.

DESTACANDO los resultados de la intensa tarea, a través de las conversaciones con el Gobierno Nacional y la MUD, que permitieron generar espacios de confianza e identificar posibles mecanismos y temas que serían parte de un acuerdo amplio y comprensivo para dinamizar y generar opciones para una renovada etapa de convivencia entre ambas partes.

The platitudes of the opening would like you to believe that "areas of trust" have been found in previous encounters. Where? What? When?
ATENDIENDO los resultados alcanzados y las experiencias recogidas durante los encuentros efectuados en octubre, noviembre y diciembre de 2016, encontramos los puntos coincidentes para una nueva fase del Diálogo que esperamos formen parte de un Acuerdo de Convivencia Democrática.

Supposedly this proposal derives from the agreements reached in the previous rounds. Agreements? When the opposition accuses the regime of not fulfilling its parts, where can one find agreements that were fulfilled?

Already you start sensing the bias of the mediators in favor of the regime. They just can't help it. Then again when you deal with truants you may want to flatter them before the final stab. But I doubt it.


CONSCIENTES que, luego de las decisiones políticas e institucionales adoptadas a fines de 2016 y al inicio de 2017 por los Poderes Públicos que dificultan la relación entre ellos, se hace necesario superar las mismas a partir de la voluntad política del Gobierno Nacional y de la MUD.
REAFIRMANDO que tanto el Gobierno Nacional como la MUD renuevan su compromiso con el diálogo y con el mantenimiento de la paz en Venezuela, se reconoce que es necesario avanzar hacia una nueva etapa que incorpore las lecciones previas y establece las bases eficaces para un Acuerdo de Convivencia Democrática, que incluye un mecanismo de seguimiento, verificación y garantías.

This may be the lone part which has a resemblance to reality, and acknowledgement of sorts that political will is required from both sides. For the regime the will to make concessions if it truly means to return to democracy; and to the opposition to make a more solid front, a more united goal so that they can accept that the regime will not grant it all at this time. One assumes that the goal is for the opposition to accept it may not get all. One would expect that it should at least pick among the offers what it likes best.

Also the need for a truer system of verification must be put in place. 

CONTANDO con el llamado efectuado por el Tribunal Supremo de Justicia “…a los diversos actores políticos de la Nación, para que utilicen la vía del diálogo como herramienta fundamental para dirimir las diferencias políticas y, en especial, para cumplir los deberes, fines y normas constitucionales, en función de garantizar la construcción de una sociedad justa y amante de la paz, y de procurar la promoción de la prosperidad y bienestar del pueblo; toda vez que el enfrentamiento constante en todos los asuntos que les compete perjudicaría de forma ostensible al pueblo venezolano en general, sin distinción alguna, comenzando por los sectores sociales más vulnerables.”

It validates the actions of the high court TSJ as if they had to intervene in a fight when in fact they supported the regime since the day after December 2015 election by suppressing provisionally three seats of the assembled without any final electoral decision taken in a year! What is worse here is that it demands implicitly that the National Assembly recognizes as valid a TSJ which nomination was illegal to begin with.

POR TANTO, el Gobierno Nacional y la MUD como una muestra de responsabilidad con el país y buena voluntad, sin condicionamientos mutuos, han decidido pasar a una segunda fase del Diálogo a partir del presente:


This is terrible. They pretend that it is time to go on the second phase of dialogue without condition. That is, the regime will not have to honor its previous commitments while the opposition will have to make new concessions. TERRIBLE.

And it will be called "agreement for democratic conviviality" when the regime is jailing people RIGHT UNDER THE NOSES OF THE MEDIATORS.


PRIMERO. Reconocer que tanto el Poder Ejecutivo como el Poder Legislativo han sido electos de forma constitucional, democrática y legítima para cumplir con los mandatos y períodos determinados por Ley.

Then come the proposals starting with the demand that powers recognize each other. If it is true that the regime is required to recognize the National Assembly that opposes it, it is also implied that the opposition should get over the unconstitutional dismissal of the recall election as if nothing.

SEGUNDO. Adoptar un mecanismo de implementación del Acuerdo de Convivencia Democrática mediante la conformación de una Plenaria Conjunta con participación de cuatro representantes del Gobierno Nacional y cuatro representantes de la Mesa de Unidad Democrática, en la que participarán en calidad de acompañantes el representante de la Santa Sede, la Secretaría General de UNASUR, representada por el Director de Asuntos Políticos y Defensa y los expresidentes Leonel Fernández, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero y Martín Torrijos.

This is actually ridiculous when you think of it. 4 from each side will seat with the mediators for a system of discussion and settling of measures to be taken.  That is why there is a Parliament to begin with!  To discuss such matters! At least there is the suggestion that totally discredited Ernesto Samper may not be part anymore of the process.

• Acordar medidas concretas para mejorar las condiciones de vida de las ciudadanas y ciudadanos del país.

Right there the heavy hand of the regime in writing that document is seen with the infamously redundant citizens and citizenesses (?)

• Encontrar fórmulas que permitan enfrentar el problema del abastecimiento, impulsar medidas contra la inflación y atender las necesidades financieras del país.

Now, in this short paragraph, we are entering into the real crux of the problem: money. The regime needs for the National Assembly to vote its budget and approve new international debt. That whole proposal is basically about it. And I presume that many countries are quietly pushing for it as they want to have their debts paid back and for such a cause they are only too happy to sacrifice democracy in Venezuela.

The vileness of it all
• Adoptar decisiones que garanticen el equilibrio y respeto entre los Poderes Públicos en el marco de sus competencias constitucionales.
• Fortalecer la institucionalidad electoral y acordar un cronograma electoral en el marco de la Constitución.
• Acordar medidas para luchar contra la violencia y la inseguridad ciudadana
Three platitudes. To guarantee the equilibrium of powers, as if the opposition had a way to force the regime into it. To establish an electoral road, as if this one did not exist already in the constitution and as if the regime had not been raping it all along. To fight against the crime and insecurity, as if the opposition were guilty of that by, say, not putting cops on the beat or promoting drug trafficking.

Geez...The things one must read....

CUARTO. Para garantizar el avance del trabajo de la Plenaria Conjunta, se adoptan las siguientes premisas:

• El proceso no será utilizado con fines partidistas.
• Nada está acordado hasta que todo este acordado.
• Respeto, reconocimiento y convivencia entre las partes.
• Confianza en la neutralidad de la tarea y propuestas de los acompañantes.
• La comunicación de los resultados será responsabilidad de los acompañantes y se producirá previa notificación a las partes.

This seems at first curious. Nothing will be approved BEFORE ALL is approved. That is, a global accord or nothing. Also, the neutrality of the mediators will be recognized. The results can only be announced by the mediators. And yet there is clause that the process cannot be used for political convenience.


By forcing the silence on negotiations, by postponing the announcement, the regime is favored because it can pretend to negotiate when in fact it is stalling.  It is that simple.

Acción 1. Normalizar el ejercicio de las funciones institucionales

• La Asamblea Nacional adoptará, con apego al texto constitucional y a las normas del país, las medidas necesarias que permitan el ejercicio de sus competencias.
• Se reconocerá la votación de la plenaria de la Asamblea Nacional sobre la desincorporación de los Diputados del Estado Amazonas y la cesación de los efectos de su juramentación.
• Se exhortará a la Sala Constitucional del TSJ para la adopción de una sentencia que permita superar la situación planteada en el Estado de Amazonas y que encomiende al CNE la convocatoria de nuevas elecciones, en una fecha a ser sugerida por las partes, así como determinar la superación de la denominada situación de desacato.

In short the National Assembly is required to abide by the Constitution as interpreted by a totally political TSJ while this one will only receive an exhortation to help the process by reversing or modifying its fiat.

Laughable all the way through and through.
Acción 2. Garantizar la normalización de las relaciones institucionales

• Establecer una Comisión de Mediación Institucional, mediante la nominación de un Diputado del Gobierno Nacional y uno de la MUD, con la participación de un acompañante o persona designada por éstos.
• Acordar conjuntamente, en la Comisión de Mediación Institucional los ajustes del Reglamento Interno de la Asamblea Nacional y notificar el resultado al TSJ.

This is also risible. Yet a second mediator commission will shuttle between the powers of the state to bring out an agreement. 

But what is worse here is that there is a demand that the National Assembly modifies the rules of its working to the taste of the regime. Historical point: the current rules where imposed by the one before past assembly, the one "elected" in 2005. Those rules, approved as a lame duck session once it was clear that the regime had lost its super majority in 2010. They were designed to limit debates and basically silence the newly elected opposition representatives (and kick then out at will as it turned out).  But now that the rules are against the regime minority so this one wants to use the court to change the rules, without even an apology for 5 years of abuse between 2010 and 2015.

I personally think that the rules of the National Assembly could certainly be improved, but this, in this context, is just a way the regime wants to stall discussions of laws it does not like. It is ALSO a way to block internally the Assembly control functions on the executive decisions.

By now it should be clear to the dumbest reader that this proposal has been written by the regime and the mediators, that it is not at all from these last ones initiatives. And the opposition has not be consulted otherwise some of the petitions would have been avoided as DoA.

• Identificar las decisiones judiciales que podrían afectar la autonomía de la Asamblea Nacional y compromiso a trabajar en su análisis:
o Evaluar los alcances del Estado de Emergencia Económica y su impacto en la materia.
o Restituir la capacidad de control del legislativo al ejecutivo en un marco de respeto, transparencia y compromisos.
• Impulsar las bases de un diálogo institucional entre todos los Poderes Públicos.

Once all of the caveats above have been stated, then and only then there is short talk of restoring to the National Assembly its functions. Ah! Ok. We'll bite.

2. Verdad y Justicia.

• Establecer las Subcomisiones de Verdad y Justicia.
o La Subcomisión de Verdad deberá definir los hechos de violencia, qué tipo de delitos, los períodos temporales que serán considerados y las fórmulas de reparación y reconciliación, incluyendo una propuesta sobre los casos que tendrán consecuencias judiciales.
o La Subcomisión de Justicia deberá ver los casos que sean objeto de un tratamiento judicial. Revisión, verificación y respuesta a la situación de las personas privadas de libertad, con base en los insumos proporcionados por la MUD.

A sub commission for truth and justice will be created. Yet the MUD will have to show the evidence that justifies reversal of such unfair judicial decisions. What is implied there is that maybe the judicial system made mistakes but they do not have to prove that they were right. They are just presumed right until someone somewhere proves them wrong. The possibilities of stalling are mind blowing!

Acción 2. Funcionamiento inmediato de la Comisión de la Verdad

• Adoptar las medidas jurídicas para implementar las adecuaciones para la participación e incorporación de la oposición en la Comisión de Verdad.
• Adopción, en su caso, de una Ley de Amnistía acordada por las partes.
• Análisis conjunto sobre la viabilidad de la aplicación de los mecanismos constitucionales del indulto y el sobreseimiento, libertades condicionales o libertad inmediata cuando así las autoridades lo hayan determinado para casos específicos.

Amnesty and the like, but only if "authorities" approve it.  B.S.!

3. Situación económica – social.
Acción 1. Abastecimiento

• Implementación de medidas concretas para el abastecimiento de medicamentos y alimentos sobre la base de contribuir a solventar su producción e importación, sin que se interprete como medidas que puedan ser utilizadas como injerencistas.
o Plan de Abastecimiento de Medicamentos con apoyo del Instituto de Salud de la UNASUR y de la OPS, coordinado por el Ministerio de Salud.
o Medidas para apoyar el Abastecimiento de Alimentos tomando en consideración el trabajo adelantado por la FAO
o Identificación de posibles fuentes de financiamiento y compromiso, previo acuerdo conjunto, para apoyar su contratación.
o Negociación urgente de un Acuerdo de Cooperación con CÁRITAS INTERNACIONAL.

Eventually we are getting into the real issue here, how the regime will finance itself to improve things some, and improve along its electoral fortunes.  For example medicine will be channeled though international organizations but monitored by Health Ministry. What is wrong with that would you say? Is that not the specific job of the ministry? Well, just from the CLAP program you know that excluding National Assembly supervision is a direct way that these resources reach first, and only if possible, those who support the regime or those that the regime may hope to blackmail them back into supporting the regime. Only chavista governors and mayors will receive the new supplies, you can bet on that. Amen of the corruption as these supplies will be resold....

Interestingly on the food front collaboration of the FAO will be required. You should note that that this UN agency has always claimed that Venezuela was wonderful in its distribution and abundance of food, courtesy from forged numbers that were accepted at face value by the local FAO Representative on the regime payroll. I recall, I think that in 2015 the regime even got awards!!!!  And now the FAO is already developing food supply plans?  Yet again a source of political patronage for the regime.

Acción 2. Presupuesto y Financiamiento.

• Revisar por parte de la Asamblea de los acuerdos de financiamiento suscritos por el Gobierno Nacional con miras a lograr su aprobación para promover el desarrollo de la economía nacional.
• Explorar la voluntad para que la Asamblea Nacional apruebe el Presupuesto y la Ley de Endeudamiento de forma tal que se logre normalizar la gestión financiera y el papel fiscalizador de la Asamblea.
• Una vez restablecida la relación entre el Ejecutivo y el Legislativo, se podría considerar la posibilidad de un acto jurídico por el que la Asamblea Nacional se compromete a honrar los compromisos financieros de la República.

And there we go: the Assembly is to approve the financial measures taken by the regime independently of the will of the Assembly. This is the core of this whole proposal. See what bone can be thrown at the opposition so that the regime can run the country into more debt, swallowing more credits in its corruption bottomless pits. 

At least the right of the Assembly to supervise these regime agreements is implied though by now it may be too late to correct some. So what is the Assembly expected to do? To validate post fact the regime corruption and share the blame for nothing in exchange?


4. Institucionalidad y Cronograma Electoral.

And then there is a series of electoral considerations also open to stalling and that require the opposition to give more than it gets. If it gets anything. No point getting in details, read it in Spanish if you can stomach it.

Acción 1. Consejo Nacional Electoral

• Cooperar conjuntamente, en el marco constitucional, para exhortar al TSJ que se pueda proceder, conforme corresponda, a cooperar en el nuevo nombramiento de los dos rectores del Consejo Nacional Electoral.
o Cada parte propondrá una lista de candidatos. La contraparte tendrá la capacidad de sugerir candidatos que le sean aceptables dentro de las listas presentadas, buscando alcanzar acuerdos para un equilibrio constructivo en la nominación de los Rectores y en la relación entre las partes.
o La designación de los mismos será por consenso, entendiendo que existen o se crearán las condiciones jurídicas para ello.
• En caso que se logre un acuerdo entre las partes sobre los nombres de los dos nuevos Rectores la decisión será comunicada a la Presidencia del TSJ exhortando que se pueda considerar positivamente las nominaciones acordadas.
Acción 2. Cronograma Electoral

• Considerando el cronograma electoral aprobado por el CNE:
o Se podrán sugerir, previo acuerdo de la Plenaria Conjunta, las posibles fechas para las elecciones de Gobernadores y Alcaldes que se efectuarán en 2017 y que, de ser así acordado, podrían celebrarse conjuntamente.
o Abordar el cronograma electoral para 2018.

To close the proposal there is a series of verification and enforcement mechanisms which are, at best, wishful thinking when you are dealing with a narco regime. Again, I am putting the Spanish text if you care for the details, but trust me on that one: it is fantasy.

SEXTO. Cronograma tentativo de implementación y Mecanismo de Verificación y Seguimiento.

El presente Acuerdo de Convivencia Democrática tendrá un tiempo de implementación que estará determinado en la hoja de ruta y que será computado a partir de la firma del presente Acuerdo.

Para facilitar el cumplimiento de lo acordado, el Gobierno Nacional y la MUD deciden establecer un Mecanismo de Verificación y Seguimiento en los siguientes términos:

a. Para la implementación específica de cada punto, que podrán trabajarse en paralelo, incluido en el numeral QUINTO, se acuerda una hoja de ruta que incluye las medidas específicas, los responsables y plazos específicos. La hoja de ruta figura como Anexo 1 y es parte integrante del presente Acuerdo.
b. La Plenaria Conjunta se reunirá cada 15 días con la presencia de al menos un acompañante para verificar al cumplimiento de los acuerdos incluidos en la hoja de ruta.
c. Los acompañantes presentarán a la Plenaria Conjunta un informe de seguimiento sobre la implementación de la hoja de ruta.
d. Al finalizar cada Plenaria Conjunta los acompañantes elaborarán para las partes un Informe de Verificación y Seguimiento, con las recomendaciones, sí fuera el caso, que permitan cumplir aquéllos puntos que estuvieran aún pendientes.

SEPTIMO. Mecanismo de Garantías

En caso de no alcanzar un resultado establecido en la hoja de ruta, la parte que se considere afectada dejará constancia de la situación en el Informe de Verificación y Seguimiento de la Plenaria Conjunta.

En ese supuesto, el Gobierno Nacional y la MUD deciden someterse a un arbitraje de los acompañantes, en los siguientes términos:
a. La parte que considera que se produjo un incumplimiento presentará por escrito, dentro de los 2 días posteriores al plazo superado, una solicitud de activación del Mecanismo de Garantías, detallando el punto incumplido, el plazo acordado, las opciones discutidas y una propuesta de solución.
b. Los acompañantes, comunicarán en un plazo de 24 horas a las partes la existencia del pedido de activación del Mecanismo de Garantías y concederá a la parte que supuestamente incumplió, un plazo de 48 horas para que pueda exponer su posición de descargo y alternativa de solución.
c. Una vez recibida por escrito la comunicación, los acompañantes tendrán un plazo de 72 horas para presentar el resultado del arbitraje con la solución sugerida, incluyendo un plazo para el cumplimiento.
d. En caso de no recibirse una respuesta de la parte que habría incumplido uno de los acuerdos, 72 horas después del plazo previsto en el párrafo precedente, los acompañantes expedirán el resultado del arbitraje.


  1. Zapatero no tendrá un buen rato en el infierno. En cuanto a Bergoglio, no creo que se le puede llamar papa, ni con minúsculas.

  2. Daniel, what is your opinion of the new President of the NA?

    1. I do not like him much but I have no opinion as to his abilities for this particular job. We'll see.

  3. MUD is absolutely useless! Just get in the way of the people from rising up

    1. I assume that you are to lead us to the barricades. No?

  4. I will say this Daniel, if I was to take a position as a MUD candidate I would do a hell of a lot more. If same was happening in Canada I would have got very involved and be in jail or dead by now. When family members die from simple lack of medicine and cannot go out in public, future for my kids destroyed yeah sorry Daniel I would lead a march, I would put my life on the line for my family!

    1. Marching accomplishes nothing. This has already been demonstrated. It's better to simply do nothing. This means nothing. No work, no school, no paying taxes, if they threaten your business, destroy it. It's similar to dying, but it gets better results if everybody does it. The regime won't let go of power, but international pressure may force their hand. Problem is the international leadership isn't there. Venezuela drew a bad lot, Obama, Mogherini, Trudeau, Bergoglio, and Putin.

      Cubans know very well what it's like to be abandoned. We even have to sit and get insulted by both rednecks and red commies. Venezuelans will have to learn to survive, because I don't see them getting it together to go for a destroy everything and do whatever national strike. There never was a Bravo Pueblo. These dictatorships know how to destroy your will, nobody helps, and nobody cares. Power flows from the barrel of a gun, and that's about it.

  5. ??...IM confused...whats not going the Regines way?...nobody cares...the incumbant goverment gets all the respect ..ask the pope..haha
    Everyone want the easy route..why else change costitution to allow dual citezenship?..lmfao
    Im sorry...byt all this bla bla surprised Bill blass didnt come out with the usual...They will look bad in the eyes of the world..Horse shit...
    March away...sceam as loud as you want...the mafias love this does the government.they steal even more..its great for them!!!
    Soon commodities will rise...and they will be flush again..and even stronger
    ..i think i heard someone say once....if you cant beat them..join them....

  6. Fernando, I agree the pointless marches they are doing now does nothing but waste peoples time. People will come out by the millions if they truly knew a march was being organized to take back the government by force. However, I do not get your do nothing idea. First not everyone will do nothing as 24% of the population supports Maduro and will continue to run the parts of the gov't and economy that Maduro cares about. Second the regime would not care if every last person in Venezuela sat on their asses and did nothing until they all died. In fact they would likely prefer this, it would end their need for cost to the people and allow them to contract out oil production and free movement of drugs. They would also be able to blame all the poor economy on the people doing nothing.

  7. I think the pope favors the regime in Venezuela. That is why he appointed two Venezuelan cardinals, that way he has more control over them, not less.


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