Why The US-Venezuela Dialogue Restarted

Ociel Alí López, Orinoco Tribune, July 7, 2024 — 

With less than a month to go before the presidential elections in Venezuela, several international players are making their moves. The first was Washington. President Nicolás Maduro announced on Monday, July 1, the resumption of talks with the US government.

Venezuela has been quite far from the front pages of the international media unlike in previous years. Additionally, its economy has stabilized, emerging from the hyperinflation that today plagues various other countries. It seems that something is happening in Venezuela, and it is that after nine years, on the coming July 28, all political sectors, without exception, will participate in the elections that will mark the future of Venezuela for the next six years.

For this reason, Venezuela will be in the world’s spotlight for the next few days.

Venezuelan presidential campaign started

Officially, the presidential campaign started on Thursday, July 4, with mobilizations of the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) and the opposition Unitary Platform. However, for weeks before that, candidates and leaders have been making the rounds throughout the country.

The abstentionist and coup-mongering paths taken by the opposition during the last decade, hand in hand with Washington, all ended in resounding failures. Their return to the electoral process represents a shift towards political stabilization in Venezuela. However, there are still intense days ahead in which the future of the country will be decided.

To the extent that the opposition manages to reunify and the insurrectional and abstentionist discourse gives way to the discourse of electoral participation, the full competitiveness in the electoral exercise is de facto regularized, which may increase the probability of a close result on July 28, the date of the election.

The candidate of the opposition coalition Unitary Platform, Edmundo González, has been aligning himself more and more with Washington’s discourse, justifying the unilateral sanctions, speaking of transactional justice and sharpening the verbiage, which had been more moderate when the bloc launched his candidacy at the end of May.

With the final stretch of the election before us, Venezuela has resumed dialogue with the US government, which has used all strategies to bring about a political change in Venezuela and has failed.

US: from stick to carrot

In this situation, Western countries have been rather reserved. So has the Latin American right wing. At least for now, the aggressive speeches calling for intervention or greater sanctions have given way to a certain silence.

Perhaps, the rupturist misadventure that installed the “parallel government” of Juan Guaidó, which turned out to be a ridiculous simulacrum, is still very much in memory.

However, since that moment, a comprehensive regime of condemnation against Venezuela has been launched which, among other things, places president and candidate Nicolás Maduro on a list of sanctioned persons, which will continue to cast a shadow on the electoral process and its outcome.

With the Chavista candidate sanctioned by the West, the most radical sectors of the right wing, which in the recent past sabotaged the electoral process, are rubbing their hands in glee amid the support that of former US President Donald Trump is receiving as a candidate in the US presidential election. They are waiting for a scenario that will allow them to get a “green light” again to apply pressure against Chavismo with a clean slate.

But first they will have to face the institutional strength accumulated by Chavismo after its electoral triumphs and the opposition abstentionism that had become chronic and cost them all their positions in the power structure of the Venezuelan State.

In addition, Chavismo has a very cohesive and loyal armed forces (even in times of strong international pressure) and has control of the oil industry. Therefore, the hypothetical rise of anti-Chavismo could lead to new instability in the country.

The day of the presidential elections is approaching and all eyes are on Venezuela. In a few days the world will know which scenario will prevail for the next six years.

In the meantime, mobilizations are taking place daily, rallies are getting bigger as days go by, and the country is getting ready for an electoral campaign like in its best moments.

Things are happening in Venezuela.

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