Opposition Turns Back on Venezuela by Refusing to Talk

By William Urquijo Pascual

Feb 12 Caracas (Prensa Latina) By refusing to sign the democratic coexistence agreement that resulted from the talks with the government of Venezuela in the Dominican Republic, the opposition has turned its back on the country and has been discredited, prior to the presidential election on April 22.

After several months of dialogue on several issues of vital importance in Venezuela’s current political-economic context, and when it seemed that consensus was reached, the opposition factions yielded again, due to external pressures, and just left the negotiating table.

On February 7, the government of Venezuela and its president, Nicolás Maduro, did sign the pact, according to which both parties committed to working together to have the unilateral economic and financial sanctions against the country be reviewed and lifted.

The agreement also established holding the presidential election on April 22, with due constitutional guarantees for a transparent process, as well as the proposal to the United Nations Secretary General to set up a monitoring commission.

In addition, the Santo Domingo agreement called to strengthen Constitutional Democracy through the creation of a political commission made up of members of the National Assembly of opposition majority (in contempt) and the National Constituent Assembly in order to achieve institutional coexistence.

The constructive proposals to deal with Venezuela’s economic situation, a Truth Commission to boost national reconciliation and democratic coexistence in the country, and the guarantees to comply with the agreement are also established in the document.

Then, the opposition’s refusal to sign such an agreement that was supposed to solve the political crisis and its serious economic and social repercussions, can be described as sabotage on democracy in Venezuela, according to the Argentinean political scientist and sociologist Atilio Borón.

In an article published on the website www.aporrea.org, the academic noted that the U.S. government was responsible for the failure of the talks, due to its constant pressures on the opposition representatives.

Borón pointed out that the pretext used by the opposition lied on the renewed demand that the presidential election was monitored by the so-called Lima Group, a pool of countries whose governments blindly follow Washington’s orders to attack Venezuela.

Some of those Latin American Nations; that is, Mexico, Argentina, Peru and Colombia, were visited recently by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in order to promote more sanctions and tighten the net around the Nicolas Maduro government and, by extension, the Venezuelan people.

In that context, the neoliberal administrations of the above-mentioned countries have already expressed their intention to ignore the results of the upcoming presidential election in Venezuela.

Borón stressed that for the White House, the only acceptable solution is the ousting of Maduro and a ‘regime change’, even if this option entrails the danger of a civil war and high human and economic costs.

‘In other words, the model is Libya or Iraq, and in no way an agreed transition between the government and the opposition, least of all accepting the survival of the Bolivarian government in exchange for some gestures of moderation by Caracas,’ the Argentinean expert noted.

Borón underlined that Tillerson’s tour of the afore-mentioned Latin American countries was ‘an effort to coordinate actions at the continental level to implement what might be the beginning of a final assault against the homeland of (Simon) Bolivar and (Hugo) Chavez.’

In light of the imminent escalation of actions against Venezuela, which are coordinated from Washington, the Bolivarian government of Nicolas Maduro again favored the democratic way to make progress towards the peaceful solution of conflicts.

After the call from the National Electoral Council to hold the presidential election on April 22, Maduro called on the people of Venezuela to participate, on February 17 and 18, in a mass signature-collecting campaign for democratic coexistence resulting from the talks in the Dominican Republic.

When urging the people to endorse the document signed by the Bolivarian government, the president repeated his call on the right wing to pen the Santo Domingo Agreement, and recalled that the doors to dialogue will always be open for the opposition parties to consolidate peace in the nation.

For its part, the opposition, which is fractured and leaderless, is debating whether to participate in the presidential election or be absent, to score another point for its discredit, after promoting insurrectional violence in 2017 and leaving the negotiating table now, in an open ignorance of the democratic ways.

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