Diplomacy: Washington and Caracas

The so-called Cold War in Latin America periodically resurfaces or escalates. They put up mud walls, or the revolutionaries act like Robin Hood by plundering grocery stores.

There always is someone who breaks the mold to challenge the United States.

This defiance seems valid to me. What is questionable is when it is done with a double standard.

Why is it that those who dispute Washington’s policies quickly set themselves up as authoritarians and ally with imperial powers that are no less questionable?

Venezuela and the United States have been in a verbal conflict. The U.S. diplomat Thomas Shannon will now meet with his Venezuelan counterpart in Caracas to mend fences.

Venezuela believes the United States is to blame for all the misfortunes happening to the revolutionaries. They call the Americans “imperialists,” “interventionists,” “enemies of humanity,” et cetera. The epithets abound.

Washington seeks to extend a hand (Obama wants to be conciliatory and tolerant with those estranged!), and to foster a dialogue among Venezuelans for their human rights and fundamental freedoms be respected.

The Chavez-Maduro regime has held complete control since 1999. They feel they are righteous, truthful and just. As the United States also feels about itself.

Is it a battle of egos or a meeting between a mighty empire that has been called into question and a rebellion linked to the misrepresented Simon Bolivar?

Caracas wants the United States to stop supporting the Venezuelan opposition and to end its diplomatic and media assault on the Chavez revolution.

What can be expected from these talks?

Truthfully … very little. Diplomatic exchange is scant. In the early stages, Venezuela will let out its emotions. The North Americans will quickly fall back to what has been done in the past, drawing on feeling and holding onto old grudges and rhetoric. Shannon, with all of his tightfistedness and his considerable diplomatic experience, will take on a composed demeanor, focused on actions and results.

Venezuelan diplomats will clamor for dignity and respect for a revolution formed by minorities.

Who wants to imitate a poor model of ideas, wealth and promises? They have wasted all of it!

Caracas is against the wall: 1) No European country is in agreement with its ridiculous global views and biased policies; 2) In Latin America, Venezuela is in the minority; 3) Secretary General of the Organization of American States Luis Almagro Lemes is asking for the referendum to be revoked and for human rights to be respected; 4) According to the International Monetary Fund, Venezuela has the world’s worst negative growth (negative 8 percent) and worst inflation (482 percent). This is an oil-producing superpower, right?

Maduro has few allies: five or six in the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America, Russia, Iran, Syria and North Korea. That’s it. How can he claim a worldwide revolution with so few playing along?

But it’s always the same old, same old: foist dimwitted government blunders onto their adversaries, be intolerant and believe power belongs to them by right of some historical compensation for having been previously left out.

But where is the moral superiority when those who were left out have no arguments and merely hurl insults and hostilities and hold grudges?

If the U.S. is to be criticized for acting as the world’s police or for looking down on us, then let it out. But do not use it as a platform for bravery and triumph. The leftist rhetoric involves living in permanent opposition to Washington. The other side of the coin would be to have the Russians as movie villains and the Chinese playing the usurpers of world leadership. Both stances are biased.

Venezuela finds itself in the midst of these justifications: “We’re against Washington, the treasonous opposition, and the local bourgeoisie!”

And don’t the revolutionaries jealously and meticulously control all spheres of power?

Shannon and his Venezuelan counterpart will speak frankly and at length. They will take pictures together. But their stances will remain irreconcilable. They don’t even have accredited ambassadors.

Maduro could emerge from this crisis if there was less rhetoric and if he could learn to give in more than he commands. But it would require him being open to accepting that power is not born of the legacy of a few, but instead is a tool for sensibility to enable everyone may come together.

Nobody can govern alone. Politics is a process that requires not only support from the majority (which Maduro has!), but also a focus on the common good.

He who learns to live alongside his adversaries moves ahead. He who accumulates power does not necessarily accumulate wisdom. He will always remain isolated and fearful.

I believe the dialogue between Caracas and Washington will be long and drawn out.

Is it a waste of time or an insurmountable cause?

Afterward, Maduro’s government will continue to face off against not only its foes but also against its own mistakes, of which it does not even keep track.

If diplomacy fails, how will any of the differences be resolved?

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