The missing element for all these years in trying to restore some semblance of democratic rule has been an ineffective opposition […] the reason why those in the region and the international community, including the United States, should focus on this moment is that that dynamic appears to have changed. The opposition now has a leader, it now seems to have a clear strategy and the regime is considerably weakened because of strong condemnation by Venezuela’s neighbors.
The [Chavez and Maduro-led] Venezuela Revolution has been going on for two decades now […] and it’s been getting worse and worse in all aspects. More repressive politically, disastrous economically and more suffering of the Venezuelan people.
Hay señales prometedoras para una transición democrática en Venezuela.
La defensa de Maduro por parte de Rusia y China es un obstáculo formidable para el cambio en Venezuela. Tampoco está claro si EE.UU. y América Latina podrán sostener una estrategia y agenda común. Los latinoamericanos tienen más probabilidades de apoyar una resolución pacífica y negociada a buscar el conflicto directo.
La comunidad internacional está ejerciendo una presión e influencia considerables [en Venezuela]. Pero solo si existe una oposición razonablemente sólida se podrá establecer una estrategia para salir de la crisis.
The best outcome [in Venezuela] would be a prolonged negotiation between a more united opposition and a government on the defensive. With luck it could lead to the organization of new elections.
If the opposition fails to unify and the military maintains support for the government, this will probably mean continuing Chavista rule, likely with Maduro remaining in power.
If the army withdraws its support from Maduro and the opposition remains divided, the military could take control, at least for a time. The worst scenario might then result bringing increased repression and possibly even widespread civil strife.
If you look at it in a wider context, it’s hard to say [that Trump’s position towards Venezuela] shows a broader commitment to human rights and democracy. But from my perspective, we’ll take what we can get. In my view, he’s on the right side of this one. Whether he’s got a strategy, whether it’s all been thought out, I don’t know.
[The Trump administration’s posture towards Venezuela] is so at odds with what we’ve seen in other parts of the world. But Latin America is different. It’s where domestic politics has a greater role than other parts of the world.
Guaidó has tried to reach out to the military, tried to unify the opposition and tried to reach Chavista folks as well. I think that with some opposition, the agenda was to go back to a pre-Chávez past.
Reconocer a Guaidó como el presidente legítimo podría ayudar a intensificar la presión sobre Maduro y mantener el impulso de la oposición. Existe, sin embargo, el riesgo de que aumente la represión sobre los manifestantes.
I’m not sure anybody really knows what this means in terms of the practical effects of having parallel governments [in Venezuela].
In Washington, there is this scenario that all of this is going to end up in a transitional government and that the regime will somehow collapse. I think there has to be a bridge to get from one side of the river to the other; they’re making a leap that is not entirely clear.
Pelosi and Trump fighting about the State of the Union sound like Guaidó and Maduro. It’s like we have parallel governments here.