On 10. September, Maduro launched military incursions on the borders. Image: Maduro’s Twitter account
Self-proclaimed interim president Guaido breaks off dialogue with government. The now signed an agreement with opposition groups
Immediately after Venezuela’s self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido declared the dialogue with the government to have failed, Communications Minister Jorge RodrIguez announced an agreement with moderate parts of the opposition. The move, which appears to have been prepared, is apparently intended to drive a wedge into the camp of President Nicolas Maduro’s opponents and weaken Guaido’s position.
The well-known opposition politician and leader of the National Assembly continues to receive massive support from abroad – especially from the U.S., the EU and right-wing Latin American governments – while his mobilization capacity in the country has visibly weakened recently. Whether the agreement now concluded will fuel this trend remains to be seen: According to initial reports, the most recent agreement was signed only by representatives of smaller parties. Members of the rough opposition alliance Table of Democratic Unity (Mesa de Unidad Democratica, MUD), to which Guaido belongs, are not among the signatories.
According to reports in the government-related media, the agreement contains six points that will serve as a starting point for further talks. Partial agreements reached so far provide for the return of the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (Psuv) and allied factions to the opposition-dominated National Assembly (http://www.asambleanacional.gob.ve). At the same time, they said, they have agreed to recast the electoral council. The judiciary is being called upon to "of some imprisoned citizens" to facilitate the release of the prisoners, according to the website of the Latin American television station Telesur, which is based in Caracas and has a pro-government position.
The supporters of the new agreement also want to find a solution for the Esequibo region claimed by Venezuela, which belongs to the neighboring state of Guyana. Reject sanctions against Venezuela. It also calls for a humanitarian program in which Erdol is exchanged for food and medicine.
The signatories include Timoteo Zambrano of the Cambiemos party and Claudio FermIn of the Soluciones para Venezuela and Acvanzada Progresista parties, three members of the small Concertacion por el Cambio (Agreement for Change), which has eight seats in the National Assembly. The center-left MAS party, which is apparently also among the signatories, is not represented in the National Assembly. By comparison, the MUD alliance holds over 90 mandates.
Guaido rejects Oslo-Barbados process
On Sunday, Guaido had stated that the dialogue process initiated by Norway had "dead". He justified the withdrawal of his alliance with the refusal of the government delegation to return to the negotiating table. "Maduro has abandoned the talks with flimsy excuses. After more than 40 days in which they have refused to continue the dialogue, we, for our part, declare that the Barbados mechanism no longer has any meaning", Guaido said in a statement. He was referring to the negotiations, which were first started by Norway in Oslo and then continued in Barbados in the Caribbean.
Since the 7. August no further meetings in the format have taken place. At that time, the Maduro government had temporarily left the negotiating table after Guaido had buried U.S. sanctions against Venezuela. "Those who have seized power block a peaceful solution and refuse to discuss a reasonable proposal from our delegation to end this conflict", the Guaido declaration now says. At the same time, his team declared itself ready, "to accept any possible solution", the "ended the suffering of Venezuelans".
Guaido had announced his candidacy on 23 January. January declared interim president. Earlier, the opposition majority in the National Assembly, which he leads, had passed a resolution that would have removed Maduro from office "usurper" stripped of the power to govern. The opposition parliamentarians accused Maduro of having demanded the mandate through electoral fraud.
On 6. In September, Maduro then threatened to end the dialogue definitively if Guaido did not "come to their senses". The government accused the opposition politician Plane of wanting to hand over the Esequibo region, claimed by Venezuela, to transnational companies. The region is rich in resources, especially petroleum. "Either they correct their position or they will not see us again (at the negotiating table)", the leftist head of state warned. One of Guaido’s negotiators, Stalin Gonzalez, had declared in early September that the opposition group was ready to resume contacts. Guaido insisted, however, that the talks had not worked and that their resumption made no sense.
Norway wants to mediate, Venezuela mobilizes army
The Norwegian government, which had mediated and moderated the negotiations between the Venezuelan government and the Guaido camp, confirmed on Monday its willingness to continue mediating between the conflicting parties. "Norway is supporting the negotiation process in Venezuela at the request of the country’s main political actors and reiterates its readiness to continue this role as long as the parties deem it appropriate and advance a negotiation settlement", Norwegian mediator Dag Nylander wrote on Twitter on Monday.
Maduro had ared on Sunday that his government is focused on defending the country against threats from the U.S. and its allies in the region. "Let no one be mistaken", heibt from his side: Venezuela will "defended with ideas, politics, diplomacy and – if necessary – with weapons".
Venezuela began a series of military maneuvers on the border with Colombia last Tuesday. About 150 people are expected to take part in the.000 soldiers will participate, according to the General Staff (Venezuela launches military maneuver on border with Colombia).
The commander in chief of the Venezuelan army, General Remigio Ceballos, told soldiers at the airport in the western state of Tachira that the Venezuelan armed forces are a "Peacekeeping Force". In the event of a threat, however, the two countries are not afraid to engage in combat. "We respect the armed forces of the world, but we are not afraid of anyone", Ceballos said. The manovers, scheduled to last several days, are being promoted on social media with the hashtag #VenezuelaSoberanIaYPaz. "Venezuela: sovereignty and peace" is the name of the manover.
The manover is an expression of a new crisis between Colombia and Venezuela. The governments of both countries have not maintained diplomatic relations since February of this year. The military incursions are Venezuela’s response to attacks by Colombian President Ivan Duque, who has accused Caracas of harboring dissidents from the FARC guerrillas.
As a result, Maduro put the army on alert along some 2,200 kilometers of the border earlier this week and called for military drills until the 28th of December. September on. In addition, land and air defense missiles are to be deployed on the Venezuelan side.