Monday, January 30

Chavismo and the Venezuelan democratic opposition sign a historic “social agreement” in Mexico


The pact releases state funds blocked abroad by sanctions to allocate them to humanitarian aid after 13 months of negotiations

The dialogue table applauds after signing the agreement, in Mexico City.PA
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Soccer is so important in Latin America that the white smoke this Saturday in Mexico, the one that confirmed the agreement between the Bolivarian revolution and the democratic opposition After 13 months of constant tug of war, he “rose” over those present at full speed and in record time. Everyone wanted to see the momentous duel between Argentina and the Aztec team.

The central theme of the Second Partial Agreement for the Social Protection of the Venezuelan People had been known in Caracas for days: funds blocked abroad due to sanctionsaround 3,000 million dollars, will be administered by United Nations agencies to assist hospitals, schools and improve various public services, destroyed by the Bolivarian administration.

With the intervention of the UN it is ensured, in part, that the funds will not be exhausted by Chavismo, as has happened with 500,000 million dollars since Hugo Chvez came to power.

All that was missing was the signature and the fine print, the details, those that Chavismo has never complied with in the different negotiations for a decade. The opposition has imposed the constitution of a fund to carry out projects and works recommended by experts, with the maximum possible transparency in their execution.

A white smoke which extended to Washington. As soon as the signing between the parties in the neighboring country was known, the Joe Biden administration issued the necessary license for the US multinational Chevron resumes oil extraction in Venezuela. A decision that has been negotiated since the US envoys traveled by surprise to Caracas in March to initiate a diplomatic rapprochement.

License number 41 authorizes the sale and export of black gold exclusively to the United States. “The surprise for me is that it does not allow royalty payments and taxes or dividends to Petrleos de Venezuela (PDVSA). It does not generate too many incentives for Maduro, although a benefit for Maduro is the new investment that generates new barrels and those barrels are mostly from PDVSA,” said Francisco Monaldi, one of Venezuela’s leading oil experts, whose current estimates are that the joint ventures in which Chevron participates produce 50,000 barrels per day, but that they can reach almost 100,000 in a short time. To exceed 200,000 it would be necessary to invest for two years.

The US administration was immediately joined by the European Union, the United Kingdom and Canada, in a joint statement, not only to welcome the agreement, also to urge reaching another pact to carry out free and fair elections in 2024“the restoration of democratic institutions and the end of the humanitarian crisis.”

All of them are willing to review their sanctions if progress is made in the negotiations “to alleviate the suffering of the people and bring them closer to democracy.”

A follow-up and verification commission, made up of five pro-government supporters and five opponents plus an observer from the Norwegian Government, will be in charge of supervising this social agreement, including having an Internet portal to report on progress.

Today we have signed a historic agreement. It is a part of the resources that have been stolen from us, but they go to the infrastructure of schools, arranged for health and provision of vaccines. All these resources will be in a fund,” said Jorge Rodríguez, head of the Chavista delegation and president of the revolutionary legislative body. Along with him, Nicolas Maduro Guerra, “Nicolasito”, the son of the Bolivarian leader, sent by his father to confirm that he has absolute confidence.

And among the delegation, its new star: Camilla Fabri, the wife of Colombian magnate Alex Saab, considered Maduro’s figurehead and the main financial operator of the revolution. she was precisely his extradition to the US from Cape Verde which caused the suspension of negotiations 13 months ago. Now converted by Maduro into a human rights defender and “plenipotentiary delegate”, the Italian model signed the agreement before the expectation of those present. In her country of origin, she is accused of money laundering.

“The agreement seeks to address what is urgent: the complex humanitarian crisis that we Venezuelans are going through, products of years of a political project that failed,” the delegation of the Unitary Platform welcomed after the signing, knowing that “not solving underlying problems”.

Led by former mayor Gerardo Blyde, the opponents insisted that a new stage began on Saturday, “which seeks to achieve political conditions that guarantee democratic alternation and a change in the political model that has ruined our nation.”

Beyond the benefits for a semi-ruined country, the Mexico agreements add to the “normalization” of the Maduro regime It has already achieved a certain international legitimacy in recent months, especially once leftist hegemony in the region was achieved, as in the times of Chávez and Lula da Silva.

Its powerful propaganda apparatus is already preparing to squeeze the most out of the story that the crisis originated because of international sanctions and those funds blocked abroad. For the moment, the latest events further underpin the Chavista narrative and its objectives of staying in power “until 2000 always”, as the “supreme commander” liked to say.

“No analysis that ignores the autocratic nature of one of the negotiating parties will be correct. Everyone, except power and its servants, we want of Mexico a path to the Venezuelan democratic transition emergesbut desire and expectations are different things,” said political scientist Walter Molina Galdi.

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