RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro said on Thursday, May 20, three years after his victory in the presidential elections, that elections are the “only possible way” to recover security and justice for the country.
“Three years after the popular victory of May 20, we evoke the democratic and pacifist spirit of the Venezuelan people. Today more than ever, we are called to follow the electoral path as the only possible way to recover the Homeland of security and social justice,” Maduro wrote on his Twitter account.
The president’s message comes six months before the celebration of regional and local elections in Venezuela. The opposition led by Juan Guaidó is considering participating, after not taking part in last December’s legislative elections, considering them a “fraud”.
The opposition, which presented last week a proposal for negotiations with the Government to solve the crisis in the country, conditions the participation to some guarantees of transparency and legality that the Executive must give and to some commitments to be acquired.
However, all the conditions raised by Guaidó are up in the air, since, although Maduro said he was willing to sit down to negotiate “with whomever”, he did not pronounce himself on the requirements demanded nor did he say whether he would be willing to give in exchange for the offers that, despite having been raised by the opposition, are not within his reach to fulfill them.
Such is the case of the “progressive lifting of sanctions”, a decision to be taken by the countries that imposed them, such as the United States or the European Union, among others.
Nor is it in Guaidó’s hands to increase sanctions if the Government does not assume the commitment to release political prisoners and present a schedule for “free and fair elections, electoral conditions, transitional justice and resolution of judicial processes”.
Inevitably, to comply with his proposal, there must be a commitment on the part of the U.S., which assured last week through its chief of diplomatic mission for Venezuela, James Story, that his country “is not involved in the negotiations” proposed by the opposition.
These and other inaccuracies about the obligatory previous agreements with the U.S., among other actors, given Guaidó’s proposal, are the ones that generate distrust, both from the Executive and the electorate, which reacted in networks with positions closer to disbelief than trust.