In the past week, chavismo has started to show shades of difference regarding President Maduro, the protests and the future of Venezuela. Could this be the beginning of end and the start of a peaceful exit?
Added to the very real risk of the flow of returning Colombians and Venezuelans fleeing across the border creating a massive refugee crisis, security experts are also concerned about a possible military conflict ginned up by a wounded Maduro government.
The March 28 OAS Permanent Council discussion on Venezuela was a not-so-subtle rebuke to the failed efforts at dialogue. Instead of acknowledging shifting international opinion, though, the next day Venezuela Supreme Court gave the OAS its sharpest example yet of an “interruption in the constitutional process.” Now what?
In the strongest language so far, a joint statement signed by 14 states (and supported by 4-more Caribbean states) condemns Venezuela under the Inter-Democratic Charter. And it asks other member states to follow up if Venezuela doesn’t comply.
A careful review of the data reveals an increase in political detention and imprisonment in Venezuela—often without trial—and illustrates the justifications the government uses to silence its opponents.
Mientras la crisis humanitaria en Venezuela va en aumento, el silencio regional solamente ha sido quebrado por las denuncias del Secretario General de la OEA. Pero la responsabilidad de proteger obliga a los países a intervenir cuando se vulneran los derechos de una población.
The debate should no longer be about how democratic or authoritarian the government of Nicolas Maduro has become. It should be how criminal it’s become—a question that opens up a whole new set of policy challenges.