The Mesa de la Unidad Democratica (MUD) issued an ultimatum to the Maduro government and the PSUV over the perceived futility of the dialogue process between the two sides. In a press release issued earlier today, the MUD said that it would walk away from the Vatican-sponsored talks on December 6 unless the government made concrete steps to show its goodwill toward the process.

Below, my translation of the press release:

If the regime doesn’t [meet its promises], the MUD will not attend the December 6 dialogue

People of Venezuela,

Excellency Monseigneur Claudio Maria Celli, representative from the Holy See before the Dialogue Table

Excellencies, former presidents Jose Luis Zapatero, Leonel Fernandez and Martin Torrijos, representatives from UNASUR before the Dialogue Table:

We are living through terrible times in Venezuela. Over the last few hours, our people have become poorer with each passing minute due to the effects of the destruction of our currency and of the entire national economy, all a consequence of a system of government that has generated misery and of an inefficient and corrupt regime. While this is taking place, the process of searching for solutions through a dialogue has been halted due to the government’s inability to keep its promises over the agreements that were reached during the dialogue meetings that took place on October 30 and November 11-12. There will be no solution to the problem of growing hunger or another other in our country until we have an electoral solution that allows the country to democratically select a new government, and meeting these promises is a fundamental step in order to achieve an electoral solution. In light of this extremely serious situation, the Mesa de la Unidad Democratica wishes to make the following points known to the country and the world:

1. The Mesa de la Unidad Democratica, in keeping with its promises and with the request from the representatives from the Holy See to facilitate the dialogue process, has made clear gestures of its willingness to comply [with the agreements] by suspending its calls for street protests and modifying its parliamentary agenda by postponing the evaluation of President Nicolas Maduro’s political responsibility [the so-called “political trial” that might have seen Maduro removed from office].

2. On November 15 2016, Amazonas deputies Nirma Guarulla, Julio Ygarza and Romel Guzana resigned permanently from the National Assembly leaving their swearing-in on July 28 2016 without effect. That same day, the National Assembly’s Executive Council was notified of their resignation, making it in effect immediate. On November 22 2016, the President of the National Assembly send a message to the Supreme Court confirming that the deputies elected in Amazonas state had resigned.

3. With these actions the Mesa de la Unidad Democratica kept the promises that it agreed to during the dialogue so far, which began on October 30 with the main goal of finding an electoral solution to the crisis.

4. But the government has NOT kept its promises, which is why we ask the national government to meet its promises without major delay. In this sense, it is necessary that clear evidence of progress in the following topics be demonstrated BEFORE the next dialogue meeting scheduled for December 6:

A. Ask that the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court restore the constitutional powers of the National Assembly, leaving without effect the false finding of “contempt” and the rulings that have over several months restricted the legislative power.

B. Name two rectors to the Consejo Nacional Electoral and their respective back-ups as per mutual agreement, so that they may begin to fulfill their roles on December 4 2016 when the terms of Socorro Hernandez and Tania D’Amelio [current rectors] expire.

C. Release political prisoners and create a Truth Commission, the structure of which will be mutually agreed-upon.

D. Open a humanitarian corridor and put into place transparent mechanisms for the import and distribution of food, medicine and medical supplies that are urgently needed by [the healthcare industry] and the affected people in the country.

E. Announce a mutually-agreed date – through a ruling from the Supreme Court – for the elections in Amazonas state in order to restore the state’s representation at the National Assembly.

5. The government should meet the promises that it made before the representative from the Vatican and the other mediators. Until that happens, the Unidad Democratica will re-evaluate its presence at the National Dialogue Table in following with the public announcement that we will make on December 6. Only with the government clearly demonstrates that it is meeting the promises we enumerated above will we clearly re-state our renewed participation in the dialogue, and we will do so stressing our agenda which calls for CONSTITUTIONAL, ELECTORAL, DEMOCRATIC and PEACEFUL methods to overcome the deep political, institutional, social, and economic crisis that VENEZUELA is living through.

6. The MESA DE LA UNIDAD DEMOCRATICA will maintain itself in permanent contact with government representatives, as well as with mediators from the Vatican and UNASUR, in order to verify that the agreements are being met and that in that way the dialogue be allowed to continue.

Any type of dialogue, meeting or negotiation is useless without guarantees that the reached agreements between the parities before representatives from the Vatican and UNASUR are being met. The stubborn negativity of the government when it comes to meeting the agreements are clear evidence that its internal divisions are impeding it from doing so, and that is why it sits down to dialogue so that it may buy itself time and lie to the people, rather than to seriously discuss problems with the goal of fixing them. Along with the immense majority of Venezuelans, the Mesa de la Unidad Democratica wants a dialogue but only if it yields results, results that will allow the country to democratically and constitutionally elect a national unity government that is willing to put a stop to the economic crisis, restore political governance, rebuild social coexistence and hold deep respect for human rights.

Mesa de la Unidad Democratica

Caracas, November 30 2016

Just two days ago, Maduro said that he would force the opposition to remain in the dialogue, although he did not elaborate on exactly how he would do that.

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2 thoughts on “11.30.16: Terrible Times

  1. Pingback: 12.01.16: Suspension | In Venezuela

  2. Pingback: 12.02.16: Outage | In Venezuela

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