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Confusion in the Americas on the Venezuelan Crisis / Manuel Cuesta Morua
Posted on March 8, 2014

HAVANA, Cuba. – The open crisis in confuses all of Latin
America and the Caribbean. It has an important economic component. Many
of the small countries of the Caribbean basin, turned client-states,
foresee the loss of the cheap oil prices Venezuela has been providing.
This may be a small consideration for most, except for Cuba.

A shift should be easy to navigate for those barely viable and sparsely
populated nations; no one knows why they changed a safer and more stable
economic relation with the US, for a cheaper but clearly less reliable
one with Venezuela. Surely, we know that strategic thinking is what the
region lacks. To change oil and , for oil and conditioning is a
very strange move to secure independence.

However, the most important point of the Venezuelan crisis at the
hemispheric level, is the one that connects the strategic possibility of
a model of integration that is trying to develop, in Latin America and
the Caribbean, the awareness and commitment of its elite with the values
of its institutions, the growing struggle of citizens for
self-recognition and the political intelligence of the leaders in the
region.

Amid the silence of ALBA, Evo Morales withdraws to a nationalist but not
at all anti-capitalist economic model despite his extravagant and poorly
articulated rhetoric. His advisers seem to have more influence on him
than those of Rafael Correa, who does not know how to respond to the
crisis of his own model and the consequences of his erratic policies;
one day he wants to be reelected, another day he swears he does not want
to be reelected only to appear later, in a seeming act of despair which
says little about his seriousness, threatening to seek reelection where
we all thought was about a Citizens’ Revolution.

Meanwhile, Cristina Fernández de Kichner cavorts even better, defending
democracy from the left and right; stating her support is not for Maduro
but for the democratic process itself, while at the same time saying
that the protests, which are precisely part of that democratic process,
are a “soft coup.”

Juan Manuel Santos, trapped between the left and right, tries to save
his difficult relations with Venezuela; while talking with the FARC and
Havana, he is also forced to point out the value of democratic
institutions and the need for dialogue in the other side of Tachira,
even if it means being humiliated by Maduro. Mujica barely knows what to
say, invokes UNASUR, which has little to contribute. Meanwhile, Piñera,
on his way out, takes care to remind us that this happens because in
Latin America almost everyone is dedicated to blaming the foreigners of
the north, not the south, instead of looking for problems in their own
entrails.

At the beginning of the Venezuelan crisis, Michelle Bachelet had the
strategic intelligence to recognize a constitutional crisis in the
country and recommend a plebiscite. She has been the only one in this
sea of confusion to show vision. Unlike Rouseff who forgets her past as
a student victim of the Carioca repression, and in this dramatic moment,
allows herself to be lead exclusively by the economic interests of Brazil.

Nothing unusual in the pragmatic tradition of Brazil and a Lula with
global ambitions, whom we all envisioned at the International Labour
Organization battling for workers worldwide. He steps from being a union
leader to President of Brazil and finally ends up a representative of
Odebrecht, a transnational if there ever was one. And, in Havana, he
allows himself the luxury of pointing out that Maduro is a man of good
intentions. Thank God.

There is total disorientation. Even rhetorical. Maduro blames the
Yankees, expels its diplomats while asking to talk to Obama and naming a
new ambassador in Washington, almost all at the same time and within the
closed cycle of events. He had earlier threatened to use the full force
of the against civilians, precisely what all fascists do, while
accusing them of being Nazi-facists and inviting them to a peace
dialogue for which he has no resources in his political and verbal memory.

The OAS seems to be slipping by Insulza, this man has lost every
opportunity to show some kind of leadership and allows himself the
luxury of coming to Havana to be rebuffed by his hosts in the face of
the OAS. This is however, the only organization that has established
consolidated mechanisms with reference, tradition and experience, but
which has to be invoked in Mexico by Obama, the enemy, to the silence of
Peña Nieto, the new Mexican friend of Castro, the coldness of and
the indifference of the rest.

And the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC)? A
newly released political ghost that no one in their right mind will talk
about for a long time, if it even has a future. Without mechanisms,
institutions, political representation and experience, CELAC, of course
missed the opportunity to proactively respond to events in Venezuela
through the vigorous defense of the democratic basis on which its
integrative effort was founded, a defense that the presidents who
participated in this political rock should have made. Not wanting to
speak, from CELAC, about democracy in Cuba, has left Latin America and
the Caribbean unable to talk about democracy in Venezuela, invoking the
help of the ghost.

If it had done this, the youth of this new integration effort would have
compensated with a clear and visible commitment in the right direction,
and now Maduro’s rhetoric would have more legitimacy to obtain clear and
consistent backups, alienating Washington, whom he has foolishly wanted
to approach, from the shores of Venezuela. CELAC in Havana did not do
the best it could and anyway, its leaders had to jump over the old
principles of respect for sovereignty and non-interference in the
affairs of other states they solemnly swore to respect: one way or
another, they have gotten into the internal affairs of Venezuela, now
that many things are at stake. Starting with Havana, who has turned that
country into a juicy backyard of oil, resources and XXI century essays.
Until it dries up, if patriots there are unable to succeed.

No one really knows how to react in front of a crisis that once more
puts in evidence the lack of leadership in Latin America: a leadership
that, by the way, can only be reached by combining the values, interests
and strategic vision of where the region wants to go. No wonder some
elites, with some clarity, look to the Pacific where, as in the
syndrome, the United States appears once more. A region and a country
that were not in the integrationist plans of Marti or Bolivar.

Cubanet, March 5, 2014, Manuel Cuesta Morúa

Translated by: Eleruss

Source: Confusion in the Americas on the Venezuelan Crisis / Manuel
Cuesta Morua | Translating Cuba –
http://translatingcuba.com/confusion-in-the-americas-on-the-venezuelan-crisis-manuel-cuesta-morua/

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