The text of the Europarlament is not binding, but it has a remarkable political depth: it is the first clear decision of a community institution in favor of the dissident, calls the Twenty-eight to support Guaidó one by one and can have a drag on other organisms, European and non-European. The partners do not have a unified vision of the crisis. For example, Austria and Italy do not want, initially, to recognize it, against Spain, which does support it, with other powerful countries such as France and Germany. A lot of fabric to cut.
The current Venezuelan president, Nicolás Maduro, has seen with this endorsement to his opponent how the walls of the labyrinth in which it is located are narrowed, in which the Palacio de Miraflores has already become. The international isolation is remarkable and this resolution is just a sample button: more than 65 countries have already aligned themselves with the up to now president of the National Assembly and self-proclaimed president Guaidó and have asked the chavista to call presidential elections and leave.
Since the inauguration
Maduro’s loneliness, however, is not new. On January 10, he took office for a second term until 2025 and things were very different from his previous proclamation in 2013, with the body of his mentor, Hugo Chávez, still hot. Most of the great powers of the world turned their backs on him.
Only four Latin American presidents attended the ceremony in Caracas: Evo Morales, from Bolivia; Miguel Díaz-Canel, from Cuba; Salvador Sánchez Cerén, from El Salvador; and Daniel Ortega, from Nicaragua. They were joined by the President of South Ossetia, Anatoli Bibilov, and the Prime Ministers of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves, and St. Kitts and Nevis, Timothy Harris. The main allies of the ruling party – Russia, China and Turkey – sent mid-level emissaries.
“The world is bigger than the American empire and its satellites, where the world is present,” Maduro emphasized, before analysts who put their finger on the wound of absences. Why were not they, for example, European leaders? Because they accused the president of having subverted the democratic process and of having prevented last year’s elections from being free and fair. “None of our ambassadors went to the investiture of Maduro and that is already a very clear signal”, recalled today the high representative of the European Union (EU) for Foreign Policy, Federica Mogherini.
That was the most repeated position in the West eight days ago, when Juan Guaidó proclaimed himself “president in charge” of Venezuela, a coordinated decision with the United States, its first and greatest guarantor, the first country to react and send its support.
Coordination at the UN
Although it has not yet crystallized in text or any measure, that loneliness has also been noticed already in the UN Security Council, where since last weekend possible statements against Maduro have been studied. On Saturday, the first debate was held and the first defeat of Chavismo’s friends was seen: Russia tried it until the last moment but failed to prevent the meeting, only supported by China, South Africa and Equatorial Guinea. The other nine members of the Council forced the meeting.
Nothing came out of him, because the Russians and the Chinese blocked a declaration that called for the “full support” of the United Nations for the National Assembly, which Guaidó presides over and which is recognized by the anti-Maduro as the only chamber of legitimate representation. Moscow denounced the “flagrant interference” that that proclamation supposes in the domestic politics of Venezuela.
That tension is maintained all this week. The EU is trying, at least, to get the creation of an “international contact group” from New York to advance a possible transition in the country, something that the permanent members and friends of Maduro (Russia, China, again) they refuse to contemplate for now, because they understand that he is the legitimate president. What Europeans promote in the Council is an organ that seeks “credible elections, that violence is not used and that there can be full humanitarian access”, in the words of the Belgian minister, Didier Reynders.
The blockade is the ghost that overflies everything and threatens to run aground any solution or proposal.
In today’s important statement of the European Parliament highlights not only his recognition of Guaidó and his call for the EU and the members to do the same, but the kind of roadmap that he proposes and which is an amendment to the whole management current of Maduro.
The Eurocámara proposes, after legitimizing the opposition, that the current administration calls for “free, transparent and credible” elections to “restore democracy”, which means lost. It demands that, immediately, the powers of the National Assembly be reinstated -it was removed and a parallel chamber with official control, the so-called Constituent Assembly- was created and an order to cease the human rights violations, “fierce repression and the violence”.
An independent commission must be allowed to investigate these alleged crimes and must make the corresponding party pay, there must be accountability, insists the Parliament. Finally, it claims that international contact group, already raised in the Council Conclusions of October 15, 2018, that could mediate “with a view to the conclusion of an agreement on the convening of free, transparent and credible presidential elections based on a calendar defined by common agreement, equal conditions for all actors, transparency and international observation. “
Maduro does not enter the equation, he is not cited, he is not needed. That empowers the Assembly and calls for elections. The rest, will be given and controlled by others. This scheme is the one that is most repeating itself in the corridors of the United Nations, the one that convinces the diplomacy of Latin America, but needs a step alongside the current president.
What is going to happen?
Guaidó, in the international arena, enjoys the enthusiastic support of the Trump Administration, the so-called Group of Lima and the European Union, which has not yet taken sides in a bloc but has already seen how the heaviest countries-Spain between they have put an ultimatum that ends on Monday for presidential elections to be called. Either that or the isolation.
Although it has a high external legitimacy, the usual partners of Maduro will not abandon it, and they are not minor. Russia, Cuba and China (the latter in a somewhat more moderate) continue to support the regime, at a time when the US is no longer, alone, the greatest power on the planet. There are many actors on the board and many balances and forces to measure.
Moscow, according to several international intelligences already filtering, would already be sending mercenaries to protect Maduro and advising him at each step, a parallel response to Trump’s threat that he has “all options on the table” for Venezuela, including the military. If Russia gets strength, money has to come from China, without which the stall will not be sustained and the voices of citizens who have gone from being disappointed to angry and, now, desperate will not be calmed down.