Gorraiz: Are the US and Cuba negotiating the future of Venezuela?
Maduro’s decision to confiscate the General Motors plant was seen by the Trump Administration as an attack against the interests of US multinationals, a scenario that was exploited by the US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, (former President and CEO of Exxon Mobil when it was nationalized in 2007 by Hugo Chávez) to declare Chavista Venezuela a “dangerous enemy of the United States.” Consequently, the Trump Administration implemented an intense destabilizing campaign based on selective shortages of basic necessities, obscene speculation, the amplification in the media of growing citizen insecurity, the taking of the streets by the opposition and the application of sanctions. to Venezuelan crude oil to cause default or cessation of payments and as a culmination we witnessed in October 2020 the implementation of the ban on Venezuela to import diesel with the avowed objective of paralyzing the transport of primary sectors and achieving the shortage of basic food and supplies vital health services that would shake the Maduro government.
However, the arrival of Joe Biden to the US Presidency could cause a change in the US strategy consisting of the replacement of the “soft blows” by the so-called Kentian strategy exposed by Sherman Kent in his book “Strategic Intelligence for North American World Policy ”(1949) where he points out that the instruments of economic warfare“ consist of the carrot and the stick ”:“ the blockade, the freezing of funds, the ‘boycott’, the embargo and the blacklist for a side; subsidies, loans, bilateral treaties, barter and commercial agreements for another ”. Thus, the Biden Administration would be studying implementing the carrot tactic in Venezuela. which would include the relaxation of the restrictions currently in force on Venezuelan oil to revitalize the motor activity of the Venezuelan economy as well as annulling Trump’s ban on importing the diesel necessary to maintain the chain of transportation of goods and medical supplies.
Likewise, the US would have written off Juan Guaidó so it will move its pieces to force a Transitional Government made up of consensus figures from both the opposition and Chavismo that will have to prepare new Legislative and Presidential Elections for 2022 whose roadmap It would have been designed by the Jesuit Luis Ugalde, former rector of the Catholic University of Caracas and which would have the blessings of the United States and the European Union.
Said roadmap would have been worked out in discreet meetings between representatives of the Government and opposition interlocutors with the mediation of the Delegation of the Kingdom of Norway and we would already be in the prelude to formal negotiations between the Government of Maduro and representatives of the opposition that could be held in late August or early September in Mexico under the umbrella of AMLO. Said preliminary contacts would firstly deal with the release of political prisoners, the lifting of sanctions against the leadership, the resumption of humanitarian aid and the drawing up of a schedule for a future elections to be held in 2022, but the real negotiation would begin after the Local elections and Governors on November 21 that will set the X-ray of the new cartography of local Power in Venezuela, but to crystallize these negotiations, the mediation work of Cuba seems essential.
Thus, former Vice President Mike Pence announced the implementation of new measures against two companies that transport Venezuelan crude to Cuba as well as against the 34 vessels that PDVSA uses for this purpose, with the avowed objective of causing the “energy asphyxia of Cuba” by means of the amputation of the umbilical cord linking Venezuela and Cuba. The ultimate objective of the US would be to achieve a total shortage of oil, food and vital health supplies to shake the current status quo of the Island, thus presenting a unique opportunity for Cuba as a mediator between Maduro and the US that could end with the formation of a Government of National Salvation in Venezuela after the exile of the current Chavista leadership to Cuba in exchange for the relaxation of the suffocating embargo imposed by the US against the Island.
GERMÁN GORRAIZ LÓPEZ -Political analyst