At a press event with “former” Marxist terrorist and current Colombian President Gustavo Petro on Monday, ineffectual Secretary of State Antony Blinken continued his ongoing tour of Latin America to pressure leaders to get back to the negotiating table with Venezuela’s socialist dictator Nicolás Maduro.
Blinken insisted that the solution to the collapse of the Venezuelan state under socialism is “a dialogue that ultimately leads to the necessary conditions to have free and fair elections,” presumably including the chronic human rights violators currently in charge of the country.
Past attempts at “dialogue” between the socialist Maduro regime and the socialist-led establishment “opposition” in the country have resulted in waves of regime killings, torture, and other human rights atrocities. As recently as last month, the United Nations accused the Maduro regime of using rape and other sexual torture against civilians believed to oppose socialism, in addition to a large variety of torture and other forms of abuse to silence dissent. The International Criminal Court (ICC) at the Hague has concluded that significant evidence exists that Maduro has committed crimes against humanity.
“Dialogue” with Maduro requires the opposition to accept the legitimacy of his leadership, which has been constitutional since 2019. According to the Venezuelan constitution, the National Assembly has a right to remove the president and install an interim leader in the event of a “rupture in the democratic order.” In 2019, the National Assembly exercised this power in the face of a fraudulent “election” that gave Maduro a “victory” in 2019, choosing lawmaker Juan Guaidó as the true president.
The United States, like most of the free world, recognizes Guaidó as the legitimate president of the country. Guaidó has not ever occupied the presidential palace or controlled the nation’s military, however, rendering him largely a ceremonial figure. The socialist leaders running the establishment “opposition” have engaged the Maduro regime over Guaidó’s objections.
Years of polling have shown dialogue between the Maduro regime and the opposition to be highly unpopular among Venezuelans. Many of those who survived the pro-democracy protests between 2014 and 2017, and the Maduro regime killings that followed, have fled the country out of a lack of faith in the opposition fueled by rounds of “dialogue.”