With Delcy Rodiguez and Diosdado Cabello, two members of the gang
Dear Mr. Shannon:
After reading your interview in the daily El Pais, Madrid, I was confirmed in my suspicions that you are not the man who can effectively contribute to a solution to the Venezuelan tragedy, see: http://www.el-nacional.com/noticias/shannon-nuestras-sanciones-venezuela-tratan-forzar-acuerdo_208155
These were the questions put to you on Venezuela by El Pais:
Venezuela es el punto más caliente de Latinoamérica. ¿Después de las sanciones, cuál es el siguiente paso de EE UU?
Habrá que esperar a ver qué pasa con las Pueden representar otro empujón para sentar al Gobierno en la mesa y que busque con la oposición una salida pacífica y democrática a la crisis. Nuestra política y nuestras sanciones tratan de forzar un acuerdo. Dicho metafóricamente: cuando uno está fundiendo acero, necesita mucho calor en el crisol. Pero al final del día son los venezolanos quienes tienen que encontrar una solución. Fue el expresidente español José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero quien dijo que el problema de Venezuela es de convivencia. Y el mismo presidente de la Asamblea, Julio Borges, afirmó una vez que los venezolanos son los que deben decidir si quieren reconciliarse o pelear.
You say that your primary objective is to force an agreement between the government and the opposition. Your error is to characterize the Venezuelan situation as a problem between two morally equivalent forces, between “normal” political adversaries equally legitimate and equally posessed of the best intentions to behave within democratic bounds. This is, of course, not the case and anybody who wants to see it can see it. To melt steel more heat will be needed, although I recognize that the U.S. government is the one leading the charge against the Maduro regime as far as sanctions are concerned.
It is equally incorrect to say that the problem of Venezuela will be solved by friendly co-existence. The problem, the tragedy of Venezuela is one of a corrupt, rogue regime, repressing and ruining Venezuelan society in the most atrocious manner, with the complicity of a rotten Armed Force top echelon. This is also evident to the eyes that want to see. For every quote of untrustworthy Mr. Zapatero defending peaceful coexistence I could supply you with hundreds of quotes from Venezuelans who will not tolerate such cowardly behavior.
You are asked:
Pero el presidente de EE UU ha llegado a apelar a la opción militar.
El presidente mantuvo una serie de reuniones y llamadas telefónicas con todos los líderes del hemisferio y estos le comunicaron la importancia de la no intervención. Pero lo que el presidente está expresando es que la paciencia de la región tiene un límite.
As an experienced Latin American and, particularly, Venezuelan hand you will surely know that intervention has more than one meaning and that the OAS has an Interamerican Democratic Charter that actually calls for action from the organization when a member country suffers an institutional and democratic breakdown. Fear of intervention is still linked to the old type of unilateral U.S. intervention in Latin America but this is not the type of intervention the OAS is authorized by the Charter to carry on. Of course, Latin American diplomats also know about the different types of intervention but they frequently choose to stick to the old cliché. As a seasoned diplomat you could have explained the posture of the U.S. to your colleagues in the region.
To the question
¿Hay peligro de golpe interno por parte de los militares?
Desde 1958, las fuerzas armadas venezolanas no se han metido en política doméstica. Y es muy importante que, con todos los problemas que les aquejan, incluidas las acusaciones de corrupción, mantengan una posición institucional y constitucional.
This is an absurd answer. The Venezuelan armed forces have always been ivolved in domestic politics, to a greater or lesser degree, But since the arrival of Chavismo in power this involvement has become so intense that today Venezuela can be said to be a military-civilian dictatorship, in line with Chavez policy, as dictated by his old mentor, the fascist Norberto Ceresole. The Venezuelan Armed forces are an integral part of the Venezuelan narco-regime. They cannot “maintain” an institutional or constitutional position because, since Hugo Chavez came in power, they haven’t had one. For them to adopt a constitutional and institutional attitude would be sufficient to end the Venezuelan tragedy and such a posture could not possibly be defined as a military coup. A military coup is precisely the opposite, what has taken place under this so-called revolution.
And you know it.
I am very disappointed in your behavior. I remembered you differently,