Spanish – In the heat of the moment, climbing the fence at the entrance to the Venezuelan parliament, struggling with officials of the riot police, and arguing with the police and military pickets of the dictatorship, Juan Guaidó managed to be re-elected in January 2020 as president of the National Assembly, which makes him the interim head of the country with the support of 60 countries for the second consecutive year.
At that time, he only managed to keep international support, and now, those same nations are debating his permanence after the electoral fraud that gave Nicolás Maduro’s regime the majority in the parliament that will take office on January 5, leaving Guaidó out of his seat.
The European Union declared a “countdown” at the meeting in Brussels, where 27 foreign ministers participated on Monday to find “a political solution,” according to El País.
An agreement of parties
The coalition “will reach a consensus on its position regarding the old and new Assembly” in January, reports Deutsche Welle and states that “senior officials of the European External Action Service (EEAS)” will be in charge of evaluating the scenarios for the opposition.
The High Representative of the European Union’s Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, will lead a meeting before Christmas with the foreign minister of Peru, Elizabeth Astete, representing the Lima Group, where 12 nations converge, including Brazil, Chile, and Colombia.
According to DW, Leopoldo López Gil, deputy for Spain and member of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Guaidó will maintain his mandate until he is replaced by a “legitimate process.”
Christmas in analysis
The meeting between the foreign representatives of the EU, Latin America, and the Caribbean is scheduled for December 14 and 15 and will be organized by the German presidency of the European Council, reveals DW. The big detail is that “Venezuela is not invited,” it affirms.
But the International Contact Group created at the beginning of last year (made up of Germany, Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and Sweden; Costa Rica, Ecuador, Uruguay, and Argentina, replacing Bolivia) will be present.
Does this mean that Brussels will continue to support Juan Guiadó as interim president? “We have not agreed on anything else,” the High Representative assured at a press conference.
A lost referendum
The lawyer and specialist in international relations and law, Mariano de Alba, analyzed the case on his Twitter account. He believes that Guaidó’s referendum was a missed opportunity to consolidate his leadership because it did not discuss whether Venezuelans wanted to extend the mandate of the deputies.
He says, “the objective of the consultation is not to determine answers to the three questions (the answers to which are obvious) but to rely on the numerical result to seek to extend the legitimacy of the deputies elected in December 2015.”
Objetivo de la consulta popular planteada por la Asamblea Nacional no es determinar respuestas a las tres preguntas (cuyas respuestas son obvias) sino ampararse en el resultado numérico para buscar extender la legitimidad de los diputados electos en diciembre de 2015.#Venezuela
— Mariano de Alba (@marianodealba) December 7, 2020
If the wheel turns in that direction with the results of the consultation next December 12, the European Union would count it as a guarantee if it determines that Guaidó will continue in its role.
In search of a transition
Regarding the possible consensus within the European Union, Borrell urged the authorities to “come together to initiate a transition process led by the Venezuelans.”
Spain has been one of the first nations to show its support for this option. The foreign minister, Arancha González Laya, confessed that his country “maintains the disposition to support a transition process to seek a peaceful solution through presidential and legislative elections that are free, credible, and fair,” González told El País.
“Not having been able to mobilize Venezuelans” will be one of the conditions to be evaluated, said Borrell, considering that according to the official results, of the 277 new deputies, 240 are related to Maduro and were elected with only 31% of the voters.
United States’ decision
The U.S. position, if Joe Biden’s arrival at the White House is made official, would also fall within that broad consensus, DW says.
For now, the State Department, led by Mike Pompeo, sets a precedent by assuring that “the United States continues to recognize the interim president, Juan Guaidó, and the legitimate National Assembly,” says Infobae.
In this way, it makes clear to the world that “Maduro’s illegitimate regime in Venezuela orchestrated an electoral farce” but “this hoax failed to meet even the bare minimum credibility.”