Claiming to be neutral, the presidents of Mexico and Uruguay, recently sent a statement to Venezuela’s interim president, Juan Guaidó, with an invitation to dialogue; Guaidó unequivocally rejected the proposal.
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you are on the side of the oppressor,” said Guaidó, echoing the words of Nobel Peace laureate Desmond Tutu, who called for the release of Venezuelan political prisoners.
He invited both leaders, Tabaré Vázquez Rosas and Andrés Manuel López Obrador, to “join the right side” and endorse what is dictated by articles 233, 333, and 350 of the Venezuelan Constitution, which call for early elections and decree the president of the National Assembly to be interim president.
He affirmed that he will not be a participant in “talks and negotiations whose purpose is to keep human rights violators in power by means of deception.”
He asked that they support the cessation of the usurpation, “because the presidency of Nicolás Maduro is not legitimate, to the degree that it led to the creation of the Lima Group, made up of the leaders of a dozen nations in the region who affirm the illegitimacy of Maduro.”
Guaidó is also calling for collaboration to achieve a transitional government through free elections, as dictated by the Constitution.
This is the opposite of what has happened under the government of the now ex-president Maduro. The international rejection of the regime was evident in the last elections: they were not recognized by the European Union, with 80% of the population abstaining from voting, as 3 million Venezuelans have been forced into exile.
Guaidó rightly rejects the invitation to an international conference on the situation in Venezuela, organized by those who claim to be neutral and yet still refuse to support the constitutional order in Venezuela and as such do not recognize the legitimate president, nor the need for prompt elections.
He clarified that “we will only be interested in a negotiation, when it is one that definitively agrees to the terms of the cessation of the usurpation, that allows the effective transfer of power to legitimate representatives of the Venezuelan people to initiate a transition process that culminates with the realization of free elections, in which the participation of all democratic forces is allowed in a fair and transparent manner.”
However, the benefits that Chavismo’s allies have accrued are enormous. Javier Vásquez, the second son of the President of Uruguay, earned USD $62 million for the computerization of the state communications company CGV, in addition to the USD $4.5 million that he earned for licenses and training for the Ministry of Science and Technology. In addition, the company Montevideo COMM inked a USD $1.2 million contract for website administration; Geocom also received USD $2.8 million contract for a management system for city halls and Artech Consulting has two contracts underway for USD $3.5 million and USD $670,000.
This was confirmed by the son of the Uruguayan president in a court case. And it does not end there. The accountant who denounced these shady business relationships and insider dealing, appeared dead in 2009, allegedly by suicide and the case was closed.
The accountant was named Eduardo Gómez Canon, who traveled to Caracas to close the business deals in Venezuela, but was cut out from the contracts at the last moment and declared that “now the son of the Uruguayan president is a millionaire, due only to business that was mine”; since he muscled his way into the negotiations.
Now that Vásquez’s assets have been found in a tax haven, investigations against him have resurfaced, including the curious deposit of “seven transfers of up to USD $300,000 for payment for his consulting services.”
While the average Venezuelan citizen has lost 24 pounds due to malnutrition caused by the shortages of socialism, there have been those who have gotten rich at the expense of the Venezuelan people.
When the former Mexican Foreign Minister, Jorge Castañeda, explained in a Televisa program the reasons for Uruguay’s support for Maduro, he said that “in this case there is a very complicated personal problem, which is that the son of President Tabaré (Vázquez) has done a huge amount of business in Venezuela in matters of technology, et cetera, and he has his fingerprints all over Venezuela,” he said.
“Venezuelans and Cubans know it, and every time Uruguay moves away a little bit, he tries to draw them back in.”
So those who say they think about the poorest and offer to enlarge the scope of the state to remedy the inequality, are often the ones who get richer at their expense.