The socialiast government of Venezuela is having no success using violence to put down the demonstrations against it, so President Nicolas Maduro has now concluded he has no choice but to open talks with the opposition. That’s going to be a little tricky with opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez still in jail on trumped up charges that he incited the violence, but the process gets underway today regardless at the presidential palace. Indeed, Maduro isn’t just inviting the opposition. He insists. Bloomberg reports:
Governor Henrique Capriles, standing alongside the wife of jailed opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, said at a rally yesterday he would agree to hold talks with Maduro at the presidential palace on Feb. 24. The two-time presidential hopeful two days prior said he wouldn’t be forced into dialog after Maduro warned there would be legal consequences to missing the meeting.
“We don’t want confrontation, we want solutions,” Capriles, who lost to Maduro in April elections by the narrowest margin in 45 years, said at the rally in Caracas. “The government of Nicolas Maduro that we are seeing is a historic error, but we can’t get out of this mistake by making another one.”
Anti-government demonstrations are in their second week after Lopez’s Voluntad Popular party on Feb. 12 organized marches to speak out against rising crime, the world’s fastest inflation and shortages of everything from milk to medicine. The protests have turned violent on a nightly basis as police clash with students, resulting in at least eight deaths.
Hugo Chavez was a socialist thug, but he was also a very convincing populist politician who managed to sell the masses on the idea that he was their champion. His death and Maduro’s ascendance have coincided with the inevitable economic breakdowns that result from socialism. With inflation soaring and shortages taking hold, the people want answers. And since Maduro and his regime show no inclination to change course, the people are taking to the streets.
We showed you video on Friday of the violenet manner in which the government is dealing with the protesters. It’s certainly possible that this meeting at the presidential palace today is nothing more than Maduro’s attempt to intimidate the opposition into backing down. The guess here is that it won’t work. The opposition can see that they’ve got the socialists reeling - quickly losing whatever misled support they ever had from the people. This is not a time to back down. This is a time put your foot on your opponent’s throat and finish him off.
This is easier said than done in the sense that Venezuela has an established electoral process - however compromised it may have become under socialist rule - and there is no election set for awhile. Maduro is not just going to volunteer to be the victim of a coup d’etat. But the status quo in Venezuela cannot continue. The people have made that abundantly clear.
Dan Calabrese’s column is distributed by CainTV, which can be found at caintv.com
A new edition of Dan’s book “Powers and Principalities” is now available in hard copy and e-book editions. Follow all of Dan’s work, including his series of Christian spiritual warfare novels, by liking his page on Facebook.
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