Caracas graffiti: Amazingly,
after an executive order calling Venezuela a U.S.
national security threat, President Obama is as unpopular as his predecessor.
For Venezuela, it's
Time for Brazilian Moderation, Not U.S. Belligerence (Folha, Brazil)
sanctions, as President Barack Obama has done, does not resolve the problem. … The
problem now (which sanctioning doesn't address) is all-too-easy to articulate
but very difficult to resolve: ensuring that legislative elections scheduled
for this year are in fact fair and free. … It is reasonable to assume that the
Venezuelan government go to the devil to avoid a
defeat that looks absolutely inevitable."
Adopting sanctions, as President Barack Obama has done, does
not resolve the problem.
Even a blogger critical of the Venezuelan government disagrees
with the sanctions and U.S. rhetoric: David Smilde says the rhetoric, "matches
perfectly with the Maduro government narrative, which is that the country's
problems are the result of a confrontation between Venezuela and the United
States rather than a product of its own failed policies."
The problem now (which sanctioning doesn't address) is all-too-easy
to articulate but very difficult to resolve: ensuring that legislative
elections scheduled for this year are in fact fair and free.
It is reasonable to assume that the Venezuelan government would go
to the devil to avoid a defeat that looks absolutely inevitable: without a
major dirty trick, no government can win an election when inflation is 69
percent annum, the economy is expected to contract by 4 percent, there are
record of shortages, and on top of that, the number of murders per 100,000 inhabitants
is lower only than in Honduras.
Posted By Worldmeets.US
We've reached the point that Brazilian moderation can be
The official statement by the Foreign Ministry regarding Foreign
Minister Mauro Vieira and two of his colleagues at UNASUR
(Union of South American Nations) states that "it has been agreed that UNASUR will send a follow-up mission to monitor the
elections from a very early stage.
The last sentence is essential: going to monitor an election
on the eve of voting tends to be too late
The next step is to add some content to this planned monitoring
Itamaraty [Brazil's Foreign Ministry] could adopt all
or part of an action plan that has been released by 33 respectable NGOs to be implemented
in the months before the vote. This would "lend legitimacy to the work of UNASUR as well as enabling civil society in Venezuela and
throughout the region to monitor the mediators and collaborate with them."
Barred for Life: 'Terrorist Gringo Cowboys' Go Home! (El Universal, Venezuela)
The proposal isn't as complicated as it seems. It includes trivial
items in a democracy such as "guaranteed freedom of assembly; prohibiting
the use of force; ending arbitrary arrests; and strengthening judicial
That way, UNASUR's mission, in which
Brazil's participation is obviously paramount, could eventually lead to the
desired result: free and fair elections.
Clovis Rossi is a special correspondent and
member of the Folha editorial board, is a winner of the Maria Moors
Cabot award (USA) and is a member of the Foundation for a New Ibero-American Journalism. His column appears on
Thursdays and Sundays on page 2 and on Saturdays in the World Notebook
section. He is the author, among other works, of Special Envoy: 25 Years
Around the World and What is Journalism?