By Beatrice E. Rangel
Win-win, win-lose, and lose-lose are game theory terms that refer to the possible outcomes of a game or conflict involving two parties, and how each side perceives their outcome relative to their standing before the game. Lose-lose means that all parties end up being worse off.
This just happened in Venezuela for at least the fifth time in the confrontations between the government and the opposition. Faced with a civic revolt; international pressures and a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions, the government jumped ahead and convened elections for governors knowing that it would never win under fair and universally applicable rules of electoral game.
Thus, the Venezuela Regime engaged in covert, overt and multiple fraud schemes that revealed upfront and in broad day light its true nature: a totalitarian regime penetrated by international crime organizations.
As such we know that we can only expect a fierce battle to maintain power and the most absolute defiance of international law and custom.
But the doings of the government will inevitably debilitate its power structure. Rifts among those that profit from corruption and other illegal activities such a human and drug traffic, counterfeit products and precious metals and those that have limited access to these sources on instant wealth will deepen and multiply.
The cost of imposing a regime of terror will increase at a moment when there are not enough income flows. As these "operating costs" increase, less will be left for the economy and current income sources will begin to dry up.
Signs of these developments are beginning to pop-up. For example, this week U.S. energy company Nustar Energy announced that it has suspended storage services to PDVSA in the island of Saint Eustace for lack of payment.
This means Caribbean trade will now need to be supplied by Houston or New Orleans. In a buyer's world given the abundance of oil, PDVSA's products will lose reliance which means less paying clients.
On the opposition side of the political divide, loss was dictated by destiny and self-infliction.
In the aftermath of a civic rebellion that made universal history and that the organized opposition failed to truly lead, its leadership chose to participate in gubernatorial elections without guarantees of due process or fairness in the execution of the electoral laws and regulations.
They further accepted the unlawful denial by electoral authorities to correct the nominees list as candidates withdrew or were eliminated in primaries. And as the electoral battle drew closer to election day, the opposition watched the government's unlawful move to confuse electors by means of changing polling places at the very last minute without a serious impeachment of the procedures.
This emboldened the regime which proceeded to incur in massive fraud.
The opposition walks from this match having lost half its constituency, almost all the governorships that were admitted as victories by the government, and international respect.
The opposition seemed to forget that confronted with a lose-lose scenario, intelligent players seek to reduce losses to the minimum. In the opposition case that meant to participate in the electoral game with the sole objective of unveiling clearly to the world the criminal nature of electoral authorities in Venezuela (as that of the government leaders has already been the subject of Kingpin lists all over the world).
It will now take Venezuela yet another three years to rebuild an opposition movement that is able to live up to the challenges of facing a totalitarian rogue state. Given that 160 + people died in the last months of protesting, one wonders how many more must die before the opposition learns to effectively play its cards.Beatrice Rangel is President & CEO of the AMLA Consulting Group, which provides growth and partnership opportunities in US and Hispanic markets. AMLA identifies the best potential partner for businesses which are eager to exploit the growing buying power of the US Hispanic market and for US Corporations seeking to find investment partners in Latin America. Previously, she was Chief of Staff for Venezuela President Carlos Andres Perez as well as Chief Strategist for the Cisneros Group of Companies.
For her work throughout Latin America, Rangel has been honored with the Order of Merit of May from Argentina, the Condor of the Andes Order from Bolivia, the Bernardo O'Higgins Order by Chile, the Order of Boyaca from Colombia, and the National Order of Jose Matías Delgado from El Salvador.
You can follow her on twitter @BEPA2009 or contact her directly at BRangel@amlaconsulting.com.
Also by Beatrice Rangel in her Latin America from 35,000 Feet seriesBeatrice Rangel: Rio -- Demystifying the Olympic Games
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