Meetings between the embattled Nicolas Maduro regime and the opposition led by National Assembly President Juan Guaido ended Wednesday night in Barbados without the possibility of new elections, Maduro´s number two man said on state television last night.
By Carlos Camacho
CARACAS -- A meeting between the embattled Nicolas Maduro regime and the opposition led by National Assembly President Juan Guaido ended Wednesday night in Barbados without the possibility of new elections, Maduro´s number two man said on state television last night.
About the only good result, opposition sources told LAHT Thursday morning, is the fact that chavismo is now badly divided around the issue of whether Maduro should stay on before elections. Some don´t even want him to run in a new contest.
“There will be no presidential elections here. Here, the President is Nicolas Maduro!” Cabello said during his weekly TV show “Con El Mazo Dando”, striking with the club.
Jorge Rodriguez, the regime´s propaganda minister and (according to several sources) one of the men who wants to succeed Maduro was more accommodating, taking to Twitter at about the same time Cabello was talking on TV to say that the mechanism was now “a permanent space for dialogue” aimed at solving “controversies in a constitutional and peaceful way.” This from a guy who knew about torture of political opponents, according to defecting General Manuel Christopher.
However, a source from the Guaido camp tells a more complicated story. One of division, ambition and elections.
THE BACKSTABBING DAUPHIN
“Nicolas Maduro is between a rock and a hard place, entre la espada y la pared," the Opposition source told us. The embattled leader not only has had to confront Guaido, who last January claimed the mantle of interim President, but the personal ambitions of his own anointed successor, Hector Rodriguez, a hard-core chavista who is now insisting on elections.
And Rodriguez seems to be ok with Maduro leaving before the contest (key opposition demand) or even if the embattled leader is barred from running in the new contest.
“Maduro is holding on and he wants to be (the candidate), but we all know that is a very important point for the opposition and for the United States (that Maduro doesn´t run). He is lost, any way you look at it. It is really a sore point because he, in his unhinged mind, thinks that they have some possibility of political triumph, it is utter madness,” the source said.
Opposition negotiators questioned the sanity of Maduro´s proposals, saying, after reading them: “Maduro´s fuses are blown, Maduro está fundido."
“They are being stubborn and Guaido does not have a lot of patience or time left,” the source added. “There was a lot of pressure for some light to emerge from the meeting.”
At one point, a solution seemed at hand. “The opposition had in agenda an exit, (elections) without a Maduro candidacy. And chavismo wanted the same, only with Maduro running,” the source said. That option has also been abandoned . . . so far.